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Death toll in DR Congo floods rise to 169 – UN

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Death toll in the devastating floods in the Democratic Republic of the Congo capital, Kinshasa, has risen to over 169 while thousands have been displaced, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Friday.

The flooding which has submerged the city in the past one week followed heavy downpour that has continued unabated and have ravaged the country in recent days.

According to the UN agency, the flooding also left over 50 people injured and pulverised an estimated 280 homes across the capital destroyed while approximately 38,000 residents have been affected by the flood, especially the city’s Mont-Ngafula and Ngaliema districts which have been the hardest hit by the downpours.

“Today marks the end of three day of national mourning in memory of those deceased,” OCHA said in a statement.

“The government has confirmed that it will organize a dignified and secure burial of those who have lost their lives.

“The provinces of Equateur, Maniema, Nord-Ubangi, Sud-Ubangi, and Tshopo have also been badly hit by flooding since October.

“An estimated 8.2 million people in at least 20 different nations in west and central Africa have been affected by heavy rains in recent weeks. On Friday, an estimated 2.9 million people had been displaced and more than half a million homes destroyed,” the agency said.

“Kinshasa has seen a huge population influx in recent years and many dwellings are shanty houses built on the flood-prone slopes of a city that suffers from inadequate drainage and sewerage. The flooding earlier this week showed muddy waters overwhelming entire neighbourhoods,” the humanitarian body said.

Metro

Somali military tribunal jails wife of Islamic State leader eight years

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A Somali military tribunal has sentenced the wife of a leader of the Islamic State terrorist group to eight years in prison for “passing on information and organizing financial transactions for the group.”

According to a top Somali military official, the convict, Fartun Abdirashid, the wife of the head of the Daesh (IS) group in the country, Abdiqadir Mumin, was sentenced on Monday after she was found guilty by a military court in Mogadishu.

“Fartun Abdirashid has been under the custody since her arrest in March last year in Mogadishu. Her husband is Abdiqadir Mumin, who is the head of the Daesh group, a terrorist organization linked to the Islamic State,” the military official said.

The Somali public prosecutor’s office, said the suspect was accused of frequently transferring $100 to $200 to the group’s members, and also had a working relationship with Bilal Al-Sudaani, a senior Islamic State group official who was killed last Wednesday in a U.S. raid in the northern Bari region.

Mumin, who was a former al-Shabab cleric, had pledged his allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2015, and has led his group to hold a smaller but significant footprint in Somalia compared to the al-Shabab terrorist group that has carried out numerous attacks in the country.

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Metro

30 killed, 20 missing as tropical storm, Cheneso, sweep across Madagascar

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At least 30 people have been confirmed killed while 20 are missing following flooding and landslides caused by a tropical storm, Cheneso, which swept across Madagascar over the weekend.

The Madagascar National Office for Risk and Disaster Management, in a provisional assessment on Monday, said, the storm which made its first landfall in the northeast of the Indian Ocean island nation last Thursday, has so far impacted close to 89,000 people.

The Madagascan Meteorological Agency in a statement, said the storm, which has now passed across the country into the Mozambique Channel, saw winds gusting up to 170 kilometres per hour (105.63 miles per hour) and unleashed torrential rains.

The director of the Risk and Disaster office, Colonel Faly Aritiana, also said there had been house collapses and landslides in which people were trapped.

“People have been reacting generally in the right way, but some people have not been taking enough note of our warnings not to cross rivers in flood because the flow is much stronger than usual,” Aritiana said.

“The storm has damaged infrastructure, with many roads cut by rising waters, landslides and collapsed bridges,” he added.

Local media say nearly 33,000 people have had to leave their homes in the Boeny region, in the northwest of the island, while the prices of basic foodstuffs have skyrocketed.

“Prices of vegetables and rice increased a lot after the storm with the cost of tomatoes quadrupling. The merchants say it’s because the national road is cut,” it added.

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