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Three UN aid workers, 11 civilians, killed in South Sudan attacks

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Three United Nations aid workers and 11 civilians have been reportedly killed in separate attacks by gunmen in South Sudan in the early week of January, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said on Wednesday.

The Head of OCHA Mission in South Sudan, Peter Van der Auweraert, in a statement, said two of the aid workers were victims of an attack by armed men, which left others dead on January 2 in a village in the oil-rich Abyei administrative area.

“In the first days of the year, three South Sudanese aid workers who were helping others paid the highest price with their lives,” said der Auweraert.

The third aid worker, according to der Auweraert, was killed in the same week while monitoring humanitarian supplies in the east-central state of Jonglei.

These three deaths are in addition to the nine killed last year and five in 2021. OCHA has urged the authorities to strengthen the protection of its staff in this oil-rich country, which is among the poorest in the world,” he said.

A spokesman for the Abyei administrative area, Ajak Deng, who also confirmed the incident, said a total of 14 people, including women and children, died in the attack, which was attributed to youths from the neighbouring Twic county.

The disputed region, which is under the protection of the United Nations, has been on the border between Sudan and South Sudan since the latter declared independence in 2011. with conflicts erupting every now and then.

Since independence in 2011, South Sudan has been plagued by crises, including a five-year civil war between President Salva Kiir’s loyalists and Vice President Riek Machar’s forces, with an estimated 400,000 deaths, and millions displaced and forced to flee from their homes.

Metro

Zambian Police to charge ex-President Lungu over ‘people will rise’ comment

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The Zambian Police says they are going to charge former President Edgar Lungu to court over a recent comment credited to him where he was quoted as saying the “People will rise,” which the police deem inciting.

National Police spokesman, Rae Hamoonga, who gave the indication that the ex-President would be prosecuted over the comment, said the implication of the statement was being assessed, and appropriate legal actions may be taken.

According to reports, Lungu had made the remark when he said ordinary Zambiand would rise if the police continued with the harassment of Patriotic Front (PF) and other opposition members.

But in a statement on Tuesday, Hamoonga said the remarks made by Lungu apparently led to an unrest at the Kabwata Police Station where his followers at the were teargassed and arrested.

He warned that a police station was a protected place by law and that any misconduct within its premises would not be tolerated.

“Today, the actions taken by Kabwata police were in accordance with the law,” Hamoonga said.

The police spokesman noted that the arrest of the Lungu-led PF Chairperson for Information and Publicity, Emmanuel Mwamba, alongside three others on Monday was executed lawfully.

“The police managed to confiscate three drums used by an unruly crowd and these will serve as crucial evidence ” he stated.

Hamoonga further warned that a police station was not a playground for disorderly conduct and individuals engaging in illegal activities within its confines were liable to be arrested.

“The police are committed to upholding the law and ensuring the safety and security of all citizens,” Hamoonga emphasized, while reiterating the importance of respecting the law and maintaining order, emphasizing that a police station was not a venue for disruptive behavior.

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Nigerian govt debunks coup reports

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The Nigerian government has dismissed a report that has been making the rounds in the past couple of days of a coup plot by some disgruntled military officers, saying the rumour was not only “unequivocally false”, but “fake and heinous act of disinformation.”

Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, who made the denial in a statement on Tuesday, said such reports were not only baseless but mere “figment of the warped imagination of detractors, whose malicious intent was to destabilise the country and undermine the present administration.”

The Minister noted that the President Bola Tinubu-led administration would neither be distracted nor intimidated into abandoning the ongoing reforms aimed at rejuvenating the economy and creating a pathway of prosperity for the citizenry.

“It is now evident that some desperate individuals have resorted to publishing fake news to erode public trust in the government and sow the seed of discord in the country,” Idris said.

He added that the government would exercise its rights within the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s laws to contain rogue actions aimed at destabilizing national security and the nation’s hard-earned democracy.

The Minister further urged the Nigerian public to “exercise discernment and refrain from spreading or amplifying the unfounded report,” which was being strategically planted on some pliant and compromised news platforms to subvert the nation’s democracy.

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