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Death toll from Libyan floods hits 11,300

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The death toll from the tragic flooding in Libya has risen to 11,300, with over 10,100 people still missing in the coastal city of Derna, the United Nations reported on Sunday.

UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs which quoted figures by the International Red Cross Society on Sunday, said an additional 170 bodies were recovered outside Derna on Saturday.

“These figures are expected to rise as search-and-rescue crews work tirelessly to find survivors,” the UN said.

“Nearly a week after Storm Daniel hit northeastern Libya, the humanitarian situation remains particularly grim in Derna.

“Severe drinking water problems have gripped the city, and at least 55 children were poisoned from drinking polluted water.

“In surrounding areas, most of which have seen years of armed conflict, the dangers of landmines shifting from floodwaters, threatening civilians who enter on foot, thereby hindering rescue operations,” the UN agency added.

The Libyan Red Crescent also reports that search efforts have continued following the massive flood caused by tropical Storm Daniel which hit the eastern parts of the North African country last Thursday, causing two dams to collapse.

The Red Crescent Secretary-General, Marie el-Drese told journalists that a further 10,100 people were reported missing in the Mediterranean city.

Local media described Storm Daniel as an unusually strong Mediterranean storm “which caused deadly flooding” in communities across eastern Libya, but the worst-hit was Derna.

“As the storm pounded the coast, residents said they heard loud explosions when two dams outside the city collapsed.

“Floodwaters gushed down Wadi Derna, a valley that cuts through the city, crashing through buildings and washing people out to sea,” the media report said.

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Zambia: ‘Though I made mistakes, you can’t compare my tenure to Hichilema’s’ —Ex-president Lungu

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Former Zambian President, Edgar Lungu, has admitted that though he made mistakes during his reign as president from 2015 to 2021, there is no basis to compare his administration with that of incumbent President Hakainde Hichilema.

Lungu, who was responding to a write up by a foremost Zambian academic, Dr. Sishuwa’s titled “How President Hakainde Hichilema is using Lawfare to subvert democracy in Zambia,” where he made comparisons with Lungu’s era on his facebook page on Saturday, said while he did not dispute the existence of “Lawfare” in many jurisdictions, it was not a suitable and correct comparison to mirror his political leadership as President then to the current full scale authoritarian regime.

In the article, Sishuwa said Zambia experienced democratic backslide between 2011 and 2021 under the Patriotic Front with the deliberate use of legal mechanisms to weaken opposition parties.

“Hichilema has orchestrated an assault on human rights and democracy to the extent that he must be treated like an Edgar Lungu with a better Public Relations,” the academic had said.

But while reacting to the scathing criticism, Lungu fired back:

“Honestly, I find this observation and conclusion both unfair and quite inaccurate as he (the author) seeks to compare our moderate rule then to HH’s unapologetic lawfare regime of today.”

The ex-President expressed his shock and disappointment that Sishuwa likens him to Hichilema, adding that he takes great exception to this.

He therefore advised Sishuwa to resist the temptation of having to compare apples with oranges, as the two cannot be the same.

“Yes, I admit I had faults, but certainly not of this magnitude,” he concluded.

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‘Your sacrifices will not be in vain, you will smile soon,’ Tinubu assures Nigerians

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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has, once again, assured Nigerians that the hardship and pains they have been made to go through as a result of his policies and reforms will not be in vain as they will have cause to smile sooner than they think.

Tinubu, who gave the assurance in his message to the Muslim faithful on the occasion of the 2024 Eid Al-Adha, said the citizens should see the religious celebration as a means of sacrifice, faith and obedience to the will of the Almighty.

In the statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, Tinubu urged the Muslim faithful to reflect on the essence of the occasion while he prayed that Allah accept their supplications and acts of obedience.

He emphasized that the sacrifices and great expectations of citizens will not come to nought.

“President Bola Tinubu celebrates with the Muslim Ummah on the joyous occasion of Eid-el-Kabir, an event that denotes sacrifice, faith, and obedience to the will of the Almighty,” the statement said.

“The President congratulates the Muslim faithful and prays that Allah accepts their supplications and acts of obedience.

“The President emphasizes that sacrifice and duty are essential ingredients to nation-building, noting that it takes collective purpose, will, and action to bring about great change.

“President Tinubu also urged Muslims to pray for peace in the country while celebrating with their families.

“He calls on citizens to spare a prayer for the nation for continuous peace and stability while working according to purpose in promoting unity, peace, and progress.

“The President acknowledges the sacrifices that Nigerians have made in the past one year as his administration sets the nation on a firm pedestal of growth and development.”

The statement also assured Nigerians of the positive outcomes of the President’s reforms to ease the current hardships Nigerians are experiencing.

“President Tinubu affirms that the sacrifices and great expectations of citizens will not come to nought as already propitious outcomes are beginning to manifest with the economy strengthening and vibrancy returning to critical sectors.

“The President reassures Nigerians that his administration is prioritizing their physical, social, and economic security and will not relent on this noble endeavour.

“President Tinubu wishes Nigerians happy Sallah celebrations.”

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