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UN agency confirms 38 migrants die in shipwreck off Djibouti

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The United Nations’s migration office on Tuesday confirmed that at least 38 migrants, some of them children, died when their ship sank off the coast of Djibouti.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said that at least six more people were missing and thought to be dead. The IOM and local officials were helping 22 survivors.

IOM’s regional spokeswoman, Yvonne Ndege, said the shipwreck happened about 200 meters off the coast of Djibouti. She also said that the boat carrying the migrants had left Yemen around 2 a.m. local time on April 8.

About 66 people, mostly from the Horn of Africa, were on board when it sank about two hours later. She said that most of them were likely to be Ethiopian citizens.

“Every year tens of thousands of migrants leave the Horn of Africa, mainly from Ethiopia and Somalia trying to reach the Gulf nations,” Ndege said.

“(But) thousands are stuck in Yemen. It’s rational to conclude that the group of migrants who perished in this tragedy were trying to return to Djibouti to buy time and try again later or return home.”

The Eastern Route, which goes through the dry northern parts of Djibouti, has been one of the busiest travel routes in the world for many years. Over 150,000 people, mostly Ethiopians, tried to cross on foot in 2022 alone. They walked through harsh landscapes and were at the hands of people traffickers and smugglers.

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Church in Northern Province cautions against cyberspace abuse, supports cyber security law

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The church in Northern Province has issued a warning to Zambians regarding the misuse of cyberspace in the guise of human rights and media freedoms.

Bishop Elias Mponela, the Regional Coordinator of the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ), highlighted a concerning trend of cyberspace abuse among some Zambians during an interview with Zambia Monitor in Kasama District.

While acknowledging that every Zambian is entitled to human rights, Bishop Mponela stated the importance of not abusing these rights.

He stressed that Cyber Security Act, though beneficial, would be enforced without exceptions, regardless of one’s societal status.

“The Cyber Security Act is a necessary measure that must be implemented promptly, but with care to ensure that individuals’ rights are respected,” Mponela commented.

He expressed concern over the misuse of cyberspace by prominent figures, particularly politicians, who spread messages of hatred and division.

Mponela urged authorities to address such behavior before it escalated.

Highlighting the significance of a free media, Mponela underscored the importance of journalists operating in a conducive environment without fear of reprisal from those in power.

“Access to information is vital in today’s world, and those in authority must ensure it is guaranteed to foster an informed society,” he stated.

However, Mponela cautioned against media outlets abusing their freedom by disseminating misleading information or promoting divisiveness.

The church’s stance reflects a call for responsible use of cyberspace and a balanced approach to ensuring both freedom and accountability in media practices.

This story is sponsored content from Zambia Monitor’s Project Aliyense.

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Nigeria kicks as South African police torture citizen to death

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The Nigerian Union South Africa (NUSA) has condemned the killing of another of its citizens, Prince Muoka Ebuka, who was reportedly tortured to death by the police on Friday, May 17, in Danielskuil, Northern Cape, over drug-related allegations.

The Union, in a statement, also demands an immediate probe into the killing of the 43-year-old businessman who hailed from Obosi in Anambra State, said the incident further highlights a disturbing trend of police abuse targeting Nigerians in the Northern Cape.

The statement issued on Saturday and signed by NUSA National Publicity Secretary, Habib Miller, indicated that the deceased was tortured to death by the police in the guise of interrogation over drug related allegations.

“Since March, there have been similar cases in Kimberley involving drug accusations and police violence. Another Nigerian, Chika Anuino, was killed by police in Springs, Johannesburg, on April 25,” the NUSA statement said.

“Reports from Ebuka’s wife, Joyce, paint a harrowing picture of law enforcement officers storming their residence, compelling her to evacuate to shield their young child from witnessing the violence.

“Ebuka was then subjected to assault and coerced to produce drugs allegedly in his possession. When their search proved fruitless, they forcibly escorted him to a waste dump, alleging he had concealed illegal substances there.

“Eyewitnesses further allege egregious misconduct, with officers resorting to coercive tactics, including requesting pepper spray after emerging from Mr Ebuka’s residence.

“Despite employing drug detection methods, no evidence was found, yet the relentless interrogation tragically led to his demise.

“Moreover, the lack of proper crime scene preservation raises grave doubts about the integrity of the investigation,” NUSA stated.

Miller noted that the incident has been further complicated by the police’s refusal to issue a statement or allow the victim’s family to open a case docket on the murder of their breadwinner, adding that the had faced intimidation from the police when she tried to report her husband’s death.

NUSA said the Union demands a thorough, impartial investigation into Prince Ebuka’s killing and the broader issue of police abuse in the Northern Cape.

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