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- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday strongly condemned Friday's attack on UN peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which left one Pakistani blue helmet dead.

"The secretary-general recalls that attacks against United Nations peacekeepers may constitute a war crime under international law. He calls on the Congolese authorities to investigate this incident and swiftly bring those responsible to justice," said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for Guterres, in a statement.

Guterres expressed his deepest condolences to the family of the fallen peacekeeper and to the government and people of Pakistan, said the statement.

He reaffirmed that the United Nations will continue to support the Congolese government and people in their efforts to bring about peace and stability in the east of the country.

Twirwaneho combatants were suspected to have carried out the attack against a Company Operating Base of the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC in Minembwe of South Kivu province, according to the statement.

The Twirwaneho militia is one of over 120 armed groups in volatile eastern DRC. UN

Uganda Cranes on Saturday learnt the teams they will face at the forthcoming African Nations Championship Algeria 2022.

The draws for the biennial tournament were held in Algeria, the hosts nation on Saturday.

Uganda had a strong delegation at the function led by FUFA President and CAF Executive Member Hon. Magogo Moses Hassim, FUFA CEO Edgar Watson, Coach Milutin Sredojevic and National Teams Manager Patrick Ntege.

National Teams Manager Patrick Ntege(Left) poses for a photo with FUFA President Hon.Magogo Moses Hassim

The team was pooled in Group B alongside Dr Congo, Cote D’Ivoire and Senegal.

Coach Sredojevic aka Micho in his reaction to the draw indicated this was a fair draw and hopes Uganda to perform well.

“We can say this is a fair draw for Uganda. Before the groups were made, we prayed not to be put in groups with three teams, avoiding hosts Algeria and then Morocco,” he started before adding, ” this doesn’t mean that team that Senegal, Dr Congo and Ivory Coast are any weak. We have to get the best of preparations before the tournament starts.”

Coach Milutin Sredojevic

“It is important that the League back home has started and we shall have time shortly before Christmas when the first round is finished. That will give us ample time to start preparations early enough.”

This is the sixth successive time that Uganda Cranes will be playing at the final tournament having featured in the 2011, 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020 editions.  FUFA

  • Remains of the house razed down by fire, killing seven family members on Saturday, October 1, 2022.  MUCHANGI KAREMBA
     
  • Seven family members were killed after their house was reduced to ashes in a night fire in Runyenjes constituency, Embu County.

    Area Member of Parliament Muchangi Karemba confirmed the incident on Sunday, October 2, stating that the fire broke out in the three-bedroom wooden abode at night.

    Among those who perished was a man, his wife, their three children and three grandchildren.

    Runyenjes MP Muchange Karemba arrives at the scene where seven family members died in an inferno of the house razed down by fire killing seven family members on Saturday, October 2, 2022
    Runyenjes MP Muchangi Karemba arrives at the scene where seven family members died in an inferno on Saturday, October 1, 2022.
    MUCHANGI KAREMBA
     

    "We have lost seven people through a fire incident at Ngimari- Gichiche Sub-location. Our thoughts and prayers are with the extended family of Benjamin Muthathai whose son Charles Kariuki is the father and husband of the family that has perished," Karemba wrote.

    Images seen by Kenyans.co.ke reveal that the house was razed down with only metallic suitcases left unfazed. The cause of the fire is yet to be established. Police officers arrived at the scene and ferried the remains of the seven to the nearby mortuary. The cops have also launched an investigation to the incident.

    "Crime scene officers have commenced investigations to unravel this sad occurrence. We urge anyone with information to volunteer it to our officers to speed up the process of investigations," the MP stated.

    Embu Woman Representative arrived at the scene and mourned the demise of the seven. She further condoled with the family of  the deceased and asked investigating officers to expedite a probe into the matter.

    The incident comes just months after a family of six - a grandmother, her three children and two grandchildren - was wiped out in an inferno that consumed their house in Murang'a county. 

    An inquiry into the incident that happened on April 9, established that it was an arson attack, which was a culmination of a prolonged family dispute.

    Rebecca Wambui, the lone survivor of the inferno, stated that she was lucky to be alive since she left the home  a day before the fire. However, she admitted witnessing a verbal confrontation between her aunts which may have resulted in the tragedy. 

    A sister of the deceased, who was identified as a person of interest in the case, was taken into police custody.

    Witnesses at the scene of arson in Kandara, Murang'a County.
    Witnesses at the scene of arson in Kandara, Murang'a County. FILE By Paul Kurgat Kenyans.co.ke

Tanzania is under pressure to stop bias against adolescent mothers. PHOTO | FILE | NMG

Almost a year after Tanzania agreed to re-admit pregnant and married girls to school, the African Union Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) now wants the government to review its policies on the same.

According to the committee, such practices as mandatory pregnancy testing, expulsion from school, illegal detention, total ban of adolescent girls from education post-childbirth and failure to enable adolescent girls’ access to sexual reproductive health services should be done away with to insure girls’ education.

Statistics from the Centre for Reproductive Rights, a global legal advocacy organisation, show that more than 55,000 female students in Tanzania dropped out of school due to pregnancy between 2003 and 2011.

Although a number of school dropouts can be enrolled for adult or informal education, most young mothers do not do so for a number of reasons including being shamed by former schoolmates.

 

“Investigate cases of detention of pregnant girls and immediately release detained pregnant girls under interrogation on who impregnated them and immediately stop the arbitrary and illegal arrests of pregnant schoolgirls,” states the committee.

The government is expected to report back to the committee within 180 days on measures taken.

“The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child requires states to observe the best interest of the child in every decision affecting them and as such, Tanzania has an obligation to protect the rights of adolescent girls to education, equality, non-discrimination, freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment and right to access sexual and reproductive health services,” wrote ACERW.

In 2017, the late president John Magufuli endorsed a school ban against pregnant students, adolescent mothers and married girls.

At the time, Human Rights Watch quoted government officials saying: “Allowing pregnant girls to remain in school would normalise out-of-wedlock pregnancy, absolve the girls of punishment, and create a “domino effect” by which more girls become pregnant.”  By  By BEATRICE MATERU, The East African

Maasai rights activists from the Maa Unity Agenda group march to protest outside the Tanzanian high commission in Nairobi, Kenya [File: Ben Curtis/AP]/Photo Courtesy Ben Curtis AP/Aljazeera

The regional East African Court of Justice has ruled that Tanzania’s decision to cordon off land for wildlife protection was legal, dealing a blow to the Maasai Indigenous group who had protested against the move, accusing the government of trying to force them off their ancestral land to promote tourism.

The government claims it wants to “protect” 1,500 square kilometres (580 square miles) of the area from human activity, but rights groups said Friday’s ruling sent a dangerous message that Indigenous peoples can be evicted from their land in the name of conservation.

 

Tensions have soared in recent months with violent clashes breaking out in June in Loliondo in the Ngorongoro district – one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations – between police and Maasai demonstrators.

Four Maasai villages are located within the boundaries of the Serengeti National Park, according to the government. The boundaries were originally demarcated under British military rule but redrawn for conservation by subsequent administrations.

The Arusha-based East African Court of Justice ruled that the Maasai had failed to prove the eviction had taken place outside the park, and that much of the evidence of alleged violence and brutality was hearsay or inconsistent. 

‘Forcefully evicted’

But a representative of the Maasai community said the villagers would appeal.

“We are not satisfied with the ruling and we believe the court has erred in analysing the evidence we had provided,” said Jebra Kambole, who represented the Maasai in the interim ruling. 

Tanzania has historically allowed Indigenous communities such as the Maasai to live within some national parks, including the Ngorongoro conservation area, a UNESCO World Heritage site. But authorities say their growing population is encroaching on wildlife habitats.

Maasai say that “they were forcefully evicted by the government forces and their property was destroyed,” said Al Jazeera’s Catherine Soi.

Soi explained that the government argues that the Maasai community has been destroying the park as their population has been growing quickly.

 

“I think it is important to understand that many Maasais, that’s up to 50,000, in that area have already been relocated to other parts that have been set aside by the government for that purpose,” Soi said.

She added that this disputed area is very important for tourism. 

The land disputes between the national park management and the Maasai villagers arose in 2012 but the government ordered them to leave in 2017. Security forces later evicted them by force.

The court ordered to halt the evictions in 2018, pending a final judgement.

The Maasai had asked the court to “stop the evictions, the arrest, detention or persecution” of their members and demanded a billion Tanzanian shillings ($430,000) as damages.

The three-judge bench said no compensation was due, Esther Mnaro, a lawyer for the Maasai, told AFP.

Fiore Longo from Survival International, an indigenous rights advocacy, said the judgement was a blow for the Maasai and for Indigenous peoples across the world. 

“The court has given a strong signal to the international community that evictions and human rights abuses against Indigenous peoples should be tolerated if they are done in the name of protecting nature,” Longo said. 

Tanzania has long been criticised by the international community for violence against the Maasai. In 2015, the European Parliament passed a resolution condemning the government for violating their human rights.

The government rejects that it has violated their rights.

There was no immediate comment from Tanzania’s government, which depends on tourism for a significant part of its economy.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic system around tourism was the largest foreign exchange earner, the second largest contributor to gross domestic product and the third largest contributor to employment, according to a World Bank report in 2021.  SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

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