11 killed in eastern DR Congo’s ‘Death Triangle’

Ten civilians and a soldier were killed overnight in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in an attack blamed on rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a local official said Monday.

The attack occurred in an area of North Kivu province near neighboring Uganda dubbed the “Triangle of Death” where the ADF has killed 570 civilians since the army launched a crackdown against them in November last year, according to experts.

The militia, which originated in the 1990s as a Ugandan Muslim rebel group, is one of more than 100 armed groups that trouble the eastern provinces of the vast Democratic Republic of Congo.

The attacks are apparently reprisals for the army operation or designed to warn locals against collaborating with the army.

Beni administrator Donat Kibwana told AFP that the assailants had reached within 400 meters (yards) of a government office in the town of Mbau when they launched the attack.

“The enemy are the ADF,” he said, adding that another three people were wounded and several more went missing.

Mbau civil society leader Omar Kalikia said eight of those killed were women, adding that it was a provisional toll.

He told AFP that the attack began around 8:30 pm and lasted two and a half hours, with three homes torched and “all the property taken away” including goats.

Kenya records 98 new COVID-19 cases

NAIROBI, KENYA – 2020/03/06: Health workers dressed in protective suits at the Coronavirus isolation ward in Mbagathi hospital amid Coronavirus fears in Nairobi. (Photo by Dennis Sigwe/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Kenya on Monday confirmed 98 new cases of COVID-19 from 1644 samples tested in the last 24 hours, bringing to 37, 079 the number of confirmed positive infections.

So far Kenya has tested 518,350 samples since March.

In a statement to the press, Health Ministry CAS Dr. Rashid Aman said from the cases all are Kenyans except 2 foreigners.

The 98 cases are made up of 63 males and 35 females; the youngest is a 9-year-old child while the oldest is 75 years.

The Ministry of Health also announced 62 new recoveries saying 44 were patients under the home-based care system while 18 were discharged from various hospitals across the country.

The total number of recoveries so far is 23,949. The death toll from the virus has also risen to 650 after two more patients succumbed between Sunday and Monday.

Two arrested as probe into Uganda’s Makerere university fire begins

Uganda’s Makerere University. (Photo: AFP/Getty)

Two security guards have been arrested as police commenced investigations into a fire that gutted Makerere University Main Building yesterday.

The director of the Criminal Investigations Directorate, Grace Akullo, yesterday camped at the country’s oldest university as her team tried to establish what could have caused a fire at the building that houses the institution’s key offices.

Those arrested are two police officers; one who should have been on duty at the entrance to the Main Building, which caught fire just after midnight, and another from the university’s internal security. The third officer was still at large by last evening, according to Akullo.

“We have two security officers in our custody helping us in investigations. They were supposed to be guarding but for some reason, they were not there. They have recorded statements. They are with us,” she said in an interview with Daily Monitor on Sunday.

At 4 pm, police officers were asked to enter the office of the vice-chancellor, Prof

“Police inquiries have commenced. We are going to investigate and find out what happened; whether it is arson or out of any other cause. At the moment, it is still early to say what has caused the fire,” Akullo said.

The university was already preparing for the centenary celebrations slated for January 2022. Although the burning of the iconic building is a setback, The Vice-chancellor  Prof Barnabas Nawangwe assured that they will ensure it is reconstructed before the big day.

There have been past fire incidents at the university and Prof Nawangwe said processes were underway to at least insure key buildings such as the Main Building, library, and senate.

“We were in the process of insuring the key buildings but because we have to go through payment systems of government, the accident happened. I am sure everybody will now support us to expedite the process,” he added.

He said although all documents in the human resource and finance departments were burnt, they had been digitized

COVID-19 has ‘devastating’ impact on people displaced by conflict: report

In this Nov. 14, 2008, file photo, a woman receives a bag of maize meal from the World Food Program in the town of Rutshuru, eastern Congo. The World Food Program chief warned Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, that millions of people are closer to starvation because of the deadly combination of conflict, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic and he urged donor nations and billionaires to help feed them and ensure their survival. (AP Photo/Karel Prinsloo)

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a “devastating” impact on people displaced and affected by conflict, tipping many into hunger and homelessness, a new study by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) showed Monday.

The report, titled “Downward Spiral,” is based on assessments and surveys in 14 countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Somalia and Yemen.

According to NRC, nearly three-quarters of the 1,400 people surveyed said they had seen a clear deterioration in their conditions since the pandemic broke out.

For instance, 70 percent “had to cut the number of meals for their household,” 77 percent had lost a job or income from work, and 73 percent said they were less likely to send their children to school due to “economic hardship.”

“The world’s most vulnerable communities are in a dangerous downward spiral,” Jan Egeland, NRC secretary-general, said in a statement.

“Already forced from their homes by violence, often with limited rights to work or access to government services, the economic impact of the pandemic is pushing them to catastrophe,” he continued.

Even before the pandemic, the UN was concerned about worsening hunger in the world.

According to an annual report published in July, nearly one in nine people were chronically undernourished in 2019, and things were expected to deteriorate in 2020 due to Covid-19.

The NRC survey was conducted among 1,413 displaced and conflict-affected people in 14 countries: Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Uganda and Venezuela and additional research in Somalia, DR Congo, Lebanon, Jordan, Burkina Faso and Yemen.

128 new COVID-19 infections confirmed in Egypt

People wearing face masks walk on a street in Cairo, Egypt, on June 12, 2020.(Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)

Egypt registered on Saturday night 128 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total infections in the country to 101,900, said its Health Ministry.

In a statement, the ministry’s spokesman Khaled Megahed said 17 patients died from the disease in the past 24 hours, raising the death toll to 5,750.

Meanwhile, 708 others were cured and discharged from hospitals, increasing the total recoveries to 88,666.

Egypt announced its first confirmed COVID-19 case on Feb. 14 and the first death from the viral disease on March 8.

Around mid-June, Egypt saw a peak of COVID-19 daily infections and deaths, and then both started to gradually decline in the first week of July.

Amid declining COVID-19 infections and fatalities as well as increasing recoveries, Egypt has been easing relevant restrictions over the past couple of months as part of a coexistence plan to maintain anti-coronavirus precautionary measures while resuming economic activities.

Egypt and China have been working together on fighting the pandemic through exchanging medical aid and expertise.

In early February, Egypt sent a batch of medical supplies to China to help with its fight against COVID-19 and China later sent three batches of medical aid to the North African country.

Egypt discovers 14 ancient tombs at Saqqara

The oldest standing step pyramid in Egypt,designed by Imhotep for King Djoser, located in Saqqara, an ancient burial ground at 30 km south of modern-day Cairo.
The oldest standing step pyramid in Egypt,designed by Imhotep for King Djoser, located in Saqqara, an ancient burial ground at 30 km south of modern-day Cairo.

Egypt’s antiquities ministry announced Sunday the discovery of 14 coffins in the Saqqara area that had lain buried for two and a half thousand years.

The tombs were found two days ago during an archaeological dig, and follow 13 wooden sarcophagus discovered in the same burial spot last week, the ministry said in a statement.

The vast Saqqara necropolis south of Cairo is part of the ancient capital of Memphis, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Saqqara is the site of the colossal rectangular-based step Pyramid of Djoser.

Photographs of the well-preserved wooden coffins show ornate and intricate paintings, with maroon and blue lines, as well as hieroglyphic pictorials.

Egypt has sought to promote archaeological discoveries across the country in a bid to revive tourism, which took a hit with restrictions on travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Kenya records 152 new COVID-19 cases

NAIROBI, KENYA – 2020/03/06: Health workers dressed in protective suits at the Coronavirus isolation ward in Mbagathi hospital amid Coronavirus fears in Nairobi. (Photo by Dennis Sigwe/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The Kenya Ministry of Health has announced 152 new cases of the novel coronavirus, tested in the country between Saturday and Sunday.

In a statement sent out to the media, the Health Ministry said 13 of the patients are foreigners while the rest are Kenyans.

The new cases are from a sample of 2,224 tests and push the total number of cumulative tests carried out so far to 516,706.

The youngest patient is a 3-year-old child while the oldest is 89.

84 of the new cases are males while 68 are females who now push the country’s total caseload to 36,981.

The total number of recoveries now stands at 23,887.

Two patients have also succumbed to the virus, pushing the total number of fatalities in the country to 648

Egypt COVID-19 cases hit 101,500 with 160 new infections

Egypt reported 160 new COVID-19 infections late on Wednesday, bringing the total cases registered in the country to 101,500.

Meanwhile, 17 patients died from the novel coronavirus on the same day, raising the death toll to 5,696, while 804 others were cured and discharged from hospitals, increasing the total recoveries to 86,549, the health ministry’s spokesman Khaled Megahed said in a statement.

Total recoveries in the most populous Arab country currently exceed 85 percent of the total cases registered in the country.

Egypt announced its first confirmed COVID-19 case on Feb. 14 and the first death from the viral disease on March 8.

Around mid-June, Egypt saw a peak of COVID-19 daily infections and deaths, with a record 97 deaths on June 15 and 1,774 infections on June 19, before the daily figures started to gradually decline in the first week of July.

Egypt has been easing restrictions over the past couple of months as part of a coexistence plan to maintain anti-coronavirus precautionary measures while resuming economic activities.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Egyptian government decided to resume the export of anti-coronavirus medical supplies, such as surgical masks and alcohol derivatives, after it has been halted since March.

Egypt and China have been working together on fighting the pandemic through exchanging medical aid and expertise.

In early February, Egypt sent a batch of medical supplies to China to help with its fight against COVID-19 and China later sent three batches of medical aid to the North African country.

Eliud Kipchoge named Laureus Sport For Good Ambassador

Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge celebrates in the finish area of a special course after busting the mythical two-hour barrier for the marathon on October 12 2019 in Vienna. – With a timing of 1hr 59min 40.2sec, the Olympic champion became the first ever to run a marathon in under two hours. (Photo by HERBERT NEUBAUER / APA / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo by HERBERT NEUBAUER/APA/AFP via Getty Images)

Kenya’s Olympic champion and marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge was named a Laureus Sport For Good ambassador on Wednesday, on what was the two-year anniversary of him breaking the marathon world record in Berlin.

Laureus Sport for Good, founded under the patronage of the late Nelson Mandela 20 years ago, currently supports more than 200 programmes in over 40 countries that use the power of sport to transform lives.

Kipchoge, widely regarded as the greatest marathoner in history, was the first person ever to run a marathon in under two hours. He is also the recipient of the Laureus Academy Exceptional Achievement Award.

Following the announcement, Kipchoge said he was “proud” to join Laureus in his new role to strengthen the institution’s effort to change the world through sport.

“I want to encourage young people to chase their dreams and show them a strong heart and a good mind can help achieve whatever they want. Whatever their background, everybody should have a chance,” Kipchoge said.

“I think together we can make this world a beautiful world. I hope that I can inspire young people to run. I am aware that I now have a huge responsibility to do this and it is something that I will work very hard to achieve.”

A host of renowned former athletes took to social media to congratulate the Kenyan on his new role.

“Proud to have you on board! Looking forward to working with you to make positive impact on the lives of young people through the power of sport,” former 200m and 400m record holder and Olympic champion Michael Johnson said.

“What an inspiration and role model!! Welcome to the Laureus family,” South Africa’s 2007 Rugby World Cup winner Bryan Habana said.

“Welcome Eliud- an inspirational champion human and athlete:)!!!” 18-time tennis Grand Slam champions and LGBT rights activist Martina Navratilova said.

Over the past two decades, Laureus Sport for Good has raised more than €150 million for the Sport for Development sector, and reached and helped change the lives of close to six million children and young people.

Schools in Tunisia re-open after a six months closure due to COVID-19

Students have body temperature checked before they enter a school in Tunis, Tunisia, Sept. 15, 2020. Schools in Tunisia reopened on Tuesday after a closure of six months due to the spread of COVID-19. The government required schools to take necessary measures to prevent the pandemic. (Photo by Adel Ezzine/Xinhua)

The government of Tunisia Tuesday, September 15, reopened schools following a six months closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Africanews, the move followed approval of the country’s scientific committee for the fight against coronavirus which called for social distancing between students as well as the mandatory mask-wearing only for teachers and educational staff as children are at less risk of infection.

In Tunisia, schools were closed mid-March after the country recorded the Covid-19 case on March 2.

However, by September 15, the country had recorded a total of 7,000 with just over 2000 recoveries and 117 fatalities.

The country becomes one of the few nations that have reopened school premises.

In August, only six African countries had fully opened schools according to available data.

Owing to the dangers brought by the viral virus, however, other countries have already ruled out any possibility of schools reopening before the end of 2020