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DR Congo ‘mega-crisis’ worse than Syria

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More than 5,500 people fled their homes in the Democratic Republic of Congo every day during the first half of 2017, leading one charity to label the situation in the country a “mega-crisis”.

The figures mean that, for the second year in a row, DR Congo is the country worst-affected by conflict displacement in the world, according to a report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC).

Fighting between armed groups added to a worsening political crisis – as President Joseph Kabila refuses to step down – has made the area particularly volatile, the Norwegian Refugee Council’s (NRC) country director in DR Congo, Ulrika Blom, said.

She added:

It’s a mega-crisis. The scale of people fleeing violence is off the charts, outpacing Syria, Yemen and Iraq.”

However, despite there now being four million displaced people, as well as more than seven million struggling to feed themselves, help has been slow to materialize.

The United Nations declared its highest level emergency in October, but less than half the money needed has been received.

Ms Blom – whose colleagues have seen firsthand the “absolute squalor” of those fleeing violence were being forced to live in – said:

Donor fatigue, geopolitical disinterest and competing crises have pushed Congo far down the list of priorities for the international community.

This deadly trend is at the expense of millions of Congolese. If we fails to step up now, mass hunger will spread and people will die.

We are in a race against time.”

Crime

Nigeria Football Federation boss Amaju Pinnick under fresh corruption probe

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Several properties belonging to top officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), including its president Amaju Pinnick, have been seized in a fresh corruption probe.

The latest investigation and seizures are being carried out by the country’s Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission’s (ICPC).

The ICPC has published a newspaper advertisement about the properties seized – half of which belong to Pinnick.

According to the statement published in the Nigerian papers one of Pinnick’s properties is in London.

It comes amidst wide-ranging claims over how money meant for football development allegedly disappeared.

“We can’t go into further details beyond the fact that many officials of the NFF are under investigation,” ICPC spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa said.

“It’s basically because what they have is in excess of what they have earned.”

The ICPC has also taken control of properties belonging to the NFF second vice-president Shehu Dikko and the general secretary Muhamed Sanusi among others.

Source: BBC

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24 Hours Across Africa

Rwanda ban Burundi,s music star ahead of annual festival

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Burundian musician Jean Pierre Nimbona, popularly known as Kidum, has told the BBC he is confused by Rwanda’s decision to ban him from playing at the upcoming Kigali Jazz Fusion festival.

Kidum is one of Burundi’s biggest music stars and has performed in Rwanda for the past 16 years.

But a police official phoned the musician’s manager to warn that he would only be allowed to make private visits to Rwanda.

“[My manager was told] Kidum is not supposed to perform, tell him to leave. If he comes for private visits fine, but no performances,” the musician told BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme.

The mayor of Rwanda’s capital said that in this instance permission had not been sought from the authorities for him to perform at the festival in Kigali.

Kidum was a leading peace activist during Burundi’s civil war between 1993 and 2003 and used his songs to call for reconciliation.

The 44-year-old musician said he had never had problems with Rwandan authorities until recently when three of his shows were cancelled at the last minute – including one in December 2018.

That month Burundi had banned Meddy, a musician who is half-Burundian, half-Rwandan, from performing in the main city of Bujumbura.

Kidum said he was unsure if the diplomatic tensions between Burundi and Rwanda had influenced his ban.

“I don’t know, I don’t have any evidence about that. And if there was politics, I’m not a player in politics, I’m just a freelance musician based in Nairobi,” he said.

He said he would not challenge the ban: “There’s nothing I can do, I just wait until maybe the decision is changed some day.

“It’s similar to a family house and you are denied entry… so you just have to wait maybe until the head of the family decides otherwise.”

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