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DRC president Kabila’s property burnt by assailants

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A home belonging to Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila has been attacked and a policeman died in the incident, local lawmakers and U.N. sponsored radio said on Monday.

Photos posted on social media showed the main house on the farm, located near the village of Musienene in North Kivu province in the east of the country, was gutted by fire.

Kabila was not at the property during the attack which took place overnight from Sunday to Monday.

It was not immediately known who was responsible for the raid. The body of the policeman who died was burned, a local government official said.

Congo is embroiled in a political crisis linked to Kabila’s refusal to step down as president when his mandate expired a year ago while militia violence and political unrest are increasing.

“We firmly condemn this barbarous act and call on the population … to disassociate from any actions likely to compromise peace and development in this part of the country,” lawmakers said in a statement.

More than a decade after the end of a 1998-2003 war in which millions of people died, mostly from hunger and disease, rebel fighters and local militias stalk Congo’s mineral-rich eastern borderlands.

The armies of Congo and neighbouring Uganda launched a joint operation against the Congo-based, Ugandan Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) last week.

The Islamist rebel group is suspected of being behind a Dec. 8 attack on a United Nations base in North Kivu that killed 15 Tanzanian peacekeepers and five Congolese soldiers.

The ADF has been blamed for a wave of attacks and massacres in the area. Raids by local Mai Mai militia fighters are also growing increasingly frequent.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Abiy Ahmed wins the 2019 Nobel Peace Award

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize for immersly efforts to end two decades of hostility with longtime enemy Eritrea.

Though Africa’s youngest leader still faces big challenges, he has in under two years in power begun political and economic reforms that promise a better life for many in impoverished Ethiopia and restored ties with Eritrea that had been frozen since a 1998-2000 border war.

“We are proud as a nation,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement, hailing a “collective win for all Ethiopians, and a call to strengthen our resolve in making Ethiopia – the new horizon of hope – a prosperous nation for all.”

It said the prize was meant to recognize “all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions.”

The Nobel Committee’s decision appeared designed to encourage the peace process, echoing the 1994 peace prize shared by Israeli and Palestinian leaders and the 1993 award for moves towards reconciliation in South Africa, said Dan Smith, head of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

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