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KABILA READY TO HANDOVER POWER.

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President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Joseph Kabila will not contest in elections when they are next held, the information minister Lambert Mende has told theVoice of America channel.

According to him, Kabila intends to respect the consitution of the country and to hand over power after the December 2018 elections.

The Minister also disclosed that the president will in July this year announce his preferred successor for the elections. Kabila came to power in 2001 after the assassination of his father Laurent Kabila.

He has since won the last two elections organised in the resource – rich country, first in 2006 before his reelection for a final term in 2011. He was expected to step down in 2016 but failed to do so with the reason that the prevailing conditions were not suitable for an election.

The government pointed to the lack of a credible voters register and a insecurity in parts of the country where rebel groups continue to carry out attacks. The international community has pressed for elections to be held and for Kabila to step down.

A series of opposition protests have been clamped down by the police. The most recent being a peaceful march by the Catholic Church. Police fired tear gas as protesters holding green leaves and arrested a number of priests and portesters.

Congo is Africa’s largest copper producer but ranks very low on the U.N. Human Development Index. Congo has not experienced a peaceful transition of power since independence in 1960. Dozens have been killed in anti-Kabila demonstrations in the capital, Kinshasa and other parts of the country.

Kabila’s two main opponents are Felix Tshisekedi who leads the main opposition party – taking over the reigns from his late father Etienne Tshisekedi who died whiles seeking medical attention in Belgium in 2017.

The other opponent is a former ally and governor of the country’s Katanga Province Moise Katumbi. The owner of TP Mazembe football club is also in self-imposed exiled after a number of corruption charges were thrown at him. He promised to return in December 2017 but failed to do so.

Crime

Ethiopia : 36 spy officers enter detention over corruption, rights abuses.

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After five months of investigations, Ethiopian authorities have arrested over thirty officials of the intelligence services, the attorney general Berhanu Tsegaye told reports on Monday.

According to him, the 36 officials currently being held have questions to answer over human rights abuses and alleged corruption. The officials were detained over the weekend, he added.



Local media portals quotes him as revealing grim details of rights violations on especially Ethiopians suspected and detained in connection with terrorism.

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He said investigators have uncovered 7 illegal dungeons in Addis Ababa, used purposefully to torture victims. Some of the actions of the detained officials led to death, rape and castration in some cases.

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He also gave details with regards to the case of a bombing at a pro-Abiy rally in Addis Ababa.

The third detailed corruption within the business wing of the Ethiopian National Defence Forces’ commercial wing.

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Uganda: Raging fire kills nine students in boarding School.

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Nine students died after fire engulfed a dormitory at a secondary school in southern Uganda early Monday, police said, one of the deadliest in a string of conflagrations at schools across the country in recent years.

Police spokesman Patrick Onyango said, the nine male students died when the blaze erupted at a dormitory that housed about 130 students at St. Bernard Maya secondary school in a district near the border with Tanzania.



Security personnel, Onyango said, suspect the fire was started deliberately by a group of students who had been expelled days earlier from the same school over indiscipline.

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It is suspected that they could be the ones that set the school on fire because of anger. They came back between midnight and 1 a.m. (local time Monday) and set the school ablaze,” he said.

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Our investigation is along that line because that is what we suspect happened.”

Other students were injured in the fire and had been rushed to nearby health facilities but Onyango said he was yet to establish their number.

Fire outbreaks at schools, mostly in dormitories, have become more frequent, often leaving buildings and students’ personal effects reduced to ashes.

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