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Five refugees killed, 20 injured, in Rwanda camp food protest

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Five Congolese refugees were killed and more than 20 injured when Rwandan police broke up a crowd demonstrating against a cut in food rations, police said Friday.

The incident on Thursday followed days of sit-in protests against the reduction in food aid at Kiziba refugee camp in western Rwanda.

“Violent demonstrators armed with stones, sticks and metal projectiles assaulted and wounded seven police officers,” said police spokesman Theos Badege.

“Police were forced to use teargas to disperse the rioters, protect and rescue officials, and secure the nearby communities.”

“Unfortunately, 20 rioters were wounded in the process, with five of them succumbing to injuries,” he added, without providing details of the injuries nor the cause of deaths.

The government had initially denied any fatalities.

Around 2,000 refugees began protesting on Tuesday after food rations were reduced. Some of the camp’s 17,000 residents have lived there for over 20 years after fleeing conflict in eastern Congo.

“The protests followed a decision of the World Food Programme (WFP) to reduce food aid to the refugees by 25 percent due to funding shortage,” said Jean Claude Rwahama, Rwanda’s director of refugees affairs.

Rwanda hosts refugees from Burundi as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Strapped for cash, WFP cut food rations by 10 percent in November 2017 and then by 25 percent in January 2018.

The UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, said it has received just two percent of the $98.8 million (80 million euros) it needs this year to look after Rwanda’s 173,000 refugees in six camps.

Motherland News

Nigerian President Buhari Warns Ballot box snatchers to value their lives

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President Muhammadu Buhari has warned those planning to snatch ballot boxes during the elections to desist or pay with his or her life if caught.



President Buhari who stated this at the opening session of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Caucus meeting in Abuja, on Monday, said that such act would be the last unlawful act the person will be brought to book.

Meanwhile, the governors of Imo, Rochas Okorocha and Ogun, Ibikunle Amosun were conspicuously absent at the meeting.

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Buhari who said he is confident that he has garnered enough supporters having gone round the country to campaign, urged party members to reassure their constituents to come out and vote on the rescheduled dates.

While urging party agents to watch out for the party interests at the polling units the president said that he has directed security agencies to identify hot spots and be ready to move should they suspect any attempts to cause problems by thugs across the country irrespective of party affiliations.

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Health & Lifestyle

DR Congo blame Unending Ebola Outbreak on Violence , Community Mistrust.

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DR Congo Ministry of Health spokesperson Jessica Ilunga has declared that violence and community mistrust have continued to hamper all efforts to control and end the fresh Ebola outbreak, which started Aug. 1.



Though according to the World Health Organization the number of new Ebola cases has dropped slightly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as there are 33% fewer cases to date in February compared with the same time period in December per STAT’s Helen Branswell, but some experts warn Axios that there remain signs that this outbreak is far from over.

Meanwhile, some experts warn that, that doesn’t mean the world’s second-largest Ebola outbreak on record is yet under control, and in fact it could simply be moving to new areas of the sprawling country.

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Johns Hopkins’ public health expert Jennifer Nuzzo maintains there are several reasons people should continue to view this outbreak as a cause for concern.

However, Nuzzo said Congo needs more than money from the international community and the U.S. in particular. Safety concerns have largely caused the CDC to limit its Ebola experts to the capital city of Kinshasa, where some have returned after being evacuated during an uptick in election-related violence, Nuzzo added that Now is the time for the U.S. to send them into the field.

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