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14 feared dead as Boat Sinks in River Congo.

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At least 14 people are feared drowned after two overcrowded, rickety boats sank in the River Congo, the interior minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) told AFPWednesday, though local sources fear the toll could be much higher.

“Fourteen missing, 108 survived,” the DRC’s interior minister, Henri Mova, said in an email, after the two vessels sank in the river in the southwestern province of Mai-Ndombe.

Local official Didace Pembe said many more people may have died.

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The crowded vessels were sailing at night, and they were suddenly hit by strong winds. Many more went missing in this accident than those who survived,” Pembe said.

Local fisherman Leon Bateko told AFP by phone that weather conditions on the powerful river “were extremely bad”, hampering the rescue efforts.

“The truth about the toll will never been known because there are no lists that can tell us how many people were actually on board,” Claude Bononge, who manages several privately-owned ports in DR Congo, told AFP.

Makeshift boats are forbidden from sailing at night on Congolese waters.

“How were they able to sidestep the ban?” Bononge asked.

Boat accidents occur frequently in DR Congo, both in the vast country’s lakes and on its rivers. Waterways are a substitute for travelling by road — the country has few highways, and they are often poorly maintained.

The number of victims can be high because boats can be overcrowded and lack life jackets, and passengers routinely do not know how to swim.

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PM Abiy reiterates Ethiopia’s decision over latest clampdown.

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has finally spoken on ongoing anti-corruption and rights abuse clampdown stating that there was not going to be any backing down let alone retreat.

A statement from the Abiy’s office issued in Amharic tasked citizens to rally behind the development as a means of ridding the country of lawlessness and criminal elements.

State-affiliated FBC reported that the statement titled, ‘Let’s Fight (the) Cancer,’ said the government was bent on bringing people behind injustices to book.



The statement said the underlying objective of recent arrests was to get rid of Ethiopia criminals. “… criminals do not care about ethnicity, country, or morality; they only care for themselves.

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“The key to justice is to create a system for innocent citizens to live in freedom and dignity while criminals are held accountable and punished in accordance with the law,” the statement read in part.

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Since early this week, authorities have announced the arrest of over sixty former military and intelligence officials arrested in connection with rights abuse in prisons and gross corruption in the military run business conglomerate, Metals and Engineering Corporation, MetEC.

A former head of MetEC, Kinfe Dagnew; and a former intelligence chiefs, Tekleberhan Woldearegay and Yared Zerihun have all been detained and put before courts in the capital, Addis Ababa.

Head of security at the state monopoly, Ethio Telecom, Gudeta Olana, has also been arrested as has head of the entity and brother of ex-MetEC boss, Essayas Dagnew.

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New Zealand denies refusing refugees with holiday visas entry.

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New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, on Friday, rejected allegations that the country’s government was blocking refugees who wished to travel into the country from Nauru on visitor visas.

Nauru’s president, Baron Waqa, also claimed in an interview with Australian media that he had also personally brokered a deal for New Zealand to accept 80 refugees currently located on the island.



“It’s incorrect to say that there is some kind of agreement for 80 specific individuals to take residence or visit,’’ Ardern told media at the East Asia Summit in Singapore.

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“The request did not ask about whether refugees could visit New Zealand on holiday visas,’’ he added.

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The country assessed all applications for visitor visas on a case-by-case basis. This applies regardless of a person’s country of origin or nationality.

The country is under pressure to transfer the remaining 30 children from the island.

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