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Uganda: 10 workers held for stealing refugee rations

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Ugandan police said on Friday they had arrested 10 officials working at a camp housing refugees, mainly from neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, for stealing food aid.

Benon Byamukama, police chief for the region in western Uganda where the Kyaka II refugee camp is located, said they had been caught stealing maize meal and cooking oil meant for refugees at night.

“Acting on a tip-off, we have arrested 10 officials from Kyaka II refugee camp including two staff of Danish Refugee Council, an implementing agency for the World Food Programme, for selling on the black market food meant for refugees,” he said.

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“We have recovered the food and it will be used as exhibit in court,” said Byamukama.

Kyaka II began as a camp for Rwandan refugees in 2005, but violence in DRC has seen citizens from that country take over as the main residents.

According to the United Nations refugee agency, a fresh outbreak of fighting in DRC saw an estimated 17 000 new refugees arrive in December 2017, with the camp’s population now standing at about 45 000.

The WFP could not be immediately reached for comment.

 

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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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