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Somalia identifies suspect in kidnapping of German nurse

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A security guard employed by the International Committee of the Red Cross was involved in the kidnapping of a German nurse working for the organisation in Mogadishu, the Somali government said Thursday.

The nurse, identified as Sonja Nientiet, was abducted from the ICRC compound at around 8.00 pm local time (1700 GMT) on Wednesday evening when unidentified armed men entered its premises.

Security ministry spokesman Abdiaziz Ali Ibrahim said one of the Red Cross security guards was involved, after local staff reported the gunmen had easily managed to sneak Nientiet out through a back entrance into a waiting vehicle.

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She was kidnapped by a member of ICRC’s own security guards in Mogadishu, the kidnapper’s name is Mohamud Mohamed Alas,” he said.

“We particularly request the family of the kidnapper to work with the security agencies and inform them of the whereabouts of their son.”

He said security forces had found an abandoned vehicle belonging to the kidnappers, and witnesses told AFP the car had been abandoned with a punctured tyre.

It was unclear whether the kidnappers had managed to leave Mogadishu with their hostage.

Nientiet’s LinkedIn profile says she has worked for the organisation since 2014, with postings in Jordan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Syria.

The abduction is the second attack on ICRC employees in Somalia in just over a week.

Abdulhafid Yusuf Ibrahim, a Somali national who had worked for the group for only five months, died on March 25 after an improvised bomb exploded beneath his car as he left the ICRC office.

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UN reports about 900 fatalities in DR Congo’s ethnic violence.

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The united nations report that at least 890 people were killed in over just 3 days in ethnic violence in western DRC in mid-december.

The UN Human Rights Office reports the violence took place in four villages between Banunu and Batende communities.



The UN however warns the death toll could be higher. But there seems to be conflicting death tolls for the violence.

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A local priest and a civil society activist earlier in the week said at least 400 people had died in bloodshed that even led to the government canceling voting in last month’s presidential polls.

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The UN insists that 890 is the number of people known to have been buried.

The recent attack from the ethnic clashes in Yumbi, Mai-Ndombe Province allegedly started when members of the Banunu tribe wanted to bury one of their traditional chiefs on Batende land.

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Britain, UN worry over Internet shutdown in Zimbabwe.

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In the wake of deadly protests against a fuel price hike, and an ongoing internet shutdown in Zimbabwe, the United Nations has urged the government to stop “excessive use of force” by security forces including firing live ammunition.

The government has said three people died during demonstrations that broke out on Monday after President Emmerson Mnangagwa raised fuel prices by 150 percent.

Lawyers and activists say the toll was much higher and that security forces used violence and carried out mass arrests to quell the unrest.



The internet was cut off earlier this week, with critics saying the government sought to prevent images of its heavy-handedness in dealing with protesters from being broadcast around the world.

Leading mobile operator Econet Wireless said the government had ordered it to shut down services.

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“We were served with another directive for total shutdown of the internet until further notice,” Econet said in a statement.

“Our lawyers advised that we are required to comply with the directive pending the court’s decision on its legality.”

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Friday’s fuller internet shutdown also affected emails.

Due to the shutdown, Harare banks were providing only partial services and no cash machines were working, a witness said, while long queues formed at petrol stations and shops.

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