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South Syrian rebels agree to cease fire, restore state sovereignty

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FILE PHOTO: A Syrian opposition flag is erected at the Syrian-Jordanian border at the Nasib crossing in Deraa province, Syria August 27, 2017.REUTERS/Alaa Al-Faqir/File Photo

South Syrian rebels said on Friday they had agreed to cease fire and start handing over heavy weapons in a deal mediated by Russia that will restore state sovereignty over areas they hold in Deraa province after a fierce government offensive.

A commander in the regional alliance supporting President Bashar al-Assad had earlier said government forces were advancing through rebel territory along Syria’s frontier with Jordan and would soon reach the countries’ main border crossing.

With the help of Russian air power, the government’s assault has swept into swathes of Deraa over the past two weeks, shrinking one of Syria’s last rebel strongholds.

The rebels said the deal was brokered by Russia and would allow both fighters and civilians in opposition areas to settle their status with the government under Moscow’s protection.

Rebels who did not wish to come back under Assad’s rule would leave for the insurgent stronghold in northwest Syria, they said.

 

 

 

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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