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DR Congo: 7 dead, 23 missing in canoe accident

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Seven diamond miners died and another 23 were missing after two canoes capsized in central Democratic Republic of Congo, government and mining officials said on Friday.

Local official Kerozene Kabongo said the canoes were carrying miners who dive for diamonds in the Kasai river on Thursday when they overturned in high winds, 15 km east of Tshikapa city.

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“Two canoes transporting our colleagues capsized yesterday (Thursday) in the Kasai river. We found seven bodies and 23 people are still missing,” said Fernand Kalala, a representative of a local diamond mining association.

“Only seven people managed to swim back to shore.”

Accidents and deaths are common in the numerous unlicensed mining operations in the DRC which has significant reserves of gold, diamonds and precious metals.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Abiy Ahmed wins the 2019 Nobel Peace Award

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize for immersly efforts to end two decades of hostility with longtime enemy Eritrea.

Though Africa’s youngest leader still faces big challenges, he has in under two years in power begun political and economic reforms that promise a better life for many in impoverished Ethiopia and restored ties with Eritrea that had been frozen since a 1998-2000 border war.

“We are proud as a nation,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement, hailing a “collective win for all Ethiopians, and a call to strengthen our resolve in making Ethiopia – the new horizon of hope – a prosperous nation for all.”

It said the prize was meant to recognize “all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions.”

The Nobel Committee’s decision appeared designed to encourage the peace process, echoing the 1994 peace prize shared by Israeli and Palestinian leaders and the 1993 award for moves towards reconciliation in South Africa, said Dan Smith, head of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

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