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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.
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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Abiy Ahmed wins the 2019 Nobel Peace Award
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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