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Schoolgirls Expelled after 6 days Detention for President’s Image doodling in Burundi

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According to Human Rights Watch, authorities decided to expel three schoolgirls who were detained in Burundi for doodling on a picture of the President from the l’Ecofo Akamuri school in Kirundo province in Burundi’s north.

The girls, who are all minors, were detained for six days last month at Ngozi Central Prison and charged with “insulting the head of state,” President Pierre Nkurunziza, the rights agency said.
Their detention sparked worldwide anger with many taking to social media to post defaced pictures of Nkurunziza with the hashtag #FreeOurGirls.
A boy, who was not charged with any offenses but was arrested as part of the initial group of seven, and another girl were also expelled, HRW’s Central Africa director Lewis Mudge said
“It’s good news they were released, but the charges still haven’t been dropped, and they have now been expelled from school,” Mudge said.
“This is affecting their right to an education.”
“As stipulated by the school regulations in Article 31 paragraph 28, these five students are permanently expelled from school,” the letter read.
The letter, signed by the school’s director Isaie Nkinzingabo, also stated that the students will have to enroll at another school in the following academic year.
Mudge said the rights group doesn’t know why the boy was expelled from school as he was not among those initially charged.
“This demonstrates the way schools are being politicized in Burundi,” Mudge said.
“It also shows there are some individuals who are saying that this is such an intolerable act they feel the need to permanently expel these children.”

Motherland News

Families Identify Church Collapse Victims in Anguish

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Tears and anguish characterized the atmosphere as the grieving families of 13 worshipers killed in a church collapse arrived at the Richards Bay mortuary to identify the bodies of their loved ones.

The worshipers died when a wall collapsed at the Pentecostal Holiness Church near Empangeni in northern KwaZulu-Natal last Thursday night.

The KwaZulu-Natal Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department co-ordinated with various departments including health, home affairs and the police, to assist in speeding up the body identification process.

Six worshippers were from Ulundi, four from eSikhawini and three from Maqwakazi in uMlalazi.

Describing the collapse, Phumelele Simelane from eSikhawini said worshippers had just had their evening meal and were preparing to sleep when the wall caved in.

Simelane was with her 6-year-old son, who is recovering in hospital. She said she came to the mortuary to support congregants whose relatives died.

The Mthembu family, who lost grandmother Thembi Mthabela, 54, and Andiswa Mthembu, 10, in the tragedy were overcome with grief.

“Thembi loved going to church and she always took Andiswa with her. Andiswa was doing Grade 3 at Nyathini Primary School. As a family, we are very traumatised and it is hard for us,” said a relative, who did not wanted to be named.

Buhle Mzila, whose sister Samke, 33, died, said the family had lost a breadwinner.

Samke, who worked at the Ulundi Municipality, was with her 9-year-old daughter during the incident.

Buhle said her niece, who was in hospital, was in a state of shock about her mother’s death.

“Samke loved the church, she always made sure she attended every service. She played a big role in terms of assisting the family. We are still going to feel her absence,” said Buhle.

A sobbing Mbongeni Langa said his mother had died in a “place she loved”.

The memorial service will be held tomorrow

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Motherland News

CAF Sidelines Nigerian Centre Referees for 2019 AFCON

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Out of the Twenty-seven centre referees penciled down for the 2019 African Cup of Nations, countries like Burundi, Mali, Zambia and Sudan are represented on the list, but no Nigerian referee was selected for the big occasions.

However, only one assistant referee from Nigeria named Baba Adel was listed among the twenty-nine assistant referees selected by the African Football Governing Body.

The competition will be held from 21 June to 19 July 2019, as per the decision of the CAF Executive Committee on 20 July 2017.

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