Ebola respondents are not safe these days in the eastern Congo city of Beni. The World Health Organization said Tuesday angry residents have attacked a United Nations base to protest against repeated rebel assaults. A local official said at least four protesters have been killed.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have evacuated dozens of their staff working on the Ebola epidemic from the town of Beni in the Democratic Republic of Congo due to the worsening security situation.
W.H.O. Director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Twitter, every day that health workers don’t have full access to Ebola-affected areas is a tragedy that prolongs the second-worst Ebola outbreak in history.
Beni residents are incensed that deadly attacks by rebels continue unabated, despite the presence of U.N. peacekeepers and Congolese forces. Some say the U.N. Mission should act or leave.
Officials are investigating the deaths of four young protesters whose bodies were found near the U.N. base after Monday’s attack.
Following an emergency meeting on Monday, president Felix Tshisekedi decided to allow joint operations between Congolese and U.N. forces in Beni after the protests in which the town hall was set ablaze.
Early this month, Congo’s military declared a new offensive against Allied Democratic Forces rebels who have killed hundreds of civilians and security forces, over the past few years in the mineral-rich northeast.
Botswana Ruling Party Member Claims ‘Vote Rigging’ In October Election
A member of the Botswana ruling party says there was vote rigging in the elections held two months ago in which he participated.
The Botswana democratic party, which has ruled the country since independence in 1966, was declared winner of the election.
The ruling party member told a court that he ferried thousands of people to vote in the opposition stronghold, Gaborone. He also said there was double voting.
The runner-up in the election, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), had complained of irregularities in some constituencies and filed the legal challenge against the election result.
A panel of high court judges, hearing the UDC’s petitions, is set to rule within 90 days of the submission.
Rwanda Scraps Tax On Sanitary Pads
Rwanda has scrapped taxes on sanitary pads following South Africa’s move a year ago.
Ministry of gender and family promotion said, in a tweet, it was moving in the right direction as the government has added sanitary pads to a list of goods that are vat exempted. He said this would make them more affordable.
Most activists have held that the unavailability of pads, stemming from their cost, continued to affect especially school girls across Africa. There has been a sustained push for governments to scrap the taxes.
Consumers expect to pay much lower amounts for pads as soon as the directive begins to be implemented.
Zambia and Kenya provide sanitary pads for schoolgirls. The U.N. Children’s agency, UNICEF, estimates one in 10 African girls miss school during their periods, which means they fall behind in their studies, and often drop out of school.
In neighbouring Uganda, oxford university researchers have found absenteeism was 17 percent higher among girls who had no access to sanitary towels or information about puberty.
At Least 71 Soldiers Killed In Attack On Niger Military Camp
Islamist militants have killed 71 soldiers in Niger in an attack on a remote military camp near the border with Mali. Authorities say this was the deadliest raid ever against the Nigerien military.
Army spokesman, Colonel Boubacar Hassan said on state television on Wednesday, several hundred militants attacked a base in the western Niger town of Inates over a period of three hours on Tuesday evening. That is the same area where Islamic State’s west African branch killed nearly 50 Nigerien soldiers in two attacks in May and July. But this time, the army said, insurgents used artillery shells and kamikaze vehicles.
Hassan said, 12 soldiers were wounded, while an unspecified number of others were missing. A significant number of militants were also killed.
Niger authorities said president Mahamadou Issoufou has cut short his visit to Egypt as a result of the attack.
Meanwhile French president Emmanuel Macron, along with Niger’s president Mahamadou Issoufou, has announced that a summit scheduled for Monday to discuss security issues in the Sahel Area has been postponed to early next year.
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