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Somalia Declares National Emergency Over Locust Upsurge

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Locust Swarms Ravaging East Africa Are The Size Of Cities

It would not be an exaggeration to say that Somalia is being overrun by swarms of locusts.  In fact, the east Africa region is experiencing large invasion of locusts.

It is so bad in Somalia that the government has declared a national emergency.

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Somali minister of agriculture and irrigation, Said Hussein Iid has described the situation as a major threat to the country’s food supply.

Locusts destroyed at least a hundred thousand hectares of farmland and pasture in the country last December, prompting the agriculture minister to warn this second wave would be more destructive.

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Agriculture ministry has described the new swarms as uncommonly large.  It says they will consume very large amounts of crops and forage.

Last month, the Somali government and international agencies appealed for humanitarian aid of more than a billion dollars to help three million Somalis this year in form of food assistance.

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United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization says it needs three million dollars initially to begin eradicating the locusts.

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Kenya: Government Extends Deadline For Issuance Of E-Passport

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Kenya authorities have delayed the deadline by a year for all citizens to switch to e-passports. It is the second time the deadline has been extended.

Ministry of interior says the deadline has now been pushed back to march next year to enable nearly two million Kenyans – mostly in the diaspora – who are still holding the old document to replace it.

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The government said it had set up passport centres in Dubai, Johannesburg, Berlin, Paris, London and Washington DC to make it easier for Kenyans living abroad to get the e-passports.

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The old passport was initially scheduled to be phased out by September last year but was pushed back to March this year.

The government says e-passports are intended to minimize fraud, identity theft, forgery and passport skimming.

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At Least 29 Injured In Bomb Attack At Pro-Abiy Rally In Ethiopia

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At Least 29 Injured In Bomb Attack At Pro-Abiy Rally In Ethiopia

At least 29 persons are reportedly injured in an attack at a political rally, organized by officials, in support of prime minister Abiy Ahmed in central Ethiopia on Sunday.

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Prime minister Abiy Ahmed himself was not there. Police say six suspects have been arrested following the attack in Ambo town. State-run Ethiopian news agency quotes Oromia regional state police commissioner Ararsa Merdesa as saying it was a grenade attack.

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Political tension is high as Ethiopia gears up for elections in august. Violence arising from ethnic differences is threatening to undermine reforms initiated by the prime minister.

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W.H.O. Warns It Is Running Out Of Money To Tackle Ebola Epidemic In D.R.C.   

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WHO Warns It Is Running Out Of Money To Tackle Ebola Epidemic In DRC   

The World Health Organization, W.H.O., says it is running out of funds to continue the fight against Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  The U.N. health body is appealing for forty million dollars to save its efforts to end Ebola in the country.

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W.H.O. says its Ebola operation is in dire straits in north Kivu and Ituri provinces – two cities that have been wracked with violence.  The world body says it would run out of funds in a week and is urging donors to urgently come to its rescue.

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Who says if it does not get the necessary funds to continue the Ebola fight, the declining number of cases in the country would pick up again.

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