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Bishop Says South Sudan Churches May Close Again

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COVID-19 Fatalities Increase As NCDC Confirms 147 New Infections

Amid concerns in South Sudan that the Coronavirus cases might again surge in the country, the Archbishop of Juba in South Sudan, Stephen Ameyu Martin has on Sunday warned that Catholic churches in the country may close again.

The archbishop said they had waited for permission from the Vatican before resuming mass.

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He added “if the pandemic increases again we may close our churches because our intention of coming to pray is that God gives us longer life. But if we pray and we are infected more – that is not keeping life, that is just donating life to pandemic. As Catholics we must take care of life.”

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For the first time in six months, Catholic churches across the country re-opened on Sunday, but under strict safety measures as president Salva Kiir and senior government officials attended a mass in Juba.

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Two weeks ago the government taskforce on COVID-19 lifted restrictions allowing Mosques and other Christian churches to be re-opened.

More than 2,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported in South Sudan.

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At Least 140 Europe-Bound Migrants Drown Off Senegal Coast – UN

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The United Nations migration agency said on Thursday, at least 140 Europe-bound migrants have drowned off the coast of Senegal when their boat caught fire and capsized, marking the deadliest shipwreck recorded this year.

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The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said in a statement, the boat carrying 200 persons sank a few hours after leaving the fishing town of Mbour, 100 km south of the capital, Dakar, on Sunday.

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Local fishermen rescued 60 persons.

IOM says migrant arrivals from west Africa into the Canary Islands have more than quadrupled so far this year to around 11,000 compared with the same period last year.

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Clashes Between Ethiopian States Kill 27 Amid Border Dispute

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Clashes Between Ethiopian States Kill 27 Amid Border Dispute

At least 27 persons have been killed in clashes between two Ethiopian states that have long border disputes.

A government statement says the 27 were killed when they were caught in conflicts along the borders of Somali and afar, as the country faces surging ethnic violence.

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A spokesman for the Somali region, Ali Bedel, confirmed the killings and blamed militants in afar.

This is not the first time militias from the two eastern states have clashed over disputed boundaries.

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In 2014, the federal government redrew the boundary between the two states and transferred three small towns to afar that Somali has since wanted back.

A political analyst based in Addis Ababa, Mohamed Olad, told the media, “the transfer of three Somali towns…to afar regional administration in 2014 without any legal procedure lies at the heart of these recurring tragic and senseless killings.

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Uganda Bans Election Monitoring Group Ahead Of Polls

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Uganda Bans Election Monitoring Group Ahead Of Polls

Uganda authorities have banned a coalition of more than 60 organizations formed to monitor the country’s 2021 general elections.  The government says it is illegal. Ugandans will vote in presidential and parliamentary elections in January.

Uganda’s national bureau for non-governmental organizations, which regulates the activities of non-profit organizations, says the coalition, the national election Watch-Uganda, was not registered.

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The bureau’s head, Stephen Okello, says the group should halt its activities with immediate effect, including issuing of statements.

It also says some of the organizations under the group were neither registered nor had permits to operate in the country.

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The Ugandan government has been critical of non-profit organizations, accusing some of them of promoting foreign interests and duplicating government’s work.

Action Aid International Uganda, in a statement on its website, said the group was formed last month to promote electoral integrity, enhance citizen confidence and participation.

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In 2017, police raided the offices of at least three such organizations, accusing them of involvement in illicit financial transactions and subversive activities to destabilize the country.

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