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UN: Water Shortage Displace 116,000 In Somalia

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The United Nations and Somalia authorities say more than 116, 000 persons have been displaced in the east African country because of extreme water shortage.

A joint statement issued on Sunday shows as many as those numbers have been affected by the shortages since October last year.

The UN Somalia office, and the government are expressing deep concern about the “worsening drought conditions as most parts of the country are facing critical water shortages, with more than 50 districts facing moderate to severe drought conditions.

In the statement, humanitarian affairs and disaster management minister, Khadija Mohamed Diriye appealed to donors to “give generously and to give now” to help respond rapidly to the drought which she said was “compounding the effects of the various crises in this country,” including widespread food insecurity, malnutrition, population displacement and disease.

They have appealed for funding to save lives, alleviate suffering and get assistance before the situation becomes a complete catastrophe.

Somalia has been facing especially concerning conditions as forecasts indicate a second consecutive season of below-average rainfall from April to June.

People in Bakol and the Gedo regions, among other parts of the country, have been struggling against water shortages, amid local media reports of several people, including children, dying from dehydration.

Last month, Somalia called on international donors to provide sufficient and early funding to scale up the country’s emergency response capabilities.

Up to 2.7 million people across the country are in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the ministry of humanitarian affairs.

 

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Mali Union Embarks On Four-Day General Strike Over Pay

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Workers in Mali have embarked on a strike in what is reported to have paralysed economic activities in the country since Monday.

The National Workers’ Union of Mali (UNTM) began a four-day strike to demand better living and working conditions after negotiations with the interim government over wages, bonuses and allowances failed. The strike is said to be widely observed.

Among other demands, the Malian civil servants also want all teachers in community schools to be integrated into the public service.

National workers’ union has warned that the strike was “renewable through next week, and would be unlimited from the week of May the 28th.

The union has asked its activists to remain mobilized and determined for the full success of the strike. The Malian national workers union UNTM which brings together several associations and unions from the public service is the largest trade union in Mali.

UNTM represents teachers, gold miners, health workers and various essential services.

Recent months have seen mounting public anger over the slow pace of socio-economic and security reforms by Mali’s transitional government.

Several other strike notices have also been issued and the opposition movement that galvanized protests that topped former president Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta also intends to resume demonstrations.

Mali’s interim prime minister has been charged with appointing a new government following his resignation and subsequent reinstatement on 14 May.

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Uganda To Share Intelligence With Congo On Islamist Rebels

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Allied Democratic Forces (ADF)

Uganda said on Monday it has reached an agreement with neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to share intelligence and coordinate a new push to combat Islamist rebels who have been blamed for worsening violence in DR Congo`s east.

A week ago, officials said the two countries would set up an operations centre in eastern DR Congo to fight the rebels, known as the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).

Spokeswoman for the Uganda people’s defence forces Brigadier Flavia Byekwaso said there will be coordination, sharing intelligence, sharing information and all sorts of security nature kind of activities.

The United Nations said the violence in eastern DRC killed 850 persons last year.

In March, the United States labelled the ADF a foreign terrorist organization because of alleged links to the Islamic state group.

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South Africa Begins Second Phase Of COVID-19 Vaccination

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South Africa Begins Second Phase Of COVID-19 Vaccination

South Africa says it has begun second phase of COVID-19 vaccinations targeting people 60 years and older. It is also aiming to finish vaccinating the country’s 1.2 million healthcare workers this week.

The health ministry said it was avoiding long queues in the second phase of the vaccine rollout by using an electronic vaccination data system – where people would register online and receive instructions through a text message.

South Africa plans to inoculate five million citizens by the end of June.  The nation has the highest number of coronavirus cases in Africa – with more than one and a half million infections and 55,000 deaths.

Health minister Zweli Mkhize said the country was due to receive 325,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Sunday, making the total doses of the Pfizer vaccine nearly one million.

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