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10 Pupils Die In Tanzania’s School Dormitory Fire1 minute read

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Ten pupils have been killed after a fire razed a dormitory to ashes at a primary school in Tanzania’s northwest region of Kagera, an official said on Monday.

According to Marco Gaguti, the Kagera Regional Commissioner, seven others were injured in the incident.

He added that three of the injured seven are in critical condition.

Gaguti said the fire broke out at around 11 p.m. local time on Sunday razing a dormitory for 74 pupils in Itera village in Kyerwa district.

The school is for boys only.

“Most of the pupils trapped in the dormitory were rescued by police, the Tanzania Fire and Rescue Force (TFRF) and neighbours,” said Gaguti who was at the scene of the grisly accident.

Gaguti said the cause of the fire was yet to be established but he has formed a probe committee comprising of members from the police force, the Tanzania Electric Supply Company, the Tanzania Intelligence and Security Service and the TFRF.

“We hope the investigative team will be able to establish the cause of the fire,” said Gaguti, adding that the school has been shut down for seven days to pave way for the investigations.

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14 People Gang-Rape Eight-Years Old Girl In Sudan

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The gang-rape of an eight years old girl by 14 people have sent shockwaves and anger through Sudan.

The victim, Zainab Yasser, was living with her father when the incident happened. Her parents were divorced.

During the time at her father’s, Zainab was allegedly gang-raped by the neighbours’ son and 13 others.

The girl’s father, Yasser, said his daughter had asked to live with him instead of her mother. He noticed that his daughter had lost her appetite, became severely agitated and anxious and seemed frequently distracted.

He added that Zainab used to go to the neighbours’ house to play, but her friend’s brother would take her into a separate room and brutally rape her.

Zainab explained that the rapist’s mother knew about the incident and ordered her to remain silent, noting that she had threatened to kill her if she told her family about the incident.

Zainab’s family took legal action against 17 people, including some of the rapists’ relatives, after the forensic doctor’s report confirmed that Zainab had been repeatedly raped.

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IOM Resumes AVRR From Niger To The Gambia

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The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has resumed its Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programme from Niger to The Gambia, a statement by the organisation said at the weekend.

The programme, which is with the support of the European Union, resumes after a six-month hiatus due to COVID-19 border closures.

Last Wednesday, 26 Gambian migrants finally returned home, after months stranded in IOM’s transit centres in Niger.

The group returned home on a charter flight from Niamey, Niger’s capital, passing by Conakry in Guinea, for the return of 100 Guinean migrants. With The Gambia’s airspace still officially closed, this humanitarian corridor was exceptionally approved by authorities.

Mobility restrictions related to COVID-19 have stranded hundreds of thousands of migrants around the world. An IOM Issue Brief has analysed the broad impacts of border closures on stranded migrants and proposed innovative steps nations can take, in particular ensuring stranded migrants regardless of nationality or migratory status are included in all national COVID-19 response plans.

Prior to their departure, in collaboration with the European Union Capacity Building Mission (EUCAP Sahel) and the Centre for Medical and Health Research (CERMES) in Niger, IOM organized COVID-19 testing for migrants hosted at transit centres in Agadez and Niamey. Before their travels, the migrants were all given hand sanitizer and masks, and pre-packaged food and water to minimize contact.

Upon arrival, the returnees underwent temperature screenings and were issued arrival assistance cards before being transported to an overnight temporary accommodation facility, where they were provided meals and core relief items, including essential hygiene supplies.

“AVRR has always been an indispensable tool for migration management – a lifeline for migrants who wish to return home but do not have the means to do so,” said Fumiko Nagano, IOM’s Chief of Mission in The Gambia.

“This mechanism has become even more vital amidst the pandemic. Despite the current challenges, IOM remains committed to supporting safe and dignified returns, in close coordination with the government authorities who made this return possible.”

The following day, the returnees received further medical and psychosocial support and took part in an orientation session on the process of receiving reintegration assistance. Each migrant received an allowance to cover immediate needs and onward transport.

“The European Union remains strongly committed to protecting migrants and supporting returnees in their reintegration, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said H.E. Attila Lajos, EU Ambassador to The Gambia, on the importance of the return programme.

With Niger currently the top sending country of returning migrants to The Gambia, the resumption of the AVRR programme was critical. Since 2017, 1,600 Gambians returned home from Niger, representing more than half of all returns to The Gambia in 2019 and 2020.

In March, in order to contain the spread of the virus, the governments of The Gambia and Niger imposed several restrictions, including the closure of all borders. This affected IOM’s AVRR programme and left thousands of migrants stranded in IOM’s six transit centres across Niger.

“I have been in Niger for over nine months,” said Lamin Darboe, one of the returnees. “It wasn’t easy. I’m just happy to finally be back home because I have been wanting to go home for so long.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic migrants at IOM’s transit centres in Niger were provided with masks and handwashing stations and underwent regular health checks. Prior to their departure, the returnees attended special awareness-raising sessions on the coronavirus and underwent mandatory COVID-19 PCR tests.

IOM last assisted with AVRR from Niger to The Gambia on 19 March 2020, shortly before The Gambia’s borders closed in response to its first confirmed COVID-19 case. Until this week, only seven Gambians had been able to return home with IOM’s assistance – voluntary returnees from Germany and Switzerland, through exceptionally approved commercial flights.

As COVID-19 continues to impact the socioeconomic climate, the returnees will begin receiving their reintegration assistance in the coming weeks. The assistance aims to address economic, social and psychosocial needs, with various types of support tailored to the returnees’ needs and interests.

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Gunmen Shoot Five Dead In Nigeria’s Plateau State

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Gunmen have reportedly killed five people in Nigeria’s Plateau State.

According to the police in the country, the incident happened at K/Vom community of Vwang District in Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau.

Mr Edward Egbuka, the Commissioner of Police in the state, who confirmed the incident to newsmen at the scene, said one other person was severely injured.

Egbuka, who described the killing as an ugly trend, said it has pose a serious setback to the peace effort in the state.

He said the incident occurred at about 10.30 p.m. on Thursday.

“Last night, some yet to be identified gunmen attack a drinking joint in K/Vom community and shots five persons.

“But we are here and the situation is under control.

“This is a setback to the peace efforts that all stakeholders, the Police, the military and state government have being trying to manage,’’ he said.

Mr Dalyop Fom, the member representing Jos South Constituency in the Plateau House of Assembly, described the incident as ‘unfortunate and barbaric’.

Fom called on the security agencies to fish out the perpetrators.

“This is a sad moment for me and my peace loving constituents.

“Our people are not happy because we have being having these incidences over and over and we kept asking ourselves when will the next one happen?

“I want to urge the security agencies to do all within their powers to fish out the perpetrators of this dastardly act and bring them to book,’’ he urged.

Also, the District Head of Vwang, Da Gyang Balak, condemned the killings and described it as ‘man’s inhumanity to man’.

Balak, however, called on members of the community to remain calm and be law abiding, urging everyone to go about their lawful business.

The gunmen stormed the peaceful community and shot sporadically on the locals who were relaxing in their homes close to a relaxation centre.

Four persons were shot death in a relaxation spots while a student of the School of Animal Health Production Vom, was killed near a shop.

The incident has thrown the community, which houses the National Veterinary Research Institute Vom (NVIR), the National Institute for Policy and Strategy Study (NIPSS) and other federal government agencies, into mourning.

The youths in the community staged a peaceful protest demanding for the deployment of more security personnel to the area.

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