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Eleven Drown As Migrant Boat Sinks Off Tunisian Coast1 minute read

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No fewer 11 bodies have been recovered after a boat carrying 25 migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa sank off the Tunisian coast.

The boat capsised off the coast of Louata in the province of Sfax on Sunday, official news agency TAP reported on Monday.

The bodies found were eight women and three children.

Seven others were rescued by the Tunisian coastguard, as rescue operations continued in search of more survivors.

In June, a migrant boat sank off Sfax, leaving at least 60 people dead.

The Tunisian coast has become a common launch point for thousands of migrants, including Tunisians, seeking a better life in Europe.

In June, more than 50 people died when a migrant boat heading for Italy sank off the Tunisian city of Sfax. The deceased included two toddlers whose bodies were washed up on the beaches of Kerkennah Island alongside 19 other bodies.

In May, Tunisian authorities said at least one migrant drowned and six were missing from another shipwreck. More than 80 were rescued.

According to the United Nations refugee agency, attempts to reach the Italian coast from Tunisia increased by 150 percent in the first four months of the year, compared with the same period in 2019.

In 2019, 86 people died when their boat sank off the coast of Tunisia’s southern town of Zarzis.

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Nigeria’s NECO Postpones Certificate Exams Indefinitely Over Crises

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An examination body in Nigeria has postponed a certificate exam indefinitely over the different crises in the West African nation.

Azeez Sani, the spokesman of the National Examinations Council (NECO), in a statement on Sunday, said the decision to postpone the ongoing Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations (SSCE) indefinitely was reached by the governing board of the council last week after it reviewed the conduct of the on-going 2020 examination nationwide.

The statement read, “The Governing Board of the National Examinations Council at its Special Meeting held on Thursday, 22nd October, 2020 reviewed the on-going 2020 SSCE (internal) nationwide,” it read.

“The Council had in a press release, dated 21st October 2020, informed the general public of rescheduling some papers of the 202 0 on-going SSCE.

“Arising from that meeting, today (Sunday) the Governing Board resolved that the 2020 SSCE (Internal) be postponed indefinitely in view of the current security challenges, occasioned by the ENDSARS protests, which disrupted the smooth conduct of the examinations in some parts of the country.

“In making this decision, the Board noted that due to these security challenges, some state governments imposed curfew and closed schools in order to safeguard lives and property;

“In the circumstances, it has become difficult for the council to move examination materials across the country and students in the affected locations were unable to sit for the papers already scheduled in the examination timetable.

“The Governing Board further resolved, that when normalcy returns, the Council will continue with the conduct of the examinations in all States.

“While regretting any inconveniences this postponement may cause our esteemed stakeholders, the Council has however taken this decision in order to maintain the integrity and security of its examination procedures for seamless conduct of the Council’s examination.”

News Central reports that NECO had initially rescheduled its examinations scheduled for Oct. 22, 23 and 24 to November, owing to insecurity and curfew imposed by some states during the #EndSARS protests.

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COVID-19: Rwanda makes EU “safe list”

The move follows a review under the recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU.

Bernard Akede

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the European Union

According to a statement from the European Union Council on October 22, Rwanda has been listed by the European Union, among the countries on which Covid-19 travel restrictions into the EU territory should be gradually lifted.

The move follows a review under the recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU.

Some of the criteria which the European Union considers for lifting travel restrictions on third countries (countries that are not members of the EU as well as countries whose citizens do not enjoy the European Union right to free movement) include their epidemiological situation and containment measures, including physical distancing, as well as economic and social considerations.

Some of the other countries from which the restrictions have been lifted are Singapore, South Korea, Australia, Japan, Uruguay, Thailand, and New Zealand.

This now means that Rwanda is the only country in African to feature on the list.

The EU Council’s statement, however, indicates that this list will continue to be reviewed regularly and, as the case may be, updated.

In addition, the statement also says that European Union Council recommendation is not a legally binding instrument.

To this end, the authorities of the member states are responsible for  implementing the content of the recommendation, where they may, in full transparency, lift only progressively travel restrictions towards the listed countries.

In the past few weeks, Rwanda has been reporting progress in the fight against Covid-19. As of today, Rwanda has recorded a total of 5,062 cases of which 4,806 have recovered and 34 have died.

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Five Soldiers, Four Others Die In IPOB, Security Operatives Clash In Nigeria’s Rivers

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No fewer than nine people have died in Nigeria’s Rivers State during a clash between security operatives and the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

The clash, which occurred at Oyigbo and other parts of the state, was said to have claimed the lives of five soldiers and four IPOB members.

The soldiers were part of a joint security team – which included some policemen – deployed to quell IPOB activities in Oyigbo, Rumuokwurusi and other flashpoints areas.

The IPOB members were said to have engaged the security team in a shoot-out from Thursday night till Friday morning.

Rivers State Governor, Mr Nyesom Wike, had on Friday condemned IPOB activities despite the 24-hour curfew imposed on the Oyigbo council area.

“We were all witnesses to yet another orgy of violence and destruction inflicted by IPOB at Oyigbo Local Government Area and some parts of Port Harcourt City Local Government Area on Tuesday, October 20, 2020,” the governor said, adding: “This evil, wicked and audacious action resulted in the unnecessary loss of lives, including soldiers and police officers, and the destruction of both public and private properties, police stations, court buildings and business premises.”

Meanwhile, the state police command said two cops were killed, four police stations burnt and over 50 vehicles set ablaze by suspected IPOB members who attacked the Oyigbo community and other areas in the state.

The state Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan, stated this when he led commanders of other security agencies in the state to the Oyigbo council area on Saturday.

In a statement by the spokesman for the state police command, Nnamdi Omoni, the CP had ordered a full scale investigation into the incident with a view to appending and prosecuting the culprits.

The statement stated, “The Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan today (Saturday) led commanders of the sister security agencies in the state to Oyigbo council area where hoodlums suspected to be members of the proscribed IPOB under the guise of #EndSARS protests invaded Oyigbo Area Command, Oyigbo, Afam and Umuebulu Police stations where they attacked the policemen on duty and burnt down the four police formations.

“In the course of the attacks, over 50 vehicles were burnt, including one Armoured Personnel Carrier, killing two policemen who were hacked to death and set ablaze.”

Mukan condemned the attack on public and private property, describing it as ‘ill-conceived, most unfortunate and an ill wind that would blow no one any good,’ while condoling with the families of the slain operatives.

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