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Six-storey residential building collapses in Embakasi, Nairobi

Access to the scene by emergency responders was hampered by the poor state of the roads in Tassia

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Collapsed residential building in Tassia
Collapsed residential building in Tassia.

A six-storey building in Tassia, Embakasi, a suburb in Nairobi, has collapsed with scores of people inside it. According to the residents of the building, the structure began sinking at around 5:00 am this morning and eventually collapsed. Eyewitnesses at the scene say that three bodies had been retrieved as of 1:00 pm EAT.

Access to the scene by emergency responders was hampered by the poor state of the roads in Tassia estate and made even worse by the ongoing heavy rains being experienced in the city and across the country.

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The Kenya Red Cross, St. John’s Ambulance, Emergency Plus Medical Services (EMS Kenya) and the Kenya Police are at the scene and are being aided by the area residents.

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East Africa News

Amnesty Accuses Al-Shabaab, Govt Forces of War Crimes as Civilians Die in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado Conflict

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Amnesty International (AI) has accused federal forces, an armed group known locally as ‘Al-Shabaab’ (unrelated to Al-Shabaab in Somalia) and a private military company hired by the Mozambican government, of war crimes and the death of hundreds of civilians in the ongoing conflict in Cabo Delgado.

In the report, “What I saw is death: War crimes in Mozambique’s forgotten Cape”, the human rights watchdog documents serious violations of international humanitarian law by all parties, resulting in widespread death, destruction and a humanitarian crisis that has caused more than half-a-million people to flee.

It also details accounts of violence against civilians by ‘Al-Shabaab’, extrajudicial executions and other human rights violations by government security forces, and indiscriminate attacks by South African private military company, Dyck Advisory Group.

“The people of Cabo Delgado are caught between the Mozambican security forces, the private militia fighting alongside the government and the armed opposition Al-Shabaab – none of which respect their right to life or the rules of war,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa.

“All three have committed war crimes, causing the deaths of hundreds of civilians. The international community has failed to address this crisis as it has escalated into full-blown armed conflict over the last three years.

“We are calling on all parties to the conflict to immediately stop targeting civilians, and for the government of Mozambique to urgently investigate the war crimes we have uncovered.”

Amnesty International said the report, based on interviews with 79 internally-displaced persons from 15 communities, focuses primarily on the impact of the increased fighting in Cabo Delgado since a major attack by Al-Shabaab on Mocímboa da Praia in March 2020.

Amnesty International said it also reviewed satellite imagery, photographs and medical and ballistics information.

It said its Crisis Evidence Lab completed an open source investigation of available social media material, adding that it also interviewed analysts from international organizations, journalists, humanitarian workers, and local human rights monitors.

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East Africa News

President Uhuru Replaces Kagame as Chair of the East African Community

President Uhuru Kenyatta replaces President Paul Kagame as chair of the East African Community. The forum also appointed two new judges to the East African Court of Justice, a regional Court that litigate on treaties of the East African Community.

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President Uhuru Kenyatta, of the Republic of Kenya has replaced Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame as chair of the East African Community summit for 2022.

Last year, President Kenyatta became the seventh Chair of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), a partnership of African Heads of State and Government advocating and mobilising resources in the continent-wide fight against malaria.

The East African Community leaders also appointed Kenya’s Peter Mathuki, as the next Secretary-General.

Two new judges were also appointed to the East African Court of Justice, a regional Court that litigates on treaties of the East African Community.

President Paul Kagame in his capacity as outgoing chair of the Summit, convened the meeting which held virtually on Saturday February 27, 2021.

Rwanda’s Richard Muhumuza was named to the EACJ first instance division while Anita Mugeni will sit on the bench of the court’s appellate chamber.

Other judges to the court First Instance Division include Justice Nestor Kayobera, Justice Yohane Bakobora Masara , Justice Kathurima M’inoti and Justice Richard Wabwire Wejuli to the court’s Appellate Division.

Richard Muhumuza

Justice Kayobera emerged as judge president of the court, Justice Geoffrey Kiryabwire as the vice president, Justice Masara as principal judge and Justice Audace Ngiye as Deputy Principal judge.

The judges replace Justice Dr Emmanuel Ugirashebuja, Justice Liboire Nkurunziza, Justice Aaron Ringera, Lady Justice Monica Mugenyi, Justice Dr Faustin Ntezilyayo, and Justice Fakihi Jundu. They were acknowledged by the Summit for their selfless service to the community.

Read also: https://newscentral.africa/african-continental-free-trade-area-to-commence-despite-tariffs-uncertainty/

Among the items on the agenda are: consideration of the request by the DR Congo to join the EAC, and progress report on the verification exercise for admission of the Federal Republic of Somalia, which had submitted its application in February 2012.  The EAC currently comprises Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.

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Conservation News

Three Endangered Rothschild’s Giraffes Die of Electrocution in Kenya

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The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has confirmed that three Rothschild’s giraffes have died after being electrocuted by low-hanging power powerlines at a Soysambu conservancy in Nakuru.

News Central reports that Rothschild’s giraffe are one of the most endangered species of the animal with estimate putting their population at less than 1,600 in the wild.

Kenya has about 600 Rothschild’s.

KWS said officials from the state-owned power distributing company, Kenya Power, would replace the poles.

“Preliminary reports indicate that the height of the electricity poles crossing Soysambu Conservancy are low, below giraffe’s height,” a statement read in part.

Dr Paula Kahumbu, the Producer and Host of Wildlife Warriors CEO WildlifeDirect, alleged in a tweet that the deaths could have been prevented if experts’ advise was heeded.

In another tweet, Kahumbu added that these deaths were not the first, and that they could have been prevented if expert advice had been followed.

“These power lines have been killing giraffes, vultures and flamingos. Advice from experts was ignored. RIAs [Risk Impact Assessments] are notoriously poor on many development projects. Sad that it takes these kinds of deaths to wake some people up!” she tweeted.

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