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Somalia grants justice using DNA to convict rapists2 minutes read

This is time ever that forensic science has been used in Somalia for criminal trials.

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somali cracks first criminal case with DNA evidence

Three men have been convicted and sentenced to death in Somalia using DNA evidence, for the gang-rape and murder of a 12-year-old girl, according to the Bureau of Forensic Science.

In an effort to tackle widespread sexual violence, the country got its first-ever forensic laboratory in 2017 in Puntland. This is a major stride in restoring faith in the judiciary as two decades of conflict and turmoil have put justice out of reach for most.

First case solved with DNA evidence in Somalia

This is time ever that forensic science has been used in Somalia for criminal trials.

The bureau said in a statement that Somalia had “joined, for the first time, the rest of the world in utilising science to solve a heinous criminal case”.

In February, the kidnapping of 12-year-old Aisha Ilyas Adan – who was gang-raped and tortured to death, her body dumped outside her parents’ home – sparked outrage and protests in the region.

The Puntland state government enacted a Sexual Offences Act in 2016, which criminalised sexual offences and imposed tough penalties. 

The central government in Mogadishu is still working on adopting Somalia’s first-ever national rape laws.

A new Sexual Offences Act was adopted by ministers in May 2018. It awaits approval by parliament.

Fighting a ‘normal’ crime

Human Rights Watch has described rape as “normal” in Somalia, with police often failing to take cases seriously.

About 10 suspects were arrested in connection with Adan’s rape and murder.

According to State prosecutors 37 DNA samples were taken from the suspects and sent to Kenya for processing the lab where they were stored in Somalia cannot analyse such material at present. 

On Sunday, High court judge Abdinur Jama Hussein sentenced the three men “to the death penalty for kidnapping, raping, and murdering Aisha Ilyas.”

In Somalia, the death penalty is carried out by firing squad.

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Heavy rains threaten Uganda’s coffee crop quality

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Uganda’s coffee crop quality could see a decline in the coming months as heavy rains across the country have reduced the amount of sunshine necessary for bean drying.

Uganda is Africa’s largest exporter of coffee followed by Ethiopia and grows mostly robusta variety.

The country has been pounded by unusually heavy rains that started in August resulting in deaths, displacement and extensive damage to roads and other infrastructure.

Western Uganda, including the foothills of the Rwenzori mountains , some of the biggest coffee growing areas, has received some of the most intense rains.

Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), the state-run regulator, forecasts Uganda’s bean exports will climb 16 percent to 5.1 million 60-kg (132-pound) bags in the current crop year ending September.

The country’s coffee output has surged in recent years, the fruition of a government programme that has been distributing free seedlings to farmers to expand acreage and replace aging trees.

Authorities say their target is to help boost annual production to 20 million bags by 2025.

The beans have traditionally been Uganda’s biggest commodity export but were recently overtaken by gold which now annually earns the country over $1 billion.

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Tanzania, France sign water supply loan agreement

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Tanzania has signed a loan agreement with France to finance water supply projects that will benefit about 770,000 people in the country’s Morogoro municipality.

The French government will extend the loan worth about $76 million to Tanzania through its French Development Agency (AFD), according to Dotto James, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Planning who signed the agreement on behalf of Tanzania.

“Upon completion, the water supply in the Morogoro municipality will increase from the current 37,000 cubic meters a day to 108,000 cubic meters a day,” James told a press conference following a signing ceremony in Morogoro.

AFD Country Representative for Tanzania, Stephanie Mouen says the project will improve the well-being of the people in the municipality and it will also improve the environment.

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Uganda approves return of over 2,500 nationals stranded abroad

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Over 2,500 Ugandan nationals stranded abroad amid the Covid-19 pandemic can now return home as approved by the Ugandan cabinet.

The cabinet on Monday, agreed that Ugandan nationals trapped in 66 countries can return home at their own cost.

The government is making arrangements with the UN World Food Program (WFP) to fly the stranded citizens home, Judith Nabakooba, the country’s minister for information, communication technology and national guidance says, adding that all the returning citizens will have to undergo a 14-day mandatory institutional quarantine. 

President Yoweri Museveni last month, directed Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda to study the possibility of evacuating dozens of citizens stranded abroad amid Covid-19 pandemic travel restrictions. 

To contain the spread of Covid-19, the country on March 22 suspended all incoming flights, except cargo flights. 

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