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South Sudan to receive 200 peacekeepers from Ethiopia

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Ethiopia has sent 200 peacekeepers to neighbouring South Sudan to help with the restive security situation in the country, the Sudan Tribune reports citing an Ethiopian official.

South Sudan’s Foreign Minister was also quoted as stating that the Ethiopian deployment was in line with a United Nations resolution to stabilize Africa’s youngest nation.

The U.N. Security Council in December last year voted to increase the number of security personnel in the war-torn country. The unanimously adopted resolution 2327 sought to push the overall personnel to 17,000 military and 2,101 police.

The U.N. also extended the mandate of its mission – the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) – to December 2017 and handed it powers to protect civilians who were the worst affected by the crisis.

As at July 2016, UNMISS had 13,500 soldiers, with Ethiopian troops comprising the largest contingent estimated at 8,300 men.

South Sudan has been in a political and security turmoil since clashes broke out between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and his former first vice-president, Riek Machar. Machar fled the capital Juba and is currently in South Africa.

A peace process has been launched by the government amid armed clashes between government and rebel forces. The clashes have led to mass internal displacements whiles thousands of nationals have also fled into Uganda and Ethiopia.

Ethiopia is a force in global peacekeeping efforts as it is among the highest troop contributors. Despite internal security issues, they are actively engaged in the fight against Al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Shabaab and also peace efforts in South Sudan – peacekeeping and in area of diplomacy.

The Horn of Africa region is generally considered a volatile region. The armed conflict in South Sudan, Al-Shabaab’s attacks of Somalia and Kenya, Ethiopia’s internal security concerns and border issues with Eritrea are among some of the security headaches in the region.

Crime

Ethiopia : 36 spy officers enter detention over corruption, rights abuses.

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After five months of investigations, Ethiopian authorities have arrested over thirty officials of the intelligence services, the attorney general Berhanu Tsegaye told reports on Monday.

According to him, the 36 officials currently being held have questions to answer over human rights abuses and alleged corruption. The officials were detained over the weekend, he added.



Local media portals quotes him as revealing grim details of rights violations on especially Ethiopians suspected and detained in connection with terrorism.

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He said investigators have uncovered 7 illegal dungeons in Addis Ababa, used purposefully to torture victims. Some of the actions of the detained officials led to death, rape and castration in some cases.

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He also gave details with regards to the case of a bombing at a pro-Abiy rally in Addis Ababa.

The third detailed corruption within the business wing of the Ethiopian National Defence Forces’ commercial wing.

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Motherland News

Uganda: Raging fire kills nine students in boarding School.

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Nine students died after fire engulfed a dormitory at a secondary school in southern Uganda early Monday, police said, one of the deadliest in a string of conflagrations at schools across the country in recent years.

Police spokesman Patrick Onyango said, the nine male students died when the blaze erupted at a dormitory that housed about 130 students at St. Bernard Maya secondary school in a district near the border with Tanzania.



Security personnel, Onyango said, suspect the fire was started deliberately by a group of students who had been expelled days earlier from the same school over indiscipline.

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It is suspected that they could be the ones that set the school on fire because of anger. They came back between midnight and 1 a.m. (local time Monday) and set the school ablaze,” he said.

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Our investigation is along that line because that is what we suspect happened.”

Other students were injured in the fire and had been rushed to nearby health facilities but Onyango said he was yet to establish their number.

Fire outbreaks at schools, mostly in dormitories, have become more frequent, often leaving buildings and students’ personal effects reduced to ashes.

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