76 people have survived a shipwreck on Lake Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a regional official said Saturday. However, more than a dozen people are feared to have drowned in the same incident.
The motorised boat was carrying around 100 passengers when it capsized on the lake, near the eastern city of Bukavu.
“We have already registered 76 survivors,” said Swedi Basila, the regional transport minister for South Kivu province, adding that up to 20 people were still missing.
“No body has been found until now,” he told AFP.
The vessel had been on its way to the island of Idjwi when it hit a large rock and capsized, Basila said.
River transport is one of the most used in DR Congo with its numerous waterways. Boat mishaps are common, typically caused by overloading of passengers and cargo.
Tolls are often high because there are no life jackets and many Congolese do not know how to swim.
In April, at least 167 people were killed in two accidents, prompting President Felix Tshisekedi to make it mandatory for boat passengers to have life jackets.
Measles is a bigger threat in DR Congo than Ebola – NGO
Last year, cases more than doubled to almost 350,000 from 2017, according to the World Health Organization
Measles has killed 2,758 people in DR Congo since January, more than the Ebola epidemic in a year, medical NGO Doctors Without Borders said, and called Saturday for a “massive mobilisation of funds.”
The disease, preventable with a vaccine, has infected over 145,000 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo between January and early August, it said in a statement.
“Since July, the epidemic has worsened, with a rise in new cases reported in several provinces,” said the NGO that goes by its French acronym MSF.
“Only $2.5 million has been raised out of the $8.9 million required for the Health Cluster response plan — in stark contrast with the Ebola epidemic in the east of the country, which attracts multiple organisations and hundreds of millions of dollars in funding,” it added.
MSF tweeted that without a “massive mobilisation of funds and response organisations, the current measles outbreak in #DRCongo could get even worse.”
The NGO said it has vaccinated 474,860 children between the ages of six months and five years since the beginning of the year and provided care to more than 27,000 measles patients.
In the country’s east, Ebola has claimed more than 1,900 lives since erupting last August.
Measles is a highly-contagious diseased caused by a virus that attacks mainly children. The most serious complications include blindness, brain swelling, diarrhoea, and severe respiratory infections.
Last year, cases more than doubled to almost 350,000 from 2017, according to the World Health Organization, amid a rise in “anti-vaxxer” sentiment in some countries that can afford the vaccine, and lagging resources for the preventative measure in poor nations.
DR Congo declared a measles epidemic in June.
DR Congo authorities ban rallies in Kinshasa as tensions rise
Tensions rose in the capital after youths announced they would hold a protest against the candidacy of a former justice minister
DR Congo authorities have banned political rallies this week in the capital Kinshasa because of tensions between supporters of President Felix Tshisekedi and those of former leader Joseph Kabila, police said Sunday.
Tshisekedi was elected in December to replace Kabila who presided over sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest country for nearly two decades.
Tensions rose in the capital after the youth wing of Tshisekedi’s Democracy and Social Progress party (UDPS) announced it would hold a protest against the candidacy of a former justice minister for the senate presidency.
In response, the pro-Kabila Red Berets movement said it would hold a counter-march to support the candidacy of Alexis Thambwe, who is considered by many a hardliner from the Kabila regime.
Kinshasa police chief General Sylvano Kasongo told state television that given the tensions in the capital, Kinshasa’s governor had banned all political rallies for this week. “He instructed the police to take all appropriate measures. Anyone who attempts to march or disturb the public order this week will find the police in their way,” he said.
UDPS youth wing spokesman Fils Mukoko told reporters they wanted to protest against seeing “the same faces in charge of the country’s institutions or in the government.”
Kabila’s Common Front for Congo (FCC) coalition won comfortable majorities in both houses of parliament as well as provincial assemblies, and his supporters also dominated elections for the governorships across the country.
None of the candidates the FCC presented for seven key Senate posts is from Tshisekedi’s CACH alliance in the legislature despite an agreement to work together between the two political blocs.
Six months after Tshisekedi’s inauguration and more than a month after the appointment of Prime Minister Ilunga Ilunkamba, who was proposed by Kabila, CACH and FCC negotiators are still struggling to agree on the composition of the government.
Social media restriction in Chad lifted after one year
Access to social media was cut in March 2018, as public opposition mounted over Deby’s plans to push through changes to the constitution
Chad President Idriss Deby said Saturday he was lifting social media restrictions which were imposed more than a year ago for “security reasons.”
“For some months, security requirements led the government to toughen access conditions and control measures for electronic communications,” Deby said in a closing address to a digital forum in the capital N’Djamena.
“These measures were imposed in a context of terrorist threats (but)” the current situation ” leads me … to instruct the firms concerned to lift immediately the restriction on electronic communications,” said Deby.
On Saturday afternoon, it was possible to access social media applications including Whatsapp and Twitter, an AFP journalist reported.
Access to social media was cut in March last year as public opposition mounted over Deby’s plans to push through changes to the constitution shoring up his power after almost three decades in office.
Access remained possible using VPN networks but the use of those is costly in one of the world’s poorest nations.
Barely five per cent of the population enjoys internet access.
Chad is a Western ally in the fight against jihadist groups in Africa and notably faces threats from Boko Haram, which has made several deadly incursions into its territory in recent months.
The largely desert north, bordering Sudan, Libya and Niger, is highly volatile while several rebel groups have set up base just over the border with Libya.
In late January, Chad rebels seeking to destabilise Deby entered the northeast of the country from Libya but were pushed back after French air strikes.
In the east, farmers and nomadic groups have also clashed while the south on the border with the Central African Republic is still tense after the 2013 overthrow of former CAR president sparked unrest which spilt over the border.
Legislative elections in Chad are scheduled to take place by the end of the year having been postponed several times since 2015 as Deby, who grabbed power in 1990, looks to maintain his grip on the country.
South Africa’s openly HIV-positive judge retires
Sudan announces new sovereign council to lead transition
Rwanda’s Skol brewer cancels sexist jokes on beer bottles after backlash
Nigeria’s FA reacts to FIFA’s ban on coach Siasia
Cameroonian separatist leader jailed for life
Rwanda’s Ubumuntu Arts Festival and the celebration of humanity
An app is helping reunite South Sudan’s ‘lost’ children with their families
Former Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh accused of ordering migrant slaughter
How technology is helping Kenya win the war against poaching
Standing Strong for Albinism in Africa
World Humanitarian Day 2019: The humans making the world a better place
Africa’s giraffes threatened with ‘silent extinction’
Nigeria’s school for “Almajiri” graduates class of 2019
Africa in 60 – August 15, 2019
The burden of South Africa’s unidentified bodies
Top Story22 hours ago
Cameroonian separatist leader jailed for life
Politics2 days ago
Sudanese ex-President Bashir admits receiving $90 million from Saudi royal
Lifestyle News2 days ago
Egypt’s renovation of Baron Palace sparks online outcry
North Africa Politics2 days ago
Libyan Navy rescues 335 migrants, recovers 1 body
News2 days ago
Police, soldiers deployed to prevent banned march in Zimbabwe’s Bulawayo city
Politics2 days ago
Sudan’s new sovereign council faces delayed unveiling
Top Story1 day ago
Ebola kills 7-year-old boy in DR Congo’s South Kivu
Business News2 days ago
Zambia rejects donor aid amid its worst drought