More than 1 000 people were feared dead in Mozambique four days after a cyclone slammed into the country, submerging entire villages and leaving bodies floating in the floodwaters, the nation’s president said.
“It is a real disaster of great proportions,” President Filipe Nyusi said.
Emergency officials in Mozambique have cautioned that while they expect the death toll to rise significantly, they have no way of knowing how high the death toll will be.
A cyclone that hit Mozambique last week has damaged or destroyed 90% of the city of Beira, the Red Cross confirmed, and the death toll in the country and neighboring Zimbabwe has risen to 157.
The European Union has granted 150,000 euros (about 170,000 US dollars) to assist the victims of floods and of cyclone Idai in central Mozambique.
The aid should directly benefit 7,500 people in Sofala, Manica, Tete and Zambezia provinces. A further 17,000 people will benefit from sanitation and health services in accommodation centre.
President Omar al-Bashir has appointed a new first vice President and Prime minister, a day after declaring a year-long state of emergency to counter Sudanese protests calling for his removal from office.
Bashir replaced his long-time ally Bakri Hassan Saleh with Defence Minister General Awad Ibnoufas as vice-President and appointed governor of eastern Gezira state Mohamed Tahir Ayala as Prime minister.
Awad Ibnoufas was active in the coup which brought Bashir to power three decades ago, while Ayala has previously been regarded by the Sudanese leader as his potential successor as president.
Sudan parliamentary committee mandated with amending the Constitution to allow President Omar al-Bashir to run for another mandate informed it would indefinitely postpone a meeting to draft these changes, state news agency SUNA reports.
The decision comes amid almost daily street protests since mid-December, initially sparked by rising food prices and cash shortages, against Al-Bashir’s three decades rule.
Tanzania has launched a manhunt for suspects in the abduction and murder of up to 10 children in January in cases believed to be linked to witchcraft and black magic, the home affairs minister said.
Officials in the Njombe district in southern Tanzania told local media this week at least four dead bodies of missing children had been found abandoned near bushes with missing body parts, which are believed to be used in black magic rituals.
“Our preliminary investigations have established that these incidents are caused by superstitious beliefs,” Kangi Lugola told parliament, replying to a lawmaker who had demanded to know what the government was doing to stop the killings.
Superstition is deep-rooted among some communities in Tanzania. Albinos, who lack pigment in skin, eyes and hair, are among groups targeted by assailants who kill them or chop off their limbs.
MEPs strongly condemn the excessive use of force by the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) during the ongoing popular protests against price increases and President Omar al-Bashir’s regime. The Sudanese government recently decided to end subsidies on staple goods in response to aggravating inflation, which is now the second highest in the world at around 122 %.
The European Parliament also deplores the ongoing general repression by the authorities in Sudan, which continue to target activists and human rights defenders, as well as lawyers, teachers, students and doctors.
The resolution calls for the immediate and unconditional release of human rights lawyer and 2007 Sakharov Prize laureate Salih Mahmoud Osman, who was arrested on 8 January, as well as all other political prisoners currently in detention without charge or trial.
MEPs reiterate their demand to President al-Bashir to comply with international law in accordance with the conventions and treaties to which his government is party. The Sudanese President, in power for 29 years, is the only sitting head of stated wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide committed during his campaign of ethnic cleansing in Darfur. Although the Sudanese constitution does not permit him to stand again when his term ends, Mr al-Bashir is currently seeking to amend relevant articles in order to obtain a life mandate.
Sudan’s relevant authorities released Al Arabiya and Al Hadath correspondent Saad el-Din Hassan after he was summoned for questioning following his reporting of the recent protests in the country.
After his release, Hassan informed his followers on via his Twitter micro blog that his personal phone his press license were confiscated. He added that security officials ordered him to come back the following morning to complete the investigation.
However there are the other reports about jailed reporters, who vanished after arrests for coverage of the protests.