DAR ES SALAAM
Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian
authorities on Wednesday appealed to authorities in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to help release its 21
nationals abducted late last month by Mai Mai rebels in the
jungles of the vast central African nation.
The Tanzanian truck
drivers were kidnapped on June 29 along with three Kenyan
They were abducted
at Lulimba area, 100 km away from Baraka town in South Kivu,
while heading to Namoya Gold Mine in Mainiema Province. The
rebels also took away their property.
Mindi Kasiga, Head
of Communications Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and East African Cooperation, said despite the fact that the
drivers had been set free yet they were still in difficult
situation since they could not move unaccompanied from the area.
“The drivers have
been set free by the rebels but they are in some way unsafe.
They are unable to move from the area because they don’t have
logistics such as money and they are also worrying about their
safety,” said Kasiga.
She added: “The
government is doing all it could to ensure all the Tanzanian
drivers are rescued safely.”
She said the rebels
attacked the trucks which were under the escort of the Armed
Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC), taking
all property which was in the trucks after an intensive fire
exchange with the FARDC officers.
Kasiga said the
Tanzanian government through its embassy in the DRC was
communicating with the DRC government to see how they could
rescue the trapped drivers.
Tanzanians specifically truck drivers and business people to
suspend their travels or seek travel advice before embarking on
such trips to known risky areas around the world, including the
In September last
year DRC’s Mai Mai rebels torched four Tanzanian trucks and
abducted eight drivers at Namoyo, South Kivu.
Establishment of joint water
Rwanda, DRC, Burundi delayed over funding
KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) --
Establishing a permanent water authority for Lake
Kivu and River Rusizi shared by Rwanda, DR Congo and Burundi
will have to wait until member states pay their financial
contribution, senior officials said Thursday.
The decision was
made after environment ministers from DR Congo and Rwanda met in
Kigali. They reached a joint resolution, urging member states to
accelerate their payment to facilitate the setup of the
The three African
countries agreed in 2011 to create a water resources authority
for Basin of Lake Kivu and River Rusizi within the framework of
regional cooperation, with each member states contributing
251,000 euros (280,000 U.S. dollars) to fund it.
The joint management
is expected to prevent water pollution, encroachment by farmers
and depletion, as well as monitor activities such as
hydro-electricity exploitation, gas and petroleum exploitation
and fishing, among others, officials said.
So far, only Rwanda
has paid its part. Vincent Biruta, Rwanda’s minister of natural
resources and head of the council of ministers, called on member
states to inject new impetus to raise the money.
“We have resolved
that countries are going to accelerate the payment of
arrears...there is need for ways to sustainably exploit shared
water resources by protecting the water bodies,” Biruta said.
DR Congo’s Minister
of Environment Amy Ambatobe Nyongolo reaffirmed his country’s
commitment to the project despite the arrears.
The meeting also
decided to inform Burundi, whose minister was absent, of the new
drive to meet its financial obligations.
WHO declares end of Ebola
outbreak in DRC
GENEVA Switzerland (Xinhua) --
The most recent outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD)
in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is over, after four
people died and another four survived the disease, the World
Health Organization (WHO) said on Sunday.
This is DRC’s eighth
outbreak of EVD since the discovery of the virus in the country
in 1976. The WHO announcement came 42 days after the last
confirmed Ebola patient in the affected Bas-Uele province, in
northern DRC, tested negative for the disease for the second
The outbreak has
caused four deaths, while a total of 583 contacts were
registered and closely monitored, but no known contacts
developed signs or symptoms of EVD.
“With the end of
this epidemic, DRC has once again proved to the world that we
can control the very deadly Ebola virus if we respond early in a
coordinated and efficient way,” said WHO Director-General Dr
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
On May 11 2017, WHO
was notified by the Ministry of Public Health of the virus among
a cluster of undiagnosed illnesses and deaths with haemorrhagic
signs in Likati Health Zone. Likati is a remote, hard to reach
area, bordering with the Central African Republic and two other
provinces of the DRC. EVD cases were reported in four health
The WHO Health
Emergencies Program offered coordination support on the ground
within 24 hours of the outbreak being announced, and deployed
more than 50 experts to work closely with government and
partners, we are committed to continuing support to the
government of DRC to strengthen the health system and improve
healthcare delivery and preparedness at all levels,” said Dr
Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.
The WHO said
enhanced surveillance in the country will continue, as well as
strengthening of preparedness and readiness for Ebola outbreaks.
Zambia plans local integration
of DRC refugees
LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) --
Zambian President Edgar Lungu said on Friday that
his government was considering extending a local integration
program to refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Lungu said the
government will extend the local integration program to DRC
refugees who have lived in Zambia for 10 years or more.
The Zambian leader
said this during his intervention statement at the Uganda
Solidarity Summit on Refugees in Kampala, according to a
statement released by his office.
The Zambian leader
however did not state when the integration program for DRC
refugees will commence.
Lungu left for
Uganda on Thursday to attend the summit being hosted by Ugandan
President Yoweri Museveni and United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees (UNHCR) Secretary-General Filippo Grandi.
In 2012, Zambia
started the implementation of the local integration program for
former refugees from Angola and Rwanda, in which it targeted the
integration of 10,000 former Angolan refugees and 4,000 former
government figures, a total of 1,214 resident permits have so
far been issued to former Angolan and Rwandan refugees while
13,000 applications were currently being processed.
Lungu told the
summit that the local integration program has been designed to
mirror the co-existence and good neighborliness that have been
the hallmarks of Zambia’s asylum policy.
He further commended
the UNHCR office in Zambia for the unwavering support in the
local integration program through infrastructure development.
has 59,213 refugees though the figure had reached 300,000 at one