Foreign News


Ugandans Blocked from Meeting Ituri Governor



Immigration officers at Tchomia landing site in Bunia district in the Democratic Republic of Congo blocked a delegation of Ugandans that was set to meet the Ituri provincial governor and Fisheries Minister on Thursday evening over the escalating attacks on Ugandan fishermen by suspected armed Congolese thugs.

The ten-member team led by Geofrey Kumakech, the Buseruka Sub county LC 5 Councilor arrived in Tchomia on Tuesday evening on the invitation of the Ituri provincial governor and was received by the immigration officers at Tchomia landing site.

The Ugandan delegation had been authorized and cleared by the Hoima Resident District Commissioner, John Stephen Ekoom to meet the Ituri provincial governor and the Fisheries minister to discuss how they can restore harmony on Lake Albert waters and how Ugandan fishermen could retrieve their fishing gear from DRC.

However, the Tchomia Immigration Officers denied the Ugandan delegation travel document to allow them to proceed to meet the provincial governor and Fisheries Minister. The Ugandans together with fisheries authorities and the immigration officers convened a crisis meeting at Tchomia landing site on Thursday evening that ended prematurely without getting a solution to the robberies on Lake Albert.

Paul Asiimwe, a Fisheries officer at Tchomia landing site, says that the Congolese Fisheries minister directed them not to clear the team to meet the Governor, saying it is the Hoima Resident district Commissioner who should meet the Governor.

Robert Mujuni, a representative of the affected Ugandan fishermen who was part of the delegation reveals that the Ituri provincial Governor invited them through the Hoima RDC and that is why the RDC gave them a clearance letter to allow meet the Governor since he had already communicated with the Governor.

He says it was a great disappointment for the delegation since the intended meeting was aimed at resolving endless attacks by suspected Congolese armed gangs on Ugandan fishermen.

Munjuni wonders why it is only fishing gear belonging to Ugandan fishermen that are being confiscated yet that of their Congolese counterparts isn't affected. He calls for immediate government intervention to ensure that their fear gear is returned.

Gilbert Tumwesige, another fisherman who was part of the Ugandan delegation, says it is unbelievable that they were bounced yet they had been invited by the provincial Governor.

The Hoima Resident District Commissioner hasn't yet commented as he couldn't be reached by the time of filing this story.

Ugandan fishermen attached to Kaiso,Kyehoro, Kijangi, Fofo and Sebigoro landing sites are currently demanding for a return of ten boat engines, twelve fishing nets and two boats that were impounded by the Congolese in July this year.


Uber has 'no plans' test flying taxis in Keny




Disappointing news for Nairobi road users who were hoping to avoid the traffic: the ride-hailing app Uber has denied reports it plans to test flying taxis in Kenya.

The US-based company - which has more than 360,000 regular users in Kenya at last count - was reported to be seeking a licence to test the four-seater drones by the Nairobi News.

The newspaper quotes Kenya Civil Aviation Authority head Gilbert Kibe as saying Uber bosses had "requested" permission to use the cars.

But Samantha Allenberg, spokeswoman for Uber Africa, dashed dreams of cars flying over the capital any time soon.

“We have no plans to introduce drones,” she told news outlet Bloomberg over the phone.


Rebels leave defeated Eastern Ghouta town




Syrian rebels and their families have begun leaving a key town in the besieged Eastern Ghouta area as part of an evacuation deal with the government.

State media said 88 rebels and 459 civilians had gone from Harasta so far.

Some 1,500 fighters from the Ahrar al-Sham faction and 6,000 civilians are to be transported from Harasta to the northern rebel-held province of Idlib.

The evacuation deal is the first agreed since pro-government forces stepped up an assault on the enclave a month ago.

A monitoring group says air and artillery strikes have killed 1,500 civilians, while at least 50,000 others have fled the siege on foot in recent days.

The exodus came after soldiers and allied militiamen drove rebel forces out of about 70% of the region, cutting it into three pockets - one of them around Harasta.

The implementation of the evacuation deal, which was brokered by the government's ally Russia, began on Thursday morning with a prisoner exchange.

State TV reported that 13 people held by the rebels were freed. It interviewed a soldier among them, who thanked God and the army for his release.



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