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World War II Veteran Promised A Cow Again

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In less than 12 hours after Taarifa published a lengthy article on the humble life of a World War II veteran and century-old Epimaque Ngashotsi, we have reliably learnt that area authorities visited this senior citizen and made other promises.

About two hours away from Rwanda’s capital Kigali to Gatsibo district, the Executive Secretaries for Kiziguro sector and Ndatemwa cell, accompanied by the official in charge of social affairs, visited Ngashotsi on Tuesday at his home in Kamamesa village. “They promised to get me a cow and build a kitchen for me- I am extremely happy and patiently waiting,” Ngashotsi told Taarifa.

Speaking exclusively to Taarifa on Sunday, Ngashotsi said he is listed among beneficiaries of direct financial support from the government but has failed to get this money except once when he received Rwf10,000.

Rwanda government supports the country’s poor households with a direct cash grant, a monthly stipend (inkunga y’ingoboka). Under this arrangement, a household with one person, for example, used to receive Rwf7, 500 ($9) but was later increased to Rwf19, 500 ($24) per month or Rwf234, 000 per year.

Ngashotsi told Taarifa that for the past six years, he has not received any cash yet he is a listed beneficiary.

Going by our calculation, government owes Ngashotsi  between Rwf 540,000 and Rwf 1,404,000 of direct financial support not delivered to him for the past six years.

The backyard is being encroached on by an overgrowth of the bush. The WWII veteran has been promised a cow and kitchen- he says will patiently wait

Panning around Ngashotsi’s home, there is no kitchen and a bush is quickly encroaching on his new house- a clear indication of a lack of means to fix his life. Food is cooked from a makeshift stove in the open as neighbours walk past.

Ngashotsi also complains that recently he was unfairly placed in Ubudehe category D of those that are self-reliant yet he is too old and very poor.

“I should be in the last level below,” he says, referring to Special Category (E) reserved for head of household and their spouse aged 65 years old and have no source of income to provide for the family.

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National

South Kivu Security Agents Trained On Human Rights

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A total of 91 officers from different security services in the province of South Kivu have completed training aimed at improving their scope and capacity on human rights, sexual violence, law and criminal procedure as well as on human rights of the arrested person.

The six-day training commenced on Monday and concluded on Saturday facilitated by the Joint United Nations Office (UNJHRO) and organized in collaboration with the Monusco Police, UNPOL.

Participants in this training came from the Judicial Police and the Congolese National Police (PNC), the National Intelligence Agency and the General Directorate of Migration (DGM).

Discussions during this training dwelt on matters related to the work of OPJ, especially on the pleadings they pose.

The trainees made some recommendations during the closing ceremony. These include: creating a mechanism to protect the OPJs from harassment by the military auditors; Facilitate the implementation of continuous refresher training; Establish a schedule of regular meetings and organize legal mornings and meetings with the hierarchical heads of the OPJs.

And finally, ensure regular monitoring of the impact of human rights training through grassroots consultation.

This training was triggered by several cases of denunciations which reached the UNJHRO office and the numerous visits to dungeons and amigos

With prosecutors, the UNJHRO reported on cases of arbitrary and unlawful arrests, failing to respect human rights and the person arrested in terms of pre-trial detention.

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National

Italy Demands For Answers On Assassination Of Envoy

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The Italian government has demanded for answers on the brutal assassination of its envoy that occurred in troubled Eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

On Monday, Italian Ambassador Luca Attanasio, his driver and his bodyguard were shot dead in Kibumba, in the North Kivu. They were part of a convoy of two World Food Program (WFP) vehicles.

The dynamics of the ambush are also being investigated by the Public Prosecutor of Rome. A team of our Carabinieri del Ros, delegated by the Prosecutor’s Office, has already flown to Goma for an initial investigative mission.

“We have formally asked the WFP and the UN to open an investigation that clarifies what happened, the reasons behind the safety device used and who was responsible for these decisions. We also explained that we expect clear and exhaustive answers as soon as possible,” Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said.

In an interview with Italian newspaper Il Messaggero, the diplomat’s widow claims that her husband was “betrayed” by “someone close”. Someone who “knew his whereabouts spoke, sold him and betrayed him,” she said, without giving further details.

Di Maio added, “We owe the truth first of all to our fallen. But the best way to honor the memory of Ambassador Luca Attanasio and Carabiniere Vittorio Iacovacci is also to continue to strengthen our political attention towards the African continent, in which Luca strongly believed, with passion and dedication.”

Luca Attanasio and Vittorio Iacovacci were shot dead, by two bullets each, in the fire fight between their attackers and the Congolese rangers, who intervened to rescue the Virunga forest.

These are the first results of the autopsies carried out at the Gemelli Polyclinic in Rome on the bodies of the ambassador and the carabiniere, killed Monday in an ambush in the DRC.

The first autopsy results therefore support the hypothesis of an attempted kidnapping that ended badly  and not of an attack aimed at killing – sent to the air by the unexpected arrival of the rangers.

However, they still don’t clarify which weapons the shots came from. In essence, it is not yet clear whether the two Italians were victims of friendly fire or not.

Attanasio was wounded in the abdomen, the blows pierced the body from left to right, without however leaving war residues: in fact both the entry and exit holes have been identified.

The diplomat, died an hour later in the hospital of the UN Monusco mission in Goma. Iacovacci, who instead died on the spot, was first hit by a shot in the hip area, then by a second shot that first touched the forearm, fracturing it, and then stopped at the base of the neck.

And this is where an AK-47 bullet, a Kalashnikov, was spotted. According to the government of Kinshasa – which accuses the Hutus of the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (Fdlr) of attempted kidnapping “for extortion purposes” – the six assailants were armed with “five Kalashnikovs and a machete”. But the same automatic rifles would also be supplied to the guards of the national park where the ambush took place.

For this reason, the Carabinieri del Ros, in Goma, intend to check the rangers’ weapons and compare them to the bullet found in Iacovacci’s body and to those found on the cars of the World Food Program convoy, attacked in the militia-infested North Kivu province.

The Congolese driver, Mustapha Milambo, was also killed in the ambush, while the other 4 members of the WFP, initially taken to the forest by the kidnappers together with the two Italians, are safe.

Kinshasa has instructed that all foreign diplomats present on the Congolese national territory are from now on obliged to report any movement within the country to the government.

The local authorities, in the hours following the attack, had made it known that they were unaware of the fact that Attanasio was in that area, and therefore that they could not protect him.

According to researcher Christoph Vogel, who has worked for the Conflict Research Program at the London School of Economics (United Kingdom) and Ghent University. (Belgium). In 2019, around 130 armed groups existed in Kivu alone, 122 were listed across the area (North Kivu, South Kivu, Ituri and Tanganyika) in 2020.

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CORONA VIRUS

Kagame Calls Rich Nations “Hypocrits”

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There is almost no COVID-19 vaccine left in stock for poor countries after wealthy nations ordered for billions of shots from the manufactures, World Health Organisation (WHO), said.

Reports say that wealthy nations ordered “enough shots to vaccinate their populations more than once” yet poor countries have not received enough or anything all.

President Kagame criticised the behaviour of rich countries and described it as a double standard.

“This is hypocrisy and double standards we have always talked about,” he said on Tuesday evening after WHO Director General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, expressed concerns that rich nations are undermining efforts to deal with the oandemic. This is, Kagame added, “Just one of the many and consequential examples.”

Manufacturers had signed a deal with the UN under a US$7.5 billion program funded by the G7 to extend jabs to vulnerable communities in the spirit of “affordable and equitable access to vaccines” and treatments for COVID-19.

However, it turns out, wealth nations, not yet mentioned, have purchased almost all the available vaccines in stock, and are hording the shots while the test of the world remain exposed to the virus.

Dr. Tedros has continues to rally world leaders to check their moral compass and insisted that the world faces a “catastrophic moral failure” if COVID-19 vaccines are not distributed fairly.”

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