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DRC Rebel Ntaganda Is Guilty – ICC Prosecutors

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Ntaganda

Evidence presented at the International Criminal Court trial of a rebel leader known as “The Terminator” proves his guilt on all 18 charges he faces for his alleged role in deadly attacks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, prosecutors told judges on Tuesday in their closing statement.

Rebel militia leader Bosco Ntaganda insists he is innocent of the charges, which include murder, rape and using child soldiers during attacks in the mineral-rich Ituri region of eastern DRC in 2002-2003. He faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment if convicted.

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Lawyers citing witness testimony from his trial, which has been underway for nearly three years, said Ntaganda was a powerful military commander who set an example for his troops to follow, including by murdering civilians.

Senior trial lawyer Nicole Samson told judges that “the overwhelming weight of credible evidence in this case leaves no reasonable doubt that Bosco Ntaganda is guilty of counts one through 18 with which he is charged.”

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Ntaganda was first indicted in 2006, and was for years a symbol of impunity in Africa, once even serving as a general in DRC’s army before finally turning himself in in 2013 as his powerbase crumbled.

Prosecutors allege that he used child soldiers both as personal guards and sent them into battle, even buying small-sized boots for the underage soldiers.

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Ntaganda testified in his own defence at trial, telling judges that he was a professional soldier who sought to protect civilians, not attack them.

However, prosecutors used elements of Ntaganda’s testimony against him on Tuesday.

Lawyer Eric Iverson said that Ntaganda “by his own testimony, knew of the crimes committed” by forces under his command and failed to prevent, punish or investigate them.

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African News

Morocco: Teachers Protest Over Poor Working Conditions

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Morocco: Teachers Protest Over Poor Working Condition

More than ten thousand Moroccan teachers have staged a new protest in the capital, Rabat, on Sunday to demand better working conditions.  This followed another demonstration that was broken up by police.

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These nationwide teacher strikes in Morocco have continued for three weeks and have drawn at least seventy-thousand public school teachers, marching across the country to protest against a new teacher employment contract they see as an attack on their rights and financial security.

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Their demands include legal due process for teachers facing dismissal, protection of the right to strike, periodic pay increases, increased teacher training, improved student transport and construction of more schools.

READ:  Worsening Ebola Crisis Leaves UN Security Council With Few Options

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African News

Cyclone Idai: Cases Of Cholera Reported In Storm-Hit Areas

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Cyclone Idai: Cases Of Cholera Reported In Hit Areas

Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe were hit last week by one of the biggest and most aggressive cyclones ever recorded in the Southern African region.  It took the storm a few hours to kill hundreds, topple homes, uproot trees and leave scores of residents submerged in water.

READ:  Top DRC Court Excludes Bemba From Presidential Race

Mozambique’s third largest city, Beira, received the largest share of the devastation.  The Port City was turned upside down.  The extent of the devastation is massive, and the city is still primarily without electricity, running water and mobile phone service.

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Relief organizations, including the international federation of the red cross and red crescent societies, say some cases of cholera had already been reported.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe storm victims now face grief and hunger.  The country’s entertainment stars have organized a concert to raise funds to help victims.  There is growing fear of starvation in communities that have been cut off by smashed bridges or destroyed roads.

READ:  South African Sea Snails Under Threat From Surge In Poaching - Report

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UN says Death Toll From Massacre In Mali Now Up To 134

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United Nations says Death Toll From Massacre In Mali Now 134

The United Nations says death toll from massacre in a village in Mali has risen to 134.

An ethnic Dogon militia, already blamed for scores of attacks in central Mali over the past year, is said to have attacked an ethnic village just before dawn on Saturday. The militia accused the ethnic community of having ties to jihadist groups.

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A visiting UN representative said in Bamako the killings are an “unspeakable attack.”  Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General, Antonio Gutterres condemned the attack and called on Malian authorities to swiftly investigate and bring perpetrators to justice.

READ:  Worsening Ebola Crisis Leaves UN Security Council With Few Options

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