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Uganda: Minister, 16 Others Arrested For Smoking In Public

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Uganda: Minister, 16 Others Arrested For Smoking In Public

At least seventeen persons, including a South Sudan government official, were arrested in bars in Kampala and detained on Saturday for smoking tobacco in public places.

Police in Kampala said one of the suspects had introduced himself as a south Sudanese minister.  Police authorities said he had since been released after they ascertained his documents, but they did not say if the minister would be arraigned in court.  Experts believe he would not be arraigned, so Uganda would not ruin its diplomatic relations with South Sudan.

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Uganda’s tobacco control act of 2015 came into force in May 2016.  At least three persons have been convicted for smoking in public.

A police spokesperson says the other sixteen suspects from Saturday’s arrests would be arraigned on Monday.

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The act stipulates that anyone convicted of smoking or selling tobacco in a public area could be jailed for a year or fined, or both.

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Uganda: Police Steps Up Deployments To Stop More Cases Of FGM

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Uganda: Police Steps Up Deployments To Stop More Cases Of FGM

Authorities in Uganda’s Eastern Sebei region have reported an increase in cases of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), that is illegal in the country. Police say they have stepped up their deployments to stop any more cases.

Local leaders and activists say some FGM ceremonies are now happening in public in spite of the practice being illegal in Uganda. Most of the victims are believed to be married women in their 20s and 30s who face stigma for not having undergone the procedure.

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A non-governmental agency says there have been at least 12 women who have undergone public circumcision, although there have been many more suspected cases.

FGM was banned in Uganda in 2010 with those committing the act facing up to 10 years in prison. Campaigning by the government and activists has led to a reduction in the practice.

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But now some women, who did not undergo the procedure before marriage, are said to be facing social isolation and pressure to get circumcised.

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Security Officers Repulse Suspected Al-Shabaab Attack In Kenya

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Security Officers Repulse Suspected Al-Shabaab Attack In Kenya

Four more suspects named by Kenyan authorities as wanted following last week’s attack at the Dusitd2 complex in the capital, Nairobi, have surrendered. They reportedly handed themselves in at a police station in Isiolo, north-east of the capital.

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Kenyan police also said on Monday, they have thwarted an attack by suspected Somali militants Al Shabaab on a Chinese-owned construction company in an eastern region, days after the Islamist group killed 21 people in Nairobi.

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The assailants wounded one person while they attempted to hit the site in Garissa county, not far from the Kenyan-Somali border, owned by a Chinese road construction company that is building the Garissa-Modogashe highway.

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County Police Commander David Kerina says, the attackers were repulsed since the security officers were very alert.

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South Sudan Govt Sets To Repair Oil Wells Damaged During Civil War

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South Sudan Govt Set To Repair Oil Wells Damaged During Civil War

South Sudan says it has begun repairing and pumping oil from wells damaged during the civil war that broke out in 2013. Oil Minister Ezekiel Lul Gatkuoth says the move will boost production by 70, 000 barrels per day by the end of the year.

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The country gained independence from Sudan eight years ago, and currently produces 160,000 barrels per day.

Gatkuoth says wells are being repaired with the help of Sudan after production plunged to less than half of pre-war levels. South Sudan’s President Salva Kirr and rebel leader Riek Machar signed what they called the “final final” peace deal agreement to end the civil war in august last year. But it has not been fully implemented.

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