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Death Penalty for Cowardice Against M23 Rebels for DR Congo Soldiers



Seven soldiers were found guilty of murder and cowardice in the face of the enemy by a court in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s east. They were all given the death penalty.

They were discovered to have run from approaching M23 rebels, escaping through Sake, where they killed two villagers with careless gunfire.

Their attorneys want to appeal.

Three further troops were found guilty of cowardice and given the death penalty in November.

Death sentences in the DR Congo are changed to life in prison.

Tens of thousands of people have been forced from their homes as a result of fighting in the mineral-rich North Kivu region, despite the Pope’s ardent pleas for peace during his visit to the nation last week.

“Hands off the Democratic Republic of the Congo! Hands off Africa! Stop choking Africa, it is not a mine to be stripped or a terrain to be plundered,” Pope Francis said at a Mass in the capital Kinshasa, estimated to have been attended by a million people.

Since gaining independence in the 1960s, the DR Congo has seen constant violence. The struggle to control the country’s natural wealth and ethnic strife have motivated some.

The UN and the regional force in East Africa have drawn criticism from the general population for their inability to prevent the M23 rebels from taking vast areas of North Kivu.

Rwanda denies the accusation that it supports the rebels, which is made by the DR Congo, the US, and UN experts.

Since a long time ago, Rwanda has criticized the Congolese government for failing to disarm Hutu rebels, some of whom were responsible for the genocide in Rwanda in 1994.

World News

11 found dead, 12 missing after Indonesia’s Marapi volcano erupts




Marapi volcano

At least 11 climbers were found dead in Indonesia on Monday following the eruption of the Mount Marapi volcano in West Sumatra, according to a rescue official. Meanwhile, the search for the 12 missing climbers was temporarily suspended due to safety concerns.

According to Jodi Haryawan, a spokesman for the search and rescue team, three survivors and the remains of the 11 climbers — among the 75 people in the region at the time of Sunday’s eruption — were discovered on Monday. The 2,891-meter (9,485-foot)-tall volcano erupted on Sunday, shooting ash up to 3 kilometers into the sky.

Following the eruption, authorities issued a second-highest level alert and restricted residents from within 3km of a crater due to a massive cloud of volcanic ash and ash-covered cars and roads. A small eruption on Monday prompted the search to be suspended, Jodi said.

“It’s too dangerous if we continue searching now,” he said. There were 49 climbers evacuated from the area earlier Monday and many were being treated for burns, he said. Mount Marapi is one of the most active volcanoes on Sumatra Island and its most deadly eruption was in April 1979, when 60 people died, Reuters reported.

This year, it erupted between January and February and was spewing ash around 75 metres-1,000 meters from the peak. Indonesia sits on the Pacific’s so-called “Ring of Fire” and has 127 active volcanoes, according to the volcanology agency.

Source: SABC

In other news – Photos: A look into radio presenter Khutso Theledi’s lobola negotiations

What a wedding celebration weekend for some well-known South African media personalities.

A look into radio presenter Khutso Theledi's lobola negotiations

Congratulatory messages were the order of the day as multi-award-winning Radio presenter Khutso Theledi and gospel singer. Read more

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World News

WHO board to hold emergency meeting on Gaza health situation





The World Health Organisation’s executive board will hold a rare emergency session on December 10 to discuss the health crisis in Gaza and the West Bank, with the Palestinian envoy seeking more medical aid and access for foreign healthcare workers. The WHO confirmed on Monday it had received a request from15 countries to hold the session, which will be convened by Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in consultation with the Qatari chair.

The Palestinian ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Ibrahim Khraishi, said the meeting would focus mostly on Gaza, engulfed by war between its Hamas rulers and Israel, but also cover attacks on the health sector in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

“We want to empower the WHO and call for the Israeli side not to target the medical sector. We want to allow for fresh medical supplies,” he told Reuters, adding that his diplomatic mission was drafting a motion to be reviewed by the board. “One idea is to send more doctors in from around the world,” he added, saying many countries had offered.

The “Occupied Palestinian Territory” is a WHO observer rather than a member state but has influence in the organisation through supporters.

Israel said the session was an example of the “double standards and disproportionate attention towards Israel in the multilateral arena”. Only a fraction of Gaza’s hospitals remain operational due to Israeli bombings and a lack of fuel, and those that are still functioning are increasingly overwhelmed by a new wave of wounded arriving.

Source: SABC

In other news – David Beckham embarks on new humanitarian campaign

David Beckham has lent his voice to support the fight against malaria for many years through his role on the Malaria No More UK Leadership Council.

The football star recently shared the Change the Story campaign video from Zero Malaria on his Instagram to raise further awareness. As a founding council member since 2009, Beckham is dedicated to elevating the issue through his platform. Read more

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