The UN senior envoy in Somalia on Monday called on the government to enhance the fight against corruption which is an obstacle to development and erodes public trust.
James Swan, special representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia welcomed the country's progress in strengthening the rule of law and building accountable and transparent institutions and underlined the importance of continuing to work on these areas.
"Corruption is a major obstacle to development. It undermines efforts toward state-building, peace and reconciliation. It erodes public trust and weakens state institutions' ability to deliver to their people," Swan said in a statement issued to mark the International Anti-Corruption Day.
He said the UN is very encouraged by the recent signing into law by President Mohamed Farmajo of the bill on the establishment of the anti-corruption commission and the elaboration of the national anti-corruption strategy. "These are commendable steps forward for Somalia," said the UN envoy.
He said a key instrument to sustain, manage and track countries' fight against corruption is the UN Convention against Corruption, the world's only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument. According to Swan, although Somalia is yet to sign and ratify the Convention, the UN welcomes steps that are being taken towards this goal, such as the progress with the anti-corruption commission and the anti-corruption strategy.
He said the UN system has established an anti-corruption platform with international financial institutions and other development partners to provide technical and advisory services to Somalia in its efforts to curb corruption.
Other UN programs mobilize resources to support the country's anti-corruption efforts across the country, Swan said, centered on institutions and awareness-raising and on the judicial aspects of anti-corruption, such as criminalization and law enforcement, international cooperation and assets recovery in line with the Convention.
At least 96 people were killed and 90 others were wounded by wild animals that raided farms and residential areas in Tanzania from July 2018 to July 2019, a senior official revealed on Sunday.
Adolf Mkenda, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, said the number of people killed and wounded by wild animals was on increase compared to previous years.
Speaking at a meeting held in the Lake Victoria shore city of Mwanza to discuss best ways of controlling human-wildlife conflicts, Mkenda said wild animals killed 39 people and wounded 37 others from July 2017 to July 2018 across the country.
He mentioned elephants, lions, hippos and crocodiles as the leading killers, adding that during the 2018-2019, the animals destroyed 13,644 hectares of farm crops compared to 637 hectares of farm crops destroyed in 2017-2018.
The official said most of the victims were killed by animals who invaded residential areas and others were killed after they had encroached wildlife corridors.
"The successful anti-poaching drive has resulted in on an increase of animals like elephants that are now invading farms and residential areas, wreaking havoc to villagers," said Mkenda.
He said the government was taking measures aimed at ensuring that villagers living adjacent to game reserves would not be attacked by wildlife.
Meurus Msuha, the Director of Wildlife in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, said the meeting that brought together wildlife conservation experts and stakeholders in wildlife was aimed at finding best ways of minimizing human-wildlife conflicts.
At least 26 people have been killed in floods unleashed by heavy rains in different parts of Uganda, the Red Cross said on Monday as authorities urged people in affected areas to relocate.
Seventeen flooding deaths have been confirmed in the western district of Bundibugyo. Another nine people have died in the mountainous districts of Sironko and Bududa in the east, where residents also face mudslides that can destroy entire enclaves, said Irene Nakasiita, a spokeswoman for the Uganda Red Cross.
Ugandan government officials have acknowledged the continuing threat from flooding and say relief is forthcoming to affected areas. Residents are being urged to move away from areas where rivers and streams have burst their banks.
More than 6,000 people have been displaced in Bududa, a rugged area in the foothills of Mount Elgon where mudslides have killed hundreds of people over the years. Some there have resisted the government's attempts to have them relocated to lowlands elsewhere, saying they find it hard to vacate their ancestral lands.
"The risk of more flooding and landslides is real," Musa Ecweru, the government minister in charge of disasters, said in a statement Thursday.
Hundreds of acres of plantations have been destroyed and an unknown number of livestock lost in the flooding and mudslides in Bududa and Sironko, Eweru said.
In March 2010 at least 100 people died in mudslides in Bududa, and injuries or deaths have been reported every year since then during the wet season.
Death toll from a building which collapsed in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi on Friday rose to ten on Sunday after four more bodies were recovered during the ongoing search and rescue operations.
Nairobi regional police commander Philip Ndolo said the four bodies include two children and a male adult while another victim succumbed to injuries in hospital.
"So far, I can confirm ten bodies have been retrieved from the debris," Ndolo told Xinhua on phone.
He said the recovery teams also managed to rescue two survivors bringing the number of those rescued to 35, noting 11 people remain unaccounted for amid fears they are still trapped inside the six-story building.
A multi-agency rescue team is continuing to drill through the layers of concrete slab and shells of the story stacked on each other.
James Wanyoike, Nairobi county assistant commissioner said the team expects the operation to be completed on Monday depending on the weather conditions.
Wanyoike said the rescue operation has been made more difficult, because of the people still trapped within the debris. "We expect to complete the operations on Monday if the weather will be fine," he said.
The administrator said that they will not leave the site until they complete the search of all the floors, adding that five floors had been covered in the operation leaving only one slab.
"If rains do not interfere with the operations then we will hopefully be done with the job on Monday," Wanyoike said.
Experts say the East African nation has a vibrant construction industry that has become a huge boost to the East African nation's real estate sector, with hundreds of houses being put up across the country each day.
However, as the sector booms, the increased collapse of houses, especially during rainy seasons, points to the weaknesses in the industry, according to experts.
The South Sudan government said on Friday the crucial divisive and contentious issue of the number of states with the opposition will be resolved through referendum vote amid fears that it could scuttle the fragile peace deal.
Martin Elia Lomoro, minister of cabinet affairs revealed that the country risks reversing the nascent gains it is enjoying in the wake of signing the revitalized peace deal in September 2018 with the armed opposition if it reverted to the 10 states from the current 32 states decreed by President Salva Kiir in 2015.
"The government and one group of the opposition umbrella support the 32 states on the ground that dissolving them will cause crises or insecurity that will dismantle the stability of the country and the implementation of the peace process," Lomoro told journalists in Juba after the weekly cabinet meeting.
He disclosed that President Salva Kiir was deeply concerned about the issue of reverting to the 10 states favored by the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-in-Opposition led by former First Vice President Riek Machar.
Lomoro also said that the issue of determining the number of states and their boundaries which is among the sticky outstanding issues including the security arrangements can only be resolved through a referendum vote.
The former warring parties on Tuesday met in Juba under the mediation of South African deputy president David Mabuza, and Ismail Wais, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) special envoy to South Sudan but failed to agree on the issue.
The warring parties failed to form the transitional unity government in May citing these unresolved issues and later on agreed to a six-month extension which later on passed on without tangible progress.
President Kiir and rebel leader Machar on Nov. 12 met again in Uganda in the presence of Ugandan leader Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, head of the Sudan Transitional Council and agreed to extend the pre-transitional period for another 100 days before forming the much-awaited transitional unity government by February 2020.
The communique signed by both parties after the meeting disclosed that they will review progress after 50 days of the peace implementation process.
South Sudan descended into conflict in December 2013 after Kiir sacked his deputy Machar, leading to fighting between soldiers loyal to respective leaders.