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Tanzanian government dismisses Maasai evictions report
The Tanzanian government has dismissed allegations that it is involved in human rights violations against the indigenous Maasai people in favour of wealthy players in the tourism industry.
A report by an independent American policy think tank, the Oakland Institute, released on Thursday, alleged that the government has been using conservation laws to violently evict Maasai people from their ancestral pastures to make way for wealthy foreigners to look at wildlife.
A statement by the ministry of natural resources says the allegations are misleading, baseless and only aiming to tarnish the government’s image.
It points out that the contested piece of land is strategic because it is where the annual wildebeest migration takes place and contains key water sources for other wildlife.
It is for that reason, the statement says, the government enacted the conservation laws to conserve and protect the ecosystems.
The report by the Oakland Institute carries testimonies from the indigenous Maasai people accusing foreign companies of denying them access to their ancestral land and key water sources and co-opting local police in the beating and arresting them.
400,000 children face starvation in DRC
Some 400,000 children are at risk of starving to death in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the United Nations says.
Thousands of families in the Kasai region fled to the bush, where they stayed for months, short of food and water, many have already died.
The Kasai region, once one of the most prosperous and peaceful in DR Congo, descended into violence in 2016.
Long-simmering resentment exploded into rebellion against the government.
In December 2017, the UN declared the crisis in DR Congo as the highest level of emergency – the same as Yemen, Syria and Iraq.
WHO to send Ebola vaccines to DRC
The World Health Organization is planning to send Ebola vaccines to the town of Bikoro in north-western Democratic Republic of Congo, which is grappling with an outbreak of the deadly virus, news agency Reuters reports, quoting a top official.
WHO Deputy Director-General of Emergency Preparedness and Response Peter Salama said the organisation was “preparing for the worst-case scenario”.
This outbreak started back in December, about 20 miles from Bikoro, in Equateur province.
At least two people have tested positive for the virus since and at least five others, including two nurses, have possibly been infected and are being monitored.
Mr Salama said he hoped DR Congo authorities will approve the deployment of an experimental vaccine, but warned that the drug was not a magic bullet.
The WHO says neighbouring countries have been alerted about the outbreak but that the risk of the disease spreading was “moderate”.

Business highlights

Reservoir next to Patel dam to be drained
Two reservoirs neighboring the killer Patel dam in Nakuru County will be drained, the government has said.
Water Resources Management Authority (Warma) said experts will pump water from the two dams to avoid further disaster following the Wednesday night tragedy that left at least 44 people dead after Patel Dam burst its banks, sweeping away homes in the dead of the night.
“A technical team of engineers did an inspection of the dams on Thursday evening and handed over a report to the authorities. Action will be conducted today,” said Rift Valley regional coordinator Mongo Chimwaga.
NSSF now top pension fund
The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has clinched the top spot among pension funds after its total assets grew 17 per cent to hit Sh196.9 billion in the six months to June 2017.
“The total assets held by NSSF rose by Sh28.39 billion in June 2017 from Sh168.49 billion in December 2016 representing a 16.84 per cent growth in the total fund…the overall portfolio is heavily invested in government securities, quoted securities and immovable property at 37 per cent, 27.14 per cent and 21.34 per cent, respectively,” said Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA) in the June 2017 pensions industry report.
All set for Kenya’s satellite ‘lift off’
People have gathered at an auditorium in Kenya’s University of Nairobi to watch the live launch of a locally-assembled satellite to space.
The 10cm cube satellite described as a nano-satellite was built by funds from Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
Japan provided the $1m (£720,000) funding and the platform for construction but it was Kenyan hands that did the building.
The satellite will be used observe farming trends and to monitor the country’s coastline.
It will be deployed from the International Space Station by JAXA.

Sports highlights

Wayne Rooney has not asked to leave Everton for DC United – Sam Allardyce
Wayne Rooney has not asked to leave Everton, says manager Sam Allardyce – despite the striker agreeing a deal that could see him move to the USA.
Representatives of the former England captain, 32, have negotiated terms with Major League Soccer side DC United.
Rooney has not signed anything yet, but it is thought he is willing to leave his boyhood club after one season back.
“If the player wants to go – if any player wants to leave – then I’m comfortable with that,” said Allardyce.
Rooney rejoined Everton in July 2017 and scored 11 goals before Christmas but has not been an automatic pick for Allardyce in recent weeks.
The forward originally left the Toffees as an 18-year-old in 2004, spending 13 seasons at Manchester United where he became their record goalscorer, won five Premier League titles and the 2008 Champions League.
It is understood Rooney has been offered a contract until the end of the 2020 MLS season. The US transfer window does not open until July.
England World Cup squad: Gareth Southgate to name Russia 2018 players next week
England manager Gareth Southgate will announce his 23-man squad for the World Cup in Russia on Wednesday, 16 May.
England start their Group G campaign against Tunisia on 18 June, before games against Panama on 24 June and Belgium on 28 June.
Southgate’s side were unbeaten in winning their qualifying group, with eight wins and two draws.
They will play Nigeria on 2 June and Costa Rica on 7 June in home friendlies before leaving for Russia.
Southgate is unable to call up Liverpool pair Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, who have been ruled out through injury.
Under Southgate’s predecessor, Roy Hodgson, England were eliminated at the group stage of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and lost to last-16 opponents Iceland at Euro 2016 in France.
Cantona to return to United for charity
Manchester United and France legend Eric Cantona is to return to Old Trafford in June.
He’ll be playing at Manchester United’s stadium as part of the Soccer Aid charity football match for Unicef.
The 51-year-old says: “There is no place like home. Knowing I am coming back to Old Trafford is a special feeling.”
He joins a host of famous faces including Usain Bolt, Sir Mo Farah, Olly Murs and Gordon Ramsay.
Footballing giant Cantona will play for a World XI made up of ex-footballers and celebs, captained by Usain Bolt. It will be the first time he’s played there since 2001.

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