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Islamic state claimed responsibility for a bomb attack that killed at least one person in Uganda's capital Kampala on Saturday night, the militant group said in a statement posted in an affiliated Telegram channel late on Sunday.

The group said that some of its members detonated an explosive device in a bar where "members and spies of the Crusader Ugandan government were gathering" in Kampala.

 

The bomb, packed with nails and shrapnel, targeted a pork restaurant on the outskirts of the capital, police said on Sunday. read more

Information gathered indicated that three men, disguised as customers, visited the restaurant, placed a polythene bag under a table and left moments before the explosion, police said.

The explosion killed a 20-year-old waitress and injured three people, two of whom were in critical condition, police said, adding all indications suggest an act of domestic terror.

President Yoweri Museveni said the attack "seems to be a terrorist act".

In 2010, the Somali Islamist militant group al Shabaab killed dozens of people in Kampala in a bomb attack, saying it was punishing Uganda for deploying troops in Somalia.

Reporting by Mahmoud Mourad; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Michael Perry, Reuters

Police secure a road leading to the scene of an explosion in the Komamboga suburb of the capital Kampala, Uganda Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. Photo by Nicholas Bamulanzeki via CFP

 

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said on Sunday the blast that killed at least one person and injured seven others in the capital Kampala on Saturday appears to have been a "terrorist act."

"It seems to be a terrorist act but we shall get the perpetrators," he said on Twitter.

"The Police Specialists are on the ground investigating the whole incident. They will give us more information later. They will also give guidelines on vigilance by the Public dealing with these possible terrorists."

The explosion that occurred at Digida Pork Joint, a local restaurant, left revelers in shock, with videos shared on social media showing police officers at the scene soon after.

Last week, the United Kingdom and France issued advisories warning their citizens of a likely attack.

The Ugandan police have asked the public to remain calm, as investigations continue to establish the circumstances surrounding the incident.

President Museveni echoed this call, urging Ugandans not to fear.

"The public should not fear, we shall defeat this criminality like we have defeated all the other criminality committed by the pigs who don't respect life," he Tweeted. - CGTN

Kenya Airways’ (KQ) customers can now fly to more destinations across Europe, thanks to a new codeshare agreement between KQ and British Airways. Customers can book flights to these destinations starting 22nd October, 2021.

Travellers flying from Nairobi with Kenya Airways will be able to connect onto 26 destinations across the United Kingdom and Europe. These include Manchester, Newcastle, Glasgow, Dublin, Aberdeen, Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Paris, Amsterdam and Barcelona. Travellers will also have more options to visit popular holiday destinations; Athens, Malaga and Lisbon.

In the reciprocal agreement, customers flying with British Airways from London, will also be able to connect to 20 destinations that KQ operates in. These include Douala, Zanzibar, Lusaka, Mombasa, Addis Ababa, Entebbe across East and Central Africa, Mauritius and Seychelles.

Additionally, British Airways’ Executive Club members will be able to earn Avios and tier points when flying on eligible codeshare routes operated by Kenya Airways.

Kenya Airways currently offers five flights a week from Nairobi to London Heathrow, every day except Wednesdays and Fridays, operated on the flagship Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

Likewise, British Airways recently resumed direct flights from London to Nairobi.

Speaking on the additional destinations, Julius Thairu, Chief Commercial and Customer Officer at Kenya Airways said, “The codeshare agreement with British Airways to provide our travellers with a seamless journey to and from Europe and Africa is very strategic. It will increase choices for thousands of passengers and will allow for smooth connectivity to a significant number of new destinations – particularly throughout Africa and Europe. By harnessing our complementary strengths, it will also provide benefits to aid the recovery of international travel and meet the increasing demand.”

On his part, Christopher Fordyce, British Airways’ Head of Alliances said, “After a difficult 20 months with global travel restrictions, it’s fantastic to see travel between the UK and Africa resuming. We are really pleased to be able to offer our customers access to even more destinations across the region thanks to our new codeshare agreement with Kenya Airways, making that bucket list trip even easier to plan.” By Grace Matheka, Hapa Kenya

Photo Anadolu Agency

 

South Sudanese musicians have abandoned the music industry and joined other professions to survive, as entertainment jobs have been hit hard by the coronavirus conflict, and flooding.

Dozens of musicians have abandoned their profession to get money to cover expenses instead of remaining in the music industry and facing the prospect of bare cupboards.

Lado James, who has been a musician for a decade, is among those who switched jobs. He told Anadolu Agency he abandoned music, for now, because the business is not doing well due to the virus and conflict in the country.

He said before the virus, he had shows where he would get money but now it is difficult to organize a show because places are too expensive compared to the pre-pandemic days.

“It’s not easy now to organize a show. The government will tell you to adhere to all the protocols of COVID-19, like to provide water tankers for hand washing, buying soap and facemasks,” he said. “All those are too expensive for me to buy such that I have a show and I don’t know what I am going to get from there.”

James, who became a businessman, said he will go back to music if the pandemic and conflict are wiped away and shows are allowed without restrictions.

He said the money he has now will not be wasted on music but used to feed his family.

James said before the pandemic he could record a song for cheap, like $10 each. But studios have become very expensive --recording one song for $100.

“If I get that $100, I won't waste it on recording songs. I'll give it to my family to buy food,” he said.


COVID restrictions

Before restrictions on nightclubs were enacted in South Sudan as part of preventive measures against the virus and security-related issues, James was earning $300-600 per week performing at parties and weddings.

But he said not only the virus has affected his music earnings, conflict and flooding have made it worse.

James said those who are in the capital, Juba, cannot travel to perform because of the security situation that does not allow people to get together at nightclubs in some areas and other places there is flooding so there is nowhere to organize a show.

Mawien Ariik, 30, a musician, said he opened a business and is using it to fund his music because there is nothing now from music.

He said the virus has affected the industry – no functions to perform to get money and musicians now are using other resources they have somewhere to record songs.

He said he still works as a musician but is not very active but is busy doing other work to feed his family and producing songs although the market is down.

One female musician who called herself A. Wilson said nobody is calling performers to perform at shows to get money.

“What I have realized is that people do not have money in the country – no weddings, birthdays, or other functions taking place and this is where we get money when there are many functions,” said Wilson, who decided to leave the business to become a nurse.

“I'm a nurse by profession. I have a higher certificate in midwifery. Now, I am back to a hospital to save my people than waste my time on music which is not benefiting me. Still, I am a musician. If somebody calls me for his or her wedding or birthday I will not refuse. I will go and perform but it’s not the number one job for me now,” she said.

Acinbai Maluk, finance secretary of the South Sudan Artist Union, said the music industry was hit hard by the pandemic.

“It's very bad now. COVID-19 is treating us so badly. We can't even perform. The industry is dying and we are trying to manage to cope by singing songs that can give awareness,” he said.

Financially, the industry, with more than 5,000 artists, is broke because funds are needed to run it, including concert proceeds. - Benjamin Takpiny, Anadolu Agency 

By JULIUS MBALUTO

On Thursday this week, Nelson Primary School in London hosted an event focused on tackling climate change with a focus on the oncoming COP26, the 26th United Nations’ Climate Change Conference to be held on 31st October 2021 at Glasgow. 

The school team showcased great work the school children had done focused on creating more awareness on climate change. The event was organized by Fiona Cullen, Head Teacher Nelson Primary School and Mr Daniel Okiya, Y4 Teacher & Connecting Classrooms Through Global Learning Project Lead. 

The event was graced by Minister Hon Wendy Morton, Minister FCDO, Amrita Ahmed, Assistant Private Secretary, Amy Ballard FCDO, Emma Spencer FCDO, Amb. Joakim Kamere, Kenya’s Deputy High Commissioner in the UK, Dorothy Kamwilu, Education Attache, Jane Kimemia, Kenya High Commission, Mark Herbert, Director Schools, TVET & Non-Formal Education, British Council, Thomas Nissen, Senior Consultant, British Council, Shahed Ahmed, CEO New Vision Trust and many more guests. 

Kenya's Deputy High Commissioner in the UK Amb. Joakim Kamere and CS Education Prof George Magoha acknowledged and praised the great partnership between the UK and Kenya in education. 

Speaking at the event, Minister Wendy Morton said: 

“Millions of girls around the world are prevented from getting a full education due to extreme weather, which destroys schools and livelihoods, and forces people to flee their homes. Many are unable to go back and end up having to look after their families."

“The UK is committed to enabling more girls to stay in school and get at least 12 years of quality education, empowering them to lead change in their countries and communities.”

Regarding the impact of climate change on girls’ education, the Minister shared three key important points. She said, Girls are suffering from the worst long-term impacts of climate change, including to their education. Resources are used to survive instead of learn, trapping them in existing conditions of poverty, marginalisation, and vulnerability.

She added Flooding destroys schools, severe storms force people to flee their homes and the financial impacts of droughts mean families cannot afford to send girls to school. Girls’ risk of early marriage and pregnancy also increases in times of crisis as families and individuals use negative coping mechanisms to survive.

The Minister also said Climate-related forced displacement can cause disruption to girls’ education or result in them dropping out of school altogether. For example, after the 2010 Pakistan floods, 24% of girls in Grade 6 dropped out of school compared to 6% of boys.

The Minister said the UK Government had made huge strides in achieving its ambition for the right of every girl to access 12 years of quality education. Between 2015 and 2020, the UK has helped over 8 million girls into education. In 2021, the UK co-hosted the Global Education Summit co-hosted with Kenya and raised over $4bn in donor pledges to the Global Partnership for Education - which is now firmly on the path to raise US$5 billion by 2025, to enable up to 175 million children to learn and help get 88 million more girls and boys in school. 

She added, In Kenya, the UK is investing nearly £100 million between 2017 and 2023 to support over 330,000 girls, through the Girls’ Education Challenge programme. This includes the use of technology to support teaching and learning; teacher development activities; distance learning and catch-up classes; and clubs to build girls’ confidence and agency. 

During the event, Minister Wendy Morton with pupils and teachers from Nelson Primary School in London were joined virtually with students in Kenya with the Education CS Prof George Magoha and students for an exchange of Questions and answers. The UK’s Connecting Classrooms programme aims to help pupils understand the big issues that shape our world and equip them with the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to make a positive contribution. 

Since 2018, it has reached over 15,200 schools in 29 countries, including over 2,700 in the UK. It has also helped train over 63,000 teachers and school leaders across the globe. In Kenya, it is supporting over 400 schools and has trained over 800 teachers.

 

 

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