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World

By JULIUS MBALUTO

As the world prepares for October 10th, 2021 the main World Mental Health Day under the auspices of World Health Organization to be commemorated, here in the UK, the focus, the talks on the subject have started.

The key objective of World Mental Health Day is to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilize efforts in support. The talks happen for stakeholders to address the realities of the problem and find out what needs to be done.

 

Stakeholders, professionals, health workers and leaders gathered over the weekend at Holiday Inn, Watford in Hertfordshire, UK attending Mental Health Forum hosted by Eva Mbiru and Kenyan Women in Watford. The event was graced by leaders from the area with the area MP Dean Russell attending.

 

The panel and attendees addressed various issues pertaining to mental illness. Young people attending shared different experiences and how schools have no clear coherent policies on how to help students who might be at their early levels experiencing mental illness. Experts shared that stigma contributed and compounded the problem.

 

MP Dean Russell and Julius Mbaluto 

Leaders attending also learned from those dealing with mental illness on the ground how important it was to increase and sustain funding. Those attending also heard how Covid-19 pandemic has increased the numbers of people with mental illness.

They also learned how they can get help. As well, all were encouraged to care about their neighbours, for example, speaking to them and finding out if they were fine.

 

According to Mental Health England, 1 in 4 people have mental health issues, 1 in 6 people report experiencing a mental health issue each week. There are around 20 million people in the UK who will experience it. Stigma and keeping the issue under wraps doesn’t help. The talks during Mental Health Forum proved that sharing and talking about the issue remains the best way forward.

 

 

Faith Mathangani & Lilian Wangari both authors 

Eva Mbiru Speaking

 

Entertainers who kept attendees on their toes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo AP / Justin Lynch

 

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Moscow remains committed to supporting reconciliation between South Sudan and Sudan and facilitating the search for mutually acceptable solutions that take into account the balance of interests in the region, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on the 10th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with South Sudan.

"With regard to the status of South Sudan, Russia has been consistent in its position, expressing its readiness to support the sovereign will of the people of South Sudan. Today, our country remains ready to support in every possible way reconciliation between South Sudan and Sudan and facilitates the search for mutually acceptable solutions, taking into account the balance of interests in the region," the ministry said.

The "ongoing normalisation of the situation in South Sudan" is helping expand its ties with Russia and strengthen the country's legal and regulatory frameworks, the statement added.

Among promising areas of trade, economic and investment cooperation between Russia and South Sudan, the ministry highlighted energy, transport as well as hydrocarbon exploration and processing.

South Sudan broke away from Khartoum in 2011. Since 2013, the country has been gripped by a bloody civil war between the forces led by President Salva Kiir and the opposition. In September 2018, Kiir signed a peace agreement with rebel leader Riek Machar, who is now vice president of South Sudan, after which the Transitional Government of National Unity was formed in February last year. Clashes in the country still continue. - Sputnik

Photo via Anadolu Agency

 

KIGALI, Rwanda - Rwanda deported a Belgian lawyer on Saturday who visited the country apparently to give legal services to Paul Rusesabagina, portrayed as a hero in the Oscar-nominated film Hotel Rwanda and who is currently facing terrorism-related charges.

Vincent Lurquin was deported and declared persona non grata for violating immigration laws, the Director-General of the Rwanda Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration, Regis Gatarayiha, told reporters in the capital, Kigali.

Lurquin’s deportation came one day after he appeared before Rwanda's High Court Chamber for International and Cross-border Crimes that is trying Rusesabagina.

The Rwanda Bar Association raised a complaint because Lurquin was not accredited to practice in Rwanda.

Lurquin entered the country Aug. 16 on a visitation visa with 30-day validity, according to Gatarayiha.

“He was granted a V1 type of visa, which allows the bearer to visit the country but not conduct any remunerated work. We were surprised to see that he appeared in court, in one of the proceedings dressed in a gown that shows that he was practicing as an advocate without accreditation,” said Gatarayiha.

The court earlier set Aug. 20 to issue a verdict against Rusesabagina, 67, but postponed it until Sept. 20.

Prosecutors have asked the court to hand down a life sentence to Rusesabagina.

He faces multiple charges including forming an illegal armed group, financing terror activities, murder, kidnapping and arson, in a trial he has boycotted since March on claims of “unfairness and lack of independence.”

The prosecution requested a sentence for each of the nine charges, ranging from 10 years to life.

They allege that Rusesabagina was behind a series of attacks against innocent civilians in Rwanda’s southern districts of Nyaruguru and Nyamagabe between 2018 and 2019. He was arrested in August 2020. - James Tasamba, Anadolu Agency

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