Fire kills 38 in Mada­gas­car

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

AN­TANA­NARIVO — A fire dur­ing a house­warm­ing party in cen­tral Mada­gas­car on Satur­day night killed 38 peo­ple, in­clud­ing 16 chil­dren, as the blaze ripped through a thatched roof, po­lice said.

“Of the 39 peo­ple in the house, 38 were killed, in­clud­ing 16 chil­dren,” Her­i­lala­tiana An­dri­a­narivosona, spokesper­son for the po­lice, told AFP, adding that the fire was an ac­ci­dent. — AFP. SOUTH Su­dan’s pres­i­dent has re­placed his vice pres­i­dent and ri­val Riek Machar, in a move that could un­der­mine last year’s peace ac­cord and trig­ger a fresh wave of vi­o­lence in Africa’s youngest na­tion.

The pres­i­dent said on Mon­day that he had re­placed Machar with a for­mer peace ne­go­tia­tor, Gen­eral Ta­ban Deng Gai.

Deng Gai, who had also been named leader of a fac­tion of the armed op­po­si­tion on Satur­day, will serve un­til Machar re­turns to the cap­i­tal, Juba, ac­cord­ing to Machar’s chief of staff Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth.

Machar, a for­mer rebel leader, was sworn in as first vice pres­i­dent in April, eight months af­ter the peace agree­ment was signed be­tween the gov­ern­ment and rebels loyal to him.

How­ever, he left Juba with his troops ear­lier this month af­ter fresh fight­ing erupted be­tween his loy­al­ists and gov­ern­ment troops. Machar said he would only re­turn if an in­ter­na­tional peace­keep­ing force guar­an­tees his safety.

The last Au­gust peace deal put an end to two years of fight­ing that broke out when the pres­i­dent re­moved Machar as his deputy in 2013. The vi­o­lence killed more than 10,000 peo­ple.

Clashes, how­ever, erupted again be­tween the two sides in Juba in early July, killing hun­dreds of peo­ple and forc­ing thou­sands of oth­ers to flee to neigh­bour­ing Uganda, ac­cord­ing to the United Na­tions refugee agency (UNHCR).

Forces from two ri­val groups fought each other with tanks, he­li­copters and other heavy weapons.

There are nu­mer­ous mili­tia forces that do not abide by peace agree­ments and are driven by local agen­das.

The chaos comes as the coun­try marked the fifth an­niver­sary of its in­de­pen­dence from Su­dan ear­lier this month. — PressTV.

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