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Boat sinks off Tunisia with more than 40 Sudanese on board.

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At least 13 Sudanese migrants have died and 27 others are missing after their boat sank off Tunisia’s coast, a Tunisian official has said.

Only two people on board survived, while search operations were under way for those missing, he added.

It is the latest disaster to hit migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean from Africa to Europe.

Sudan plunged into a civil war about 10 months ago, forcing at least nine million people to flee their homes.

Most of them have taken refuge either in safer parts of the country, or in neighbouring states.

Some foreign governments, including the UK’s, evacuated their nationals trapped in Sudan after fighting broke out between the army and a rival paramilitary force last April.

More than 2,270 migrants died in 2023 trying to cross the central Mediterranean, a 60% increase on the previous year, according to the International Organization for Migration.

Last year, the European Union (EU) signed a deal with Tunisia to tackle irregular migration.

The deal includes $118m (£90m) to stop smuggling, strengthen borders and return migrants.

The latest disaster took place after the boat left Jebiniana, a small town near the city of Sfax.

A judicial spokesman in the Tunisian city of Monastir, Farid Ben Jha, said an investigation was under way into the incident.

The migrants were likely to have been “exploited in a human trafficking case or in the formation of a criminal group to reach Europe illegally”, he was quoted by AFP news agency as saying.

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Presidential system to be adopted by Osun.

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The Chairman of the Osun State Independent Electoral Commission, OSSIEC, Hashim Abioye has once again reiterated that the presidential system of government will be adopted for the local government election in the state.

The Osun State House of Assembly in 2022 passed the OSSIEC Law, 2022 which readopted the presidential system.

The OSSIEC chairman also stated that the basis for the adoption of the system was premised on the Electoral Act, 2022 which was passed by the National Assembly.

In his words, “OSSIEC Law, 2022 stipulated the presidential system for the local government poll in Osun State.

“That is what we will adopt for the local government election in Osun in 2025. The Electoral Act, 2022 will be complied with in totality. OSSIEC will not go against it.”

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Benon and Vamposs share rehearsal teaser videos

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The much-awaited fifth episode of Tusker Malt Conversessions is about to drop, and oh boy, it’s going to be a musical rollercoaster like no other!

The teaser videos that have been circulated on social media have left fans tapping their feet in anticipation as the dynamic duo, Benon and Vamposs, gear up to deliver a heart-warming episode.

The teaser gives us a sneak peek into the rehearsals where Benon, with his signature smile, promises fans, “just be ready for surprises, and I think people should expect a premium Benon & Vamposs.”

These two maestros have been instrumental in shaping the Ugandan music scene, and now they’re back to spill the beans on their journey, success, and maybe a bit of their infamous banter.

“The creative process has been hectic; we still have the chemistry, and I think it’s something that comes from performing together for a long time and the many years we have crafted our art…,” reveals Benon in the teaser.

But it’s not all serious. Vamposs can be heard poking fun at Benon’s love life, adding a dash of humour to the mix. “I don’t see where you even got this love that you are writing about except lying to this crowd,” he jokes.

On a more sombre note, Vamposs shares, “We have a lot of different stories. We are working with the band to see how mellow we can get. It’s not going to be all that rough,” hinting at a different stage presence which will be more intimate in comparison to their usual vibrant performances.

Music lovers should save the date; Sunday, March 3. The fifth episode of Tusker Malt Conversessions featuring Benon & Vamposs will be live on the Tusker Malt and Swangz Avenue YouTube channel at 6 pm. Don’t miss out on the chance to witness the magic, the music, and the memories.

You can also catch up on previous episodes featuring the likes of Kenneth Mugabi, Lilian Mbabazi, The Mith, and Juliana both YouTube pages.

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Ronald Mayinja reveals the inspiration behind his classic song “Necklace”

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Renowned Ugandan singer Ronald Mayinja has shared the story behind his popular song “Necklace.” Born in 1976 in Benja-Gomba, Ronald Mayinja has produced numerous hit songs throughout his career.

Necklace, in particular, has remained one of the favourites among fans, especially those in love. At a press conference for his upcoming concert Old is Gold Mayinja at 49, the singer disclosed that the inspiration for the song came from his girlfriend Julie.

Julie, who attended boarding school while Mayinja was in day school, sparked his fears of losing her to someone else. He penned down “Necklace” as a request for her to entrust her necklace to him to cherish in her absence.

However, after receiving advice from Mariam Ndagire, Mayinja decided to make the song more relatable by expanding its meaning beyond his personal experience.

He hence created a song that resonated with anyone who has ever been in a long-distance relationship or felt the ache of missing someone they love.

He crafted lyrics that painted a vivid picture of two souls yearning for each other’s presence, using the metaphor of a necklace to symbolize the connection they shared.

Over the years, “Necklace” has remained a timeless classic in Ugandan music. Its universal theme and emotional resonance have allowed it to transcend time and continue to touch the hearts of listeners, regardless of age or background.

Mayinja’s decision to expand the song’s scope and make it relatable to a wider audience proved to be a stroke of genius, cementing his status as a celebrated veteran musician in Uganda.

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