MonitorsPublished on Jul 27, 2016
Africa Monitor | Volume V; Issue XV


154 Indians evacuated from South Sudan return home


The first Indian Air Force flight C-17 carrying 156 people, who were evacuated from war-torn South Sudan's capital city Juba, arrived in Thiruvananthapuram early on July 15.  The evacuees also included two Nepali citizens, besides nine women and three children.  The passengers from Kerala and some from Tamil Nadu disembarked after a brief halt in Thiruvananthapuram before leaving for Delhi. Minister of State for External Affairs V. K. Singh, who is leading the government's 'Operation Sankat Mochan' to evacuate Indians from the African country, told reporters at the airport that 156 persons have been evacuated, of whom two are from Nepal.

There are over 550 Indians at Juba and another 150 in areas where the oil wells are located.  "When we landed, 156 came out with us. There were 30-40 people who had already booked their tickets when the commercial flights started and 300 people did not want to be evacuated due to their business concerns and other activities. There are nine women and three children among those evacuated," Singh said.

On those who turned down the government's plea to be evacuated, Singh said, "we tried to convince them. I suppose business comes first, life comes later (for them).."  "After fighting broke out in Juba and its outskirts, our aim was to evacuate our people who were in danger. As per our information, there were 550 plus people in Juba itself with another 150 Indians in areas where the oil wells are there..," he added.

 The evacuation exercise faced a hurdle when several Indians, after registering with the external affairs ministry for leaving South Sudan, refused to return, despite an appeal by External affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Twitter asking them to move out.  Singh said he had met Vice-President of Sudan who spoke of the situation out there. The C-17 aircraft was brought via Uganda and the minister also met the Ugandan Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda who on his part assured of all help.

South Sudan is witnessing heavy fighting between former rebels and government soldiers in several parts of the city.  State Power Minister, Kadakkampally Surendran, Thiruvananthapuram district collector, Biju Prabhakar, were among those who received the travel weary passengers when they arrived.

Source: The Times of India

African Union launches first report on the implementation of the women, peace and security agenda

The African Union Commission, in the margins of the 27thAU Summit in Kigali, launched the first ever report on the "Implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Africa".

The report which was launched on the July 9, 2016, during the Third AU High Level Panel on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment, seeks to form the basis for enhanced dialogue and engagement with AU Member States and Regional Economic Communities, civil society, and other key stakeholders on accelerating implementation, as well as better informing the African Union's engagement with international interlocutors and partners on the Women, Peace and Security agenda in Africa.

The report canvasses the legislative and administrative mechanisms and machineries put in place at all levels to support the advancement of the Women, Peace, and Security agenda in Africa, as well as progress made on performance where data and information exists. It includes various case studies of achievements on participation in the nineteen Member States that have adopted UNSCR 1325 National Action Plans, including on parliamentary representation, leadership, and special measures; ministerial level representation; participation in peacekeeping; and in peace agreements. It concludes by identifying key, high-impact intervention areas at local/national, regional, continental, and international levels to accelerate implementation and impact, including on issues of financing and evidence-based monitoring.

Speaking at the launch, the AU Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security, HE Mme Bineta Diop said, ''Much has been said on the need to bridge the gap between policy and implementation — this is even more so in the area of women, peace, and security. Indeed, the women, peace, and security agenda has developed an elaborate architecture at global, continental, and regional levels. Sadly, progress for women on the ground has not matched this elaborate architecture. As the African Union Commission shifts its orientation from policy formulation to support Member States and Regional Economic Communities in the transformation of commitments into concrete, sustained implementation, the importance of utilising monitoring and reporting tools to drive accelerated delivery should be recognised." The launch, which took place in the Parliament of the Republic of Rwanda, was attended by over four hundred people; ministers of gender and of women empowerment, parliamentarians and other leading politicians, women in civil society and in grassroots movements, and policy makers from national institutions and international organisations. It is worth noting that the venue of the launch, the Parliament of Rwanda, remains a remarkable symbol of women's empowerment in Africa and in the world, with a leading representation of 64% of women parliamentarians.

Source: African Union

Sixth Tokyo talks to strengthen Japan-Africa ties

The approaching sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (Ticad VI) will help strengthen Africa-Japan ties, Japanese embassy Deputy Chief of Mission in Kenya Mikio Mori has said. The conference, the first on African soil, will be held in Nairobi beginning August 27th to 28th. Speaking at St Lucy's High School for the visually impaired during the official opening of a Sh7 million dormitory on July 22 in Meru, Mr Mori said Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be among the dignitaries attending the summit. "It holds historic significance from the viewpoints of strengthening ties between Japan and Africa. We sincerely look forward to having Japanese and African leaders on the soil of this beautiful country. I hope the move will help all African nations improve their development strategies," he said.

The event is expected to attract more than 6000 participants from Africa and Japan, and various international organisations. The two-storey dormitory construction was funded by the Japanese government and will house 140 male students. "I hope that the successfully implementation of this education project will improve the academic performance of these innocent kids and help them achieve their dreams in life despite their disabilities," he added. Mr Mori said the initiative was the second collaboration between Japan and the institution after funding the construction of a dormitory for the primary school section.

Ticad VI is co-organised by the Kenyan and Japanese governments, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank, the Africa Union Commission (AUC) and the UN Office of the Special Advisor on Africa (UNOSAA). The summit serves as an international platform to raise global awareness and ensure continued support of Africa's development efforts. The participants are expected to discuss implementation of the recently-adopted Sustainable Development Goals and Africa's Agenda 2063 that is focused on a peaceful, integrated and prosperous continent; economic growth, trade and investment; human security, peace and stability.

Ticad VI builds on the progress of the 2013 Yokohama meeting held in Japan that brought together many dignitaries including 39 African heads of state and government. Discussions were pivoted on building sustainable economies and resilient societies, peace and security, and private sector engagement. Japan also pledged USD 32 billion over five years for, among other areas — infrastructure, human resources development, health, and agriculture.

The Ticad conference was launched in 1993 as a joint initiative of the Government of Japan, the United Nations and the former Global Coalition for Africa — now Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (Coda) — with the objective of promoting high-level political dialogue between Africa and its development partners and mobilising support for Africa-owned development initiatives.

Source: Daily Nation

Governments failing on Ivory trade commitments

Governments are failing to fulfil their obligations to submit inventories of ivory stocks. Meanwhile smuggling networks are expanding to meet the illicit demand for elephant tusks in Asia. Global wildlife conservationists are demanding parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered species of Wild and Fauna Flora (CITES) comply with wildlife laws.

Authors of a recent released report on the Elephant Wildlife Trade Information System, Traffic, a global network fighting ivory trade, told DW that governments were failing to submit annual reports about ivory stocks. Tom Milliken, the Elephant and Rhino Program Leader for Traffic, said there had been an expansion of wildlife smuggling networks across Africa in which Chinese and Vietnamese nationals were working with corrupt local officials. "They are involved in syndicates and moving ivory across Africa and then to Asia." he said.

He said that cooperation in law enforcement between the countries involved in smuggling the ivory and those where it originated could save elephants from extinction. "If the governments of China and Vietnam were to station wildlife trade investigators who would work with Africans, we would be able to dismantle the transnational syndicates that are driving the trade." Milliken said. The report assessed ivory stockpile reports which showed that twelve parties had managed to submit their inventories in 2014 but that number had fallen to three one year later.

In 2014, Ethiopia, Gabon, Germany, Japan, Malawi, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Slovakia, Thailand, Uganda and Zambia submitted reports that stated they held no ivory stockpiles. Five more parties Belgium, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya, the European Union and Tanzania submitted reports indicating they had ivory stocks but provided no figures on the status of those inventories.

In 2015, DRC, Namibia and Zimbabwe submitted ivory stock reports with inventory figures. The same year, Germany and Zambia also provided information, which included privately owned stocks. Over a two year period, these stocks accounted for nearly 459 tons of ivory under the control of 15 parties, private stocks included. In a reference to the expansion of smuggler networks, the report said some countries were being used as transit hubs or processing sites, while others had storage facilities for the ivory.

Brighton Kumchedwa, Malawi´s Director of Parks and Wildlife said African governments were failing to declare their ivory stockpiles mostly because they lacked the resources to compile proper inventories. But he said his own country was "at an advantage because we don't have much in terms of our stockpile, but they are certain countries that have huge stockpiles so they have to do the inventory on each piece of ivory and this calls for more resources". Conservationists say the only way to eliminate the illegal ivory trade is to pass legislation which is then rigorously enforced.

Dr. Arnulf Kohncke, Program Manager Species Conservation at World Wildlife Foundation said that burning of ivory as it is being advocated for by some NGOs should only be carried out as symbolic gesture against the trade. It was not a suitable means for its elimination. "The steps we need against poaching are mostly law enforcement on the ground and the work to reduce demand in East and South East Asia" Kohncke said. More than 30,000 elephants are killed in Africa every year for their tusks which frequently end up in Chinese and Vietnamese markets.

CITES regulations do not allow global trade in ivory though they do permit one-off sales of national stockpiles. Kenya is among countries that have destroyed their ivory stockpile, in April the country burnt its vast stockpile to show its commitment towards ending ivory trade. CITES member states will discuss amendments to wildlife trade regulations in South Africa in September.

Source: Deutche Welle


Angola: Parliament passes wildlife law


Without any vote against and two abstentions, the National Assembly approved on July 20 the Draft Law on Wildlife to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of forest areas and the Angolan terrestrial wildlife. The text, approved with 166 votes in favour, also aims at creating the general basis of exercising the activity related to them and will not be applicable for aquatic and genetic biological resources and conservation areas governed by a special law.

The text, presented by the Agriculture minister, Afonso Pedro Canga, lays down the legal regimes of access and sustainable use of forest and wildlife resources. According to the minister, the bill results from a public consultation process. It sets the standards and adoption of necessary measures to protect the environment and species of flora and fauna.

Source: Angola Press

CAR: Ban appoints Chilean national as Deputy Special Representative

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced on July 22 the appointment of Fabrizio Hochschild of Chile as his new Deputy Special Representative for the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). Mr. Hochschild succeeds Aurélien Agbénonci of Benin who was appointed Foreign Minister of his country in April 2016. Mr. Ban thanked Mr. Agbénonci for his service and commitment to support the political transition in the country during a critical time between 2014 and 2016.

Mr. Hochschild will also be the new UN Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator and Resident Representative of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in the country. Most recently, he had been the Deputy to the UN Secretary General's Special Adviser for the Summit on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants. (The summit will be held on 19 September at the UN Headquarters in New York.)

Prior to that, Mr. Hochschild held the positions of the UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Colombia, the Director of the Field Personnel Division in the UN Department of Field Support (DFS), and the Chief of Field Operations and Technical Cooperation in the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). He has also served with a number of other UN entities, including the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and various humanitarian and peacekeeping missions. Mr. Hochschild started his UN career with UNHCR in Sudan in 1988 and has worked in several countries across the world.

Source: UN News Service

Rwanda: Police contingent returns from Haiti mission

A contingent of 160 police officers under the Rwanda Formed Police Unit, on July 24, returned home after accomplishing their one-year tour of duty under the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). The contingent, headed by Commissioner of Police Joseph Mugisha as its commander, touched down at Kigali International Airport at about 2pm.

Cyprien Gatete, commissioner for operations and public order, on behalf of the Inspector General of Police, received the peacekeepers. Gatete welcomed the peacekeepers home and thanked them for their "outstanding performance" selflessly representing their country as required. "You are welcome back home to rejoin your mother institution to continue the journey of policing and also applying the knowledge and skills attained from the mission in further ensuring a safer Rwanda," Gatete said.

RWAFPU6 replaced by RWAFPU7, which left on July 22, leaves a legacy of strong cooperation with the people through the introduced home-grown resolutions of community policing and community work — Umuganda — which has defined all the past five batches that served in Haiti since 2010. Through Umuganda, they worked together with the locals every last Saturday of the month to support community development activities like rehabilitation of roads and water trenches, schools and supporting the vulnerable including orphans.

Mugisha said through human security activities, they connected with the people. "Human security has become part and parcel of Rwandan peacekeepers and as such, we taught the people how to survive by supporting themselves when they put ideas and work together and this helped us connect and work well with them," said Mugisha.

Source: The New Times


Libyans protest at French special forces presence

The UN-backed government of Libya has dubbed the presence of French troops in the country a violation of national sovereignty, following France's admission they were presence and that three had died near the eastern town of Benghazi. There were protests against "foreign interference" in several Libyan towns once the news had broken on July 20.

The Government of National Accord, which has failed to establish control over the whole country in its battle with rival militias, protested against the "violation" on its Facebook page. It would welcome help in fighting the Islamic State armed group by "friendly nations"; it said, but that "should be based on a request or in coordination".

Hundreds of people demonstrated in several Libyan cities, most notably Tripoli and Misrata. In Benghazi they responded to a call by the former mufti of Tripoli, Sadiq al-Ghariani, the spiritual leader of the Benghazi Defence Brigades, who claimed to have shot down the helicopter the three dead soldiers were travelling in.

Sources close to General Khalifa Haftar, who is fighting the Islamists but has refused to recognise the unity government, said the Frenchmen were military advisors. France has been working with Haftar for several months so as to gather intelligence in the fight against IS but without taking part in combat, military sources told Le Monde newspaper. US and British Special Forces are also present in Benghazi, according to the Washington Post.

Source: Radio France Internationale

Morocco in line with AfDB's High 5s

The day after his arrival in the Kingdom on his first official visit as president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina attended many high level meetings with the Moroccan authorities in Rabat on 20 July. He was accompanied by a delegation that included Resident Representative in Morocco Yacine Fal, AfDB Acting Vice President responsible for operations Janvier Litse, and Acting Vice President responsible for finance Charles Boamah. In addition to paying a courtesy visit to the Head of Government Abdel-Ilah Benkiran, Adesina met Mohammed Boussaïd, the Minister of Economy and Finance and AfDB governor for Morocco and also with Salaheddine Mezouar, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who is chair of COP22, taking place this year in Marrakesh.

The meeting at the Ministry of Finance was followed by a working session attended by Minister of Agriculture and Marine Fisheries Aziz Akhannouch, Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and Logistics Aziz Rabah, and the Minister attached to the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Investment and the Digital Economy, Mamoune Bouhdoud, responsible for small businesses and the integration of the informal sector. A final working meeting was held in Rabat with director of the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN, from the French) Mustapha Bakkouri.

Adesina was keen to stress from the outset the outstanding cooperation that unites the Bank with Morocco, one of its founding members and, especially, its first client. "Morocco is one of AfDB's best performing portfolios on the continent," he said, taking particular pleasure in the disbursement rate of 52%. The AfDB president also hailed Morocco's economic performance and its development strategies, on top of the importance of its role on the continent: "85% of your foreign direct investment is in Africa," said Adesina, who also applauded the wish expressed by Morocco a few days previously to re-join the African Union. The Kingdom of Morocco is the third largest exporter in Africa, after South Africa and Egypt. AfDB cooperation with Morocco "is not merely a financial relationship," added the Moroccan Minister of Economy and Finance. "The AfDB contribution to Morocco goes beyond that."

The numerous exchanges that took place in the course of this day of engagements and working meetings highlighted the convergence of views between the Bank and the Moroccan authorities, particularly around the 4  of the Bank’s High 5 priorities: "Lighting up and powering Africa", as witnessed by the great progress Morocco has made in the last 20 years in regard to electrical connections; "Feeding Africa", echoed in the Moroccan Green Plan, which focuses on the development of agriculture and agri-business (and thanks to which the impact of this year's serious drought was greatly reduced); Industrializing Africa, met by Morocco's industrial strategy; and Integrating Africa."

On COP22, which will take place in November 2016 in Marrakesh, "you can count on the full support of the Bank", assured Adesina (AfDB, which is already financing the extension of Marrakesh airport, is co-organising the Africa Pavilion and working very closely with the Moroccan authorities throughout the preparations for this event "on African soil".

"My wish is that we work together", said Akinwumi Adesina in his address to Moroccan authorities, referring in turn to the challenges of climate change and requisite funding, the need for differentiated loan pricing for climate investments in fragile countries, agriculture and agribusiness, water and sanitation, financial integration (AfDB and ASEA have just signed, in mid-July, a memorandum of understanding that includes the Casablanca stock exchange).

Among other pathways for enhanced collaboration, Adesina made a first concrete proposal: "To create with Morocco a private equity fund to boost investment in agriculture in Africa." The Moroccan authorities received this warmly and promised to reflect on it.

Source: African Development Bank Group

UNSC asked to take measures to restore MINURSO

Polisario Front, on July 22, called on the United Nations Security Council to take urgent measures to restore MINURSO (UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara) to full functionality and to establish a direct, high-level negotiation process between the Polisario and Morocco. In a letter sent on July 22 to the chairman of the Security Council, the representative of the Polisario Front at the United Nations, Ahmed Boukhari, exhorted the UN body to take actions in the allotted time and to get Morocco's commitment to respecting the mandate of MINURSO."

"MINURSO must be able to work without any kind of interference or restrictions of movement, while defending the principles of UN peacekeeping mission." Three years since the adoption of Security Council Resolution 2285 (2016) on MINURSO, which sets a deadline for the return of the expelled mission's civilian component, Morocco is still in flagrant violation of Security Council's decisions and the international law," he noted.

Source: Algerie Press Service


Zimbabwe: Another MDC-T split imminent

The appointment of Nelson Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri as vice presidents of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) has opened a Pandora's Box in the fragile opposition party, amid fears of yet another split. Mudzuri and Chamisa joined Thokozani Khupe last week as Morgan Tsvangirai's three deputies as the MDC-T leader sought to lessen the workload on his desk after he was diagnosed with cancer of the colon. The appointments have inadvertently divided the MDC-T right through the middle.

Tsvangirai is being accused of making unilateral appointments and discarding his long-serving deputy, Khupe, whom many thought was a shoe-in in the race to succeed the former trade unionist. He is also being accused of practising regionalism, tribalism and gender bias at a time when the MDC-T should be reaching out to all tribes, regions and women, who constitute more than 60 percent of the country's population. Fears are that the country's largest opposition party could split once again if the fallout triggered by the appointments is not handled carefully.

MDC-T insiders said Khupe was unhappy with the new appointments. Last week, she claimed that Tsvangirai never consulted her over the appointments. Khupe's supporters view the latest development as tribally inspired. They believe that the elevation of Chamisa and Mudzuri was intended to thwart her ascendance, effectively ruling out any prospect of a Ndebele politician rising within the MDC-T to lead the party at some point.

Tsvangirai is also being accused of parachuting his homeboys to influential positions without allowing the MDC-T membership to do so through the electoral processes. Both Chamisa and Mudzuri hail from Gutu in Masvingo, which is not far away from Buhera where Tsvangirai was born and bred. Khupe is not the only one disappointed with the sudden turn of events. Douglas Mwonzora, the party's national organising secretary, and Obert Gutu, the MDC-T spokesman, are also said to be seething with anger over the appointments.

Gutu and Mwonzora were conspicuous by their absence on the day Tsvangirai made the announcement. Gutu has reportedly likened the appointments to a "circus."  Tsvangirai's former legal advisor, Alex Magaisa, has also publicly slated him, accusing his former boss of political naivety. Debate is also raging within the MDC-T on the legality of the appointments with assertions that they must be ratified or approved at congress due in October next year. Since its formation in 1999, the MDC-T has experienced two breakaways. The first split was spearheaded by its then secretary general, Welshman Ncube, who is now leading the MDC.

In 2014, the party suffered its second breakaway, engineered by Tendai Biti, then its secretary general. Tsvangirai has been under increasing pressure to set a transitional path after being diagnosed with colon cancer. His loyalists are adamant that the elevation of Mudzuri and Chamisa will stabilise the MDC-T as the country heads towards the 2018 polls. They also claim that the appointments would fend off vultures that were circling around the MDC-T leader's throne in the wake of his battle with cancer. "By appointing the two vice presidents, Tsvangirai is defusing the possibility of a coalition (of rivals building) around Khupe, thus remaining the only source of power," said an MDC-T insider.

But not everyone agrees. Tsvangirai's critics argued this week that the MDC-T leader has pressed the self-destruction button by surrounding himself with rivals. Chamisa, Mudzuri and Khupe have, although they deny it, previously been linked to plots meant to unseat the MDC-T leader. "I see this backfiring as it is likely to further fracture the party. Imagine how Mwonzora who beat Chamisa (during internal polls) felt to wake up having the former organising secretary as his boss. What does this development mean to internal party democracy?" said a source within the MDC-T.

Mwonzora beat Chamisa for the post of organising secretary at the last elective congress held in Harare in 2014. Brighton Musonza, a staunch MDC-T supporter based in the United Kingdom, said Tsvangirai's machinations were clumsy. "It is not systematic. In the end, he has two VPs from one province (Masvingo). A transitional committee would have presided over the procedure with Tsvangirai... intervening if there was a crisis and not make utilateral decisions," said Musonza. "If it turns nasty he won't be able to evoke any of his authority because he has already used it. It should have been an impersonal decision and him making announcements or spokesperson speaking on behalf of that (transitional) committee."

Ricky Mukonza, a political analyst, said Tsvangirai made a bad move and, if anything, these developments would perpetuate the notion that he is a dictator and thus dilute the pedigree of the appointees as credible successors. "My thoughts were that Tsvangirai was going to use this opportunity to unite all the factions in MDC in preparation for the 2018 elections. This would have given him a better legacy in the democratic movement," he said.

Source: Financial Gazette

Mozambique: Talks with mediators on July 20 and 21

Talks between Renamo and government resumed on July 20, with mediators present. After a formal meeting, the mediators met separately with the Renamo and government teams in parliament. The three teams (6 government, 6 Renamo, 6 mediators) will begin actual discussions at a meeting on July 21 in the Hotel Avenida. (Noticias & O Pais, 20 & 21 July; Zitamar & AIM 20 July) Renamo and the government each asked three eminent people or institutions to name mediators. Renamo identified the European Union, the Vatican, and South African president Jacob Zuma. The government identified three former presidents and prime ministers: Ketumule Masire (Botswana), Jakaya Kikwete (Tanzânia) and Tony Blair (UK). It appears that most of the six will have at least two people and in some cases more present in Maputo; all six were represented at the session on July 20.

The Vatican named its ambassador in Maputo (the Papal Nuncio) Edgar Pena and the secretary of the Mozambique Episcopal Conference, Joao Carlos Hatoa Nunes. The EU named Mario Raffaelli and Angelo Romano. The South African selected mediator has not been named, but Noticias (21 July) says they were present when President Filipe Nyusi met with the Renamo selected mediators on July 20. Nyusi took a hard line, telling the mediators they had to respect the Mozambican constitution and laws. (O Pais 21 July)

Raffaelli is an Italian politician who was the chief mediator of the 1990-1992 Rome peace talks. He visited Maputo in March and offered to mediate again, and met with Nyusi and talked on the telephone to Dhlakama, but his offer to mediate was rejected by both sides. (News Reports & Clippings 314, 20 Mar) He also visited in 2014(more below). Romano is from the Santo Egidio community, which coordinated the successful Rome talks and has been working with Mozambican refugees in Malawi.

For the government, Masire is in Maputo (under the auspices of the Global Leadership Foundation, chaired by F W de Klerk), Kikweti is expected to arrive this week and name a senior official from his office as mediator, and Jonathan Powell has arrived as the British mediator. Jonathan Powell (pronounced as "pole") was British Prime Minister Tony Blair's chief of staff from 1995 to 2007 and was chief negotiator in the Northern Ireland peace talks. He subsequently set up Inter Mediate. The Tony Blair African Governance Initiative (AGI) has had two people in Nyusi's presidential office since late last year.

AGI is not involved in mediation, and it had already introduced Powell to Nyusi. Thus the request to "Tony Blair" went to AGI which in turn suggested Powell. Powell's 2014 book, pointedly titled ‘Talking to Terrorists’, has reference to the Rome peace talks (pp 153-160). Powell writes that Renamo "was notorious for mutilating civilians, including children, by cutting off earns, noses, fingers and sexual organs. Alfonso Dhlakama had become the supreme leader of the movement after a bloody succession struggle in which his rival was killed. He was an insecure leader who wore glasses to appear more intellectual, even though he didn't need them."

Malawi University assess protest damage as Chanco opening hangs in Limbo

University of Malawi (Unima) officials say they are assessing the damage at Chancellor College in Zomba following the violent protests over fee hike before a decision on its opening is made. Unima spokesperson Peter Mitunda said the damage is extensive therefore there was need to take stock. "The decision on whether the students should come back has not been made," he said.

The college was closed indefinitely on Wednesday after some hostels were set on fire and vandalised, the clinic was vandalised as well as other college facilities as the students demanded the fee hike from K270000 per year to K400000. The students also blocked the convoy of US second lady Jill Biden when she wanted to visit US funded projects in Zomba and damaged a police vehicle.

Police arrested over 20 students over the violent protests including students union leadership. They have since been given bail. Meanwhile, Polytechnic students who also staged another violent students on July 22 in solidarity with their Chancellor College peers, are scheduled to appear in court on July 25. Police spokesperson for the south James Kadadzera said the 14 students, who include five females, will be taken to Blantyre magistrate’s court for plea.

Source: Nyasa Times


Former Burundi Minister Hafsa Mossi assassinated

The first East African Community (EAC) Affairs Minister for Burundi, Hafsa Mossi was shot dead by unknown gunmen outside her home in Bujumbura on July 13. A close relative said the former minister was near her home when a vehicle with tinted windows hit her car from behind. She was shot twice when she got out of her car to find out what had happened.

"Hon. Mossi assassinated 10.30 in Gihosha", in the east of Bujumbura by, "two criminals in a vehicle," police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said on Twitter. Ms. Mossi was chairperson of the East African Legislative Assembly's (EALA) Burundi chapter and had played a critical role in Burundi's integration into the EAC.

Hon Mossi had been conducting sensitisation workshops with the EALA's Burundi chapter with various stakeholders at the grassroots level on the benefits of Burundi's integration into the bloc.

EALA Speaker Daniel Kidega strongly condemned Ms. Mossi's killing, saying the regional assembly had lost a hard working member who was committed to the ideals of the integration. He urged the Burundian government to bring the killers yo justice.

"My heartfelt condolences to the government, family and friends as well as to the citizens of Burundi. I appeal for calm at this point and hope the authorities will move fast to ensure those behind the barbaric and cowardly act are immediately apprehended," Mr. Kidega said. The killing is the latest in a series of targeted assassinations of top government officers by unknown armed groups.

Source: The Citizen

Uganda: Kiir rushes to Kampala for talks with Museveni

Embattled South Sudan President Salva Kiir at the weekend rushed to Kampala for talks with President Museveni amid mounting political tension back home. President Kiir held two back-to- back closed-door meetings at State House Entebbe with his counterpart and select government ministers, according to senior Presidential press secretary, Don Wanyama. Mr. Wanyama described the meetings as part of an ongoing effort to thrash out a peace deal in the world’s youngest nation. “They focused on how to bring stability to the restive country in light of recent decisions by the African Union and Inter-governmental Authority on Development,” Mr. Wanyama said. Violence erupted in South Sudan again on July 8, following friction between forces loyal to President Kiir and his deputy Dr. Riek Machar.

According to United Nations, the crisis has displaced more than 36,000 people internally, claimed lives of more than 300 forcing out about 100,000 to neighbouring countries. Uganda, Kenya, US and Germany have evacuated their citizens. When violence erupted, Machar retreated to where his loyal forces were and on July 21, President Kiir gave him a 48-hour ultimatum to return to the capital Juba or be fired. Dr. Machar did not respect the ultimatum which expired on July 23. South Sudan media reported that a section of opposition members had resolved to replace him as vice president with Mr. Taban Deng, a proposal that caused fault-lines within the opposition. Mr. Deng was the opposition chief negotiator during the deal brokered in Addis Ababa that ended previous fighting that broke out on December 15, 2013.

African Heads of State meeting in the Rwandan capital Kigali for the 27th AU Summit last week approved deployment of a regional force, under the auspices of the AU, comprising troops from Uganda, Sudan, Rwanda, Kenya and Ethiopia to contain the situation. South Sudan officials present reportedly opposed the idea. The South Sudan government said it was not ready for foreign troops. Already in South Sudan are troops under the auspices of the UN Mission in South Sudan approved by the Security Council and 47 US troops dispatched by President Obama to evacuate American citizens and protect its embassy in Juba. At the sidelines of the AU summit, President Museveni met UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and suggested a regional force to provide protection to Dr. Machar who is distrustful of the government forces (SPLA).

Source: The Monitor


Nigeria President says negotiations on with Niger Delta militants

President Muhammadu Buhari has confirmed that his administration is talking to Niger Delta militants through oil companies and law-enforcement agencies to find a lasting solution to the insecurity in the region. Speaking at a farewell audience with Mr. Michael Zinner, the outgoing Ambassador of Germany to Nigeria at the State House, Buhari said that government was studying the instruments of the Amnesty Programme inherited from the previous administration with a view to carrying out commitments made that were undelivered.

A statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on July 21 quoted the President as saying "We understand their feelings. We are studying the instruments. We have to secure the environment, otherwise investment will not come. We will do our best for the country." The President thanked the government of Germany for its continuing support to Nigeria in the efforts to tackle insecurity and the on-going rehabilitation and resettlement of displaced citizens in crisis areas in the north eastern part of the country.

President Buhari also thanked Nigeria's neighbours for their firm and unflinching support in the war against terror.The outgoing German ambassador noted that bilateral relations between Nigeria and Germany "had improved very much in the last 12 months of this administration." He expressed the readiness of Germany to assist Nigeria in the rehabilitation process in the North East to help the displaced persons return to their villages. He also expressed the eagerness of German businesses to invest in the country, now that "conditions for investment have been put in place". The envoy reiterated the standing invitation of Chancellor Angela Merkel to President Buhari to visit Germany.

Source: The Guardian

Mali: Nearly 20 dead as fighting threatens peace deal

Up to 20 people have been killed and at least 40 others wounded, according to health workers, in two days of fighting in northern Mali threatening a shaky year-old peace deal. The Tuareg-dominated Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA) and rival Gatia militia fighters, who had peacefully shared control of the town of Kidal since February, clashed for a second day on July 22, the UN mission in Mali (MINUSMA) said in a statement.

Both groups signed an UN-backed deal a year ago with the government in Bamako, the capital in southern Mali, that was intended to ease tensions and let the army focus on defeating other armed groups in the desert north. A nurse at the main health centre in Kidal, one of the largest towns in northern Mali, said she had seen about 20 dead, both at the clinic and on the town's streets. "There are wounded people everywhere. Forty wounded, with four bad cases. One of them was shot in the throat, another in the back, another in the abdomen," a doctor at the health centre told the Reuters news agency by telephone, asking not to be named.

Red Cross volunteer Ahamed Ag Mohomedine told Reuters he had counted over 15 bodies, adding many wounded had been taken to MINUSMA's base in Kidal. Both armed groups gave death tolls from the fighting that were lopsided in their own favour and could not be independently verified. Mali's government, which has not had a military presence in Kidal since clashes between the army and Tuareg rebels killed 50 soldiers there in 2014, urged both sides to end the fighting. "The government of the Republic of Mali considers that the situation created by these clashes constitutes a serious threat to the implementation of the peace accord," it said in a statement.

MINUSMA said it had stationed troops in heavily populated areas to protect civilians. The UN also deployed drones to monitor the fighting, and a region wide French counter-terrorism mission used helicopters to patrol the skies above the town, MINUSMA spokeswoman Radhia Achouri told Reuters. "Our main concern is that civilians are in the line of fire," she said, adding that some town residents had taken shelter inside the MINUSMA camp overnight.

The gunfire had largely subsided by mid-afternoon on July 22, as the CMA claimed to have driven Gatia fighters from Kidal. "We control the town in its entirety along with the surrounding areas. Calm has returned," said CMA spokesman Almou Ag Mohamed. Two officers in the pro-government militia confirmed that Gatia had withdrawn from the town. "We decided to draw back from Kidal, but we are in the process of reorganising," one of the officers said, asking that his name not be used for his protection.

The UN called for an immediate cessation of hostilities and said that it was working with leaders of both groups to mediate the conflict and resume the peace process. The latest bout of violence erupted on the same day Mali declared a 10-day state of emergency and a three-day national mourning period after 17 Malian soldiers were killed and 35 others wounded in an attack on a military base in the town of Nampala in central Mali.

Source: Al Jazeera

Ghana: Heavy rains displaces hundreds in Ghana

Heavy rains have affected flood-prone areas of the Upper East Region. Most residents of the Upper East Region are still counting their losses, following July 20’s torrential rains that lasted for almost ten hours. Business activities in Bolgatanga and its catchment areas, have been greatly affected. The downpour which began around 4:30 am, resulted in flooding, causing severe destruction to farmlands. A number of houses in flood-prone areas were inundated.

Some of the affected communities include Sawaba, Damoen, Kalbeo, Kumbangre, and Tindonsolbogo in the Talensi District. Others are Winkogo, Nyaasa, Abi-yeri, Awusyeri, Kodeema, Kori and Alab-yeri. Most communities in the Builsa and Kassena-Nankana districts were not spared, as households and farmlands were submerged in water. In an interview with Radio Ghana, the Regional NADMO Officer in charge of Operations, Paul Woomha, said zonal officers are in the field compiling data on the affected persons and households to enable the organisation to attend to their plight.

Source: Ghanastar

This Monitor is prepared by Harish Venugopalan, Research Assistant, Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi.

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