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American weapons for Morocco fuel fears of arms race in North Africa

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Recent revelations that Morocco is in receipt of at least 127 American M1A1 Abrams tanks, part of a US-Morocco procurement contract for 200 tanks, is fueling concerns that the northern flank of the continent may be brazing for an arms race.

“Satellite images show that Morocco already has at least 127 of the almost two hundred Abrams M1A1 tanks that the United States has authorized to sell to the North African country,” the Spanish outlet Infodefensa reported on August 9.

The satellites photographed tanks in the Central Establishment and Management of Material Storage (ECGCM) in Nouaceur, a town 20 kilometers south of Casablanca. One picture showed up to 65 of the tanks all together, the Spanish outlet added.

Read Also: Zambia denies Zimbabwe politician asylum

Commenting on the tanks’ arrival, Mohammed Chakir, a Moroccan expert on military affairs, told Alyaoum24, “This is a reflection of the Spanish concern as an arming race exists between Rabat, Madrid and Algeria.”

“The many disagreements between Spain and Morocco, mainly the dispute over the occupied cities of Ceuta and Melilla, make decision makers in Spain closely follow any military deal concluded by Morocco, especially with the US, which is known for its most sophisticated industry weapons,” he added.

In April 2018, a research associate at the International Institute
for Strategic Studies (IISS) tweeted that “a pre-delivery of 48 Abrams tanks” from the US to Morocco was dispatched from Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio and was videoed cruising through La Grange, Kentucky.

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Ruling junta, politicians sign agreement for civil transition in Sudan. Will it work?

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An agreement for a civilian-led transition that will last for two years has been made between Sudanese political parties and the military.

The arrangement is toward elections and ends a sometimes violent standoff triggered by a coup in October 2021.

The power-sharing arrangement between the military and the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) coalition was delayed due to the absence of a Prime Minister after a coup in 2021.

The military under the new arrangement agreed it would only be represented on a security and defence council headed by a prime minister.

The military leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said civilians should control politics and guide foreign policy. Signatories applauded when he repeated a slogan used by protesters to call for the army to exit politics: “Soldiers belong in the barracks, and parties go to elections.”

Recall that Sudanese politician, Wagdi Salih was released from prison on Sunday ahead of the discussion surrounding the coalition agreement.

Meanwhile, the transition plan does not seem to have sat well with some session of the public as security officers fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse protesters about 1-1/2km from the presidential palace on Monday over the development.

One of the protesters, 36-year-old state employee Ahmed Fateh al-Rahman, said. “We want justice for our martyrs, trial for the military, and civilian rule.” “We will defeat this agreement because it is an extension of the coup.”

Will the arrangement lead to lasting progress in the political crises facing the East African country?

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Zambia’s Vice President, Mutale Nalumango, to visit Ivory Coast for summit on nutrition

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Zambia’s Vice President, Mutale Nalumango is set to visit and attend the African Union (AU) High-level meeting to address issues of nutrition on the continent.

Fourteen member countries are participating in a two-day meeting which includes governments, experts, and cooperating partners.

The Vice President Permanent Secretary for Administration, Lilian Kapusana confirmed the journey on Tuesday.

Among other issues, the Vice President will reaffirm the commitments by the ruling government’s commitment to ensuring food security in the country.

“Mrs. Nalumango will address the challenges and milestones made in food and nutrition together with our cooperating partners who gave implemented projects in addressing issues of malnutrition and stunted growth in the country,” Ms. Kapusana said.

Participating countries at the summit are expected to reaffirm commitments to improving food and nutrition through agreements that will be signed during the course of the deliberations.

The United Nations Children’s Fund reported that in 2021, six million children are affected by life-threatening severe acute malnutrition in West and Central Africa.

Hopefully, the summit on nutrition will end with concrete measures to address some of the issues like land and crop degradation, periodic droughts and weather-related shocks, poverty, limited access to basic food staples and essential services, and population growth, which all contribute to emergency levels of malnutrition in the region.

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