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Chad hands over anti-balaka militia leader, Maxime Mokom to ICC

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The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Monday confirmed that the leader of an anti-balaka armed group, Maxime Mokom, has been handed over to it by The Republic of Chad.

The Hague Court made the confirmation in a statement retrieved from its official Twitter handle. “Today, 14 March 2022, Mr Maxime Jeoffroy Eli Mokom Gawaka (“Mr Mokom”), was surrendered to the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or “the Court”) by the authorities of the Republic of Chad on account of an ICC warrant of arrest issued under seal on 10 December 2018. Mr Mokom is suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Bangui and other locations in the Central African Republic (“CAR”) in 2013 and 2014”

Maxime Jeoffroy Eli Mokom Gawaka is suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The alleged crimes were committed in 2013 and 2014 “in Bangui and other locations in the Central African Republic.”

The Anti-balaka is an alliance of militia groups based in the Central African Republic in the early 21st century said to be composed primarily of Christians. This militia formed in the Central African Republic after the rise to power of Michel Djotodia in 2013. Amnesty International reported in 2015 that some members of anti-balaka groups have forcibly converted Muslims to Christianity.

Anti-balaka groups have also kidnapped, burnt and buried alive in public ceremonies women accused of being ‘witches’.

Despite a 2019 peace deal, militia groups that emerged during the conflict were recently in control of around two-thirds of the country, and Touadera depends heavily on UN forces, as well as military personnel sent by Russia and Rwanda.

A counter-offensive has seen pro-government forces retake a series of towns from the rebels in recent days.

Touadera won a presidential election in December from which Bozize was banned but barely a third of the potential ballots were cast.

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Somali forces, local vigilantes, recapture strategic town from Al-Shabaab terrorists

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The Somali National Army (SNA), alongside local vigilantes popularly called Mo’awisley, on Monday, recaptured the strategic city of Adan Yabaal from the al-Shabaab terrorist group, the military said in a bulletin on Tuesday.

According to the statement, the town located near the border between Hiran and Middle Shabelle regions that comprise Hirshabelle State, which is about 220 kilometres north of the capital Mogadishu, is one of the five federal member states of the Federal Government of Somalia, and had been a strategic location held by the al-Qaeda-sponsored extremist group.

The SNA said in the bulletin that it met no resistance from the al-Shabaab fighters who left the town without posing resistance on getting information about the approach of the federal troops.

Al-Shabaab have lost most of the towns and settlements in Hirshabelle State, both Hiran and Middle Shabelle regions, after the SNA and Mo’awisley vigilantes waged offensive wars.

“Mo’awisley vigilantes, who are mainly composed of nomadic herders, took up arms and rebelled against the jihadists’ confiscation of their livestock and illegal tax collection known as zakawaat.

“Over the last couple of weeks, the government forces and the vigilantes have been gradually inching towards the town which they seized on Monday. The town had been under the full control of al-Shabaab for over a decade,” the bulletin said.

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Tanzania President, Samia Hassan, cancels country’s Independence Day celebrations: Here’s why

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Tanzania’s President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, has cancelled the country’s Independence Day celebrations which was scheduled for Friday, December 9, and has rather directed that the funds that would have been sunk into the celebration should be used to build dormitories for children with special needs.

The organisers of Tanzania’s 61st Independence Day celebrations had presented a budget of $445,000 to the government but the President vehemently opposed the budget and ordered that the money should be used to build dormitories in primary schools around the country.

However, Tanzania’s Minister of State, George Simbachawene, said the money had been disbursed, alluding that the East African country will celebrate Independence Day by having public dialogues on development marked with pomp and state banquets.

This is not the first time Tanzania has cancelled the celebrations.

In 2015, late President John Magufuli cancelled the celebrations and diverted funds towards the building of a road in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.

In 2020, he also cancelled the celebrations and directed that the budget earmarked for it should be used to buy medical facilities.

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