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South Africa, Mozambique declare plans to strengthen relations, regional peace

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South African President Ramaphosa and his Mozambican counterpart, President Filipe Nyusi have had discussions on strengthening bi-lateral relations and regional security at the just concluded SA-Mozambique Bi-National Commission in Pretoria.

The southern Africa neighbours also spoke about the insurgency in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province, as well as cyclone Gombe which is battering the north of the country.

“…the crisis you are confronting in Cabo Delgado is no different. We will face it together, with the same determination, certain that the forces of democracy and peace will be victorious”

Ramaphoza reiterated that “Mozambique remains one of South Africa’s top trading partners in the region, and there are several opportunities for expansion”

South Africa is keen, in particular, to expand cooperation in the energy sector with Mozambique being endowed with significant volumes of natural gas.

“Energy security is vital to economic growth in our respective countries, and we look forward to significant progress towards securing and sustaining our energy needs” Ramaphosa said.

The two leaders discussed ways of strengthening political, economic and investment relations as well as the implementation of the over 70 bilateral agreements.

President Ramaphosa said they have tasked deputy ministers from their foreign departments to meet regularly to ensure the implementation of their agreements.

“One of the most outstanding aspects of our meeting today is that we are going to on a six-monthly track the progress that we are making in implementing the agreements that we have reached here today.

Our deputy ministers will fold their arm sleeves to make sure on a continuous basis, we implement the agreements that we have reached so that they do not stay on our shelves and make sure that indeed the projects and interventions that are going to form part of enriching this relationship are indeed followed and are implemented.”

For Filipe Nyusi, President of Mozambique, this was a welcome development. “We accept this support, but understand that you can’t fight terrorism in an isolated form. This fact is borne out by the results on the ground even though sporadic attacks have persisted. The reduction in terrorist attacks confirms the old truth that united we are stronger.”

Also discussed was intentions to be supportive in matters of international relations. “Our countries share similar views on the need to reform the United Nations Security Council, to make it an organ that is representative and where the African continent can have a voice”

“South Africa fully supports Mozambique’s candidature for a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council”

“Together with South Africa’s tenure in the AU Peace and Security Council, this will provide an opportunity for our countries to further cement cooperation between the two Councils, especially in the area of financing peace support operations”

 

Politics

Chad’s PM resigns following disputed election of Deby

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Succes Masra, the opposition leader and prime minister of Chad, announced on Wednesday that he had tendered his resignation following the confirmation of Mahamat Idriss Deby as the winner of the May 6 presidential election.

In an attempt to appease the opposition, Masra, a vigorous opponent of the junta that took control in April 2021, was named prime minister of the transitional government in January, four months before the election.

His candidacy was approved in March to hold the presidential election and restore constitutional order to the nation. The oil-producing nation is the first in a line of coup-hit Sahelian republics in West and Central Africa to try a similar comeback.

Masra declared victory before formally releasing the preliminary results, claiming that election fraud was organized. With 61% of the vote, Deby was declared the winner by Chad’s state election board, and the constitutional council subsequently affirmed his victory.

Masra has accepted the council’s decision and stated that there was no alternative way to challenge the outcomes legally.

“In accordance with the constitution, I have today presented… my resignation and that of the transitional government, which has become irrelevant with the end of the presidential
election of May 6,” Masra said on X on Wednesday.

The family has maintained a tight hold on power since Deby’s father overthrew the government in a coup in the early 1990s, and Deby’s triumph strengthens their hold on power.

Deby, the acting president of Chad, was declared the winner of the May 6 presidential election by the state electoral commission two weeks ago. Provisional results show that Deby received almost 61% of the vote. This statement was issued even though the front-runner of the opposition declared himself the winner.

Chad is the first coup-affected nation in West and Central Africa to have successfully returned to constitutional rule through democratic elections, replacing its previous military regime. On the other hand, certain opposition parties have voiced their displeasure over concerns about electoral meddling.

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Kenya’s Ruto to discuss debt relief with Biden this week

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This week, Kenyan President, William Ruto will be hosted by US President, Joe Biden, for extensive negotiations that are anticipated to cover a range of topics, including Kenya’s debt relief as well as the future of Haiti, Ukraine, Sudan, and other regions.

Kenya has been facing severe cash shortages, and a senior administration official quoted by Reuter said that the US is pressuring major creditors like China, which is Kenya’s largest creditor, to provide debtor nations with assistance.

“We think it’s essential that responsible debtors provide reprieves for countries like Kenya, whether that’s by debt service suspensions or via new grant assistance,” the official said.

Additionally, Washington is pressuring global financial institutions to provide Kenya and other nations with affordable funding. During the state visit this week, the official indicated to anticipate some major joint pronouncements about debt relief “on how countries like Kenya can tackle this problem of debt.”

Washington hopes to counter China’s growing influence in Africa, which is one of the reasons it scheduled the high-profile visit by the Kenyan leader.

By collecting debt service payments and limiting follow-on loans, US Treasury Undersecretary Jay Shambaugh warned China and other nations that made large loans to low-income countries last month against free-riding.

The remarks demonstrated the mounting annoyance of debtor countries and Western countries with Beijing’s procrastination about debt restructuring and the glacial pace of debt relief negotiations.

The executive director of Jubilee USA Network, an ecumenical coalition of advocacy, development, and religious organizations, Eric LeCompte, predicted that the Ruto visit would have a significant impact on American policy on Africa.

“When Ruto speaks, he’s speaking for Africa. And given that President Biden hasn’t had the chance to visit Africa yet, this meeting is not only about Kenya, it’s really about sub-Saharan Africa as a whole,” LeCompte said.

 

During a meeting Ruto called last month, African leaders urged that affluent countries make record commitments to the World Bank’s International Growth Association, a low-interest facility that developing countries rely on to help finance economic growth and combat climate change.

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