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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

Congo DR electoral body, CENI, announces date of presidential election

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The electoral authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Commission Electorale Nationale Independente (CENI) have announced dates for the next presidential election.

CENI on Saturday said the election will take place on December 20th next year.

The commission outlined several challenges, including the logistics of transporting ballot materials thousands of miles, health concerns about Ebola and COVID-19, and unrest that has forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes.

The incumbent president, Felix Tshisekedi, who already expressed his intention to run again. He might be running against Martin Fayulu, who continues to claim that he won the 2018 election and was denied victory.

Terrorist activities, largely by a rebel group, M23 have drawn reactions from stakeholders in the East Africa region and global observers. The M23 is a rebel military group based in eastern areas of the DRC, mainly operating in the province of North Kivu.

According to the electoral authorities, insecurity remains the main challenge for the next elections.

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Congo DR rebel group, M23 wants direct talks with government. Will Kinshasa concede?

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The M23 rebel group, which has been at loggerheads with the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has asked for a direct talk with the government.

The positions are days after the deadline for the declaration of a permanent truce between the worrying battles.

Leaders of Rwanda, Burundi, and Angola met this week in Luanda to find a solution to the conflict in eastern Congo, which has forced thousands to flee their homes.

But the M23 was not part of the discussions and found out about the statement on social media, its spokesperson said.

The spokesperson of the group, Lawrence Kanyuka, “thanked the regional leaders for their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the current conflict.”

“Give us direct negotiations with the government to resolve the root causes of conflict that are producing all these wars here,” he said. M23 leader Bertrand Bisimwa also issued a statement to the same effect.

Meanwhile, Congo DR’s foreign minister Christophe Lutundula said: “It won’t happen. I can reassure you on behalf of the government and the President of the Republic.”

The M23 is a rebel military group based in eastern areas of the DRC, mainly operating in the province of North Kivu.

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