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‘Big Brother’ South Africa to expand military presence in Mozambique in war against terrorism

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Everyone needs a brother to keep him or her. Such is the case among states in the international polity also. That perhaps explains why South Africa has once again stood up for its “neighbouring brother” Mozambique as its military chief has insisted that terrorists in Mozambique must be dealt.

The military chief, General Rudzani Maphwanya, was speaking in Pretoria after an agreement to expand a joint regional force (SAMIM) was made by the two countries on Tuesday.

The SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) was deployed on 15 July 2021 following approval by the Extraordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government held in Maputo, the Republic of Mozambique on 23 June 2021 as a regional response to support the Republic of Mozambique to combat terrorism and acts of violent extremism. The troop is also made of soldiers from Angola, Botswana, Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia.

SAMIM forces had been involved in intense fighting, destroying enemy bases, and capturing hundreds of weapons and fighters.

“SAMIM forces met strong resistance from the terrorists but were able to inflict fatal casualties and disrupt activities as well as continue to dominate and pursue the terrorists in the operational area.” Maphwanya said.

“We strongly believe that if we do not curb the scourge of terrorism and nip it in the bud whilst it’s still on the other side, eventually it will affect the entire region.”

Maphwanya also revealed that activities of SAMIM have transcended aggression on the enemy as the force has performed peacekeeping and mediation roles in the bid to find lasting peace in northern Mozambique.

“We must create conditions for the people of Mozambique to start picking up where things have fallen between the cracks and start going on with their lives, so governance aspects must also be strengthened because the problem cannot be resolved purely by means of the military,” said Maphwanya.

Since 2017, the insurgency in Mozambique has been blamed for more than 3,000 deaths, with more than 800,000 people displaced and more than 1 million in need of food aid, according to the U.N. World Food Program.

Politics

South Africa: Parliament reelects Cyril Ramaphosa as president

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President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has been re-elected for a second term. He was nominated for re-election on Friday by a member of his African National Congress (ANC) party during the first sitting of parliament following last month’s election.

Julius Malema, the opposition Economic Freedom Fighter, was also put forward for the nation’s presidency, necessitating a vote in parliament to determine the winner.

With a majority of votes in the National Assembly, Chief Justice Ramaphosa was proclaimed president. Julius Malema, the leader of the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters party, received 44 votes, while Ramaphosa received 283.

The Democratic Alliance party said earlier in the day that it would support Ramaphosa in the election as part of a deal to establish a unity government with the African National Congress.

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has been re-elected for a second term. He was nominated for re-election on Friday by a member of his African National Congress (ANC) party during the first sitting of parliament following last month’s election.

Out of the 400 seats in the recently elected National Assembly, 246 are held by the ANC and DA.

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Niamey court revokes immunity of overthrown Nigerien president

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The State Court of Niamey has revoked the immunity of Niger’s deposed President, Mohamed Bazoum, signalling the start of criminal proceedings against him by the junta, according to a statement from his attorneys on Friday.

In July of last year, a military coup overthrew Bazoum. Since then, he and his spouse have remained in custody despite numerous requests for his release from Western nations and the ECOWAS regional political and economic grouping.

 

Colonel Amadou Abdramane, the junta’s spokesperson, stated on state television in August that the military government had “gathered the necessary evidence to prosecute the ousted president and his local and foreign accomplices for high treason and for undermining the internal and external security of Niger before competent national and international authorities.”

In a statement, one of his attorneys, Moussa Coulibaly, claimed that the court’s ruling cleared the path for Bazoum to face charges of treason and conspiracy to compromise state security.

The court proceedings “violated (ed) the absolute rights of the defence: we were not authorised to meet our client and the court refused to hear our arguments,” he added.

It was not immediately able to get in contact with the Niger government for a response. Because of Bazoum’s interactions with foreign heads of state and international organizations, the junta declared last year that it would bring high treason charges against him.

Following 2020, there have been eight coups in West and Central Africa that have brought the military government to power. Calls for Bazoum’s reinstatement have gone unanswered, including by the ECOWAS Court of Justice, which declared last year that his arrest was unjustified.

According to Bazoum’s attorneys, he and his spouse had never appeared before a magistrate. Lawyers said that since October, when their phone line at the White House was taken away, they have been cut off from the outside world and are only permitted to have visitors from their doctor.

Mohamed Bazoum Salem, the 23-year-old son of the deposed president, was given provisional parole from house imprisonment by the Niger military tribunal in January.

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