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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

ECOWAS folds, lifts economic, travel sanctions on junta-led Niger, others

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Economic sanctions on Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso were lifted with immediate effect by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Saturday.

This came after the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government held an unprecedented meeting at the State House in Abuja, where they deliberated for hours on the political, peace, and security situation in the region.

Mali and its bordering junta-run nations, Niger and Burkina Faso, abruptly announced last month that they were abandoning ECOWAS, the largest political and economic union in West Africa, reversing decades of regional integration.

The ECOWAS Commission President, Dr. Omar Touray, announced the Authority’s resolutions and stated that it has halted the closing of the air and land border with Niger, creating a no-fly zone for any commercial aircraft.

Additionally, it has halted the unfreezing of all of Niger’s assets at EBID and the freezing of any financial transactions involving the central bank of the ECOWAS states and Niger.

Additionally, it removed the restriction on military junta members’ and their families’ travel. “Based on humanitarian considerations due to lent and the approaching month of Ramadan,” according to Touray, the decision was made.

Sanctions against Mali citizens being elected to ECOWAS positions were also lifted by the authority. Along with the lifting of sanctions against Guinea, all four nations were extended an invitation to future ECOWAS technical consultative meetings.

Additionally, ECOWAS requested that the member states that were withdrawing reevaluate their choice in light of the advantages their citizens had received.

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Senegalese opposition condemns President Sall’s ‘slow’ election date announcement

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The opposition presidential contenders in Senegal have claimed that the government is taking too long to announce a new date for the poll, following a court ruling that declared a 10-month postponement to be illegal.

This occurs just a few days after President Macky Sall pledged to comply with the Constitutional Council’s position that the election be held as soon as feasible following the parliament’s resolution to reschedule the election—which was initially set for February 25—was overruled by the court.

The situation in one of the more stable democracies in coup-hit West Africa led to violent public protests and threats of authoritarian overreach, and Sall came under intense pressure both domestically and internationally to accept the council’s decision.

However, no new date has been announced, which has angered opposition candidates who want the election to happen before Sall’s term expires on April 2.

In a joint statement released late on Tuesday, sixteen out of the nineteen presidential candidates bemoaned the “inexplicable slowness” with which the council’s decision was implemented.

It was their contention that Sall’s tardy return to electoral duty demonstrated his reluctance to initiate a process that would result in a transfer of power. A request for response from the presidency was not answered.

During a news conference on Tuesday, Justice Minister Aïssata Tall Sall said that there was room for discussion over the expiration of Sall’s mandate on April 2.

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