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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

Like Mali, Burkina Faso junta suspends France’s RFI radio over broadcast of militant speech

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West African country, Burkina Faso has gone the way of its neighbour Mali, as its ruling junta has suspended the broadcast of France’s RFI radio.

The suspension comes after what the junta said were false reports and giving voice to Islamist militants, a statement from the government said on Saturday.

According to a statement by the radio station, “RFI strongly deplores this decision and protests against the totally unfounded accusations calling into question its professionalism,” State-owned Radio France Internationale, usually referred to as RFI.

The statement added that the decision to suspend its broadcasting was made without prior notice and without the implementation of the procedures put in place by Burkina Faso’s communications regulator.

The ruling junta which came into power in a recent coup in September accused the RFI also repeated a press report – which it denied – that Burkina Faso’s President Captain Ibrahim Traore, who seized power in a coup in September, had said there had been an attempted coup trying to unseat him.

Burkina Faso’s neighbour Mali under military reign suspended broadcasts by French state-funded international news outlets RFI and France 24 amid accusations of reporting “false allegations”.

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Politics

Tunisian labour union, UGTT threatens political disruption as elections draws near

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As the North African country, Tunisia braces up for elections, labour union, UGTT has threatened not to disrupt proceedings under the current political arrangement.

UGTT attacked president Saied political and economic agenda on Saturday, including the elections scheduled for this month. The union said that it will no longer accept what it called a threat to democracy in its clearest challenge to him yet.

UGTT’s leader Noureddine Taboubi said in a speech to thousands of supporters, the union will ” no longer accept the current path because of its ambiguity and individual rule, and the unpleasant surprises it hides for the fate of the country and democracy.”

“We will not hesitate to defend rights and freedoms whatever the cost,” he added, in his strongest criticism yet of the president.

“We will not abide by secret agreements the government has with the International Monetary Fund and the workers will stand up to it,” Taboubi said.

Taboubi said the December election would “have no colour and taste” as a result of Saied’s constitution and that the vote lacked national unanimity.

President Kais Saied hinted that the country will not accept foreign observers for the planned elections for later this year.

There have been protests for and against president Saied’s approach to governance of the Tunisian public.

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