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Adamant Mali vows not to allow UN peacekeepers investigate rights abuses

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Mali has continued its stand-off with the international community, after breaking a series of diplomatic ties, the country has vowed to defy a United Nations Security Council call to allow peacekeepers to investigate human rights abuses.

Mali’s U.N. Ambassador Issa Konfourou told the council that “Mali is not in a position to guarantee the freedom of movement for MINUSMA’s inquiries without prior agreement of the government.

“Mali does not intend to comply with these provisions despite them being adopted by the Security Council.” Konfourou said.

The Security Council extended a nine-year-old peacekeeping operation of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali for another 12 months on Wednesday with 13 votes in favour.

Russia and China maintained their bias to Mali to object to the rights mandate of the mission and abstained.

Russia’s Deputy U.N. Ambassador Anna Evstigneeva described the human rights language in the resolution adopted on Wednesday as “intrusive,” adding that it “will not help to ensure that the Malians enjoy their sovereign right to protect their own citizens and to investigate any incidents.”

French U.N. Ambassador Nicolas de Riviere argued that “MINUSMA must be able to get access to the areas affected in order to carry out its mandate and to publish quarterly reports on human rights. The perpetrators of violations must be brought to justice.

The Mali War is an ongoing armed conflict that started in January 2012 between the northern and southern parts of Mali in Africa. According to a UN report, jihadists, armed militias and the armed forces in Mali killed close to 600 civilians in 2021.

Disagreements over right between Mali and international community is not a first time occurrence. In March Malian authorities and the United Nations disagreed over the killing of Jihadist fighters in the country after troops killed over 200 jihadists in military operations in the centre of the Sahel state, the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission

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Ex-Mozambique President’s son bags 12 years imprisonment for $2 billion fraud

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The son of former Mozambican President Armando Guebuza, Armando Ndambi Guebuza, has been sentenced to 12 years imprisonment on Wednesday for his role in a $2 billion ‘hidden debt’ corruption and fraud incident that allegedly crashed the country’s economy.

Ndambi Guebuza, was found guilty of the crime alongside 10 other accused on charges related to money laundering, bribery and blackmail, while eight were acquitted by the court.

Other accomplices in the fraud including two top intelligence officials were handed sentences of between 10 and 12 years.

Maputo City Court Judge, Judtice Efigenio Baptista, who delivered the judgement, said the ex-President’s son was not “remorseful in committing the crime which saw hundreds of millions of dollars in government-supported loans vanish.”

“Armando Ndambi Guebuza showed no remorse for committing the crime and he maintains that he has been targeted for political reasons,” Judge Baptista said.

“Ndambi still does not reckon that he wrongfully benefited from $33 million that the Mozambican people badly need,” he added.

The two former top intelligence officials, General Director Gregorio Leao and Head of the Economic Unit, Antonio Carlos do Rosario, were each sentenced to 12 years in prison, with Justice Baptista saying they, by their actions, helped impoverish Mozambique’s people.

“The defendants tarnished the good image of the country abroad and in the international markets, with enduring and hard-to-repair effects,” Baptista said.

The fraud which was committed in 2016, saw Mozambique unable to meet up its repayment plans to donors like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), with the scandal stimulating the IMF and other donors to reduce support, causing a currency collapse and debt default.

An independent audit discovered in 2017 that the government had failed to explain how funds were expended and that approximately a quarter of the money was unaccounted for, with much of the money raised for a fishing project diverted through kickbacks to bankers and Mozambique officials.

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Rwanda accuses US of inflaming crisis in eastern DRC

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The government of Rwanda on Tuesday, accused the United States as well as the international community of ‘exacerbating and inflaming’ the crisis in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The accusation was made by the Foreign Affairs Ministry after the US urged Kigali to stop any support for the M23 rebels who have a base in a Rwandan territory.

The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, had in a telephone call on Sunday to Rwandan President Paul Kagame, said “it was clear that all external support to non-state armed groups in the DRC must end, including Rwanda’s support for M23.”

But in a press release published on Tuesday, the Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vincent Biruta, affirmed that Paul Kagame and Anthony Blinken “had had good exchanges but that differences remain on the understanding of the problem.”

“The erroneous approach of the United States and the international community continues to exacerbate the problem in the east DRC.

“Rwanda’s security problems must be taken into account… M23 should not be equated with Rwanda,” Biruta said.

The crisis in eastern DRC between government forces and the M23 rebels which is made up of mainly Tutsi ethnic group, a predominant tribe in Rwanda, has continued to heighten tensions between the two neighbours with the DRC accusing Rwanda of supporting and encouraging the militia, accusations Kigali has always denies.

Rwanda on its part, has often blamed the crisis in eastern DRC on authorities in Kinshasa and accused the international community of turning a blind eye to DRC’s support for the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a rebel group made of Rwandan Hutus who were involved in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

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