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Rwanda vows to retaliate if attacked by DR Congo

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The Rwanda government has vowed that it will retaliate if neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), continues attacking its territory after accusing the DRC of firing shells across the border last month, Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta said in a statement on Tuesday.

“If attacks continue we will not sit idly by … Rwanda will have the right to respond to protect the security of the country, to protect the security of its citizens and we have the means to do that,” Biruta told reporters at a news conference in Kigali.

Biruta added that the DRC government backed Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) fighters were among the ranks of the DRC army when their shells allegedly destroyed houses and injured people on the Rwandan side of the border.

But the DRC has denied the accusation of its army fighting alongside the FDLR.

“They cannot say that they are victims of the FDLR. The FDLR are killing our people, not the Rwandan people; it is we who suffer. Their discourse on the FDLR no longer makes sense,” DRC government spokesperson Patrick Muyaya.

Relations between the two close neighbours have been seriously strained leading to the DRC summoning Rwanda’s ambassador and suspending RwandAir flights to DRC in response to what it said was Kigali’s support for M23 rebels carrying out a military offensive in its eastern parts of the country.

Rwanda has however, denied the claims and in turn, accused the DRC army of fighting alongside the FDLR, an armed group founded by ethnic Hutus who fled Rwanda after participating in the 1994 genocide.

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Sudan recalls Ambassador from Addis Ababa after accusing Ethiopia of executing soldiers

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Sudan has recalled its ambassador to Ethiopia after accusing the Ethiopian army of executing seven Sudanese soldiers and a civilian who had been held in captivity.

The Sudanese military had said on Sunday that the Ethiopian soldiers had executed the captives and displayed their bodies in public while negotiations were ongoing for their release, promising that there would be “an appropriate response” to the execution.

“It is an act that contravenes all laws and customs of war and international humanitarian law, the Ethiopian army executed seven Sudanese soldiers and a citizen who were their captives.

“This treacherous act will not pass without a response,” the Sudanese military said.

The Ethiopian government however, denied complicity by its military in the killing of the Sudanese soldiers, blaming the Sudanese forces for crossing into its territory and provoking a clash.

The Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Addis Ababa, issued a statement expressing regret over the incident but said Ethiopia has been misrepresented.

“The Government of Ethiopia categorically rejects the misrepresentation of these facts by the Sudanese defense forces that unjustly put the blame on Ethiopia, while it was the Sudanese army unit that crossed (over) the Ethiopian border, provoking the incident.”

But in an announcement late Monday, Sudan said it would recall its envoy from Addis Ababa as well as summon the Ethiopian ambassador from Khartoum.

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Uganda’s Government changes position, invites striking art teachers for negotiations

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The Ugandan government has made a turn on its decision to sack all arts teachers involved in the industrial action.

The change in position comes barely days after the government threatened to dismiss the teachers. Minister Raphael Magyezi had revealed that the government had reached a final position to have Arts striking teachers sacked if they do not get back to class.

The government backed down and invited the leaders of the tutors’ union for negotiations to end the ongoing strike that has paralysed learning in public schools for two weeks now.

Art teachers across Uganda downed tools last week, threatening to throw the country’s education sector into yet another crisis, a few months after schools came out of two years of a shutdown that kept thousands of learners at home.

The general secretary of the Uganda Professional Science Teachers Union, Mr Aron Mugaiga, had advised the leadership of the Uganda National Teachers Union (Unatu) to encourage their art counterparts to return to class.

“I urge members to go back and teach because if they continue with the industrial action, the lost time will never be recovered when the government affects their pay enhancement. I believe the doors for negotiations are still open,” Mr Mugaiga said.

The ongoing strike is just five months after Uganda reopened schools following a two-year closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic, has already caused outrage as more than eight million children in public schools miss out on learning.

Over 300 percent pay increment was allocated for science teachers in Uganda’s budget for the 2022/23 financial year, which starts in July but the allocation does not include arts and humanities teachers.

It is not uncommon to see prolonged industrial actions in Africa. Elsewhere in the continent, Nigeria, University teachers have been on strike since February over salary related agreement the academic union had with the government in 2009.

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