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Musings From Abroad

Despite heavy security presence, Libyan protesters step up campaign, vow to continue demonstrations

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Libyan protesters have vowed to step up its campaign and continue with their demonstrations until all the ruling elites quit power and pave way for elections.

The protests which began on Friday, saw the burning of the country’s parliament building in Tobruk when a large crowd broke through the security and set the building on fire.

The incident prompted the government to release thousands of security personnel into the streets but the demonstrators were not deterred as they defied the presence of the forces on Saturday and Sunday by holding rallies in Tripoli, Tobruk, and Benghazi, and other major cities in the North African country.

While addressing the protesters, leaders of the movement said they would step up its campaign from Sunday, urging demonstrators to set up tents in city squares and practise civil disobedience until they achieve their goal of ousting political institutions and holding new elections.

Libyan Observer reports that the protesters held their biggest rally in Tripoli for years, chanting slogans against the feuding political elites, as demonstrators blocked off roads in Benghazi and Misrata and set fire to government buildings in Sebha and Qarabuli.

The media also reported that despite pleas by United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the demonstrators are bent on going on with their daily protests until they force the ruling elites out.

Musings From Abroad

Germany joins France, Egypt, withdraws troops from peacekeeping mission in Mali. Here’s why

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The trend of breaking diplomatic relations between Mali and the rest of the world has continued.

In the latest on the trend, Germany announced Friday that it was suspending its participation in a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali.

Germany’s announcement comes after the West African nation refused to grant a civilian aircraft carrying German troops permission to use its airspace.

According to Germany’s defense minister, Christine Lambrecht, her Malian counterpart, Sadio Camara, had not adhered to agreements to use its airspace.

Recall that Germany earlier in the year announced that it was drawing down its participation in a European Union military mission in Mali after France pulled out.

Last month, North African country, Egypt also announced plans to withdraw its troops from Mali by mid-August following deadly attacks against its peacekeepers.

But Germany continued to provide troops to the UN’s MINUSMA peacekeeping mission in the West African nation.

Mali under the current Junta of Colonel Goita has been on a thread of breaking diplomatic relations with allies.

It started by breaking defense alliance with the French, the junta also quit the anti-jihadist force, G-5 force but has enjoyed good relationship with Russia.

Berlin has deployed some 1,000 troops to Mali, most of them near the northern town of Gao where their main task is to gather reconnaissance for the U.N. peacekeeping mission MINUSMA.

Mali has been in the eye of terror storm since  war started in January 2012 between the northern and southern parts of Mali in Africa with several insurgent groups, Jihadist and separatist fighters with affiliations with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group

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Musings From Abroad

What next? As US Secretary, Anthony Blinken, ends African tour

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The United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken has concluded three-nation tour of Africa where he articulated the US new strategy for engaging with sub-Saharan African nations as “equal partners”.

Blinken boarded Thursday a plane to leave Kigali, Rwanda, his last stop having visited the Democratic Republic of Congo and attempted to intervene in the diplomatic tension between the East African neighbours.

Despite having seek support from the continent’s 54 countries in efforts to isolate Russia over its Ukraine invasion, the US official in his recent visit said “Uncle Sam” will not dictate Africa’s choices.

Blinken took part in several meetings with members of the Rwandan government, discussing issues such as democracy, human rights concerns and the on-going tensions between Rwanda and the DRC.

“There are very credible reports of support for armed groups by all sides, including the FDLR, by Congolese forces and M23, by Rwandans, US’s top diplomat said. Our position is clear, whoever it’s by, whoever it’s to, that support needs to cease for any armed group.”

Despite a meeting between Kagame and Tshisekedi in Angola last month ties between the neighbors remain strained.

Blinken visit to Africa is the latest in the recent visits by international representatives. Recall  that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavlov and French President Emmanuel Macron’s travel recently visited. Ukraine also announced that its foreign minister will soon be visiting in a yet to be announced that.

 

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