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US urges Congo DR to protect peacekeepers amidst anti-MONUSCO violent protests

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Following the continued anti-UN demonstration in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the United States on Thursday urged the East Africa country to make deliberate protect UN peacekeepers.

State Department spokesman Ned Price, told journalists that “MONUSCO plays a critical role in fostering peace and security, protecting civilians and facilitating delivery of humanitarian assistance.”

“We call on the national and local authorities in the DRC to ensure the protection of MONUSCO sites and personnel and for protesters to express their sentiments peacefully,” he said.

Reports emerged on Tuesday that protesters reportedly demanding that the United Nations peacekeeping mission leave the country for failing to protect the population attacked a force’s warehouse and looted its offices in Goma.

The ongoing protest in Goma, turned bloody with at least 5 people killed and 50 injured in the Eastern part of the country on Wednesday. Four of the protesters were also reportedly electrocuted on the same day.

The latest protests come after the president of the senate, Modeste Bahati, told supporters in Goma on July 15 that MONUSCO should “pack its bags”.

Congo has been a troubled territory with more than 120 rebel groups continuing to operate across large swathes of east Congo almost two decades after the official end of the central African country’s civil wars.

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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