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France President Macron meets Paul Kagame, Felix Tshisekedi, over Rwanda, DRC conflict

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French President, Emmanuel Macron, has met with the Presidents of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Paul Kagame and Felix Tshisekedi respectively, over the lingering conflict between the two neighbouring African countries which has flared in recent months.

At the meeting which took place on Wednesday on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Macron on invited Kagame to lunch with Tshisekedi, who had accused Rwanda of backing rebel attacks in his country while addressing the Assembly on Tuesday.

The French Presidency which confirmed the meeting of the three leaders, said in a statement that they all “noted their concerns about the resurgence of violence in the east of the DRC.”

The statement said both Kagame and Tshisekedi agreed on the need for the pullout of M23 rebels from the strategic town of Bunagana on the Ugandan border.

“The three leaders want to intensify lasting cooperation to fight impunity and put an end to activities of armed groups in the Great Lakes region, including the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, or FDLR,” the statement said.

In his address to the General Assembly, Tshisekedi had alleged that Rwanda was providing backing and massive support to the M23 rebel group that has been fighting government troops in the Eastern DRC for several years.

“Rwanda’s involvement and responsibility is no longer debatable,” Tshisekedi had said.

But while reacting to Tshisekedi’s accusations in his address on Wednesday, Kagame called for calm, saying “there is an urgent need to find a political need to find and address the root cause of instability in eastern DRC.”

“The blame game does not solve the problems. These challenges are not insurmountable and solutions can be found. This would ultimately be much less costly in terms of both money and human lives,” he added.

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Lesotho to hold parliamentary election as political instability rages

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Southern African nation, Lesotho will hold its parliamentary elections on Friday despite political instability rocking the country following the inability of politicians to pass constitutional reforms meant to end years of conflicts.

The ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC) which has been in power in the country since 2017, has continued to battle with internal divisions within the party which led to the appointment of two prime ministers in five years.

One of the prime ministers, Thomas Thabane, stepped down in 2020 after he was charged with the murder of his ex-wife.

His successor, Moeketsi Majoro, declared a state of emergency in August this year after legislators failed to pass two bills meant to end political volatility in parliament.

But in September, Lesotho’s highest court ruled the declaration unconstitutional.

The proposed constitutional reforms would have amended everything from the role of political parties, to rules over floor-crossing in parliament, the appointment of senior officials and the role of the prime minister.

The aim of the proposed reforms, according to the Prime Minister, was to make Lesotho less prone to political logjams when disagreements occur but the lawmakers had failed to agree on them.

The general elections scheduled to be held in on October 7, will see the election of120 members of the National Assembly and the Lower House of Assembly.

According to the guidelines for the elections, the 120 members of the National Assembly will be elected using the mixed-member proportional representation system, with voters casting two votes.

Eighty members are elected from single-member constituencies by first-past-the-post voting, with the remaining 40 elected from a single nationwide constituency as leveling seats, which are allocated to make seat totals reflect the national vote share.

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President Tshisekedi of Congo DR appoints new military chiefs amidst growing unrest

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The presidency in the Democratic Republic of Congo has replaced the head of the armed forces as part of broader military reforms aimed at boosting efficiency.

President Felix Tshisekedi appointed Christian Tshiwewe Songhesha, former commander of the Republican Guard, an elite unit in charge of protecting the head of state.

Songhesha replaces Célestin Mbala Musense as the army chief of staff, the government said in a statement late on Monday.

The president’s deputy director of communications, Giscard Kusema, told journalists that the wave of appointments is part of a broader framework of military reform.

He further revealed that “almost the entire staff has been replaced by young officers. Several are from the Republican Guard, but not all, and that’s because they have proven themselves.”

“For years, all the experts have been asking for a military programming law that gives more financial autonomy to the army and flexibility in procedures,” Kusema added.

Congo is one of the troubled zones of East Africa. between 1998 and 2003, government forces supported by Angola, Namibia, and Zimbabwe fought rebels backed by Rwanda and Uganda in what is known as the Second Congo War.

Unfortunately, the wave of unrest does not seem to be over as the country remains a territory for terror acts with multiple attacks lately.

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