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Diplomatic row looms as gunmen kill German tourist near South African game park

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A diplomatic row is currently brewing between South Africa and Germany after a German tourist was shot and killed by gunmen near the Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga province, the police said in a statement on Wednesday, adding that a manhunt has been launched for the suspects.

The German national was reportedly attacked on Monday afternoon by the gunmen who sped away without taking any belongings from the tourist or three other travelers who were with him, fuelling speculations the attackers could have been assassins, the Mpumalanga police said.

According to the police, the “German tourist was driving with three passengers when their vehicle was attacked near the Numbi Gate of Kruger Park. The gunmen demanded that he open the doors but he locked them and then he was shot,” the police said on its website.

The German High Commission which also confirmed the incident, said the survivors of the attack are now receiving support from the German embassy.

“Concerning the tragic incident involving the death of a German tourist in Mpumalanga, the embassy is in close contact with the South African authorities. Our consular team is providing consular assistance,” the embassy said in a statement.

South Africa’s Tourism Minister, Lindiwe Sisuslu, also condemned the attack in statement:

“I also call on law enforcement agencies to leave no stone unturned in bringing to book the perpetrators of this heinous crime,” Sisuslu said.

Meanwhile, the police has placed a 50,000 rand ($2,800) reward for information leading to the arrest and successful prosecution of those involved in the attack.

Metro

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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Somali forces, local vigilantes, recapture strategic town from Al-Shabaab terrorists

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The Somali National Army (SNA), alongside local vigilantes popularly called Mo’awisley, on Monday, recaptured the strategic city of Adan Yabaal from the al-Shabaab terrorist group, the military said in a bulletin on Tuesday.

According to the statement, the town located near the border between Hiran and Middle Shabelle regions that comprise Hirshabelle State, which is about 220 kilometres north of the capital Mogadishu, is one of the five federal member states of the Federal Government of Somalia, and had been a strategic location held by the al-Qaeda-sponsored extremist group.

The SNA said in the bulletin that it met no resistance from the al-Shabaab fighters who left the town without posing resistance on getting information about the approach of the federal troops.

Al-Shabaab have lost most of the towns and settlements in Hirshabelle State, both Hiran and Middle Shabelle regions, after the SNA and Mo’awisley vigilantes waged offensive wars.

“Mo’awisley vigilantes, who are mainly composed of nomadic herders, took up arms and rebelled against the jihadists’ confiscation of their livestock and illegal tax collection known as zakawaat.

“Over the last couple of weeks, the government forces and the vigilantes have been gradually inching towards the town which they seized on Monday. The town had been under the full control of al-Shabaab for over a decade,” the bulletin said.

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