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Liberian narcotics officials arrest drug trafficker with cocaine worth $100m

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Operatives of the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA) and National Security Agency (NSA), have arrested a 31-year-old Guinea-Bissauan drug trafficker, identified as Malam Conte, with cocaine worth $100 million.

The LDEA, in a statement on Monday, said Conte was arrested on October 1, following intelligence reports from the US government which has been on his trial.

“At about 1:00pm Saturday, October 1, the LDEA stormed the SONIT Liberia Inc compound and seized from there a huge quantity of raw Cocaine concealed among frozen goods owned by SONIT Inc, a frozen food company located in Topoe Village along the Japanese Free Way.

“The value of the confiscated drugs is about One Hundred Million United States Dollars (US$100,000,000).

“During a preliminary investigation by the LDEA, the suspect Malam Conte, a national of Guinea-Bissau, said he was asked by his international partners to follow the consignment and ensure it reaches the final destination. However, he did not say as to whether Liberia is the final destination.

“It was also established that suspect Malam arrived in the country with two other accomplices who checked in at the Royal Grand Hotel. The suspects later moved over to the Boulevard Palace Hotel where the LDEA was able to pick up additional information leading towards their syndicate.

“Meanwhile, suspects Gustavo Henrique, a Brazilian and Adulai Djibril, a Portuguese, who both accompanied Malam, were not in their hotel room at the time of our arrival.

“Suspect Malam is currently undergoing a full-scale investigation, while suspects Gustavo Henrique and Adulai Djibril remain at large,” the LDEA statement said.

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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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