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Uganda’s army to send 1,000 soldiers to join regional force in DRC

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The Ugandan Army has resolved to send 1,000 of its troops to join the eastern African regional force, the East African Community (EAC), based in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in its battle to dislodge the M23 rebel group from the eastern part of the country.

Uganda is the third country in the region out of the seven that make up the EAC to deploy troops after contingents from Kenya and Burundi had earlier arrived in the DRC.

A statement on Monday by Uganda’s army spokesman, Felix Kulayigye, said the country will send “1,000 troops to neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by the end of this month to join a regional force mandated to help end decades of instability.”

The seven countries of the EAC had in April, agreed to set up a force to fight militia groups in its eastern DRC, but Uganda’s involvement has been opposed by some activist groups and officials because of the country’s role in the conflict in DRC in the first place.

Eastern DRC already hosts hundreds of Ugandan troops deployed nearly a year ago under a separate bilateral arrangement to help hunt down the ISIL-allied group Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).

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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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Tanzania President, Samia Hassan, cancels country’s Independence Day celebrations: Here’s why

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Tanzania’s President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, has cancelled the country’s Independence Day celebrations which was scheduled for Friday, December 9, and has rather directed that the funds that would have been sunk into the celebration should be used to build dormitories for children with special needs.

The organisers of Tanzania’s 61st Independence Day celebrations had presented a budget of $445,000 to the government but the President vehemently opposed the budget and ordered that the money should be used to build dormitories in primary schools around the country.

However, Tanzania’s Minister of State, George Simbachawene, said the money had been disbursed, alluding that the East African country will celebrate Independence Day by having public dialogues on development marked with pomp and state banquets.

This is not the first time Tanzania has cancelled the celebrations.

In 2015, late President John Magufuli cancelled the celebrations and diverted funds towards the building of a road in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.

In 2020, he also cancelled the celebrations and directed that the budget earmarked for it should be used to buy medical facilities.

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