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Burundi Military Given 48 Hours To Leave DRC

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President Felix Tshisekedi has ordered his Burundian counterpart to immediately remove his soldiers on DRC territory within 48 hours. The ultimatum issued on Friday expires today, May 2.

Sources close to the Presidency in DR Congo confirmed that President Tshisekedi communicated to President Pierre Nkurunziza, but did not specify whether it was by telephone or other channels.

Burundi National Defense Force (FDNB) soldiers are currently stationed in the territory of Uvira (South Kivu province in the east of DRC). They are allegedly pursuing Red Tabara rebels opposed to the Nkurunziza regime.

According to security experts, Burundian authorities prefer to use rebel groups like the Mai-Mai to bring in their soldiers instead of communicating officially with Congolese officials.

“All this week, fighting between our fighters and Burundian soldiers has been reported in villages of Kigoma and Bijombo in the territory of Uvira (South Kivu),” the spokesperson for Red Tabara Rebels was quoted in a conversation with SOS media in Burundi.

The Burundian army has lost five soldiers and one rebel injured. The Burundian army has not confirmed it, according to Red Tabara rebels’ Spokesperson.

Kinshasa government is said to have acted following revelations made by Rwandan President Paul Kagame on the presence of Burundian soldiers in DR Congo.

On Monday April 27, President Kagame engaged the press via video conferencing and addressed several issues including insecurity in the Eastern part of DR Congo.

Mai Mai Yakutumba rebels, Rwandan rebels FDLR and FNL rebels provide cover for the Burundian soldiers to fight Red Tabara rebel movement that has an objective of toppling the government in Burundi.

This cocktail of rebel groups is responsible for attacking Banyamulenge people living in Uvira, Fizi and Mwenga territories in South Kivu. The attacks have claimed hundreds of innocent lives and displaced more than 50, 000 Banyamulenge people.

Several Banyamulenge have fled from DR Congo to safety in Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania in the past 26 years.

“Our intelligence collection tells us Burundi government forces are operating in that part of DR Congo,” President Kagame revealed, adding that Rwanda has shared Intelligence info with Kinshasa government and the UN (Monusco) in jointly dealing with the situation.

President Kagame commended the Kinshasa government saying it was fortunate the Congolese allowed working with neighbours to resolve insecurity issues in Eastern DR Congo.

In particular, the Congolese government received from Rwanda vital intelligence information about the Ugandan Rebels ADF and FDLR in North Kivu. It was verified and used to plan operations against the rebels.

“They started acting on information we gave them because they were also able to verify and see the trends in North Kivu,” Kagame said during a lengthy virtual conversation with members of the Press.

However, the Rwandan President expressed concern that for the 26 years, armed groups in DR Congo have been growing but there is always one constant; “the failure to deal with this problem.”

Dozens Of Banyamulenge Killed In DRC Under Cover Of #COVID-19

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Bokabo

    May 4, 2020 at 9:24 am

    I am a Congolese Immigrant and I feel so saddened by this type of journalism. It’s so true that “Banyamulenge” are an ethnic minority in the Congo, but not an innocent one as this article treats them. The war the DRC, especially in the eastern areas mentioned in the article, has had many victims and criminals in almost every ethnic group. Banyamulenge are not a unique case in this, they too are responsible for a good number of known massacres including one in Makobola, Kazumba, Kabogo, and many other places, which claimed the lives of many hundreds of people most of whom were innocent women and children.
    Besides, I have lived in and visited many refugee camps in East African countries. The number of Banyamulenge refugees in those countries are but a drop of water in the ocean. The saddest irony is the fact that many refugees in those camps aren’t afraid of the rebel groups you mentioned as they are of Banyamulenge rebel groups. There are many young people who decide to join rebel groups just because they resent the atrocities committed to them and their relatives by some other groups. In a situation like that the best kind journalism should be the one that brings people together without favoring one group over another. Again I am writing this knowing the writer may most possibly be a member of Banyamulenge ethnic group or just a close fan thereof. It’s not my intention to accuse any particular group of the problems of the eastern Congo but to call for responsible, balanced and unbiased journalism as a tool for an effective process of reconciliation, healing and peace in the eastern Congo.
    Reading a biased article like this makes one think of the difficulties there are of the eastern Congo to attain permanent peace.
    Yet, I still hope we can do better!
    Thanks.

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    June 7, 2020 at 8:36 am

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Business

Chinese Companies Win Tender to Construct Railway From Mwanza to Isaka 

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The Standard Gauge Railway from Mwanza to Isaka in neighbouring Tanzania will be constructed by two Chinese Companies that have won a lucrative tender for this job.

Prof. Palamagamba Kabudi Tanzania’s foreign minister said on Thursday during a presser on the eve of the Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi’s two-day visit to Tanzania.

The Mwanza-Isaka railway stretch will cover a distance of 341 kilometres and construction is estimated to cost TShs3 trillion will be handled by China Civil Engineering Construction (CCEC) and China Railway Construction Company (CRCC).

The Tanzanian government through the Tanzania Railway Corporation (TRC) is constructing a 2,561Km SGR network that links Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Kigoma, Katavi and neighboring countries of Rwanda, Burundi Uganda and DRC.

The over Sh7 trillion project is being implemented in phases with the first round covering 202km between Dar es Salaam and Morogoro, was initially scheduled to be ready by November 2020 but heavy rains disrupted construction works.

Construction of the first and the second phase is being undertaken by Turkish construction company, Yapi Markez.

The first phase will have six main stations at Dar es Salaam, Pugu, Soga, Ruvu, Ngerengere and Morogoro, with the Dar es Salaam and Morogoro stations being the largest.

The second phase which is under implementation involves 422km between Morogoro and Makutupora in Singida with the project set to be completed within 36 months at a cost of $1,924 billion.

The railway is East Africa’s fastest and will use electricity to move trains will travel at 160km per hour and transport 10,000 tonnes of freight which is equivalent to 500 cargo trucks.

Upon completion, the SGR project is expected to payback the investment value after 15 years.

In October 2020, Tanzania government signed $60 million (about Sh138 billion) contract with a South Korean firm to supply trains for the standard gauge railway (SGR).

 

The Citizen

 

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Trump Attacks Election Integrity As Biden Nears 270 Electoral College Votes

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President Donald Trump is testing how far he can go in using the trappings of presidential power to undermine confidence in this week’s election against Joe Biden, as the Democrat contender gained ground in tight contests in some key battleground states.

With his pathway to re-election appearing to shrink, Trump has advanced unsupported accusations of voter fraud to falsely argue that his rival was trying to seize power. Thursday’s moves amounted to an extraordinary effort by a sitting American president to sow doubt about the democratic process.

“This is a case when they are trying to steal an election, they are trying to rig an election,” Trump said from the podium of the White House briefing room.

The president’s remarks deepened a sense of anxiety in the U.S. as Americans enter their third full day after the election without knowing who would serve as president for the next four years.

His statements also prompted a rebuke from some Republicans, particularly those looking to steer the party in a different direction in a post-Trump era.

Electoral college magic number

Neither candidate has reached the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House. But Biden eclipsed Trump in Wisconsin and Michigan, two crucial Midwestern battleground states, and has been inching closer to overtaking the president in Pennsylvania and Georgia, where votes are still being counted. It remains unclear when a national winner will be declared after a long, bitter campaign dominated by the coronavirus and its effects on Americans and the national economy.

On Wednesday, The U.S.set another record for daily confirmed cases as several states posted all-time highs. The pandemic has killed more than 233,000 people in the United States.

Rising tensions

Biden spent Thursday trying to ease tensions and project a more traditional image of presidential leadership. After participating in a coronavirus briefing, he declared that “each ballot must be counted.”

“I ask everyone to stay calm. The process is working,” Biden said. “It is the will of the voters. No one, not anyone else who chooses the president of the United States of America.”

 

Biden’s victories in the upper Midwest put him in a strong position, but Trump showed no sign of giving up. It could take several more days for the vote count to conclude and a clear winner to emerge. With millions of ballots yet to be tabulated, Biden already had received more than 73 million votes, the most in history.

Trump’s erroneous claims about the integrity of the election challenged Republicans now faced with the choice of whether to break with a president who, though his grip on his office grew tenuous, commanded sky-high approval ratings from rank-and-file members of the GOP.

Lawsuits and late mail-in ballots

Trump’s campaign engaged in a flurry of legal activity to try to improve the Republican president’s chances, requesting a recount in Wisconsin and filing lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia. Judges in Georgia and Michigan quickly dismissed Trump campaign lawsuits there on Thursday.

Trump has held a small edge in Georgia, though Biden has been gaining on him as votes continue to be counted. The same is true in Pennsylvania, where Trump’s lead had slipped to about 22,000 votes — and the race is destined to get tighter.

One reason is because elections officials were not allowed to process mail-in ballots until Election Day under state law. It’s a form of voting that has skewed heavily in Biden’s favour after Trump spent months claiming without proof that voting by mail would lead to widespread voter fraud.

Mail ballots from across the state were overwhelmingly breaking in Biden’s direction. A final vote total may not be clear for days because the use of mail-in ballots, which take more time to process, has surged as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Trump campaign said it was confident the president would ultimately pull out a victory in Arizona, where votes were also still being counted, including in Maricopa County, the state’s most populous area.

The AP has declared Biden the winner in Arizona and said Thursday that it was monitoring the vote count as it proceeded.

rfi

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East-Africa

Tanzania: Opposition Party Chadema Wins Parliamentary Seat

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Tanzania’s main opposition party Chadema has won majority of the votes in a major constituency of Nkasi North Seat in Rukwa beating the ruling party CCM.

On Friday State leaning media reported that Aida Khenan became the first Chadema candidate to win in the 2020 Polls. She won with 21,226 votes compared to her challenger who scored 1,254 votes.

Her win made her the second opposition candidate to win a parliamentary seat in polls conducted on Wednesday after CUFs candidate won earlier on in the day.

Meanwhile, the ruling party CCM continued with a winning streak after Bishop Josephat Gwajima was declared winner of Kawe Consitutency beating another Chadema candidate Halima Mdee in a tight race.

On election day, Mdee had been arrested and detained by Tanzanian Police but was later released. She was accused of causing chaos at a polling station (Tarafani). Mdee on the other hand fielded allegations of ballot stuffing.

CCM’s Bonnah Kamoli defended her Segerea parliamentary seat after she secured a win by a slight margin in 2015, Jerry Slaa on the other hand won the Ukonga Seat on CCM ticket after he was defeated in 2015 by Mwita Waitara.

 

Tanzania Citizen

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