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For 60years, Gnassingbé Family Still Rules Togo

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Far away in Togo a West African country, the military has a new face, Gen. Dadja Maganawé a seasoned artillery officer has been appointed to head an army of more than 10,000- strong men and women in uniform.

According to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations, military Expenditure in Togo reached U$100 Million by the end of 2020. In the long-term, the Togo Military Expenditure is projected to trend around U$98 Million in 2021.

He was appointed Chief of Staff last December. His nomination comes as a surprise although, in the corridors of power, the prospect of a change at the head of the army had been mentioned for several weeks earlier.

General Maganawé replaces General Félix Abalo Kadanga. Very close to President Faure Gnassingbé, of whom he married a sister, Babanam Gnassingbé, Kadanga was appointed in 2013.

Immediately before his appointment, Dadja Maganawé, who was previously lieutenant-colonel, was promoted to the rank of brigadier general.

His appointment comes eight months after the suspicious death of Colonel Bitala Madjoulba, commander of the 1st Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR) whose lifeless body was found in his office on the morning of May 4.

President Of Togo Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé Eyadéma 

President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé Eyadéma,54, has been the leading Togo since 2005. Before assuming the presidency, he was appointed by his father, President Gnassingbé Eyadéma, as Minister of Equipment, Mines, Posts, and Telecommunications, serving from 2003 to 2005.

The President has a close understanding of the role of military in Togo politics possibly taking lessons from his own father, Gnassingbé Eyadéma who was the President of Togo from 1967 until his death in 2005. He participated in two successful military coups, in January 1963 and January 1967, and became President on 14 April 1967.

Following President Eyadéma’s death in 2005, his son Gnassingbé was immediately installed as President with support from the army.

The taciturn business studies graduate who rose to power while aged 38, was once dubbed as “the youth”. However, he is now preparing to claim a fourth term in power, extending his family’s grip over the small West African nation towards a sixth decade.

Doesn’t Trust Anyone

Gnassingbe still shows streaks of his late fathers ruthlessness. “He is very suspicious, he speaks little,” one of the close associates. “I sometimes get the impression that he doesn’t trust anyone.”

In 2009, he had his half brother and former defence minister, Kpatcha, arrested over an alleged coup plot. The presidential sibling was sentenced to 20 years in jail and remains behind bars.

That familiar steel has also seen the president weather a major outburst of opposition in 2017 and 2018 as huge crowds took to the streets for almost weekly protests against his rule.

The authorities used live bullets, tear gas and internet blackouts to crack down on demonstrators calling for term limits to be imposed retroactively.

The harsh treatment and squabbles between the opposition saw the rallies eventually peter out.

Togo’s parliament agreed constitutional changes in May 2019 that paved the way for Gnassingbe to remain in office for another decade.

 

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East-Africa

President Uhuru Takes Over EAC Chairmanship

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President Uhuru Kenyatta of the Republic of Kenya has taken over the Chairmanship of East African Community (EAC)  bloc.

“Thank you for showing confidence, faith and trust in me. I promise to do all I can to take our region to greater heights,” Uhuru said on Saturday.

The Kenyan President assured that he will spare no effort towards the realization of the shared aspirations that gave rebirth to the community 20 years ago.

Uhuru spoke when he addressed the 21st Ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State held virtually due to Covid-19 after taking over the chairmanship from Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame.

He hailed the late former Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi and the late former President Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania, acknowledging the role they played together with President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda in the rebirth of EAC 20 years ago.

President Uhuru outlined his vision for the bloc, saying he will focus on strengthening of partnerships to enhance intra-EAC connectivity and ensuring sustainable implementation of projects and programs in productive sectors.

He emphasized the need for partner states to harmonize their commitment on free movement of people, workers and services as envisaged in the region’s common market protocol.

President Kenyatta announced Kenya’s decision to remove visa requirement for South Sudanese nationals visiting the country as an act of reciprocity.

President Kagame congratulated President Kenyatta on his assumption of the chairmanship of the EAC and welcomed Dr Mathuki as the new EAC Secretary General.

The East African Community bloc is composed of six countries in the African Great Lakes region in eastern Africa: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.

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Politics

Equatorial Guinea First Lady Propping Son For Takeover

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Reports from the capital Malabo indicate there is an extremely unstoppable maneuver by the country’s First lady in her attempt to place her son at the helm of the country.

First lady and businesswoman Constancia Mangue Nsue Okomo has woven her web in politics to the point of holding the reins of a country at the head of which she intends to place her son Teodorín.

A cunning Businesswoman nicknamed “Zé”, the “Panther” holds shares in many construction companies, real estate or extraction of raw materials, she has, over the years, been able to promote her relatives to key positions in the Palace Presidential to Justice via Defense.

Here is a cobweb of influence set up by this First Lady or refered to as the “Primera Dama” in Spanish . This cobweb has one main objective- to catapult the first son Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue to the highest seat of power in this mysterious country.

President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and First Lady Constancia Mangue Nsue Okomo

The Director of Protocol to the Head of State is the brother of the First Lady. Master of ceremonies of the palace and of talks granted by the president, he lets Constancia Obiang know everything about the head of state’s agenda, over which she actually keeps control.

His daughter, Candy, is the wife of Antonio Oburu Ondo, Managing Director of GePetrol, Equatorial Guinea’s national oil company (previously run by Candido Nsue Okomo, another brother of Constancia Mangue Nsue Okomo).

Victoriano Bibang Nsue Okomo

This is also a brother of the First Lady. Deputy Minister of Defense (a position previously held by a cousin of Constancia Mangue Nsue Okomo, Vicente Eya Olomo), he provides her with a link in the country’s armed forces, in which the Obiang family is a fortiori omnipresent.

General and shadow technocrat, “Efa Mba” as he is known, holds the army with an iron fist on behalf of his nephew, Teodorín.

Juan Olo Mba Nseng

Minister Delegate for Justice, Worship and Penitentiary Institutions, he is the uncle of Constancia Mangue Nsue Okomo. A pillar of the government, he manages on behalf of the president the aspect of ill-gotten gains before the International Court of Justice in The Hague and was also his representative in the standoff between the company Orange and Malabo until 2018. Juan Olo Mba Nseng is one of the directors of Apegesa, an investment company very involved in the management of the Obiang’s fortune.

Jeronimo Osa Osa Ekoro

Secretary General of the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE, in power). In office since 2013, this former Minister of Information is very much involved in the media, a strategic sector.

Familiar with the First Lady, he is also a friend of Teodorín, for whom he holds the reins of the party. He has so far looked out for the interests of the “Panther” and his son, especially when feuds erupted between supporters of the latter and those of Teodorín’s half-brother, Gabriel Mbega Obiang Lima.

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Politics

DRC Army Launches Multiple Attacks Against Rebels

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Nine rebels were killed on Tuesday as the Congolese military FARDC launched a series of operations against several armed groups in the outskirts of the town of Bunia, capital of Ituri province.

According to Lieutenant Jules Ngongo the spokesperson for the operational sector of the army in Ituri, these multiple operations were launched to eliminate the negative forces, including the Congo Liberation Army, Coopérative pour le Développement du Congo (ALC / CODECO) operating in the Congo.

Another rebel movement targeted include the Patriotic and Integrationist Front of Congo (FPIC) active in the southwest of Bunia.

Lt. Jules Ngongo said 9 militiamen of the ALC / CODECO were neutralized, two AK-47 guns recovered with several rounds of ammunition.

“From February 16 to 17 in the eastern part of the city, the armed forces attacked and conquered the new stronghold of the CODECO armed group located 25 km away, in particular the Malabo localities of the Anu clan of Kwabu and Dungwe in the Tsili and Penyi grouping of the Walendu-Tatsi sector in Djugu territory. The results of these operations are as follows: 9 elements of the CODECO / ALC armed group neutralized, two AK-47 type weapons and several munitions of war recovered by the army “, he told reporters.

In the southern part of the town of Bunia, Lt. Jules Ngongo points out that several localities where the FPIC militiamen and some refractory elements of the FRPI (Force de Resistance Patriotique de l’Ituri) had a strong “influence”, have come under control of the FARDC.

These include the localities of Songolo, Androzo, Medu and Kangu in Irumu territory.

Lt. Jules Ngongo said that these operations are continuing.

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