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Is Rwanda Ready For New War Theatre In Cabo Delgado?

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Rwanda is weighing possibilities of deploying its highly experienced and battle hardened elite forces in a new war theatre but this time in the southern part of Africa, a new terrain, weather and accruing challenges.

Rwandan military has previous experience in war theatres in desert, tropical forest, mountains and extreme cold weathers. The Mozambique war brings in a new dimension- the enemy are Jihadists.

The other dimension is that Cabo Delgado, a northern province, is oil rich and predominantly Christian and the extremist Jihad insurgents have killed thousands and displaced some 700,000 since waging their war in this area. Rwandans have to weigh carefully the nature of this enemy.

Cabo Delgado also hosts a US$25 billion light natural gas (LNG) project run by French energy giant Total. In April, LNG formally withdrew all of its employees from the region and indefinitely suspended its operations after the insurgents attacked killing hundreds.

Rwanda now finds itself weighing the option of sending in its boots to protect the interests of France, a very tricky international player whose hand in Rwanda’s recent past history and diplomacy remains skeptical. The other party to protect is Tanzania and DRC. Notably though, this is a potential breeding ground for Rwanda’s enemies with a wide network in the the southern Africa region.

Uganda, on March 30, sent in its troops to Cabo Delgado. It will be very interesting to see how Uganda and Rwanda occupy the same terrain amidst a diplomatic spat between the two. Logically, it would require Uganda and Rwanda militaries forge a joint operation centre since the common enemy is one.

In October 2019, Uganda refused to deploy in DRC in a multinational joint operation requested by President Tshisekedi. In March that year, Rwanda had closed its border with Uganda demanding an end to consistent torture and arbitrary detention of Rwandans.

However, last week before the inauguration of President Museveni, Uganda sent a military delegation to DRC to discuss a comprehensive military strategy aimed at uprooting the notorious Allied Democratic Front rebels.

On the weighing scale, Rwanda and Uganda which have been avoiding each other are faced with a challenge of working together in a new theatre far away from their common boarders.

President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, 62, has been to Kigali and President Paul Kagame of Rwanda has made reciprocal visits to Mozambique. On April 28, Nyusi flew to Kigali for talks with his counterpart- Nyusi considers Rwanda’s experience in combating terrorism and violent extremism vital in fixing the same challenge strangling Cabo Delgado.

“This is a war driven by a lot of efforts and with different interests. We left the message to our brother [President  Kagame] that we are open to all support, but we would not like the support to be imposed on Mozambicans,” Nyusi said.

If all goes well and Rwanda finds it ok to deploy in this part of Africa, this will mean that Rwanda will have been sucked into a very old international oil and gas industry war.

Rwanda will strategically want to go through Tanzania and install its elite forces in Cabo Delgado. Rwanda’s Military and Police Chiefs just returned from a weeklong working trip in Tanzania, possibly to work out a cooperation deal ahead of this assignment in Mozambique.

The meeting dubbed Bilateral meeting between Rwanda National police and Tanzania Police force to address common threats posed by transnational organised crimes in part touched on;

“Planning for the best strategies on how to address the security situation in Mozambique, as quickly as possible. Enhancing effective information and intelligence sharing on terrorism and other transnational crimes associated with terrorism,” according to a joint communique on May 10th.

Cabo Delgado has long been home to vast swaths of Mozambique’s natural resource wealth. Illegal logging, often carried out by Chinese companies backed by well-connected Maputo-based elites, has led some forests to be nearly clear-cut, although there have been efforts to crack down in recent years.

The largest known graphite deposits were found in the province in 2014, and nearly half of the world’s rubies lie under its soil.

Artisanal miners who discovered those rubies in 2009 were violently evicted from the region by Mozambican security forces to make way for a joint partnership between a U.K.-based company and one owned by powerful figures with ties to the ruling Frelimo party.

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National

Police Intercepts 88 People At Wedding Reception

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About 88 people have been intercepted at a wedding reception convened at Green Mountain Biking Garden in Nyamirambo a suburb in the capital Kigali.

According to details, the wedding was of a couple identified as Buregeya Saidi Codo (34 yrs) and Nyampundu Thausie.

Other details showed that apart from the bride and groom, the rest of the group did not test for COVID-19 as prerequisite for attending such an event. This is in addition to violation of physical and social distancing guidelines on COVID-19.

As the norm, all the people that have been at the wedding event will spend the whole night at Amahoro Stadium and will be subjected to other procedures.

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National

Africa Mourns Zambia’s Founding President Kenneth Kaunda

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The government of the Republic of Zambia has declared 21 days of mourning to honour the life of former President Kenneth Kaunda who died Thursday.

According to the Secretary to the Cabinet and Principal Private Secretary to the president Simon Miti said Dr Kaunda died peacefully at 14:30 hours at the Maina Soko Military Hospital in Lusaka, just three years short of a century at 97 years.

Dr Kaunda was Born on April 28, 1924.

President Edgar Lungu said during the period of mourning, all activities of entertainment nature will be suspended and all flags will fly at half-mast.

He said through Cabinet Office, Government will guide the public on details of the funeral and burial programme for the fallen former head of State, taking into consideration the COVID-19 guidelines as prescribed by the Ministry of Health.

President Lungu has since sent his condolences to the family of Dr Kaunda on behalf of Government and Zambians.

Veteran politician Vernon Mwaanga, a former diplomat in Dr Kaunda’s government for many years, said he will remember the former President for his passionate commitment to liberate the continent from colonialism.

“His contribution to Zambia, Africa and the world was huge and was regarded larger than life. He mentored and gave me opportunities at a young age of 21 years,” Mr Mwaanga said in a statement.

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National

New ICC Prosecutor Karim Asad Takes Oath

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The International Criminal Court officially has a new Prosecutor that begun working on Wednesday after taking oath at a ceremony held at the Seat of the Court in The Hague, The Netherlands.

Karim Asad Ahmad Khan QC a national of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will serve as Prosecutor for a period of nine years.

“I solemnly undertake that I will perform my duties and exercise my powers as Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court honourably, faithfully, impartially and conscientiously, and that I will respect the confidentiality of investigations and prosecutions,” Khan declared.

Khan then signed his oath before the ICC Registrar, Mr Peter Lewis, and delivered his first remarks as the Prosecutor of the ICC.

“The Rome Statute architecture is a promise to the future that tomorrow need not be as bleak and sorrowful as yesterday”, stated Prosecutor Khan.

“I am truly and sincerely humbled at my opportunity to serve, and the responsibilities that have been entrusted in me. I will do my outmost to discharge those responsibilities without fear or favour, faithfully and with integrity, and in full conformity with solemn declaration that I have just given”, he added.

Subject to provisions of Article 45 of the Rome Statute, founding treaty of the ICC, the ceremony was held in open court.

The ceremony was presided over by ICC President, Judge Piotr Hofmański.

“While Judges are the ones who ultimately decide on the verdict in each case, it is also true that those cases would never reach the judges without the Prosecutor’s decision to bring them to court,” President Hofmański noted.

He also said that It is the Prosecutor who is responsible for the way in which preliminary examinations, investigations and prosecutions are conducted, and how evidence for the prosecution is selected and presented.

“On behalf of the Court, I offer heartfelt congratulations to Mr Karim Asad Ahmad Khan QC. As President of the Court, I look forward to working with him to strengthen our joint institution”, he added.

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