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Mozambique At 46 Amidst Terrorism Challenge

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Security has been extremely tightened across major parts of the Mozambiquan capital Maputo as the country began celebrations for the 46th independence day.

In Mozambique, Independence Day, also known in Portuguese as Dia da Independência Nacional is celebrated every year on June 25 since the country received its independence in 1975.

However, critics argue that Mozambique government has to work hard to regain control of the country which is under threat from Islamist Jihadists.

The terrorists are currently controlling a vast part of Cabo Delgado and continue to wrecked havoc.

From 3 to 16 June a total of 13,000 internally displaced people were on the move in Cabo Delgado district. Of these movements, 85% (11,073) originated from Palma. Other main locations of origin include Macomia, Muidumbe, Nangade and Mocimboa da Praia. The main districts of arrival are Pemba, Mueda and Montepuez.

“Everything will be done so that the coming times are one of despair and agony for the terrorist groups that attack and kill innocent people in Mozambique”, said the President of the Republic, addressing the nation on Friday from Praça dos Heróis Moçambicanos, in the capital, where he laid a wreath on the 46th anniversary of the proclamation of national independence.

President Filipe Nyusi said his country is seeking the necessary support from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and other partners and friends, without compromising national sovereignty.

He said it is urgent to stop the outbreaks of violence that are also registered in the provinces of Sofala and Manica to allow citizens to fully enjoy independence.

On the occasion, he recalled that SADC met in an extraordinary session in Maputo city and approved the mandate of a joint force in a state of alert to support Mozambique in fighting terrorism in the province of Cabo Delgado.

He also recalled that the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) of armed men from Renamo is ongoing in the country, which he considered to be proceeding smoothly.

Despite this, he said, the destabilization in the central region of the country is concerned, led by the self-proclaimed Renamo Military Junta, and for that reason he appealed to its leader, Mariano Nhongo, and all his followers to reconcile with reason and adhere to this process .

Regarding the 46 years since the proclamation of national independence, Filipe Nyusi said that there are several achievements recorded during this period, highlighting areas such as Education, Health, Water and Sanitation, among others.

He referred that illiteracy, for example, rose from 93% in 1975 to 48% in 2015, and today it stands at 31%. “Because we want to eradicate illiteracy, since 2020 students up to 9th grade have been exempt from enrollment,” he added.

According to Nyusi, in 1975 higher education in the country was limited to just one institution, but currently the country has 56 establishments, 22 of which are public and 34 private.

In the area of ​​Health, Nyusi stated that the country inherited from the colonial government a very fragile health system, with only 559 health units to serve around 10 million inhabitants.

“We grew and reached 1535 health units in 2015, and today the country has 1739 health units, but because we are not satisfied we launched the initiative [One district, one district hospital] which by 2024 will allow the country to have 1779 health units” , he added.

In terms of medical personnel, in 1975 the country had only 171 physicians and currently has 2658 professionals. The number of nurses also grew, from 3070 in 1980 to 15,155 this year, which contributed to the reduction of infant mortality.

In the Water and Sanitation sector, President Nyusi recalled that in 1975 supply coverage was only six percent and in 2018 it was 55%, and the PRAVIDA1 program raised the supply capacity from 55% in 2018 to 64% in 2020.

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Politics

Laurent Gbagbo Launches New Political Party

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The Political tempo in Ivory Coast is rising steadily as Laurent Gbagbo, a former Convict at the International Criminal Tribunal forms a new political party to take a shot at the 2025 Presidential elections.

“This is Laurent Gbagbo’s big comeback on the political scene,” said Justin Koné Katinan, spokesperson for the former head of state.

Since his arrival in Abidjan on June 17, acquitted by international justice who tried him for crimes against humanity in the bloody post-election crisis of 2010, Laurent Gbagbo has never been far from politics.

Gbagbo says he wants to “unite the left”, with the 2025 presidential election in his sights.

Visit to the former president and former rival Henri Konan Bédié, meeting of “reconciliation” with the head of state Alassane Ouattara, final rupture with his former Prime Minister Pascal Affi N’Guessan: he occupied the Ivorian political landscape. “Let’s assume we’re playing politics,” he said on July 10, when he visited Henri Konan Bédié.

The Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), his historic party founded underground in 1982, now in the hands of Pascal Affi N’Guessan, Laurent Gbagbo has chosen to breathe new life into his return by creating his own party.

Nearly 1,600 delegates are expected at the prestigious Hotel Ivoire in Abidjan to draft the manifesto and the texts of this new formation, which should be called the “African Peoples Party – Ivory Coast” (PPA-CI).

In both the name and the logo – two hands intertwined in a map of Africa – which will be offered on Sunday, the emphasis is on the pan-African dimension of the party. The sovereignty of Africa vis-à-vis the Western powers should be one of the main themes of the congress this weekend.

However, there is no question of abandoning national politics in the Ivory Coast. In the entourage of the former president, the watchword is clear: this new party aims to recreate a political debate in a country where the opposition has been considerably weakened for 10 years.

“We want to build a normal political opposition party that brings criticism. So that the debate leaves violence and becomes essentially political ”, proclaims Justin Koné Katinan.

“We are waiting to see if it will be a real opposition or a party in search of power. We will see how they proceed, what their alternative program will be, “said political analyst Sylvain N’Guessan.

With Simone Gbagbo?

It remains to be seen which Ivorian political figures will join this platform. A large part of the executives and former ministers of the FPI will follow their former leader in this new adventure, but some unknowns remain.

Simone Gbagbo The former First Lady, whom Laurent Gbagbo filed for divorce on his return to Ivory Coast, has been sending signals in recent weeks to go it alone, like the launch of a platform supporting her.

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Politics

Britain To Return Cock Statue British Soldiers Stole From Nigeria

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In 1897, British colonial forces raided a Court of Benin in what is now Nigeria and stole a bronze cockerel and shipped it out of Africa and kept it in Britain. It was later donated to Jesus College of Cambridge University in 1905.

However, in 2019, Jesus college decided to backtrack on keeping a stolen statue (Okukor) and announced it would hand it back to Nigeria.

The whole process to return the Okukor statue started in 2016 after students protested, saying it represented a colonial narrative. The college administrators decided to remove the statue from public view.

The college set up a working group to examine the legacy of slavery, and the group concluded that the statue “belongs with the current Oba at the Court of Benin.”

The Oba of Benin is head of the historic Eweka dynasty of the Benin Empire, centred on Benin City in modern-day Nigeria.

The college said Friday that it will hand over the statue to Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments in a ceremony at Cambridge on Oct. 27.

His Royal Majesty, Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, said he was “indeed very pleased and commend Jesus College for taking this lead in making restitution for the plunder that occurred in Benin in 1897.”

“We truly hope that others will expedite the return of our artworks, which in many cases are of religious importance to us,” he said.

Thousands of artifacts were looted after British imperial troops occupied Benin City in 1897.

However, the British Museum in London has said it doesn’t currently have plans to return parts of its collection.

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Burundi’s Prince Louis Rwagasore Assassinated 60 Years Ago

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In 1961, precisely on October 13, the then prime minister, Louis Rwagasore, was assassinated at the sidewalk restaurant of the local Hotel Tanganyika. One shot proved to be enough to kill him on the spot.

Burundi was to become independent but at the time of the murder the date had not been set yet.

Eventually, Burundi became independent eight and a half months later, on July 1, 1962.

September 18, 1961, parliamentary elections had been held and Rwagasore’s party, Uprona, had won a landslide victory, his party taking 58 of the 64 seats.

September 28, Rwagasore was installed by Parliament as the prime minister, 16 days before he was murdered.

Rwagasore’s victory was a surprise for the Belgian administration. Considering him a nuisance they had done everything in their power to prevent him from engaging in political life.

Rwagasore, the son of the local mwami, king Mwambutsa, who was to become head of state once Burundi became independent, was put under house arrest at a certain point and told to refrain from political activities.

Belgium clearly opted for the local Christian Democrats as the rulers of the country, considering them to be more lenient politicians, while Rwagasore was thought to be influenced by radical political ideas such as those adopted by Congo’s first prime minister, Patrice Lumumba.

This Wednesday October 13, 2021, several celebration events were held across the country in memory of this important cultural and political figure.

In the town hall of Bujumbura, the ceremonies began with a mass in his memory at the Regina Mundi Cathedral and were enhanced by the presence of President Evariste Ndayishimiye in the company of his wife and other government officials.

According to Father Félix Fupi the Priest of the Parish Cathedral Regina Mundi, there are no longer courageous and free-spirited men capable of doing good, of speaking the truth and of assuming it.

He took this opportunity to urge the country’s authorities to show humility, to have the courage to speak out against evil, to recognize and accept the good achievements of others even if they do not share their ideas. He called on the Burundians to perpetuate the legacy of Prince Louis Rwagasore to build a peaceful country.

Father Félix Fupi reminded the Christians present that the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the assassination of the hero of the independence of Burundi is an opportunity offered to them to examine their conscience in order to see if their actions turn out to be honest and are according to God’s will instead of shutting himself in and accusing others of wickedness or doing wrong.

“We are called to live with honesty in the image of Prince Louis Rwagasore, denounce evil and praise the merits of others,” he said.

He pointed out that there are some people in Burundi who cannot positively appreciate the achievements of others.

He asked them to have the spirit and the courage to characterise it as it is, saying this is an important step towards fair justice.

“Avoid bad advisers who only clap even though they are convinced they are endangering you. People like this are to be feared because they can endanger the life of an entire nation,” he said.

President Ndayishimiye and his wife first laid a wreath at the Mausoleum of Prince Louis Rwagasore at Mount Vugizo in the town hall of Bujumbura.

After the presidential couple, it was the turn of the diplomatic corps which laid a wreath of flowers on the tomb of the hero of independence, Prince Louis Rwagasore.

The biological members of the family of Prince Louis Rwagasore were then invited to lay a wreath at the Mausoleum of Prince Louis Rwagasore, followed lastly by the laying of wreaths by representatives of the political parties approved in Burundi.

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