1.     ANGOLA

a)    Africa Business Communities:  IFC opens office to support private sector growth

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has opened an office in Angola to deepen its support for private sector development and economic diversification the country.

Angola’s Minister of Finance, Vera Daves, said, “IFC’s presence in Angola underscores its commitment to helping Angola diversify its economy and cultivate a thriving private sector. A stronger private sector will help to address many of our development challenges, create jobs, and boost sustainable growth.”

Sérgio Pimenta, IFC Vice President for the Middle East and Africa, said, “A permanent office in Angola will help us engage more closely with public and private sector partners in the country to support the creation of markets and better respond to opportunities and challenges that arise in the marketplace. We look forward to helping Angola better leverage its assets and realize its strong potential for poverty reduction and growth.”

In July 2019, IFC announced a $100 million investment in Banco Millennium Atlântico to support increased small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) lending in the country. The investment is paired with an advisory project to help Banco Millennium Atlântico expand lending to women-owned businesses.

Angola is one of the least diversified economies in the world. IFC and the World Bank recently published a private sector diagnostic, Creating Markets in Angola: Country Private Sector Diagnostic, which identified the economic challenges facing the country, but also the numerous opportunities to stimulate sustainable economic growth and development by harnessing the power of the private sector.

2.     BURUNDI

a)    The East African: Burundi's Nkurunziza sells ‘legacy’ to regain global support

Amid uncertainties over Burundi’s commitment to conduct credible elections in May 2020, President Pierre Nkurunziza is selling an unlikely glowing legacy to have his administration reintegrated into the international community.

Isolated by the European Union, the US and EA neighbours over his successful bid for a controversial third term in 2015, President Nkurunziza has presided over a government so short of funds that civil servants had to ‘’donate’’ their salaries to fund the upcoming council, legislative and presidential elections.

His pledge that he will not vie in 2020—repeated by Burundi’s representative in the UN Security Council last week—has come with urgent pleas for development and humanitarian support as the government targets self-financial reliance “soon”.

In a report to the Security Council on October 31, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that President Nkurunziza considered that the three main objectives of his tenure—peace, security and justice for all; good governance and democracy; and inclusive and sustainable development—had been met.

He said that Burundi would soon be financially independent and, consequently, become self-sufficient.

He also recalled events preceding the 2015 elections and asserted that there were still a few Burundians who were trying to destabilise the country.

3.     CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

a)    Stockholm International Peace Research Institute: The state preferred as justice and security provider over non-state and informal actors—new SIPRI/Cordaid study on CAR and DRC

(Stockholm, 12 November 2019) In two days, on 14 November, the mandate of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) will be renewed, as will the mandate of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), next month. Both operations aim to strengthen the role of the state in the provision of security and justice. This is in line with what populations desire, according to a new series of reports from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and the Catholic Organization for Relief and Development Aid (Cordaid) on securing legitimate stability in the Central African Republic (CAR) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The dominant assumption in the international development policy discourse is that strengthening a state’s capacity to provide inclusive security and justice will lead to a stronger social contract. However, this approach is frequently criticized by civil society and academics. Therefore, during—and often also after—conflict, a lot of attention is also given to strengthening non-state and informal justice and security provisions.

Studying the examples of CAR and the DRC, the reports looked at the aims and objectives of the external intervenors (MINUSCA and MONUSCO) through reviewing their policy documents and literature and by interviewing key representatives.  The research compared this with the aspirations of local populations. It found that local populations are supportive of strengthening the state’s long-term role and legitimacy in justice and security provisions. They perceive non-state, informal justice and security solutions only as temporary alternatives.

‘We were really surprised since in policy and academic debates, the mismatches between external intervenors and local populations are frequently highlighted. However, on the basis of this research, in CAR and South Kivu, DRC, this criticism may have to be readjusted,’ says Dr Jair van der Lijn, Programme Director at SIPRI, and one of the authors of the reports. 

Perspectives from the ground were gathered from a total of 480 street interviews in different localities in CAR and South Kivu province, and some 70 interviews with key representatives from among other groups public authorities, civil society representatives and the leadership of armed groups.

b)    Concern Worldwide: Underdeveloped; underfunded and sadly, under-reported

We delve into the past, present and future of the Central African Republic (CAR), taking a look at why it is one of the world’s poorest countries and what exactly can be done to support its vulnerable communities.

CAR is located in the very centre of the African continent, in a fragile and conflict-prone region. It has a beautiful and varied landscape and a diverse - though relatively small - population of just under 5 million. However, CAR has suffered from decades of misrule, coups and periods of violent conflict. The most recent conflict began at the end of 2012 and at its height was extremely violent, causing widespread destruction and forcing millions to flee their homes.

As a result, CAR has seen little development. On the latest Human Development Index it is ranked 188th out of 189 countries, making it the second least developed country in the world. CAR was also ranked as the world's hungriest country in the 2019 Global Hunger Index.

Life expectancy at birth is 51 and a half years; and it has the highest number of maternal deaths in the world. The country is rich in diamonds, gold, oil and uranium but has one of the world's poorest populations: close to three quarters of the population live below the international poverty line – on less than US$1.25 a day.

At the height of the conflict in CAR, fields in many areas were trampled or burned, and food reserves, seed stores and livestock were looted. Equipment for farming and fishing was lost or destroyed. Moreover, health centres and schools often became temporary shelters for armed groups, many of which were damaged to the point of becoming unusable. Safe drinking water, already difficult to come by, became even scarcer. In one area, there were only three hand-pumps for over 45,000 people before Concern arrived. And, as often happens, it is communities - in particular women, children, the elderly and people with disabilities - that suffer the most during times of conflict and upheaval.

Now, the prolonged conflict has led to a reduction in income and access to food, and communities struggle to meet their basic needs in terms of livelihoods, health and education. The destruction of infrastructure has left huge portions of the rural population without access to clean drinking water; has restricted their ability to farm land and grow their own crops for proper nutrition; and has impeded their ability to attend local health facilities. 

Since the political crisis, approximately 538,432 people have fled to neighbouring countries such as Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) (UNHCR). Our staff in the field have told us people feel their futures are so uncertain they rarely plant crops that take longer than three months to grow. 

And, to make matters worse, the government and international donors have reduced health funding in recent years. This is why many people reply on international aid agencies like Concern.

Concern has been operational in the Central African Republic (CAR) since March 2014. The overall goals of our work are to provide humanitarian assistance, build the resilience of communities, and alleviate the suffering of conflict-affected communities. We are delivering programmes addressing issues around food security and livelihoods, health and nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, peacebuilding, gender, and disaster risk reduction.

4.     DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

a)    UNHRC: Resources strained as thousands flee conflict in eastern Congo

In June, armed men attacked Francine’s village in the Congo’s Ituri Province. She fled with her husband, two children and two nephews after her sister was killed.

“I fled with my family during the night. We didn’t know where we were going but at least we were able to save our lives,” she says.

Francine arrived in the town of Drodro, finding shelter with 740 other families in an old church, transformed into a large dormitory. It was crowded and families sometimes had to sleep outside. 

She was later relocated to a large temporary hall. 

“I feel safer now as it provides more privacy and some measure of comfort,” says the 24-year-old.

Armed groups have staged six months of killings, rapes and abductions in this part of eastern Congo, forcing over 300,000 people to flee their homes.

Local communities are welcoming, but their hospitals and schools are stretched. In Drodro, some 16,000 internally displaced people have arrived in recent months, mostly women and children.

Like Francine, Denise, 22, also fled her village in June when armed men attacked.

“They came early in the morning, causing everyone to panic and flee in different directions,” she recalls. “Since then, I have no news from my husband or family.”

She prays every day that they are safe. Pregnant before she fled, she gave birth to her baby whom she called ‘Chance’ - luck in English - in a makeshift shelter. Later, she moved to a communal shelter set up by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.

UNHCR expressed alarm today over the dire living conditions of the displaced and has stepped up its response to the growing crisis by constructing emergency shelters to help keep people safe. Basic items like blankets, laundry soap and jerry cans have also been distributed, while women and girls also receive sanitary items for their personal hygiene.

UNHCR needs US$ 150 million to respond to refugees and displaced people’s needs in Congo this year, but so far only 57 per cent has been received. Funding shortages are severely affecting the displaced people’s ability to meet their own basic needs and efforts to be self-reliant.

Sendralahatra Rakontondradalo, a UNHCR shelter expert, witnessed the dire conditions as people arrived in Drodro without any belongings. 

“Thousands of displaced people want to return home but have to wait until the situation is safer.”

Inadequate conditions expose people to harassment, assault and exploitation.

“I have heard of some girls and women being forced into survival sex to feed themselves and their families. Overcrowded places have limited privacy, increasing this risk,” she said.

Liz Ahua, UNHCR’s Representative in the country, said the number of displaced people is rising. 

“Thousands of displaced people want to return home but have to wait until the situation is safer,” she said.

b)    Al Jazeera: DR Congo doctors hope to eliminate Ebola by end of year

More than 2,000 people, including 160 health workers, have died since the most recent Ebola outbreak last year. Doctors in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have told Al Jazeera they hope to reduce the number of Ebola cases to zero by the end of the year.

More than 2,000 people, including dozens of health workers, have died since the most recent outbreak last year.

Al Jazeera's Catherine Soi reports from Mangina where the first case was diagnosed.

5.     KENYA

a)    Capital FM: World Leaders Converge in Nairobi for Maternal Death Solutions By 2030 Amid Protests

Actions to save mothers' lives, meet the global demand for contraception and stop violence against women and girls by 2030 are the focus of a three-day global summit that kicked off in Nairobi on Tuesday.

The Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 takes place 25 years after the groundbreaking International Conference on Population and Development, or ICPD, where 179 governments called for the empowerment of women and girls in all spheres of their lives, including in areas regarding sexual and reproductive health.

But the meeting is taking place amid protests by lobby group CitizenGo which has called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to boycott it or reject its recommendations, on grounds that it advocates for non-African values.

Ann Kioko who heads the organisation led a group of over 300 demonstrators Monday to hand a petition to the Office of the President against the summit.

Various Heads of State, among them Somalia's Mohamed Farmajo are attending the meeting.

"Kenya is proud to host 6,000 world leaders, representatives of non-governmental organizations, young people, business and religious leaders, and so many others from 160 countries," says Ambassador Macharia Kamau, Principal Secretary to Kenya's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "Kenya will be front and centre of this watershed moment for women and girls everywhere."

At the summit, top government officials, including heads of state, parliamentarians and representatives from non-governmental organizations will announce financial and programmatic commitments, policies and other initiatives with a view to achieving all the goals laid out in the ICPD in 1994. So far, more than 1,000 commitments have been made.

"We have come a long way since the ICPD in living up to our global commitment to make sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights a reality for all," says Arthur Erken, Director of Communications and Strategic Partnerships at UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency. "But we still have a long way to go before we can say that we have achieved that goal," he adds. "We must step up our efforts to make modern contraceptives available to all who want and need it, improve maternal health care and protect women and girls from gender-based violence and harmful practices like child marriage and female genital mutilation."

Today, an estimated 232 million women want to prevent pregnancy but are not using modern contraception. Each day, more than 800 women die from preventable causes during pregnancy and childbirth, and 33,000 girls are forced into marriage. And every year, more than 4 million girls are subjected to female genital mutilation.

"In 1994 at the ICPD, we imagined a world where one day, no woman would die giving birth, where no woman would be at risk of unintended pregnancy, and no girl would be denied her right to make a safe and healthy transition through adolescence and adulthood," according to Denmark's Special Envoy for ICPD25 Ambassador Ib Petersen. "The world we imagined is now within reach, but we must join forces to make it a reality once and for all."

Achieving the goals of the ICPD is also critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, which depend on women's empowerment and gender equality.

The Summit is bringing together an unusually diverse group of people including top government officials, thought-leaders, technical experts, religious leaders, activists and community organizers, young people, business leaders, indigenous peoples, international financial institutions, people with disabilities, academics and many others committed to sexual and reproductive health and rights.

The Summit will focus on five main issues: sexual and reproductive health as part of universal health coverage, the funding required to realize all goals of the ICPD's Programme of Action, demographic diversity and its power to drive economic growth and sustainable development, measures to end gender-based violence and harmful practices, and the right to sexual and reproductive health care, even in humanitarian and fragile contexts.

Discussions at the summit will also highlight the power of gender equality, youth leadership, political and community leadership, innovation and data, and partnerships to accelerate change.

6.     RWNDA

a)    News European Parliament: 38th ACP-EU Assembly: dialogue on cooperation challenges in Kigali

Climate change and food security, migration, sustainable growth and the post-Cotonou ACP-EU agreement are set to be the focus of the 38th session of the assembly.

Members of the European Parliament and parliamentarians of 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries will meet in Kigali, Rwanda, as part of the ACP-EU joint parliamentary assembly, from 17 to 21 November 2019.

The formal opening of the session will take place on Tuesday 19 November and will be co-chaired by Carlos Zorrinho, Portuguese MEP and Joseph Owana Kono, member from Cameroon.

The opening session will be followed by a debate with Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for International cooperation and development.

President of Rwanda Paul Kagame will address the session on Wednesday 20 November. Pekka Haavisto, Minister for Foreign Affairs for Finland, which currently holds the presidency of the Council of the EU, will make a statement followed by a debate on Thursday 21 November.

On the morning of Sunday 17 November, members will be able to make field visits.

Two visits have been planned. The first group will visit a "modern village" which is sheltering 240 families displaced from areas at high risk of environmental disaster in the Kigali region, in the district of Nyarugenge. There will also be a visit to a hydroelectric substation in Nyamirambo in the district of Nyarugenge, funded by the European Union to increase Rwanda’s electricity capacity.

The second group will visit a horticultural project in Gishari in Rwamagana district in the Southern Province.

On Sunday 17 November, the members will also meet with Rwandan youth during the Youth Conference.

7.     SOUTH SUDAN

a)    Sudan Tribune: UN chief lauds S. Sudan’s pre-transitional period extension

November 11, 2019 (NEW YORK) - The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres has welcomed the decision of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Council of Ministers to extend the pre-transitional period in South Sudan for an additional 100 days.

The Secretary-General, his deputy spokesperson said, urged the parties to use this extension to make further progress on critical benchmarks, including security arrangements and the number and boundaries of states, to allow for the formation of an “inclusive” government of national unity.

“The Secretary-General also urges the Government of South Sudan to support the process by releasing the pledged amount of $100 million through a transparent and accountable mechanism,” the statement reads in part.

The Secretary-General further re-affirmed the critical importance of the role of IGAD and the African Union in South Sudan’s political process, and the continued readiness of the United Nations to support their efforts.

On Thursday last week, President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar agreed at a meeting held in Uganda, to delay key benchmarks in the peace accord by 100 days.

Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni chaired the meeting, also attended by the head of Sudan’s Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Kenya’s Special Envoy to South Sudan, Kalonzo Musyoka.

The delay in forming a transitional national unity government by November 12 came after the main opposition group threatened to opt-out of the deadline, saying the country’s security arrangements are incomplete.

South Sudan descended into civil war in mid-December 2013 when President Kiir accused his former deputy Machar of plotting a coup, allegations he dismissed.

In September last year, the country’s rival factions signed a revitalized peace deal to end the civil war that killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions.

8.     SUDAN

a)    Sudan Tribune: EU announces €55m humanitarian aid to Sudan

November 11, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The European Commission announced a €55 million aid for Sudan in support of the help vulnerable people caught in humanitarian crises, said statement released on Monday.

The announcement of the humanitarian assistance came at the end of a meeting with the Sudanese prime minister who discussed with the European Union foreign ministers ways to support the transition in Sudan.

“As the living conditions of millions in Sudan are being strained by the multiple crises faced by the country, the EU is stepping up emergency assistance for those most in need,” said Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.

Stylianides further welcomed commitments by Sudanese officials to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance., stressing that the “EU aid must reach all areas of Sudan, including conflict zones”

The additional funding will cover food and nutrition assistance for vulnerable households, emergency health care, support to refugees, displaced Sudanese and host communities and education for children living in areas hit by the crises.

Since 2011, the EU has allocated over €518 million in life-saving assistance to people in need in Sudan.

9.     ZAMBIA

a)    Lusaka Times: Government says it will recover money involving 4000 ghost workers

Public Service Management Division Permanent Secretary Boniface Chimbwali says Government will recover the monies involving the over 4000 ghost workers through terminal benefits.

Mr. Chimbwali says the Public Service Management Division has already frozen the accounts in which some civil servants were illegally drawing multiple salaries.

He explained that in a case a civil servant was getting over 1 hundred thousand Kwacha after drawing multiple salaries.

Mr Chimbwali said this when President Edgar Lungu interrogated him at State House to find out what he is doing to ensure that the monies are recovered, and such incidences do not reoccur.

And Mr. Chimbwali explained that civil servants who moved without permission or complying to the procedure and those who changed their salary grade without the sanction of the Civil Service Commission should be worried because discipline will be applied.

The Permanent Secretary who described the move as criminal said criminal proceedings against those civil servants will be instituted.

He said government has withdrawn the rights from the people who oversaw the payroll system and replaced them with different users who will be trained.

Mr Chimbwali said controlling officers will be given rights to be the super user of payroll system so that they can be held accountable.

1.     ANGOLA

a)    Prensa Latina: Angolan diamond industry reports increased sales

Luanda, Nov 5 (Prensa Latina) The Angolan diamond industry reported an increase of 9.3% in sales from January to September, compared to the same period last year, executives reported on Monday.

Meanwhile, gross revenues rose 6.5% in the same period, according to the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Oil's (MIREMPET) national diamond market and trade promotion Director, Gaspar Sermao.

Sermao explained that sales in the first nine months of 2019 exceeded 6.4 million karats, at an average price per unit of 139.09 dollars, representing gross revenues of more than 897 million dollars.

The presentation of the report to national and international media took place at the MIREMPET headquarters, with the participation of State Secretary for Geology and Mines Janio da Rosa Correa Victor, and top executives from the main sector companies.

According to the source, sales in the third trimester of 2019 exceeded 2.284 million karats, 46% more than the same period in 2018.

Although sales rose substantially, the average price of a karat in the trimester was 137.42 dollars, representing a fall of 18.5% compared to the same previous period.

Gross revenues in the third trimester of 2019 totaled more than 294.8 billion dollars, an increase of 11.7%, the report noted.

b)    Angola Press Agency: Angola and Zambia address common border security

Luanda - The Secretary of State for National Defense Policy, José Maria de Lima, said Monday in Luanda the need for Angola and Zambia to reinforce security at the common border to combat illegal practices.

José Maria de Lima, who was speaking at the opening of the expert meeting of the 32nd Session of the Angola - Zambia Permanent Joint Committee, underlined that the exchange of experiences in this area aims to prevent destabilizing and harmful situations to the population of these states.

He considered it imperative that countries, through close cooperation, improve mechanisms to neutralize organized crime.

"We need to show the criminals that we are more organized than they are," said the secretary of state.

On the occasion, the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) Chief of Staff, Egidio de Sousa Santos, said that combating cross-border crime is intrinsic to maintaining security conditions along the common border.

He said that preserving peace and stability were priorities of the Angola - Zambia Joint Permanent Commission.

2.     BURUNDI

a)    Russian News Agency: Russia interested in enhancing cooperation with Burundi

MOSCOW, November 5. /TASS/. Russia is interested in developing cooperation with Burundi and hopes that the visit of Burundian Foreign Minister Ezechiel Nibigira to Moscow will boost cooperation in various spheres, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday in the run-up to the talks with his Burundian colleague.

"This is your first visit to Moscow, we hope it will be successful," the Russian top diplomat addressed Nibigira. "We have a good opportunity to discuss the whole range of our relations. They are actively developing in the trade-economic and humanitarian spheres, as well as in the sphere of education. There are good prospects, and we expect that your visit, the talks within the foreign ministry and other bodies will help outline those prospects clearly."

Lavrov expressed hope that the sides would be able to "have a detailed discussion on international cooperation." "We closely coordinate our approaches to key issues that we discuss within the UN and other international organizations," he added. "We are especially interested in hearing your opinion on the state of conflict regulation on the African continent."

For his part, the Burundian diplomat has conveyed cordial greetings from President of Burundi Pierre Nkurunziza to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

3.     DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

a)    New Vision: Uganda to hold first-ever business forum with DRC

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his counterpart, Félix Tshisekedi will preside over the forum scheduled to take place on November 9 at Speke Resort Munyonyo.

Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will on Tuesday launch the first Uganda-DRC Joint Business Forum to boost bilateral trade between the two countries.

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his counterpart, Félix Tshisekedi will preside over the forum scheduled to take place on November 9 at Speke Resort Munyonyo.

The business forum is organised by the ministry of foreign affairs, ministry of trade, industry, and cooperatives, ministry of finance and the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU).

According to an advisory from the foreign affairs ministry, the forum will be held to promote bilateral trade, investment, and connectivity for mutual peace and prosperity.

“The objective of the business forum is to share experience, identify opportunities, create business networks and solutions to identify challenges, the ministry said in a statement.

It will be the second high-level business forum between Uganda and her regional neighbours, following Uganda-Tanzania Business Forum held in Daresalaam in September.

During the two-day forum held at the Julius Nyerere International Conference Centre, Museveni and his Tanzanian counterpart, John Pombe Magufuli committed to ending trade barriers.

The two principals agreed to step joint investments in infrastructure aimed at boosting regional trade and ease transport along the central corridor.

The two countries are finalizing plans for a joint 1,410km oil pipeline project linking Uganda’s Albertine Graben to Tanzania’s Tanga port at the Indian Ocean.

Several other bilateral projects in energy, aviation, water transport, and telecommunications have been initiated in recent years as the close neighbours seek to grow trade and investment volumes.

DRC is one of Uganda’s largest export markets worth $398m (about sh1.47 trillion) in 2016, among them cement, sugar, rice, beer, wheat flour, biscuits and beauty, and make-up products.

Last year, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) signed a memorandum of understanding to promote trade, harmonise immigration formalities and ease cross-border trade.

Under the MOU, the two countries are to facilitate investment in manufacturing, exchange information and statistics and generally foster cooperation between their private sectors.

The two countries also promised to harmonise their visa fees. Currently, Uganda charges $50 while DRC charges $100.

Ministers from both sides agreed to undertake joint infrastructure projects along the northern trade corridor, linking the DRC town of Kisangani to Kampala and the Mombasa in Kenya.

Ugandan technocrats have also been rooting for the fast-tracking of licenses for Ugandan private aviation operators to fly people and goods between Uganda and Kisangani.

4.     KENYA

a)    Standard Digital: Mumias Sugar Company fires all employees

All Mumias Sugar Company employees have been sacked just over a month after the firm went into receivership under KCB.

In a letter dated November 5, 2019, the company said, "Consequent to the company being placed in receivership, all employees contracts stand terminated from the date of receiveship i.e 20th September, 2019."

Mumias Sugar however said the affected employees will be lawfully compensated.

"Any payment to the affected employees shall be dealt with in accordance with the provision of the law," read the letter in part.

New staff will be hired on temporary basis to keep the company running and priority will be given to the now former staff, who have just been fired.

"Accordingly, the Receiver shall engage the services of any employee on a temporary basis on mutually agreeable terms until the time when the operations resume. Priority will however be given to the past employees while recruiting the staff on temporary basis until the time when the company's operations are revived," ended the letter.

5.     RWANDA

a)    The New Times: Rwanda appoints new foreign minister, internal security minister

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame has appointed a new foreign affairs minister in a cabinet reshuffle, a statement read on state broadcaster Radio Rwanda late on Monday said.

The central African country’s new top diplomat, veteran politician Vincent Biruta, will replace Richard Sezibera who has not been seen in public for months.

Sezibera’s absence from public view has fuelled speculation that he could have fallen ill.

Calls by Reuters on Tuesday to the president’s office and other government officials for comment on the reshuffle were not answered.

Biruta has been serving as Rwanda’s minister for environment since August 2017 but held other roles including head of the senate between 2003 to 2011.

He is also the head of Social Democratic Party (SDP) which is in a coalition with the ruling Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) party headed by Kagame.

Other changes in the reshuffle included Patrick Nyamvumba who was appointed minister of internal security. He has been working as chief of defence forces.

6.     SOUTH SUDAN

a)    Radio Tamazuj: Kiir to attend Kampala meeting, Presidency says

The presidency has confirmed that President Salva Kiir Mayardit will attend a meeting to be held in Kampala, Uganda on Thursday.

Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar will meet in the presence of the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and the president of the Sudanese Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah Al Burhan. The meeting was supposed to take place today, but it has been delayed.

Presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny told Radio Tamazuj today that the meeting was postponed due to the president’s busy schedule.

"The meeting has been postponed because the president is busy holding consultations with the peace signatories in Juba, but the president will travel to Kampala on Thursday," he assured.

The meeting, which will be the third face-to-face meeting between the two principal leaders, is expected to discuss outstanding issues in the implementation of the peace agreement before the expected formation of a transitional government on November 12.

The opposition SPLM/A-IO on Tuesday said they received a formal notification postponing the meeting due to ’administrative reasons’.

The key outstanding issues include the creation of unified forces, deployment of soldiers meant to protect top government officials, agreeing on the number of states and drawing internal boundaries.

7.     SUDAN

a)    Middle East Monitor: Sudan’s opposition forces support Bashir’s extradition to ICC

Sudan’s Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC), which led the protests that toppled former President Omar Al-Bashir, announced that they have agreed to extradite the former leader to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

“We have no objection in handing over Al-Bashir to the ICC. All the members of the Forces of Freedom and Change agree on that,” said Ibrahim Al-Sheikh, a leader of the Forces of Freedom and Change, t on Sunday.

“If Al-Bashir escapes prosecution at home for the crimes he committed, he will be punished in the ICC abroad,” he added.

The International Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants for Al-Bashir on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

Al-Bashir, who was ousted by the Sudanese army in April following months of anti- government protests, denies the charges against him.

b)    Devex: Sudanese women urge gender balance in country's peace process

UNITED NATIONS — Sudanese women were influential in the widespread protests that led to the military overthrow of the country’s president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, in April. Six months later, they find themselves once again sidelined from their country’s peace process, according to female civil society organizers.

“It was disappointing. This is a continuation of the old government, which said they would give women opportunities. But during the negotiations between the transitional army and the transitional government there was only one woman,” said Safaa Elagib Adam Ayoub, secretary-general of the Khartoum-based nonprofit Community Development Association.

Ayoub and other colleagues from Sudan placed the spotlight on ongoing women, peace, and security challenges during a recent session of the United Nations Security Council. On Wednesday, the council reaffirmed its commitment to implementing the landmark 1325 resolution that calls for the inclusion of women in peace negotiations, among other areas.

Almost 20 years after the Security Council approved 1325, progress on the women, peace, and security agenda has not materialized as quickly, or comprehensively, as hoped, according to U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres.

Sudan offers one example of a country that has yet to adopt a national action plan for implementing 1325. Other conflict- and post-conflict countries have also seen a backsliding of women’s role in peacemaking in recent years. In Colombia, the murder of female human rights defenders has been on the rise since the government and armed groups brokered a peace agreement in 2016.

In addition, in Sudan, only one woman participated in the talks in April between the military and the umbrella protest movement Forces of Freedom for Change.

“A national action plan was prepared and put forward by the previous administration, but because there is no political will… It is not a priority for the government,” Ayoub told Devex.

University student Alaa Salah, who became a symbol of the protests after a photo of her addressing a crowd from atop a car went viral, addressed the Security Council on Wednesday.

“Women led resistance committees and sit-ins, planned protest routes and disobeyed curfews, even in the midst of a declared state of emergency that left them vulnerable to security forces. Many were teargassed, threatened, assaulted, and thrown in jail without any charge or due process,” Salah told member states at the Security Council meeting.

8.     UGANDA

a)    The Citizen: Uganda opposition leader Besigye arrested for defying orders – Police

An unspecified number of Uganda opposition supporters are in police custody following a scuffle with police in the capital Kampala on Monday morning.

Trouble started after security personnel blocked a planned assembly of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) at Mandela National Stadium in Namboole.

Heavily armed police and military officers cordoned off the stadium prompting the angered FDC party members to march to their party headquarters down the busy Kampala-Jinja highway.

To break up the crowds, police used tear gas, water cannon and live bullets resulting to running battles.

The melee saw Kira Municipality legislator Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda arrested but he vanished.

Dr Kizza Besigye, the former FDC party president, continued waving to the crowd atop his sunroof before police blocked his car and later towed it to Naggalama Police Station.

However, some of the chains used to tow Besigye’s car broke as the crowd cheered the four-time presidential candidate.

The police then used a water cannon to force Besigye out of his car and bundled him into a police van, which sped off to Naggalama.

In a statement, police said on Monday afternoon that FDC informed them about the intended assembly and advised venue change but they ignored the directive.

“FDC informed us about the intended celebration and were wrote back to them advising that they should shift the venue but they ignored our directive. Besigye defied police orders and parked his vehicle in the middle of the road, blocking and inconveniencing other road users. The car was towed away and he was taken to Naggalama Police Station. At the moment no charges have been preferred against him but investigators are still gathering evidence,” Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson Mr Patrick Onyango said.

He also refuted reports a woman was shot dead by police during the chaos.

"There's a photograph circulating on social media purporting that a woman was shot and killed today in Kireka Trading centre. This is not true. No death has been registered in this operation," Mr Onyango added.

As the 2021 electoral year nears, opposition political parties and pressure groups are struggling to lay strategies to confront Museveni.

However, police have repeatedly broken their meetings citing failure to comply with the Public Order Management Act.

Recently, Besigye and a number of his supporters launched a civil disobedience campaign dubbed ‘Tubalemese’, saying it will help the opposition to achieve their goals.

9.     ZAMBIA

a)    Lusaka Times: Nevers Mumba is the legitimate President of MMD, Lusaka High Court Rules

Lusaka High Court Judge Sharon Newa has declared that Dr. Nevers Sekwila Mumba is the President of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD).

This was in the case in which Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) Acting National Secretary Winnie Zaloumis took Felix Mutati, Raphael Nakachinda, George Kangwa and Mwansa Mbulakulima to Court to find out who gave them authority to organise the MMD Convention of 2016.

Judge Newa in her Ruling this morning said that the MMD Constitution only mandates the National Executive Committee (NEC) to call for a Convention.

“According to the MMD Constitution, only the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Party can call for a Convention. Furthermore, the resources of organizing the NEC are supposed to be organized by the Party Treasurer”, Judge Newa said.

“The NEC that sat in 2016 voted unanimous to have the party convention in 2017 and not 2016. And the party treasurer Hon. Elizabeth Chitika didn’t even use one ngwee to organise the 2016 Convention”, Judge Newa.

Judge Newa then declared the 2016 MMD Convention illegal and the election of Felix Mutati as Party President null and void.

“After considering the testimony by both the plaintiffs and defendants, I hereby declare the 2016 MMD Convention null and Void. I further declare all the elections that took place there including the election of Felix Mutati as Party President as null and void. The MMD President is Dr. Nevers Sekwila Mumba,” Judge Newa.

1.     ANGOLA

a)    Angola Press Agency: Angola's vice president back home

Luanda - Angolan Vice president of Republic Bornito de Sousa arrived on Saturday afternoon in Luanda after attending in Gaberone, Botswana, the inauguration of the President-elect Mokgweetsi Eric Masisi on Friday.

Bornito de Sousa was received at 4 de Fevereiro International Airport by Minister of State and Chief of the President’ Civil Affairs, Frederico Cardoso, and by senior officials of his Office.

The Vice President attended the event along with the presidents of Mozambique Filipe Nyusi, Zambia Edgar Lungo, and Zimbabwe Emerson Manangagwa.

On the sidelines of the ceremony, the Vice President delivered a message from President João Lourenço to Mokgweetsi Eric Masisi.

At the end of the audience, held at the Botswana International Convention Center, Bornito de Sousa told the press that Botswan’s statesman reiterated the existing friendship with the people of Angola.

He said that Angola's presence at the presidential inauguration ceremony may reflect the deepening of cooperation relations between the two member countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

During his stay in Gaberone, the Vice President, accompanied by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Téte António, visited Angola's diplomatic representation in Botswana.

Political-diplomatic relations between Angola and Botswana date back to 18 February 1976.

2.     CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

a)    Daily Mail: Clarification: Central African Republic-UN-Sex Abuse Report

The United Nations botched its investigation into accusations of sexual abuse in Central African Republic, letting down victims, according to a draft report.

The report, written in 2017 but not yet made public, was leaked to The New Humanitarian and seen by The Associated Press.

An Associated Press investigative series in 2017 uncovered roughly 2,000 allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation by U.N. peacekeepers around the world over a 12-year period.

The roughly 11,000 peacekeepers in Central African Republic had the most sexual misconduct allegations - 52- of any U.N. peacekeeping mission in 2016.

"The leaked review ... gives a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse at how the U.N. system investigates claims of sexual abuse and exploitation by its own peacekeepers - and shows why it often fails the victims it is supposed to serve," according to the New Humanitarian.

The failed investigation into the allegations in the Central African Republic cost the U.N. more than $480,000.

Inadequate storage ruined DNA samples that had been collected to connect victims to their alleged perpetrators, according to the report.

"Most were already rotten. It is therefore hardly surprising that positive results could not (be) obtained," the report said of the DNA samples. Many of the samples were taken from March to May 2016, and then they were stored in Bangui for months and were not delivered to the Nairobi office for the investigation until April 2017.

The report noted the importance of the role of DNA evidence in linking a possible perpetrator to a victim. "It was noted that none of the DNA samples collected was deemed usable by labs retained for that purpose," said the report.

The lack of action on the investigation left victims feeling abandoned and without any recourse for the sexual exploitation they say they experienced at the hands of the Burundi and Gabonese troops, according to the New Humanitarian who spoke with victims.

In December 2016, the U.N. announced that OIOS had completed an internal investigation into allegations of sexual abuse against Burundian and Gabonese peacekeepers deployed in Dekoa in Kemo prefecture, Central African Republic.

OIOS interviewed 139 people, investigated their accounts and identified 16 possible perpetrators from Gabon and 25 from Burundi through photos and corroborating evidence, the U.N. said. Of the 139 victims, 25 were minors who asserted that they were sexually assaulted and eight paternity claims were filed, the U.N. said.

Ben Swanson, the director of the U.N. investigations division OIOS, agreed with the report's findings that there were problems with the way the interviews and investigations were carried out, according to The New Humanitarian.

"We took swabs from around 20 victims and their children," Swanson said, and the laboratory used to do the DNA testing was unable to extract any DNA samples from two or three of the swabs which may have been the result of operator error, poor storage techniques or the laboratory.

"Because the victims were adamant as to the identity of the fathers and we didn't want to miss any evidential opportunities we repeated the entire exercise," Swanson said.

The U.N. relies on the country contributing peacekeepers to deal with allegations of misconduct and to determine possible punishments. According to the report, Burundi investigators who went to conduct interviews in 2016 did not have the necessary skills and experience. The interviews seemed to look to discredit witnesses, it said, and interpreters also lacked the needed skills.

U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said the information appears to be from a draft of a report ordered by the Office of Internal Oversight Services, the U.N.'s internal watchdog, to see how the U.N. can improve its management of cases of sexual abuse and exploitation in different parts of the world.

"We've never really had to deploy so many investigators to countries with very austere, very difficult working conditions, and so we ourselves have been reviewing this," Haq said.

The U.N. has vowed to end impunity for sexual misconduct and to work with countries supplying peacekeepers to do more to combat the abuses.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has taken strides to improve the world body's response to sexual abuse and exploitation, appointing the U.N.'s first-ever victims' rights advocate, banning alcohol and fraternization for troops, convening high-level meetings on sexual abuse and exploitation and establishing a trust fund for victims.

The U.N. received 259 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse last year, according to The New Humanitarian, a major increase from the two previous years.

3.     DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

a)    ABC News: Congolese journalist who helped raise awareness of Ebola killed in attack, officials say

A Congolese journalist who had been helping to shed light on the deadly Ebola outbreak in his community was killed on Sunday night, officials said.

The unnamed journalist, who was also serving as a community health worker, was attacked at his home in the northeast town of Lwemba in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. His wife was left critically injured "with multiple wounds," according to a joint press release from Congolese health officials and their partners from the United Nations.

The motive behind the attack was unknown.

The reporter worked for the local radio station in Lwemba and was "involved in raising the awareness of his community regarding the country's tenth Ebola outbreak," according to the press release.

Authorities have launched an investigation into his murder and "whether it is connection to the ongoing Ebola response." Two suspects have been apprehended, according to the press release.

The Congolese government and the United Nations condemned the attack, saying, "any act of violence against individuals involved with the response is unacceptable and compromises the ability of health workers to provide assistance to communities impacted by the devastating effects of Ebola."

This is the 10th Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the most severe there since 1976, when scientists first identified the virus near the eponymous Ebola River. It's also the second-largest, second-deadliest on record anywhere.

A total of 3,274 people have reported symptoms of hemorrhagic fever in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's eastern provinces of North Kivu, Ituri and South Kivu since Aug. 1 of last year, according to Congolese health officials, and 3,157 of those individuals have tested positive for Ebola virus disease, which is transmitted through contact with blood or secretions from an infected person and causes an often-fatal type of hemorrhagic fever.

There have been 2,185 deaths so far, including 2,068 people who died from confirmed cases of Ebola. The other deaths are considered probable cases. Just over a thousand people sickened with the virus have recovered, according to Congolese health officials.

4.     KENYA

a)    BNN Bloomberg: Kenyan Population Grows 26% Over Decade, Adding Budget Pressures

Kenya’s population grew by one quarter over the past decade, adding pressure to the government as it tries to balance boosting provision of social services with managing its debt.

The number of people in East Africa’s largest economy increased to 47.6 million from a revised 37.7 million, the National Bureau of Statistics Director-General Zachary Mwangi said Monday, citing a census report. Females make up 50.5% of the population, he said. Kenya’s capital, Nairobi has 4.4 million people.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is struggling to fund his so-called Big Four Agenda to increase the stock of affordable housing, and improve healthcare, farming and manufacturing. Revenue collection has been below target and forced his administration to increase its 2019-20 budget-gap forecast to 6.2% of gross domestic product.

The five most populous counties are Nairobi, Kiambu, Nakuru, Kakamega and Bungoma, while Lamu, Isiolo, Samburu, Tana River and Taita Taveta are the least populated, the data shows.

b)    KDR TV: Mt Kenya, Western Kenya Most Populous Regions

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics has released the results for the 2019 census at State House Nairobi. Kenya’s population is currently 47,564,296. We have 24 million women in Kenya and 23 million men.

According to the report, released to President Uhuru Kenyatta, Nairobi, Kiambu, Nakuru, Kakamega and Bungoma are the most populated counties in Kenya.

From the population breakdown per county; we can confirm that Mt Kenya is the most populated region followed by Western Kenya.

The five Mt Kenya counties; Nyandarua, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Kiambu and Murang’a have a told population of 5,482,239 people. However, Kiambu is considered a cosmopolitan county meaning it is a diverse county.

In Western Kenyan, Kakamega, Bungoma, Busia and Vihiga Counties have a total population of  5,021,843 people. Despite being in the Rift Valley, Trans Nzoia is dominated by the Luhya Community and has a population of 990,341 people.

The 13 Rift Valley Counties have a total population of 12.7 million. Anyone one trying to find the population of the Kalenjin community must factor in the fact that Nakuru and Laikipia are an extension of Mt Kenya while Narok and Kajiado are Maasai Counties.

In Nyanza, the four Luo counties of Kisumu, Homa Bay, Siaya, and Migori have a total population of 4,397, 143 people. The Kisii Community who are slightly more than 1.8 million in number dominates Kisii and Nyamira.

The three Ukambani Counties of Machakos, Kitui and Makueni have approximately 3.4 million people.

President Kenyatta said the census report will be used in guiding successive planning for the benefit of Mwananchi.

“We direct all ministries, departments and government agencies to utilize #Census2019 results in their planning processes. I also urge county governments, stakeholders and development partners to do the same,” Uhuru said.

But a section of Kenyans believes these numbers will be spun by politicians ahead of the 2022 general elections.

5.     RWANDA

a)    Euro News: 'Waiting for justice': Families await start of Rwanda genocide trial in Belgium

The trial of a former high-ranking Rwandan official accused of crimes of genocide is due to begin in Belgium on Monday.

For victims and their families, the case is a culmination of a decades-long fight for justice since the 1994 genocide which killed nearly a million people.

One of those family members is Martine Beckers. She lost her sister, brother-in-law, and niece to the Rwandan genocide. Today, as the person accused of being complicit in those murders stands trial, Beckers says it will represent a major milestone in her quest for the truth.

"I'm waiting but without believing the man responsible for the killings will finally face up to what's he's done. I'm waiting to understand. I'm waiting for justice," she said.

While this trial will focus on one person, Beckers says he is not the only one responsible for the death of her family members. She also wants UN peacekeepers who lived 500 metres from her sister's house to step up. She blames Belgian authorities for failing to protect them.

"My sister was very very scared. She hoped that the soldiers who were stationed near her home, the Belgian UN forces, would come and save her; that the embassy or consulate would intervene. But they did nothing," she said.

Between April and July 1994, the Rwandan genocide killed nearly 800,000 people according to the UN.

6.     SOUTH SUDAN

a)    Radio Tamaji: Kiir and Machar expected to meet in Kampala tomorrow

The Sudanese People's Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) has announced that its leader Riek Machar will attend a meeting with President Salva Kiir Mayardit in the Ugandan capital Kampala on Tuesday.

Manawa Peter Gatkouth, the deputy spokesman for the SPLM-IO told Radio Tamazuj on Monday that the meeting is expected to discuss outstanding issues before the formation of a transitional government on November 12.

“The Kampala meeting will be attended by President Salva Kiir, President of the Sudanese Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah Al Burhan, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and opposition leader Riek Machar,” he said.

This would be the third face-to-face meeting between the two principals since the signing of the revitalized peace agreement in September 2018.

The meeting also precedes an upcoming IGAD meeting on the 8th of this month in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, to discuss outstanding issues in the implementation of the peace agreement.

Manawa further said other parties to the agreement will not participate in the meeting since they hold the same position as the government on the formation of a unity government on November 12.

However, presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny told Radio Tamazuj today that there was no official confirmation of President Kiir’s participation in the Kampala meeting.

Last week President Kiir's adviser Tut Galuak Manime said Kiir and Machar will meet with Ugandan president and Sudanese leaders to discuss controversial issues in the implementation of the peace agreement.

The parties are under growing pressure to form a unity government by November 12, although Machar and the National Democratic Movement led by Lam Akol have clearly stated that until security arrangements are implemented and parties reach an agreement on the number of states and their boundaries, they will not be part of that government.

b)    IOL: South Sudan faces crisis as country struggles to form new coalition government

Nairobi — War-torn South Sudan is "barreling toward a crisis" and could slide back into fighting, warned the International Crisis Group on Monday.

The new report said the country's warring parties aren't ready to form a coalition government on November 12th, when opposition leader Riek Machar is planned to return and once again serve as President Salva Kiir's deputy, as part of a power sharing agreement to pull the country out of a five-year civil war that killed almost 400 000 people.

"A unity government formed next week would be at immediate risk of bloody collapse," Alan Boswell senior analyst for the International Crisis group told The Associated Press. Diplomats should focus their pressure on resolving the remaining issues needed to create a viable government, he said.

The fragile peace deal signed more than one year ago has been marked by delays, a lack of funding and questionable political will. Key issues including security arrangements and the number of states in the country have yet to be resolved and fighting continues in parts of the country. Last week three volunteer aid workers were killed and one went missing when clashes broke out between armed groups in Central Equatoria state.

Machar has said he won't return for the formation of the government next week. During a visit to the capital, Juba, in October, he called for the formation of the new government to be delayed for months until resolutions can be found to outstanding issues, specifically security arrangements. The opposition said the peace deal would be violated if the government moved ahead without Machar.

"If President Salva Kiir goes ahead and forms the government unilaterally, then it will not be a unity government, it would essentially be a new, illegal regime," said Mabior Garang de Mabior spokesman for the opposition.

In order for the new government to be formed at least 41 500 soldiers from both the government army and opposition rebels must be housed in barracks, trained and unified into one national army, including a 3 000-member VIP protection force. The number of states in South Sudan must be agreed upon.

But the government said a delay, such as urged by Machar, is unlikely. "We are implementing the peace agreement and if we're implementing the peace agreement all the international actors should be working toward making the formation of the government possible, not by trying to project a situation that would aggravate things," said spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny.

The international community is also pushing for the November deadline. On a visit to Juba last month by the UN Security Council, South Africa's ambassador to the U.N., Jerry Matthew Matjila, said any outstanding issues can be resolved by the new coalition government. The United States has said it will reevaluate its relationship with South Sudan if the deadline isn't met.

The International Crisis Group is cautioning against pushing parties to come together before they're ready, or risk a repeat of 2016 when the first peace deal collapsed, fighting erupted in Juba and Machar fled the country on foot.

"The demand that Kiir and Machar form a government, come what may, is perilous," said the report. Even if the leaders agree to share power, ongoing disputes over security arrangements and state boundaries would poison the new administration, potentially leading to its collapse, it said. The group is urging for immediate high-level mediation ahead of next week's deadline.

The East African regional bloc mediating the peace deal has invited parties to Ethiopia on November 8th to try to find a way forward, said a statement by the opposition on Saturday.

At least one South Sudan expert thinks the agreement might be too late to salvage.

The failure to form a unity government would be the "final wake-up call" that a power-sharing deal will never bring peace to South Sudan, said Payton Knopf, senior adviser to the United States Institute of Peace.

"The U.S. and its western partners should then take concrete steps to stand with the South Sudanese people in recognizing what they have known for a long time: Salva Kiir and his regime are not legitimate and neither he nor Riek Machar will ever be part of any viable political settlement," he said.

7.     SUDAN

a)    Radio Tamazuj: Juba mediation discusses Sudan’s peace process in Khartoum

South Sudan’s peace mediation team on Sunday met with the Sudanese government and discussed the upcoming round of talks with Sudanese armed groups in Juba.

The team led by President Salva Kiir’s security advisor Tut Galuak Manime, announced last month that a third round of talks will commence on 21st November 2019.

South Sudan’s Minister of Energy and Dams, Dhieu Mathok Diing told the press after the meeting that the next round of negotiations will tackle issues agreed upon by the Sudanese Revolutionary Front and the SPLM-North of Abdul Aziz Al-Hilu.

"I think the next round will provide the political will we have sought from all parties, namely the Revolutionary Front, the SPLM-N, and the Sudanese government," he added.

Mathok explained that the next round is important in the peace process and is expected to be a decisive round in resolving many issues.

The Sudanese government and the rebel umbrella Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) signed a political accord on 21 October, paving the way for the launch of negotiations and a ceasefire agreement for humanitarian purposes.

8.     ZAMBIA

a)    Lusaka Times: HH condems the teargassing of Democracy Party President Harry Kalaba in Samfya

UPND Leader Hakainde Hichilema has condemned the teargassing of Democracy Party President Harry Kalaba in Samfya over the weekend by the police.

Mr Hichilema has described the act as undemocratic and a sign of dictatorship in Zambia under the PF regime.

He has charged that the PF are undeniably cowards who have no plan and Zambians deserve better.

Mr Hichilema wondered why the police have continued using the police to harass and intimidate innocent politicians who want to meet and talk to their members.

“Why continue fighting unarmed people who do not threaten the lives of the people and fail to deal with violent cadres. This must must come to an end”, he said.

Mr Hichilema has since advised Zambians to vote the PF out in 2021 in order to bring sanity especially in the Zambia Police Service who have forgotten to promote law and order for Zambians.

1.     ANGOLA

a)    Angola Press Agency: Angolan President names new Mass Media

Luanda - The President of the Republic, João Lourenço, nominated Nuno dos Anjos Caldas Albino, also known as "Nuno Carnaval", as Mass Media minister, replacing Aníbal João da Silva Melo, dismissed on the same date.

According to a note from the Civil Office of the Presidency of the Republic, which has reached ANGOP, the Head of State also dismissed Rui Jorge Carneiro Mangueira from the post of Angolan ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Mário Félix as Ambassador of Angola to the Republic of Cote D'Ivoire.

On another Presidential Order, the President of the Republic appointed Geraldo Sachipengo Nunda to be ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Feliciano António dos Santos to the position of extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassador of Angola to Poland.

b)    Angola Press Agency: Angolan President congratulates Botswana counterpart

Luanda - The Angolan President, João Lourenço, saluted on Sunday his Botswana counterpart, Mokgweetsi Masisi, for the victory in the elections that happened on the 23rd of the current month.

Mokgweetsi Masisi was reelected for another five-year term.

On the official message that has reached ANGOP, President João Lorenço stresses that the re-election is confirmation of the trust and confidence of Botswana's people.

“By electing him, they (the people) showed that they believe in the correctness and deep scope of the policies (...), which he has been carrying out with remarkable success ", states the document.

The Angolan leader encourages his Tswana counterpart to keep making efforts to achieve the great goals of progress, welfare and prosperity.

In the letter, the Angolan Head of State expresses Angola's interest in continuing to strengthen existing relations.

The two member countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) discussed this year the possibility of setting up a bilateral cooperation commission.

The commission aims to revitalize the existing diplomatic relations that began in 1975.

A General Cooperation Agreement between Angola and Botswana has been in force since 2006.

2.     BURUNDI

a)    Relief web: Refugee returns to Burundi must be voluntary and not under pressure

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is repeating its call to ensure that refugee returns from Tanzania to Burundi remain voluntary and not under pressure, following a bilateral agreement between the two governments in August this year to increase return rates.

Recently, we have noted mounting pressure on Burundian refugees and asylum-seekers to return home - despite assurances from the authorities that all returns will be voluntary and free from intimidation, and no refugee will be forcibly returned.

We continue to call upon both governments to uphold refugees’ freedom of choice with regard to return, and to ensure that returns are made in safety and dignity, with UNHCR having access on both sides of the border to carry out its protection mandate, including monitoring returnees in Burundi.

UNHCR reiterates that the principle of voluntary return requires that repatriation should be based on a freely-exercised choice, devoid of coercion or pressure, and that UNHCR has full access to refugees in order to establish the voluntary nature of any returns.

UNHCR remains firmly committed to supporting durable solutions for refugees in Tanzania, including voluntary return to Burundi for those who want to go back. Others will need continued protection and support in Tanzania.

UNHCR is working with local officials to ensure refugee returns are voluntary and only taking place under the existing three-party agreement between the Tanzanian and Burundian governments and the UN Refugee Agency. Some 79,000 refugees have made the choice to return to Burundi under this arrangement since 2017.

UNHCR looks forward to the upcoming meeting of the Tripartite Commission, scheduled for late November – the best forum to discuss concerns and seek solutions, to ensure that refugees who have made the informed, free and voluntary decision to return can do so in safety and in dignity.

Tanzania currently hosts 206,000 Burundian refugees, the majority living in three refugee camps in western parts of the country.

3.     CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

a)    African Union Peace and Security: Press Statement of the 884th PSC meeting on the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR)

The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 884th meeting, held on 10 October 2019, followed a Joint briefing by AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui and the UN Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations, Ambassador Jean-Pierre Lacroix, on the Situation in the Central African Republic (CAR), following the joint AU-UN-European Union (EU) visit, undertaken in that country, from 4 to 7 October 2019.

Council recalled its previous Communiqués and Press Statements on the Situation in the Central African Republic, particularly which of its 834th meeting, held on 21 March 2019, as well as the Communiqué of its 848th meeting, held on 9 May 2019 on the Situation in the CAR.

Council congratulated the signatory parties to the Political Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation (APPR) in the CAR on the progress made in its implementation, in particular the restoration of State authority, with the installation all the Prefects, Sub-Prefects, the technical security committees and the progressive deployment of the National Defence and Security Forces throughout the country. Council noted with satisfaction the significant reduction in violence since the signing of the Peace Agreement, while expressing concern about the continued hostile acts in the country. In this regard, Council strongly condemned the fighting between the armed groups in Birao, which resulted in many losses of life and the displacement of more than 15,000 persons.

Council stressed the imperative need for all signatories to scrupulously comply with the provisions of the APPR, including the cessation of hostilities throughout the entire territory. In this regard, Council warned all those who would seek to impede the implementation of the Agreement and the comprehensive peace process in the Central African Republic, that they would be held accountable and that Council is determined to consider appropriate punitive measures.

Council noted with satisfaction the progress made in rebuilding the Central African Armed Forces (FACA) and expressed its gratitude to the United Nations Security Council and its Member States for deciding, through the adoption of Resolution 2488 (2019), to ease the conditions of the arms embargo in order to enable the CAR to rebuild its armed forces. In this regard, Council encouraged the United Nations Security Council, in view of the significant progress made by the Central African authorities, in their efforts towards Security Sector Reform, to continue to support the rebuilding of the Central African Defence and Security Forces, by dropping the armed embargo to this effect. In this regard, Council urged the Central African parties to work towards the rapid operationalization of the Mixed Military Security Units, in line with the security arrangements provided for in the Agreement.

Taking into consideration interdependence between peace, security and development in line with the PSC Communique [PSC/PR/COMM.1(DCCCLXXXIII)] adopted at its 883rd meeting, on 27 September 2019, held at Ministerial Level, Council called on the international community to support peace efforts especially those aiming to the economic and social recovery in CAR, notably through supporting the National Recovery and Peace-Building Plan (RCPCA) 2017-2021 and through the participation to the set-up of concrete and  targeted development projects, which would be crucial for the reintegration of central African populations in the working life, including those concerned by the demobilization operation.

Council reaffirmed that the electoral process is a priority step in consolidating the democratic gains and stability in the country. In this regard, Council urged the Central African actors to scrupulously comply with the upcoming dates of the elections to be held in 2020/2021 and to ensure that they are free, fair, credible and peaceful, and rejected any idea relating to a new transition. Furthermore, Council reaffirmed the need for all the parties to work in good faith for the organisation of the elections, which are part of the peacebuilding process in the Central African Republic.

Council encouraged the people of CAR, including the signatory and non-signatory parties, the political actors, the Civil Society and Women's and Youths associations, to continue to support the implementation of the Agreement, which remained the sole path for the restoration of a lasting peace in the whole country.

 Council welcomed the continued support of the African Union, the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), Guarantors of the Peace Agreement. Council also welcomed the exemplary cooperation between the African Union, the United Nations and the European Union, in close coordination with the countries of the Region, in the stabilisation and socio-economic recovery efforts of the CAR and encouraged the three organisations to continue their coordinated commitment to the promotion of peace, security and stability in the CAR. Council expressed its appreciation to the AU Commission, particularly to the Commissioner for Peace and Security, for its continued commitment to supporting peace efforts in the CAR, including the mobilisation of funds for the implementation of the APPR.

Council paid tribute to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and its Troop Contributing Countries for the huge sacrifices made for peace in the Central African Republic. In this regard, Council honoured the memory of the recently fallen Senegalese soldiers in the Central African Republic, as well as those of all other peacekeepers who have made the supreme sacrifice for this country.

Council expressed its appreciation for the commitment and support provided by the European Union (EU) for the implementation of the Agreement. Consequently, Council requested the AU Commission to pursue its efforts to mobilise resources to ensure the restoration of peace, security and stability in the CAR.

Council, within the context of the African Solidarity Initiative, reiterated its appeal to the Member States of the African Union to continue to provide financial, logistical and other relevant support to the peace efforts of the African Union in the CAR, with a view to further consolidating the gains made in the implementation of the Agreement. Council underscored the need for a holistic approach to peace efforts in the CAR, which could not be dissociated from those that should focus on improving the living conditions of the Central African people shattered by so many years of instability and violence.

Council requested the Commission to consider convening another meeting of the International Contact Group for the CAR, to assess the situation in the CAR and to take the necessary measures with a view to better support the implementation of the Peace Agreement.

Council recalled Assembly Decision AU/Assembly/Dec.718(XXXII) adopted by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government, recognizing the efforts of the UN Peacebuilding Commission, and particularly the Kingdom of Morocco, chair of the UN Configuration of the CAR, in its efforts and commitment as it continues to mobilize support for the peace efforts in the CAR.

Council decided to remain actively seized of the situation in the CAR.

4.     DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

a)    International Rescue: Any let up in Ebola response could risk escalation of outbreak in DRC, warns IRC

Dalia al-Awqati, Ebola Response Director in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at the IRC said: “Whilst we have seen the number of reported cases drop in the past weeks, cases continue to arise, and the challenges we face in controlling the spread are undiminished. We are walking on a tightrope. We know that it does not take much for cases in a new area to escalate quickly, as we have seen following previous lulls in cases in this outbreak. It only takes one infected person to travel to a new area to start a new transmission chain. Given the 21 day incubation period, the chances of this are relatively high.”

Many of the areas in which the disease is now present represent a significant challenge to the response due to their remoteness and poor infrastructure, meaning curbing transmission continues to require significant effort. Increasingly we are working with small communities with pre-existing challenges such as lack of access to water and poor access to basic services.

For example, to travel the 36km [22 miles] to Mayuwano from the small town of Mambasa in southwest Ituri province takes two hours on a good day. On a bad day the road is simply impassable. Once in Mayuwano, there is little infrastructure meaning that all materials for triages need to be brought along the increasingly damaged road, which the community also relies on. This example also brings to light the challenges that many people in North Kivu and southwest Ituiri face everyday, with or without an Ebola outbreak.

The risk of spread from the DRC to neighboring countries remains high. This means maintaining high levels of preparedness in these countries until the very end of the outbreak in DRC. This includes both monitoring for and responding to Ebola cases, as well as working to ensure that existing humanitarian programming is resilient to a potential outbreak.

The IRC has been responding to the Ebola outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri since its declaration in August last year working in more than 90 health facilities in Beni, Mabalako, Butembo, Goma and in southwest Ituri, leading on infection prevention and control (IPC). The IRC is also working in women’s and children’s protection and community engagement, and integrating Ebola-related protection concerns in areas where the IRC supports primary health care services.  The IRC has a long-standing presence in this area of North Kivu and continues to equally address pre-existing and persistent health and protection needs related to displacement and insecurity in this area now impacted by Ebola.

The IRC has been working in the Democratic Republic of Congo since 1996 responding to the humanitarian crisis in the east. It has since evolved into one of the largest providers of humanitarian assistance and post-conflict development, with life-saving programming in health, economic recovery, women’s and children’s protection, and livelihoods.

5.     KENYA

a)    KMA News Agency: IMF commends Kenya on fight against corruption

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Director for African Department, Mr. Abebe Selassie has commended President Uhuru Kenyatta for spearheading the war against corruption, saying Kenya is on the right path.

Mr. Abebe said the IMF is satisfied with the stable economic growth that averages between 5.5 percent and 6.0 percent as a result of the ongoing fiscal reforms that the Kenyan Government is implementing to ensure macroeconomic stability.

“Because of this, Kenya is a leading light in terms of economic reforms and growth in the region,” Mr. Abebe said.

The Director for the African Department of the IMF spoke today when he paid the President a courtesy call at State House, Nairobi.

During the meeting, the President and Mr. Abebe discussed the relationship between Kenya and the Bretton Woods institution where they agreed on the need for closer cooperation.

President Kenyatta thanked the IMF for technical support it gives Kenya saying the institution plays a key role in the stability of the country’s economy.

He said the government is committed to a stronger partnership with IMF as it implements programmed that are geared towards uplifting the lives of Kenyans.

The IMF Director introduced Mr. Tobias Rasmussen, the new IMF Kenya Resident Representative. Mr. Rasmussen is replacing Mr. Jan Mikkelsen whose tenure ended on September 13th this year.

President Kenyatta assured the IMF officials that his door is always open for discussions that benefit the country.

“Our door is always open. I look forward to working closely with you,” President Kenyatta told the incoming Resident Representative.

Mr. Abebe was in Kenya to the launch of the IMF’s Regional Economic Outlook report for Sub Saharan Africa whose theme is “Navigating Uncertainty”.

b)    KDR TV: The Kikuyu Factor in Kibra by-elections

With less than 1o days to the Kibra by-elections, campaigns have reached homestretch as candidates fight for the highly lucrative seat.

Unless something extraordinary happens, the race has narrowed down to two horses; Jubilee’s McDonald Mariga and ODM Candidate Imran Okoth. Mariga has emerged as a force in these campaigns thanks to his association with Deputy President William Ruto.

Ruto’s Tanga Tanga bloggers led by Dennis Itumbi have ensured that the former Inter Milan midfielder has his A-game on social media.

More than 80% of Kibra voters are from the Luo and Luhya community. If Mariga and Imran get 50% of these votes then a tie-breaker will be needed. This is why the Kikuyu Community in Kibra becomes very important in these elections. Kikuyus are the third most populous community in Kibra after Luos and Luhya.

It is for this reason that both Mariga and Imran have laid down strategies to win over the community. As a Jubilee Candidate, Mariga is supposed to be assured of the votes from Mt Kenya but the handshake complicated everything.

Nominated Jubilee MP Maina Kamanda has been rallying members of the house of Mumbi to back Imran. In a past function, Kamanda even sensationally claimed that the heart of President Uhuru Kenyatta is with Imran, a man he dubbed the handshake candidate.

Former Jubilee vice-chairman David Murathe and former Nairobi Woman Rep Esther Passaris have also thrown their weight behind Imran.

ODM leader Raila Odinga is also expected to meet members of the Kikuyu Community within the week.

Mariga’s camp is using Kikuyu MPs; Charles Njagua (Starehe), John Kiarie ohn Kiarie (Dagoretti South) and Kimani Ichungwa (Kikuyu) to woo the Kikuyu voters. The three have pitched camp in Woodley Ward, which is home to many Kikuyus.

The Kibra by-elections have narrowed down to a battle of titans between Raila and Ruto. On Sunday, Raila asked Kibra residents not to embarrass him. The DP promised them goodies like affordable housing and jobs if they vote Mariga.

The two powerhouses are expected to hold mega rallies this weekend. IEBC has set Monday as the deadline for campaigns. The mini poll will be held on November 7.

6.     RWANDA

a)    The New Times: Rwanda to host global anti-corruption awards summit

The 4th International Anti-Corruption Excellence (ACE) Award summit is set to take place in Kigali next month, it has emerged.

The annual event, due December 9 on the occasion of the International Anti-Corruption Day, will be co-hosted by the governments of Rwanda and Qatar, according to a statement.

The ACE Award is an initiative of the Government of Qatar and is presented annually on International Anti-Corruption Day in cooperation with the Vienna-based United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The ACE Award seeks to raise awareness, support, and solidarity to combat corruption and encourage new initiatives in pursuit of corruption-free societies, the statement says.

Johnston Busingye, Rwanda’s Minister for Justice and Attorney General, said the Awards are an inspiration to promote accountability.

“Rwanda is honoured to welcome all distinguished guests, including Heads of State, who will attend the ACE Award Ceremony. We look forward to hosting this important Award that seeks to recognise excellence in the fight against corruption and inspire continued action to promote integrity and accountability,” he is quoted in the statement as saying.

Rwanda has improved by one point to score 56 out of 100, making it one of the five least corrupt countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to the latest Corruption Perception Index (CPI).

There are four categories of the ACE Award in the global fight against corruption, namely; lifetime and outstanding achievement, innovation, academic research and education, as well as youth creativity and engagement.

The Anti-Corruption Lifetime Achievement Award seeks to reward an outstanding contribution to the global fight against corruption, achieved over the span of a lifetime, organisers says. 

This category targets those who have shown outstanding contributions to the achievement of anti-corruption agenda, be it domestic or international; having the impact of their actions, and be able to serve as potential role models for others.

The Anti-Corruption Youth Creativity Award is given in recognition of anti-corruption initiatives created and led by young people.

Their projects can vary in form, from independent youth initiatives and campaigns to organisational and school or other academic institution projects.

This category seeks to recognise and encourage projects designed and led by or for young people and, where applicable, supported by non-governmental organizations or civil society.

The Anti-Corruption Academic Research Award is granted in recognition of impactful academic research in the field of global anti-corruption efforts whereby each awardee will receive a trophy and a financial consideration.

This category seeks those individuals and/or entities whom have a peer-recognized body of research and publications in the anti-corruption area.

They should have a significant contribution to the growth of knowledge in anti-corruption through research, publications, and education-related work; and that this contribution be significant towards raising awareness among the academic community on anti-corruption.

Anti-Corruption Innovation Category looks to reward those who have created and developed the necessary tools to help in the fight against corruption.

This includes the development, use of innovative solutions and approaches to anti-corruption action and the raising of awareness. 

Such solutions and approaches may involve the use of IT and communications technologies (e.g. new applications, software or integrated technology), as well as other innovative methodologies that will help those whom wish to combat corruption in every way possible.

b)    The New Times: Kagame in Qatar for major IT conference

President Kagame on Monday arrived in Doha, Qatar where he is expected to attend the 5th Qatar Information Technology Conference and Exhibition (QITCOM 2019), according to a statement from the Office of the President.

The Qatari Ministry of Transport and Communication hosts QITCOM 2019, which starts today,, under the patronage of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar.

It is Qatar's biggest digital event, bringing together smart technology with international expertise, industry specialists, key government decision-makers, innovators, and entrepreneurs.

Themed "Safe Smart Cities", QITCOM 2019 features an edition of the Smart City Expo that is staged in partnership with Fira Barcelona, the organisers of the international benchmark event, Smart City Expo World Congress.

Attended by over 300 technology exhibitors, 100 startups and 300 innovators and entrepreneurs, the gathering is a one-stop-shop for participants to showcase disruptive smart technologies and exchange next-generation knowledge.

Rwandan companies participating in the exhibition include AC Group, Ampersand, Broadband Systems Corporation, Irembo, Pascal Technology, QT Software and a youth-led recycling start-up called Wastezon. 

This is Rwanda’s first time to participate in QITCOM.

Rwanda spearheads Smart Africa’s Smart Cities Flagship Programme, which provides guidelines for African governments to integrate technology into urban planning.

Technological applications in Rwandan cities include CCTV camera for public safety, tap-and-go payment and Wi-Fi on public transport, Irembo, and e-recruitment for public service.

7.     SOUTH SUDAN

a)    Sudan Tribune: Women demand inclusion in South Sudan’s peace process

October 28, 2019 (JUBA) - Women in South Sudan have urged the country’s leaders to ensure the 35% affirmative action allocated for them is represented in new transitional government of national unity.

The appeal emerged during a ‘women to women’ dialogue forum hosted by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the Gender, Child and Social Welfare Ministry in the capital, Juba.

About 60 participants, who included local authorities, faith-based groups, civil society and various political parties attended the forum.

Developing a road map for ensuring that the provision for 35% representation of women in the unified transitional government, due to be formed on November 12 is real was key during the discussions.

Ann Itto, a member of the East African assembly representing South Sudan argued that strong action needed to be taken by women themselves if they wanted the 35% affirmative action to be realized.

She encouraged women to join political parties and pressure groups as well as the security sector to challenge the patriarchal society that dominates South Sudan.

Itto, a senior member of the ruling party (SPLM) reminded the group of their power and influence, particularly during elections and referendums, given women make up the majority of the population.

“A party is where they cook the soup and it is served to the people. They can fight for your rights, and there are many things that you can achieve through being in the party,” said the official.

“You need to fight for the policies including electoral laws that protect the interest of women when you become part of these organizations,” she added.

The East African legislative assembly MP said it was vital that women took a unified approach to the peace process, including issues like securing accountability for crimes committed during the conflict.

“You must walk back to the women at grassroots level and move forward with them to translate the 35 percent into reality,” said Itto.

“Also, for us to bring peace to ourselves, we need to respect the transitional justice process so we can tackle ruining cases like rape,” she added.

On her part, however, the Minister of Gender, Child and Social Welfare, Rose Paulino Lisok urged the participants to submit recommendations from the forum to the government so that an action plan could be developed and implemented, including translating the 2018 peace agreement into the various languages.

Meanwhile UNMISS Gender Affairs Unit representative, Gladys Jambi, said the mission was working with authorities to promote gender provisions within the revitalized peace agreement and to identify any gaps that may hinder women’s full participation in governance.

“UNMISS will continue to lead peace building engagement across the country, including promoting gender inclusivity, with the support of civil society organizations, faith-based groups and government officials,” she said.

b)    Sudan Tribune: South Sudan’s Kiir briefed on devastating flood situation

October 28, 2019 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management minister, Hussein Maar Nyuot on Monday briefed President Salva Kiir on the flood situation across the country.

Speaking shortly after meeting the president, Nyout said he also informed the South Sudanese leader of the ministry’s plans on how to control floods.

He assured the population affected by the devastating floods to be calm, saying government is working hard to control the situation.

Nearly a million people in South Sudan have been affected by heavy flooding, the United Nations Office for Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Friday.

Severe floods, it said, have devastated large areas of the country since July, submerging entire communities and forced hundreds of thousands from their homes.

An estimated 908,000 people have reportedly been affected, including internally displaced people, refugees and their host communities in a country already hit by years of ruinous civil war that caused mass displacement and wrecked its economy.

Alain Noudeho, OCHA humanitarian coordinator in South Sudan, said the situation is "extremely” concerning as rains are likely to continue for another four to six weeks and put more people at risk.

Floods have also limited access to health facilities, nutrition centres, basic services and markets, the agency said.

Across the 32 flooded counties in South Sudan’s Jonglei, Upper Nile, Warrap, Eastern Equatoria, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Unity and Lakes region, over three million people were already in need of humanitarian assistance even before the rains, according to OCHA.

Many affected areas, it said, were already facing high humanitarian needs before the flooding started, with more than 60 per cent of them classified as having extreme levels of acute malnutrition.

8.     SUDAN

a)    Radio Tamazuj: Sudan’s transitional authority, FFC form coordination committee

October 28, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC), the Council of Sovereignty and the Transitional Government have agreed in an unprecedented meeting on Monday to form a coordinating committee to follow up the implementation of the programme of the transitional period.

The coordinating committee, which includes four members from the two components of the Transitional Authority and the protest movement that toppled down the former regime, will tackle and follow up all files and issues besides forming subcommittees on specific issues.

The meeting, the first of its kind since the formation of the transitional government, came after demonstrations and statements by the FFC or its groups criticising the poor performances and the slow implementation of reforms by the transitional authority during the past two months.

Information Minister Faisal Mohamed Saleh said that the meeting lasted for more than three hours during which a number of issues were discussed, adding that it was agreed on the importance of trust between the three parties "for the success of any joint project".

"The peace file was discussed and therefore this coordination mechanism will form tripartite panels to work on the file of peace and prepare a common opinion on various issues related to the tasks transitional period," he added.

He pointed out that there is also a committee that will discuss other issues such as the dismantlement of the elements of the National Congress Party, as provided in the Constitutional Document.

The tripartite coordination committee comprises Aisha Musa, Mohamed Hassan Eltaishi Lt. Gen. Yasir aAl-Atta, Lt. Gen. Shams al-Din Kabbashi, Mohamed al-Hassan Eltaishi from the Sovereignty Council. While ministers Omer Monis, Intisar Saghiroun, Faisal Mohamed Saleh and Youssef Alday will represent the government. For their part, the FFC picked Ahmed Rabie, Amina Mahmoud, Ayman Khaled, and Taha Youssef.

Under the Political Agreement between the FFC and the military council, the coalition of the protest movement formed a government including 21 ministers, except for the defence and interior ministers who are designated by thy the military.

Also, the FFC nominated six out of the eleven members of the Sovereign Council.

Next December, they will form the 300-member parliament, as the FFC will appoint 67% of its members.

9.     TANZANIA

a)    The Citizen: Retired Tanzania PM calls for peace, stability ahead of elections

Dar es Salaam. The retired Prime Minister, Mr Mizengo Pinda, has urged Tanzanians to maintain the country’s peace and stability ahead of next month’s civic elections and the 2020 general election Mr Pinda made the call, when addressing the participants of Center for International (CIP) Africa charter held in the city on October 29, 2019.

The former premier called upon the politicians, who will participate in the November’s civic polls to accept the results because ‘it is the voters, who decide’ “We should all (politicians) agree with the outcome of the results…it should be clear that Tanzania comes first.

So, we should put our interests aside,” said Mr Pinda Speaking during the conference, the chairman of the Tanzania Center for Democracy, Mr James Mbatia, warned some politicians, who, he claimed, are misusing their powers to jeopardize the country’s peace. Arrogance by those, who are in power, always puts a country’s peace and stability at risk, as political, religious and other leaders we should be very careful of our utterances,” said Mr Mbatia.

10.  UGANDA

a)    Daily Monitor: US condemns Makerere violence

The US embassy in Uganda has condemned the violence that security forces meted out on Makerere University students during the strike last Thursday and asked government to intervene.

“The US Mission in Uganda is increasingly concerned about the violence at Makerere University in response to ongoing protests against the proposed tuition increases. Footage of security services attacking unarmed students in their residence halls and attacks on journalists covering the protests are especially disturbing,” the US statement reads.

“This heavy-handed response by security services is uncalled for, and is a direct affront to the freedoms of assembly, speech and expression guaranteed by Uganda’s constitution. We urge the Government of Uganda to allow all Ugandans to exercise their basic rights peacefully and without fear,” the statement added.

Police spokesperson Fred Enanga defended the use of force by the joint security officers in searching students’ halls of residence.

“Once a police commander makes a proclamation order during a riot for you to stop protesting, you are supposed to oblige,” Mr Enanga said, adding that what happens later even if it involves death the officer cannot be held criminally liable. However, the Police Act only allows use of force that is proportional to the resistance.

Mr Enanga said they received intelligence that there was a third force, which he did not name, behind the protesting students and they are investigating it.

He said most of the arrested students had withdrawn money sent by a person he did not mention and that they would pick it from the same mobile money agent at the university.

He said the same group had been inciting students from other universities such as Kyambogo and Makerere University Business School Nakawa to join the protests.

The Forum for Democratic Change party (FDC) has condemned military involvement in the university students strike and asked government to withdraw the soldiers immediately.

Mr Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, the party spokesperson, told journalists at the FDC headquarters in Najjanankumbi yesterday that the breaking into rooms of university students was “the worst terror and humiliation any leader can visit on his people”.

“Several students have been brutalised, molested, battered and had their belongings vandalised by UPDF soldiers,” he added.

At least 11 students have been hospitalised following army and police raid on Thursday night.

11.  ZAMBIA

a)    Russian Aviation: Russia suspends contract for supply VIP version of SSJ 100 aircraft to Zambia

The contract for the supply of a SSJ 100 aircraft in the VIP version to Zambia has been suspended because the country does not have enough funds to finance the contract, Russia’s Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov told TASS as part of the Russia-Africa Forum.

"We take into account the experience of working with the Mexican market, where we delivered more than 20 aircraft. In addition to changes in the economy of the region, which affected the operation of the delivered aircraft, some maintenance issues were not completely resolved, there were certain malfunctions in this part. In Africa, for example, we signed a contract for the supply of a VIP version of the SSJ 100 to Zambia. But in Zambia, besides the advance payment, there were no funds to finance this aircraft, so the contract has been frozen,"Manturov said.

According to him, Russia will continue to search for potential customers in Africa, but such deliveries will become profitable only if these are bulk deliveries, not one-time shipments.

"We will continue to intensively promote our aircraft. We are thinking about forming a pool [of customers — TASS], it concerns at least 20 airliners, so that we can sign firm contracts, have obligations, and provide quality service," the minister said.

"It’s important for us today to form a certain pool [of customers in one region — TASS]. If we form this pool, then this will be a profitable business. At least that means that the SSJ 100 will be operated and serviced on time," the minister said.

In September of 2018, Manturov told reporters that Russia and Zambia had signed a contract for the supply of a single SSJ 100 aircraft (in its VIP version). At that time, the parties also discussed the supply of four more SSJ 100s.

1.     ANGOLA

a)    Lusaka Times: Five billion dollars for Angola-Zambia oil pipeline

At least US$5 billion is available for the construction of an oil pipeline to connect Angola and Zambia, aiming to make operational the Lobito corridor.

This information was advanced last Thursday, in Luanda, by the Zambian Ambassador to Angola, Lawrence Chalungumana, who was talking at the celebration ceremony of the 55th anniversary of Zambia’s independence, which was marked on 24 October, highlighting that the works shall start from the refinery of Lobito (Angola’s western end) to Zambia.

According to Mr Chalungumana, this project created by the Angolan and Zambian governments will have five years duration and will be handled by the Zambian company Baseli Balisel Resources (BBLR) with the Angolan company Sonangol.

“The conclusion of these works will facilitate the construction of roads and railways to connect neighbouring countries,” he said.
Mr. Chalungumana also reiterated that besides the project, Unitel is launching in Zambia mobile telecommunications project of over 350 million dollars.

According to the Ambassador, the bilateral relations between Angola and Zambia continue to grow, referring that the Permanent Joint Committee on Defence and Security of both countries met in 2018 and its 32nd session is scheduled for November this year.

He said many high-level meetings involving both government and private sector entrepreneurs have been held with focus on agriculture, oil, finance and economy, trade and Provincial Administration.

He also highlighted that Zambia keeps on playing a decisive role in International Organizations, mentioning that last August it became the host of the Southern Africa Sub-Regional Centre for Sustainable Development Goals, in addition to the international organizations already working in Zambia.

Angola and Zambia share a border of about 1,300 kilometres.

b)    Angola Press Agency: Akz 15.8 bln 2020-budget proposal discussed

Luanda - Angolan Government analysed Saturday (26 October) Draft Law on State General Budget (OGE) for 2020, estimated at AKZ 15.8 billion.

The document sets the amount to be collected in 2020, the spending limits, basic rules for its execution and carries expenses in the same amount for the same period.

According to the statement, emerged from the Cabinet Council's session chaired by the President João Lourenço, the expenditure are those with the main priorities in the country's economic, social, institutional and infrastructure development areas.

This is part of the goals defined in the National Development Plan (PND) 2018-2022.

The document predicts a growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 1.8 percent, with stress to the sectors of the oil, agriculture and industry as well as social, education, health sectors and the fight against poverty.

As for the public finance management area, the Cabinet reviewed the State General Account for 2018.

The Saturday's session communiqué indicates that there was an improvement in the description of financial information on state holdings in state-owned enterprises, direct and indirect government funds and the National Institute of Social Security.

The proposal will be forwarded to National Assembly (Parliament) for approval.

2.     BURUNDI

a)    IOL: Burundi charges four journalists with undermining national security

Johannesburg – Media organisations are calling for the release of four Burundian journalists who have been charged with undermining national security after they were arrested while covering fighting with rebels from neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Judicial sources on Sunday confirmed the arrests of the reporters, who work for the Iwacu newspaper, after the reporters were arrested last week while trying to speak to residents who were fleeing the fighting between rebels and the army in Bubanza in north-west Rwanda, the East African reported.

At least 14 members of the RED-Tabara, an organisation based in eastern DRC, and headed by a Burundian opposition figure, have been killed in the violence the first of its kind in Burundi since 2017.

The reporters are currently incarcerated in Bubanza’s central prison and face the possibility of five to 10 years imprisonment if convicted.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and Human Rights Watch have called for the journalists' immediate release.

3.     CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

a)    Kma updates: Central African Republic ‘considers Russian military base’

The president of the Central African Republic, Francois Faustin-Archange Touadera told the Russian state-run news agency RIA that his country is considering hosting a Russian military base, Reuters news agency reports.

Mr Touadera, who took office in 2016 and was seen as crucial to turning the page on the country’s years of sectarian conflict, added that he would like Moscow to supply CAR with new weapons.

Reuters reports that he made the comments in an interview with RIA a day after more than 40 African leaders attended a summit in southern Russia.

The meeting was aimed at expanding Russian influence on the African continent.

4.     DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

a)    The New Times: Regional military chiefs agree on plan to eradicate armed groups in DR Congo

Military officers from DR Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, and Tanzania who met in the eastern DR Congo city of Goma on Thursday and Friday eventually agreed on a joint plan to track and eradicate foreign and Congolese armed groups in the vast country.

The meeting was a follow up to the one held mid-September in which senior military officers from the five African Great Lakes countries looked into the possibility of establishing a joint plan to get rid of foreign and Congolese armed groups in eastern DR Congo.

The final plan of the meeting which was also attended by the commanders of the UN Mission in Congo (MONUSCO) and those from the United States Africa Command (US AFRICOM), which oversees American troops on the African continent, does not involve joint military operations on Congolese soil as has happened in the past.

Congolese army (FARDC) spokesperson, Gen. Léon-Richard Kasonga, said: “The final report commits the participants to [consider] a number of actions notably the pooling together of efforts and logistics to bring peace to the east of the country and within the sub-region. We will pool resources and means. This does not mean calling on [military] forces that will come to operate on Congolese territory. Far from it.

“We are pooling [efforts] to track these people on our borders. These people cross all the borders of many countries and wreak havoc, and we must be on the alert, we must organize ourselves in order to do this job.”

The armed groups in question include a myriad of militias from Congo’s neighbours, including Rwanda. Some of them have made deadly incursions into Rwanda in the recent past but were repulsed and many captured.

DR Congo’s new President, Félix Tshisekedi, has made it clear he is determined to deal with the issues slowing down his country’s development, including war and insecurity, especially in the vast country’s east.

Negative Rwandan elements likely to be targeted include the genocidal FDLR, formed and led by perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, and RNC, a terrorist organisation blamed for a spate of deadly grenade attacks in Rwanda in recent years.

Even after the regional military officers met and established a working plan, it remains to be seen how the countries can work together considering that some of them are heavily linked with some of the armed groups.

Kigali accuses Kampala of backing and propping up groups hostile to Rwanda, including RNC and FLDR.

A UN report released in December 2018 confirmed that Uganda is a major source of recruits for Rwandan rebel outfits based in eastern DR Congo.

Uganda has also been linked to P5, an umbrella of five groups bent on the violent overthrow of the Kigali government.

Both RNC and FDLR are members of P5, which is led by wanted Rwandan dissident Kayumba Nyamwasa.

Two senior leaders of the FDLR militia arrested by Congolese authorities last year and later transferred to Kigali have since confessed in court that they were seized as they returned from a meeting with Uganda and RNC officials in Kampala.

The meeting in Goma came just weeks after the Congolese army killed FDLR’s overall commander Sylvestre Mudacumura as it stepped up operations against the armed groups in which many P5/RNC fighters have since been killed or captured.

Mudacumura was, until his death, the Supreme Commander of FDLR’s military wing – Forces Combattantes Abacunguzi (FOCA).

5.     KENYA

a)    Daily Nation: Russia's Vladimir Putin Woos Kenya with Military Kit and Energy

Russian President Vladimir Putin pitched infrastructure, energy and military hardware opportunities to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in Moscow when he met African leaders on the last day of the Russia-Africa Economic Forum.

Mr Putin who engaged Mr Kenyatta and other African leaders during the meeting in Sochi said Moscow is ready to support African countries to beef up trade and investment deals with Moscow.

Mr Putin said the current level of trade between Moscow and the continent was "not enough".

"We currently export to Africa $25 billion worth of food -- which is more than we export in arms, at $15 billion. In the next four to five years, I think we should be able to double this trade, at least," he said.

During the conference, The Roscongress Foundation, the co-organiser of the conference signed co-operation agreements to establish effective communication between the expert and business communities of the Russian Federation and Kenya. Other organisers were Afreximbank and the Russian Federation.

The agreement was signed with the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce headed by Richard Ngatia.

Mr Ngatia said the Kenyan Chamber would help Russian businesses to explore "abundant" trade and business opportunities in Kenya as teh local firms also tour Russia.

East African Community Secretary General Liberat Mfumukeko said that the EAC economies were virgin and quite endowed with massive natural resources that Russians could explore.

"One potential area where the EAC is deficient is the provision of critical services for business and investment in areas like transport, logistics and technicians. Both parties need to explore the existing gaps," he said.

Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau earlier said Kenya will be eyeing deals across various sectors, including medicine, blue economy, aeronautical and space engineering.

International relations experts said earlier that Moscow was keen to re-establish its old Soviet ties with African States as it presents itself as the alternative to perceived "self-interested" colonial powers.

"Russian President Vladmir Putin seems to have new aspirations in Africa to restore his country to strong power status, spurred by concerns that China, India, Brazil and especially the United States are intensifying their involvement in Africa," said Aruuke Uran Kyzy, a researcher at the TRT World Research Centre.

Kenya buys a significant amount of Russian arms and has been exploring its market for its bulk tea.

Russian imports to Kenya jumped 8.16 percent to Sh22.37 billion in 2018, up from Sh20.68 billion in 2017, according to the Russian Export Centre.

Conversely, Kenya's exports to Russia stood at Sh12.85 billion last year. In 2017, one of Russia's largest privately owned banks, Promsvyazbank, said it was considering expanding into Kenya.

Alexander Meshcheryakov, head of transaction and international business at Promsvyazbank told Reuters the lender was studying Kenya and other African countries.

6.     RWANDA

a)    The observer: Rwanda joins Uganda, Egypt in signing nuclear deals with Russia

Rwanda is the latest African country to sign a nuclear deal with Russian state atomic company Rosatom.  But the deals between Russia and several African countries are raising concerns from environmentalists who say nuclear energy is not always clean and does not come free.

A Russia-Africa summit in Sochi, Russia, last week brought together the heads of state and government representatives from 55 countries. Speaking at the forum, Russian President Vladimir Putin said his government was offering African countries an opportunity to use nuclear technology.

"Rosatom is prepared to help our African partners in creating a nuclear industry,” with “the construction of research centers based on multifunctional reactors," he said.

Rosatom is building a $29 billion nuclear plant for Egypt. The same company is helping Uganda, the Republic of Congo and Rwanda establish nuclear facilities. Right now, South Africa is the only country on the continent with a nuclear power plant.

In Rwanda, Rosatom will construct the Center of Nuclear Science and Technologies.  In Nigeria, a planned Rosatom nuclear reactor may provide the West African nation with electricity.

Environmental activists are wary of these deals. Jakpor Philip of Nigeria's Environment Rights Action said, “We continue to hear, for instance, that nuclear energy is clean, but in truth, it is not clean because you need a lot of water to keep the nuclear plant cool. You need an independent power to keep powering 24/7. If you need that much power to keep that plant running, then it shows it's not clean."  

Most African countries have needs that could be met by nuclear energy. According to the International Energy Agency, 57 per cent of Africa's population does not have easy access to electricity, and those who have it must deal with frequent power outages. 

Michael Gatari, the head of nuclear science and technology at the University of Nairobi, said African countries can pursue nuclear technology but must get their own people to manage the nuclear reactors. 

"We should have in-country, competent, well-trained manpower not depending on expatriates’ support, because that would be very expensive in long run,” he said. “Manpower development for nuclear energy is very critical." 

Gatari also said Russia was seeking business in Africa, not giving away gifts. 

"Africa is not going to get a free reactor,” he said. “They are selling their technology. So the issue of helping does not come in.  Of course, there is a component of 'we will train your people, we'll do this,' but still if you calculate the cost, it's we who cough. So the African countries should move into it with a business vision." 

And in Sochi where Putin rolled out the red carpet for African leaders, he reminded them Russia was open for business. 

b)    The New Times: Rwandans should make own choices, says Kagame

President Paul Kagame has said that Rwandans have a right to make their own choices in life and chart ways they believe are in their best interest.

He was presiding over the closing ceremony of the 12th annual forum of Unity Club Intwararumuri, an association of current and former cabinet ministers and their spouses.

The Head of State cautioned those who attempt to destablise Rwanda against doing so, saying no one can impose their own way of doing things on Rwandans.

“Those who claim they want to fight for the country, I don’t see what they want to fight for. Their intentions are simply to destroy what we have built. What’s more interesting is that Rwandans know what they want,” he said.

Kagame said that Rwandans need, among other things, security to conduct their businesses, access to electricity, healthcare services, education and the right to choose their leaders from the bottom to the top.

“Those who think they can fight to impose on Rwandans the life they want better than what Rwandans themselves want or what they have that they obtained through the right ways, you can’t win that fight,” he said.

“As a human being, you have the right to live the way you want. If it’s bad, it will have an impact on you, and if it’s good, it will be in your own interest. What politics does, however, it makes a distinction between which choices are made. That cannot be a basis to choose for other people,” he added.

Kagame told the leaders that people should “oppose anything that is wrong; if you oppose something that is right then you must have a problem.”

During the closing ceremony, three individuals who did outstanding work in society were awarded, with the Abarinzi b’Igihango.

These are Daphrose Mukarutamu, Serge Gasore, and Carl Wilkens.

Daphrose Mukarutamu established an association called Duhozanye as a platform that brings together genocide widows to chart ways for their development. In 1996 she collaborated with the Government to construct 60 houses for genocide widows with each house accommodating three survivors.

Mukarutamu created unity and reconciliation groups that essentially promoted unity. She was also one of the women representatives from Rwanda who attended the Beijing Conference on Gender Equality.

Gasore, a resident of Ntarama, built a daycare for street children, those left by their parents and others after the Genocide. He established a hospital that provides free medical care. He put up a centre that trains women in tailoring, handcraft and others.

He also formed an annual cycling competition which seeks to raise awareness about the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, and went ahead to set up a counselling centre.

Wilkens, is an American aid worker who refused to be evacuated during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, even when his family, relatives and other thousands of expatriates were leaving Rwanda.

He is the only known American who stayed in Rwanda during the Genocide.

The then head of ADRA in Rwanda offered money to Interahamwe militias to not kill the Tutsis he was hiding during the Genocide. He later adopted a kid whose parents had been shot during the Genocide. That kid is now a doctor.

President Kagame pledged Rwf10 million to each awardee, including previous recipients. So far, 40 individuals have received similar awards since 2016. 

c)    No bail for 25 RNC terror suspects

The Military Tribunal has denied bail to the 25 terror suspects captured and extradited from DR Congo, where they had formed a militia group that aimed at attacking Rwanda.

All the suspects pleaded guilty to being part of an irregular armed group but had asked for bail to be able to stand trial out of custody.

They include foreign nationals: Ugandans, Burundians and Malawians.

They each face four charges of; formation of an irregular armed group or joining it, conspiracy against the established Government or the President of the Republic, maintaining relations with a foreign government with the intent to wage a war and formation of or joining a criminal group.

According to Lt Col Charles Madudu, the presiding judge, the accused cannot be released on bail due to the weight their crimes carry.

“Court finds all the crimes against the accused compelling and is remanding them to prison for the next 30 days. They have five days to appeal this decision,” he said.

The prosecution had requested that the suspects be kept in custody pending the substantive trial, saying that there was no guarantee that they would not jump bail, once freed.

All the suspects joined the terror group from foreign countries, with many saying that they joined from Uganda where they were then processed to travel to DR Congo through Tanzania then Burundi.

Even those that said they had an address in Rwanda, they had long left their families to join the militia group.

Among the suspects – who are all men – is Maj (rtd) Habib Mudathiru who was formerly with Rwanda Defence Force before he retired in 2013.

During the pre-trial hearings, all the other 24 suspects pinned him on being a key architect in the criminal enterprise and many said that he directly recruited them into the outfit.

Mudathiru, who was injured during the operation in which the group was captured, was in charge of the training base for the outfit, which calls itself P5 – an outfit created out of a merger of different anti-Rwanda negative forces that include RNC and FDLR among others.

All suspects have applied for bail despite some not having an established address in Rwanda.

The Burundians particularly requested that they be granted asylum in Rwanda, saying that they would face backlash if at all they are to go back to their country.

During the pre-trial hearing, the prosecution said that all the suspects were facilitated mainly by Uganda and Burundi to join the outfit whose activities are detailed in a report by the UN Group of Experts published in December last year.

Led by South Africa-based fugitive Kayumba Nyamwasa, RNC is a terrorist organisation blamed for a spate of grenade attacks in Rwanda between 2010 and 2014 that killed at least 17 people and injured over 400 others.

Kayumba is a fugitive from the Rwandan justice, having been tried in absentia, convicted and sentenced to 24 years in prison.

1.    ANGOLA

a)    Angola Press Agency: Angolan President to Travel to Russia Tuesday

Luanda — The Angolan President, João Lourenço, is to leave this Tuesday for Sochi, Russia, to attend the Russia-Africa Summit that is scheduled to happen from the 23rd to 24th of this month.

According to a note from the President's Institutional Communication and Press Affairs Office, the Head of State will address the opening session of the event (Wednesday, Oct 23), reserved for the speeches of the invited leaders.

On the next day, he has scheduled a formal meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin to assess the state of bilateral relations and considerations on contemporary issues.

On the sidelines of the event, João Lourenço has audiences for influential figures of the political, social and economic universe of this European country, including officials from banks, industrial and agricultural companies and producers of precious minerals such as diamonds.

The presidential mission to the Russian territory includes the signing of bilateral agreements in various fields, such as training of cadres and the implementation of a fertilizer industry in Angola.

The Ministers of Economy and Planning, Foreign relations, Agriculture and Forests, Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation and Mineral and Oil Resources, as well as aides will accompany the President of the Republic.

The Russia-Africa Summit aims, among other purposes, to highlight the expansion of political, economic, technical and cultural cooperation between Africa and Russia.

On the sidelines of this event, an Economic Forum will be held with the presence of African and Russian leaders and representatives of large companies, which will include the signing of trade, economic and investment agreements.

2.    DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

a)    Russia News Agency: Russia and Republic of the Congo to develop energy cooperation — ambassador

MOSCOW, October 21. /TASS/. Projects in the sphere of energy and oil production are the key areas of prospective cooperation between Russia and the Republic of the Congo, Russian Ambassador to the Republic of the Congo Georgy Chepik told TASS on Monday in the run-up to the Russia-Africa Summit.

"The most promising area of cooperation is energy and hydrocarbons production. First and foremost, this includes the participation of PJSC Lukoil in the development of a major hydrocarbons field on the continental shelf of the Republic of the Congo and the construction of an oil-products pipeline Pointe-Noire-Loutete-Maluko-Tresho." We can expect rapid development of these projects," he said.

He recalled that the USSR provided considerable support to Brazzaville, which can have a positive influence on current cooperation prospects. "In the Soviet period, the Republic of the Congo was among the African states that proclaimed the socialist path of development. Due to this, we provided significant support to Brazzaville. The Congolese are thankful for that time, valuing the contribution of our country to the establishment of their economy. They reaffirm their commitment to enhance multifaceted cooperation with Russia under new conditions," Chepik said.

The ambassador recalled that Russian-African relations "have longstanding historic roots, and Russia has played a key role in supporting the fight of the African people for independence, providing multifaceted aid that facilitated the social-economic development of young African states." "Currently, the spirit of understanding and trust forms the basis for expanding cooperation under new conditions. During the post-Soviet period, we have been constantly looking for new forms of cooperation, and I think that we have managed to create the prerequisites for the return of our country to the region," Chepik noted.

The upcoming Russia-Africa Summit should take stock of the efforts carried out by Russia in recent years. "The summit’s aim is to create an algorithm of joint actions in the future and to map out objectives. Undoubtedly, it will be a success, especially because such a format has been used effectively for a long time by other leading partners of Africa, such as China, the European Union and Japan," the ambassador noted.

The Russia-Africa Summit, co-chaired by the Russian and Egyptian presidents, Vladimir Putin and Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, will be held in Russia’s resort city of Sochi on October 23 and 24. Leaders of all the 54 countries of the African continent have been invited to the forum, with over 40 having confirmed their participation. Concurrently, an economic forum will take place, which is expected to be attended by heads of state and representatives of state structures, business and integration associations of the continent.

b)    Anadolu Agency: DR Congo Ebola death toll climbs to 2,150: African Union

The death toll from the ongoing Ebola virus outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has risen to 2,150 as of Oct. 13, according to a new African Union report.

That figure is up from 2,133 earlier this month, the AU-affiliated Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said, reported the Premium Times Nigeria website Monday.

The updated figures show a total of 3,220 Ebola cases recorded in the period, with 29 new cases beyond the 3,191 announced as of Sept. 29.

Separately, a high-level ministerial meeting in Goma, the Democratic Republic of Congo, on the situation Monday saw a draft framework on "cross-border collaboration on Ebola and other diseases," the Africa CDC tweeted.

Ebola -- a tropical fever which first appeared in 1976 in Sudan and the Congo -- can be transmitted to humans from wild animals.

It caused global alarm in 2014 when the world's worst outbreak began in West Africa, killing more than 11,300 people and infecting an estimated 28,600 as it swept through Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone.

3.    KENYA

a)    Daily Nation: Uhuru, Raila hint at referendum as Ruto evades BBI debate

President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga on Sunday gave the clearest indication yet that Kenyans should prepare for a referendum to amend the Constitution through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

Speaking during the Mashujaa Day celebrations at the Mama Ngina Waterfront in Mombasa, they made their positions on the BBI known as speculation mounts on the contents of the report by the 14-member team gazetted in May last year.

Commenting on his ‘handshake’ with Mr Odinga last year, President Kenyatta said: “Heroism, patriotism and love for our country exhibited by our independence era evaders persist to this day as embodied in the historic handshake through which political divides were breached for the sake of peace and a better Kenya.”

Mr Odinga said the handshake was meant to improve the country’s leadership by bringing unity, fighting corruption, ethnicity and political division.

“It is for that reason that the BBI is coming. How many of us are supporting it?” Mr Odinga posed amid cheers from the expectant crowd.

He defended his directive stopping the dredging at the port to allow for the recovery of a car that had plunged into the Indian Ocean with a mother and her daughter inside, saying he issued the order “as a Kenyan”.

He was responding to Deputy President William Ruto’s allies, who had claimed he lacked powers to issue such an order.

As the President and Mr Odinga embraced the BBI, Dr Ruto gave it a wide berth even after being prompted by Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho to support it as he invited him to the podium.

Dr Ruto avoided the topic and instead urged Kenyans to remain united and shun divisive politics.

“I want to ask all of us to refuse to be drawn into politics of ethnicity, hatred, division and political deceit. We should stand firm behind Uhuru Kenyatta to unify this country and concentrate on the transformation of Kenya,” said Dr Ruto.

Dr Ruto recently said via his Twitter account that the outcome of the BBI must be subjected to public participation.

Meanwhile, BBI’s joint secretaries Paul Mwangi and Martin Kimani have dismissed a document doing the rounds on social media being passed off as a product of the team.

“That’s speculation as nobody knows the contents of the report,” Mr Mwangi said, while Mr Kimani termed the document and the attendant newspaper stories as “fake news”.

It was widely believed that the document was to be launched on Mashujaa Day. The team is still working on the report, said Mr Mwangi. “We are awaiting to be advised on the delivery protocols,” he said.

The document shared on social media claims that the team wants a powerful prime minister, a seven-year single term for the president as well as a reduction in the number of constituencies and counties.

Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati claimed the document was the work of individuals opposed to the BBI.

“We know them. They want to give the BBI team a bad name in advance so as to prepare the minds of Kenyans to reject the document over claims that it will reduce the number of MPs and counties. They will not succeed,” Mr Arati said.

4.    RWANDA

a)    The New Times: UN police course opens in Musanze

A cohort of 25 police officers from the Rwanda National Police on Monday started a three-week United Nations (UN) Individual Police Officers Course at the Rwanda Peace Academy in Musanze District.

The course is being conducted under the auspices of the UN through its Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).

The course, according to officials, seeks to prepare and equip officers with relevant knowledge and skills that will enable them to perform the requisite police duties once deployed to UN missions as individual police officers.

While officially opening the training, Col. Jill Rutaremara, the Director of Rwanda Peace Academy, revealed that some of the UN mission areas are characterised by a breakdown in law and order, which require individual police officers to possess certain competencies for them to help bring back peace and security.

Some UN mission areas, Rutaremara added, are challenged by weak and ineffective institutions.

“Under such operational environment, you will be required to make significant contribution to building and or mentoring local police personnel,” he told the course participants.   

“You will also be required to search for and arrest criminal suspects some of whom may be hiding among the population. This may apply to human beings, illicit arms, materials and substances under the custody of criminal elements.”

Rutaremara added that participants that they will be required to contribute to road safety and to collaborate with the local community and other security agencies in preventing and fighting crime.

“Needless to mention, you will also prepare and submit written reports and also communicate verbally to your superiors, stakeholders and partners.”

Rutaremara went on to say that while in peacekeeping missions, the individual police officers might encounter situations where they will have to navigate their way.

Trainees welcomed the course, saying they were confident of representing their country well when assigned to participate in any UN peacekeeping mission.

b)    The New Times: Luanda MoU: Rwanda dispels reports about Kampala meeting

Nearly a week after the date when senior Rwandan and Ugandan officials were due to reconvene for a follow-up meeting in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, by invitation of the latter, no official invitation is known in Kigali but confusing pronouncements are appearing the Ugandan newspapers.

When Rwandan and Ugandan officials met in Kigali last month on September 16, both parties agreed that a follow-up meeting, to iron out the differences between both countries would happen 30 days later in Kampala.

When those 30 days elapsed last week, no invitation from Kampala had come through. It still has not materialized.

But, over the weekend, a Ugandan newspaper published a report alleging that Kampala dispatched an invite to Kigali for their next meeting set for November 13.

In Kigali, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MINAFFET) on Monday confirmed it still has not heard, officially, from Kampala.

Olivier Nduhungirehe, the Minister of State in charge of the East African Community, said: “MINAFFET was not consulted on any date and we are yet to receive any invitation. We have learned about this meeting on Twitter, like anyone else.”

The September 16 meeting ended without a major breakthrough.

But the parties agreed to meet in Kampala after 30 days to review progress on the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding signed in Luanda, Angola, a month earlier.

Last month, the Rwandan delegation served their Ugandan counterparts with a list of Rwandan nationals who are illegally held in Uganda.

At the time, Nduhungirehe told the delegates at the joint Ad hoc Commission meeting that persistent arbitrary detention and torture of innocent Rwandans in Uganda was one of the issues that have undermined bilateral relations between the two neighbors.

In March, Kigali issued an advisory on Uganda travel saying it could not guarantee its citizens’ safety there.

Among others, it was expected that the second meeting would discuss issues of mutual concern such as the free movement of persons, goods, and services across the common border.

Last month, Uganda promised to verify information related to the Rwandans detained there.

Kigali among others accuses Uganda of aiding armed elements that seek to destabilize Rwanda.

A UN report released in December 2018 confirmed that Uganda was a major source of recruits for Rwandan rebel outfits based in eastern DR Congo.

Two senior leaders of the FDLR militia arrested by Congolese authorities last year and transferred to Kigali confessed in court that they were seized as they returned from a meeting with Ugandan and RNC officials in Kampala.

Last month, the two delegations agreed on a number of issues of mutual concern, including Rwanda providing Uganda with a list of its nationals believed to be detained in Uganda and the latter committed to verify the information.

Sources then said the list contained 209 Rwandan nationals.

The verification would allow for due process including releasing those against whom no evidence of criminal conduct will have been found, officials said at the time.

Both parties also agreed that due process will be followed in dealing with each other’s citizens and they reiterated their commitment to refraining from any acts of destabilization against each other.

Kigali also accuses Kampala of being involved in “acts of economic sabotage” against Rwanda and called for “full and meaningful implementation of the Luanda MoU.

c)    The New Times: Kagame launches $35m dry port in Kigali

President Paul Kagame on Monday presided over the inauguration of the Kigali Logistics Platform, a state-of-the-art facility that is expected to give a significant boost to international trade.

The platform which is operated by the United Arab Emirates logistics firm, DP World, is a dry port that is located in Masaka, a Kigali suburb and it is expected to ease trade not only in Rwanda, but also in the neighbouring markets.

It is the first of its kind in this region.

This is the country’s largest inland cargo handling facility and it became operational in June 2019 and it came into being courtesy of a 25-year concessional agreement that was signed between Rwanda and UAE in 2016.

President Kagame, who toured the facility prior to the launch, said he was impressed with the high level of technology that was being used at the platform, which he said is a key catalyst for trade.

The head of state said that the KLP is part of the efforts by Rwanda to ready herself ahead of the full implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which slated for July next year.

“That trading (under AfCFTA) would not be possible without the infrastructure and through facilities like this, as Rwanda we are doing our part,” President Kagame said.

Speaking at the launch, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, the Group Chairman and CEO, DP World, said that this facility, whose first phase cost USD35 million, will be used as a gateway to the African market.

“We see Rwanda as a gateway to the heart of Africa. We want to use this gateway and we are happy because we have an efficient partner in the Government of Rwanda,” Sulayem said, adding that very soon they would embark on works to expand it.

He said that when they were first approached to set up the platform in Rwanda, they were not convinced of viability because, mainly, they were looking at the size of the market the country offered.

“We however followed the vision as presented to us by President Kagame and on touring the facility, I noticed the cargo was being processed for other countries and I must say it is impressive,” he said.

With a capacity to a capacity of 198 trucks, 20,000 square metres of bonded warehouse storage and a container of 50,000 TEUs per year, the launch of this dry port will enable traders within and outside the country to save time while conducting business.

5.    SOUTH SUDAN

a)    Nyamilepedia: Kiir leaves Juba for Afro-Russian summit

October 22nd 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit has left the capital Juba heading for Sochi, Russia, to attend the Afro-Russian summit, the Presidency said in a statement.

He was accompanied by senior government officials including the Minister in the Office of the President Mayiik Ayii Deng.

“The President of the Republic, H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit and his accompanying delegation left Juba this morning for the Russia–Africa Economic Forum in Sochi, Russia that will take place from 23-24 Oct. 2019,” the statement said.

Kiir who is expected to meet his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, will attend – along with other African head of states – the two-day forum which would “serve as a platform for the development and strengthening of trade and investment relations between Africa and Russia.”

“President Salva Kiir is expected to meet with the Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Forum is expected to be attended by Heads of State, representatives of Russian, African and international businesses, and government agencies as well as of international organizations.

“The Issues to be discussed include market opportunities, investment incentives, policies and regulations, trade as well as trade and investment financing windows for the African countries.”

The statement further said the South Sudanese leader “hold sideline meetings with other heads of State who are attending the Russia-Africa Forum.”

b)    UN News: UN Security Council calls for South Sudan leaders to speed up action on peace deal

The 15 ambassadors arrived in the capital, Juba, on Sunday, describing their visit as an opportunity to secure lasting peace in the country as it came just three weeks before a unified transitional government is due to be formed.

“There is an opportunity for the leaders of South Sudan to make political compromise and move forward to the next phase of the peace process in a credible, transparent and accountable manner,” said Kelly Craft, United States ambassador to the UN.

South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011, making it the world’s youngest country. The fledgling nation erupted in chaos less than three years later following fighting between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and supporters of his former deputy, Riek Machar.

It is hoped that a revitalized peace deal signed last September will bring an end to the violence.  

The Security Council delegation acknowledged that progress has been made since then, with a ceasefire significantly improving the security situation.

“We noted the reduction of political violence which has contributed to the return of 594,000 displaced people, increased food production, enhanced humanitarian access, and increased commerce among communities,” said Jerry Matthews Matjila, the South African ambassador to the UN and Council president for October.

However, key outstanding issues remain which are having an impact on the progression of the peace process.  They include decisions on states and boundaries, as well as the reunification of security forces.

Members held lengthy meetings with President Kiir, Mr. Machar and other signatories to the peace agreement, urging them to expedite its implementation and meet the November 12 deadline for forming a unified transitional government.

Mr. Machar, leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement In-Opposition, expressed concern about the failure to reunify security forces.  He added that his party would not join the government until this issue was resolved.

“Yes, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development stated that by the 12th of November there should be a new government… but the aspects that are needed for establishing the government are not there”, he said. “Suppose we force it on the 12th, we know what will happen the ceasefire that we have been enjoying will be in jeopardy.”

Council members expressed their strong disappointment at this statement.  They urged the sides to compromise and show strong leadership to chart a way forward.

6.    SUDAN

a)    The National: Thousands protest in Sudan to call for disbanding of former ruling party

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets across Sudan on Monday to call for the disbanding of former President Omar Al Bashir's party, the political organ he used to control the country during his 30 years of rule before being ousted in April.

Separately, Sudan's transitional government and a main rebel faction signed a political declaration amid peace negotiations that began last week, taking a new step towards ending the country's yearslong civil wars. The two sides also renewed a nationwide ceasefire for three months.

The protests in Khartoum and other parts of the country coincided with the anniversary of an uprising in 1964. That push ended six years of military rule in Sudan after a wave of riots and strikes.

Sudan's current transitional government came to power after a similar campaign of mass unrest, which eventually led the military to overthrow Al Bashir. The country is now ruled by a joint military-civilian administration, which must navigate a delicate path towards eventual democratic elections in just over three years.

There were no reports of any clashes with police or casualties during Monday's protests. The marches renewed demands for independent investigation into the deadly break-up of a protest camp by security forces in June.

Police blocked off main streets Monday leading to the presidential palace and the military's headquarters in Khartoum — the site of June's deadly dispersal — said Asil Abdu, an activist.

A statement by the police warned against "creating a state of chaos," which it said could lead to "unfavourable consequences."

Videos circulated online showed protesters marching in the capital and other cities such as Atbara, a northern transport hub where the uprising began in December.

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok gave a televised speech marking the 1964 uprising, saying: "The revolution needs greater efforts to be completed and achieve its goals." The appointment of Mr Hamdok, a respected economist, as Sudan's top civilian leader in August helped lessen fears the military would attempt to cling to power. Last week, he sacked several top bureaucrats, which pleased protest leaders who want the remnants of Mr Al Bashir's regime purged from all state institutions.

The Sudanese Professionals' Association, which led the recent uprising, has called for the appointment of regional governors and the formation of a legislative body. Creating an interim parliament was part of a power-sharing agreement signed in August between pro-democracy protesters and the country's powerful military.

The transitional government previously said it won't appoint governors or the legislative body until it makes peace with the country's rebel groups. That would be a crucial step, since the transitional government is looking to slash military spending in order to revive the battered economy. The uprising against Mr Al Bashir initially began against economic issues, but escalated into calls for his downfall.

Mohammed Hassan Al Taishi, a member of the Sovereign Council and a government negotiator, said on Monday that they had agreed on the agenda for the negotiations with the Sudan Revolutionary Front, an alliance of rebel groups from the western Darfur region.

"There is a new political will from all sides … to reach permanent and comprehensive peace," SRF leader Yasser Arman told The Associated Press by phone.

He said this was the first joint ceasefire agreement in five years. In another first, he said the government agreed to allow humanitarian aid deliveries into conflict-affected areas, both from inside and from outside Sudan.

The talks are taking place in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, which itself gained independence from the north in 2011 after years of fighting.

The transitional authorities have set a six-month deadline for making peace with the rebel groups.

A report on Monday by the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think tank, said achieving peace requires "careful consideration of the accommodations that the rebels are seeking". The rebels have for years complained of neglect by the central government in Khartoum.

The report identified important steps the government should take, including "reverse the imposition of Islamic law on religious minorities, separate religion and state, and provide for a fairer distribution of power and resources to areas in the periphery".

b)    Daily News Egypt: Sudan government, opposition sign political roadmap, cessation of hostilities

South Sudan President Salva Kiir who has been mediating the peace process since Oct. 14, lauded both parties for reaching the agreement and disclosed that peace and stability in Sudan also translates into stability of Juba which is seeking recovery from five years of conflict.

Sudan’s transitional government and various opposition groups under the Sudan Revolutionary Front umbrella on Monday signed the political roadmap and Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) agreements seen as a major breakthrough in the ongoing peace negotiations to end decades of conflict.

South Sudan President Salva Kiir who has been mediating the peace process since Oct. 14, lauded both parties for reaching the agreement and disclosed that peace and stability in Sudan also translates into stability of Juba which is seeking recovery from five years of conflict.

“I want to thank the new leaders of Sudan for their straightforwardness that they would want to solve all the problems. The problem in Sudan, if it is not solved, will always spill into South Sudan and the opposite is also the same,” said Kiir in Juba after witnessing the signing ceremony.

“I want the two countries to move out of this crisis and so that they concentrate only on development for the people of Sudan and South Sudan,” he added.

The political declaration sets out critical issues to guide the talks and the CoH will open up humanitarian corridors in conflict-prone regions of Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile and Darfur where the Sudan government has been battling rebels for decades.

Mohamed Hamdan Daqlu, deputy head of the ruling Sudan Sovereign Council, a coalition of the Transitional Military Council and opposition Forces of Freedom and Change, congratulated the opposition groups for signing the deal.

“We are partners and not enemies in this peace process. I reaffirm the commitment of the Sudanese government to continue negotiating with the opposition,” said Daqlu.

He appealed to the international community to support the peace initiative, adding that without their needed support the peace process will not succeed.

El Hadi Idris, leader of SRF and Sudan Liberation Movement-Transitional Council said the deal reached between both sides demonstrates political will and commitment by the parties to end the conflict.

“During these few days we have spent with members of the Sudan Sovereign Council we have observed that they are serious and we are also serious about peace negotiations. The political will on both sides is assured. It is very rare to see conflicting parties fully cooperate,” said Idris.

He disclosed that the latest development marks a departure from past deals where the government signed a unilateral ceasefire with separate rebel groups.

“The other document on CoH is the first of its kind because we used to sign unilateral Cessation of Hostilities. This is the first time that all parties decided to join to sign the cessation of hostilities,” he added.

Idris urged the African Union Peace and Security Council as well as United Nations Security Council to support the effort and initiative led by South Sudan and to do whatever possible to issue a mandate that can accelerate the peace process.

The opposition groups under the SRF grouping include the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement /Army-Northern sector led by Malik Agar, Justice Equality Movement under Jibril Ibrahim, Democratic Union party led by Eltom Hajou and the Sudan Liberation Movement under Minni Minnawi and others.

These groups had fought against former Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir and are now seeking to be included in the transitional government in Khartoum.

7.    TANZANIA

a)    The Citizen: Opposition Rejects Voter Statistics Ahead of Tanzania Local Govt Polls

Dodoma/Dar — Leaders of opposition political parties yesterday expressed their doubts over released number of voters registered for civic polls slated for November 24.

This comes after the minister of state in the President's Office Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG), Mr Selemani Jafo, told reporters in Dodoma that 19.6 million Tanzanians have registered for the forthcoming civic elections.

However, leaders of opposition find the number unrealistic considering low citizen turnouts during the registration process, forcing the government to extend the exercise that started on October 8, 2019 to October 17 instead of October 14.

However, in a quick rejoinder, Mr Jafo insisted that released figures were authentic and were collected from registration stations.

Speaking to The Citizen, the Chadema secretary general, Dr Vincent Mashinji, said the released figures are questionable when considering the low turn out during the registration window.

"The National Electoral Commission (NEC) has 22 million eligible voters, the number that can hardly be reached by PO-RALG. May be they are joking or they intend to spoil this year's local government elections," he said.

CUF director of communications and publicity Abdul Kambaya said it was difficult to trust the figures because opposition party agents were denied access at registration stations.

"The actual situation was clear at the registration stations, forcing the government to extend the exercise by three more days," he said.

For his part, Chauma national vice chairman Kayombo Kabutale called on the citizens to vie for various positions during the civic polls, noting that liberation starts with the civic polls.

"CCM is used at cooking data, but we are aware that the exercise was marred by a low turnout, forcing registration clerks to register people at their respective homes," he said. The National League for Democracy (NLD) chairman, Mr Tozi Matangwa, said there was a slight increase of registered voters after the government forced public servants to register.

"Government executives were also warned to face the music over registration below average in their areas of jurisdiction. Likewise, public servants were ordered to register in the document," he said.

"The government should avoid forcing people to cast their ballots because Tanzania is a democratic country and that the move will adversely affect turnout during the election day." Chadema director of Protocol, Communications and Foreign Affairs John Mrema called on the government to disclose names of registered citizens in respective stations and issue clarification on how data was tallied under poor communications infrastructure in most parts of the country. For her part, the CCM member of the national executive committee (NEC), Ms Angela Akilimali defended released data.

"We have made a huge progress to register 85 percent of 22 million people as compared to 2014 when only 65 per cent were registered," she said.

8.    UGANDA

a)    New Vision: Uganda to sign new pact with Russia

Uganda’s bilateral trade with Russia has doubled over the last ten years, from $30m (sh112b) in 2009 to over $74m (sh270b) by the end of 2018, much of it in mining and ICTs.

President Yoweri Museveni and Russian President, Vladimir Putin are scheduled to sign new cooperation agreements during the first-ever Africa-Russia summit which opens Wednesday.

At least 35 African countries are expected to attend the two-day summit to be held in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Foreign affairs state minister, Henry Okello Oryem confirmed Uganda’s participation in the summit that seeks to bolster Russia’s ties with Africa.

“Uganda is going to send a very powerful delegation. We have very close relations with Russia. They are our historical friends since the 1970s and 80s,” the minister told New Vision on Friday.

Last week, Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, described Africa as ‘a very important continent’ and said Russia was eager to build mutually beneficial cooperation with African countries.

According to Oryem, Moscow has played a crucial role in Uganda and many African countries have kept close ties with Russia since the pre-independence struggles.

“During the East-West tensions of the cold war, Uganda sided with Russia. They gave us weapons, intelligence and supported the fight against apartheid,” Oryem disclosed.

Uganda maintains a long history of cooperation with Russia in the fields of defence, education, energy, culture, trade and investment.

In recent years, Russia has conducted training for Ugandan troops and provided military equipment, including six Sukhoi fighter jets purchased from Russia in 2011.

Uganda’s bilateral trade with Russia has doubled over the last ten years, from $30m (sh112b) in 2009 to over $74m (sh270b) by the end of 2018, much of it in mining and ICTs.

Uganda is expected to sign cooperation agreements with Russia covering such fields as atomic energy for peaceful purposes and space research.

A comprehensive Uganda-Russia cooperation framework is expected to be unveiled during the forum, with a focus on science and education support.

The two countries are finalizing agreements to broaden cooperation in strategic areas including cybersecurity, minerals, agriculture, housing, health, tourism and vocational training.

Since the 1960s, Russia has offered scholarships to more than 4,000 Ugandans, helping to build Uganda’s human resources, according to the foreign affairs ministry.

President Yoweri Museveni has made official visits to Russia, in August 2009 and December 2012 and together with Russia’s president Vladimir set up a Joint Permanent Commission.

Russia has pledged to support Uganda to build a national space technology research centre in Uganda to provide solutions to challenges in agriculture, wildlife, border security, among others.

Russia is the latest major power to establish a formal summit for African leaders, after China, India and Japan, which hold periodic summits to discuss development cooperation.

9.    ZAMBIA

a)    Lusaka Times: The Media and Other Stake Holders Must Take Interest in Mr. Hichilema’s Loose Talk about Sanction’s Against Our Country

  1. Reference is made to a recent widely circulated media report wherein the undersigned was misquoted as having “challenged” the US Embassy to clarify UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema’s claims about “refusing sanctions” against Zambia.
  2. The “report” was an unfortunate and sensational misrepresentation, of this author’s statement, because as far as we know, it would be untenable and indeed unthinkable to “challenge” the US Embassy in Zambia in this regard, as the organisation that invited Mr. Hichilema cannot speak on behalf of the US Federal Government.
  3. However in terms of “challenging” and without downplaying the “sanctions” talk, we find it quite difficult to provide the sort of answers the media and other stakeholders are seeking, unless they can ask Mr. Hichilema himself or send their queries about “sanctions” to the US Embassy, as it is the only place where correct answers could be elicited.
  4. The statement by the undersigned was therefore aimed at galvanising the media and other stakeholders such as the church and civil society, to “challenge” and interrogate among other things, how a seemingly innocuous private meeting discussing “investment” and other “business issues”, went on to discuss “sanctions against Zambia”- which HH “reportedly” “refused to support”. Why would an Opposition leader talk about sanctions that are non-existent?

Sunday Chilufya Chanda

Patriotic Front Media Director

Party Headquarters, Lusaka

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