Blinken eyes African crises, says continent must reform
ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday called on African nations to heed warnings posed by crises in Ethiopia and Sudan, take seriously popular demands for better governance and enact reforms. In a speech outlining the Biden administration’s policy toward the continent, Blinken said growing extremism, increasing authoritarianism and exploding corruption in Africa are imperiling democracy, human rights and the future of a massive portion of the world’s population. Blinken delivered the message in Nigeria’s capital of Abuja, a day after telling Nigerian leaders and officials in Kenya the day before that the U.S.
South Africa is sending almost 1,500 troops to Mozambique to help its neighbour battle jihadists wreaking havoc in the gas-rich north of the country, part of a growing multinational force there. © Simon Wohlfahrt South Africa's contribution follows deployments by Rwanda and Botswana
In a statement on Wednesday, parliament said President Cyril Ramaphosa had authorised the deployment of as many as 1,495 soldiers to support Mozambique in its fight against "acts of terrorism and violent extremists".
Attacks have escalated in northern Mozambique over the past year, fuelling fears the violence could spill over into neighbouring countries.
Kenyan president starts 2-day state visit to South Africa
PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has been welcomed by President Cyril Ramaphosa to start a two-day state visit to South Africa. Ramaphosa met with Kenyatta at his offices in the Union Buildings Tuesday where the two leaders held a press conference. While in South Africa Kenyatta is to visit the Aspen Pharmacare factory in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth) on Wednesday to see the production of Johnson & Johnson'sRamaphosa met with Kenyatta at his offices in the Union Buildings Tuesday where the two leaders held a press conference.
Since 2017, the Cabo Delgado region has been battered by a bloody jihadist insurgency that has killed more than 3,100 people, according to conflict data tracker ACLED, and displaced more than 800,000 people.
The three-month mission for South Africa's force -- from July 15 to October 15 -- is part of a deal agreed in June by the 16 nations of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The operation is expected to cost the country more than 984 million rand (about $66 million), said the parliamentary statement.
South Africa is the latest country in the region to despatch troops to Mozambique after Botswana, which sent soldiers on Monday. Earlier this month, Rwanda sent in a 1,000-strong force.
- Mozambique welcomes help -
On Tuesday the Angolan National Assembly approved the deployment, from August 6, of 20 military personnel as part of the SADC mission.
Coronavirus: Canada, United States ... They also close their borders to travelers in Southern African countries
The countries covered by these prohibitions are Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Africa South and Zimbabwe © Emmanuel Croset / AFP As several other countries in Africa, travelers from South Africa are no longer allowed to travel in several countries of the world due to the discovery of the new micron variant.
The SADC approved the deployment of its "Standby Force" late last month to help smoke out the Islamic State-linked militants that have been terrorising its gas-rich north for nearly four years.
In a televised address on Sunday Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi, who had long been seen as resisting foreign intervention, lauded the military mobilisation by African countries.
Foreign forces will "help Mozambican forces restore peace and stability," he said, adding "we should be afraid of being alone in fighting terrorism".
One of the most notable achievements since the arrival of the Rwandan reinforcements was regaining control at the weekend of a police station in Awase, which had been an insurgent base for nearly a year.
Nyusi announced on Sunday that government troops had retaken Awase -- a small but strategic settlement near the key town of Mocimboa da Praia seized by militants in August last year.
The attacks by the jihadists escalated last year, culminating on March 24 with coordinated raids on the port town of Palma in which dozens of people were killed, some decapitated, and tens of thousands displaced.
The recent violence disrupted major gas exploration projects and raised fears it could spread to neighbouring countries -- placing pressure on Nyusi to accept foreign help.
The total force size of the SADC regional deployment is not yet known.
The European Union on July 12 formally established a military mission for Mozambique to help train its armed forces battling the jihadists.
Former colonial ruler Portugal is already providing training for Mozambican troops, with Lisbon's military instructors expected to make up some half of the new EU mission.
Travel restrictions by country following the Omicron variant outbreak .
Just as many countries around the world were beginning to loosen their border restrictions, reports of a newly detected coronavirus variant in South Africa sent many of those doors slamming shut again. © Hollie Adams/Getty Images LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 28: A covid testing centre sign at Heathrow Terminal 2 on November 28, 2021 in London, England. Following the discovery of a new Covid-19 variant, whose mutations suggest greater transmissibility than previous virus strains, the United Kingdom imposed new restrictions on arriving travelers.