South Asia and Beyond

Understanding The World’s Second-Largest Continent

 Understanding The World’s Second-Largest Continent

South African Govt Commits to Arresting Putin

The South African government has confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin will be arrested, following an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC), if he visits the country to attend the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg in August. This comes after Putin said he will not be attending the conference in Johannesburg from August 22 to 24. The presidency announced that instead of Putin, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will be in attendance. Earlier, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa had declared that any effort to detain Russian President Vladimir Putin during his Brics visit would amount to “a declaration of war” with Russia. The court documents for the case were made public on July 18.

Source: All Africa

World Bank Suspends $1 Bn Worth Of Project Funding In DRC

The World Bank has suspended funding for humanitarian and development projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo worth more than Sh137.3 billion ($1 billion) after the government dissolved the project fund without warning, the lender said. The suspension will affect more than 600,000 beneficiaries, including victims of sexual violence, the World Bank told Congo’s finance minister last week in a letter. A World Bank spokesperson confirmed its authenticity. The letter also said that the bank was still waiting for documentation on the status of Sh12.49 billion ($91 million) which had already been advanced for the projects out of the total of Sh137.3 billion ($1.04 billion). On May 4, Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi dissolved the structure, the “Social Fund of the Democratic Republic of Congo”, by presidential order and created another public fund. The change was due to “the evolution of the legal framework governing public institutions,” according to his statement.

Source: Business Daily Africa

Morocco Cracks Down on Chemical Terrorism Threats

Authorities in Morocco say they found chemical agents in a cache of weapons and other items seized Friday, during raids on what they called a terrorist cell likely aligned with Islamic State. Authorities have said seven people were arrested in the raid, one of many as Morocco seeks to stamp out extremist elements that have plagued neighboring nations. They said they seized Islamic State flags and other materials from the cell members, as well as the chemicals linked to making bombs. A security spokesman interviewed on Moroccan television said Rabat has become more focused on the threat of chemical weapons and implemented a new plan earlier this year to protect the country of threats that go beyond car bombs and suicide vests. Chemical terrorism threats are now a priority.

Source: Africa Times

Sudan’s Civil Servants Go Hungry As War Rages

Nitin A Gokhale WhatsApp Channel

Deprived of their pay and annual holiday bonuses for the Muslim festivals of Eid al-Fitr in April and Eid al-Adha in June, about a million public sector workers have had to survive on their savings or on social aid networks. This is because when the first blasts shook Khartoum on April 15, banks in Sudan closed their doors, and branches nationwide have since struggled to provide services because they are cut off from the headquarters in the capital. Since then, the only government salaries that have been paid are the army’s. With food prices soaring, basic supplies running low and salaries halted, more than half of the country’s 48 million people are in need of aid, according to the United Nations. It ranks Sudan as one of the highest alert areas for food insecurity and warns of the need for “urgent” action from the international community.

Source: Mail and Guardian

Ugandan Broadcasters Threaten To Boycott State Events

Broadcasters in Uganda under their umbrella National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) have threatened to boycott covering all government events over a controversial government decision not to advertise with private media companies. In a budget execution circular for the financial year 2023/24 issued to accounting officers by the Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the Treasury (PSST) Mr Ramathan Ggoobi on July 10, 2021, a directive was issued that all government advertising must be through the Uganda Broadcasting Cooperation. “Any accounting officer who deviates from this will be sanctioned including dismissal. Print media advertising should be done through the New Vision newspaper. I therefore urge all accounting officers to strictly adhere to the directive,” Ggoobi wrote. The letter sent shockwaves through the private media fraternity whose biggest advertiser over the years has been the government.

Source: The East African

Israel’s Western Sahara Move Is Null And Void, Says Polisario Front

Israel’s decision to recognise Moroccan sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara is meaningless, the Algeria-backed Polisario movement said. “Such a position emanating from the Zionist entity or any other party to legitimise the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara is null and void,” the Sahrawi Ministry of Information said in a statement. On Monday, the royal cabinet in Rabat said Israel had decided to “recognise Morocco’s sovereignty” over the mineral-rich desert region, citing a letter from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Israel confirmed the contents of the statement from Morocco. The Western Sahara dispute dates back to 1975, when colonial ruler Spain withdrew from the territory, sparking a 15-year war between Morocco and the Polisario which seeks the territory’s independence. The Polisario Front is backed by Algeria. Provisions of the 1991 ceasefire deal planned for a UN-supervised self-determination referendum, which has still not taken place.

Source: Africa News