South Asia and Beyond

Understanding The World’s Second-Largest Continent

 Understanding The World’s Second-Largest Continent

US Offers $5 Million Reward In Hunt For Al Shabaab Head Abukar Ali Adan

The United States on Tuesday offered a $5 million reward for information on the whereabouts of a leader of the Somalia militia group Al Shabaab. Abukar Ali Adan who was officially designated a terrorist by the US in 2018, is the deputy commander of the extremist group, the State Department said. It said he is also associated with several branches of Al Qaeda. Al Shabaab has been waging a violent insurgency against the government of Somalia for more than 15 years. Flushed out of major cities in 2011-2012, the organisation is still present over vast rural areas, mainly in the centre and south of the Horn of Africa nation. It stages attacks regularly against security forces, politicians and civilians. Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud took office in May last year vowing all-out war against the militants, who have also carried out deadly attacks in neighbouring countries including Kenya.

Source: The East African

We Must Not Allow A Civilian Exodus From Gaza To Sinai – This Could End The Palestinian Cause: Sisi

In televised statements during a meeting with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in Cairo on Friday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said: “We appreciate your understanding that we must not allow a civilian exodus from Gaza to Sinai because it would be a very dangerous matter that could end the Palestinian Cause and we are keen that it will not happen.” From his side, addressing President El-Sisi, PM Sunak said “We commended you for what you have done on the Rafah crossing and we believe very strongly in providing extra humanitarian aid to Gaza.” Since the start of the Israel war on Gaza in the aftermath of the Hamas attack on Israel on 7 October, President El-Sisi has repeatedly stressed Egypt’s rejection of the Israeli policies of collective punishment against the civilian population in the strip and any attempt to displace the residents of Gaza to the Sinai Peninsula.

Source: Al Ahram

Boycott Israeli Imports, Urges ANC At Pro-Palestine Rally

ANC deputy secretary general Nomvula Mokonyane has urged South Africans to boycott imports from Israel in response to its retaliatory siege of Gaza following attacks by Hamas. Speaking during a march to the Israeli embassy in Pretoria in solidarity with Palestine, Mokonyane reiterated the ruling party’s condemnation of Israel. She also called for the closure of the embassy. “Down with the Israeli government, down. Down with the killing of people and the bombing of hospitals, down. The Israeli embassy must leave South Africa. The embassy must close and the ambassador must go. Boycott Israeli products,” Mokonyane said. Speaking to the Mail & Guardian last week Mokonyane, who heads the ANC international relations committee, accused the Israeli embassy in South Africa of “arrogance” and unwillingness to engage about the conflict and called out the “inconsistencies” in how the world’s superpowers have reacted to it. On Friday, Mokonyane reiterated South Africa’s calls for an immediate end to hostilities in the Middle East, the release of hostages and the establishment of humanitarian corridors.

Source: Mail & Guardian

Nitin A Gokhale WhatsApp Channel

US Issues Travel Alerts For African Countries During Israeli War On Palestine

US citizens travelling abroad have been told to “exercise increased caution” in light of the heightened global tensions spurred by Hamas’ terror attack on Israel and the unfolding Israel-Hamas war. The State Department said in a new advisory yesterday, “Due to increased tensions in various locations around the world, the potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests, the Department of State advises U.S. citizens overseas to exercise increased caution,” officials said in the “worldwide caution” alert. The department also told Americans overseas to “stay alert in locations frequented by tourists.” African countries with the highest levels of travel alerts (Do not travel) were Niger, Libya, South Sudan, Mali, Burkina Faso and Central Africa Republic. Nigeria was listed under the third tier of caution alert (Reconsider to travel) with the State Department highlighting Adamawa, Bauchi, Kogi, Yobe, Borno, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kaduna, Gombe, Kano and Katsina.

Source: All Africa

Nigeria Endorses Algeria’s Mediation Plan For Niger

Nigeria’s foreign minister on Thursday welcomed an Algerian offer to mediate talks with the military regime in Niger, which came to power in a coup in July. Nigeria holds the rotating presidency of ECOWAS, a union of 15 West African countries which threatened armed intervention after rebel officers toppled Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26. Nigerian foreign minister Yusuf Maitama Tuggar stressed diplomacy was still the favoured route, but kept the option for armed intervention open. In an interview with France 24, he said ECOWAS welcomed all parties “seeking for a peaceful resolution to this imbroglio (including) Algeria”. But the minister said military intervention was “not off the table”. “It’s still under consideration, it’s not the only option”, he said, adding that it would not “immediately translate to war as it’s been misconstrued”. Algeria, which shares a border with Niger, has said it opposes any armed intervention with its neighbour, and has proposed a diplomatic solution.

Source: North Africa Journal

Central African Republic Ex-Militia Leader Released By ICC

The International Criminal Court (ICC) said on Thursday that it had released a former militia leader in the Central African Republic and is dropping all charges against him. Maxime Mokom had faced charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity over alleged atrocities committed against Muslim civilians in the CAR by his self-proclaimed self-defence militias in 2013 and 2014. The ICC’s prosecutor Karim Khan said his office had concluded there were “no longer any reasonable prospects of conviction even if the charges were confirmed.” He said the decision was taken after considering all the evidence and “changed circumstances regarding the availability of witnesses.” The CAR was plunged into bloody sectarian conflict in 2013 after Seleka rebels, a coalition of armed groups mainly composed of Muslims, ousted president Francois Bozize in early 2013. Mokom’s militias, the “anti-Balaka”, formed in reaction to the takeover of the capital, Bangui, by the Seleka. Anti-Balaka attacks continued on Muslim civilians even after Seleka forces retreated from Bangui, until at least December 2014. The CAR remains troubled and peace agreements signed in 2017 and 2019 have not been respected on the ground.

Source: Africa News