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Civil Service on Strike in Chad

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Chad President Idriss Deby declared a state of emergency in two eastern provinces

Workers in Chad’s civil service have embarked on a three-day warning strike to demand the restoration of their salaries which were slashed four years ago.

The civil servants are also demanding the payment of various allowances.

The decision to go on strike was taken in the capital, N’Djamena, during a meeting that brought together the four largest trade unions in the country.

Talks with the Chadian Government had broken down, trade union spokesperson Michel Bakar said.

He added that the strike will run for three days, with members providing minimum services in hospitals.

He said workers will stay at home, but could eventually take to the streets if their grievances are not addressed.

Bakar accused the government of failing to live up to its promises.

Workers downing tools is fairly recurrent in Chad. In 2018, hospitals and schools were shut when civil servants went on strike over pay cuts imposed by the cash-strapped government.

The workers, at the time, demanded payment of their “full salary” after bonuses and allowances were slashed by 50 per cent in January 2018 as part of a package of austerity measures to improve state finances.

A similar 50 per cent cut was introduced in 2016.

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Zimbabwe’s Tugwi-Mukosi Dam Makes Historic Spill

The spilling in a good rainy season means that the combined flows of the upper Tugwi and Mukosi rivers can now flow down Tugwi River unobstructed from the spillway into Runde River, already running at flood levels.

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Zimbabwe’s Tugwi-Makosi dam with a capacity of 1.8 billion cubic metres in Southern Masvingo, spilled for the first time on Saturday following continuous rains around the structure.

The historic event has spawned fears of flooding in Tugwi and Runde rivers downstream of the water amid concerns of increased water volumes.

The Tugwi-Makosi dam located at the confluence of Tugwi and Mukosi rivers along the border between Chivi and Masvingo districts has never hit 100 percent since its commissioning in May 2017. It remained at 72.4 percent in its first season of operation. 

The spilling of Zimbabwe’s largest interior water body signifies that the dam has amassed sufficient water for irrigation.  This aligns with plans by Zimbabwean government to create a perennial greenbelt in the Lowveld.

The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) tweeted: “For the first time since its commissioning in 2017, Tugwi-Mukosi is 100 percent full and spilling.”

Government and its development partners have been preparing for the worst after spilling of the dam amid reports that hundreds of families in southern Chivi, Chiredzi, Mwenezi and boundaries of Tugwi river might be severely impacted by the overflow.

ZINWA spokesperson Marjorie Munyonga affirms the impact of the ongoing spilling as it offers an opportunity to test the dam’s resilience.

“The spilling is also historic in that it has tested and confirmed the design capacity of the spillway and the dam structure,” Munyonga said.

“We are now able to test and confirm that the dam design is able to withstand its full capacity.”

She dismissed reports that at full capacity, Tugwi-Mukosi Dam was threatening to destroy the Masvingo-Beitbridge Highway.

Camps at Chingwizi and Chilonga Secondary School have been set up to provide temporary shelter for flood-stricken families. 

Tugwi-Mukosi was initially billed to irrigate 25,000ha but advances in irrigation technology saw the figure ramped up to more than 40,000ha.

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Somalia Intercepts Smuggled Weapons and Ammunition Days Before Elections

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Somalia’s Ministry of Information, Posts and Telecommunication says investigators have begun investigations into origin of the sophisticated weapons and ammunition which it intercepted while being smuggled into the country.

The Ministry said the Somali and foreign entities had attempted to illegally import high calibre weapons and ammunition into the country without the knowledge and permission of the government.

“The federal government of Somali has a robust system in the supply chain of weapons and ammunition from point of procurement to post distribution.

“It is these existing frameworks in place that has enabled the government to respond timely and block the deliveries,’’ the ministry said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

However, the ministry did not identify the entities and the quantity of weapons that were intercepted or provide proof to back up the report either.

The ministry said the government takes violations of territorial sovereignty and integrity as well as any actions that can have potential destabilising effects very seriously.

“The government is investigating the origin and motives of the weapons and ammunition it has blocked intended for Somalia,’’ it said.

The United Nations imposed a blanket arms embargo on Somalia shortly after the nation plunged into civil war 25 years ago.

The statement came hours after fighting erupted in the southern town of Beled Hawo between Jubaland security forces and government forces as both sides sought to wrestle control of the strategic town which is a key entry of the Gedo region.

However, the government said its forces managed to repulse the group of militia and managed to recover illegally imported deadly weapons after also flushing out Jubaland security forces.

There are casualties on both sides even though the local authorities have not established the number involved.

The Somali government and Jubaland forces previously fought over the control of the town in March 2020.

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LITE Africa, EU, ECOWAS, Destroy Weapons Surrendered By Ex-Militants in Calabar, Nigeria

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The European Union, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Leadership Initiative for Transformation and Empowerment (LITE Africa) have begun the destruction of 260 arms and 5510 weapons in Calabar, southern Nigeria.

The arms and weapons were surrendered by ex-Bakassi strike force militants and members of cult groups in the state.

Speaking in Calabar, Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River, said the destruction of the arms and weapons would further give residents of the state the desire to work closely with the state government and security agencies.

Ayade, who said there were over 33 illegal routes in the state, decried the fact that armed smugglers were proliferating the state with arms through various routes.

He commended security agencies in the state for working tirelessly to secure the state in collaboration with the Operation Akpakwu security outfit established by the state government to fight criminality.

“I want to appeal to the Federal Government to capture the ex-Bakassi militants under the Federal Government Amnesty programme. These youths who have surrendered their arms deserves an empowerment and better rehabilitation to keep them off the creeks,” he said.

Ayade, who carried out the symbolic destruction of the arms, urged those who were yet to surrender their arms to do so and embrace peace for the growth of the state.

Joel Bisina of LITE Africa, who spoke on behalf of EU-ECOWAS, said the dangers of illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons and the negative impact they have on peace and stability in various communities can not be underestimated..

Bisina said small arms and light weapons continue to have devastating effects on socio-economic situation in Nigeria and the West African subregion.

“In Nigeria, the commercial transaction in small arms and light weapons has been on the increase since the end of the Nigerian Civil War. The trend has continued despite the illegality of the trade.

“The wide availability, stockpile and illicit flow of such weapons tend to escalate conflicts; undermine peace agreement, intensify violence and impact on crime, impede economic and social development, increase poverty and hinder democracy and good governance.

“In a bid to promote peace, reduce armed conflict and small arms proliferation in the region, LITE Africa and the Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons, with support from the EU/ECOWAS is working to strengthen the efforts at preventing further proliferation and trafficking of illicit arms in Nigeria,” he said.

Dickson Orji, a representative from the Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons, said the committee was set up in 2013 with a mandate to be the focal point in the efforts by Nigeria to stem the tide of proliferation of illicit arms.

Orji said the Nigerian component of the EU-ECOWAS small arms under the current pilot phase focuses in the seven states of Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Cross River and Akwa Ibom.

Austin Ibok, Special Adviser to Ayade on Amnesty and Rehabilitation, said that 150 ex militants who have surrendered their weapons would undergo skills acquisition training under the EU-ECOWAS sponsorship.

Ibok said the move was aimed at reducing youth restiveness through civic engagements and reducing crime rate in the state to the barest minimum.

Heads of the Police, Navy, Air Force, Army and Security Advisers in the state were present at the event.

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