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Russia Sends 400 Mercenaries To Libya’s Haftar1 minute read

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The Tobruk-based Libyan National Army (LNA), Gen Khalifa Haftar, got no fewer than 400 mercenaries from Russia, new reports claimed.

The European country is belived to have sent 400 pro-regime militias from Syria’s northeastern Qamisli region to Libya to fight for warlord Haftar in exchange for money.

Haftar – who has the backing of Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Russia – launched an offensive against Tripoli in April last year.

Haftar’s LNA and the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) of Tripoli have both agreed last month to cease all combat operations and plan elections in the next 18 months.

Despite the ceasefire, reports claim Russia sent “Shabiha” fighters who were founded by the President of Syria, Bashar Hafez al-Assad, to suppress the peaceful demonstrations that began in 2011.

The “Shabiha” fighters are suspected of committing war crimes in Syria. They arrived at the Russian Khmeimim Air Base in Syria’s Latakia province from the Qamishli airport the previous day.

Russia pays each mercenary sent from Syria to Libya around $1,500-$2,000 per month.

Russia continues to strengthen Haftar with mercenaries from Syria, according to local sources.

Last month, Russia reached an agreement in Qamishli in the regime-controlled area with 1,000 people between the ages of 20 and 45, who are also expected to be sent to Libya soon.

It is estimated that the number of mercenaries sent by Russia to fight for Haftar from various provinces of Syria has exceeded 5,000 so far.

Foreign warriors in Haftar’s ranks include Russian mercenaries, Janjaweed militias brought from Sudan, as well as armed rebels from Chad.

East Africa News

Parliament in Somalia endorses new PM Roble’s Cabinet

The new Cabinet formed includes eight women – four ministers, a State minister and three deputy ministers.

Bernard Akede

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The new Cabinet formed

The new Cabinet formed last Monday by Somalia’s Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble, has been approved by the Lower House of the country’s Federal Parliament.

A list of 71 ministers, State ministers and deputy ministers was presented by the Premier to the legislators, stating that their selection was based on their integrity and capacities.

“I have selected the ministers upon closely examining their abilities to deliver services to the people,” he said in a brief speech.

All MPs present, 188 in number, voted in favour of the new Cabinet by show of hands.

The new Cabinet formed includes eight women – four ministers, a State minister and three deputy ministers. 

While delivering a speech to seek parliamentary approval of his portfolio holders and political programme, PM Roble emphasized the zeal of his government to tackle the country’s most pressing issues, particularly insecurity as well as the smooth running of the anticipated general election in 2020 and 2021.

The return of most of the deposed PM’s Cabinet members had been anticipated by many analysts.

However, in the new Cabinet formed, a number senior ministers lost positions. Among them were the holders of the Defense, Internal Security, Interior, Information and Education dockets.

The ministers of Commerce and Industry as well as Public Works did not appear in the new list.

Those who retained their positions in the cabinet include Deputy PM Mahdi Mohamed Guled alias Khadar, Foreign minister Ambassador Ahmed Issa Awad and Finance minister Dr Abdirahman Dualeh Beile.

Others are Health minister Dr Fawzia Abikar Nur and Planning minister Jamal Mohamed Hussein.

The new Cabinet comprises of 27 ministers, 27 deputy ministers and 17 state ministers.

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Doctors Without Borders Launches Mass Casualty Plan After School Shooting In Cameroon

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Following this morning’s school shooting in Kumba, South-West Cameroon, Doctors Without Borders launched a mass casualty plan.

According to a press statement, the group responded with ambulance service and surgical care in the Presbyterian General Hospital (PGH), Kumba.

Doctors Without Borders received a total of ten patients between the ages of 10 and 15. Of these patients, five were referred to other hospitals for specialist treatment through our ambulance service; four continue to receive treatment in PGH; and tragically, one patient was pronounced dead on arrival.

“As a medical humanitarian organisation we lament the tragic loss of life in the Kumba community. This attack, which saw children gunned down while attending school, was a reprehensible and indecent act. Civilian structures including schools and hospitals must not be targets, ” said Alberto Jodra Marcos, Emergency Coordinator for Doctors Without Borders in South-West Cameroon.

It would be recalled that Gunmen stormed the Mother Francisca College in Kumba in southwestern Cameroon on Saturday, killing at least eight schoolchildren and wounding eight more.

One parent who was just outside the school at the time of the attack said the gunmen arrived on motorbikes and in civilian clothes in the middle of the day before shooting the children indiscriminately.

It was not clear if the attack was linked to the ongoing struggle between the army and groups attempting to form a breakaway state called Ambazonia in the English-speaking west.

A local witness in the area said Ambazonian fighters were responsible for the bloodshed.

“Ambazonian fighters arrived [at] the school… started shooting into the classes. They say the students are traitors for attending classes when they have called for an effective school boycott in the Northwest and Southwest regions… we ran into the house for safety. It was so terrifying,” he said on condition of anonymity.

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ECOWAS Seeks To Name, Shame Countries Flouting Court Rulings

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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) says it plans to name and shame countries who have not regarded the decisions and rulings of the Community institutions.

This is coming in view of the flagrant disregard for the rulings and decisions of the Community Court of Justice by member states since the establishment of the court.

President of the Court Justice Amaoko Asante said in Abuja on Saturday that he has sought to make presentations at the Summit of Heads of State where he can name such countries that are in violation of the court.

Asante who spoke on the sidelines of a valedictory session in hounor of members of staff who were retiring from service, said that the disregard for the court’s ruling had remained a cause for concern.

“The issue of implementing the court’s judgments is an issue which leaves a little more to be desired.

“We are pushing them, writing to them, reminding them, reminding the commission.

“It is the Commission President’s duty to ensure that they are done.

“Therefore, judgments are normally served on him and served on parties and the countries that are to do the enforcements; some are very adamant but we are still pushing them.

“We have presented to Council that it should let the court present its report at the summit.

“When the President of the Court stands there to present his report, he is going to name and shame countries who are not complying to the judgments of the court.

“We feel that if they are able to accede to this request of ours and they do it, things will change.”

The retiring staff members include: Chief Registrar Mr Tony Anene, Principal Legal Officer Mrs Franca Ofor, an Accountant Mr Apenteng Takyako, a Translator Mrs Mariama Gouro and a secretary Mrs Elisaberth Ashalley.

Retirement at the court is upon the attainment of 62 years of age or 35 years in service whichever comes first.

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