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Russia Sent 12 Fighter Jets To Libya, Says AFRICOM1 minute read



The US Africa Command (AFRICOM), in a statement at the weekend, said it believes that no fewer than 12 Russian fighter jets are being flown by Wagner Group paramilitary pilots in Libya.

The fighter jets were first reported to have been deployed to Libya in May.

On Friday, an AFRICOM senior official, in a statement, said two Russian fighter jets have crashed in Libya since being deployed to the country’s war on the side of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar earlier this year.

The first MiG crashed June 28 and the other last Monday.

It is not clear whether the two MiG-29s were shot down, suffered mechanical failure or crashed because of pilot error.

In May, the US military released aerial imagery showing MiG-29 and Su-24 aircraft on the ground in Libya, raising concern that the Kremlin was trying to “tip the scales” on behalf of Haftar in his fight against the UN-backed Government of National Accord in Tripoli.

AFRICOM said at the time that the fighter jets had been flown from Russia to Syria, where they were repainted before continuing on to Libya.

Meanwhile, Russia maintained denial of any formal military presence in Libya or any military support to Libyan warring parties as president Vladimir Putin and his senior officials have more than once distanced themselves from what they described as the private military company (Wagner Group).

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov denied last week reports that said Moscow had used Syrian land to send weapons and mercenaries to Libya.

East Africa News

Rwandan Genocide Suspect, Félicien Kabuga, Seeks Case Transfer to ICC



The lawyer for Félicien Kabuga – one of the world’s most wanted men for his alleged role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide – wants him to be tried at the International Criminal Court (ICC) rather than at a UN tribunal in Arusha, Tanzania.

The comment by Emmanuel Altit, Kabuga’s lawyer, comes a day after Court of Cassation in Paris, France backed a decision to send him to East Africa.

Altit said sending Kabuga to the Tanzanian court could be a “violation of his rights” “considering the global pandemic, his health and age”.

Mr Kabuga is alleged to have funnelled money to militia groups as chairman of the national defence fund. In May, he described these accusations as “lies”.

France’s extradition law says that Mr Kabuga now needs to be transferred within one month.

Mr Alit for his part says he will ask the court in Arusha to send the case to The Hague, Netherlands.

Kabuga was arrested in his home outside Paris after 26 years on the run. He has lived under a false name all this time. He outwitted prosecutors of the Rwandan genocide tribunal for more than two-and-a-half decades by using 28 aliases and powerful connections across two continents to evade capture.

The 84-year-old has been on the run for so long that the international tribunal set up to bring to justice those responsible for the 1994 genocide had ceased to work.

Kabuga, born in 1933 or 1935, was a wealthy businessman at the time of the atrocities in which more than 800,000 people were killed in the Hutu-Tutsi Rwandan Genocide.

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West Africa News

Death Toll From Floods In Nigeria Hits 95



No fewer than 95 people have died from floods in Nigeria, reports from the West African country have said.

Sixteen more people were killed in floods caused by heavy rains in 19 regions of Jigawa state, Alhaji Yusuf Sani Babura, executive secretary of the Jigawa State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), told reporters.

Thousands of people have become homeless and tens of thousands of hectares of cultivated land have been submerged.

The rainy season runs from June to September in West Africa.

Other countries in the region such as Burkina Faso, Niger and Senegal also experienced flooding this year.

In neighbouring Niger Republic, flooding has killed over 65 people and led to the displacement of more than 330,000 from their homes.

Heavy rain in Niger’s western region caused the Niger River to overflow, practically shutting down the capital, Niamey.

Mud huts along the river have collapsed and rice fields are submerged.

The worst-affected regions are Maradi in the central south of the country, Tahoua and Tillaberi in the west, and Dosso in the southwest.

At least 10 of the deaths were in the capital Niamey, where the rain caused the Niger river to breach its banks, municipal authorities said.

Niger is one of the world’s driest countries and frequently suffers from spells of drought.

But it also experiences months-long rainy seasons that have in recent years become more severe, consistent with forecasts about climate change.

Flooding last year claimed 57 lives and affected 226,000 people nationwide.

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East Africa News

Uganda Jailbreak: 190 Inmates Still on the Run



A government official says more than 190 prisoners are still at large following a massive jailbreak in Uganda in September.

219 Prisoners fled Uganda’s Singila Prison in the north-eastern district of Moroto. The inmates were said to have murdered a soldier and made away with more than 10 guns and several rounds of ammunition.

Some of the fugitives reportedly took off their distinctive yellow prison uniforms and fled naked into the hills to avoid re-arrest.

It is assumed that they could be using mountain routes to cross the border into Kenya.

Uganda Prisons Services spokesperson Frank Baine, who addressed newsmen on Wednesday on the prevailing security situation in the country, disclosed that 12 inmates have been killed in the manhunt.

“In as far as the search for those who ran away is concerned, 18 are captured, 12 lost their life in the process of recapture. So, a total of 30 have been brought back, and over 190 are still at large and for the guns we are still searching for them,” Baine said.

“A reward of UGX500,000 (about $134) for each escapee returned and UGX1.5 million (just over $400) for the missing firearm remains in force”, he said.

Baine expressed confidence that the remaining escapees will eventually be caught.

“They can run but they won’t hide. When their 40 days expire, we shall get them back.”

A multi-agency security force, comprising of personnel from the prisons, military and police, is conducting a manhunt for the remaining escapees.

A majority of the inmates, mainly traditional Karamajong warriors and cattle rustlers, had been sentenced over illegal possession of firearms.

The general public have been warned to remain vigilant and report anyone they suspect to the authorities.

Moroto is the biggest town in Karamoja, a semi-arid pastoralist region.

A government disarmament programme in the early 2000s took most of the guns out of the hands of civilians, but sporadic clashes between different communities continue.

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