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Trump Plans To Withdraw US Troops From Somalia1 minute read

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President Donald Trump has informed his top advisers that he wants to withdraw US troops from Somalia, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the report said the Pentagon has begun drafting plans for Trump.

The talks have involved National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley, according to the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private deliberations.

The US has 650-800 troops in Somalia to help the African country fight the al-Shabaab terrorist group.

The move will allow Trump “to make good on campaign pledges to bring soldiers home even though the country remains beset by insurgents linked to al-Qaeda,” said the report.

All or almost all of the troops were sent to the country by Trump, according to Bloomberg. Trump authorized the US military to carry out strikes targeting al-Shabaab in March 2017.

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Ex-Uganda Army Spokesman Dies Of COVID-19

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Former Ugandan army spokesman Shaban Bantazira has died after contracting Covid-19.

The retired colonel was admitted to hospital on Sunday morning complaining of chest pain, low blood pressure, diabetes and cough.

Government Spokesman Ofwono Opondo said tests confirmed that he had contracted Covid-19.

This was confirmed by the spokesperson of the Uganda People’s Defense Forces, Brig. Flavia Byekwaso.

“The UPDF family with great sadness have learnt of the passing on of the deputy Executive director of Uganda Media Centre and deputy government spokesman Rtd Col Shaban Bantariza at Mulago national referral hospital. May his soul rest in peace,” she said in a tweet.

The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) described Mr Bantazira as a loyal member of the government and party, which he served until his death.

Mr Bantariza was no stranger to controversy. Last year, he was sharply criticised by some for remarks he made at a retreat of leaders of the NRM.

He said he pitied people who think the NRM government would hand over power, adding that “we” would rather go back to the bush. He then went on to say that he had his three guns on standby in his car.

Bantariza was born in Mitooma district, in 1963. He attended St. Leo’s College, Kyegobe, in Fort Portal, Kabarole District for his O-Level studies before later joining Catholic brotherhood where he trained as an elementary school teacher.

He joined Makerere University in 1985 but later abandoned his studies and joined the National Resistance Army, led by president Yoweri Museveni. Bantariza attended guerrilla bootcamp in the Kabarore area, in foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains. He also attended and graduated from the Uganda Senior Command and Staff College, having studied the senior command course offered annually at the college

Bantariza served as the UPDF spokesperson from 2000 to 2002 and from 2003 to 2006. For a period of time, prior to February 2009, Batanzira, at the rank of lieutenant colonel, served as the commander of the Oliver Tambo Leadership School, in Kaweweta, Nakaseke District, in Uganda’s Central Region.

On 26 February 2009, he was appointed commandant of the National Leadership Institute (NALI), in Kyankwanzi, Kyankwanzi District serving in that capacity until he was relieved of his duties on 7 October 2011.

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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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COVID-19: Rwanda makes EU “safe list”

The move follows a review under the recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU.

Bernard Akede

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the European Union

According to a statement from the European Union Council on October 22, Rwanda has been listed by the European Union, among the countries on which Covid-19 travel restrictions into the EU territory should be gradually lifted.

The move follows a review under the recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU.

Some of the criteria which the European Union considers for lifting travel restrictions on third countries (countries that are not members of the EU as well as countries whose citizens do not enjoy the European Union right to free movement) include their epidemiological situation and containment measures, including physical distancing, as well as economic and social considerations.

Some of the other countries from which the restrictions have been lifted are Singapore, South Korea, Australia, Japan, Uruguay, Thailand, and New Zealand.

This now means that Rwanda is the only country in African to feature on the list.

The EU Council’s statement, however, indicates that this list will continue to be reviewed regularly and, as the case may be, updated.

In addition, the statement also says that European Union Council recommendation is not a legally binding instrument.

To this end, the authorities of the member states are responsible for  implementing the content of the recommendation, where they may, in full transparency, lift only progressively travel restrictions towards the listed countries.

In the past few weeks, Rwanda has been reporting progress in the fight against Covid-19. As of today, Rwanda has recorded a total of 5,062 cases of which 4,806 have recovered and 34 have died.

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