At least 26 Chadian troops killed in suspected militant attack in troubled Lake Chad region

N’DJAMENA, Aug 7 (NNN-AGENCIES) — At least 26 Chadian soldiers were killed in an attack by jihadist fighters in the troubled Lake Chad region, a senior local official said.

“Twenty-six members of the Chadian army fell on the field of honour, 14 others have been wounded, including eight seriously,” the army’s spokesman General Azem Bermandoa Agouna said.

“Several terrorists were neutralised and clean-up operations continue,” he added.

The region’s deputy prefect, Haki Djiddi, said earlier that 24 soldiers were killed when Boko Haram attacked them when they were resting after returning from patrol.

Mahamat Idriss Deby, president of the military transition council since his father died in April during fighting with rebels, said the stakes are high.

The soldiers’ deaths “recall the security challenges we are still facing in a part of our borders,” Deby said.

“The heavy toll that we pay in this asymmetric war is bitter but it will not be in vain,” he said.

“We will make the terrorist hydra capitulate,” he said.

Agouna said the attack had taken place at Tchoukou Telia, an island 190 kilometres northwest of the capital N’Djamena.

Lake Chad is a vast area of water and marshland bordered by Niger, Nigeria and Cameroon as well as Chad.

Jihadists from Boko Haram and a rival splinter group, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), have been using the region for years as a haven from which to attack troops and civilians.

In March 2020, around 100 Chadian troops were killed in an overnight attack on the lake’s Bohoma peninsula, prompting an offensive the following month led by Chad’s then president, Idriss Deby Itno.

Deby was killed in April 2021 during fighting against rebels in northern Chad and was succeeded by his son, Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, at the head of a military junta.

Boko Haram launched a revolt in northern Nigeria in 2009 before extending its campaign into neighbouring countries.

According to UN figures, more than 36,000 people, most of them in Nigeria, have died and three million have fled their homes. — NNN-AGENCIES

Source: NAM News Network

Ethiopia-Tigray crisis: Red Cross reports influx of wounded into Tigray

ADDIS ABABA, Aug 7 (NNN-AGENCIES) — The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is registering an influx of wounded people into the Ethiopian war-torn region of Tigray and surrounding areas.

For this reason, hospitals are now being given priority support, the committee announced on Friday.

“Many communities have been significantly affected by the ongoing violence, especially in places where it is difficult to receive urgent medical treatment,” said Nicolas Von Arx, the head of the ICRC delegation in Ethiopia.

He appealed to “all those involved in fighting to spare civilians and protect medical facilities and personnel.”

According to the United Nations, 178 trucks that had been held up at various checkpoints have finally reached Tigray’s regional capital Mekelle in the past few days.

Another 40 trucks are on their way, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths said in Geneva.

“This war has to stop,” he said. Griffiths also appealed to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) to abandon military ambitions in the neighbouring Amhara region.

Only in July, the Red Cross supplied medical equipment to treat 1,100 severely injured people, and a total of 24,000 sick people.

According to the United Nations, the humanitarian situation in the Tigray region is deteriorating rapidly.

In November, the Ethiopian government in Addis Ababa launched a military offensive against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which had held power in the Tigray region.

After years of tension between the TPLF and the central government, the fight turned into a complex conflict in which the neighbouring country Eritrea is also involved.

The conflict has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee and caused great destruction. — NNN-AGENCIES

Source: NAM News Network

Covid-19: Five Ugandans charged for injecting people with water as covid jabs

KAMPALA, Aug 7 (NNN-AGENCIES) — Five Ugandans people were arraigned before the Nakawa Chief Magistrate’s Court and charged in connection with injecting more than 800 people with water instead of COVID-19 vaccines.

The group, including Francis Baguma, a 25-year-old student of Makerere University, who was allegedly masquerading as a medical doctor, denied the charges.

The group was charged with offences of a negligent act likely to spread infection, conspiracy to defraud and unlawful possession of government property.

They were denied bail and remanded to prison with the exception of Gloria Katushabe, an enrolled midwife, on the basis of being pregnant.

Under the charge of negligent act, prosecution alleges that the group and others still at large in June in Kawempe Division, Kampala District, unlawfully or negligently administered fake Covid-19 vaccines to employees of several factories, organisations and corporate entities. The organisations include Harris International, KCL Ltd Kitintale, United Bank of Africa, Diamond Trust Bank and MAKSS Packaging.

The 800 workers at these private companies received fake jabs and their companies paid for the vaccinations

This, the prosecution claimed, was done by the accused persons, knowing that their acts were likely to spread infection of any disease dangerous to human life.

Under the offence of conspiracy to defraud, the group are alleged to have fraudulently obtained more than Shs8m from Harris International Ltd in exchange of supplying fake Covid-19 vaccines, well knowing that the jabs are free.

Under the last offence of unlawful possession of government property, it is alleged that the group at Harris International factory, without lawful excuse or permission, had in their possession 694 pieces of auto disable syringes, which is the property of the government.

The group was arrested by the State House Health Monitoring Unit last month.

Upon clinical testing of the seized vaccines at the Government Analytical Laboratory, it was discovered that they were mainly composed of water more than any other chemicals.

Dr Warren Naamara, the director of the State House Health Monitoring Unit, at a news conference last month, said the recipients that received the fake jabs shouldn’t worry and that their life was not in danger.

The Health Ministry said there are 90,656 confirmed cases of the virus with 2,392 deaths in Uganda. The number of people vaccinated is just 1,427,897 out of a population of 44 million. — NNN-AGENCIES

Source: NAM News Network

Mozambique insurgency: SADC deploys troops to troubled northern province

MAPUTO, Aug 7 (NNN-AGENCIES) — South African Development Community (SADC) ground and naval forces have arrived in Mozambique’s troubled northern province as part of a combined regional force to quell insurgents who have caused much suffering and whose presence in a member state presents a threat to the whole region.

On its part, Zimbabwe is sending a team of 304 defence instructors to Mozambique to train Mozambican troops as part of its commitment to the SADC Standby Force Mission.

“This issue is no doubt of great importance to Zimbabwe considering our proximity to and warm relations with Mozambique and is also critical to the peace, security, and stability of the entire SADC region,” said Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri.

A long convoy of armoured assault vehicles and other support trucks were also seen as it crossed the border between Zimbabwe and Mozambique at Gondola.

Already, Botswana has deployed 296 troops to Mozambique to join soldiers from the SADC region after regional leaders agreed in June to respond with proportionate force to the terrorists in the Cabo Delgado region who have left a trail of bloodshed and wrecked the country’s economy.

On July 26, Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi saw his first contingent of 296 soldiers off at the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport.

Meanwhile, South African National Defence Force (SANDF) showed its presence in the Indian Ocean heading to the Cabo Delgado as the region moves in to help Mozambique deal with the terrorists who have killed about 2,800 people in cold blood and displaced over 800,000 more.

South Africa’s SAS Makhanda which is docked in Pemba will form part of the small maritime contingent of the SADC’s intervention brigade known as the SADC Mission in Mozambique or SAMIM.

The first contingent of armoured vehicles from 43 SA Brigade, based north of Pretoria, was also visible as it moved through the border post of Ressano Garcia at Komatipoort at first light on Saturday.

The convoy contained the first of South Africa’s mechanised infantry battalion vehicles and was escorted by the Mozambican military police on its journey of some 2,500km to Pemba.

Two of the South African Air Force’s Hercules C130 cargo aircraft have been flying regular flights between Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria and Pemba in the past two weeks transporting soldiers, equipment, ammunition, and a contingent of Special Forces.

An Air Force Cessna Caravan light aircraft arrived in Pemba last week and its crew has set up base at Pemba’s international airport. The Caravan will presumably be used for aerial reconnaissance of both the coastline and inland when the SAMIM force starts its operations to oust the insurgents from Cabo Delgado, South African media reported.

Rwanda, which is not part of SADC, has deployed more than 1,000 soldiers who have killed some 30 insurgents in joint military campaigns with Mozambique. — NNN-AGENCIES

Source: NAM News Network

Zimbabwe detains 104 Congolese refugees who escaped camp

HARARE, Aug 7 (NNN-AGENCIES) — A group of refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have been detained in Zimbabwe after they were caught while heading to Botswana following their escape from the country’s main refugee camp.

The 104 refugees were found at a house in the south-western city of Bulawayo after travelling nearly 600 kilometres from Tongogara Refugee Camp near the Zimbabwe-Mozambique border.

Authorities are now investigating how the refugees managed to travel so far despite Zimbabwe banning inter-city travel over a month ago to slow down the spread of Covid-19.

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister, Paul Mavhima, said the government was looking into the circumstances of their escape.

“Our position as a ministry is that they are supposed to be at the Tongogara Refugee Camp,” he said.

“For now, they have to be processed by the police and their case reviewed by Immigration authorities to see if there is any law that has been broken. If any law has been broken, then justice will take its course.”

Police spokesperson Paul Nyathi said they were still investigating the case.

“What is clear is that these are refugees from the DRC, who were coming to the Tongogora Refugee Camp,” he said.

“Some of them have their papers and are currently going through Covid-19 screening processes and vetting by relevant government departments.”

Zimbabwe is a major transit route for African immigrants seeking refuge in more economically stable countries like South Africa and Botswana.

Last month, Zimbabwean police arrested 73 Malawians that were trying to cross into South Africa. At least 10 of the migrants tested positive for Covid-19.

The previous month, the International Organisation for Migration facilitated the return of 100 Malawians that were found stranded along Zimbabwe’s border with South Africa.

Tongogara, the main holding camp for asylum seekers in Zimbabwe, last year registered 236 new arrivals. Most of them were from the DRC (196), Mali (29), Burundi (7) and Cote d’Ivoire (2).

Rwanda and Somalia had one new arrival each at the camp that now has a total of 14,967 refugees, mostly from DRC, Burundi, Rwanda, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia. — NNN-AGENCIES

Source: NAM News Network