1. Nigerian General Assassinated.
Nigerian Major General Hassan Ahmed was assassinated as he was travelling between Lokoja and the nation’s capital, Abuja. He was shot by gunmen whilst travelling in his car on the 15th of July. It is currently unknown who was behind the attack or why they carried it out. Security forces are investigating the deaths and have vowed to hold those responsible to justice.
2. Army deployed amidst unrest in South Africa.
Protests and riots sparked by the imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma have wracked South Africa this week. At least 117 have been killed during the violence and the government has deployed 25,000 soldiers to contain the unrest. There have been multiple instances of crowds assaulting warehouses, supermarkets, factories and other public buildings. In Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, two of the areas worst affected by the violence, reports have emerged of civilians taking up arms to defend themselves and their property. South African Police Minister Bheki Cele released a statement condemning the violence, “We cannot allow anyone to make a mockery of our democratic state and we have instructed the law enforcement agencies to double their efforts to stop the violence and to increase deployment on the ground”. Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s president, called for calm.
3. Rwanda deploys 1000 troops to Mozambique.
Rwanda has begun deploying 1000 soldiers to Mozambique to help it combat the escalating violence in its Northern Cabo Delgado province. This came to light on Friday after the Southern African Development Community also last month approved the deployment of forces to the area. The Rwandan Government said in a statement “The Rwandan contingent will support efforts to restore Mozambican state authority by conducting combat and security operations, as well as stabilisation and security-sector reform”.
4. Pakistan to facilitate Afghanistan peace talks.
Pakistan is set to host a series of peace talks between prominent leaders from different groups involved in Afghanistan’s civil conflict, in order to hasten the intra-Afghan peace process. This diplomatic initiative takes place after the Taliban and other non-government forces have made rapid territorial advances since the withdrawal of coalition troops. The conference is scheduled to take place from the 17th-19th of July and many key Afghan leaders have confirmed their attendance. Pakistani officials have said an “inclusive political settlement” is needed to restore peace to the embattled country and prevent the situation from worsening.
5. Pacific Islands Forum delivers aid to covid-stricken Fiji.
The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat has delivered much needed aid to Fiji as it battles a surge in Coronavirus cases. The donation composes of N95 masks, surgical masks, medical gloves, protective suits, face shields, and critically needed ventilators valued. Henry Puna, Forum Secretary General, said it was very difficult to watch the situation unfolding in Fiji, but was heartened by the vaccine uptake across the country. He continued to note that forum members have embraced the Tuvalu concept of te fale-pili, exemplified by the forum family coming together to support and look after each other during times of need.