Mozambican jihadist insurgency only to be discussed in ‘secrecy’ | #54DegreesAcrossAfrica

Mozambique Defence and Military Veterans Minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said the matter of insurgency in the Southern Africa nation would be discussed in the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence (JSCI) – a parliamentary committee that only meets behind closed doors and whose members face jail time if they were to publicise the content of the committee. 

Go deeper: A guerrilla group known as Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah has been behind a string of deadly and violent terrorist attacks in Mozambique’s northernmost province of Cabo Delgado. It said to be affiliated to ISIS, and in recent months the attacks have escalated. 

Religious extremism is a problem that every region of the continent is forced to confront as these organisations turn to Africa as their battle ground for ideological expansion.  

The government continues to draw a veil of secrecy over the growing jihadist group, most likely in a bid to preserve a patina of peaceful interactions in the country. And, even after a threat from ISIS earlier this month, the government has refused to publicly speak about the conflict, which started in October 2017, claimed more than 1,000 lives and displaced more than 210,000 people in Cabo Delgado. 

Egypt receives parliamentary resolution to invade Libya  

The eastern-based Libyan parliament, which supports the Libyan National Army (LNA), has given the go-ahead to the Egyptian armed forces to intervene in the Libyan conflict, according to BulgarianMilitary.com citing AMN

In early June, Egypt put forward the Cairo peace initiative, outlining a path for a political settlement in Libya and calling for warring parties to cease fire since June 8. The Arab League, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates accepted the proposal, but the Government of National Accord (GNA) and Turkey rejected it.  

Go deeper: Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said, on June 21, that any possible direct intervention in Libya by Egypt will have the backing of international bodies and the Libyan government. He said this while visiting a military base in Sidi Barrani near the Libyan border, according to Sky News Arabia

Al-Sisi added that Cairo will not allow the Libyan Government’s National Accord (GNA) forces to take the city of Sirte and the municipality of Al Jufra, which are under the control of the Libyan National Army (LNA). According to the president, this will become a “red line”, which Egypt will not be allowed to cross. 

In Libya, armed clashes are currently taking place between supporters of different leaders. The country is led by the Government of National Accord (GNA), headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, the “eastern government” led by Abdullah Abdurrahaman at-Thani. The eastern government is supported by the commander of the Libyan National Army, Khalifa Haftar

Egyptian journalist jailed on fake news charges dies of Covid-19 

A prominent Egyptian journalist, Mohamed Monir, 65, who had been jailed on charges of broadcasting fake news has died of Covid-19. 

Mohamed contracted Covid-19 in pre-trial detention and was released after falling ill in custody, according to the rights group the Committee to Protect Journalists. He died in an isolation unit at a Cairo hospital.  

Go deeper: Brief detentions amid the Covid-19 pandemic can mean a death sentence, the group said in a statement on Monday. This raises fears that the pandemic may be spreading undetected in Egypt’s notoriously crowded prisons. 

South Africa bans alcohol sale to reduce trauma patients 

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa says the country will immediately return to a ban on the sale of alcohol to reduce the volume of trauma patients so that hospitals have more beds open to treat Covid-19 patients. 

Ramaphosa said, in a nationally televised address, that top health officials warn of impending shortages of hospital beds and medical oxygen as South Africa reaches a peak of COVID-19 cases, expected between the end of July and September. He said some hospitals have had to turn away patients because all their beds are full. 

Go deeper: South Africa’s rapid increase in reported cases has made it one of the world’s centers for Covid-19, as it is ranked as the 9th country most affected by the disease, according to Johns Hopkins University. The country has reported increases of more than 10,000 confirmed cases for several days and the latest daily increase was nearly 13,500. South Africa accounts for 40% of all the confirmed cases in Africa, with 276,242, an increase of 12,058 in one day. 

South Africa has long dealt with a plague of alcoholism, many allege is the consequence of generational trauma meted on black South Africans during Apartheid.

Police arrest dozens in DR Congo opposition protests 

Police in Democratic Republic of Congo Monday, arrested dozens of people protesting against parliament’s nomination of Ronsard Malonda as the head of the national electoral commission, Ceni. 

The opposition accuses Malonda, currently Ceni’s secretary-general, of playing a role in rigging previous elections in favour of former President Joseph Kabila

Go deeper: The protests, which were also about proposed judicial reforms, were led by the main opposition Lamuka coalition. 

The renewed protests came just days after at least three people were killed during last week’s demonstrations against the choice of the electoral chairman. 

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