Mainly Christian anti-Balaka forces attacked a UN police checkpoint in Central African Republic on Monday, killing one UN peacekeeper and wounding three others, the United Nations said.
The attack took place at the entrance to a camp for displaced people in the southeastern town of Bria after peacekeepers intervened to free two displaced people being held hostage by anti-Balaka forces, the UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said.
He said the peacekeeper who died and two of the wounded were from Mauritania. The third injured peacekeeper was from Zambia.
Dujarric said the Mauritanian was the 14th peacekeeper killed in Central African Republic this year.
The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the death and injuries, and urged Central African authorities to swiftly investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice, Dujarric said later. Guterres said attacks on UN peacekeepers may constitute war crimes.
The secretary-general reiterated the determination of the UNpeacekeeping mission “to protect civilians and contribute to the stabilisation of the Central African Republic,” the spokesman said.
The country has been wracked by violence between Muslims and Christians since 2013, when predominantly Muslim Seleka rebels overthrew the Christian president and seized power.
Dujarric said Guterres urges all parties to cease violence and work together to bring peace and stability to the country.
EFF demands the sacking of South Africa’s finance minister Nene.
South Africa’s political players are headed for a collision course over the fate of the finance minister, who the Treasury on Tuesday said is traveling to Indonesia for an International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting.
Pressure has been piling on finance minister Nhlanhla Nene to resign, following his disclosure to the state-capture inquiry commission, that he had met the Gupta brothers between 2010 and 2013.
The Business Day on Monday reported that Nene had asked president Cyril Ramaphosa to relieve him of his duties as finance minister.
Ramaphosa’s office responded and said they were not aware of Nene’s request.
And on Tuesday, Treasury spokesman Jabulani Sikhakhane said the finance minister was expected to arrive in Indonesia on Wednesday.
Nene is also expected to read the mid-term budget later this month.
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The news that Nene is continuing with his duties is likely to anger opposition supporters including the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), whose leader, Julius Malema on Monday asked Ramaphosa to sack Nene.
In a written letter to Ramaphosa, Malema argued that the country, whose economy is in recession, had very serious challenges that needed a credible finance minister to address them.
‘‘Public servants at all spheres and levels of government will have no obligation to responsibly manage state fiscal resources under a compromised minister of finance,’‘ Malema said.
He then added that that Nene can no longer inspire much needed confidence to revive the economy.
‘‘The Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS)‚ which is supposed to be a statement to build confidence amongst all important economic role players‚ cannot‚ and should not‚ be delivered by a minister who was part of the Gupta criminal syndicate.”
For the EFF, Nene’s position as finance minister is no longer tenable and they are determined to win what they are now calling a battle.
Malema had threatened on Sunday that streets protests might be organised to demand for the removal of Nene as finance minister.
The Gupta brothers are accused of using their friendship with former president Jacob Zuma to influence government decisions including unfairly winning state contrcats.
Both Zuma and the Guptas have denied any wrongdoing.
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South Africa: Ex-minister reveals Zuma’s Gupta deals.
South Africa’s Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said on Wednesday he was fired by former president Jacob Zuma for refusing to approve contracts that would financially benefit the Gupta family, friends of Zuma accused of corruption.