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Somalia: President Mohamed Abdullahi promises extra efforts in equipping soldiers

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The government of Somali will do all it can to pay salaries and buy equipment for its soldiers as it begins to lose international support, the country’s president said.

The statement came several days after reporting that the U.S. was suspending food and fuel aid for most of Somalia’s armed forces over corruption concerns.

That announcement was a blow to the military, who will begin losing the support of African peacekeepers when they start to withdraw this month.

Islamist insurgents are striking with ever-larger and more deadly attacks in the capital and major towns.

“I hereby certify that if a thing is halted, as a government we shall put effort five hundred percent so that the suspension does not affect anyone, President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed said in an address to military officials at the defence ministry that was broadcast on local radio.

“Whether it is salary or equipment, the government will bring what it can, he said.

“I am telling you that we should depend on ourselves. We thank the foreigners who were supporting us. If they mentioned criticism, we are required to rectify.”

The president did not mention a specific donor’s support, but added: “If you have someone who is ready to lend you a hand, you have to avoid things that can bring suspicion.”

Reports have it that the U.S. has grown frustrated that successive governments have failed to build a capable national army.

Documents seen by reporters paint a stark picture of a military hollowed out by corruption, unable to feed, pay or arm its soldiers, in spite of hundreds of millions of dollars of support.

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EFF demands the sacking of South Africa’s finance minister Nene.

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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.

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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.



Nene, who was giving testimony at a judicial inquiry into influence-peddling, said the main reason he was he was sacked was for rejecting a proposed plan to build a fleet of nuclear power plants. The project could have cost up to $100 billion.

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Zuma and the Gupta family deny allegations they colluded to inappropriately divert state funds.

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