Mugabe’s body may return home next week: family

According to media reports, Robert Mugabe died on Sept. 6, 2019 at the age of 95, in a Singapore hospital. (EPA/STR)
Updated 08 September 2019

Mugabe’s body may return home next week: family

  • Mugabe was a guerilla leader who swept to power after Zimbabwe’s independence from Britain and ruled for 37 years
  • His health took a hit after he was ousted by the military in November 2017, ending his increasingly tyrannical rule

HARARE: Robert Mugabe’s nephew said Sunday that a delegation was expected to leave Zimbabwe on Monday to collect the hero-turned-despot’s body from Singapore where he died two days ago.
Mugabe, a guerilla leader who swept to power after Zimbabwe’s independence from Britain and ruled for 37 years, died on Friday, aged 95.
His health took a hit after he was ousted by the military in November 2017, ending his increasingly tyrannical rule. He had been traveling to Singapore for treatment since April.
“I can’t give an authoritative day, all I know is people are leaving tomorrow Monday to go and pick up the body,” Leo Mugabe told AFP.
“So assuming they get there on Tuesday and the body is ready, logically you would think they should land here on Wednesday,” he said, adding that a list of accompanying family members was being finalized.
Once praised as a liberator who rid Zimbabwe of white minority rule, Mugabe soon turned to repression and fear to govern.
He is widely remembered for crushing political dissent and ruining the economy, prompting mixed reactions to his passing.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared a period of “national mourning” on Friday, without providing further detail.
The government is expected to announce when Mugabe’s body will be returned to Zimbabwe and provide details of the funeral in coming days.


3,000-strong African force planned against Sahel extremism

Updated 28 February 2020

3,000-strong African force planned against Sahel extremism

  • The force would be a significant new player in the Sahel where fighters linked to Al-Qaeda and the Daesh group killed thousands of people last year
  • The decision by African leaders comes as the United States considers cutting its military presence in Africa while urging African solutions to African problems

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia: African leaders have decided to work on deploying 3,000 troops to West Africa’s troubled Sahel region as extremist attacks surge, an African Union official said Thursday.
The force would be a significant new player in the sprawling, arid region south of the Sahara Desert where fighters linked to Al-Qaeda and the Daesh group killed thousands of people last year — at times working together in an unprecedented move.
The decision by African leaders comes as the United States considers cutting its military presence in Africa while urging African solutions to African problems. That has sparked pressure from worried security allies including France and regional countries as well as a rare bipartisan outcry among lawmakers in Washington.
Smail Chergui, the African Union commissioner for peace and security, relayed the new troop decision that was taken at the recent AU summit during a meeting Thursday with visiting European Union officials.
The AU continental body is expected to work with the West African regional counterterror force G5 Sahel as well as the West African regional body ECOWAS, which has formed peacekeeping units in the past, Chergui said.
ECOWAS in September announced what Chergui called a “very bold” plan to counter extremism in the region, including mobilizing up to $1 billion through 2024.
“As you see and recognize yourself, the threat is expanding and becoming more complex,” Chergui said. “Terrorists are now even bringing a new modus operandi from Afghanistan and Al-Shabab” in Somalia.
It was not immediately clear what the next steps would be in forming the AU force for the Sahel, which has become the most active region in Africa for extremist attacks.
The force would join France’s largest overseas military operation, the 5,100-strong Barkhane, and the 15,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping force in Mali, one of the hardest-hit countries in the attacks along with Burkina Faso and Niger.