Focus: Indian Ocean Rim | 31st  January 2024

In a major move, state-run carrier of Oman, one India’s key strategic partners in the Indian Ocean Region, has decided to increase number of flights to India to serve South Asia’s biggest market by reducing its flights to Pakistan-Sri Lanka-Bangladesh. The move comes less than two months after Oman Sultan’s visit to New Delhi. Tanzania, a key Indian Ocean Region (IOR) state in Southeastern Africa, has decided to expand ties with Indonesia, another key IOR state with special focus on energy, agriculture and trade. Meanwhile, Kenya, President Ruto and the country’s judiciary are on the warpath. South Africa has hailed a ruling by the United Nations’ top court that Israel should do everything it can to prevent any acts of genocide in Gaza. South Africa’s neighbour Mozambique along the IOR is keen to benefit from the first ever Italy-Africa Summit. Meanwhile, tensions are rising in Eastern Africa between Ethiopia and Somalia Addis Ababa’s deal to lease a port in Somalia’s breakaway region of Somaliland. The port would give Ethiopia access to the Indian Ocean.      

Oman Air stops flights to Islamabad, Lahore, Colombo and Chittagong; increases frequency to Lucknow, Thiruvananthapuram

Times of Oman | 28th January 2024

As part of its ongoing transformation, which aims to improve the company’s overall financial performance and fortify its position in an increasingly competitive market, Oman Air has announced several strategic changes to its network. These include the addition of a new route, Sialkot, as well as the cancellation of operations to Islamabad, Lahore, Colombo and Chittagong. The airline will also be reducing frequencies to certain markets while increasing capacity to two current destinations (Lucknow and Thiruvananthapuram).

 

How Kenya’s judges stood up to President William Ruto

BBC | 28th January 2024

Following weeks of bitter rows and mud-slinging between President William Ruto and Kenya’s judges, two separate courts have ruled against the government, both on matters close to the president’s heart. Firstly, a court on Friday ordered the government to stop taking payments for a new housing levy and just an hour or so later, a different court said the president could not send 1,000 police officers to Haiti, as Mr Ruto had promised the UN. Analysts see this as a sign that Kenya’s judges remain fiercely independent despite what they see as the president’s attempts at intimidation.

 

Tanzania’s Samia inks gas, health and agriculture deals in Indonesia

The East African | 27th January 2024

Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu has signed five agreements with Indonesia during the just concluded official trip to the Asian country. According to the deal, Abou 100 employees of the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation are set to tap into an Indonesian scholarship programme that will be co-ordinated by Jakarta’s oil and gas giant Pertamina. This is among agreements signed between Tanzania and Indonesia during President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s two-day official tour of the country. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, President Samia and her host Joko Widodo signed five agreements on investments in agriculture, minerals, marine economy, education, diplomatic relations, technology and trade.

 

S. Africa hails ‘decisive victory’ at International Court of Justice

The East African | 26th January 2024  

South Africa on Friday (Jan 26) hailed a ruling by the United Nations’ top court that Israel should do everything it can to prevent any acts of genocide in Gaza. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague handed down its verdict in a landmark case brought by Pretoria also ordering Israel to allow humanitarian access to the Palestinian territory. “Today marks a decisive victory for the international rule of law and a significant milestone in the search for justice for the Palestinian people,” South Africa’s ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

 

Mozambique: President Nyusi arrives in Rome for Italy-Africa Summit

Club of Mozambique | 28th January 2024

President Filipe Nyusi has arrived in Rome, Italy for the Italy-Africa Summit. More than 20 heads of state and government will be in Rome for the event, which kicks off with a dinner on Sunday (January 28) ahead of the official summit on Monday (January 29) where Prime Minister Georgia Meloni will present Italy as the natural bridge between Africa and Europe. It is the first time that the Conference, which until now has always taken place at ministerial level, has been elevated to the rank of summit of heads of state and government.

 

How Ethiopia’s quarrel with Somalia could destabilise Horn of Africa

Club of Mozambique | 26th January 2024

Ethiopia’s deal to lease a port in Somalia’s breakaway region of Somaliland has infuriated the government in Mogadishu and prompted concern it will further destabilise the Horn of Africa region. Under a memorandum of understanding signed on Jan. 1, landlocked Ethiopia would lease 20 km (12 miles) around Somaliland’s port of Berbera for 50 years, in exchange for stakes in Ethiopian state-run companies and possible recognition as an independent nation. Somalia has responded by calling the deal an act of aggression and says it will block it. Ethiopia says it is merely striking a commercial arrangement to address a need for access to the sea.

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