Focus: Indian Ocean Rim | 3rd  January 2024

India’s key SE African cum Indian Ocean Region partner Tanzania wants to boost defence partnership in a big way to reduce dependence on China. Besides boosting maritime cooperation, New Delhi is looking at defence equipment sales, particularly in armoured vehicles. In a major geo-political development in Africa, Ethiopia is all set to overcome its landlocked situation as it recently signed what is known as a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the self-declared republic of Somaliland to use one of its ports. In yet another big decision by Africa’s key player South Africa — asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) last week. for an urgent order declaring that Israel was in breach of its obligations under the 1948 Genocide Convention. Meanwhile, Kenya has once again faltered to woo foreign tourists despite promise by its President. The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has said that foreigners visiting Kenya must apply for visas as they have previously done, despite President William Ruto’s announcement of doing away with visas. Meanwhile, Mozambique’s president has promulgated the legislative revision that increases the minimum time of compulsory military service from two to five years.

 

India to expand defence ties with Tanzania to boost presence in Indian Ocean

The Mint | 1st January 2024 

India is planning to deepen its defence cooperation with Tanzania to enhance its strategic presence in the western part of Indian Ocean. Besides boosting maritime cooperation, New Delhi is looking at defence equipment sales, particularly in armoured vehicles. The initiatives align with India’s broader strategy to augment its presence in the western Indian Ocean, a region vital for its maritime trade routes.

 

Ethiopia signs agreement with Somaliland paving way to sea access

BBC | 2nd January 2024 

Ethiopia has taken the first legal steps on a path that could one day enable the landlocked country to gain access to the sea, its government says. It has signed what is known as a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the self-declared republic of Somaliland to use one of its ports. Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has previously described sea access as an existential issue for his country. Somaliland’s foreign ministry said in a statement later that the “historic agreement ensures Ethiopia’s access to the sea for their naval forces, reciprocated by formal recognition of the Republic of Somaliland, marking this as a significant diplomatic milestone for our country”.

 

South Africa files genocide case against Israel at World Court

Reuters | 30th December 2023

South Africa asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Friday (Dec 30) for an urgent order declaring that Israel was in breach of its obligations under the 1948 Genocide Convention in its crackdown against the Palestinian group Hamas in Gaza. The ICJ, sometimes known as the World Court, is the United Nations venue for resolving disputes between states. Israel’s foreign ministry said in a reaction that the suit was “baseless.”

 

Why foreigners visiting Kenya will still apply for Visas despite Ruto announcement

The Star | 2nd January 2024

The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has said that foreigners visiting Kenya must apply for visas as they have previously done, despite President William Ruto’s announcement. In a statement on Tuesday, KCAA said this will be the case until changes announced by the government on the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) system are communicated.

 

Mozambique: President enacts law extending mandatory military service from two to five years

Club of Mozambique | 29th December 2023 

Mozambique’s president has promulgated the legislative revision that increases the minimum time of compulsory military service from two to five years, approved in parliament with only the favourable votes of the Frelimo majority, the presidency announced on Friday. In a statement, the presidency said that the head of state had “promulgated and ordered to be published” the revision of the Military Service Law, as well as the Statute, Security and Welfare of Members of Parliament.

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