Reserve Force Council :: South Africa
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The RFC, is a statutory body under the Defence Act, comprises members of the Reserve Units, individuals and associations. It acts as the representative of the Reserves (ResF), Volunteer or  Part-Time forces, component of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), and serves as an advisory body on all matters concerning the Reserves in the SANDF.  The RFC assists in promoting and maintaining the Reserves as an integral part of the SANDF.


This RFC website is the primary communication channel for all information relevant to Reserves in South Africa. Please register, top right corner, so that we can keep you updated at all times. We would appreciate your comments, suggestions and articles so that we can fullfill our role of communicating with our stakeholders - send an email to communication@rfcsa.org

All views of individual associations, organisations and individuals are theirs and not those of the RFC.

  





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News August 2015
Written by Reuters, Wednesday, 26 August 2015

U.N. peacekeepers said on Wednesday they would have to cut rations for 6,800 ex-rebels and their families left in limbo in government camps in the Democratic Republic of Congo, blaming a shortage of funds and calling for the state to step in.

The U.N. mission there also said some of the adults and children had been ordered to stay in the camps by rebel leaders trying to keep up a presence in the region - and the aid cut might push the commanders to let the people go home.

The announcement underlined the plight of the thousands of former fighters and their dependants stuck in often dire conditions in demobilisation camps for years amid a string of conflicts.

Last October, U.S.-based Human Rights Watch said more than 100 people had died from starvation and disease in one camp because of government neglect.

The U.N. Peacekeeping Mission in the country, MONUSCO, said on Wednesday it did not have the funds to keep feeding the inhabitants, and something needed to be done to resolve the festering problem and get the ex-fighters back home.
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Written by Reuters, Wednesday, 26 August 2015

A South African court on Tuesday found eight former police officers guilty of murdering a Mozambican taxi driver who died in a prison cell after being tied to the back of police truck and driven through a busy Johannesburg street two years ago.

The treatment of Mido Macia, caught on video, further tarnished the reputation of the police in South Africa where about 1,000 people a year die in custody or as result of police action.

Macia died as a result of head injuries and internal bleeding caused by being assaulted and dragged behind the vehicle, prosecutors said.

"There can be no doubt that they foresaw the injuries may result in his death," Judge Bert Bam told the courtroom. "Accused number one to eight, you're convicted of murder."

The video of the 2013 incident, filmed by an onlooker, showed minibus taxi driver Macia scuffling with police after he illegally parked his vehicle.
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Written by Reuters, Wednesday, 26 August 2015

France's defence minister will discuss the sale to Malaysia of one of the Mistral helicopter carriers originally destined for Russia during a visit to the country, a source familiar with the talks said, confirming a report on news website latribune.fr.

On his return from Malaysia, Jean-Yves Le Drian will also make a detour to India to sign a deal for 36 Rafale fighter jets built by French group Dassault Aviation, latribune.fr added.

A source with knowledge of the talks told Reuters on Friday that India's Rafale purchase could be concluded in about 10 days.

Dassault in February won its first export order for the jets from Egypt. Since then, Qatar has also placed an order, and talks are under way with Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates.

India is also interested in the Mistral, latribune.fr said.

French President Francois Hollande confirmed on Tuesday that there were several potential buyers for the two Mistral. France cancelled the planned sale of the warships to Russia because of the Ukraine crisis.

No one was immediately reachable for comment at the French defence ministry, Dassault Aviation or Mistral manufacturer DCNS, in which Thales holds 35 percent.


  

Written by Reuters, Wednesday, 26 August 2015


France is in talks to sell two Mistral helicopter carriers to Egypt after their sale to Russia was cancelled earlier this month, two sources close to the matter said on Wednesday.

Cairo has sought to boost its military power in the face of a two-year-old insurgency based across the Suez Canal in the Sinai peninsula and fears the crisis in neighbouring Libya could spill over. Egypt's allies are also keen to burnish its image in a region beset by turmoil.

A sale would also fit into France's recent strategy of favouring predominantly Sunni Arab nations, both politically and commercially, over their Shi'ite rival Iran.

"There are indeed discussions that are relatively advanced to take the two Mistrals," one French source close to the matter said. "It's Egypt."

The source said if there were a deal it would likely be financed in part by money from Gulf Arab states, which consider Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi a bulwark against the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood movement.

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Written by defenceWeb, Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Two soldiers on guard duty at Bloemfontein’s Tempe military base have been robbed of their R5 assault rifles and tied up with their own bootlaces.

The pair were on sentry duty at the main entrance to the base when they were attacked by two knife wielding men in the early hours of Tuesday morning, Gauteng Afrikaans daily Beeld reported.

The soldiers were apparently in a sentry post at Tempe’s main entrance when they were overpowered and threatened by their assailants. Their R5s were taken and they were bound with their own bootlaces before their attackers fled.

The soldiers were later found by colleagues and released.

At the time of publication no arrests had been made.
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Written by Guy Martin, Wednesday, 26 August 2015

The importance the South African military places on peacekeeping in Africa and having a stable and prosperous continent can be seen in its hosting of Exercise Amani Africa II later this year and its involvement in the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC) force.

South African Army chief, General Vusi Masondo, said that some people have questioned whether South Africa should be committing itself to operations on the continent when there are burning issues at home such as border security, but that development of the continent would not happen in an environment of carnage and instability.

Masondo said instability in neighbouring countries affects South Africa and that if the country ignores African problems “we may witness another genocide...as a peace-loving African Union and United Nations member state we are obliged to contribute to peace and stability on the continent.” As a result the South African Army and South African National Defence Force (SANDF) are preparing combat ready forces to operate anywhere on the continent together with their African brothers and sisters, he said.

Masondo made the comments at the conclusion of Exercise Young Eagle at the Lohatla Combat Training Centre (CTC) in the Northern Cape on 20 August, which was designed to prepare, assess and exercise the South African National Defence Force’s airborne capability and assess the crisis response capability of the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises, of which the SANDF is a key part.
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Written by defenceWeb, Tuesday, 25 August 2015

The Royal Moroccan Navy, in response to the severe drought that is currently affecting the country, recently awarded Damen Shipyards Group a contract to supply a Stan Pontoon 3011 Water Barge.

Due to the urgent need for water in the region, Damen Shipyards Gorinchem, the Netherlands, is putting all its efforts into a fast delivery, the company said this week, with delivery scheduled for before the end of September.

Combining a Stan Pontoon 3011 with water making technology is a first for Damen. Bringing both technologies together in one unit is a unique and innovative solution to the current water shortage in Morocco, Damen said.

Damen will install two high capacity reverse osmosis water makers and two air-cooled generator sets on board the pontoon to produce clean drinking water. The method is particularly attractive as it can produce potable water from virtually any water source. It is also a relatively energy efficient process.

After delivery, the Royal Moroccan Navy will manage the deployment and operation of the vessel. With its advanced logistics capacities, the Navy is well placed to provide such vital humanitarian support. They will transport the vessel to the worst affected areas to deliver a water making capacity of 1,500m3 per hour. The water can then either be stored on board the pontoon in bunkers or pumped ashore via a pipeline.
  

Written by Chris Szabo, Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Three men have been arrested by the South African Police Service in an undercover sting operation in which the Hawks posed as buyers for a cellphone locator and eavesdropping machine called a “Grabber”. The three are alleged to have listened in to government tenders related to the Airports Company of South Africa.

The machine is small enough to fit into a car or van and presidential authority is needed to operate one. The Grabber confiscated in South Africa at the beginning of this month was apparently used for corporate spying, reports The Star. The machine, made in Israel and worth over R25 million, was specially installed in a German-made multi-purpose vehicle. Two of the men arrested while trying to find a buyer for the device are a top businessman in the gold industry and a bank employee.

The acquisition of the first-generation Mobile GSM tracking and locating equipment is highly regulated, The Star noted, saying it believes the equipment was bought using a fraudulently acquired letter of authority from the South African government.

Such International Mobile Subscriber Information (IMSI) catcher technology uses the unique identifiers of a SIM card to intercept communications. IMSI catchers simulate base stations, sending out a signal that’s stronger than that of the closest cellphone tower, fooling a cellphone into thinking the machine is a base station. IMSI catchers work by using the fact that cellphones need to verify that they are connected to a network, meaning that all cellphones in the vicinity of the catcher can be intercepted.
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Written by Reuters, Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Islamic State has executed four people in the central Libyan city of Sirte, including at least one member of a rival group whose body was put on display, according to residents and a video published on social media on Monday.

A video released by the militant group showed a gunmen shooting a man, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, who was tied to a makeshift cross. His body was left there afterward as a warning to others.

The man was identified as an alleged spy for Libya Dawn, an armed group backing a non-recognised government in Tripoli, which has flown air strikes against Islamic State in Sirte.

The video's authenticity could not be verified by Reuters.

Sirte residents, asking not to be named, said Islamic State had executed a total of four people, which all had been wearing orange jumpsuits. They had no information on their identity.
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Written by ISS Africa, Tuesday, 25 August 2015

The concept of organised crime often evokes images of mafia-like figures and secret societies involved in acts like drug trafficking and murder.

Globally, this ‘mafia mystique’ is associated with shadowy organisations such as the Chinese triads or Japanese yakuza, while in South Africa, the focus is often on notorious figures like Radovan Krejcir.

In reality, however, the organised criminal economy is mostly sustained by unsophisticated and ad hoc criminal networks, along with corrupt relationships. Sophisticated and structured criminal groups do exist, but these are not the only form of organised criminality.

Fluid criminal networks and illicit business dealings have an even larger impact on the citizenry, and it is the failure to account for that these leads to systemic organised crime issues. In South Africa, criminal networks that are more commonly associated with organised crime include drug-trafficking syndicates, gangs in the Cape Flats, cash-in-transit operations and poaching syndicates. However, groups like housebreaking gangs, cellular phone thieves, second-hand metal dealers and cable thieves also fuel the organised criminal economy.

Many crimes that are committed by these ‘unsophisticated’ networks also feed into broader networks of organised criminal activity. When researching the effects of organised crime, it is therefore important to also look at the broader value chain of criminal groups and the supply chain of criminal economies.
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News July 2015
Written by defenceWeb, Friday, 31 July 2015

The United States will have delivered eight F-16 Block 52 fighter jets to Egypt by Saturday, the first such deliveries since military aid was halted in 2013.

The US embassy in Cairo said the eight F-16 Fighting Falcons would arrive on 30 and 31 July and would be delivered to Cairo West Air Base “as part of ongoing American support in Egypt and throughout the region. Built in Fort Worth, Texas, the eight fighter jets are being flown in directly from the United States, and will be immediately integrated into the Egyptian Air Force, joining its existing fleet of U.S.-made F-16 aircraft.”

U.S. Embassy Senior Defense Official in Cairo Major General Charles Hooper, noted, “The F-16s provide a valuable capability that is needed during these times of regional instability. America’s commitment to a strong relationship with Egypt is demonstrated by continued cooperation and capability sharing between our two countries. Extremists threaten regional security and these weapon systems provide a new tool to help Egypt fight terrorism.”

The United States embassy said four more F-16s will be delivered to Egypt in the coming months. “In addition, the United States will continue providing follow-on support, maintenance, and training for Egyptian Air Force pilots and ground crews.”

“The F-16 Block 52 delivery is the latest concrete step taken by the U.S. government in support of a friendship and strategic partnership with Egypt that has continued for over 30 years,” the US embassy said.
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Written by Guy Martin, Friday, 31 July 2015

South Africans have the right to know when and where they are most at risk of being murdered.

Over the past two years, the country has experienced increasing murder rates. Four more people are being murdered every day on average than what was the case two years ago. This increase is particularly concerning, given that the murder rate more than halved since 1994.

If we are to reduce the murder rate, we need to know where and at whom violence reduction initiatives should be directed. Media reports sometimes include a description and circumstantial details of murder victims, but a vast majority of the 47 people who are murdered each day on average remain nameless and faceless.

An often-neglected question is whether all South Africans are equally at risk of being brutally killed. The crime statistics released by the South African Police Service (SAPS) every September can provide some insight to answer these questions. From these statistics, we can identify which police precincts record the highest incidents of murder in the country. For example, we know that half of all murders take place in only 12.3% of South Africa’s police station areas.

To better understand which policing precincts have the highest murder rates (that is, the numbers of murders per 100 000 of the population), the Institute for Security Studies calculated the population figures for each station area using the mid-term population figures that are released annually by Statistics SA, and which are based on the 2011 census data. Our analysis shows, for example, that 13% of police stations cover areas with populations larger than 100 000. Over a third of all police stations (39%) in the country cover areas with populations of fewer than 20 000 people.
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Written by Reuters, Friday, 31 July 2015

coastal city of Sirte, an Indian government spokesman said on Friday, an area which is under the control of Islamic State militants.

The Indian men, who have been in Libya for more than a year and were working at Sirte University, were detained at a checkpoint about 50 km (30 miles) outside Sirte late on Wednesday while on their way back to India, Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Vikas Swarup said in a statement.

The government said the men had been taken back to Sirte.

Swarup did not comment on what group or individuals the Indian government believed were behind the detention of the men.

"We are in regular touch with the families concerned and all efforts are being made to ensure the well-being and early release of the four Indian nationals," Swarup said.
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Written by defenceWeb, Friday, 31 July 2015

Brigadier General Jean-Calvin Momha, Cameroon Chief of Air Force Staff, was present at a Denel Technical Academy (DTA) presentation to see 58 of his countrymen awarded for the successful completion of theoretical training in the aerospace sector.

They are now busy with the second phase of their training course and are doing on-the-job training. The first group is being followed by another 62 Cameroonian students who have been at the DTA since January doing the classroom section of the aviation and engineering apprenticeship course.

Denel Aviation chief executive Mike Kgobe said the academy was an indicator the company was extending its continental footprint.

“We have the proven product, the systems and the technical resources to strengthen the capacity of African defence forces. Denel also has a strong record of support to peacekeeping operations in a number of theatres on the continent,” he said at the award ceremony which was also attended by SA Air Force Chief Lieutenant General Zakes Msimang.

Kgobe said the DTA was growing into an institution of higher learning recognised across Africa with more students from African countries attending courses on offer at Denel’s Kempton Park campus.
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Written by Reuters, Friday, 31 July 2015

Brazilian planemaker Embraer SA said on Thursday it will delay development of a military cargo jet and forgo $300 million of revenue this year due to Brazil's weaker currency and defense spending cuts, triggering the biggest drop in its shares in nearly four years.

Embraer now plans to deliver its first KC-390 cargo aircraft to the Brazilian Air Force in the first half of 2018 rather than the end of 2016, the company said in its quarterly earnings report. The plane is the biggest Embraer has made.

Second-quarter profit fell 10 percent from a year earlier due in part to its flagging defense unit, whose contracts have been cut back and stretched out due to a government austerity push aimed at shoring up Brazil's investment-grade rating.

Domestic defense contracts are also contributing less revenue in U.S. dollars due to a 20 percent plunge by the Brazilian real this year. Embraer is listed in New York and Sao Paulo and reports earnings in dollars.

Embraer shares fell almost 8 percent in Sao Paulo, on track for their biggest daily loss since August 2011.
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Written by Reuters, Friday, 31 July 2015

Airbus Group surprised investors with a strong second-quarter rise in earnings, pushing its shares up as much as five percent as lucrative jetliner deliveries outshone more bad news for the A400M military transporter.

Quarterly operating profit before one-off items jumped 15 percent to 1.23 billion euros, with gains of at least 20 percent in jetliner and helicopter profits masking a 159 million euro loss in defence and space.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected operating profit of 1.06 billion euros.

Airbus Group maintained its financial forecasts for the year as first-half revenue and core profits rose 6 percent.

Its shares were up 3.6 percent at 64.64 euros at 1036 GMT.
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Written by Reuters, Friday, 31 July 2015

Tunisia has extended its state of emergency for two more months, the presidency said in a statement carried on the state news agency on Friday.

The statement said the extension was effective from Aug. 3 and that the decision was made after consultations with the prime minister and parliament speaker.

A Tunisian gunman opened fire with a rifle at a beach hotel resort in June, killing at least 39 people, in an attack claimed by Islamic State.
  

Written by Reuters, Friday, 31 July 2015

Lasers, microwaves and other directed energy weapons could soon be used more widely by the U.S. military, top armed forces officials and U.S. lawmakers told an industry conference on Tuesday.

The officials described weapons that are in various stages of development and testing by the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Army, but said more work was needed to develop tactics for their use and to ensure sufficient funding.

"Directed energy brings the dawn of an entirely new era in defense," Lieutenant General William Etter, Commander, Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, told a conference hosted by Booz Allen Hamilton and the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment in Washington.

Directed energy refers to weapons that emit focused energy in the form of lasers, microwaves, electromagnetic radiation, radio waves, sound or particle beams.

Etter and other officials said such weapons could lower the cost of current weapons, speed up responses to enemy attacks and cut deaths of civilians in the battlefield, but tough policy questions remained about their deployment.
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Written by defenceWeb, Friday, 31 July 2015

Operation Fiela, launched in May initially as an anti-xenophobic initiative but later expanded into an overall anti-crime drive, is still running but now apparently only using police for enforcement.

“In a nation-wide show of force, police pounced on suspected drug dens, shebeens, shops and arrested several people on Thursday as they took the action known as Operation Fiela to all nine provinces of the country,” the official government news agency SAnews reported.

“Law enforcement officials also arrested several motorists and impounded scores of unroadworthy vehicles stopped in a series of road blocks in Pretoria.

“Thursday’s operation involved thousands of police, including metro police and immigration officials who combed the streets of major cities and towns across the country. This followed a decision to roll out Operation Fiela to all parts of South Africa following its success in three provinces.

“The operation had up until now been mainly applied in Gauteng, Cape Town and KwaZulu-Natal where it was used to rid the provinces of illegal weapons, drug dens, prostitution rings and other illegal activities.
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Written by defenceWeb, Thursday, 30 July 2015

The Chief of the South African Air Force, Lieutenant General Fabian Zakes Msimang, will be in Russia next month to attend the International Army Games event.

These ‘military Olympics’ have several different events, including the Aviadarts aviation competition, Tank Biathlon, Air Defence Battle, Safe Route combat engineering competition and Safe Environment competition.

50 crews from Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and China are taking part in Aviadarts 2015 with 12 types of aircraft and 100 pilots, according to Russia's Defense Ministry, as cited by RIA Novosti. Three airfields in the Ryazan, Bryansk and Kaluga regions will host the games. Some of the aircraft involved include JH-7 fighter bomber, Su-24M, Su-25 and Su-34 strike aircraft, Su-27, Su-30SM and MIG-29SMT fighters, Il-76 transports, Tu-22M3 bombers, and Ka-52, Mi-35 and Mi-8 helicopters.

International monitors from 10 other countries, including Egypt, Venezuela, Bahrain, India and Slovenia, will also be present at the aviation event, which had its opening ceremony on Monday. Fighter, bomber, ground attack, transport and other aircraft will compete against each other in events such as precision shooting.

The International Army Games will be held from 1 to 15 August at Alabino near Moscow. Thirteen nations are taking part in this year’s tank biathlon, using T-72B3 tanks (except China, which has brought its own Type 96A tanks). The countries include Angola, Armenia, Venezuela, India, Kazakhstan, Kirgizia, China, Kuwait, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Russia, Serbia and Tajikistan.
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News June 2015
Written by defenceWeb, Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Public hearings and cross examination over a period of more than three years, along with evidence gathered during visits to foreign investigating agencies, will make up the bulk of the final report of the Seriti Commission.

Speaking earlier this week ahead of the final public hearing, Commission chairman Judge Willie Seriti said the Arms Procurement Commission was announced by President Jacob Zuma in September 2011 and “began in earnest” on April 16, 2012. The commission was established by Zuma to investigate allegations of fraud, corruption, impropriety or irregularity in the Strategic Defence Procurement Packages (SDPPS), better known as the Arms Deal, which saw new front line equipment acquired for two arms of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) in 1998.

It was, at the time, the single largest transaction undertaken by the government of democratic South Africa. Indications are at today’s prices the country paid in excess of R100 billion for four frigates, three submarines, 26 Gripen fighters, 24 Hawk lead-in fighter trainers, 30 Agusta light utility helicopters and four Super Lynx maritime helicopters which were originally set to cost R43 million. The acquisition of the military materiel was to be offset by defence industrial and non-defence industrial participation agreements which were supposed to have created at least 60,000 jobs. Many did apparently not reach the working stage while some started up and have since closed doors.

Seriti told the final public hearing in the Tshwane metro council chamber that the Commission was launched as a consequence of “incessant allegations of venality” relating to the SDPPS.

“These allegations which cast doubt on the wisdom of the first democratically elected government of South Africa, impugn the integrity of members of the executive, government officials, defe
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Written by Reuters, Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Tunisian authorities have arrested a group of suspects associated with the gunman who killed 39 people, mainly British tourists, in an attack on a beach hotel, the interior minister said on Monday.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for last Friday's assault on the Imperial Marhaba hotel in the resort town of Sousse. The gunman, Saif Rezgui, was shot dead by police.

Interior Minister Najem Gharsalli did not give further details of the arrests. He said officials also were still verifying whether the attacker had been trained in neighbouring Libya in jihadist camps.

"We will find all those involved, whether it was just logistical support or not," the minister said, flanked by ministers from Britain, France and Germany.

The number of Britons confirmed killed by the Islamist gunman in Friday's attack has risen to 18 from 15 and the final death toll of Britons is likely to increase to around 30 people, a British spokeswoman said.
  Read More...

Written by Reuters, Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Security forces in Chad have arrested 60 suspected militants and dismantled a cell responsible for two suicide bomb attacks in its capital on June 15, the chief prosecutor of the central African nation said on Sunday.

Blasts in two police offices in N'Djamena that appeared to have been coordinated killed 34 people including four suspected Boko Haram militants and injured dozens. It was the largest attack of its kind in Chad.

"An active cell of a terrorist network has been identified and dismantled," said prosecutor Alghassim Khamis, adding that those arrested came from Chad, Cameroon, Mali and Nigeria.

He identified one attacker as Issa Oumar, alias Issa Tchoulou, but did not give his nationality. Bomb fragments collected at the sites had been turned over for analysis to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, he said.

Communications equipment has been seized and thanks to new technology, witness testimony and an examination of the victims it was clear the attack was well planned with explosive vests made from a specially-constructed black tissue, said Khamis.
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Written by Reuters, Tuesday, 30 June 2015

The hardline Islamic State group has beheaded two women in Syria, the first time it has decapitated female civilians, the founder of a group monitoring the war said on Tuesday.

The beheadings took place in the eastern Deir al-Zor province this week said Rami Abdulrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks the conflict using sources on the ground.

One of the women was beheaded along with her husband in Deir al-Zor city. In al-Mayadeen city to the south east, the group beheaded another woman and her husband. All of them were accused of sorcery, the monitor said.

Islamic State has beheaded local and foreign men in Syria, including enemy combatants, aid workers and journalists as well as people it has deemed as violating its hardline interpretation of Islamic law.

Several of the group's female captives have been stoned to death previously after being accused of adultery and other offences. This is the first time it was reported to have beheaded female civilians.
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Written by Reuters, Tuesday, 30 June 2015

China has completed some of its land reclamation on the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday, raising the stakes in Beijing's territorial dispute with its Asian neighbours.

China stepped up its creation of artificial islands last year, alarming several countries in Asia and drawing criticism from Washington. The United States, which has called for a halt in China's island building, said earlier this month that it was concerned about Beijing's plans for more construction work, including for military defence.

China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a daily briefing that the land reclamation projects on some islands and reefs in the South China Sea had been completed "in recent days".

China had been working on land reclamation projects on seven reefs among the tiny islets at the centre of the maritime territorial dispute involving the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei.

Recent satellite images have shown a hive of work on China's new islands. U.S. officials say China has reclaimed 1,500 acres of land this year alone.
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Written by Reuters, Tuesday, 30 June 2015

The United Nations Security Council on Monday extended for another year a peacekeeping mission to protect civilians and ensure aid delivery in Sudan's remote western region of Darfur despite calls by Khartoum to withdraw the $1.1 billion operation.

Law and order have collapsed in much of Darfur, where mainly non-Arab rebels took up arms in 2003 against the Arab-led government in Khartoum, accusing it of discrimination. A joint African Union-United Nations Mission (UNAMID) deployed in 2007.

Sudan asked UNAMID late last year to prepare to leave amid a dispute over attempts by the mission to investigate an alleged mass rape by Sudanese soldiers in the Darfur town of Tabit. The government denies any wrongdoing by the soldiers.

In a unanimously adopted resolution, the 15-member Security Council stressed that any withdrawal of the mission would be measured against benchmarks and conditions on the ground and implemented in a phased, flexible, reversible manner.

"Now is not the time to cut and run. Sudan has the greatest number of internally displaced people in Africa. And 2014 saw the worst level of suffering in the last 10 years," British U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft told reporters.
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Written by Reuters, Tuesday, 30 June 2015

The United Nations Security Council on Monday threatened to blacklist anyone who hinders a peace deal in Mali reached by an alliance of Tuareg-led rebels and the government, and authorized the deployment of 40 military ceasefire monitors.

The rebels and the Malian government earlier in June signed the agreement, which is meant to allow the authorities to focus on tackling Islamist militants in the desert north.

The Security Council expressed "its readiness to consider targeted sanctions against those who take actions to obstruct or threaten the implementation of the agreement, those who resume hostilities and violate the ceasefire, as well as those who attack and take action sanctions to threaten (peacekeepers)."

U.N. peacekeepers have been deployed across northern Mali to try to stabilize the vast region, which was occupied by separatist Tuareg rebels and al Qaeda-linked Islamists in 2012 before a French intervention in 2013.

Tit-for-tat violence between rival armed groups has until now distracted Mali from fighting Islamist militants.
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Written by Reuters, Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Amid worsening violence in Sudan's Darfur region, a frustrated International Criminal Court prosecutor pleaded on Monday for the United Nations Security Council to take action to ensure justice "for the long-suffering victims of atrocity crimes."

"It is long overdue for you to heed the cries of the victims of rape and sexual abuse, torture, mass displacement and other inhumane suffering Darfurians continue to endure," said ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.

The United States, Britain and France have said the suffering in Darfur was at its worst level in a decade.

"Innocent civilians continue to bear the brunt of insecurity and instability, in particular as a result of what appears to be an ongoing government campaign to target them," Bensouda said.

"The people alleged to be most responsible for these ongoing atrocities are the same people against whom warrants of arrest have already been issued," she said.
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Written by Reuters, Tuesday, 30 June 2015

The United Nations accused South Sudan's government forces and its allies on Tuesday of sexually abusing women and girls and reportedly burning some alive in their homes during recent fighting in the conflict-torn nation.

The U.N. Mission in South Sudan, or UNMISS, said the findings came from a report based on interviews with 115 victims from districts in oil-rich Unity State, where the government's SPLA forces launched an offensive against rebels in late April.

South Sudan, the world's newest nation and one of its poorest, has been mired in a conflict since December 2013 that pits President Salva Kiir's SPLA against those loyal to rebel leader Riek Machar, a former deputy president.

"The survivors of these attacks reported that SPLA and allied militias from Mayom County carried out a campaign against the local population that killed civilians, looted and destroyed villages and displaced over 100,000 people," UNMISS said.

In a statement outlining findings from its report, UNMISS said its rights officers had focused on the abduction and sexual abuse of women and girls, "some of whom were reportedly burnt alive in their dwellings."
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Written by Reuters, Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Suspected Boko Haram fighters blew themselves up during a police raid in Chad's capital early on Monday, killing five officers and six militants, police and government officials said.

The raid of an illegal arms cache was part of a security operation aimed at dismantling a network of Boko Haram militants blamed for twin suicide bombings in N'Djamena on June 15.

The apparently synchronised attacks were the most deadly that Western ally Chad has known and killed 34 people.

"After an interrogation, a suspect showed us a house for building bombs," said interior minister Abderahim Bireme Hamid. "When we arrived on the scene at 5 a.m. our forces came across the...terrorists who blew themselves up."

A police officer who participated in the raid said one of the militants was wearing an explosive belt and detonated it as police arrived.
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News May 2015



News April 2015



News March 2015



News February 2015



News January 2015
Written by Reuters, Thursday, 29 January 2015

Libya.Libya's warring factions who operate rival governments have agreed "in principle" to hold future talks to end the crisis in Libya, moving the negotiations away from Geneva, the United Nations said on Thursday.

Some of the opposing factions met in Geneva earlier this month under the auspices of the United Nations, but key representatives from a Tripoli-based government and parliament stayed away, demanding the dialogue be held within Libya.

"There was agreement on the principle of convening future dialogue sessions in Libya, provided that logistical and security conditions are available," the U.N. Mission for Libya (UNSMIL) said in a statement after another round of talks in Geneva this week.
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Written by Reuters, Thursday, 29 January 2015

Catherine Samba-Panza.The government of Central African Republic said on Thursday it rejected a ceasefire deal made in Kenya between two militia groups aimed at ending more than a year of clashes and attacks in which thousands have died.

Few details have emerged about the talks between the mainly Muslim Seleka alliance and the 'anti-balaka' militia who oppose them, though the two sides conducted low-level and sporadic peace negotiations for much of last year.

"The government categorically rejects the Nairobi accord because it was not associated with the discussions in any way. It is not a real accord, rather it's a series of grievances from the two armed groups which hold the country hostage," Communications Minister Georges Adrien Poussou told Reuters.

Central African Republic has been gripped by violence since the Seleka rebelled and seized power in March 2013. The group was forced to stand aside last year having failed to contain clashes with the 'anti-Balaka' and other violence.

The Seleka occupies much of the north and an interim government is struggling to assert its authority. France has started withdrawing some of its troops from the country, as a U.N. force, due to reach 10,000 by the end of April, deploys ahead of elections due later this year
  

Written by Reuters, Thursday, 29 January 2015

An airliner.Libyan carrier Buraq Airlines said on Wednesday it had suspended all flights for two days after one of its air crews was killed in an attack on a luxury hotel in Tripoli.

It gave no details but a Libyan official has said a French national had been identified by his work identity card for the airline. Libyan websites said a crew of three were killed

Libyan carriers have struggled to keep the country connected to neighboring states since fighting between factions vying for power in Libya damaged Tripoli's main airport last year, causing foreign airlines to pull out.

On Tuesday, gunmen stormed the luxury Corinthia hotel, one of the last large hotels in Tripoli still open, killing around nine people, among them five foreigners.

"Buraq Airlines informs that all flights will be halted in the next two days due to reasons out of our control," the airline said on its Facebook website.
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Written by Reuters, Thursday, 29 January 2015

AirAsia.The French first officer of an AirAsia passenger jet that crashed into the sea last month was at the controls just before the accident, Indonesia's lead investigator said on Thursday.

The Airbus A320 vanished from radar screens in bad weather on Dec. 28, less than half way into a two-hour flight from Indonesia's second-biggest city of Surabaya to Singapore. All 162 people on board were killed.

"The second-in-command, popularly known as the co-pilot, who usually sits to the right of the cockpit, at the time, he was flying the plane," said National Transport Safety Committee (NTSC) investigator Mardjono Siswosuwarno, referring to first officer Remi Plesel.

"The captain, sitting to the left, was the pilot monitoring."

Data from the black box flight data recorder has provided the accident probe with a "pretty clear picture" of what happened in the last moments of AirAsia flight QZ8501, Siswosuwarno said, although few details have been made public
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Written by Reuters, Thursday, 29 January 2015

Turkish Airlines and Middle East Airlines have resumed flights to Baghdad.Turkish Airlines and Lebanon's Middle East Airlines (MEA) resumed flights to Baghdad on Thursday after halting them earlier in the week when bullets hit a plane as it was landing in the Iraqi capital.

Samir Kubba, the head of Iraq's civil aviation authority, told Reuters a flight from Istanbul had landed and another from Beirut was expected shortly.

An MEA official and the Turkish Airlines website confirmed that both carriers, which provide daily flights to Baghdad, had resumed service.

At least seven airlines suspended flights to Baghdad following the shooting incident.

Dubai Aviation Corp, known as flydubai, Emirates Airlines, Sharjah's Air Arabia and Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways suspended flights in line with a directive from the United Arab Emirates' civil aviation authority
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News December 2014
Written by defenceWeb, Tuesday, 09 December 2014
AHRLAC, the first military manned fixed wing aircraft fully designed, tested and developed in South Africa, has completed 50 hours of incident-free test flying from Wonderboom Airport.

The Advanced High-Performance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft is another offering for the South African and African defence and security sectors from the Paramount Group, the largest privately owned defence and aerospace company on the continent.

The 50 hour milestone was reached with 55 flights since July at the airport north of Pretoria. The flight test programme is expanding the aircraft’s flight envelope in key performance areas including handling, airframe systems, centre of gravity, performance ranges and rough field capabilities.
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Written by Reuters, Monday, 08 December 2014
More than 70 Chinese nationals have been detained by Kenyan police investigating allegations of cyber crime, operating private radio services and being in the country illegally, their lawyers said on Friday.

China's foreign ministry said it was aware of the arrests and would cooperate with the Kenyan authorities.

The Chinese community in Kenya, as in other African nations, has grown with the expansion in trade and aid from the Asian giant.

"The Kenyan police have detained our clients for further investigations," said lawyer Ian Maina, who represents 40 of them. Another lawyer, Tom Wachakana, represents 36.

The lawyers said police were investigating allegations of involvement in cyber crime, breaking Kenya's communications rules by operating private radio broadcasting services and being in the country unlawfully.
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Written by defenceWeb, Monday, 08 December 2014
The first of a series of medal parades to honour military and civilian personnel involved in the care of and funeral arrangements for Nelson Mandela saw 84 specially designed and minted medals awarded by President Jacob Zuma at AFB Waterkloof on Sunday.

Among the recipients were 76 serving and 14 retired members of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) the majority of them SA Military Health Service members, and 30 private medical doctors.

Zuma told those on parade at the Centurion air force base they were there to honour “those men and women in uniform who took care of our gallant leader when he was ill”.

“The awards are also bestowed to soldiers who participated in the burial preparations, the laying in state at the Union Buildings and those who ensured our beloved leader was accorded a befitting State funeral,” the SANDF Commander-in-Chief said.
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Written by defenceWeb, Monday, 08 December 2014
The South African Competition Commission has recommended the sale of BAE Systems Land Systems South Africa (LSSA) to state owned defence group Denel go ahead as the transaction is not likely to lead to reduced competition.

The Commission met on 2 December and discussed the sale and in a subsequent statement to the media, it said that, “the Commission has recommended to the Competition Tribunal that the merger involving Denel SOC Limited (Denel) and BAE Systems Land Systems South Africa Proprietary Limited (LSSA) be approved without conditions.

“Denel controls various other firms and intends to acquire 100% shares of the LSSA…The Commission found that the transaction is unlikely to lead to a substantial prevention or lessening of competition. The transaction is unlikely to raise public interest concerns.”

In August BAE Systems and Denel signed an agreement to proceed with the sale, valued at R855 million ($79.85 million), which was anticipated to conclude during the fourth quarter of this year after receiving regulatory and other approvals.

“This proposed sale will further shape our portfolio around our core capabilities in tracked, combat and amphibious vehicles and weapon systems, which represent markets where we possess strong franchise positions and discriminating capabilities,” stated Erwin Bieber, president of BAE Systems, Inc.’s Platforms & Services sector.
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