Egypt’s President orders retirement of top generals; Kenya warns Somalia detractors of punitive measures; Fresh unrest reported in Darfur region of Sudan; Shooting in South African mine kills 30 miners; SADC opposes Rwandan support to Congo rebels
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  • In a significant development, according to reports, Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi shuffled the military establishment by ordering the retirement of the defence minister Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and chief of staff Gen. Sami Annan. Thus, the president seized back powers that the military generals grabbed from his office like sole control of the constitution drafting process and the right to legislate. However, he appointed them as presidential advisers and awarded them some of the nation's highest honours. Meanwhile, there was no "negative reaction" from within the military and no unusual military movements were detected anywhere across the nation. 1

    In another development, according to reports, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki warned that any individuals or groups in and out of Somalia trying to jeopardize the roadmap for ending the transition in Somalia would risk immediate imposition of specific punitive measures and restrictions spelt out in resolutions of the Africa Union, United Nations and Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD). He also urged the Somali people to remain vigilant as the process moves closer to key benchmarks. He further urged all the people of Somalia, including the Somali Diaspora to support the process that will usher in a new dawn in Somalia. He emphasized that the security of Kenya and the entire Horn of Africa region is vitally connected and inextricably linked to lasting peace and stability of Somalia. 2

    Reports noted that six people were killed and twelve others injured in fresh unrest in Sudan's troubled western Darfur region. These six people died during three days of clashes between residents of the town of Mellit in North Darfur. The police and army had restored order. The violence erupted two weeks after four people were killed and six injured when gunmen looted several places and clashed with government forces in another part of North Darfur. Earlier, the International Criminal Court has indicted Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and issued an arrest warrant for Defence Minister Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein for war crimes in Darfur. 3

    In another development, according to reports, South African police killed more than thirty armed miners at a Lonmin PLC platinum mine. Police ministry spokesman Zweli Mnisi informed that an investigation into the shooting near Marikana, about 70 kilometres (40 miles) northwest of Johannesburg, is underway. It would be worth noting that these shootings were one of the worst in South Africa since the end of the apartheid era, and are seen as deepening rift between the ruling African National Congress and an impoverished electorate confronting massive unemployment and growing poverty and inequality. However, political parties and labour unions, including the African National Congress, called for an independent inquiry. 4

    In other developments, according to reports, Southern African leaders at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) meeting in the Mozambican capital opposed Rwanda for supporting rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a threat to regional stability and urged Kigali to immediately stop its “interference”. The group also resolved to send a mission to Rwanda. It would be worth noting that the security situation in the eastern part of DRC has deteriorated in the last three months causing displacement of people, loss of lives and property. Also at the meeting, Zimbabwe was urged to put in place a road map for a new constitution ahead of a vote to end the shaky power-sharing deal. 5