We start off this morning’s review with news coming in from Rwanda, the American government announced on Saturday it would cut military aid to Rwanda for this fiscal year citing evidence that Kigali is supporting Congolese rebels, RNW and BBC report.
The move is considered significant since the US is one of Rwanda’s strongest allies.
The US State Department cited evidence of Rwandan support for the rebels in announcing the military aid suspension.
The US state department says the funding – $200,000 (£128,000) will be reallocated to other countries.
Rwanda has denied reports by United Nations experts and rights groups that it is backing eastern Congolese rebels, including the M23 group, which has seized parts of North Kivu province in fighting that has displaced over 260,000 people since April.
“The United States government is deeply concerned about the evidence that Rwanda is implicated in the provision of support to Congolese rebel groups, including M23,” said Hilary Fuller Renner, a State Department spokeswoman, in an emailed statement.
“We will not obligate $200,000 in Fiscal Year 2012 Foreign Military Financing funds that were intended to support a Rwandan academy for non-commissioned officers. These funds will be reallocated for programming in another country,” she said.
Eastern DR Congo has been plagued by fighting since 1994, when more than a million ethnic Hutus crossed the border into DR Congo following the Rwandan genocide, in which some 800,000 people mostly Tutsis died.
Rwanda has twice invaded its much larger neighbour, saying it was trying to take action against Hutu rebels based in DR Congo. Uganda also sent troops into DR Congo during the 1997-2003 conflict.
In Canberra, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said Zimbabwe is ready to re-engage with the global community. Tsvangirai said this on Monday during a visit to Australia which said it was open to easing sanctions on the nation.
Tsvangirai said while Zimbabwe had endured a “very dark and unfortunate history”, the inclusive government in which he is prime minister was a step towards rectifying past political problems.
“I am hoping that with your assistance, and with the assistance of all the goodwill in the international community, we should be able to rescue the country,” he told a lunch attended by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Gillard, who held talks with Tsvangirai earlier Monday, said that as the country sought peace its people would “always have a friend and supporter in Australia”.
Trade Minister Craig Emerson said Canberra may ease sanctions against Zimbabwe.
“We will be listening to advice from Prime Minister Tsvangirai about the issue of sanctions,” Emerson told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe one of Africa’s longest ruling leaders was forced into the power-sharing deal with arch-rival Tsvangirai after a violence-marred election in 2008.
Australia has had sanctions against persons or entities who engage in, or have engaged in, activities that seriously undermine democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law in Zimbabwe since 2002.
In Harare a draft constitution just finalised by Zimbabwe lawmakers as part of key reforms ahead of elections has been criticised by analysts as a flawed compromise that will have little effect, news24 reports.
The proposed document, which will be subject to a referendum, was crafted by experts from the main political parties to a power-sharing government that has been in place since a violence-marred 2008 election.
President Robert Mugabe, in power for 32 years, was forced into the power-sharing deal with arch rival Morgan Tsvangirai to avoid a descent into bloody conflict.
The draft, finalised on Friday, curtails presidential powers and limits terms to 10 years.
Under the draft plans there is however no age limit for the president, meaning Mugabe could seek another mandate under its terms.
Mugabe, 88, is now trying to get out of the power-sharing deal and has in recent months been pushing for new elections without a new constitution.
But the southern African regional leaders who brokered the post-electoral peace deal appeared to have impressed on him at a June summit that elections must take place under a new constitution.
In Antananarivo, Madagascar’s army said on Sunday it had put down a mutiny in a military camp, after clashes in which at least three people were killed, News24 reports.
Police surrounded the base in Ivato, near the capital’s international airport, and government officials were attempting to negotiate with the mutineers, the country’s Armed Forces Ministry said.
“Mopping up operations are continuing,” said Rarasoa Ralailomady, the army’s chief spokesperson. “A night operation has not been ruled out but the situation is under control.”
Madagascar’s paramilitary police and army mounted the assault on Sunday on the renegade troops who staged the mutiny after an officer sent to negotiate with the troops was killed.
A senior military source, who was not authorized to speak on the record, said the mutiny involved about 90 young soldiers. All but a handful of them had given up by Sunday evening, he said.
The mutiny took place ahead of Wednesday talks between ousted President Marc Ravalomanana and the country’s transitional leader, Andry Rajoelina, in Seychelles.
Ravalomanana was toppled in a 2009 coup in the Indian Ocean island nation. The country’s military handed power to Rajoelina, who survived another coup attempt by renegade officers in 2010.