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KAMPALA, Uganda — Uganda deployed foot soldiers inside Congolese territory, intensifying a military assault against rebels accused of attacking civilians in Congo and Uganda, according to a Ugandan military official.

An unknown number of Ugandan infantry troops crossed the border into eastern Congo Wednesday, the day after Uganda launched artillery and airstrikes on bases believed to be occupied by members of the Allied Democratic Forces, or ADF, said Ugandan military spokeswoman Brig. Flavia Byekwaso.

Uganda is fighting the rebels with the blessing of Congolese authorities. The ongoing assault on the ADF has been described by Uganda as a joint effort with Congo in the aftermath of a series of bomb blasts in the Uganda capital that were blamed on the rebels. The most recent of those explosions, in which at least four civilians were killed, happened Nov. 16 at two locations in Kampala.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the explosions, saying they were carried out by Ugandans. Ugandan authorities blamed the attacks on the ADF, which has been allied with the IS group since 2019.

Ugandan authorities have vowed to hunt down the ADF’s fighters at home and abroad.

Col. Paddy Ankunda, a senior Ugandan army official, shared footage purporting to show artillery fire being launched toward ADF bases, saying on Twitter: “They invited us and we are coming in full force.”

The ADF has long been opposed to the rule of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, a U.S. security ally who has been in power since 1986. Established in the early 1990s in Uganda, the ADF later was forced to flee into eastern Congo, where many rebel groups are able to operate because Congo’s central government has limited control there.

Many deadly attacks on civilians in eastern Congo have been blamed on the ADF in recent years. - Rodney Muhumuza, AP/The Washington Post

Ester Macha (left), a journalist working with Majira newspaper, interviews a disabled entrepreneur in Mbeya region. Photo Internews

 

Until just a few months ago, editors and journalists in Tanzania would usually ignore or relegate news items about people with disabilities because they thought such stories were of little interest to their audience. As a result, the lives and issues of disabled people went unreported and their activities, opinions, and ambitions were marginalized.  

But then Internews launched its Inclusive Media Project in Tanzania that news professionals say has positively affected how people with disabilities are covered. 

“In the past, we’d publish very few stories about people with disabilities and, if we did, it was all about charity and tragedies,” says Beatrice Bandawe, Managing Editor at the Nipashe Newspaper. “But now, because of the Internews training, we publish about 20 stories every month. Also, we’ve changed our approach: our journalists no longer focus on stigma or events. Instead, they cover issues that people with disabilities have generated themselves and that will help improve their lives.”  

Some of the stories published include a disabled woman encouraging other people with disabilities to engage in income-generating activities, a deaf woman teaching family members sign language, and a feature story about affordable government loans that are enabling people with disabilities in Shinyanga to achieve their goals. 

A story in Nipashe News by Cristina Haule that covered how a Maasai villager donated cattle to people with disabilities resulted in more Maasai donating livestock to centers that assist disabled people with employment. 

The improved coverage has also helped reduce stigma and discrimination in local communities. “At some places I visited, people would think a child or relative with a disability was a curse, but now that misperception is fading away,” says Felister Richard at CG FM radio station in Dodoma. “Even in some of the remotest villages, I’ve noticed improvements in inclusiveness. In the past, such things were unheard of.” 

Stahimili Mwinuka who has a physical disability says, “The media have recognized the significance of reporting on people like me. Positive stories are having a positive impact on our lives.” 

Inclusive Media is a two-year project supporting and empowering journalists in key countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to increase and improve their coverage of disability issues, presenting disability issues in a way that promotes the dignity of PWD as well as amplifying their own voices and perspectives. - By Temigunga Mahondo, Internews Media Trainer 

Tanzania has invited the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority to identify potential areas for establishing investment partnerships that will contribute to the economies of the two countries. Image via The Observer

 

Jamaican and Tanzania have initiated talks aimed at formalising investment partnerships in a number of areas.

Tanzania has invited the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority (JSEZA) to identify potential areas for establishing investment partnerships that will contribute to the economies of the two countries. Both countries held preliminary talks during the recent Expo 2020 exhibition in Dubai.

Jamaica is planning to hold an international conferences, where Tanzania has been invited as one of the participating countries. The director of the Tanzania Pavilion at the Expo 2020 Getrude Ng'weshemi advised that her country is interested in collaborating with Jamaica in areas like tourism, medicine and medical supplies, industry, agriculture and fisheries.

While explaining that, “Tanzania is blessed with unique opportunities coupled with enabling environment, policies and adequate resources,” Ng'weshemi invited the JSEZA to discuss how Jamaica can cooperate with Tanzania in such investment areas. She indicated that Tanzania is also interested in collaborating with Jamaica on other investment projects.

The meeting at the Dubai exhibition between Tanzania and the JSEZA was also attended by exhibition coordinators from the Tanzania Trade Development Authority and other stakeholders participating in the exhibition including Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC), Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) and Tanzania National Parks Authority.

The TIC representative Diana Mwamanga pointed to priority areas for investment such as pharmacy and pharmaceuticals, car assembling, and edible oil production, where the demand is currently high, cotton production as well as fisheries.

For her part, the NCAA representative Joyce Mgaya highlighted adequate opportunities for investment in areas of hotels and tourist camps, sports tourism such as golf courses and boxing.

The JSEZA director general of regulation, policy, monitoring and implementation Aisley Brown, among other things, promised to link Tanzania's tourism sector with its Jamaican counterpart with a view towards finding tourism opportunities available in Tanzania.

“To achieve this, I will meet with representatives of the Jamaican tourism sector as well as the commissioner general of the Jamaica Pavilion at this Expo 2020 Dubai who is the Jamaican ambassador to the UAE,” Brown posited. - Jamaica Observer

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