Russia unveils Peresvet laser system

The Russian Peresvet laser system which is designed to destroy targets in seconds was unveiled by Russia over the weekend and is now in combat service. Named after the warrior monk Alexander Peresvet, Russia has been testing the weapon throughout the year and is now being issued to military.

The aim in creating the weapon is to modernize the Russian military; the laser is capable of shooting down missiles as well as aircraft. The laser weapon was first announced in March by Russian president Vladimir Putin in his state of the nation address.

So far the laser weapon is the first of its kind to be announce and put in to service giving Russia an edge over it competitors while also pushing modern weaponry in to an new age. China and USA are also developing laser weapon systems but non so far have made similar announcements.

Source: businessinsider.co.za

Deputy President David Mabuza to visit South Sudan

Deputy President David Mabuza in his capacity as President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Special Envoy to South Sudan will undertake a regional consultative Working Visit to three member states of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) as part of the efforts towards lasting peace and stability in South Sudan.

The Deputy President will visit Nairobi in the Republic of Kenya, Kampala in the Republic of Uganda and Khartoum in the Islamic Republic of Sudan to hold consultative meetings with the Heads of State and Government of the three countries in order to facilitate a peace process that will see the full implementation of the Revitalised Peace Agreement on South Sudan.

Deputy President Mabuza will hold bilateral meetings with President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, as well as President Omar Al Bashir of the Sudan.

This working visit builds on the October 2018 consultations with IGAD Member States. The Deputy President will also strengthen political, social and economic relations between South Africa and these three IGAD Member States.

Issued by the Presidency of the Republic of South Africa

Annual Diplomatic funfair

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), will be hosting the annual Diplomatic Funfair on Saturday, 8 December 2018 in Pretoria.

Hosted annually, the event serves as a key platform to educate the general public about diplomacy by bringing together embassies accredited to South Africa to showcase and promote their respective countries through creative expressions such as arts, music and global cuisine.

This occasion will take place against the backdrop of the centenary of the late President Nelson Mandela which is being celebrated by the government of South Africa and the world at large. To this end, the Funfair will be themed: “Honouring Madiba –A global champion of human rights, peace and reconciliation”.

It is expected that the event will be attended by over a thousand guests. The event presents an opportunity for members of the public to network and engage with representatives and officials of government, business sector, diplomatic corps and civil society organisations.

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

 

Brazil’s newly elected President Bolsonaro reverses controversial statements

Brazil newly elected president, Jair Bolsonaro has reversed a number of controversial statements he made during his campaigns for election and after. As soon as Bolsonaro was elected, he pledged to remove the Ministry of Labour and replace with a Ministry of Economy as prepared to announce a new government, by January.  He also pledge to merge the Ministry of Agriculture with Environment.

The newly elected President has since his election reconsidered the statements he made, following a public outrage.

Bolsonaro focused his campaign on combating crime and corruption and that led to him getting elected. However, “his high name recognition was earned by making outrageous remarks disparaging blacks, natives, women, and the LGBT community, and his unpopularity is increased by his calls for intervention by the armed forces and his idolatry for the military, praising infamous characters of the former regime, including Colonel Carlos Alberto Ustra, who had personally tortured Ms. Rousseff and many others with electric shocks and beatings,” writes Patricia Barbeyron, a strategic affairs consultant.

Bolsonaro had to step back statements of scrapping the Paris Environmental Agreement because regional allies warned against the measure.

 

Source: The BRICS Post

President Cyril Ramaphosa takes part in SA-EU Summit

The 7th SA-EU Summit took place yesterday in Brussels, Belgium. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa co-chaired the summit with the President of the European Council, Mr Donald Tusk, and the President of the European Commission, Mr Jean-Claude Juncker.

The Summit follows President Ramaphosa addressing the European Parliament the day before, SA-EU summit was initiated as part of a signed agreement between South Africa and European Union to further strategic cooperation in terms of regional, African and Global Issues.

This year’s summit will look at ways in which SA-EU relations can be expanded and intensified.  The European Union also pledged to contribute R1.3 Billion to South Africa’s Infrastructure development programme.

The focus points of the summit will be economic, trade, investment, and developing cooperation; looking at challenges faced in climate change, migration and human rights; as well as expanding multilateralism.

By Mokgethi Mtezuka’

 

South Africa welcomes the lifting of Security Council sanctions against Eritrea

The South African Government has welcomed a resolution by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to lift sanctions against Eritrea.

The adoption of the resolution comes just over four months after the signing of the historic Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship between the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, and the President of Eritrea, Isaias Afwerki, in Asmara, Eritrea, on 9 July 2018. This was followed by Ethiopia and Eritrea signing an Agreement on Peace, Friendship and Comprehensive Cooperation on 16 September 2018.

Reflecting on these developments, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, stated: “South Africa welcomes the decision of the UNSC and it is our hope that the lifting of sanctions against Eritrea will contribute to further advancing peace, security and development in the Horn of Africa.”

“The positive developments in the region over the last few months are further testament of the goal of Africa to silence the guns on the African continent by 2020 and are reflective of the political will by African countries to seek African solutions in resolving African problems,” added Minister Sisulu.

“We hope that the lifting of the sanctions will reverse the devastating economic impact that it has had on the region and in particular on Eritrea,” concluded Minister Sisulu.

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

33rd ASEAN Summit in Singapore

The 33rd ASEAN Summit ended yesterday in Singapore, the summit which brings together the Southeast Asian countries to advance cooperation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational, and sociocultural integration.

At this year’s summit their main goals were “the adoption of the ASEAN Smart Cities Framework and take stock of ASEAN’s achievements this year in strengthening ASEAN’s resilience and innovation as reported” by channelnewsasia.com.

The ASEAN summit also saw more discussion on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), another topic discuss was the US-China trade war and its impact on the region the economic bloc and how they can defend against negative effects of the trade tensions like protectionist policies streading.

The absence of US president Donald Trump was largely felt by the organization, Trump is also expected not to attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Papua New Guinea on Friday. Vice president Mika Pence did represent US interests at the summit, and other countries not part of ASEAN like China and Canada did have representatives there.  

By Mokgethi Mtezuka’

Russia Hosts Afghanistan Peace Conference

Russia hosted an Afghanistan peace conference in Moscow 9 November, with the aim of restoring relations and fostering peace in Afghanistan, the meeting which brought together Russia, Afghan official and Militant group the Taliban to sit and find new path for peace and stability.

Afghanistan is a country that has been at war for almost 17 years, and Russia is looking to position itself as the regional power broker as reported by wsj.com. Russia has historical ties with Afghanistan having fought a war there in 1980’s which resulted in defeat and the end of the Soviet Union.

Unfortunately the Taliban was unwilling to talk with Afghanistan officials though they did attend the meeting in Moscow. The meeting didn’t reach its goal of establishing new ground, but Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, stated Russia’s desire to open a new door to peace in Afghanistan.

By Mokgethi Mtezuka

The young generation wants bigger say in BRICS future

Image: iStock

It’s more than 40 years since South Africa’s youth took a stand against the oppressive apartheid regime. 16 June 1976 will be remembered as the day when many young people in the country paid the ultimate price for their convictions and their demand to be heard.

Now the youth are again standing up, demanding that they be given opportunities to access institutions of higher learning and by doing so, determine their own future. But unlike the youth of 1976, today’s generation is faced with myriad complex challenges.

The young generation around the world has classified themselves as “millennials” – they are eager and able to solve their demanding issues, while at the same time having the energy and drive to start their own enterprises.

But the aspirations of many young people are dented by high levels of unemployment that often lead to the use of violence to express anger and frustration. This phenomenon is not unique to South Africa but is rather a global trend.

With increased engagement and interaction among the youth from the BRICS nations, it’s evident that they indeed have many shared goals and challenges. And like their 1976 comrades, one thing is clear about the modern youth: they are not afraid to challenge the existing political and social dispensation.

One of the biggest obstacles in their way is that the youth need to realise they live in what Bell Hooks calls a “white supremacist patriarchal capitalist society”. This system promotes wealth monopoly, selfishness and greed. While Bell Hooks refers to youth in general, the challenges of unemployment and poverty are specifically very real for black youngsters.

South Africa welcomes the Palestine-Israeli truce

The South African Government welcomes the ceasefire brokered by Egypt between Palestine and Israel following two days of Israel’s aerial attacks on Gaza. This latest flare-up is the worst since the 50-day conflict in 2014.

We call for maximum restraint and express the hope that there will be no renewed escalation in Gaza or in any of the occupied Palestinian Territories. We reiterate our view that there can be no military solution to the Palestine-Israel conflict.

The goodwill displayed by both Parties to the ceasefire is a positive and welcome development that should serve as a catalyst in resuming the long-stalled Middle East Peace Process (MEPP), leading to a Two-State solution with the people of the State of Israel living in peace and harmony with the people of an Independent, Sovereign Palestinian State based on the 4 June 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its Capital.

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION