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Zimbabwe's Mugabe inaugurates Chinese-built defence college
by Staff Writers
Mazowe, Zimbabwe (AFP) Sept 14, 2012

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe on Friday inaugurated a $98 million Chinese-built military college and claimed the West threatened a "military invasion" during the country's political woes.

The National Defence College "will act as a think-tank" researching on defence and national security issues, he said.

"The National Defence College is set to assume the role of training ... senior Zimbabwe defence forces and government officials on the underpinnings of security in this country, regionally and internationally," said Mugabe.

The college, situated 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of the capital, was built by Chinese state firm Anhui Foreign and Economic Construction Company (AFECC) with a $98 million loan from the China Export and Import Bank.

Sanctions imposed on the Zimbabwean leader and his aides along with select institutions in the country "acted as a wake-up call, a warning to us to enhance our security consciousness in order to survive such assaults."

Mugabe said the sanctions were meant to effect regime change through civil disobedience.

"The adverse and rabid effects of globalisation which seek to impose a new world order under the auspicies of neo-liberalism calls us to remain vigilant and alert to the enemy's tactics," he said.

"Indeed, the neo-colonial adventurism went to the extent of seeking military invasion of Zimbabwe."

Mugabe's partner in a shaky power-sharing government, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, boycotted the ceremony.

Mugabe, a former darling of the West when he came to power in 1980, praised China for supporting Zimbabwe when it was shunned by its erstwhile allies.

"The Chinese have always been our good friends, having walked with us through thick and thin of our liberation struggle right up to our fight against West-imposed illegal economic sanctions of today," he said.

The veteran leader said China and Pakistan will provide expert training for military personnel from the ranks of colonel. Military officials from selected regional countries will attend courses at the institution.

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10 dead, 50 missing as S.Sudanese military boat sinks: army
Juba (AFP) Sept 15, 2012 - At least 10 soldiers were killed and another 50 were reported missing after friendly fire caused a South Sudanese military boat to sink on the Nile river, the army said Saturday.

"It was an accident. The boat was travelling at night and passed before a (control) post at Lul, which tried to stop the boat. When it did not stop they fired at the boat and it sank," army spokesman Philip Aguer told AFP, adding that there were about 170 soldiers on board.

"Ten bodies were retrieved from the water... there are about 50 still missing", he said, adding that 112 survivors were picked up following the accident on Wednesday.

He dismissed as "lies" a statement by rebel group the South Sudan Liberation Army (SSLA) that 108 had died and 73 managed to swim ashore after the vessel was hit by a rocket propelled grenade in an exchange of fire.

South Sudan gained independence in July 2011 after decades of civil war.

Transforming its former guerrilla movement into a fully functioning government and proper army is one of the new nation's biggest challenges as is reining in militia groups.

In what analysts describe as a "proxy war" between the two former civil war partners, South Sudan claims that rebel militia groups are funded by Khartoum, while Sudan says that rebels in two of its rump states that formerly fought alongside the South still receive its support.

The two countries are currently in African Union-led talks in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to try and find a deal on border security.


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Zimbabwe wildlife ranchers warn on Mugabe party takeovers
Harare (AFP) Sept 11, 2012
A group of wildlife ranchers in southeastern Zimbabwe warned Tuesday that land and hunting permit takeovers by politicians from President Robert Mugabe's party were threatening safari hunting tourism. Their warning came after authorities granted land and 25-year hunting permits to senior members of Mugabe's ZANU-PF party under the government's indigenisation programme. "If this goes ahea ... read more

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