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A Congolese soldier stands guard as he waits for the ceremony to repatriate the two bodies of South African soldiers killed in the ongoing war between M23 rebels and the Congolese army in Goma, North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo February 20, 2024.

REUTERS/Arlette Bashizi

Congo demands world boycott of Rwanda’s mineral exports

The Democratic Republic of Congo has called for a global embargo of mineral exports from Rwanda, which it accuses of backing rebel groups along their shared frontier. Congo says that because Rwanda allegedly uses violent proxies to seize mines in Congo before exporting their products as though they came from Rwanda, all Rwandan ore should be considered “blood minerals.”

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Participants hold a candle light night vigil during a commemoration event, known as "Kwibuka" (Remembering), as Rwanda marks the 30th anniversary of the 1994 Genocide, at the BK arena in Kigali, Rwanda April 7, 2024.

REUTERS/Jean Bizimana

30 years since Rwanda’s genocide, ethnic violence continues to plague Central Africa

Rwandan President Paul Kagame led a memorial ceremony on Sunday to mark the 30th anniversary of the genocide that killed more than a million people. Rwanda’s Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups are no longer in open conflict in the country, but the legacy of the 100 days of slaughter that began on April 7, 1994, carries on in a conflict in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Peter Navarro, who served as U.S. then-President Donald Trump's trade adviser, talks to the media before turning himself in at a federal correctional institution to begin his prison sentence for defying a subpoena from a panel that investigated the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, in Miami, Florida, U.S.

REUTERS/Marco Bello

Hard Numbers: Former Trump adviser goes to jail, Cambodia bans musical car horns, DRC suffers M23 siege, Afghanistan endures dire drought

4: Peter Navarro, a former adviser to Donald Trump, has been sentenced to a four-month prison sentence for refusing to comply with a Congressional subpoena from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack. Navarro was deeply involved in Trump’s attempts to overturn his 2020 presidential election loss in the run-up to Jan. 6. Before surrendering, Navarro held a press conference claiming political persecution and maintaining he had “executive privilege” regarding his conversations with Trump.
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FILE PHOTO: Members of Burundi's National Defence Force (FDN), part of the troops of the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF), arrive to their deployment as part of a regional military operation targeting rebels, at the airport in Goma, North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo March 5, 2023.

REUTERS/Arlette Bashizi

Burundi detains troops who refused to fight in Congo

The Burundian government has been detaining troops for refusing orders to deploy to the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, where Burundi is trying to stop the advances of a rebel group backed by Rwanda. The focus now is on the key border city of Goma.

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Paige Fusco

A “combustible situation” in the eastern DRC

At least 17 people — including three UN personnel — have died after three days of violent protests against the UN peacekeeping mission in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Demonstrations in the region have now spread to other cities.

On Tuesday afternoon, hundreds of people surrounded and looted the UN base in Goma, demanding its forces withdraw from the eastern DRC. After the Congolese cops were unable to quell the protests, the UN decided to bring its peacekeepers home.

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An elderly woman walks past a poster encouraging seniors to get vaccinated against COVID in Beijing.

REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

What We’re Watching: Beijing vax mandate, DRC-Rwanda tensions

Beijing gets China's first COVID vax mandate

Somewhat late to the party compared to many parts of the world, China introduced on Wednesday its first COVID vaccine mandate in Beijing. Starting next week, residents of the capital will need to show proof of vax to enter most public spaces as authorities scramble to contain a new outbreak of a more infectious omicron subvariant. Oddly enough for an authoritarian state, China shunned mandates early in the pandemic because most people agreed to get vaxxed on their own, which helped keep the virus under control until late 2021. While nearly 90% of the population is fully vaccinated, inoculation rates among the elderly — those most vulnerable to becoming seriously ill or dying from COVID — are lower because many older Chinese adults are wary of getting jabs. What's more, China's vaccines are not as effective as Western mRNA jabs against new variants, so perhaps the goal of Beijing's mandate is to keep the unvaccinated elderly at home without implementing a citywide lockdown like in Shanghai. How will this affect Xi Jinping's zero-COVID policy? If major outbreaks are reported, expect other big Chinese cities to follow Beijing's lead.

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