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Zimbabwean Military Officials Snubbed from AFRICOM Conference

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The move is not intended to isolate Zimbabwe from the United States but is a compliance with orders from high-ranking American government officials.
Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Philip Valerio Sibanda
Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Philip Valerio Sibanda (AI)

Senior military officials in Zimbabwe have confirmed that General Philip Valerio Sibanda of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and Lieutenant-General Ansleem Nhamo Sanyatwe of the Zimbabwe National Army were not invited to the national defence meeting that began today in Botswana. The conference is being hosted by the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM).

Ms. Rose Keravouri, head of intelligence at AFRICOM, informed the media that the decision to exclude Zimbabwe follows directives from the American administration. Ms Keravouri clarified that the move is not intended to isolate Zimbabwe from the United States but is a compliance with orders from high-ranking American government officials.

Attempts to get a response from the Zimbabwean government were unsuccessful. The Minister of National Defence, Ms. Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, reportedly switched off her mobile phone after learning that the media sought her comments. Similarly, Mr Charles Shumba, who handles security at Zimbabwe's embassy in Botswana and attended the meeting, refused to speak with the media.

Political analyst Mr Tendai Mbofana, associated with the Zimbabwe Network for Social Justice (ZimJustice), suggested that Zimbabwe's exclusion might be due to its current lack of military engagements. "Zimbabwe was not invited because it has nothing to fight against," he remarked.

In the broader context of the meeting, Botswana's President Mokgweetsi Masisi urged African nations to collaborate in finding solutions to conflicts that lead to wars and internal strife. President Masisi emphasised the importance of unity and cooperation in addressing these issues.

General Michael Langley, head of AFRICOM, underscored the significance of the meeting for discussing challenges posed by extremism and other security threats. He stressed the need for nations to have time to share insights and strategies to tackle these problems effectively.

AFRICOM, headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, oversees military cooperation between the United States and African countries. The current meeting in Botswana, which began today, is scheduled to continue until Thursday, to formulate resolutions to strengthen the defence capabilities of African nations.

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ZimNewsDaily: Zimbabwean Military Officials Snubbed from AFRICOM Conference
Zimbabwean Military Officials Snubbed from AFRICOM Conference
The move is not intended to isolate Zimbabwe from the United States but is a compliance with orders from high-ranking American government officials.
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