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Belarus probes Russian mercenaries for ‘terror’ plot | Belarus News

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Belarus has opened a criminal probe into planned “terrorist acts” by Russian mercenaries arrested ahead of presidential polls, adding that it was tracking down dozens more.

The country’s security services on Wednesday arrested a group of 32 Russian fighters as well as one other man in a different location.

Belarus security council chief Andrei Ravkov on Thursday said a criminal probe had been launched and that the men face charges of preparing “terrorist acts”.

“Thirty-three have been detained; there are up to 200 or thereabouts on the territory (of Belarus),” Ravkov said.

He said “a search is going on” to find the others, complaining that it was “like looking for needles in a haystack”.

Belarus’s KGB security service said the arrested men were members of the Wagner group, a shadowy private military firm reportedly controlled by an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin which promotes Moscow’s interests in Ukraine, Syria and Libya.

August election

The arrests came ahead of presidential polls on August 9 in which strongman Alexander Lukashenko is seeking a sixth term.

Lukashenko has detained would-be opposition candidates and their supporters.

Protests have erupted across the country of 9.5 million people, with a 37-year-old political novice, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, quickly emerging as Lukashenko’s main rival.

Lukashenko has accused some of his critics of being controlled by “puppeteers” in Moscow.

Ravkov spoke after meeting the candidates standing against Lukashenko, including Tikhanovskaya, and warning them that security measures would be stepped up at rallies.

State news agency Belta said the authorities had received information about the arrival of 200 fighters in Belarus “to destabilise the situation during the election campaign”.

Lukashenko at an emergency meeting of his security council on Wednesday demanded an explanation from Moscow.

“If they are guilty, it’s necessary to emerge out of this situation with dignity,” Lukashenko said in televised remarks.

Russian Ambassador to Belarus Dmitry Mezentsev said on Thursday that he had been invited to the Belarusian foreign ministry that morning to discuss the case, Russian news agencies reported.

Also on Thursday, Belarus and Ukraine agreed to beef up their border controls and expand border cooperation over the arrests, the Belarusian foreign ministry said.

The move aims to prevent any attempts to destabilise the two countries, the Belarusian ministry said in a statement following a meeting with Mezentsev and the acting Ukrainian ambassador to Belarus.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Muntu Blocked in Kamwenge

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Alliance for National Transformation presidential candidate Gen. Mugisha Muntu has been blocked from campaigning in Kamwenge according to a statement he released earlier today.Below is the full statement:

STATEMENT
Today in Kamwenge, as we have done since the start of the campaign season, we headed out to speak with the people. We had earlier in the week agreed on the venue with security agencies. No one had anticipated that it would rain as much as it did, making it impossible for us or the people to access.

After identifying an alternative place only 100m away from the original venue, negotiating with the owner and communicating the same to the public, we headed to the second venue only to be stopped by police.

Our policy has always been to do all we can to be reasonable, even in the face of unreasonable action on the part of the state. We engaged the police leadership in a civilized, respectable manner well knowing that they intended to not only frustrate us, but cause us to act in ways that would give them an excuse to cause chaos. This was on top of their intimidating the radio we had booked and duly paid to appear on.

While we are confident that we are on the right side of both the law and reason, we have chosen not to endanger the lives of our supporters or the general public by escalating the situation. We will do everything humanly possible to avoid a single life being lost or blood being shed on account of our campaign.

And yet this truth remains: the regime’s days are numbered.

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CountryBeforeSelf

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Is Johnson Byabashaija courting Enid Kukunda for protection?

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The very amiable Commissioner General of Prisons Canon Johnson Byabashaija was recently sighted with President Y K Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s second wife Enid Kukunda as the two had a very secretive meeting in one of the city hangouts.

According to our informers, the two seem to be in a deep conversation that they wouldn’t allow a housefly pass around. However, sources further reveal that Byabashaija could have courted the second lady for protection given that he has amassed a lot of wealth and could be a subject of investigations.

Our sources reveal that Byabashaija who carries himself as Mr.I know it all hasn’t met Madam Enid alone but a host of others with connections to the centre of power in the country.

We will bring you more detail

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Bobi Wine released on Bail

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Presidential candidate and kyadondo East legislator Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu has been realeased on bail by the Iganga magistrates court where he appeared to defend himself against accusations of flouting COVID-19 campaign SOPs. A defiant Kyagulanyi took the opportunity to blast the incumbent Yoweri Museveni, whom he accuses of using state power to quell dissident.

This follows a tense week that has seen thousands injured and several dead following Hon. Kyagulanyi’s arrest earlier this week. Demonstrations and riots erupted in many parts of the country and heavy police and army deployment was seen all over the country.

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