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Africans Warned Against Working as Mercenaries

The Tanzanian government has warned Tanzanians against working as mercenaries and fighting for foreign armies, insisting the act contravenes the law of the country. Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Minister Stergomena Tax issued the warning following the death of a 33-year-old Tanzanian student, Nemes Tarimo, who died last year while fighting for Wegner group, a Russian privately owned Military Company. It is reported that the Tanzanian died in the battlefields of Bakhmut, Donbas in Ukraine, fighting on the side of a Russian private military company. Tax confirmed that Tarimo was serving a seven-year sentence in Russia before he joined the Wagner Group of mercenaries.

In November 2022, the Zambian ministry of information and media spokesperson Thabo Kawana confirmed that the ministry of foreign affairs was spearheading efforts to bring the body of Lemekhani Nathan Nyirenda back to Zambia for burial. Nyirenda, a 23-year-old Zambian died while fighting for the Russian military in Ukraine. Nyirenda was killed on the front lines in September, but Russian authorities had only just informed Zambia of the death. Boniface Cheembe, a human rights defender and executive director of the Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes, a human rights think tank, said Nyirenda’s basic human rights were violated by Russia. His family and the Zambian government questioned how he was recruited into the army while serving a nine-year prison sentence in Russia.