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If judges in Ghana will shut down the courts, here is why

Association of Magistrates and Judges of Ghana (AMJG) has threatened to embark on industrial action over non-payment of arrears and review of salaries of lower court judges and magistrates

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Association of Magistrates and Judges of Ghana (AMJG) has threatened to embark on industrial action over non-payment of arrears and review of salaries of lower court judges and magistrates.

The Association said although reviews of salaries of lower court judges had been constitutionally provided for by the 1992 Constitution, past and present governments had failed to implement the law.

Addressing the media in Accra last Friday, Justice Victor Ofoe, a Court of Appeal Judge, said a meeting would be convened on July 6 for a decision to be taken on the matter.

Even though, strike action, was not one of the considered options to have the concerns of members addressed, Justice Ofoe, who is the president of the Association said the matter was getting out of hand.

“The situation is frustrating, annoying, in fact, insulting. For how long can we continue to hold our members in check?” he asked.

For more than three years, he said the Association had prevented judges and magistrates of the lower courts from striking, but their concerns remained unresolved.

To calm down tempers, the Chief Justice, Ms. Sophia A.B.Akuffo met President Nana Akufo-Addo but nothing has changed.

“Should the CJ now be a trade unionist?And even after her meeting nothing appears to have changed. This is where our members think the “no strike no strike” should give way since all equations in executing the dictates of the constitution is being unbalanced.”

The Judge, observed that the bench was made up of more young men and women who cannot be financially deprived.

We should note that the bench is not made up of old men as it used to be sometime back, he explained, adding that “about 90 per cent are now young men and women, very boisterous and hot blooded, who cannot be easily convinced anymore with the reputation of the judiciary when they are being financially deprived.”

He appealed to the President to take immediate action in the matter and approve the salary review.

Politics

Congo DR electoral body, CENI, announces date of presidential election

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The electoral authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Commission Electorale Nationale Independente (CENI) have announced dates for the next presidential election.

CENI on Saturday said the election will take place on December 20th next year.

The commission outlined several challenges, including the logistics of transporting ballot materials thousands of miles, health concerns about Ebola and COVID-19, and unrest that has forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes.

The incumbent president, Felix Tshisekedi, who already expressed his intention to run again. He might be running against Martin Fayulu, who continues to claim that he won the 2018 election and was denied victory.

Terrorist activities, largely by a rebel group, M23 have drawn reactions from stakeholders in the East Africa region and global observers. The M23 is a rebel military group based in eastern areas of the DRC, mainly operating in the province of North Kivu.

According to the electoral authorities, insecurity remains the main challenge for the next elections.

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Politics

Congo DR rebel group, M23 wants direct talks with government. Will Kinshasa concede?

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The M23 rebel group, which has been at loggerheads with the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has asked for a direct talk with the government.

The positions are days after the deadline for the declaration of a permanent truce between the worrying battles.

Leaders of Rwanda, Burundi, and Angola met this week in Luanda to find a solution to the conflict in eastern Congo, which has forced thousands to flee their homes.

But the M23 was not part of the discussions and found out about the statement on social media, its spokesperson said.

The spokesperson of the group, Lawrence Kanyuka, “thanked the regional leaders for their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the current conflict.”

“Give us direct negotiations with the government to resolve the root causes of conflict that are producing all these wars here,” he said. M23 leader Bertrand Bisimwa also issued a statement to the same effect.

Meanwhile, Congo DR’s foreign minister Christophe Lutundula said: “It won’t happen. I can reassure you on behalf of the government and the President of the Republic.”

The M23 is a rebel military group based in eastern areas of the DRC, mainly operating in the province of North Kivu.

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