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Peace deal stalls in South Sudan

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The latest attempt at ending South Sudan’s five-year civil war has failed as President Salva Kiir declined to work again with rival Riek Machar after their first face-to-face meeting in almost two years.

“This is simply because we have had enough of him,” government spokesman Michael Makuei said.

The rivals had met in neighboring Ethiopia on its prime minister’s invitation, shaking hands and being coaxed into an awkward embrace as they held direct talks. They shook hands again as regional heads of state and government met to discuss the civil war in the world’s youngest nation.

But it became clear that while South Sudan’s government was open to having the opposition in the vice president’s role, it would not accept Machar’s return to that post. Machar fled the country after new fighting erupted in the capital, Juba, in July 2016, ending a brief attempt at peace in which he returned to his role as Kiir’s deputy.

Kiir and his archrival Riek Machar have, however, agreed to meet in Sudan’s capital for their second round of talks in nearly two years, the Sudanese foreign ministry said, even as expectations for a possible agreement are quite low.

The talks on Monday in Khartoum will follow meetings between the two leaders in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Wednesday and Thursday, as both sides face an end-of-June deadline to avert United Nations sanctions over a civil war that has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions.

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Like Mali, Burkina Faso junta suspends France’s RFI radio over broadcast of militant speech

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West African country, Burkina Faso, has gone the way of its neighbour, Mali, as its ruling junta has suspended the broadcast of France’s RFI radio.

The suspension comes after what the junta said were false reports and giving voice to Islamist militants, a statement from the government said on Saturday.

According to a statement by the radio station, “RFI strongly deplores this decision and protests against the totally unfounded accusations calling into question its professionalism,” State-owned Radio France Internationale, usually referred to as RFI.

The statement added that the decision to suspend its broadcasting was made without prior notice and without the implementation of the procedures put in place by Burkina Faso’s communications regulator.

The ruling junta which came into power in a recent coup in September accused the RFI also repeated a press report – which it denied – that Burkina Faso’s President Captain Ibrahim Traore, who seized power in a coup in September, had said there had been an attempted coup trying to unseat him.

Burkina Faso’s neighbour, Mali, under military reign, suspended broadcasts by French state-funded international news outlets RFI and France 24 amid accusations of reporting “false allegations”.

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Tunisian labour union, UGTT threatens political disruption as elections draws near

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As the North African country, Tunisia braces up for elections, labour union, UGTT has threatened not to disrupt proceedings under the current political arrangement.

UGTT attacked president Saied political and economic agenda on Saturday, including the elections scheduled for this month. The union said that it will no longer accept what it called a threat to democracy in its clearest challenge to him yet.

UGTT’s leader Noureddine Taboubi said in a speech to thousands of supporters, the union will ” no longer accept the current path because of its ambiguity and individual rule, and the unpleasant surprises it hides for the fate of the country and democracy.”

“We will not hesitate to defend rights and freedoms whatever the cost,” he added, in his strongest criticism yet of the president.

“We will not abide by secret agreements the government has with the International Monetary Fund and the workers will stand up to it,” Taboubi said.

Taboubi said the December election would “have no colour and taste” as a result of Saied’s constitution and that the vote lacked national unanimity.

President Kais Saied hinted that the country will not accept foreign observers for the planned elections for later this year.

There have been protests for and against president Saied’s approach to governance of the Tunisian public.

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