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Deadly Boko Haram sect may not be a spent force after all. Here is why

Emerging reports on Saturday say that twenty-three Nigerian soldiers are missing after Boko Haram jihadists ambushed a convoy in the remote northeast of the country

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Emerging reports on Saturday say that twenty-three Nigerian soldiers are missing after Boko Haram jihadists ambushed a convoy in the remote northeast of the country.

The development counters very strong claims by the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration that the insurgents who have engaged the Nigeria government in a gruesome war had been largely decimated.

Sources familiar with the attack claimed that the military had received intelligence reports on Friday which noted that some 100 insurgents had gathered in nearby Balagallaye village preparatory to attacks.

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“Up until now 23 troops have not been accounted for. They include five officers and 18 soldiers,” a military officer in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, told a foreign news service.

“They came under attack from Boko Haram terrorists in Balagallaye village in the Boboshe area outside Bama,” the officer said.

“Only three vehicles have made it back to Bama, the remaining eight and scores of soldiers are still missing.

“We lost eight vehicles. That’s a lot,” the officer added.

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Tunisia’s new draft constitution gives President Saied broad powers termed ‘presidentialisation’

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The newly drafted constitution which Tunisian President Kais Saied commissioned after discarding the old one has given him the wide-ranging powers he has always wanted.

The new draft which gives broad powers to the head of state, marking a radical break with the existing parliamentary system, was handed over to Saied on Thursday and will be put to a referendum on July 25.

The text of the constitution which was published in the Tunisian government official gazette, confirms what the opposition calls the expected ‘presidentialization’ of the regime by stipulating that the “President of the Republic exercises executive power, assisted by a government led by a head of government” whom he appoints.

The president, according to the published draft, “will also enjoy wide-ranging prerogatives as he is the supreme commander of the armed forces, defines the general policy of the state, approves laws, has the sole prerogative of submitting legislation to parliament, which must examine it as a matter of priority.

The new constitution is to replace the 2014 constitution which had established a hybrid system that was a source of recurring conflict between the executive and legislative branches.

As a prelude to setting up the Committee to write a new constitution for the country, Saied had dissolved the parliament and the electoral commission earlier this year and named a new body in which he made himself the head which the opposition said was a coup and a plan to run a one-man rule.

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Mali’s junta sets date for presidential elections. Will that stop ECOWAS sanction?

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The military junta in Mali has adopted an electoral calendar with a presidential election set for February 2024.

The transition plan was announced three days before a summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which is due to consider the tough sanctions imposed on the junta in January.

The spokesman to the government, Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga, who is also Minister of Territorial Administration, on state television on Thursday said “our authorities are further paving the way for a return to constitutional order in Mali, the scene of two coups d’état led by the same group of colonels in August 2020 and May 2021.”

“The government finds this timetable (electoral and referendum) realistic, he added.

According to official documents sent to the media, the junta also set a date for referendum on the new constitution for March 2023.

The calendar also revealed that legislative elections are to be held between October and November 2023, and local elections in June 2023.

In June, Mali’s military junta led by Colonel Assimi Goita created a body charged with responsibility for writing a new Constitution. The government had through a decree read on state television said that Bamako will be returned to civil rule after twenty months.

Regional bloc, ECOWAS in reaction to the 24 months transition plan, says it regrets the decision of Colonel Goita to extend the duration of the transition.

Recall that earlier in the week the junta announced new electoral law which permits Colonel Goita and other military service men to contest for the projected 2024 elections.

The move puts Mali in the eye of observers again as it suggests Goita is getting ready to join the undemocratic train of previous African leaders like Jerry Rawlings in Ghana, Omar al-Bashir in Sudan, Gnassingbé Eyadéma in Togo, Mobutu Sese Seko in Zaire who succeeded themselves in a military to civil transition.

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