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Military backs out but Ugandan court charges MP Bobi Wine with treason

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Robert Kyagulanyi, the Ugandan parliamentarian popularly known as Bobi Wine, has been charged with treason after a military court Thursday withdrew a weapons charge against him but ruled that he should be tried for treason instead.

The pop star, 36, was then re-arrested and charged in a civilian court. He sat in the dock during proceedings as his lawyers argued he was too weak to stand.

A frail Wine, wearing a Ugandan flag scarf around his neck, was seen walking out of court while being assisted on crutches during a brief adjournment on Thursday morning.

He has been in detention since August 15 and needs urgent medical care, his lawyers argued.

The lawmaker’s attorney told CNN last week that his client has been tortured and suffered multiple injuries while in detention.

“He could not stand because his leg had been injured. He was being carried by soldiers at the military court where he has been arraigned when I saw him. He complained of pain in his spine, and we could see he has really been beaten,” Erias Lukwago said.

Read also: Uganda opposition figure detained after his driver is slain

The magistrate court ruled that Wine could have access to his private doctors and the case was adjourned until August 30.

There have been large-scale demonstrations online and on the streets of Uganda to #FreeBobiWine, and musicians around the world such as Chris Martin, Angelique Kidjo, Damon Albarn and others have joined the campaign.

Museveni has ruled Uganda for nearly 33 years and recently got parliament to amend the constitution to drop age limits on leadership.

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Court summons Tunisian opposition leader, Rached Ghannouchi, over money laundering

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Tunisian opposition party, Ennahda has revealed that its leader, Rached Ghannouchi has been summoned by a judge over money laundering allegations.

The party revealed news of his summon on Wednesday and accused the authorities of targeting him for political reasons.

The summon is said to answer questions about the allegations, which Ennahda say are untrue and a result of “distortion and fabrication”.

Recall that a court in Tunisia in May, slammed a travel ban on Ghannouchi, alongside 33 other party faithful under the suspicion of involvement in an alleged parallel security service put into place after the 2011 Tunisian revolution.

Ghannouchi has been one of the loudest critics of president Kais Saied since the president seized broad powers last year, moved to rule by decree and ousted the elected parliament in which the Ennahda leader is speaker.

President Saied sacked the government, suspended parliament, and seized a string of powers in July 2021. In December of the same year, he announced in a speech on national television a three-month “popular consultation” with the Tunisian people after which “draft constitutional and other reforms will be put forward to a referendum on July 25”.

Ghannouchi’s summon is not the first time the Judiciary since Saied came to power will take decision that is perceive by many to be targeted at the president’s rival.

In June, a Tunisian military court sentenced a prominent political opponent and rival of President Kais Saied, Seifeddine Makhlouf, to one year in prison and also banned him from practising law for five years.

President Saied’s seat-tight disposition has continued with controversial reforms despite criticisms and wild protests.

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Exiled former Burkina Faso’s president, Blaise Compaore, to return home

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Burkinabe authorities has revealed that former president of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaore will return from exile for the first time since being ousted in a 2014 uprising.

The junta led by Colonel Damiba made the revelation on Wednesday. Compaore will return home despite his conviction earlier this year for complicity in his predecessor’s murder.

Blaise Compaore was sentenced to life imprisonment by a military tribunal in April for the murder of his predecessor and ‘best friend’, Thomas Sankara, in a 1987 coup.

The statement from the presidency said the meeting of former heads of state “does not hinder judicial prosecutions engaged against some of them”, but did not elaborate.

An association of lawyers representing the families of Sankara and others killed during the 1987 coup demanded that Compaore be arrested once in Burkina Faso.

Local media have speculated in recent days that Compaore could be granted a pardon over the Sankara murder as part of the junta’s reconciliation process.

The coup that brought the current junta into power in Burkina Faso was launched on 23 January 2022 when gunfire erupted in front of the presidential residence in the Burkinabé capital Ouagadougou and several military barracks around the city.

The military Junta of Lieutenant-Colonel Damiba ceased power afterward and Christian Kabore has been on house arrest since then. Although fighting insurgency was one of the reasons for the last coup, Burkina Faso however remains in the eye of the storm with continuous terrorist attacks.

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