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Burkina Faso: ECOWAS worried over 3 years transition arrangement by military junta

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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has expressed worry over the three-year transition period announced by the leader of the military junta in Burkina Faso, Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba.

Slamreportafrica reported two weeks ago that Burkina Faso’s ruling junta, the Patriotic Movement for Safeguard and Restoration (MPSR), had signed a charter setting a three-year transition period before the country held elections.

A ministerial delegation met with Burkina Faso’s Lieutenant Colonel Damiba on Thursday to communicate concerns of the regional bloc.

“ECOWAS is a bit worried about the duration of the transition. But the authorities have explained the reasons behind the decision of these 36 months,” including “the security situation” in the country, said Ghana’s foreign minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, who led a delegation to Ouagadougou on Thursday.
Burkina Faso has been caught up in a spiral of violence since 2015 attributed to jihadist movements, affiliated to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group, which have killed more than 2,000 people in the country and forced at least 1.7 million to flee their homes.

“ECOWAS is asking that the transitional government provide a clear roadmap of its activities for the next 36 months,” she added.

“The problems affecting Burkina Faso are also our problems; it is not at this time when Burkina has needs that we will abandon it. Yes, Burkina is suspended from ECOWAS but it is still a member and we will continue to work together to bring normality to this great country,” the Ghanaian minister said.

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 delegation also met the overthrown president, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, who has been under house arrest since the putsch and whose release it is calling for. We had a good discussion, he is in good spirits,” said Shirley Ayorkor.

Burkina Faso is a member of the United Nations, La Francophonie and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. It is currently suspended from ECOWAS and the African Union.

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Weeks after justices protest, Nigeria’s Chief Justice, Tanko Muhammad resigns

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Nigeria’s Chief Justice, Justice Tanko Muhammad, has resigned.

Sources confirmed that Justice Muhammad resigned on Sunday night, citing ill-health as the reason for his decision.

Hint of potential crises in Nigeria’s judiciary played out last week when fourteen Justices of the Supreme Court wrote to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammad, lamenting the parlous state of affairs in the court.

The petition is the first-of-its-kind in the 58-year history of the apex court, the justices chronicled the operational challenges that have almost crippled the efficient adjudication of cases at the court.

Arrangements are said to be ongoing to swear in the next most senior justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.

President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 suspended Justice Tanko’s predecessor Chief Justice, Walter Onnoghen, 15 days after allegations of impropriety were lodged against the most senior judge in the country. It was the first time that Nigeria’s head of state had sacked a chief justice since 1975, when the country was under military rule.

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18 years after suspension, Zimbabwe lobbys for readmission into Commonwealth

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Southern African Zimbabwe has continued with lobbying for readmission 18 years after it was thrown out of the body over allegations of human rights abuses.

The country made its latest move to be readmitted at the ongoing Commonwealth summit in Rwanda.

Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Rwanda Charity Manyeruke, who is attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali as an observer alongside other top government officials, told newsmen that the country’s participation at the summit was a “positive development.”

“Zimbabwe is excited to be participating in Commonwealth forums as this presents opportunities to network with the international community taking into account the government of Zimbabwe’s policy of engagement and reengagement,” Ms Manyeruke said.

“The Commonwealth meeting in Kigali has provided opportunities for our Zimbabwean diaspora across the globe, who are participating as panellists, facilitators and as delegates in the forums.

Zimbabwe was first suspended from the councils of the Commonwealth for one year, after international observers condemned disputed presidential election as unfairly tilted toward Robert Mugabe in 2022.

One year after the suspension, Mr Mugabe revealed that he did not accept a Commonwealth decision to prolong Zimbabwe’s suspension from the group until the country mended its ways.

“Accordingly, Zimbabwe has withdrawn its membership from the Commonwealth with immediate effect,” said a government statement.

Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs deputy minister David Musabayana said he had held meetings with influential people to discuss the country’s potential readmission.

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