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Djibouti/Ethiopia ‘diplomatic romance’ continues as President Omar Guelleh discusses relations with Abiy Ahmed

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The “diplomatic romance” between Ethiopia and its East African neighbours Djibouti appears to be growing stronger as President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti has held a bilateral meeting on regional issues of mutual concern with Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Adis Ababa.

The two presidents on Monday considered possibilities of strengthening multifaceted cooperation between the two countries.

Djibouti’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mahamoud Ali Youssouf whiling briefing newsmen in Addis Ababa revealed that the discussion was based on sustainable energy and trade relations between the two East Africa neighbours.

“We discussed energy, we discussed water how to promote trade through upgrading the performance of the logistics, the port, the road, you know Djibouti and Ethiopia have very integrated economies and sometimes we are also quoted as a role model. Today the visit of the President was really successful”

Both leaders were reported to have discussed the strengthening of economic ties in trade and agricultural investments, and the scale-up joint infrastructure development.

Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed who has enjoyed warm relations with Djibouti since coming into office in April 2018 said “The ties between our two nations are historical and broad-based. It is not only neighborly ties but familial. President Ismail Guelleh and I are committed to capitalizing on existing foundations for mutual prosperity”,

“The security and the stability of Djibouti as well as the unity and the stability of Ethiopia is fundamental to both countries’ joint interests and the two leaders also exchanged on mutual cooperation on this field.” _Ahmed Shide, Minister of Finance of Ethiopia added.

Three weeks ago, the two countries at the 9th Ethio-Djibouti Defense Chiefs of Staff meeting held in Addis Ababa agreed to expand the cooperation developed between them, with priority in preventive strategies and operations to ensure security and peace on the common border.

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South Africa: Parliament reelects Cyril Ramaphosa as president

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President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has been re-elected for a second term. He was nominated for re-election on Friday by a member of his African National Congress (ANC) party during the first sitting of parliament following last month’s election.

Julius Malema, the opposition Economic Freedom Fighter, was also put forward for the nation’s presidency, necessitating a vote in parliament to determine the winner.

With a majority of votes in the National Assembly, Chief Justice Ramaphosa was proclaimed president. Julius Malema, the leader of the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters party, received 44 votes, while Ramaphosa received 283.

The Democratic Alliance party said earlier in the day that it would support Ramaphosa in the election as part of a deal to establish a unity government with the African National Congress.

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has been re-elected for a second term. He was nominated for re-election on Friday by a member of his African National Congress (ANC) party during the first sitting of parliament following last month’s election.

Out of the 400 seats in the recently elected National Assembly, 246 are held by the ANC and DA.

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Niamey court revokes immunity of overthrown Nigerien president

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The State Court of Niamey has revoked the immunity of Niger’s deposed President, Mohamed Bazoum, signalling the start of criminal proceedings against him by the junta, according to a statement from his attorneys on Friday.

In July of last year, a military coup overthrew Bazoum. Since then, he and his spouse have remained in custody despite numerous requests for his release from Western nations and the ECOWAS regional political and economic grouping.

 

Colonel Amadou Abdramane, the junta’s spokesperson, stated on state television in August that the military government had “gathered the necessary evidence to prosecute the ousted president and his local and foreign accomplices for high treason and for undermining the internal and external security of Niger before competent national and international authorities.”

In a statement, one of his attorneys, Moussa Coulibaly, claimed that the court’s ruling cleared the path for Bazoum to face charges of treason and conspiracy to compromise state security.

The court proceedings “violated (ed) the absolute rights of the defence: we were not authorised to meet our client and the court refused to hear our arguments,” he added.

It was not immediately able to get in contact with the Niger government for a response. Because of Bazoum’s interactions with foreign heads of state and international organizations, the junta declared last year that it would bring high treason charges against him.

Following 2020, there have been eight coups in West and Central Africa that have brought the military government to power. Calls for Bazoum’s reinstatement have gone unanswered, including by the ECOWAS Court of Justice, which declared last year that his arrest was unjustified.

According to Bazoum’s attorneys, he and his spouse had never appeared before a magistrate. Lawyers said that since October, when their phone line at the White House was taken away, they have been cut off from the outside world and are only permitted to have visitors from their doctor.

Mohamed Bazoum Salem, the 23-year-old son of the deposed president, was given provisional parole from house imprisonment by the Niger military tribunal in January.

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