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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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ECOWAS folds, lifts economic, travel sanctions on junta-led Niger, others

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Economic sanctions on Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso were lifted with immediate effect by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Saturday.

This came after the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government held an unprecedented meeting at the State House in Abuja, where they deliberated for hours on the political, peace, and security situation in the region.

Mali and its bordering junta-run nations, Niger and Burkina Faso, abruptly announced last month that they were abandoning ECOWAS, the largest political and economic union in West Africa, reversing decades of regional integration.

The ECOWAS Commission President, Dr. Omar Touray, announced the Authority’s resolutions and stated that it has halted the closing of the air and land border with Niger, creating a no-fly zone for any commercial aircraft.

Additionally, it has halted the unfreezing of all of Niger’s assets at EBID and the freezing of any financial transactions involving the central bank of the ECOWAS states and Niger.

Additionally, it removed the restriction on military junta members’ and their families’ travel. “Based on humanitarian considerations due to lent and the approaching month of Ramadan,” according to Touray, the decision was made.

Sanctions against Mali citizens being elected to ECOWAS positions were also lifted by the authority. Along with the lifting of sanctions against Guinea, all four nations were extended an invitation to future ECOWAS technical consultative meetings.

Additionally, ECOWAS requested that the member states that were withdrawing reevaluate their choice in light of the advantages their citizens had received.

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Senegalese opposition condemns President Sall’s ‘slow’ election date announcement

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The opposition presidential contenders in Senegal have claimed that the government is taking too long to announce a new date for the poll, following a court ruling that declared a 10-month postponement to be illegal.

This occurs just a few days after President Macky Sall pledged to comply with the Constitutional Council’s position that the election be held as soon as feasible following the parliament’s resolution to reschedule the election—which was initially set for February 25—was overruled by the court.

The situation in one of the more stable democracies in coup-hit West Africa led to violent public protests and threats of authoritarian overreach, and Sall came under intense pressure both domestically and internationally to accept the council’s decision.

However, no new date has been announced, which has angered opposition candidates who want the election to happen before Sall’s term expires on April 2.

In a joint statement released late on Tuesday, sixteen out of the nineteen presidential candidates bemoaned the “inexplicable slowness” with which the council’s decision was implemented.

It was their contention that Sall’s tardy return to electoral duty demonstrated his reluctance to initiate a process that would result in a transfer of power. A request for response from the presidency was not answered.

During a news conference on Tuesday, Justice Minister Aïssata Tall Sall said that there was room for discussion over the expiration of Sall’s mandate on April 2.

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