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Egypt PM, Madbouly announces wheat backup as Ukraine/Russia war stops flow

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Egypt’s Prime Minister, Mostafa Madbouly, has announced that the country will diversify its sources of wheat to avoid relying on what he described as “specific sources” for this product.

 

The minister added that the country would be using its strategic reserves until the end of 2022.

The announcement followed a ban on the export of wheat and other food staples announced by Ukraine.

 

Madbouly said the government is intensifying work to continue providing a strategic reserve of basic commodities, especially wheat.

 

“(We are) providing the financial funds required for the Ministry of Supply to quickly pay the dues of farmers who will supply the wheat crop during next April, while giving them the necessary incentives in this regard,” he added.

 

“The government …is closely monitoring current developments at the global level, and the turmoil it is witnessing due to the Russian-Ukrainian crisis and its repercussions … especially the shortage of a number of goods and the rise in prices worldwide.”

 

Last year, Russia accounted for 69.4 percent of Egypt’s wheat imports, while Ukraine accounted for 10.7 percent.

 

I assure all Egyptians that we won’t have any crisis at all or be compelled to buy from the international market until the end of this year. I am talking about the citizens’ basic needs concerning the bread loaf, we as the Egyptian state won’t be pressured at all to buy any shipments under the current price surges as we will have a stock that will cover our needs until the end of 2022″, said the Egyptian prime minister Mustafa Madbouly.

 

Egypt relies on Russia and Ukraine for the supply of wheat that is turned into bread, noodles and animal feed.

 

“It is true that Russia and Ukraine were our main source of wheat but we have already started to diversify our sources of wheat for imports in future deals, and that is already applied. We already buy (wheat) from various other countries. So we are always securing the diversity of our wheat sources so that they are not limited to specific countries”, promised the prime minister.

 

Sharp spikes in the cost of wheat could severely affect Egypt’s ability to keep bread prices at their current subsidised level.

 

Cabinet spokesman Nader Saad said Egypt is working on a plan to import wheat from other regions instead of Russia and Ukraine. Egypt has 14 countries approved to supply wheat, some of them outside Europe, he added.

 

“Egypt has a strategic stock of wheat approaching 5 million tons in silos or mills, and local wheat will join them starting from next April 15, to suffice the stock for a period of nine months,” Saad said.

 

Egypt is the largest importer of wheat in the world. The government expects wheat imports to decline from 5.5 million tons in 2021 to 5.3 million this year due to growth in domestic production.

 

 

 

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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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