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Ethiopia releases separatist group leader, Dawud Ibsa after 11 months of house arrest

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In Ethiopia, the chairman of separatist group, Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), Dawud Ibsa, has been placed on house arrest by the Ethiopia government since April 2021.

The news of his release was revealed by one of the leaders of the separationist group OLF, Shigut Geleta.

The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) is an Ethiopian political party established in 1973 by Oromo nationalists to promote self-determination for the Oromo people inhabiting today’s Oromia Region and Oromia Zone in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia.

Mr. Ibsa was arrested in his residence at Addis Ababa, after an illegal search was carried out in his home and electronic equipment seized.

“It’s difficult to say he is fully released, but there is a big change,” Geleta said.

He also said he was optimistic about the release of other leaders of the party.

Ethiopian authorities and leaders of the OLF have been at loggerheads since they were allowed to enter the county after being removed from the terrorist list after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed resumed office in 2018.

The authorities accused the OLF of secretly working with the OLA rebel group, which they have party denied.

Ibsa’s arrest came hours after the OLF released a statement rejecting the resolution by the council of ministers naming “TPLF” & “Shene” as terrorist organizations.

The group “judged the resolution a deliberate work to stifle a peaceful process and to subvert political dialogue, and also the election”.

The police did not permit anyone to leave or enter Dawud Ibsa’s residence since he was under house arrest. However, there were serious concerns over Dawud Ibsa’s wellbeing as there were thoughts of him running out of food and other important items.

Politics

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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South Africa wants Israel’s ‘occupation’ of Palestinian territories declared illegal

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South Africa is back at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over Israel’s role in the ongoing Hamas war. On Tuesday, Johannesburg asked the World Court to issue a non-binding legal opinion that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories is illegal.

South Africa argued that the proclamation would help efforts to reach a settlement as its representative opened the second day of hearings at the court in the Hague.

Vusimuzi Madonsela, South Africa’s ambassador to the Netherlands told the judges that “a clear legal characterization of the nature of Israel’s regime over the Palestinian people can only assist in remedying the ongoing delay and achieving a just settlement.”

Palestinian delegates asked the U.N.’s top court on Monday to declare Israel’s occupation of their territory illegal, adding that the advisory opinion of the court might help bring about a durable peace and a two-state solution.

Israel sent a written statement claiming that an advisory opinion would be detrimental to reaching a negotiated settlement with the Palestinians, despite not being present at the hearings.

The most recent wave of violence in Gaza, which was sparked by Hamas’s attacks on Israel on October 7, has exacerbated the region’s long-standing grievances and harmed attempts to find a peaceful solution.

The ICJ’s fifteen-member panel was tasked with “occupation, settlement and annexation … including measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and from its adoption of related discriminatory legislation and measures.”

It is anticipated that the judges will take about half a year to respond to the request, which also asks them to evaluate the implications of the occupation’s legal standing.

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