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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

Congo DR electoral body, CENI, announces date of presidential election

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The electoral authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Commission Electorale Nationale Independente (CENI) have announced dates for the next presidential election.

CENI on Saturday said the election will take place on December 20th next year.

The commission outlined several challenges, including the logistics of transporting ballot materials thousands of miles, health concerns about Ebola and COVID-19, and unrest that has forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes.

The incumbent president, Felix Tshisekedi, who already expressed his intention to run again. He might be running against Martin Fayulu, who continues to claim that he won the 2018 election and was denied victory.

Terrorist activities, largely by a rebel group, M23 have drawn reactions from stakeholders in the East Africa region and global observers. The M23 is a rebel military group based in eastern areas of the DRC, mainly operating in the province of North Kivu.

According to the electoral authorities, insecurity remains the main challenge for the next elections.

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Congo DR rebel group, M23 wants direct talks with government. Will Kinshasa concede?

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The M23 rebel group, which has been at loggerheads with the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has asked for a direct talk with the government.

The positions are days after the deadline for the declaration of a permanent truce between the worrying battles.

Leaders of Rwanda, Burundi, and Angola met this week in Luanda to find a solution to the conflict in eastern Congo, which has forced thousands to flee their homes.

But the M23 was not part of the discussions and found out about the statement on social media, its spokesperson said.

The spokesperson of the group, Lawrence Kanyuka, “thanked the regional leaders for their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the current conflict.”

“Give us direct negotiations with the government to resolve the root causes of conflict that are producing all these wars here,” he said. M23 leader Bertrand Bisimwa also issued a statement to the same effect.

Meanwhile, Congo DR’s foreign minister Christophe Lutundula said: “It won’t happen. I can reassure you on behalf of the government and the President of the Republic.”

The M23 is a rebel military group based in eastern areas of the DRC, mainly operating in the province of North Kivu.

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