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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

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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