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Ethiopia’s PM, Abiy Ahmed says peace is most challenging as ruling party holds congress

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Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, has said that sovereignty and peace are the most pressing challenges of the landlocked country on the Horn of Africa, in the east of the continent.

The Prime Minister made the claim on Friday at the kick off of Ethiopia’s ruling party, Prosperity Party, first ever congress of the party he created in 2019. The Prosperity Party claims over 11 million registered and contributing members.

Also in attendance were party leaders and representatives of foreign political parties. According to local news reports, Uganda’s National Resistance movement and South Africa’s ANC were also in Addis Ababa.

“Peace is more than anything for Ethiopia because we just came out of war. Forces who think they are powerful need to work towards peace, discussion, rest, and development, Abiy said. All other options are not beneficial for Ethiopia and Ethiopians. I want to encourage all of us to stand for peace and democracy together.”

The Prosperity Party was established after Prime Minister Abiy initiated a process to replace the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, a coalition of four major ethnic-based parties and three support parties which were crafted by Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) under the leadership of the late Meles Zenawi in 1991.

Disagreeing on the formation of a single united party, TPLF parted ways with member parties. Some analysts believed it was one of the factors that contributed to the tension with the Federal government which turned into the ongoing war in Tigray.

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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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