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Sudan still boils four months after Al-Burhan’s coup; 84 killed so far

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The dust is yet to settle four months after Sudanese dictator, General Abdel al-Fattah al-Burhan organised a coup to overthrow a regime he has dictated to since 2019, and retained his powers as de facto leader of Sudan.

Demonstrations continue to trail the “self coup” despite the deadly crackdown with protesters calling for the end of military rule of General Al-Burhan.

A self-coup is a form of coup in which a nation’s leader, despite having come to power through legal means, dissolves or renders powerless the national legislature and unlawfully assumes extraordinary powers, not granted under normal circumstances.

One of the protesters was shot dead on Monday during a march by thousands against last year’s coup, thus taking the total number of people killed to at least 84 since General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan led the October 25 military takeover.

The protester killed on Monday was shot in the head in Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman, according to the Sudanese Doctors’ Committee.

The shooting happened as thousands of demonstrators tried to cross the bridge across the Nile linking the city to Khartoum.

“Tear gas canisters will not stop us!” said Taqwa Mohammed, a demonstrator near Khartoum’s presidential palace, where the ruling Sovereign Council is based along the Nile River.

The Northeast African country has a long history of military coups that dates back to 1957. More recently, the country experienced a coup in 2019 that ousted the military junta of Omar-al-Bashir which had been in power for over 30 years. There was also a report of an aborted coup in September 2021 and a “self coup” later in October of the same year that brought in Head Sovereignty Council, Lieutenant-General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan.

In the case of General Abdel al-Fattah al-Burhan’s coup, the dictator had been the head of the eleven-member Sovereignty Council of Sudan which was the collective head of state of  Sudan from 20 August 2019 when it was created by the August 2019 Draft Constitutional Declaration.

Al-Burhan displaced the council in the infamous 25 October 2021 self coup.

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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