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Guinea’s military Junta says it’s considering ‘proposals’ for political transition

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Having missed the April 25 deadline for transition into civil government by the regional bloc, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Guinea’s military junta, announced that it has received “proposals” for a political transition in the country.

Guinea’s Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralization, Mory Condé said the proposals range from 18 to 52 months.

Regional bloc, ECOWAS revealed during the week that “Guinea presented the recent developments in the transition process and also wished to have more time in relation to the 25 April deadline”, in order to “allow for further consultations.”

Condé also revealed that the junta had reached out to political parties, groups and coalitions as part of its plans for transition.

“On the question of openness, someone said to me, I think we are talking about openness when there is closedness. Since the decree of creation of this framework was issued, we have written several times to all coalitions of political parties in the country, we believe that to date it is those in the room who have agreed to respond. But we cannot force actors who feel that they should not come to the meeting”, said Condé.

General coordinator of COPAM and president of a political party, Elhadj Bouna Keïta, added “I say that if everyone has given its program, it is at this time the government has only to try to see finally to draw this conclusion provided that the Guinean will know we are going to, what are the deadlines that we political classes and the government have agreed to”.

West Africa has been rocked by two coups in Mali, one in Guinea and one in Burkina Faso since August 2020. The three countries were suspended from ECOWAS following military coups and hit by a raft of economic sanctions.

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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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