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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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Senegalese opposition condemns President Sall’s ‘slow’ election date announcement

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The opposition presidential contenders in Senegal have claimed that the government is taking too long to announce a new date for the poll, following a court ruling that declared a 10-month postponement to be illegal.

This occurs just a few days after President Macky Sall pledged to comply with the Constitutional Council’s position that the election be held as soon as feasible following the parliament’s resolution to reschedule the election—which was initially set for February 25—was overruled by the court.

The situation in one of the more stable democracies in coup-hit West Africa led to violent public protests and threats of authoritarian overreach, and Sall came under intense pressure both domestically and internationally to accept the council’s decision.

However, no new date has been announced, which has angered opposition candidates who want the election to happen before Sall’s term expires on April 2.

In a joint statement released late on Tuesday, sixteen out of the nineteen presidential candidates bemoaned the “inexplicable slowness” with which the council’s decision was implemented.

It was their contention that Sall’s tardy return to electoral duty demonstrated his reluctance to initiate a process that would result in a transfer of power. A request for response from the presidency was not answered.

During a news conference on Tuesday, Justice Minister Aïssata Tall Sall said that there was room for discussion over the expiration of Sall’s mandate on April 2.

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South Africa wants Israel’s ‘occupation’ of Palestinian territories declared illegal

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South Africa is back at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over Israel’s role in the ongoing Hamas war. On Tuesday, Johannesburg asked the World Court to issue a non-binding legal opinion that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories is illegal.

South Africa argued that the proclamation would help efforts to reach a settlement as its representative opened the second day of hearings at the court in the Hague.

Vusimuzi Madonsela, South Africa’s ambassador to the Netherlands told the judges that “a clear legal characterization of the nature of Israel’s regime over the Palestinian people can only assist in remedying the ongoing delay and achieving a just settlement.”

Palestinian delegates asked the U.N.’s top court on Monday to declare Israel’s occupation of their territory illegal, adding that the advisory opinion of the court might help bring about a durable peace and a two-state solution.

Israel sent a written statement claiming that an advisory opinion would be detrimental to reaching a negotiated settlement with the Palestinians, despite not being present at the hearings.

The most recent wave of violence in Gaza, which was sparked by Hamas’s attacks on Israel on October 7, has exacerbated the region’s long-standing grievances and harmed attempts to find a peaceful solution.

The ICJ’s fifteen-member panel was tasked with “occupation, settlement and annexation … including measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and from its adoption of related discriminatory legislation and measures.”

It is anticipated that the judges will take about half a year to respond to the request, which also asks them to evaluate the implications of the occupation’s legal standing.

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