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Somalia PM bares fangs, orders AU Envoy out of country

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The Prime Minister of Somalia, Mohamed Hussein Roble, has given the African Union Chair’s Special Envoy for the country, Ambassador Francisco Madeira, 48 hours to leave the country after declaring him a persona non grata.

Roble who took the hard stance in a statement on Thursday, accused Madeira of “engaging in acts that are incompatible with his status,” and also requested that the AU Commission recall Madeira and “comply with this request.”

The move to expel Madeira came just days after the U.N. Security Council authorized a new AU Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) to operate in the country until the end of 2024. ATMIS replaces the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

But the move by Roble could lead to another round of dispute between him and President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, who rejected the expulsion of Madeira.

African Union Chair’s Special Envoy for Somalia, Ambassador Francisco Madeira

African Union Chair’s Special Envoy for Somalia, Ambassador Francisco Madeira

In a counter statement, the President said that he had not authorized any action against Madeira, adding that he had not received any reports from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Madeira committing acts against the sovereignty of the country.

The President’s statement insinuated that the decision to expel Madeira was issued by an office that didn’t have sole responsibility for making such a crucial decision.

The Mozambique-born Madeira, who was appointed to the office in October 2015, is not the first foreign diplomat to be expelled from Somalia as his deputy, Simon Mulongo, was expelled in November 2021.

In January 2019, the Somalian government had declared former United Nations Envoy to the country, Nicholas Haysom, a persona non grata for “violating protocols” and interfering in Somalia’s affairs and subsequently expelled.

Haysom’s expulsion came after he had asked the government whether UN-supported forces were involved in the shooting of demonstrators in Baidoa in December 2018.

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Like Mali, Burkina Faso junta suspends France’s RFI radio over broadcast of militant speech

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West African country, Burkina Faso has gone the way of its neighbour Mali, as its ruling junta has suspended the broadcast of France’s RFI radio.

The suspension comes after what the junta said were false reports and giving voice to Islamist militants, a statement from the government said on Saturday.

According to a statement by the radio station, “RFI strongly deplores this decision and protests against the totally unfounded accusations calling into question its professionalism,” State-owned Radio France Internationale, usually referred to as RFI.

The statement added that the decision to suspend its broadcasting was made without prior notice and without the implementation of the procedures put in place by Burkina Faso’s communications regulator.

The ruling junta which came into power in a recent coup in September accused the RFI also repeated a press report – which it denied – that Burkina Faso’s President Captain Ibrahim Traore, who seized power in a coup in September, had said there had been an attempted coup trying to unseat him.

Burkina Faso’s neighbour Mali under military reign suspended broadcasts by French state-funded international news outlets RFI and France 24 amid accusations of reporting “false allegations”.

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Politics

Tunisian labour union, UGTT threatens political disruption as elections draws near

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As the North African country, Tunisia braces up for elections, labour union, UGTT has threatened not to disrupt proceedings under the current political arrangement.

UGTT attacked president Saied political and economic agenda on Saturday, including the elections scheduled for this month. The union said that it will no longer accept what it called a threat to democracy in its clearest challenge to him yet.

UGTT’s leader Noureddine Taboubi said in a speech to thousands of supporters, the union will ” no longer accept the current path because of its ambiguity and individual rule, and the unpleasant surprises it hides for the fate of the country and democracy.”

“We will not hesitate to defend rights and freedoms whatever the cost,” he added, in his strongest criticism yet of the president.

“We will not abide by secret agreements the government has with the International Monetary Fund and the workers will stand up to it,” Taboubi said.

Taboubi said the December election would “have no colour and taste” as a result of Saied’s constitution and that the vote lacked national unanimity.

President Kais Saied hinted that the country will not accept foreign observers for the planned elections for later this year.

There have been protests for and against president Saied’s approach to governance of the Tunisian public.

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