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South Sudan: Rivals sign power sharing agreement to avert ‘worst humanitarian crisis’

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In the push for lasting peace in South Sudan, political gladiators in the country have reached an agreement that would permit the sharing of power and control between the President Salva Kiir Mayardit and the Vice-President Riek Machar.

The power sharing arrangement, which was signed on Sunday in Juba after mediation from neighbouring Sudan is to unify army command in a key development of the fragile peace agreement, signed in 2018.

It is a division of 60% for the president’s camp and 40% for vice-president control of leadership positions in the army, police and national security forces.

Series of peace accords have been signed by warring parties for some time now.  A renewed peace agreement was signed in September 2018 and centered on areas between the government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (al-Hilu) (SPLM-N (al-Hilu) and on the Darfur track between the government and the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF).

South Sudan’s Mining Minister and Representative of SPLM-IO, Martin Gama Abucha, stressed the importance of parties involved respecting the accord.

“Most important is not only the signing, but the implementation of these articles. We must implement what we are saying. The people of South Sudan expect us to do that” (…) The silence of the guns is most important to peace. We cannot continue to fight when we are talking peace in Juba so as much as we talk about peace, the guns must go down from today”, Abucha said.

Tensions between forces loyal to the president and former rebel leader Riek Machar had escalated recently, raising international fears of a return to full-scale conflict in the world’s youngest nation.

“For the national security of the Republic of South Sudan, which is an extension of consideration of Sudanese national security, this proposal was integrated and compatible and thank God that it has been agreed between all the parties regarding the order of distribution of commands leadership. This proposal has raised the road or time for the matrix to implement what was agreed in this proposal”, added Yassin Ibrahim Yassin, Sudan Minister of Defence.

As reported on slamreportafrica.com on Sunday, a United Nations Humanitarian coordinator for South Sudan, Sara Beysolow Nyanti, has warned that the country faces its worst humanitarian crisis since the country gained independence in 2011.

The new agreement provides for the principle of power-sharing in a government of national unity, formed in February 2020 with Kiir as president and Machar as vice president.

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Weeks after justices protest, Nigeria’s Chief Justice, Tanko Muhammad resigns

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Nigeria’s Chief Justice, Justice Tanko Muhammad, has resigned.

Sources confirmed that Justice Muhammad resigned on Sunday night, citing ill-health as the reason for his decision.

Hint of potential crises in Nigeria’s judiciary played out last week when fourteen Justices of the Supreme Court wrote to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammad, lamenting the parlous state of affairs in the court.

The petition is the first-of-its-kind in the 58-year history of the apex court, the justices chronicled the operational challenges that have almost crippled the efficient adjudication of cases at the court.

Arrangements are said to be ongoing to swear in the next most senior justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.

President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 suspended Justice Tanko’s predecessor Chief Justice, Walter Onnoghen, 15 days after allegations of impropriety were lodged against the most senior judge in the country. It was the first time that Nigeria’s head of state had sacked a chief justice since 1975, when the country was under military rule.

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18 years after suspension, Zimbabwe lobbys for readmission into Commonwealth

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Southern African Zimbabwe has continued with lobbying for readmission 18 years after it was thrown out of the body over allegations of human rights abuses.

The country made its latest move to be readmitted at the ongoing Commonwealth summit in Rwanda.

Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Rwanda Charity Manyeruke, who is attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali as an observer alongside other top government officials, told newsmen that the country’s participation at the summit was a “positive development.”

“Zimbabwe is excited to be participating in Commonwealth forums as this presents opportunities to network with the international community taking into account the government of Zimbabwe’s policy of engagement and reengagement,” Ms Manyeruke said.

“The Commonwealth meeting in Kigali has provided opportunities for our Zimbabwean diaspora across the globe, who are participating as panellists, facilitators and as delegates in the forums.

Zimbabwe was first suspended from the councils of the Commonwealth for one year, after international observers condemned disputed presidential election as unfairly tilted toward Robert Mugabe in 2022.

One year after the suspension, Mr Mugabe revealed that he did not accept a Commonwealth decision to prolong Zimbabwe’s suspension from the group until the country mended its ways.

“Accordingly, Zimbabwe has withdrawn its membership from the Commonwealth with immediate effect,” said a government statement.

Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs deputy minister David Musabayana said he had held meetings with influential people to discuss the country’s potential readmission.

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