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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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Burkina Faso’s junta leader, Ibrahim Traore, assures France of relations amidst recent tension

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Amidst recent diplomatic tension between Burkina Faso and France, the military leader of the West African country, Ibrahim Traoré has claimed that recent incidences do not suggest the end of relations with France.

Burkina Faso had expelled French ambassadors and expelled French troops earlier in the year. French President, Emmanuel Macron had sought clarifications from military President Ibrahim Traore about reported demands for the departure of French troops from the country.

He said: “We’ve heard everywhere in the press that Wagner is in Ouagadougou. That’s also how we heard about it. I’ve asked some people who say, ‘Oh really? Where are they?’

“We’ve since heard that they’re even in a hotel somewhere, we’re surprised to hear about that.”

“There’s a general state of mind whereby if you deal with Wagner, everyone runs away from you, so it’s something which has been created in order that everyone shuns us – well congratulations, good job.”

The wave of anti-French agitations in the West African sub-region has continued in recent times. Notably French relations with Burkina Faso’s neighbour, Mali who is also caught up in a serious security crisis.

“The French embassy is here,” He said. “French nationals are here, just as ours is there, so diplomatically nothing has changed.

“This is about an agreement over military presence, and as they have said, our sovereignty is up to us, so that’s what we are expressing through our denunciation of this agreement. So there is no breaking off of diplomatic relations, or hatred of any particular country.”

France’s position in Africa has been a subject of discussion lately amidst recent anti-French agitations across the continent.

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Tunisian union, UGTT chief, Noureddine Taboubi accuses President Saied of intimidation

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As part of the fallouts of the recently conducted parliamentary elections in Tunisia, its trade union, UGTT accused President Kais Saied of targeting it as a distraction from record-low election turnout.

The powerful union also accused president Saied of overseeing a “total failure” of economic policies.

The UGTT chief, Noureddine Taboubi at a meeting held at Gammarth to discuss the arrest of the union’s senior official Anis Kaabi earlier in the week said “the president is trying to divert attention from the record low election turnout in the first and second round of legislative elections and the utter failure of his economic and social decisions.”

Mr. Taboubi added: “Why is the UGTT a target?  Because [the authorities] want to pass the painful reforms they are always discussing.

“In order to pass these painful reforms, they need to distract the public with trivia by saying that the reason for this situation is the UGTT.”

The election, which was a second round of the Tunisian parliamentary polls held last Sunday with reports that nearly 90% of the electorate did not vote, making it the highest level of abstention since the 2011 revolution that toppled dictator Ben Ali and marked the advent of democracy in the country.

Voter turnout for the first round of the parliamentary elections in December was only 11%, prompting widespread ridicule among Saied’s opponents and new demands by the powerful labour union that he changes tack.

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