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Tunisian President Saied rejects opposition calls for dialogue after sacking election commission

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The President of Tunisia, Kais Saied, has rejected calls by the country’s opposition for a dialogue after dissolving the election commission and appointing a new one made up of his loyalists, with himself as thr chairman.

Saied had on April 22, replaced most of the members of the election commission, thus removing one more democratic check on the president, leading to worries about the legitimacy of any future elections.

With the political crisis in the North African country growing, Saied has remained adamant and has made several moves that critics say are designed to entrench him in power and appears increasingly unwilling to compromise.

On Thursday, the President rejected the formation of an opposition “National Salvation Front’, which has called for a national dialogue conference and a transitional government.

The opposition have also made several attempts to reach out to Saied to discuss the way forward but he told a gathering in Tunis on Wednesday that there was “no dialogue with those who want to target the Tunisian state”.

Saied had in the past, taken certain decisions which have further escalated the political crisis in the country which began after he sacked the government, suspended parliament, and took emergency powers nine months ago, actions that were labelled a “coup” by his opponents.

Saied has often argued that his moves were a fight against the corruption of Tunisia’s political elites, and a move from a parliamentary system, which he blames for the poor performance of the government in recent years, to a presidential system.

While Saied did receive a wide degree of popular support at the time, that has weakened following decisions that appear to reverse Tunisia’s path towards democracy following the 2011 revolution in the country.

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Exiled former Burkina Faso’s president, Blaise Compaore, to return home

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Burkinabe authorities has revealed that former president of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaore will return from exile for the first time since being ousted in a 2014 uprising.

The junta led by Colonel Damiba made the revelation on Wednesday. Compaore will return home despite his conviction earlier this year for complicity in his predecessor’s murder.

Blaise Compaore was sentenced to life imprisonment by a military tribunal in April for the murder of his predecessor and ‘best friend’, Thomas Sankara, in a 1987 coup.

The statement from the presidency said the meeting of former heads of state “does not hinder judicial prosecutions engaged against some of them”, but did not elaborate.

An association of lawyers representing the families of Sankara and others killed during the 1987 coup demanded that Compaore be arrested once in Burkina Faso.

Local media have speculated in recent days that Compaore could be granted a pardon over the Sankara murder as part of the junta’s reconciliation process.

The coup that brought the current junta into power in Burkina Faso was launched on 23 January 2022 when gunfire erupted in front of the presidential residence in the Burkinabé capital Ouagadougou and several military barracks around the city.

The military Junta of Lieutenant-Colonel Damiba ceased power afterward and Christian Kabore has been on house arrest since then. Although fighting insurgency was one of the reasons for the last coup, Burkina Faso however remains in the eye of the storm with continuous terrorist attacks.

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Rwanda, Congo DR settle for peace as Kagame, Tshisekedi agree to de-escalate tension

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It appears the sun is setting on the diplomatic tension between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda president of the two, Felix Tshisekedi and Paul Kagame have agreed at a summit in Angola to de-escalate the tension.

The East African leaders, agreed to begin a process to manage the brouhaha that have arisen from a rebel insurgency, the Congolese presidency said on Wednesday.

The friction between the countries was pronounced last month when Rwandan military authorities accused the armed forces of neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo of cross-border attacks.

Rwanda denied and in turn, accused Congo of fighting alongside insurgents – a face-off that has raised fears of fresh conflict in the region.

The new agreement entails an immediate cessation of hostilities and the retreat of M23 fighters from Congo, and aims to normalise diplomatic relations between Congo and Rwanda, the Congolese presidency said on Twitter.

The African Union through its Chair, Macky Sall, who is also the president of Senegal had intervened in the diplomatic brouhaha and called for dialogue in the pursuit of a lasting solution.

The AU later appointed Angolan President, Joao Lourenco to mediate the talks and restore dialogue between the two parties. Presidents of the two countries flew into Angola on Tuesday for the summit.

The presidency in Congo DR tweeted (translated) on Wednesday the Luanda Summit which was “aimed to restore trust between the two neighboring countries ended this Wednesday 6/07 in the early afternoon with a press briefing by the 3 Presidents: F. Tshisekedi”

 

“The tripartite decided on a process of de-escalation between the DRC and Rwanda.

“This objective will be achieved gradually via a so-called Luanda roadmap focused on reviving the DRC-RWANDA joint commission, which had not met for several years.”

According to the Congolese presidency, the new agreement entails an immediate cessation of hostilities and the retreat of M23 fighters from Congo, and aims to normalize diplomatic relations between Congo and Rwanda.

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