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South Sudan fires back at UN over renewed sanctions, accuses Security Council of double standard

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South Sudan’s Unity Government has fired back at the United Nations Security Council after the body extended an arms embargo and sanctions imposed on it in 2018, describing the renewal as unfortunate and unproductive.

The UN Security Council had, on Friday, voted to renew the sanctions on the African country amid the escalating unrest in the country.

The Council had taken the decision at its extraordinary meeting held on Thursday, resolving to extend the measures until May 2023.

The resolution which was drafted by the United States was passed with the support of 10 of the 15 council condemned “past and ongoing human rights violations and abuses, and violations of international humanitarian law, including the alarming surge in conflict-related sexual violence.”

But in a a reaction to the embargo extension in press statement on Saturday, the seen South Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, accused the Security Council of double standard when it comes to dealing with some countries, adding that the UN agency should have followed the position adopted by the African Union in approaching the issues it raised.

“The African people have spoken clearly through the African Union Decision 815 of February 2022 that sanctions and arms embargo is unproductive.

“That some countries would dismiss the African Union’s stance on this matter shows an old hubris with no value for a world shaken by wars, including Africa and Europe,” said the ministry.

The Unity Gvernment, however, lauded China, India, Russia, Gabon and Kenya, which declined from voting for the sanctions renewalon Juba. The five countries abstained from the vote.

“These countries understand that the United Nation’s vision of world peace requires that sovereign nations respect one another as equals. They stand in solidarity with the people of South Sudan for whom these sanctions are cruel policy with no clear intention.

“South Sudan will continue to model reconciliation through the peace agreement knowing other countries too experience violent political discord that requires tolerance, accommodation and healing.

“Just as sanctions on those countries would be counterproductive, they are also counterproductive to South Sudan.

“We, instead, invite friendly nations to support our efforts to stabilise the country, including the sovereign right to defend our territorial integrity,” the Foreign Affairs ministry said.

The arms embargo and sanctions on Africa’s youngest country was imposed by the UN in 2018 after a peace agreement ended five years of bloody civil war between factions loyal to President Salva Kiir and Vice President Riek Machar.

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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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