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Sudan military junta lifts state of emergency following renewed anti-coup protests

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The Sudanese Transitional Sovereign Council led by Gen Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, has lifted a state of emergency that was imposed in the country following the October 2021 coup following persistent protests against the military putsch.

The ruling military authorities lifted the state of emergency on Sunday and recommended that people detained under the emergency law be freed.

The decision by Gen Burhan, the head of Sudan’s ruling Sovereign Council, came after the Security and Defense Council, Sudan’s highest body that decides on security matters, met and decided that the emergency law be scrapped.

The lifting of the state of emergency also comes after repeated calls by local groups and foreign governments who had raised concerns about human rights violations and brutality against unarmed protesters.

The news also came after UN envoy for Sudan, Volker Perthes, announced the killing of two anti-coup protestors on Saturday during protests in Khartoum’s Kalakla neighbourhood.

According to Perthes, one of the young protesters was shot dead by security forces while the other suffocated after inhaling tear gas fired by security forces.

The relentless protests have been part of relentless demonstrations across the country with hundreds of people marching in the capital demanding the return of constitutional order.

So far, nearly a hundred demonstrators have been killed since the protests began late last year.

The protesters have been demanding the removal of the military from power prompting the ruling junta to make a promise of only handing over power to an elected administration.

They also say elections will take place in July 2023 as planned in a constitutional document governing the transition period.

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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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