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Tunisia: Labour union, UGTT, rejects President Saied’s constitutional dialogue, threatens national strike

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Tunisia’s general labour union, the UGTT has rejected President Kais Saied’s proposed dialogue to change the country’s constitution.

The union, which has over a million members, on Monday said it would hold a national strike over wages and the economy after refusing to take part in a limited dialogue.

The position of the UGTT was made public by its spokesperson, Sami Tahri

“We reject any formal dialogue in which roles are determined unilaterally and from which civil and political forces are excluded,” Tahri said.

Tahri also said the date of the strike, by UGTT members working in public services and state companies, will be announced later.

President Kais Saied continued his regime change moves in Tunisia last week when he named a law professor to head an advisory committee to draft a new constitution for a “new republic.”

The union has demanded a meaningful national dialogue on both political and economic reforms, but it rejected Saied’s proposal that it join a small advisory group of other civil society organisations that could submit reform ideas.

President Saied sacked the government, suspended parliament, and seized a string of powers in July 2021. In December of the same year, he announced in a speech on national television a three-month “popular consultation” with the Tunisian people after which “draft constitutional and other reforms will be put forward to a referendum on July 25”.

There have been protests for and against president Saied approach to governance by the Tunisian public. For political players, particularly the oppositions, however, Saied’s one-man-rule style is a no.

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Mali declares 3 days warning after deadliest terrorist attack

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Troubled West African country, Mali declared three days of national mourning following the deadliest recent attacks by Islamist militants.

In a recent ambush on Sunday , 42 soldiers were killed in the northern region of Gao. A statement by the army claimed jihadi extremists used drones, artillery and booby-trapped vehicles.

Armed groups affiliated with al-Qa’ida, have for some time attacked military bases in the West African country. They claimed responsibility for attacks on Mali’s main military base in an attack last month.

Terrorists also recently killed 15 soldiers and three civilians in two separate operations in southwest Mali.

Meanwhile, Mali on Thursday announced the delivery of aircrafts L-39 and Sukhoi-25 jets as well as Mi-24P helicopter gunships were displayed during a ceremony from Russia.

Mali under the current Junta of Colonel Goita has been on a thread of breaking diplomatic relations with allies. It started by breaking defence alliance with the French, the junta also quit the anti-jihadist force, G-5 force but has enjoyed good relationship with Russia.

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Right group, HRW, indicts Cameroonian troops of killing Anglophone separatists

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Right group, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused Cameroonian troops in the Northwest Regions of killing at least 10 people in a crackdown against anglophone separatists.

HRW indicts Cameroon’s military in a string of allegations monitored in the battle between security forces and English-speaking militants seeking cessation in francophone-majority Cameroon.

According to the report, “Cameroonian soldiers summarily killed at least 10 people and carried out a series of other abuses between April 24 and June 12, during counter-insurgency operations in the North-West region.

“The troops also burned 12 homes, destroyed, and looted health facilities, arbitrarily detained at least 26 people, and are presumed to have forcibly disappeared up to 17 others.”

The Anglophones of Cameroon, 20 per cent of the population, feel marginalised. Their frustrations surfaced dramatically at the end of 2016 when a series of sectoral grievances morphed into political demands, leading to strikes and riots.

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