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13 killed as fighting breaks out between Libyan political rivals

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Thirteen people have been killed as fierce fighting breaks out between Libyan political rival factions on Friday in the capital Tripoli, making it the country’s worst political clashes two years during a dangerous political standoff.

The fighting reportedly started when the Libyan Special Deterrence Force (SDF), led by Tripoli-based warlord. Abdul-Raof Kara, launched a large-scale attack on locations controlled by Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade (TRB), led by Ayoub Abu Ras.

According to preliminarily statistics released by the Emergency Medicine Department, 10 people including a child, were killed in the attack while 25 others were wounded.

“The clashes were first started in Zwait Dahmani and Furnaj districts where SDF seized some locations for TRB including the Central Support Agency on Thursday night.

“The fighting renewed on Friday afternoon in Mashtel Road in Ain Zara, causing damage to people’s properties, as SDF is trying to move on other locations for TRB.

“Many people were trapped in the middle of the fighting and others sought shelter in wedding halls,” according to a report carried by the Libyan Observer.

However, the Tripoli Ambulance and Emergency Services in a statement by its spokesperson, Osama Ali, said 13 people were confirmed dead and 27 injured while a spokesperson for the Interior Ministry said three of the dead were civilians.

“Fighters from RADA, one of the most powerful forces in Tripoli, were visible around most central areas on Friday morning, while the main Presidency Council building was empty.

“The main sides involved were both affiliated to the Presidency Council, a three-person body acting as transitional head of state. They included the RADA force,” an Interior Ministry spokesperson said.

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Recalcitrant Mali to snub ECOWAS sanctions on Guinea in defence of ‘fraternity’

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Mali has continued its recalcitrant posture in the international space as its interim prime minister has revealed that the country will not apply sanctions imposed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Guinea.

Mali’s government spokesman and interim prime minister, Abdoulaye Maiga, in a statement said the country would not respect the sanctions out of loyalty and diplomatic it has with Guinea.

“Taking into account the solidarity and fraternity between Mali and Guinea, the transitional government has decided to break away from all illegal, inhumane, and illegitimate sanctions imposed on (Guinea) and will take no action on them,” Maiga, said.

The regional bloc, ECOWAS in July lifted sanctions imposed on Mali and Burkina Faso after both announced time table for democratic transition but the sanction on Guinea remained after the body had rejected the three years calendar proposed by the ruling junta led by Colonel Mamady Dumbouya .

The bloc, last week imposed sanctions on Guinea’s ruling junta for taking too long to organize elections and restore democracy after seizing power last year.

Some of the sanction measures include freezing junta members’ financial assets and barring them from travelling to other countries in the region.

Mali, one in Guinea and one in Burkina Faso since August 2020. The lifting of the sanctions is some sort of relief for the countries who cannot afford more economic restrains than the troubling cases of insurgency already caused them.

Mali under the current military junta of Colonel Goita has severed diplomatic relations with some allies, notably France which has been helpful with military support in the fight against terrorism.

The country has also had diplomatic loggerheads with other entities like Ivory Coast, the United Nations, Germany, and Egypt amongst others.

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Nigeria Decides: Ruling party candidate, Bola Tinubu, missing as political parties sign peace pact

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As the 2023 presidential elections draw closer in Nigeria, leading candidates have signed an accord toward a peaceful electioneering process.

The symbolic pact is organized by the National Peace Committee (NPC), chaired by Abdulsalami Abubakar, a former military Head of State.

In attendance were candidates of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, Rabiu Kwankwaso, flagbearer of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP); and Omoyele Sowore, standard bearer of the African Action Congress (AAC), were present at the event.

However, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was not present but was represented on Thursday by his running mate, Kashim Shettima.

The pact is symbolic as most elections in Africa are often characterized by violence. The timeliness of the pact is rife as the 2023 electoral season officially began on Wednesday, 27 of September which marks the commencement of political campaigns.

In April 2022, Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in a report said more than 1,149  persons, including INEC employees and security officers, were killed in the three elections held in 2011, 2015, and 2019.

According to INEC, ballot papers, cubicles, and other materials were similarly destroyed.

As Nigerians hope to turn their lot at the next elections, they would also hope to be alive to witness the change, the outcomes depend on them, the public.

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