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Diplomatic tension brews as Morocco withdraws Ambassador to Tunisia over Western Sahara

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Morocco has recalled its ambassador to Tunisia following the latter’s decision to invite Brahim Ghali, head of the Polisario Front Movement to Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TACID) conference to be held in Tunisia this weekend.

Tunisian President Kais Saied on Friday received the head of the movement that is seeking independence for Western Sahara, a territory Morocco regards as its own.

Morocco foreign ministry in a statement said it would no longer take part in the summit. It also accused Tunisia of having recently “multiplied negative positions” against Morocco, and said its decision to host Ghali “confirms its hostility in a blatant way”.

Morocco said Tunisia’s decision was “a grave and unprecedented act that deeply hurts the feelings of the Moroccan people”. It said it was recalling its ambassador to Rabat for consultation.

The Western Sahara conflict is an ongoing conflict between the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic/Polisario Front and the Kingdom of Morocco. The conflict originated from an insurgency by the Polisario Front against Spanish colonial forces from 1973 to 1975 and the subsequent Western Sahara War against Morocco between 1975 and 1991.

Tunisia’s latest move further deepens the series of disputes over Western Sahara that has already dragged in Spain and Germany and escalated an overarching regional rivalry between Morocco and Algeria, the Polisario’s main backer.

Reacting to Morocco’s decision, Tunisia’s ministry of foreign affairs said in a statement early on Saturday that the country maintains its complete “neutrality over Western Sahara issue in compliance with international legitimacy”.

Tunisia maintained that the African Union (AU) circulated a memorandum inviting all members of the African Union, including the head of the Polisario Front movement, to participate in the activities of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development Summit in Tunisia.

The long-frozen Western Sahara conflict pitting Morocco against the Polisario Front independence movement has flared in recent months, worsening already tense relations between the kingdom and its Polisario-backing neighbour, Algeria.

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Lesotho to hold parliamentary election as political instability rages

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Southern African nation, Lesotho will hold its parliamentary elections on Friday despite political instability rocking the country following the inability of politicians to pass constitutional reforms meant to end years of conflicts.

The ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC) which has been in power in the country since 2017, has continued to battle with internal divisions within the party which led to the appointment of two prime ministers in five years.

One of the prime ministers, Thomas Thabane, stepped down in 2020 after he was charged with the murder of his ex-wife.

His successor, Moeketsi Majoro, declared a state of emergency in August this year after legislators failed to pass two bills meant to end political volatility in parliament.

But in September, Lesotho’s highest court ruled the declaration unconstitutional.

The proposed constitutional reforms would have amended everything from the role of political parties, to rules over floor-crossing in parliament, the appointment of senior officials and the role of the prime minister.

The aim of the proposed reforms, according to the Prime Minister, was to make Lesotho less prone to political logjams when disagreements occur but the lawmakers had failed to agree on them.

The general elections scheduled to be held in on October 7, will see the election of120 members of the National Assembly and the Lower House of Assembly.

According to the guidelines for the elections, the 120 members of the National Assembly will be elected using the mixed-member proportional representation system, with voters casting two votes.

Eighty members are elected from single-member constituencies by first-past-the-post voting, with the remaining 40 elected from a single nationwide constituency as leveling seats, which are allocated to make seat totals reflect the national vote share.

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President Tshisekedi of Congo DR appoints new military chiefs amidst growing unrest

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The presidency in the Democratic Republic of Congo has replaced the head of the armed forces as part of broader military reforms aimed at boosting efficiency.

President Felix Tshisekedi appointed Christian Tshiwewe Songhesha, former commander of the Republican Guard, an elite unit in charge of protecting the head of state.

Songhesha replaces Célestin Mbala Musense as the army chief of staff, the government said in a statement late on Monday.

The president’s deputy director of communications, Giscard Kusema, told journalists that the wave of appointments is part of a broader framework of military reform.

He further revealed that “almost the entire staff has been replaced by young officers. Several are from the Republican Guard, but not all, and that’s because they have proven themselves.”

“For years, all the experts have been asking for a military programming law that gives more financial autonomy to the army and flexibility in procedures,” Kusema added.

Congo is one of the troubled zones of East Africa. between 1998 and 2003, government forces supported by Angola, Namibia, and Zimbabwe fought rebels backed by Rwanda and Uganda in what is known as the Second Congo War.

Unfortunately, the wave of unrest does not seem to be over as the country remains a territory for terror acts with multiple attacks lately.

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