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Ex-Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta, to visit Congo DR over recent M23 rebel attack

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The re-emergence of attacks by the M23 rebel group in the Democratic Republic of Congo has warranted peace moves from stakeholders across the Eastern African region.

A prominent figure among the mediators is former Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta, who will be in the DRC on Sunday for a 48-hour working visit as efforts to end the war in eastern DRC continue.

Kenyatta is the East African Community’s (EAC) mediator in efforts to end the war between DRC forces and the M23 rebels.

The ex-Kenyan president “plans to meet about 50 representatives of the communities of the provinces of Ituri, North and South Kivu as well as heads of institutions” during his stay in DRC.

Mr. Kenyatta who recently visited Burundi on the ongoing crisis will meet President Félix Tshisekedi to discuss the security situation in the eastern DRC region where fighting between the Congolese army (FARDC) and the M23 is still intense.

The M23 is a rebel military group based in eastern areas of the DRC, mainly operating in the province of North Kivu. A United Nations report found that Rwanda created and commanded the M23 rebel group but Rwanda has repeatedly denied a link with the rebel group.

Its latest attack in the DRC has reawakened controversy over allegations that the group is being supported by Rwanda.

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ECOWAS folds, lifts economic, travel sanctions on junta-led Niger, others

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Economic sanctions on Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso were lifted with immediate effect by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Saturday.

This came after the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government held an unprecedented meeting at the State House in Abuja, where they deliberated for hours on the political, peace, and security situation in the region.

Mali and its bordering junta-run nations, Niger and Burkina Faso, abruptly announced last month that they were abandoning ECOWAS, the largest political and economic union in West Africa, reversing decades of regional integration.

The ECOWAS Commission President, Dr. Omar Touray, announced the Authority’s resolutions and stated that it has halted the closing of the air and land border with Niger, creating a no-fly zone for any commercial aircraft.

Additionally, it has halted the unfreezing of all of Niger’s assets at EBID and the freezing of any financial transactions involving the central bank of the ECOWAS states and Niger.

Additionally, it removed the restriction on military junta members’ and their families’ travel. “Based on humanitarian considerations due to lent and the approaching month of Ramadan,” according to Touray, the decision was made.

Sanctions against Mali citizens being elected to ECOWAS positions were also lifted by the authority. Along with the lifting of sanctions against Guinea, all four nations were extended an invitation to future ECOWAS technical consultative meetings.

Additionally, ECOWAS requested that the member states that were withdrawing reevaluate their choice in light of the advantages their citizens had received.

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Senegalese opposition condemns President Sall’s ‘slow’ election date announcement

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The opposition presidential contenders in Senegal have claimed that the government is taking too long to announce a new date for the poll, following a court ruling that declared a 10-month postponement to be illegal.

This occurs just a few days after President Macky Sall pledged to comply with the Constitutional Council’s position that the election be held as soon as feasible following the parliament’s resolution to reschedule the election—which was initially set for February 25—was overruled by the court.

The situation in one of the more stable democracies in coup-hit West Africa led to violent public protests and threats of authoritarian overreach, and Sall came under intense pressure both domestically and internationally to accept the council’s decision.

However, no new date has been announced, which has angered opposition candidates who want the election to happen before Sall’s term expires on April 2.

In a joint statement released late on Tuesday, sixteen out of the nineteen presidential candidates bemoaned the “inexplicable slowness” with which the council’s decision was implemented.

It was their contention that Sall’s tardy return to electoral duty demonstrated his reluctance to initiate a process that would result in a transfer of power. A request for response from the presidency was not answered.

During a news conference on Tuesday, Justice Minister Aïssata Tall Sall said that there was room for discussion over the expiration of Sall’s mandate on April 2.

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