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Opposition strengthen in parliament as Benin Republic’s Democrats wins 28 seats

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Main opposition Democrats have won 28 legislative seats following the parliamentary elections held in the Republic of Benin last weekend.

The Republican Bloc (BR) and Progressive Union for Renewal (UP-R) parties, both allied with President Patrice Talon together won 81 seats at the polls held on Sunday Sunday.

The electoral body, CENA revealed that final results are expected on Friday.

By the implication of the result, the 28 seats won is enough votes to join the two ruling parties in parliament, although they retained a firm majority.

The two parties already in power – the Union Progressiste le Renouveau and the Bloc Republicain – came first and second with 37.56% and 29.17% of the vote respectively, the provisional results showed.

The Democrats party linked to President Patrice Talon’s predecessor and rival Thomas Boni Yayi came third with 24.02%.

Voter turnout was a low 38.66% on Sunday, the electoral commission said, despite analysts predicting it would be higher as more parties were involved.

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Regional bloc leaders, wants ceasefire amidst diplomatic tension between Congo DR, Rwanda

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There is a regional call by Eastern heads of state for an immediate ceasefire by all parties in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Secretary General of the regional bloc, the East Africa Community, Peter Mathuki, said: “There must be immediate ceasefire by all political parties.

He added: “The withdraw including all foreign armed groups and directed the chief of defence forces of all the partners’ states of East African Community to meet urgently within the next one week and set new timelines for the withdrawal and the commend appropriate deployment matrix in different parts of eastern DRC.”

Mathuki said: “The heads of state called upon parties to respect and implement all the summits decisions and agreed upon themselves that any again violation should be reported immediately and the summit now will take the charge of this process.”

The diplomatic tension between East African neighbours, hit another height last month after Rwandan president Paul Kagame said the country can no longer accept refugees from the DRC.

Also last month, Rwandan forces fired at a fighter jet from the DRC, with the claim that it violated its airspace. The Rwandan government spokesperson, Yolande Makolo, said in a statement said his country had to take the measure after the military jet violated its airspace.

The DRC has consistently accused Rwanda of supporting the M23 armed group – whose origins lie in the region’s ethnic fighting – and powerful voices in the West have openly agreed. But Rwanda has denied backing the M23.

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Burkina Faso’s junta leader, Ibrahim Traore, assures France of relations amidst recent tension

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Amidst recent diplomatic tension between Burkina Faso and France, the military leader of the West African country, Ibrahim Traoré has claimed that recent incidences do not suggest the end of relations with France.

Burkina Faso had expelled French ambassadors and expelled French troops earlier in the year. French President, Emmanuel Macron had sought clarifications from military President Ibrahim Traore about reported demands for the departure of French troops from the country.

He said: “We’ve heard everywhere in the press that Wagner is in Ouagadougou. That’s also how we heard about it. I’ve asked some people who say, ‘Oh really? Where are they?’

“We’ve since heard that they’re even in a hotel somewhere, we’re surprised to hear about that.”

“There’s a general state of mind whereby if you deal with Wagner, everyone runs away from you, so it’s something which has been created in order that everyone shuns us – well congratulations, good job.”

The wave of anti-French agitations in the West African sub-region has continued in recent times. Notably French relations with Burkina Faso’s neighbour, Mali who is also caught up in a serious security crisis.

“The French embassy is here,” He said. “French nationals are here, just as ours is there, so diplomatically nothing has changed.

“This is about an agreement over military presence, and as they have said, our sovereignty is up to us, so that’s what we are expressing through our denunciation of this agreement. So there is no breaking off of diplomatic relations, or hatred of any particular country.”

France’s position in Africa has been a subject of discussion lately amidst recent anti-French agitations across the continent.

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