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Senegal: State authority bans opposition’s planned protest over misappropriation of Covid Release Fund

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The Senegalese government banned planned demonstration in capital city, Dakar by opposition over report misappropriation of Covid-19 Fund.

The Dakar state authorities said “the place chosen (for the demonstration) is the subject of major works” linked to a project for buses running on exclusive lanes and the preparation of the Independence Day scheduled for 4 April.

The Place de la Nation, the place planned for the demonstration, “is marked by a continuous presence of machinery and workers which now makes it impossible to hold gatherings, due to the risk of accidents” and delays in the work, the text said.

The main opposition coalition Yewii Askan Wi last week called for a “concert of pans” on New Year Eve after Senegal’s Court of Auditors revealed that the nation’s Response Fund against the effect of the pandemic- which held more one billion euros – was subject to “mismanagement and criminal offences.”

The audit also revealed that about 28 million euros – spent by various ministries were completely misappropriated.

The group was also behind the banned demonstration for Friday to “contest the way this government is managing our public funds” and against “the democratic backsliding and impunity of the men in power”.

The audit report revealed “shortcomings”, “over-billing”, “lack of justification” for expenses, some of which, moreover, are “not linked to covid”.

At least 10 people were indicted by the Court of Auditors who has asked the Ministry of Justice to open a judicial investigation on the persons.

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Court okays continued trial of Mauritania Ex-President, Ould Abdel Aziz

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A court in Mauritania has ruled that the trial of former President, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz for illicit enrichment can continue.

The court on Tuesday decided not to rule on challenges to its jurisdiction until the end of the proceedings.

The ex-president’s lawyers have been battling over the court’s jurisdiction, with an argument that the criminal chamber could not try Mr. Aziz and his dozen co-defendants.

The court ruled on the jurisdiction and decided that it would be decided at the same time as that of the guilt or not of the defendants after the debates on the merits of the case.

His lawyers also requested the release of Aziz who has been placed in detention the day before the opening. The court ended up rejecting these requests.

Mr. Aziz, alongside two former prime ministers, former ministers, and businessmen, has been on trial since January 25 for having abused his power in order to amass an immense fortune.

He led this pivotal country between North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa from 2008 to 2019, an era shaken by coups and jihadist actions but returned to stability under his presidency.

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Tunisian president dismisses foreign minister, Othman Jerandi

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Tunisian sit-tight President, Kais Saied has sacked Foreign Minister Othman Jerandi on Tuesday and replaced him with the former ambassador to the European Union and Belgium Nabil Ammar.

According to a statement from the presidency’s office, which announced the development, no reason was given for Jerandi’s dismissal or Ammar’s appointment.

Jerandi who was appointed foreign minister in 2020tweeted earlier on Tuesday that he had phoned his Syrian counterpart after Saied had tasked him with directing aid to Syria and Turkey in response to the earthquakes there.

” A call with my brother, Dr. Faisal Al-Miqdad, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Syria. I informed him of the sympathy and solidarity of Tunisia, the president, the government, and the people, with brotherly Syria, and we coordinated regarding the extension of Tunisian solidarity authorized by the President to support its efforts in confronting the effects of the earthquake. May God have mercy on the victims and speed up the recovery of the wounded.

May God protect Syria and its people from all harm” (Translated)

President Saied sacked the government, suspended parliament, and seized a string of powers in July 2021. He also sacked the prime minister and moved to rule by decree, but at that time he kept Jerandi in place.

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