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Tanzanian opposition leader, Tundu Lissu, back home after two years in exile

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Political activities have continued to pick up in Tanzania barely a month after President  Tanzania’s president, Samia Suluhu Hassan freed political space for political activity when she lifted the ban which was imposed in 2016 by her strongman predecessor, John Magufuli.

Opposition leader and former presidential candidate Tundu Lissu are back in Tanzania after announcing plans to return home two weeks ago.

Lissu spent over two years in exile in Europe to a cheering crowd on Wednesday, after the government lifted a ban on political rallies.

He left the country to seek treatment abroad after he was shot 16 times, mostly in his lower abdomen, in an attack by unknown gunmen in the administrative capital Dodoma in 2017.

The Tanzanian opposition party, Chadema held a political rally in Mwanza last week with the party leader, Freeman Mbowe calling for more constitutional and political reforms.

“Despite thanking the president for lifting the ban, our country needs a new Constitution, a new Constitution is unavoidable. We [the opposition and ruling party] need reconciliation on this, but for that, we need an independent electoral commission.” Mbowe said while addressing party supporters.

Lissu had also hinted at the intention to run as Tanzania’s president in the next elections.

Lissu returned for a few months in 2020 to challenge Magufuli in a presidential election, where he garnered 13% of the votes, but his CHADEMA party rejected the outcome due to allegations of widespread irregularities.

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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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