Category Archives: Politics

Borrell: CAR consolidation for peace

Brussels 27.12.2020 The Central African Republic elections are a crucial step for the “consolidation of democracy and peace”, the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell wrote in his Twitter micro blog. He called for the “mobilization of voters and the responsibility of all actors for credible, transparent, inclusive and peaceful elections”, especially mentioning the European Union – African Union ties in support of the democratic transition.

Meanwhile the former Central African Republic president Francois Bozize (pictured) backs the rebels, and urges people against voting in presidential and legislative elections today, AFP Africa reports.

Francois Bozize, president of the Central African Republic from 2003 to 2013 and a participant in two previous attempted coups d’etat, returned from exile in 2019 to run for his old job. In December, just three weeks ahead of the election, Bozize was barred by the Constitutional Court from running again. The court ruled that he had failed to meet the “good morality” requirement for candidates because of an international warrant for his arrest and UN sanctions on charges of assassination and torture. He has since been accused of plotting a new coup.

Despite a series of attacks in the run-up to the Central African Republic’s presidential and legislative elections — the first since a fragile peace deal was reached between the government and rebels in February 2019 — as well as threats against the centers where voter cards are distributed, the possibility of assaults on polling places and the killings of three UN peacekeepers on Saturday, the national elections authority, ANE, has reported that the vote will go on.

Despite threats against voting offices and polling places, the Central African Republic’s election authority has said Sunday’s, December 27, vote will go ahead. According to press reports Mankeur Ndiaye, the UN’s special envoy for CAR said the situation was under the control of the UN Blue Helmets, together with the Central African armed forces and the Central African domestic security forces, such as gendarmes and police. They were on the scene to react to any attacks or strategies of harassment by certain armed groups in alliance with Francois Bozize, the goal of which was to obstruct the election process by preventing Central African citizens from receiving their voting cards and going to polling places on December 27.

“We face attacks every day, but our response has been overwhelming” Mankeur Ndiaye concluded.

DRC: clashes in Parliament

Brussels 08.12.2020 Congo’s parliament descended into chaos on December 8 as rival political groups threw chairs and buckets in a brawl that laid bare the tensions caused by the incumbent President Felix Tshisekedi’s to terminate his alliance with his predecessor, Joseph Kabila.

Tshisekedi announced on December 6 scheduled to cancel his governing coalition with allies of Kabila, while Kabila’s supporters claimed the move was illegal.

The standoff has raised fears of instability in the Republic whose economy has been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and whose recent history has been touched by repeated civil wars and political upheaval.

The parliament fight broke out in the main hall of the building between lawmakers and supporters from the two parties, one of whom appeared to be wielding a machete.

Tshisekedi’s supporters, some with sartorial look, hurled chairs, wooden batons and plastic buckets up a staircase toward Kabila partisans who bounced back.

One man was carried away bleeding injury on the head. The police had to disperse the belligerent groups with tear gas.

The two camps have a long history of bad blood. Tshisekedi and his late father were longtime opponents of Kabila, who governed from 2001 to January 2019.

Tshisekedi agreed to the coalition after his victory in the disputed 2018 election, in which he defeated Kabila’s chosen successor but Kabila allies won majorities in parliament, entitling them to most cabinet posts.

Frustrated by his inability to move on with his agenda, Tshisekedi said that he would try to form a new majority in parliament and, if unsuccessful, would call for new parliamentary elections.

Kabila, who stepped down last year under domestic and international pressure not to seek a third mandate, is eligible to run again in 2023.

Burkina Faso elections: Kabore leads

Brussels 25.11.2020 Burkina Faso’s president, Roch Marc Christian Kabore,63, is clearly leading in results announced from more than half of the country’s voting districts following weekend elections.

Kabore, bidding for a second term at the helm of the troubled Sahel state, has 58.14 percent of the vote, according to the ongoing count conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI).

Opposition leader Zephirin Diabre has 14.25%, while Eddie Komboigo, who heads a former ruling party, has 13.62%, it said.

The figures are derived from results from 196 out of the 368 districts, embassies or consulates where votes for Sunday’s elections were cast.

Kabore is seeking an overall majority from voting day to avoid a runoff in which he would stand against a single candidate backed by a united opposition.

He has been under fire for his response to a five-year-old jihadist campaign that has rolled in from Mali, claiming at least 1,200 lives and forcing around a million people to flee their homes.

The elections on Sunday were for Burkina’s legislature as well as its presidency, where executive power in the is concentrated.

Opposition parties insist the vote was marked by fraud and flawed procedures.

Ugandan opposition candidate arrested

Ugandan presidential candidate and pop star, Bobi Wine, who is seeking to replace long-ruling President Yoweri Museveni, was arrested on Wednesday while campaigning in the east of the country, he said on Twitter.

In two tweets, Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, said police had violently broken into his vehicle and taken him into custody. Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“The price of freedom is high but we shall certainly overcome,” Wine, 38, said in one of the tweets.

A local independent newspaper, Daily Monitor, reported demonstrators had erected barricades and lit fires on some roads in the capital Kampala and at least one other town to protest against Wine’s arrest.
Since expressing his intention to run against Museveni, Wine has won a large following, especially among young people in the east African country.

The young generation supporters explain they are drawn to him by his criticism of Museveni’s government mingled in his lyrics. Others say that as a young leader he is better positioned to tackle the challenges they face.

W.Sahara: Borrell insists on respect of ceasefire

The High Representative Josep Borrell met this Sunday, November 15, with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Morocco Nasser Bourita and of Algeria Sabri Boukadoum, to learn about the latest developments in the El Guerguerat area, following the latest events that took place there.

The High Representative recalled on this occasion the full support of the EU for the efforts of the United Nations and its Secretary General with a view to finding a peaceful settlement to the question of Western Sahara, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the Security Council of the United Nations. United Nations and especially of the last resolution (2548) adopted on October 30, 2020. In this context, he wished for a rapid resumption of discussions under the leadership of the United Nations and a new Personal Envoy of the Secretary General of the United Nations for Western Sahara.

In particular, the High Representative underlined the paramount importance of ensuring respect for the ceasefire agreements in place since 1991 and reiterated the full support of the EU for MINURSO’s efforts to this end. In this context, the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs assured the High Representative of his country’s commitment to respect for the ceasefire.

The High Representative also particularly insisted on the preservation of freedom of movement and cross-border trade in the El Guerguerat area, and its significant impact on the entire Maghreb and Sahel region, a region of strategic importance. A political solution to the question of Western Sahara is essential for regional cooperation between the Maghreb countries, the stability, security and prosperity of the region, and this even more in view of the current economic difficulties of the Covid-19 pandemic .

Spain categorically condemns the acts committed on Sunday by some participants in a rally (…) in front of the Consulate General of Morocco in Valencia,” said the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation in a statement.
These madmen entered the consulate building in an attempt to place the flag of the so-called “RASD” there, “thus undermining the inviolability, integrity and dignity of the consular headquarters”, underlines the Spanish ministry . “No demonstration exercised within the framework of the right of assembly can degenerate into illegal actions, like the attempt perpetrated on Sunday, which constitutes a flagrant violation of the legislation in force”, affirms the Spanish diplomacy”.

Ouattara III term confirmed by Judges

Brussels 09.11.2020 A week after the announcement of the victory of Alassane Ouattara, the Constitutional Council confirms the results published by the Electoral Commission, which gave 94.27% of the vote to the outgoing President.

https://twitter.com/jeune_afrique/status/1325803663496007680?s=20

The Ivorian Constitutional Council declared the ballot “regular” and validated, this Monday, November 9, the final results of the Ivorian presidential election of October 31, confirming those proclaimed a week earlier by the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI).

Alassane Ouattara, 78, was officially elected for a third term with 94.27% of the votes cast, following a campaign marked by an “active boycott” of the opposition. The participation rate is 53.90%.

Côte d’Ivoire: EU notes disparities

“The European Union (EU) takes note of the announcement of the provisional results announced by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). The lack of consensus on the electoral framework has fractured the country. Many Ivorians went to the polls, but many others did not, either by choice or by impediment due to violence and blockades” the head of the European Union diplomacy wrote on his Twitter micro blog.

“The EU notes the very wide disparities in the participation rate in the different regions of the country, as highlighted by several election observation missions present there.
“The EU expresses its deep concern at the tensions, provocations and incitement to hatred that prevailed and continue to persist in the country around this election. The violence which has caused the death of several people and injured many must be independently investigated so that justice can be served as soon as possible.

“The EU expects all stakeholders to take the initiative in favour of calming the climate and resuming dialogue, involving new generations and promoting reconciliation through very concrete measures that will turn the page on violence and division. It will support any effort deployed in this direction by national and international actors”.

Tanzania: Magufuli celebrates victory

Tanzania’s President John Magufuli was re-elected for a second, five-year term, securing a landslide victory in a contest that has been dismissed by the opposition as a “travesty” due to widespread irregularities.

Magufuli got 12.5 million votes in Wednesday’s vote on October 28, or 84%, according to the calculations mentioned in press outlets, more than 10 million more votes than his main challenger, Tundu Lissu of the Chadema party, who got 1.9 million votes, the National Electoral Commission said.

In his bid for a second term, Magufuli has promised voters that he will pay a special attention to the economy by completing ambitious infrastructure projects he started in his first term, such as a new hydropower dam, a rail-line and planes for the national carrier.

Lissu has previously said that he will not accept the eventual election results.

The U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Tibor Nagy, said on Friday, “we remain deeply concerned about reports of systematic interference in the democratic process.”

WTO: U.S. refuses Nigerian candidate for top job

The leadership race for the World Trade Organization has been thrown into disarray after the United States opposed the appointment of former Nigerian finance and Foreign affairs minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, whose candidacy has been also supported by the European Union. The American delegation has not explained the reasons of the refusal.

Following discussions among EU leaders during their summit in Brussels last week, the bloc agreed to back the Nigerian Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala after a period of reflection, caused by a number of member-states opinion to give preference to the South Korean candidate Yoo Myung-hee for the job of the next director-general of the WTO.  Ambassadors from the EU’s 27 member states confirmed on Monday, October 26, that the bloc would support the African candidate Dr.Okonjo-Iweala.

The WTO’s decision-making process is based on consensus, and either candidate will need to win the blessing of all 164 members.

Mali ECOWAS lifts sanctions

Leaders of the West African regional bloc ECOWAS have lifted sanctions imposed on Mali following the August 18 coup d’état that ousted unpopular President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, the group said on October 6.

The crippling sanctions on landlocked Mali were lifted following the nomination of retired Colonel Bah Ndaw as interim president, and Moctar Ouane as prime minister of the transition that is expected to last 18 months, the statement said.

“Taking into account the notable progress made towards a constitutional normalisation, and the support the process, the heads of states have decided to lift the sanctions on Mali, and called on partners to support Mali,” said the statement, signed by the chair of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Mali’s transitional leaders announced a new government on October 5, with some of the top posts going to military officials.

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