Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who led an active, reformist tenure as African Union chair, on Sunday passes the leadership to Egypt, seen as more likely to focus on security issues than expanding the powers of the body.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi officially took over the post of ceremonial head of the African Union which rotates between the five regions of the continent at the start of a two-day summit in Addis Ababa.
While multiple crises on
the continent will be on the agenda of heads of state from the 55
member nations, the summit will also focus on institutional reforms, and
the establishment of a continent-wide free trade zone.
Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) was agreed by 44 nations in March
2018, but only 19 countries have ratified the agreement, with 22 needed
for it to come into effect.
An Ethiopian military helicopter with 23 passengers on board has
crashed on Saturday inside the compound of the United Nations Interim
Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) killing four of its crew members.
The MI-8 helicopter was on routine operation carrying Ethiopian
troops on rotation from Kadugli to Abyei when it crashed. Ten passengers
were injured, and two are in critical condition at the UNISFA Level II
hospital in Abyei, South Sudan.
Morocco says it has stopped its involvement in Saudi Arabia’s
war on Yemen, and recalled its ambassador to the kingdom amid rising
tensions between Riyadh and Rabat.
A Moroccan government official said Thursday that Morocco no longer
takes part in military interventions or ministerial meetings in the
Morocco’s government has not explained the details of its participation in the war which has killed thousands and displaced over 3 million people since 2015 but reports suggest that the African country contributed with six planes and 1,500 troops.
Last year, Morocco pledged to pull its warplanes out of the Saudi war, citing a need for military buildup at home.
An Egyptian parliamentary ( Lawmakers ) committee on Tuesday approved proposed constitutional amendments which would allow President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to stay in power until 2034 and boost his control of the judiciary.
The approval is the first step needed to move forward with the constitutional changes, which are expected to be finally endorsed by parliament and then move to a referendum within a few months.
The proposed amendments were submitted on Sunday to the speaker of parliament who heads the committee that approved the changes.
Any changes need approval by two-thirds of parliament members, followed by a referendum.
“This is a constitution made for a pharaoh,” said Mohamed Zaree of the Cairo Institute of Human Rights Studies. |”It gives a lot of authority with no accountability.”
Sisi supporters say the changes are necessary for the stability of the country and to give the president more time to implement economic development plans.
The government of the Central African Republic and 14 armed groups signed a new peace accord seeking to end years-long fighting that has left thousands of people dead.
The accord was initialed by President Faustin Archange Touadera for
the CAR government and representatives of militias which control most of
the chronically-troubled country.
It will be formally signed in the CAR capital of Bangui “in the coming days,” Touadera’s office said, without announcing a date.
“The Khartoum Agreement opens the door for peace to return to our
homeland,” Touadera declared at the ceremony. “It is now time to open a
new page for Central Africa. Let’s go together to Bangui to build our
The new president of Democratic Republic of Congo , Felix Tshisekedi has called for national reconciliation to take the nation forward.
Tshisekedi, who succeeded Joseph Kabila in Congo’s first transfer of power via an election after 59 years of independence, said the country had long been divided, slowing down its development.
In his address, Tshisekedi called for “a reconciled Congo” following a
contentious election that saw him narrowly defeat another opposition
leader, Martin Fayulu, and Kabila’s hand-picked successor, Emmanuel
“We want to build a strong Congo, turned toward its development in
peace and security,” he said to cheers from thousands of supporters on
the lawn of the presidential palace. “A Congo for all, in which everyone
has a place.”
His Excellency, Yusupha Alieu Kah, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of The Gambia to Swiss Confederation and Permanent Representative of The Gambia to the United Nations Office, WTO and other International Organisations in Geneva, on 15th January 2019 presented his letter of credence to His Excellency Mr. Ueli Maurer, President of the Swiss Federal Council in Bern, Switzerland.
Ambassador Kah conveyed to President Maurer greetings and best wishes
from His Excellency President Adama Barrow and the People of The Gambia.
He discussed issues of bilateral interest between the two countries as
well as the broad objectives of The Gambia National Development Plan
President Maurer in his remarks welcomed Ambassador Kah to
Switzerland, and commended The Gambia’s impressive progress under
President Barrow’s administration and assured him of the cooperation of
Swiss Government in advancing the common agenda of the two countries.
In other engagements while in Bern, the Gambian diplomat met with the
Head of the Sub-Saharan Africa Department and Senior officials of the
Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and discussed ways and means
of expanding and deepening cooperation between the two countries.
President of Sudan Omar al-Bashir has visited Qatar, where Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani offered support to solve the recent crises of African country, which is grappling with anti-government protests.
Bashir arrived in Qatar on Tuesday as protests triggered by rising prices and shortages of food and fuel have intensified at home. The public display of anger has now escalated into calls for Bashir to step down as soon as possible .
“President Bashir briefed the Emir on the latest updates regarding
the situation and challenges facing the country,” the court of Sheikh
Tamim said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The Emir affirmed Qatar’s firm stance on Sudan’s unity and
stability, and they discussed the latest developments in the Darfur
peace process,” the statement added.
Several protesters on Sunday blocked al-Arbaeen Street, one of the main roads in Omdurman, the second largest city in Sudan. Demonstrators also crowded the main streets of the capital Khartoum.
The peaceful rallies turned violent after the security personnel, some in uniform and some plainclothes, got off from some 30 all-terrain trucks and began firing tear gas canisters, stun grenades and live ammunition to disperse protests in both major cities.
According to witnesses, security forces also arrested hundreds of opposition figures, activists and demonstrators.