AFRICA : Egypt’s Sisi took over the leadership of African Union from Kagame of Rwandan

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.

The 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.

South Sudan : Four people died after UN helicopter crashes at (UNISFA) compound in Abyei

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.

BREAKING NEWS :Morocco withdraw from Yemen war amid row with Saudi Arabia

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 Saudi-led coalition.

Morocco Flag

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.

AFRICA NEWS : Egyptian lawmakers pave the way for Sisi to stay in power until 2034

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.

AFRICA : Central African Republic signs peace deal with armed groups

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 country together.”

D.R.C :President Tshisekedi calls for unity as he steps into the presidency

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 Ramazani Shadary.

“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.”

AMBASSADOR KAH PRESENTS LETTER OF CREDENCE TO PRESIDENT OF SWISS CONFEDERATION

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 (NDP).

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.

Sudan : Qatari Emir says he supports unity of Sudan after meeting with Omar Al-Bashir

AL-
AL-Bashir with the Emir of Qatar during his last visit to Doha 22/01/2019

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.

Sudan : Security forces have fired tear gas on protesters

Sudanese President Al-Bashir

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.

Nigeria : Boko Haram kills seven people after attacking a military base in Nigeria

A military source said the attack was carried out in Rann, some 175 kilometers (110 miles) northeast of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, late on Monday afternoon.

He said that poor visibility due to seasonal Harmattan winds obstructed the deployment of air force jets, and soldiers were forced to withdraw.

“So far we have three soldiers killed and two others are still unaccounted for,” the source said.