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Nigeria’s CDS speaks on restoring democratic governance in Niger

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Nigeria’s Chiefs of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Christopher Musa has called for “collective attention and a united response” among the defence chiefs of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to restore democratic governance in Niger.

Musa spoke during a meeting of the ECOWAS defence chiefs on Wednesday in Abuja.

The meeting was attended by 10 countries including Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo, Liberia, Ghana, Gambia, Cote D’Ivoire, Cape Verde, Benin and Senegal, while Mali, Niger, Guinea, Guinea Bissau and Burkina Faso were absent.

The meeting was in response to the directive of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS  during its Extraordinary Session in Abuja on Jul 30.

The CDS said the region must face the challenges of restoring democratic governance in Niger head-on, drawing on their shared experiences, wisdom, and collective resolve.

Musa, who is the current President of the ECOWAS Committee of CDS, said the decisions that would be taken at the meeting would have far-reaching implications for the ECOWAS region.

“Accordingly, this extraordinary meeting is a fallout of the Final Communique of that Meeting.

“To this end, we are assembled here today not only as heads of our various Armed Forces but also as members of an interrelated regional community.

“The event that transpired in one of our countries on July 26 has reverberated across our borders, affecting us all.

“The recent coup d’etat in the Republic of Niger is one event that calls for our collective attention and a united response.

“We must face the challenges of restoring democratic governance in Niger head-on, drawing on our shared experiences, wisdom, and collective resolve.

“ECOWAS’ strength lies in unity, shared values, and commitment to democracy, peace, and prosperity.

“In this regard, we are tasked with a mission to restore democracy in the Republic of Niger and preserve germane humanitarian principles across the region.

“Our decisions will inevitably shape the lives of millions of people around the sub-continent,” he said.

Musa said the ECOWAS, since its establishment, had remained steadfast in promoting economic cooperation and regional integration and had stood against any form of illegal takeover of power, as enshrined in the 2001 Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.

He said it was the principle that compelled them to convene the meeting to address the current situation in Niger.

(NAN)

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Africa

Tunisian court jails opposition leader, bans him from presidential elections

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A Tunisian court sentenced opposition party leader Lotfi Mraihi, a potential presidential election candidate, to eight months in prison on a charge of vote buying, his lawyer said on Friday.

The court also banned Mraihi, leader of the Republican Union Party and one of the most prominent critics of President Kais Saied, from running in presidential elections for life, his lawyer Omar Ismail said.

Mraihi will appeal the sentence, Ismail added.

Opposition parties, many of whose leaders are in prison, have accused Saied’s government of exerting pressure on the judiciary to crack down on his rivals in the 2024 elections and pave the way for him to win a second term.

Elected president in 2019, Saied has not officially announced his candidacy for the vote expected to be held on Oct. 6.

Still, it is widely anticipated that he will seek a second term.

He said last year he would not hand power to what he called non-patriots.

The opposition says fair and credible elections cannot be held unless imprisoned politicians are released and the media can do its job without pressure from the government.

In 2021, Saied dissolved parliament and began ruling by decree in a move the opposition have described as a coup.

Saied said his steps were legal and necessary to end years of rampant corruption among the political elite.

(Reuters/NAN)

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Africa

Nigerian, South African Defence Chiefs Unite Against Continental Security Challenges

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Nigerian, South African Defence Chiefs Unite Against Continental Security Challenges

Nigerian, South African Defence Chiefs Unite Against Continental Security Challenges

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Christopher Musa, has called for stronger ties between the Armed Forces of Nigeria and the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to tackle the complex security issues facing Africa.

Gen. Musa made this appeal during an official visit to his South African counterpart, Gen. Rudzani Maphwanya, in Pretoria, South Africa. The call for enhanced cooperation was highlighted in a statement released by Brig.-Gen. Tukur Gusau, Acting Director of Defence Information, on Tuesday in Abuja.

“The meeting is a panacea to addressing the multifaceted challenges bedevilling the continent,” Gen. Musa emphasized. He underscored the importance of mutual cooperation and strengthening bilateral ties to combat regional security threats.

During their closed-door meeting, both leaders discussed various strategies to address these challenges, focusing on the exchange of expertise and forging stronger ties for the betterment of the continent.

Gen. Musa was honoured with Cannon Gun Salutes, a mark of high regard, during his visit. Brig.-Gen. Gusau noted the significance of the meeting between the two largest economies and military powers in Africa.

The meeting also saw the presence of SANDF Chiefs of Intelligence, Policy and Plans, International Affairs, and Joint Operations, among other departmental chiefs, highlighting the comprehensive nature of the discussions aimed at enhancing regional security cooperation.

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Africa

Ramaphosa takes oath of office for 2nd term as South African president

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Cyril Ramaphosa, leader of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC), took oath as the nation’s president for the next five years on Wednesday at Pretoria, the administrative capital.

Ramaphosa, 71, was re-elected as South African president by the National Assembly on June 14 with 283 votes against the other nominee, Julius Malema from the Economic Freedom Fighters, who received 44 votes.

Under the South African Constitution, once elected as president by the National Assembly, the president-elect must assume office within five days.

In the general elections on May 29, the ANC secured 159 out of the 400 seats in the National Assembly.

This is the first time the ANC is falling below the 50 per cent needed to maintain its 30-year-old outright majority in the lower house of parliament.

(Xinhua/NAN)

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