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Somalia celebrates win at UN

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Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has welcomed the country’s election to the 15-member United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for a two-year term starting in 2025.

The president made the welcome remarks in a statement issued in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.

According to him, for Somalia to be among the five countries that received the winning votes for UNSC non-permanent would enable the country to regain its global status.

Mohamud said the historic vote shows how the world perceives development and governance taking place in the country.

He said that Somalia, alongside Denmark, Greece, Pakistan, and Panama, would for the first time in 50 years, receive the winning votes for UNSC non-permanent seats.

He said the countries would have influence in global affairs in terms of peace and conflicts.

“The diplomatic success we have reached today translates to how the world is witnessing the efforts and development of Somalia, especially the recovery and rebuilding of our country,” he said.

The election is an opportunity for Somalia to take part in the promotion of peace and security in the world, Mohamud said.

Meanwhile, the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) has also congratulated Somalia on the country’s election as a non-permanent member of the UNSC.

African Union Special Representative for Somalia and Head of ATMIS Mohamed El-Amine Souef said the election is a clear demonstration of the trust and confidence the UN member countries have in Somalia.

“The achievement will embolden Somalia’s drive to secure the safety and prosperity of its people,” Souef said in a statement.

He said Somalia’s historic election will also provide vital lessons for the quest for international peace and security in parts of the world experiencing conflict and instability.

The five countries that were elected on Thursday will join existing non-permanent members Algeria, Guyana, the Republic of Korea, Sierra Leone and Slovenia.

(Xinhua/NAN)

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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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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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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