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AU Backs Call For Mali Junta To Hand Over To Civilian1 minute read

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The African Union (AU) has backed calls by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) that the military junta in Mali appoint civilians to lead the country’s 18-months transition.

The military had overthrew President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita of Mali on August 18 in a bloodless coup, prompting sanctions from the 15-member regional bloc.

ECOWAS has insisted that the Colonel Assimi Goita-led National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) return Mali to civilian rule. The bloc also demanded that a civilian be named as head of the transition government.

The junta is yet to heed ECOWAS demand despite a deadline expiring on Tuesday. Instead, the junta, which had earlier proposed a two-year transition plan, released a charter reducing the transition period to 18 months.

Now the AU has urged the military junta in Mali to quickly appoint civilian leaders to manage an 18-month transition towards elections.

The AU Peace and Security Commissioner Smail Chergui called for a return to constitutional order.

The AU announced the day after the coup that it was suspending Mali “until restoration of constitutional order”, and it is unclear what additional leverage it has.

Mali’s military rulers met West African leaders this week but the soldiers who seized power appear reluctant to let a civilian lead the transition.

A spokesman for the junta, Colonel Ismael Wague, said after this week’s talks in Ghana that Mali could face a “total embargo” from ECOWAS if it does not quickly appoint civilian leaders.

The sanctions could bite in the poor country already facing a severe economic downturn as well as a simmering jihadist insurgency and chronic inter-ethnic violence.

Wague nevertheless made clear the junta would prefer the transition be run by the military, and claimed that was also the preference of the majority of Malians.

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Nigeria’s President Buhari Condoles with Burkina Faso President over Father’s Death

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Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has put a phone with his Burkina Faso’s counterpart, Marc Christian Kabore, to commiserate with him and the nation following the demise of the president’s 90-year old father, Bila Kabore.

Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, confirmed this in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.

The Nigerian leader said: “I am deeply pained and saddened to hear of the death of your beloved and respected father.

“He was an outstanding leader who cared for all. His life was devoted towards the progress of the Burkinabe nation and its people.

“May God give you, the family and the entire country the fortitude to bear the loss.

“On behalf of my family, the government and the people of Nigeria, please accept our heartfelt condolences.

“May God repose his soul.”

The deceased was a distinguished Burkinabe, who served as Minister of Finance in the 60s, a board member of the country’s Central Bank and at one-time, the Vice Governor of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO).

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Inconsistencies In Guinea’s Presidential Election Results Worrisome – US

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The US has expressed concern over “inconsistencies” in preliminary results of Guinea’s presidential election.

In a statement, the US embassy spoke of a “lack of transparency in vote tabulations and inconsistencies between the announced results and tally sheets results from polling stations”.

Guinea’s 82-year-old leader Alpha Condé won a controversial third term in office, according to preliminary results, amid violent protests across the country.

The US has urged all parties to peacefully resolve electoral disputes through established institutions. It said it supported diplomatic efforts by the West African regional bloc, Ecowas, the African Unions and the UN.

The main opposition leader, Cellou Dalein Diallo, had declared himself winner and was prevented from leaving his house until Wednesday when he said the security officers outside his home had been withdrawn.

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East Africa Politics News

Tanzania Election: Mwinyi Becomes 8th President of Zanzibar

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The ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party’s presidential candidate in Zanzibar, Hussein Mwinyi, has won the presidency of the semi-autonomous state, beating 14 other candidates.

Mwinyi polled 76.27 per cent of the vote which was equivalent to 380,402 votes.

His rival Maalim Seif Sharif of the Alliance for Change and Transparency (ACT) was arrested while trying to vote on Tuesday before being released hours later.

Mr Mwinyi is the son of Ali Hassan Mwinyi who served as the second President of the United Republic of Tanzania from 1985 to 1995.

Zanzibar has a history of contested polls, including in 2015 when they were annulled for not being free and fair. The opposition boycotted the re-run and the CCM party’s candidate was declared the winner.

Ali Mohammed Shein is now stepping down after serving two five-year terms in office.

Zanzibar had 566,352 registered voters with 498,786 turning up at the polling stations on Wednesday October 28, a number that was equivalent to 88.07 per cent.

Mwinyi becomes the eighth President of Zanzibar since the revolution in 1964.

He has called on all the other contestants to come together to build one Zanzibar because as citizens they will need each other to build a prosperous Zanzibar.

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