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North Africa Politics

Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt Resume Talks On Controversial Dam Tuesday – AU

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The leaders of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan will hold the next round of talks on the long-lasting Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) dispute under the auspices of the AU on Tuesday, an official said.

The AU Chairman and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said this in a statement, as quoted by his office on Twitter on Monday.

“The Trilateral Negotiations on the GERD will resume on Tuesday, Oct. 27, following a seven-week break,” Ramaphosa said.

Egyptian President AbdelFattah al Sisi, Ethiopian Prime Minister Ahmed Abiya and Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok will attend the meeting, the statement read.

The chairman has expressed confidence that the parties would reach an agreement to resolve outstanding issues related to the GERD, including technical and legal aspects.

Ramaphosa noted that the successful conclusion of the dam talks would enhance and accelerate regional integration, as well as promote sustainable development and cooperation between the African countries.

“The resumption of the Trilateral Negotiations on the GERD under the auspices of the AU indicates strong political will and commitment by the leadership of the 3 Parties involved in negotiations to the peaceful and amicable resolution of the GERD matter,” Ramaphosa said.

Ethiopia has long been deadlocked in the Nile dam dispute with Sudan and Egypt, which fear that Addis Ababa’s mega hydroelectric project would slash their access to water.

The talks between the three countries are being brokered by the AU.

The latest round of negotiations was held on Sept. 14 and ended with no deal.

North Africa Politics

Libya Prepares for Elections

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The Libyan National High Electoral Commission (HNEC) has begun discussions with the chairmen of boards of electoral departments of the Commission in all Libyan regions preparations for the general election due in December next year.

An official source in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, said the managing director of the HNEC, Yahya al-Jadid, met with more than 20 participants via Zoom to discuss obstacles, challenges and the means to overcome them.

In a statement, the commission said al-Jadid underlined “the importance of that communication between the general department and its offices, in light of the developments of the political process and tasks awaiting the commission”.

He stressed the need for concerted efforts to raise the level of preparation and address the potential needs and obstacles.

The chiefs of office reviewed the need to procure office materials and to resolve the obstacles linked to the administrative aspect and the state of preparation of the commission.

The HNEC heads the electoral department which in turn counts 24 offices shared in all Libyan regions charged with implementing the electoral process, each within its electoral area.

The participants in the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum held on 9-15 November in Tunis, under the aegis of the UN Support Mission in Libya, agreed on a roadmap setting a transitional period and the date for the presidential and parliamentary elections for 24 December 2021.

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North Africa Politics

Sudan’s Former PM, Sadiq al-Mahdi, Dies from COVID-19

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Sudanese politician and former prime minister Sadiq al-Mahdi has died at the age of 84.

The octogenarian died from a coronavirus infection weeks after being hospitalized in the United Arab Emirates, according to family sources and a party statement early on Thursday.

Mahdi, 84, was Sudan’s last democratically elected prime minister and was overthrown in 1989 in the military coup that brought former president Omar al-Bashir to power. Mahdi’s Umma Party was one of the largest opposition parties under Bashir.

Last month, his family said he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was transferred to the UAE for treatment a few days later following a brief hospitalization in Sudan.

According to a statement by his party, Mahdi would be buried on Friday morning in the city of Omdurman in Sudan.

No successor has been named by the party but al-Mahdi’s daughter Mariam Sadiq al-Mahdi, who is the party’s deputy leader has been the most visible party leader in political negotiations and the media in recent years.

Leading Sudanese opposition figure Sadiq al Mahdi talks during an interview with Reuters in Khartoum, Sudan, on April 25, 2019.

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South Sudan Appoints Awut Deng Acuil as First Woman to Chair University Governing Council

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South Sudan has appointed Awut Deng Acuil to chair the governing council of the University of Bahr El-Ghazal.

Acuil, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation from August 2019 until March 2020 and the current Minister of General Education and Instructions, became the first woman to be appointed to chair the governing body of a university.

Her appointment was announced in a presidential decree read on the national broadcaster, the South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation.

The university was established in 1991, when South Sudan was still part of Sudan. The country gained its independence in 2011

Acuil was also the first woman to serve as South Sudan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

She relinquished the post following the appointment of a unity government in February to end the conflict between rival groups in South Sudan.

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