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France To Back Mali’s Power Transition On ECOWAS Terms1 minute read

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France will support the transitional government in Mali but only on conditions set by the Economic of West African States (ECOWAS), the European country’s Foreign Ministry has said.

The ministry also said France has taken note of the first appointments to the Malian transition government.

The military junta responsible for the August 18 coup in Mali on Monday appointed former Defence Minister, Ba N’Daou, as the transition president. N’Daou is due to serve on his post for 18 months before a new government is elected.

“France is ready to accompany and support the civil transition in Mali that will take place under the conditions set by ECOWAS,” the statement said.

Paris also called the appointments to the transition government an “encouraging first step” in the process of curbing the political crisis in Mali, which should translate into democratic elections of legitimate authorities.

The ministry added that further appointments to the transition government were expected under the observation of African and European experts.

The military coup in Mali began on Aug. 18 not far from the capital of Bamako and resulted in the resignation of then-President Ibrahim Keita and his government.

The coup leaders established the CNSP (National Committee for the Salvation of the People) governing body until the transition government takes power.

On Sept. 7, the 15-nation ECOWAS bloc urged the junta to appoint members of government for a transitional period until Sept. 23, saying it would otherwise impose a full embargo on the country.

Yesterday, Mali’s new vice president, Colonel Assimi Goita, called on the 15-member ECOWAS to lift economic sanctions imposed in the wake of last month’s coup.

East Africa Politics News

Tanzanians Vote To Decide New President

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Voting in Tanzania’s presidential election began on Wednesday, with an opposition leader who survived being shot 16 times facing off against an incumbent who claims prayer can prevent COVID-19.

The run-up to the East African country’s polls had been marred with violence.

Rights groups and the opposition have reported intimidation.

On Tuesday, as early voting began in the semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar, the archipelago’s main opposition candidate was arrested and his party claimed police shot five people dead, Police deny this.

President John Magufuli, in power since 2015, is widely expected to win, despite the recent return to the country of opposition challenger Tundu Lissu, in exile since the attempt on his life three years ago.

He survived an assassination attempt when his car was sprayed with more than 30 bullets outside his home in Dodoma.

He suffered 16 bullet wounds and had to be airlifted to Nairobi and later Belgium, where he underwent several operations to save his life. No one has been arrested in connection with the attack.

In October, Lissu’s campaign convoy was tear-gassed in northern Tanzania, after a disagreement with the police on which route it was supposed to take.

Lissu was also suspended from campaigning for one week by the national electoral body, which he called “yet another indication of a discredited and compromised electoral system.’’

Press freedom has been severely curtailed in the lead-up to the vote, with new rules introduced in August requiring foreign journalists to be chaperoned on assignments by a government official.

Down through the years, Magufuli has received lots of international media attention due to his government’s crackdown on gay people, banning the sale of lubricant and subjecting arrested gay men to forced anal exams – a recognized human rights violation.

Most recently he caused derision after saying prayer and herbal steam baths could help prevent infection with coronavirus and later declaring the country free of the virus.

His handling of the pandemic has come under heavy criticism, with critics saying he did too little, too late, to stem the spread of the virus.

The United Nations and the African Union Commission urged Tanzania to ensure polls are peaceful and fair with results are expected in a few days.

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Guinea’s Election: Questions Remain As To Credibility Of Result, Says EU

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Following the release of the provisional results that announced President Alpha Conde winner of the Guinea Presidential Election, the EU has said it doubts the “credibility of the result.”

The European Union said that although voting in Guinea was calm, “questions remain as to the credibility of the result”.

It said it had taken note of the provisional results that announced President Alpha Conde winner, a victory which ensured he secured his third term in office.

The EU said it supported the diplomacy efforts by the Economic of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) to restore confidence.

A delegation of mediators is in the country and has met various political actors, including opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo who has been prevented from leaving his house.

“To this end, all actors involved in this process must be able to fully enjoy their freedom of movement and expression.

“It is also important that the means of communication, in particular access to the internet, are guaranteed in all circumstances,” the statement added.

There have been clashes between opposition supporters and security forces across the nation since the opposition leader declared himself the winner.

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East Africa Politics News

Botswana, SADC Congratulate New Seychelles President

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Botswana President Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi on Tuesday sent a congratulatory message to Seychelles’ newly-elected President Wavel Ramkalawan.

Masisi, also chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, said the bloc applauds Seychelles for its peaceful election campaign.

“This is a reflection of the political maturity of the country.’’

Seychelles held presidential and national assembly elections from Oct. 22 to 24.

The SADC comprises Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, eSwatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Opposition candidate, Ramkalawan, was declared the winner of the Seychelles presidential election after polling 54.9 per cent of the votes.

The last time an opposition candidate won the election in Seychelles was in 1977 and winner Ramkalawan reaffirmed a pledge to increase minimum wage after COVID-19 stifled the tourism-dependent economy.

Seychelles State House in a statement published on its website disclosed that Ramkalawan and his Vice-President, Ahmed Afif, will be inaugurated on Monday.

Ramkalawan, a former Anglican priest, defeated President Danny Faure after three decades of unsuccessful runs for the presidency of the East African nation with an Indian Ocean archipelago famed for its natural beauty and rare wildlife.

Faure got 43.5 per cent in the vote held from Thursday through Saturday, the electoral commission announced.

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