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Ethiopia threatens to renew fighting if Tigray truce is broken

Ethiopian soldiers
Ethiopian soldiers rest in front of the entrance to the 5th Battalion of the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Army in Dansha, Ethiopia, on November 25, 2020. 

The Ethiopian government on Wednesday warned it will cancel ceasefire deal if fighters loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front violate truce.

Redwan Hussein, the Spokesman of the Tigray Emergency Taskforce, said the Ethiopian National Defence Forces pulled out of Makelle, the capital of the restive northern region, to avoid civilian casualties and allow humanitarian access.

But he and Lt-Gen Bacha Debele, spokesman for the military, indicated they could cancel the decision and return to pursue TPLF fighters.

“The ceasefire considered the law enforcement operation, survival of the nation, concerns of the people of Tigray and the international community,” Redwan told the media, referring to the November 4, 2020 decision to launch attacks on the TPLF, once a ruling party in Ethiopia but now seen as a terrorist group.

According to Ethiopia, the initial targets of the operation such as destroying enemy ammunition, freeing captured troops and weakening the TPLF had been achieved. And although Reda did not indicate how many captured soldiers had been freed, he said the ceasefire was also meant to reduce the financial costs of the war, which he argued had reached Birr 100 billion ($2.3 billion).

“TPLF is no longer an existential threat to the wellbeing of the nation,” Redwan said.

Lt-Gen Bacha indicated Makelle was no longer the “centre of gravity” that could threaten the Ethiopian government, suggesting they will focus on other issues. But he did warn the troops could return if TPLF attacked their forces or supporting Amhara region, or Eritrea.

“The army is ready to respond accordingly if unduly provoked by attacks that compromise the spirit of the ceasefire,” he said.

On Monday, Ethiopia issued a unilateral decision for a ceasefire, saying it was doing so to allow humanitarian access, allow farmers to till their land and avoid further civilian casualties.

In the wake of the truce, however, the TPLF have claimed victory, saying Ethiopian forces and Eritrean troops have been supporting Ethiopia against TPLF were fleeing from defeat. Gatachew Reda, spokesman for the TPLF said the Ethiopian forces had left key bases in Tigray after suffering losses.

“Our forces are making more and more gains. With thousands more killed the last two days, the enemy camp is in total disarray. Four enemy divisions are totally destroyed and heavy artillery pieces and numerous equipment captured,” Getachew tweeted on Monday, taunting Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

“With his most functional divisions totally destroyed and in captivity, the naked emperor has little chance to maneuver militarily, politically and diplomatically. Abiy has essentially lost the war!”

On Tuesday, they took over Shire, a strategic town near the border with Eritrea, after Eritrean forces left the site and the entire Tigray region.

TPLF forces also took control of the historic and major tourist destination city of Axum.

This is the city where hundreds of unarmed civilians had been systematically massacred by Eritrean troops mainly over two days during the early days if the conflict.

According to an Amnesty International report, on 28-29 November 2020, Eritrean troops carried out mass killings by opening fire in the streets of Axum and by conducting house-to-house raids.

Amnesty in its report, made public in February said that the mass killings in Axum may amount to a crime against humanity.

On Wednesday, the US government, one of the international entities that have been demanding ceasefire, said it will only be useful if people on the ground felt the peace.

“A unilateral ceasefire in the Tigray region could be a positive step,” said Ned Price, spokesman for the State Department.

“We call on all parties to commit to an immediate, negotiated and indefinite ceasefire; ensure unhindered humanitarian access; and for Eritrean forces to withdraw immediately.”

Source:Nation Kenya

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Africa

Algeria’s former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika dies at 84

Abdelaziz Bouteflika
President Bouteflika

The former Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika has died at 84, the presidency announced on Friday, more than two years after he stepped down amid mass protests and under pressure from the army.

Bouteflika, a veteran of Algeria’s war for independence, had ruled the North African nation for two decades. He resigned in April 2019 after nationwide street demonstrations rejecting his plan to seek a fifth term in office.

He had rarely been seen in public, even before his departure, after suffering a stroke in 2013.

After Bouteflika’s resignation, in an attempt to end the protests demanding political and economic reform, Algerian officials launched unprecedented investigations into corruption.

The probes led to the imprisonment of several senior officials, including Bouteflika’s powerful brother and advisor Saïd.

Saïd Bouteflika is in jail serving a 15-year sentence on a range of charges, including plotting against the state.

Place on the world stage

After Algeria’s independence from France in 1962, Abdelaziz Bouteflika became Algeria’s first minister of youth and sports and then, within a year and at the age of 26, foreign minister.

He was an influential figure in the Non-Aligned Movement, which gave a global voice to the emerging nations of Africa, Asia and Latin America.

As president of the UN General Assembly in 1974, Bouteflika invited the former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to address the United Nations, a historic step towards international recognition of the Palestinian cause.

He also demanded that China be given a seat on the UN Security Council and was loudly critical of apartheid rule in South Africa.

He championed post-colonial states, challenged what he saw as the hegemony of the United States and helped turn his country into a seedbed of 1960s idealism.

He welcomed Che Guevara to Algiers, and the young Nelson Mandela got his first training in Algeria. The Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver was given refuge in Algeria while on the run from the US police.

Negotiating the peace

In the early 1980s Bouteflika went into exile after the death of President Houari Boumédiène and settled in Dubai, where he became an advisor to a member of the emirate’s ruling family.

He returned home in the 1990s, when Algeria was ravaged by a war between the army and armed Islamist militants which killed at least 200,000 people.

Elected president in 1999, he negotiated a truce with the Islamists and launched a national reconciliation process that allowed the country to restore peace.

Bouteflika joined the independence war against France at the age of 19 as a protégé of the then Commander Boumédiène, chief of staff of the Algerian border army.

On independence in 1962, Bouteflika became minister of youth and tourism in the government of President Ahmed Ben Bella at the age of 25. His appointment as foreign minister the following year made him the youngest in the world. That record still stands.

His rise continued after Boumédiène seized power and became president in 1965.

Little is known about Bouteflika’s private life. Official records mention no wife, though some accounts say a marriage took place in 1990. For years he lived with his mother, Mansouriah, in an apartment in Algiers, where she used to prepare his meals.

He used the revenue from oil and gas to soothe internal discontent, and the state he ruled became more peaceful and prosperous, allowing it to sidestep, for a while, the Arab Spring unrest that toppled leaders across North Africa in 2011.

But corruption flourished and Algerians were increasingly angered by the country’s political and economic torpor. This fuelled the mass protests which finally brought Bouteflika’s presidency to an end.

Source: Reuters

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Africa

25-year-old arrested for having midnight s3x with a goat

The Police in Jigawa have arrested a 25-year-old-man for alleged sexual intercourse with a goat in Gwaram Local Government Area of the state.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Jigawa Police Command, ASP Lawan Shiisu, confirmed the arrest in a statement in Dutse on Friday.

ASP Shiisu said the suspect was arrested at about 1:00 am by the police, who were on patrol in Gwaram town.

He explained that the suspect, a resident of Kunnadi quarters, was arrested by the patrol team while having sex with the goat.

“At about 0100hrs, Police from Gwaram Divisional Headquarters, while on patrol in Gwaram and its environs, arrested one 25-year-old resident of Kunnadi quarters, while having intercourse with a goat,” ASP Shiisu said in the statement.

The spokesman added that investigation into the case was ongoing after which the suspect would be charged.

Source : NNA

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Africa

Akufu-Addo in Guinea to confer with military junta

Akufo-Addo lands in Guinea for crucial talks with military junta | 3NEWS
President Akufu-Addo(left) on red carpet with the Military Leader of Gunea

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, ECOWAS Chair, on Friday, September 17, 2021, left Accra for Guinea to meet its military leaders a day after the regional bloc imposed travel and financial sanctions on the coup makers and their families.

This is a follow-up on the recommendations West African leaders made at the regional body’s Accra Extraordinary meeting to firm up a decision on the political situation in Guinea.

The ECOWAS leaders, in a post-summit communiqué, ordered a swift return to constitutional order, asking the military rulers of that country to fix presidential and legislative elections within six months.

They also demanded the immediate and unconditional release of President Alpha Conde who has been detained since his removal on September 5, 2021, by an elite army unit led by a former French legionnaire, Lt. Col Mamady Doumbouya.

The regional body said the military rulers would be “individually and collectively responsible for the physical safety of President Conde”, who is being held in detention at a military facility.

The bloc froze the financial assets and imposed travel bans on Guinea’s military leaders and their relatives.

It called on the African Union, the European Union, the United Nations, and other multilateral and bilateral partners to support the implementation of the sanctions against the Junta and to endorse the decisions taken by the Authority, for the restoration of constitutional rule in Guinea.

The Accra meeting, which also discussed the situation in Mali, demanded that that country’s transitional authorities adhere strictly to the transition timetable for the effective conduct of elections within the non-negotiable deadline of February 2022.

Anyone stalling the transitional process, the body warned, would face the same sanctions taken against Guinea’s military government.

The Authority requested President Akufo-Addo to visit Guinea and Mali as soon as possible to convey in person the decision of the Authority.

Source: citinewsroom

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