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African Development Magazine



AfricaAfrica AsiaPolitics

European observers blocked by insecurity in DRC

The European Union indicated on Tuesday that its observers sent to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) before the December 20 elections were unable to “deploy across the country for security reasons”, which makes their mission “impossible” eventually.

The forty EU observers are “currently unable to deploy in the country for security reasons” which “makes the necessary long-term observation impossible”, declared a spokesperson for the EU. EU. This is “studying the various possible options, in conjunction with the DRC authorities,” he added.

The dispatch of this European electoral observation mission, the first to the DRC in more than 10 years, was announced at the beginning of November by the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell. “The coming months will be decisive for democratic consolidation in the DRC and bilateral cooperation between the DRC and the EU,” he stressed.

The country has been rocked for nearly 30 years by violence by armed groups in the east, where peacekeepers from the UN and the East African Community (EAC) are deployed.

Violence in the east is currently peaking with the return to the scene of an old rebellion, the M23, supported by neighboring Rwanda and which has seized large parts of the North Kivu region.

The government of President Tshisekedi has decided not to renew beyond December 8 the mandate of the EAC force deployed to fight against the M23.

At the same time, the UN Peacekeeping Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), present in the DRC since 1999, declared last Wednesday that it had signed with the government a plan to withdraw its 14,000 peacekeepers deployed in the country, mainly in the East.

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AfricaAfrica Asia

Niger: ECOWAS set to rule on complaint over Mohamed Bazoum’s detention

The ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) is set to issue a decision on a complaint submitted by lawyers of former Nigerien president Mohamed Bazoum over his ouster in a July coup. Since his toppling, Bazoum has been held at his residence in the heart of the presidential palace in the Niamey, Niger’s capital.

The complaint with the ECOWAS Court of Justice by Bazoom’s lawyers centers on what they called “sequestration and arbitrary detention”. The court’s decision is expected on Thursday November 30.

On November 1, the public prosecutor at the Niamey Court of Appeal confirmed that there had been an escape attempt by President Mohamed Bazoum on October 18. But gave no details.

“There is no sector of the Nigerien society that has not been affected by these sanctions according to Younkaila Yaye, one of the government’s lawyers

The government asked the court to relax the sanctions pending the final judgement. But ECOWAS protested against their request.

Mohamed Bazoum is the fifth Nigerien president to be overthrown by a putsch since the country gained independence from France in 1960.

The first president, Hamani Diori, overthrown in 1974, was imprisoned and then placed under house arrest for several years before being released in 1987

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AfricaAfrica AsiaBanking & FinanceEconomyInvestment

FEC approves $1bln African Development Bank loan

Nigeria’s cabinet has approved a $1 billion concessionary loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to support financing the budget and improve foreign exchange supply, Finance Minister Olawale Edun said on Monday according to Reuters

The AfDB loan will fetch an interest rate of 4.2% for 25 years with eight-year moratorium, Edun told reporters after a cabinet meeting in the capital city, Abuja.

“(Federal Executive Council) approved a $1 billion concessionary loan for general budget support and to be used to improve forex availability in the country,” Edun said.

“The $1 billion loan from AfDB is a budget support fund for ongoing economic reforms. It is to support government programs … in power sector, social inclusion and the fiscal policy reforms as a whole sector policy initiative.”

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AfricaAfrica AsiaPoliticsWorld

POLITICS: Madagascar’s Rajoelina re-elected – Election commission

Incumbent president Andry Rajoelina is poised for a new term in Madagascar.

The election commission said Saturday that he won the first round of the presidential election with 58.9% of the votes.

Speaking in Antananarivo, Rajoelina hailed the “people’s choice.

In the last presidential vote in 2018, a second round was necessary for Rajoelina to win the presidency. At the time, he secured 2 586 938 votes.

Just over 46% of the 11 million voters cast a ballot this time. Vote tower was lower that during the last election.

Ten of the 12 rivals of Rajoelina refused to campaign and called for boycott.

Their collective said Friday (Nov. 24) that it would “not recognize the results” of the contested November 16 vote.

The Constitutional Court now has to formally validate the results.

“Illegitimate election, riddled with irregularities”

Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina has won re-election in the first round of a ballot boycotted by nearly all opposition candidates in the Indian Ocean island nation, the election commission said Saturday.

Turnout was just over 46 percent, down on the previous presidential election in 2018, which the election commission blamed on “ambient political climate” and “manipulation of opinion”.

Rajoelina first came to power in 2009 following a mutiny that ousted former president Marc Ravalomanana. He then skipped the following elections only to make a winning comeback in 2018.

The former mayor of the capital Antananarivo, is accused by rivals of corruption, greed, and turning a blind eye to the pillage of the country’s natural resources, including its precious rosewood forests.

“What results? What election?” was the joint opposition response to a request for comment on Rajeolina’s victory.

“We will not recognise the results of this illegitimate election, riddled with irregularities, and we decline all responsibility for the political and social instability that could ensue”, the opponents warned.

The opposition has not yet indicated if it will formally contest the result and has not called for more street demonstrations.

In the weeks leading up to the vote, the opposition — including two former presidents — led near-daily, largely unauthorised protests that were regularly dispersed by police using tear gas.

Madagascar has been in turmoil since media reports in June revealed Rajoelina had acquired French nationality in 2014.

Tense socio-political climate

Under local law, the president should have lost his Madagascan nationality, and with it, the ability to lead the country, his opponents said.

The head of Madagascar’s lower house of parliament on November 09 called for the suspension of the November 16 presidential elections.

The mediation group headed by the official concluded the current situation in the country did not allow for a free and credible vote.

The group including the organization that bring together Madagascar’s four biggest Christian churches spoke to the press in Antananarivo.

On early November, some 60 Madagascan civil society organisations and trade unions have called for the “cancellation” of the first round vote, warning of an “even harder crisis” if the election were to go ahead.

Opposition candidates complained of an “institutional coup” in favour of the incumbent, accusing government of working to reappoint Rajoelina.

They called for the electoral process to be suspended and for the international community to intervene.

Eight countries and organisations including the European Union and the United States expressed concern about the “disproportionate use of force” to disperse opposition demonstrations.

The opposition has denounced irregularities, including closed polling stations, a lack of ballot boxes and the use of state resources by Rajoelina for his campaign.

One of the two opponents who formally remained in the race, Siteny Randrianasoloniaiko, also denounced “worrying anomalies” which he said “raise legitimate questions about the validity of the results”.

The election took place “in regular and transparent conditions”, Arsene Dama, the president of the national electoral commission, said on Saturday.

Dama’s impartiality has been questioned by the opposition.

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