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Former AU Chairperson Dlamini-Zuma to become South African MP

South African veteran politician and anti-apartheid activist Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a leading contender to take over as head of the ruling ANC in December, will be sworn in as a member of parliament next week, a senior party official said on Friday.

Dlamini-Zuma, the ex-wife of current ANC leader and South African President Jacob Zuma, does not hold a top position and could use a seat in parliament to raise her profile ahead of the party’s December leadership conference.

“She is going to be sworn in,” ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe was quoted as saying by the local EWN news network.

The former health and foreign affairs minister’s main opponent in the ANC leadership race is expected to be Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, a trade unionist-turned-business tycoon whom many investors would prefer to see running a country with serious economic challenges.

Dlamini-Zuma is pushing for a more radical redistribution of wealth from whites to blacks, a policy that appeals to many poor people who resent the stark racial inequality that persists 23 years after the end of apartheid.

The next head of the ANC will be the party’s presidential candidate in 2019 general elections.

Reuters

Hurricane Irma rages on, South Korea protests against THAAD and more [International Edition]

It is the first time in seven years that three hurricanes are spinning simultaneously through the Atlantic basin. That is Irma, José and Katia whose effects are quite devastating causing significant damage in their passage.

China which is winding up on the deployment of the controversial Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea. On Thursday, Seoul and Washington completed the installation of this system despite violent demonstrations in the country and diplomatic protests in Beijing.

The United Nations Commission of inquiry on Syria has directly accused Damascus on the use of chemical weapons, in a report released on Wednesday, the commission concluded that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the Syrian air force used sarin gas on civilians in opposition-held Khan Shaykhun.

We have this and more stories in the International Edition, a programme that highlights stories packaged by the Editorial team of Euronews.

Pardoned Gbagbo allies behind attacks in Ivory Coast: interior minister

A group of allies of Ivory Coast’s former president Laurent Gbagbo, including at least one living in exile in neighbouring Ghana, are behind a wave of attacks on security installations this year, the interior minister said on Thursday.

Thirty-five people, a number of them soldiers, have been arrested for involvement in the violence, according to a statement released by Sidiki Diakite following a meeting of the National Security Council.

Francophone West Africa’s biggest economy has been shaken by army mutinies, violent protests by former rebels and a spate of attacks on prisons and police stations this year.

The attacks have raised fears over its long-term stability, more than six years after a prolonged crisis ended in a civil war that killed more than 3,000, when Gbagbo refused to cede a 2010 election to current President Alassane Ouattara.

“Most of the people were already implicated in similar attacks around 2012 to 2014,” Diakite said. “Arrested and imprisoned, they were freed in the spirit of political dialogue and reconciliation.”

Previously, much of this year’s violence has been blamed on disgruntled former members of the rebel group that helped Ouattara dislodge Gbagbo, but former fighters loyal to Gbagbo have been blamed for attacks in the past, including several that killed 10 soldiers in the commercial capital Abidjan in 2012 and other deadly attacks near the Liberian border in 2014.

Gbagbo was captured in April 2011 and is on trial at the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges, but many of his allies have been pardoned.

“It is clear that the clemency offered them with a view to peace and reconciliation was not understood by them, and so they continue to pose a threat,” the minister said.

Ghanaian government officials were not immediately available to comment on the allegations. Ivory Coast has accused Accra in the past of not doing enough to track down Gbagbo supporters.

Ouattara has won praise for helping Ivory Coast recover from a decade of crisis to become Africa’s fastest growing economy, but thousands of weapons left over from the war are still in circulation and the army is crippled by internal divisions.

If Gbagbo’s allies are behind recent attacks, Ivory Coast faces the prospect of instability from both them and the rebels they fought as it approaches what is likely to be a hotly contested election to choose Ouattara’s successor in 2020.

REUTERS

Ethiopia: UNSC, AUPSC convene joint peace, security meeting on Africa

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
September 8, 2017 (ADDIS ABABA) – The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) on Friday held their 11th Annual Joint Consultative meeting here in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa at the AU Headquarters.
Representatives of the 15 UNSC member countries arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Wednesday.
Ambassador Tekeda Alemu, head of Ethiopian Mission to the UN told journalists that the meeting deliberated on peace and (...)

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News

SPLM-N al-Hilu calls to investigate attacks on civilians in Sudan’s Blue Nile state

September 8, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The humanitarian branch of the SPLM-N al-Hilu SPLM's Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Association (SRRA) called on the international community to investigate "attacks on civilians" by a rival group led by Malik Agar in the Blue Nile state.
In a statement released on Friday the SRRA al-Hilu, Sodi Ibrahim Shamilla accused the SPLM-N faction led by Malik Agar of "killing innocent civilians in the refugee camps" carrying out "attack on NGOs and civilians in the (...)

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News

NISS sue Sudanese terrorism journalist

September 8, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) have re-initiated a lawsuit five year the publication of the incriminated article against a Sudanese journalist specialized in jihadist groups.
Al-Hadi Mohamed al-Amin Friday told Sudan Tribune that he was summoned to appear before the Press Court in Khartoum on Sunday as a suspect in a case lodged by the NISS against him in December 2012.
According to the expert on the jihadist groups, the security (...)

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FRONT_PAGE_SECONDARY

Why a technocratic transitional government in South Sudan?

Dr Lam Akol
The youngest country in the world was born amid great expectations and hopes for the future. These were not day dreams or castles built in the air. The hope was based on the fact that the country is endowed with human and natural resources very few African countries, if any, had at independence. Today it is a basket case not because of misplaced assessment of its resources but of bad leadership. The current regime in Juba has turned its back on the slogans of liberation and (...)

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Comment & Analysis

Aweil community leaders call to allow former SPLA chief to travel aboard

September 8, 2017 (JUBA) - Community leaders from his home region of Aweil in Kenya have called to allow the former South Sudanese army chief General staff Paul Malong Awan to leave home confinement and travel to Nairobi after the death of his daughter.
The Kenya-based community leaders, cited poor health and the need for former army chief of staff to travel to neighbouring Kenya where his daughter died during fire break out at a school in Nairobi, resulting in the death of at least 10 (...)

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Regional conflicting interests complicate resolution of South Sudan crisis

September 9, 2017 (JUBA) - Regional conflict of interests contributes to impede the resolution of the four-year conflict in South Sudan said a United Nations panel in a confidential report disclosed by Reuters on Friday.
Officially, the East African regional block - the Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), is tasked with the mediation to end a crisis that erupted in South Sudan on 15 December 2013.
IGAD mediators who are from Ethiopia, Kenya and Sudan are supported by a (...)

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South Sudan,
South Sudan Peace Implementation

Zimbabwe economy recovering thanks to agric and mining: Mugabe

President Robert Mugabe said on Friday that Zimbabwe’s economy, hobbled by foreign currency shortages and a widening budget deficit, was slowly rebounding and would be driven by mining and agriculture.

Without giving details, Mugabe told a meeting of the ruling ZANU-PF’s central committee that the former British colony was on the way to regaining its status as a regional breadbasket and was expecting a bumper harvest of the staple maize in 2017.

Zimbabwe generates half of its export earnings from mining, particularly gold and platinum, but diamond output fell to 961,000 carats last year from 3.5 million the year before, after the government seized all gem mining in the east of the country.

“We are going to leverage on diamonds and other minerals, alongside agriculture, so that together they drive our economic recovery trajectory,” Mugabe said.

“Our economy is slowly on the rebound, I am sure you will agree we are improving,” the 93-year-old leader said.

The International Monetary Fund expects Zimbabwe’s economy to grow by 2.8 percent this year after 0.7 percent in 2016, thanks to a rebound in agriculture, while the government has forecast a 3.7 percent expansion.

But on Thursday, business leaders told Mugabe that his government’s expanding fiscal deficit and domestic borrowing were unsustainable and could destabilise the banking sector.

Zimbabweans are unable to withdraw money from banks and spend long hours in queues for as little as $20 while businesses face long delays in paying for imports. Retailers have warned that the delays could cause shortages of basic goods.

Zimbabwe has not been able to borrow on international financial markets since 1999. Last month, the central bank ordered platinum and chrome miners, Zimbabwe’s main foreign currency earners, to surrender 80 percent of their export earnings — up from 50 percent — to contain the dollar shortage.

REUTERS

Togolese are fed up! Gnassingbe Jnr must go now – Opposition chief

One of the leading opposition figures in Togo, Jean-Pierre Fabre, has fired a warning to embattled president of the country imploring him to quit or face more protests.

“He has to leave now. We will not accept him staying any longer. The Togolese are fed up,” leader of the National Alliance for Change is quoted by Reuters to have said.

Anti-government protests have intensified in the country with the main issue being a call for the immediate end to the Gnassingbe family dynasty that has ruled the country for the last five decades.

What started on Wednesday and Thursday as scheduled protests continued into Friday even though internet has been cut and police fired tear gas to disperse protesters massing up at the presidency on Thursday evening.

Opposition strongholds in the capital, Lome, have been boiling as people mounted road blocks and burned tires in the middle of the roads. Other major towns in the West African country have joined in the protests.

Faure Gnassingbe has been in power for the last 12 years taking over after the death of his father Eyadema who governed for 38 years. He has won the last three elections – 2005, 2010 and 2015 because term limits have been scrapped.

The cabinet with hours to start of the protests issued a legislation proposing amendments to the laws but opposition groups called it a means for the president to buy time and extend his stay in office.

Faure Gnassingbe has nothing new to offer Togo after 12 years: Obasanjo

“I believe whatever he (Faure Gnassingbe) has to do in terms of development, whatever ideas he has, he must have exhausted them by now, unless he has something new that we do not know,” this is the view of ex-Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo on the unfolding political crisis in Togo.

He also adds that it is important that the Togolese leader takes concrete action on the anti-government protests that has rocked the country. “I believe that President Faure Gnassingbe will have to do something about it,” Obasanjo told the BBC Africa service on Friday.

On the question of whether the 52-year-old should step down as demanded by protesters, Obasanjo said, I believe he should have a new constitution that will have limits to the number of terms that anybody can be president and he should abide by that.

Faure was a minister until 12 years ago when his father Eyadema died after 38 years in office. Forty years at the time, the army swore him in as president to the anger of the international community. The laws demanded that the speaker of parliament takes over after a president’s death.

He stepped down and was fielded as a candidate in 2005 polls which he won after deadly opposition protests. He has since won two other contested polls – 2010 and 2015. Two-term limits were scrapped year ago alloing him to stay on.

Even though his current mandate runs till 2020, the main opposition demand is that he steps down immediately or faces more protests in the coming days. A new proposal has been tabled to cater for the protesters demands but they have dismissed it as a ploy for Faure to buy time and hang on.

Obasanjo and the then ECOWAS secretary-general, Mohammed Ibn Chambas of Ghana, were key players in finding a solution to the political crisis of 2005. Incidentally, the current ECOWAS chairman is Faure Gnassingbe – he took over from Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf this year.

Before the All Progressives Congress (APC) came to power in 2015, the current opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had ruled Nigeria since the country’s return to democratic rule in 1999. The PDP’s first leader was Obasanjo, who had two four year terms.

His plan to extend his stay in power was stiffly opposed and he eventually handed over to Umaru Musah Yar’Adua of the PDP. Obasanjo is a regular election observer on the continent especially for the Commonwealth.

Kenya poll rerun: Uhuru on campaign trail, Raila seeks campaign funding

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) of Kenya insists it is going ahead with preparations for a rerun of the August 8 presidential elections despite concerns by the main opposition National Super Alliance (NASA).

Even though the Supreme Court annulled the entire process and ordered a fresh poll within 60 days, the IEBC has stated that it will allow incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee Party and NASA’s Raila Odinga on the ballot sheet.

Despite NASA’s earlier boycott threat demanding serious reforms within the IEBC before the rerun, its candidate has launched a public appeal for funds to finance the polls slated for October 17.

Addressing a media briefing in the capital Nairobi, Odinga said anybody who wants to go to Canaan should buy a ticket – referring to supporters having to contribute financially towards the campaign.

There is talk in Kenya about how Odinga, like Joshua in the bible was poised to lead Kenyans to the land of glory after 40 years. NASA is also pushing for a postponement of the October 17 date – a position the IEBC and Jubilee have strongly rejected.

Raila Odinga: We ask our supporters to contribute towards our campaigns financially on pay Bill No. 991444 #NewsCentre KTNNews YussufIbra pic.twitter.com/l8xdolzfTe— KTN News (@KTNNews) September 8, 2017

On his part, President Uhuru Kenyatta almost immediately hit the campaign trail on September 1, hours after the apex court ordered a poll rerun.

After officially accepting the ruling and disagreeing with it, the son of the country’s first president went on a tirade branding judges as ‘thugs and criminals’ who had subverted the will of the people. His comments were widely condemned by the legal fraternity and politicians – within and outside the country.

It has, however, not affected his almost daily campaign stops across the country. He has asked supporters to show up on the set date for the rerun and to give Jubilee a more convincing win that they did on August 8.

Uhuru: We want elections on the date that was announced, let’s stop monkeying around. People need go back to their jobs.#FridayBriefing pic.twitter.com/yr4G2c4mrF— KTN News (@KTNNews) September 8, 2017

The elections were cancelled because the Supreme Court agreed with a NASA petition that irregularities on the part of the IEBC had adversely affected the outcome of the poll. It was a historic decision in Africa for a court to have overturned a presidential election result.

South Sudan rebel leader rejects presidential amnesty

September 8, 2017 (JUBA) - A South Sudanese rebel has rejected a presidential offer of amnesty, questioning the credibility of the order and describing it a strategy to delay suffering of the people.
Thomas Cirilo, who switched side early this year and formed a separate rebel group operating on a parallel side to the main armed opposition faction of the SPLM-IO under the leadership of the former Frist Vice President Riek Machar told Sudan Tribune on Friday he learnt from the media the (...)

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AU delegation assesses impact of U.S. sanctions on North Darfur

September 8, 2017 (EL-FASHER) - A delegation from the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), the legislative body of the African Union, has started a visit to North Darfur to assess the situation ahead of its meeting with the U.S. Congress to discuss the full lift of sanctions imposed on Sudan.
On Friday, the governor of North Darfur state Abdel-Wahid Youssef has briefed the visiting PAP delegation on the situation in his state and the challenges they are facing.
Following the meeting, PAP (...)

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Sudan,
North Darfur State,
FRONT_PAGE_SECONDARY

Russia says keen to promote investments in Sudan

September 8, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said his country is keen to engage in joint investment projects with Sudan pointing that Moscow's policy towards Khartoum is based on respect for the Sudanese sovereignty.
On Friday, Lavrov met with the deputy chairman of the higher committee for Sudan relations with China, India and Russia, Awad Ahmed Al-Jaz in Moscow.
Following the meeting, Russia's news agency TASS quoted Lavrov as saying “we are interested in promoting (...)

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Sudan,
FRONT_PAGE_SECONDARY,
Russia

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