Africa at a glance

Friday November 8 2019

salva kiir riek machar

South Sudan opposition leader Riek Machar (left) and President Salva Kiir in an official photo with the new Cabinet of the Transitional Government, in Juba on April 29, 2016. PHOTO | ALBERT GONZALEZ FARRAN | AFP 

AFRICAREVIEW.COM
By AFRICAREVIEW.COM
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Sudan to form new parliament after peace deal with rebels

A 300-member Parliament in Sudan will be delayed to accommodate wishes by rebel groups who are negotiating a peace agreement with the transitional government led by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

The Sudan Revolutionary forces demanded that the November 17 date contained in the Constitutional Declaration of August 17 be pushed back until a peace deal is signed.

The rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North and the Forces of Freedom and change, the civilian wing in the government, agreed on Thursday "not to form a parliament until a peace agreement is reached."

US questions South Sudan's Salva Kiir, Riek Machar leadership

The United States suggested on Thursday that President Salva Kiir and his rival Riek Machar were unfit to lead the revitalised peace agreement after their differences forced a second delay in the formation of a unity government.

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Tibor Nagy, the US top diplomat for Africa, said in a tweet that the US must review its relationship with the government because of the delay, possibly putting $1 billion in humanitarian support at risk.

"The US is considering all possible options to put pressure on those individuals who would impede peace and promote conflict," Nagy said as the UN separately voiced frustration with the stalling.

Ecowas meets in Niger over Guinea Bissau

The Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) meets today in the Niger capital Niamey to analyse the political situation in Guinea Bissau after the country's new government ignored the bloc's ultimatum to resign.

The 15-member group gave Prime Minister Faustin Imbali's government 48 hours to resign on Wednesday, insisting it was illegal as it was installed through elections but by a decree by President Jose Mario Vaz a week ago.

President Vaz sacked Prime Minister Aristides Gomes government on October 27 saying key institutions were not performing and installed Imbali, his ally in the November 24 elections which protestors want delayed to allow political reforms.

UN targets 2022 for withdrawal from DR Congo

A UN strategic review has recommended that its 16,000-strong mission in the Democratic Republic Congo MONUSCO starts phased exit from the country in "an absolute minimum of three years."

The mission began two decades ago and has an annual budget of over $1 billion but its current mandate comes to an end on December 31.

The UN said an exit at the end of 22 would ensure "a responsible transition" subject to reforms announced by President Felix Tshisekedi on professionalising the army and neutralising rebels remaining on track.

Even if the best-case scenario materialises, the review said a political mission could still be necessary to "prevent a resurgence of conflict."

US places radical Mali preacher on terrorism blacklist

The United States on Thursday designated Mali-born preacher Amadou Koufa as a terrorist, putting a new focus on stopping the militant blamed for multiple attacks on Western interests in the Sahel.

The designation, which makes any dealings with Koufa a crime in the United States, came two days after France said it had killed Ali Maychou a top lead of JNIM with Mr Koufa.

Koufa has won a following among the young with fiery sermons urging a hardline form of Islam through Al-Qaeda affiliate JNIM, or Group to Support Islam and Muslims, which is blamed for more 500 civilian deaths since 2017.
Global debt surges to record high $188 tn

The global debt load has surged to a new all-time record of $188 trillion equivalent to more than double the world's economic output, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva warned Thursday.

While private sector borrowing accounts for the vast majority of the total, the rise from $164 trillion in 2016 puts governments and individuals at risk if the economy slows.

"The bottom line is that high debt burdens have left many governments, companies, and households vulnerable to a sudden tightening of financial conditions," Ms Georgieva said.

She recommended transparency in lending and debt restructuring to make borrowing sustainable saying emerging market public debt was at levels last seen in the debt crisis of the 1980s.

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