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Bowing To Pressure, Somalia’s President Drops Bid To Extend Term

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Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has on Wednesday announced he would drop an attempt to extend his term by two years, bowing to domestic and international pressure after clashes in the capital Mogadishu split security forces along clan lines.

Earlier, the prime minister Mohamed Hussein Roble in a statement issued called for a new presidential election to be held without further delay having denounced the proposed term extension and called for preparations.

The country’s lower house of parliament earlier this month voted to extend Mohamed’s four-year term by another two years. The Senate rejected the move, provoking a political crisis.

The president’s term expired in February, but the country failed to hold elections as planned.

Commanders in both the police and military had defected to the opposition, and rival factions of the security forces had fortified positions in central Mogadishu, raising fears of clashes in the heart of the city, and a security vacuum in the surrounding areas that could be exploited by al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab insurgents.

In a televised statement in the early hours of Wednesday, the president said he commended the efforts of the prime minister and other political leaders and welcomed the statements they issued calling for elections to be held without further delay.

He also called for urgent discussions with the signatories to an agreement signed last September on the conduct of the elections.

The opposition, who had called on the president to resign, did not immediately respond. The president did not discuss the opposition in his speech, but denounced unnamed “individuals and foreign entities who have no aim other than to destabilize the country.”

According to Reuters news agency, the heads of two regional states who had been staunch allies of the president had also rejected on Tuesday the proposed two-year extension of Mohamed’s term. Those leaders said in statements immediately after the president’s speech that they welcomed his announcement.

Mohamed’s attempt to extend his term had also angered foreign donors who backed his government, hoping it would help bring stability and quash the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab insurgency. But the proposed extension pitted factions in the security forces against each other.

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Rwanda Leads Way In Gender Equality

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Rwandan government has been hailed for leading way in gender parity.

A latest report by the Inter-Parliamentary Union dubbed ‘women in parliament’ (IPU) says Rwanda remains the world’s leading country with the most number of women in government positions. The analysis shows Rwanda was the only African country in this year’s top ten leading countries with women in politics.

Besides the 61% of the country’s parliamentary seats being occupied by women, the report also ranked Rwanda as the sixth country with women holding 50 %or more ministerial positions.

The report’s authors have said, women’s equal participation and leadership in political and public life are essential to achieving the sustainable development goals by 2030, citing that achieving gender parity in political life is far off, with the current data.

Besides Rwanda, there are only two parliaments where women account for above 50% of the seats. They include Cuba and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), occupying the second and third spots respectively.

For the first time, however, the global average of women in parliament reached a record-high 25.5%, an increase of 0.6% from the previous edition.

“Progress is being made, but parliaments must be more open to women. They should be gender-sensitive and transform their functioning and structures to facilitate work-life balance for women and men,” the IPU secretary-general, Martin Chungong, said.

The report said, at the current pace, it will take another 50years before gender parity is achieved in parliaments worldwide.

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Ethiopia Says UN Role In Nile Dam Row ‘Unhelpful’

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Ethiopia Says UN Role In Nile Dam Row 'Unhelpful'

Ethiopia says United Nations role in Nile Dam row is unhelpful. The huge dam known as the Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD) has been a point of contention for a decade between Addis Ababa and downstream nations Egypt and Sudan. Ethiopia says the project is essential to its development and has started filling it. But the other two countries fear it could restrict their citizens’ water access.

Ethiopia has described as “unhelpful” the intervention of the U.N. in the long-running dispute over the Nile River mega-dam.

The county’s foreign affairs ministry said in a statement that it was “regrettable to witness that the progress of negotiations has been dragged and politicized”. Ethiopia said on Tuesday that the African Union-led process was important in addressing the concerns of the three concerns and that it was committed to seeing the process to a successful conclusion.

The statement added “Ethiopia has made its position clear time and time again that this is unproductive and bringing the subject matter to the United Nations security council was and is unhelpful and far from the mandate of the council.

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EU To Train Mozambique Military Forces

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EU To Train Mozambique Military Forces

The European Union (EU) has approved a military training mission in Mozambique to support armed forces there to protect the civilian population. Nearly a million persons have fled their homes amid jihadist violence there.

The EU mission says it aims to train and support Mozambique military in restoring security to northern Cabo Delgado which has been plagued by extreme violence amid jihadist attacks since 2017.

The mission, initially set to last for two years, will also involve “military training in operational preparation, specialized training in counter-terrorism, and training and education in the protection of civilians.

Over the last three years, more than twenty-eight hundred persons have died in the violence which has forced about 900,000 others from their homes.

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