Richard Nield
Richard Nield
Richard Nield
Richard Nield
Richard Nield

Politics

Bouteflika win likely in Algeria amid dissent

Despite unprecedented opposition protests, Algerians are poised to re-elect president to fourth term.

Al Jazeera – 13 April 2014

A group of protesters gathered last month at Algiers University in the centre of the city, ready to demonstrate against Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s decision to run for a fourth consecutive term as president of Algeria. Police were there early, in heavy numbers, to ensure that the demonstration did not spread beyond the Fac Centrale d’Alger.

“There were not more than 100 protesters, but there were probably three times as many police,” said Kamal Benkoussa, who is supporting Barakat (“Enough” in Arabic), a civil society movement established in early 2014 to campaign against Bouteflika’s fourth mandate and in favour of a democratic transition in Algeria.

The protest was the latest in a series of Barakat-organised demonstrations against Bouteflika’s decision to run in the presidential elections, scheduled for April 17.

“The police made a human wall to make it impossible for people to walk on the street. We had to stay in a very small space in front of the university. People were worried that if they walked on the street, they’d be arrested,” Benkoussa, who withdrew from the presidential campaign on the news that Bouteflika was standing for re-election, told Al Jazeera.

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South Sudan officials charged with treason

Seven opposition leaders are accused of plotting a coup to overthrow President Salva Kiir’s government.

Al Jazeera – 6 February 2014

An announcement by South Sudan’s government that it plans to charge seven leading opposition politicians with treason threatens to derail a fragile peace process just days after a ceasefire was signed in Addis Ababa.

Since mid-December, the government has held 11 opposition figures in detention in Juba pending the results of an investigation into their alleged involvement in a coup to bring down the government.

According to a statement by Minister of Justice Paulino Wanawilla Unago on January 28, the investigation has found evidence that four of these men – Pagan Amum, Oyay Deng Ajak, Majak D’Agotk and Ezekiel Lol Gatkouth – were involved in plotting a coup.

Three government opponents currently not in detention are also expected to face treason charges, said the minister. They are the former vice president Riek Machar, former Unity state governor Taban Deng Gai and former environment minister Alfred Lado Gore.

“These people have a case to answer before the court for planning and carrying out the coup,” Wanawilla told reporters in Juba. “Anybody who intends to change a constitutional government or to suspend the constitution or abrogate the constitution by force commits treason.” Treason in South Sudan carries the death penalty.

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Sudan-South Sudan relations: Now for (yet another) hard part

Focus turns to political challenges as Sudan and South Sudan reach deal on oil

9 September 2013

Now that Khartoum has agreed to drop its threat to prevent South Sudanese oil exports via its pipeline infrastructure, a series of political challenges remain if the two countries are to continue to co-operate on the energy sector in the months and years to come.

The two most urgent issues are the status of the disputed border territory of Abyei and the definition of the border. Both were outlined in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005 and were scheduled for resolution prior to South Sudan’s independence in July 2011, but they remain far from resolution. “Nothing has been done about border definition, and Abyei wasn’t even talked about during the summit of Kiir and [Sudanese president] Omar Bashir on 3 September,” says a former international negotiator for the government.

The AU has brought together a team of experts to work on the definition of the border between the two countries, but despite efforts by the AU Peace and Security Council in late 2013 to draw up the terms of reference for the team’s work, neither Juba nor Khartoum has agreed to them. “Neither side has even made any submissions yet,” says the former negotiator.
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President Abdelaziz Bouteflika Algeria
Bouteflika win likely in Algeria amid dissent

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