Niger’s military administration on Friday gave the Nigerian , German and US ambassadors 48 hours to leave the country, reports Anadolu Agency.
The order issued to the ambassadors which is likely to escalate the Niger crisis simply read:
“In reaction to German Ambassador Olivier Schnakenberg’s refusal to reply to an invitation by the ministry for a discussion on Friday August 25 at 11.00 a.m., and due to other actions of the German government contrary to Niger’s interests, the ministry … is giving 48 hours to Mr. Olivier Schnakenberg’s to leave the Nigerien territory,” according to a Foreign Ministry statement.
“In reaction to Nigerian Ambassador Mohamed Usman’s refusal to reply to an invitation by the ministry for a discussion on Friday August 25 at 11.30 a.m., and due to other actions of the Nigerian government contrary to Niger’s interests, the ministry … is giving 48 hours to Mr. Mohamed Usman’s to leave the Nigerien territory,” it said separately.
The military also gave the new US ambassador 48 hours to leave.
US Ambassador Kathleen Fitzgibbons, who arrived in the national capital of Niamey last week was accused of failing to honor an invitation by the ministry for a discussion earlier in the day.
The State Department said last week that FitzGibbon was to lead a US diplomatic mission and bolster efforts to help resolve the political crisis.
Niger’s military administration earlier gave the French ambassador 48 hours to leave the country.
French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna sent an Aug. 8 note to express solidarity with Nigerien Ambassador in Paris Aichatou Boulama Kane who refused to leave her position after the military administration took power.
Niger was plunged into turmoil July 26 when Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani, a former commander of the presidential guard, led a military intervention that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.
Nelson Mandela’s granddaughter, Zoleka, dies of cancer at 43
South African anti-apartheid struggle hero, Nelson Mandela’s granddaughter, Zoleka Mandela, has died of cancer aged 43, her family said on Tuesday.
The family said recent scans revealed “significant” progress in cancer that affected her hip, liver, lung, pelvis, brain and spinal cord.
“We mourn the loss of a beloved grandchild of Mum Winnie and Madiba,” the Nelson Mandela Foundation wrote on social media, using the name by which the Nobel Peace Prize laureate was fondly known.
“Her work in raising awareness about cancer prevention and her unwavering commitment to breaking down the stigma surrounding the disease will continue to inspire us all.”
Rwanda’s Kagame says he will run for fourth term
Rwandan President Paul Kagame has said for the first time that he plans to run for a fourth term in elections due to be held next year.“Yes, I am indeed a candidate,” Kagame, who has ruled over the country with an iron fist for decades, told Jeune Afrique, a French-language news magazine, in an interview published online on Tuesday.
“I am pleased with the confidence that Rwandans have placed in me. I will always serve them, as long as I can,” the 65-year-old was quoted as saying.
The Rwandan government in March decided to synchronize the dates for its parliamentary and presidential elections, which are due to be held in August next year.
Kagame had previously not made his intentions clear but has presided over controversial constitutional amendments that allowed him to serve a third term.
A former rebel chief, Kagame has been regarded as the country’s de facto leader since the end of the 1994 genocide.
He won a third term in 2017, taking home nearly 99 percent of the votes.
US, EU back African Union bid to join G20
The African Union looks set to become the newest member of the G20, officials said on Friday, as the bloc’s bid won backing from existing members gathered for a summit in India.
G20 host and Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, called for the pan-African organisation to become a permanent member, arguing that developing nations need a greater say in global decision-making.
The proposal has won backing from Washington and on Friday, the European Union said it would also back the move.
“I look forward to welcoming the AU as a permanent member of the G20”, European Council president Charles Michel told reporters in New Delhi, where the two-day G20 summit begins on Saturday.
The Group of 20 major economies currently consists of 19 countries and the European Union, making up about 85 per cent of global GDP and two-thirds of the world population.
But South Africa is currently the only G20 member from the African continent.
The Ethiopia-headquartered AU was created in 2002, following the disbanding of the Organisation of African Unity.
At full strength, it has 55 members, but six junta-ruled nations are currently suspended. Collectively it has a GDP of $3trillion with some 1.4 billion people.
India’s top foreign service officer, Vinay Kwatra, said it expected a decision on AU membership would be made at the summit on Saturday morning.
In December 2022, U.S. President, Joe Biden, said he wanted the AU “to join the G20 as a permanent member”, adding that it had “been a long time in coming, but it’s going to come”.
On Tuesday, Biden’s national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, reiterated the stance while discussing the U.S. priorities for the New Delhi summit.
“We’re also looking forward to warmly welcoming the African Union as a permanent member of the G20 — the newest permanent member. We believe that the African Union’s voice will make the G20 stronger,” Sullivan said at a White House briefing.
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