Robert Mugabe caught sleeping during Ghana Independence Day celebration

A photo of Zimbabwe president allegedly sleeping at Ghana’s 60th Independence celebration has gone viral. The lethargy leader was among the many African leaders who graced the country’s 60 Independence Day anniversary parade.

Ghanaians took to social media to share various comments and observations from the former AU leader’s presence at the anniversary celebration.

”It’s funny my govt has money to send Mugabe to sleep in Ghana and no money to pay its workers. What is Mugabe going to bring from there? ” – Stolen Dreams @Mukoma59 said.

”We thought Mugabe was representing Zimbabwe in Ghana, he was sleeping. Mugabe has two vice presidents but he never let them do assignments. ” – Lucky @maDube_ said

African Leaders Should Pay More Attention To Peace, Development- Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday tasked  African leaders on the need to ensure socio-political stability in their respective countries to achieve peace and speedy regional and sub-regional integration in the continent.

Speaking at a joint press briefing with the visiting Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, after a closed door meeting in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Buhari noted that, even though the situation in the ECOWAS sub-region was relatively stable, there was the need to continue to persuade the leaders to pay more attention to security and development.

“The situation in our sub-region is relatively stable but there is the need for us to continue to persuade our colleagues to show appreciation on the efforts the sub-region is doing to make sure that we pay more attention to security and development.”

“I have appreciated very much your efforts and I also congratulate you on your successes. I believe you may even go outside the region, to African Union, so that before the AU meeting we try and persuade the leadership of those countries in our sub-region  to show more patience and accommodation with politics of their countries, President Buhari said.

The President stated that the forthcoming 3rd Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security would discuss some political developments in two countries of the sub-region.

Buhari commended the Liberian leader for handling the affairs of the  ECOWAS diligently and  efforts in stabilising her country.

He added that “I have to very sincerely congratulate you with the way you have stabilised your country and with the small contributions Nigeria was able to make through out those difficult times that you went through.

“And also thank you very much on the way you are handling ECOWAS responsibility.

“We have one or two countries that I believe we will discuss when we go to Senegal today, tomorrow and maybe on Wednesday, in terms of peace and security.’’

In her remarks, the Liberian leader who is also the Chairperson of the Heads of State and Government of the ECOWAS  nations,  said she was in Nigeria to be updated on the focus and challenges of the work of the ECOWAS Commission

According to her, the visit is also meant  enable her meet with the entities of ECOWAS, the Commission, the Parliament and the Courts in preparation  for the forthcoming Summit of the Authority  of the ECOWAS, slated for Abuja on Dec. 17.

She stressed the need for leaders in the sub-region to continue to maintain peace and stability to achieve regional integration and economic prosperity.

“I’m glad once again to be back in Abuja. I’m using the opportunity of this visit to be updated on the focus and challenges of the work of the ECOWAS Commission,  to meet with the entities of ECOWAS, the Commission, the Parliament and the Courts in preparation  for the reports I will present at the Summit of the Authority, which will be held here in Abuja, on Dec. 17.

“But,I’m so greatful that while here, I reached out to the President and asked him for the opportunity to call on him to be able to brief him on some of the findings I have had in my two days of consultation with the commission.

 “I also exchange with him  some of the developments in our sub-region, political development; economic development, and to get his wise counsel on how we can ensure that we monitor the situation in  all the West African countries so as  to maintain peace and stability in all of our countries” she said.


“Don’t expect much from Trump’s Presidency” – Expert warns African leaders.

A policy and governance expert, Mr Oseloka Obaze, has advised African leaders to look inward for solutions to their political and economic challenges.

Obaze, the Managing Director of Selonnes Consult, said in a statement in Awka on Friday while reacting to the emergence of Donald Trump as U.S. president-elect.

He said that the emergence of Trump as the president-elect, in spite of the bookmakers’ predictions, was “American Wonder’’.

Obaze, who is also a retired diplomat, said that Trump presidency might hold some fortunes for Africa.

He called for more strategic positioning on the part of African leaders to maximize the relationship.

According to him, Nigeria should not expect much in terms of economic assistance under the ensuing order, but hope that unlike Barak Obama, Trump will visit Nigeria while in office.

“He is likely to deal with Nigeria in the African context, if his foreign engagement is purely strategic, and it will mean seeking partners like Nigeria to outsource the regional challenges.

“Depending on his immigration policies, it will favour Nigerians that need to be regularized.

“On Nigeria’s socio-economic challenges, we should expect little or no assistance.

“Yet, I predict he will visit Nigeria, within his first four years, something Obama did not do in eight years,” he said.

African Leaders To Withdraw Membership From ICC

African leaders have backed a Kenyan proposal pushing for a pullout from the International Criminal Court, leaders said Sunday, repeating claims it unfairly targets the continent. Chad’s President Idriss Deby, elected African Union chairman at the two-day summit, criticized the court for focusing its efforts on African leaders. “Elsewhere in the world, many things happen — many flagrant violations of human rights — but nobody cares,” Deby said at the close of the summit late Sunday, which had an official theme of protecting human rights.

No legally binding decision was made, and the decision to leave the ICC’s founding Rome Statute is up to an individual nation. The decision is a “proposal…for the AU to develop a road map for the withdrawal of African nations”, a Kenyan presidential statement read. The war crimes trial of former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo began last week, rekindling a bitter row across Africa over the international justice system.

Set up in 2002 as the last resort to try war criminals and perpetrators of genocide never tried at home, the ICC has opened probes involving eight nations, all of them African: Kenya, Ivory Coast, Libya, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Uganda and Mali. The AU, led in particular by Kenya, has accused the court of unfairly targeting Africans for prosecution as the majority of its cases come from the continent.

This included a failed case to try Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and a faltering case against his deputy William Ruto, for allegedly masterminding deadly post-election violence in the east African country in 2007-2008 in which some 1,200 people died. “We refuse to be carried along in a vehicle that has strayed off course to the detriment of our sovereignty, security and dignity as Africans,” Kenyatta said in a statement.

Credit: Vanguard

Pope Humbles African Leaders With Mobile Car As Politicians Arrive In Luxurious Whips

In actions and words on his first tour of the world’s poorest continent, Pope Francis has sent a message to African leaders that they could do with less pomp and a bit more humility.

In a region where presidents speed past slums in cavalcades of luxury vehicles and the public complain about corruption in high office, the pope was cheered as he drove in a small Honda and told national leaders to act with integrity.

Kenya’s prolific Twitter users were quick to notice the contrast. “Thieving politicians arrive in their SUVs and Mercs to listen to @Pontifex who will arrive in a Honda. Shameless ‘leaders’,” wrote @Kunj_Shah.

Francis, who has spurned many of the institutional perks of the Vatican, shunned the armored cars with tinted glass driven by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his entourage.

Nor did he follow the example of visitors like U.S. President Barack Obama, who turned up in Nairobi in July for an official visit with an army of security personnel and a bullet-proof limousine, dubbed “the Beast”.

Instead, the pope waved to rapturous crowds from his white popemobile with open sides despite pouring rain and was ferried around Nairobi in the Honda that local media said cost a modest 1.5 million shillings ($14,700).

“The pope is down to earth,” said Lucy Musyoka, 48, who braved a downpour to attend open-air Mass in a sodden Nairobi University sports field. “It is good for our leaders to notice.”

“They like the wealth of the world but they can’t understand the people of our country,” she said. “It is vanity.”

Credit: Reuters

Buhari To African Leaders: My Efforts To Stop Boko Haram

President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, briefed African leaders on his efforts towards combating the Boko Haram insurgency in the country’s North-East even as he challenged them to collectively stop the sordid stories of migrants dying across the Mediterranean Sea.

In an address presented at the opening ceremony of the 25th ordinary session of the African Union, AU, Buhari also paid respect to former President Goodluck Jonathan for helping to avert a crisis in the country by facilitating a smooth transition in power.

Noting the challenge against his administration from Boko Haram and his efforts towards overcoming the threats by the group, he said: “Our continent is currently bedevilled by the twin evils of terrorism and insecurity, poverty, youth unemployment, and underdevelopment.

“The destructive effects of the inhuman and criminal campaigns of the Boko Haram insurgency in
Nigeria and neighbouring countries; the Al-Shabab attacks in East Africa, and the activities of the Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb, all bear testimony to a continent under siege.

“I was convinced on my assumption of office that the best approach would be to work within the framework of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, LCBC, to mmobilizecollective support to fight against Boko Haram. I have in this regard, directed the relocation of Nigeria’s Command Centre to place it closer to the theatre of action.
“At this juncture, let me assure you of the unflinching commitment of Nigeria to the ideals and aspirations of the African Union as explained in the Agenda 2063, which is geared towards ensuring a peaceful, prosperous and integrated Africa in the next 50 years. It is for this reason that Nigeria is fully and irrevocably committed to the ECOWAS vision.

Lauds Jonathan on transition Acknowledging Nigeria’s historic transition and the role played by his predecessor, he said: “The election was also held against the backdrop of the fears and concerns expressed both in Nigeria and among our international friends abroad and partners that the outcome of the election could spell doom for Nigeria. I am glad that even though those fears and concerns were not without basis, the outcome was totally different, to the relief of all of us.

“I cannot fail to acknowledge the very positive role played by my predecessor, H.E. President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, in averting the feared crisis, and in facilitating the peaceful transition of power between the two parties.

“I also wish to express my deep appreciation to all who honoured us with their presence at my inauguration, and even those, who for unavoidable reasons were unable to attend”.

I Hope They Won’t Kill Us – Burundi Coup Leaders Surrender As President Pierre Returns

Leaders of the failed coup in Burundi against 49 year old President Pierre Nkurunziza, have surrendered on Friday ,with an AFP reporter hearing the arrest by telephone.

The coup leaders’ spokesman, Venon Ndabaneze, was speaking to AFP confirming that they had decided to surrender when loyalist troops arrested him, deputy coup leader Cyrille Ndayirukiye and another senior figure among the mutineers.

The leader of the coup attempt, former intelligence chief General Godefroid Niyombare, also said via telephone that he was surrendering,adding that troops loyal to the president were approaching him.

“We have decided to surrender,”“I hope they won’t kill us,” he added.

It was unclear what happened to him

Burundian President Back After Coup Attempt

Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza arrived back in the country Thursday, a day after a coup was declared while he was in Tanzania for regional talks, his office said.

 A file picture taken on 14 December 2006 in Nairobi at the UN-sponsored conference on the Great Lakes Region shows Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza. Burundi's presidency said an attempted coup by a top general had

“President Pierre Nkurunziza is now in Burundi,” his senior communications advisor Willy Nyamitwe told AFP. “That’s all we can say for the now because of security reasons.”

Nkurunziza was in neighbouring Tanzania for regional talks Wednesday when the coup was announced by former intelligence chief Godefroid Niyombare, in a culmination of weeks of street protests against the president’s bid to seek a third term.

But the outcome of the coup appeared uncertain Thursday as rival factions within the security forces clashed around the state television and radio complex.

Broadcasts to the nation were briefly interrupted but resumed after anti-coup forces repelled a major attack by rival troops.

In the afternoon, station director Jerome Nzokirantevye said it was “loyalist soldiers who are in control.”

The bodies of three soldiers were seen by an AFP journalist lying in the street.

The crisis has raised fears of a return to widespread violence in the impoverished country, which is still recovering from a 13-year civil war that ended in 2006 and left hundreds of thousands dead.

The coup announcement triggered international criticism and the United States insisted Nkurunziza remained the legitimate president.

“There are competing claims to authority, but we recognise President Nkurunziza as the legitimate president,” State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke told reporters.

The UN Security Council, in emergency talks on the crisis on Thursday, condemned the coup attempt and called for a swift return to the rule of law in the impoverished country.

UN envoy Said Djinnit briefed the council, saying it was “still unclear” whether the coup attempt would succeed, a diplomat told AFP.

AFP reporters in the Burundian capital said the crackle of automatic weapons fire and the thump of explosions could be heard throughout the night Wednesday, and intensified around dawn on Thursday.

For much of the day the streets were largely deserted by civilians as sporadic clashes could be heard in other parts of the city, while plumes of smoke were seen on the city skyline.

Both sides claimed to control the streets.

But Burundi’s armed forces chief, a supporter of the president, went on national radio to declare that the coup, launched by former intelligence chief Godefroid Niyombare, had failed.

Read more

Senegalese President Offers To Reduce His Presidential Term As An ‘Example To African Leaders’

Senegal’s President Macky Sall on Tuesday proposed a referendum on reducing his mandate by two years, a stance in contrast to several fellow African leaders criticised for clinging to power.

The pledge came with countries including Benin, Rwanda, Burundi and Congo-Brazzaville all said to be considering constitutional change to allow their leaders a third term in office.

“I was elected for seven years (but) next year, I will propose the organisation of a referendum for the reduction of my mandate,” he told a news conference with foreign media in Dakar.

The move would allow “a revision of the constitution, first on the mandate and then on some other aspects to strengthen our democracy”, he said, adding that he wanted the vote to take place in May next year.

“Have you ever seen presidents reduce their mandate? Well I’m going to do it,” Sall told the meeting at the presidency, making good on a pledge which formed part of his election campaign in 2012.

“We have to understand, in Africa too, that we are able to offer an example, and that power is not an end in itself,” he added.

Sall said he wanted presidential elections in 2017 rather than two years later, as envisaged under current constitutional arrangements, but would not be drawn on whether he intended to stand for a second term.

His announcement followed a plea by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to African leaders gathered for an annual summit in January to not cling to power and to respect the wishes of their people.

Chaos erupted in Burkina Faso in October last year as lawmakers prepared to vote to allow 63-year-old Blaise Compaore – who took power in a 1987 coup – to contest elections in November 2015. He was forced out of power.


African nations where laws have been changed to the benefit of their incumbent leaders include Algeria, Angola, Chad, Djibouti and Uganda.

As many as 42 people were killed in protests that erupted in the Democratic Republic of Congo in January against a bill seen as an attempt to extend President Joseph Kabila’s hold on power in the nation he has led for 14 years.

Sall told foreign correspondents at the Dakar news conference he intended to appeal personally to Kabila for the release of Senegalese activists arrested on Sunday.

Three members of Senegalese pro-democracy campaign group “Y’en a marre” (“Fed Up”) were detained in Kinshasa with activists from DR Congo and Burkina Faso.

An American diplomat and journalists held alongside the campaigners have been released but the African activists remain in custody on suspicion of planning to destabilise the country.

Sall said he had instructed Foreign Minister Ndiaye Mankeur to make contact with Congolese authorities, adding: “We did what we had to do as a state, and that is to defend our citizens.”

“Myself, I intend to speak this morning, if the link is established, with President Kabila,” he told the news conference.

“It is not for me to judge if this is above board or not. My position as president of the republic of Senegal is not to get into this,” he added.

“My position is to ensure first of all, that the Senegalese members of “Y’en a marre” be released and returned home.”

Campaigners from the three nations gathered in Kinshasa Saturday for a meeting they said was intended to raise consciousness and mobilise young people about good government and democracy.

Security forces arrested about 30 people Sunday at the activists’ news conference, including three French reporters working respectively for AFP, BBC and Belgian broadcaster RTBF.

The activists still being held included Fadel Barro, the charismatic head of “Y’en a marre” as wells as fellow activist Aliou Sane and Senegalese rapper Fou Malade.

The group battled against ex-Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade, whose bid for a controversial third term sparked deadly violence in Dakar in 2012.

Source – The