Africa week round-up: Sudan, South Sudan- China, Zimbabwe -ECOWAS and Mali

September 28, 2012

Africa, International

Sudan, South Sudan sign agreements on cooperation, security in Ethiopia


ADDIS ABABA,– Sudan and South Sudan on Thursday signed three agreements of various issues at the conclusion of presidential summit between Sudan’s president Omar Hassan Al Bashir of Sudan, and Salva Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The two presidents have been meeting in Addis Ababa since last Sunday to conclude the negotiations by their delegations going on for months on outstanding issues through the mediation of the African Union High Implementation Panel (AUHIP).

The two countries have inked three deals on cooperation, security, and post secession agreements witnessed by the members of AUHIP.

The security agreement was signed by Lieutenant General Abdel Raheem Muhammed Husssein, Defence Minister of Sudan, and General John Kong, Defence Minister of South Sudan, and witnessed by General Abdulsalam Abubakar, former president of Nigeria.

The second deal on post-cessation, which includes border issues, economic matters of oil and trade related issues among others, was signed by the lead negotiators Idris Abdel Gadir of Sudan, and Pagan Amum of South Sudan.

President Al-Bashir and his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir have signed the cooperation agreement, which is said to summarize the principles and institutions the two countries will cooperate on all areas.

Both presidents hailed the event of the signing a historic moment.


Video: Trade agreement signed by Sudan and South Sudan in landmark deal


China, Zimbabwe bilateral trade surges this year


HARARE — China and Zimbabwe bilateral trade surged 20 percent to 533 million U.S. dollars in the first five months of 2012, compared to the same period last year, an official said on Thursday.

Speaking during a reception here to commemorate the 63rd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe Lin Lin said trade between the two countries was expected to hit 1 billion dollars by the end of this year.

“The year 2012 witnessed a rapid development of mutually beneficial economic cooperation between China and Zimbabwe. The bilateral trade volume was US$533 million in the first five months of 2012, an increase of 20 percent from the same period last year and is expected to reach 1 billion dollars by the end of 2012,” he said.

China has emerged as Zimbabwe’s all weather friend in the last decade when Zimbabwe has been under European Union and United States sanctions. Relations between the two countries further deepened after Zimbabwe adopted the Look East Policy in 2003.

China has become a major source of imports as the Zimbabwean economy recovers from years of contraction, with the country exporting mainly tobacco to the Asian giant.

Among the companies operating in the country include Anjin, a joint diamond mining venture between the Chinese and the Zimbabwe government as well as Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Company (AFECC) which has been involved in two major construction projects in the country.

AFECC constructed the multi-million dollar Zimbabwe Defense College launched two weeks ago and is currently constructing a hotel and shopping mall worth over 200 million dollars in Harare.

Lin said the two countries were also cooperating in other sectors such as education and culture.

“China and Zimbabwe enjoy a profound traditional friendship,” said Lin, who came to Zimbabwe two months ago, adding that there were prospects to further solidify relations.

Meanwhile, Lin said in the past 63 years since its founding, China has registered unprecedented transformation to become the second most powerful nation in the world.

“Despite all the achievements, we are clear headed that China is still a developing country with a large population yet a weak economic base,” he said.He said the world most populous nation continued to make strides to balance development between its urban and rural areas as well as uplift the lives of the over 128 million still living under the poverty line.


ECOWAS seeks powers to try coup plotters, terrorists

Oluwole Josiah


ABUJA- Deputy President of the Senate and Speaker, ECOWAS Parliament, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has canvassed the enhancement of the jurisdiction of the ECOWAS Court of Justice to address the challenges of military coups and terrorism in West Africa.

He said this on Thursday at the opening of the 2012-2013 Legal Year of the ECOWAS Court of Justice in Abuja.

Citing the Malian example, Ekweremadu regretted that the parliaments of some ECOWAS states were prevailed upon by local exigencies to make provisions that pardon coup plotters.

However, he stressed that with the enhancement of the powers of the Community Court, ECOWAS could ensure that such usurpers of constitutional powers were eventually brought to book.

 He said the trial and punishment of coup plotters at the sub-regional level were necessary tools for forestalling unconstitutional attempts at powers which usually resulted in instability, wars, and underdevelopment.

He said although the 2005 Supplementary Protocol on the Community Court of Justice had improved on the judicial welfare of individuals, groups, and corporate bodies in the sub-region, the ECOWAS Court needed to be repositioned in terms of scope and effective enforcement of the Court’s verdicts to promote democracy, integration, and development.

Ekweremadu said, “It is the desire of the ECOWAS Parliament to see a Community Court of Justice whose powers and jurisdiction cover the trial and punishment for crimes against humanity, especially genocide; cross border terrorism in the sub-region; violation of ECOWAS Conventions and Protocols; sea piracy on West African waters; and cross-border money laundering, drug and human trafficking in the sub-region.”

Declaring open the 2012-2013 Legal Year of the ECOWAS Court of Justice, the President of the Court, Justice Awa Nana, regretted the non-referral to the Community Court by national courts of Member States cases that border on the interpretation of ECOWAS Community texts of Protocols.

“It is also of great concern to the Court, that only three member states have appointed the competent national authority for the enforcement of the decisions of the Court as prescribed by the Supplementary Protocol,” she added.

Justice Nana said the primacy of ECOWAS Community Law could only be achieved through the cooperation of the Member States and therefore called for greater support by all to the Community Court of Justice.


Is it time to intervene in Mali?




Population: 15,494,466 (July 2012 est.)

Mali is slightly less than twice the size of Texas.

Ethnic groups: Mande 50% (Bambara, Malinke, Soninke), Peul 17%, Voltaic 12%, Songhai 6%, Tuareg and Moor 10%, other 5%

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