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Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger withdraw from ECOWAS

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Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger have officially withdrawn from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Leaders of the three nations led by military generals are accusing the regional economic bloc of imposing “inhumane” sanctions in an attempt to reverse recent coups in their nations.

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The junta leaders jointly announced their decision on state television, claiming that ECOWAS has strayed from its founding ideals and pan-Africanism principles after nearly five decades of existence.

The juntas said, “Furthermore, ECOWAS, under the influence of foreign powers, betraying its founding principles, has become a threat to its member states and its populations, whose happiness it is supposed to ensure.”

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ECOWAS, in response, stated that it was not notified of the decision by the three countries to withdraw. The protocol of the bloc dictates that withdrawal takes up to one year to be completed. “Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali remain important members of the Community, and the Authority remains committed to finding a negotiated solution to the political impasse,” ECOWAS affirmed.

ECOWAS, formed in 1975 with the aim of promoting economic integration among member states, has long been considered West Africa’s top political and regional authority. However, recent years have seen the bloc struggle to address the surge in coups within the region, leaving citizens dissatisfied with the perceived lack of benefits from their rich natural resources.

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Oge Onubogu, Director of the Africa Program at the Wilson Centre think tank, has reacted saying, “In parts of West Africa, ECOWAS is fast losing its effectiveness and support among citizens, who see it as representing only the interests of the leaders and not those of the masses.”

Sunday’s withdrawal announcement is the latest development in a series of events intensifying political tensions in West Africa, especially since Niger experienced a coup last year. Notably, the three nations—Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger—have formed a security alliance after severing military ties with France and other European nations, turning to Russia for support.

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The joint statement by the juntas accused ECOWAS of failing to assist the three countries in combating “existential” threats like terrorism, a common reason cited by their militaries for overthrowing democratically elected governments. The statement criticised ECOWAS for adopting an “irrational and unacceptable posture” by imposing sanctions that violate its own texts and further weaken populations already affected by years of violence.

Cheta Nwanze, an analyst at the Lagos-based SBM Intelligence geopolitical research firm, suggested that the withdrawal signifies a diminishing influence of the traditional superpowers in West Africa—France and Nigeria. Nwanze also emphasized the recently unsuccessful meeting between Niger and ECOWAS, which the junta in Niger saw as an opportunity to criticize the organization for its response to the coup.

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As West Africa faces this rupture within ECOWAS, the region grapples with the broader implications of weakened regional cooperation amid evolving geopolitical dynamics.

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Afrique

Rigobert Track Bahanag Expresses Gratitude and Optimism for the Future

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Former Cameroonian head coach Rigobert Track Bahanag launched an announcement on Friday, March 1st, 2024, following his departure from the place.

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“Expensive Sisters and Brothers; Expensive Supporters of the Indomitable Lions,” Track started, acknowledging each Cameroonian residents and the nationwide workforce’s passionate followers. He expressed his honour in serving because the workforce’s supervisor for the previous two years, highlighting his dedication to fulfilling his “exhilarating and delicate mission.”

Track emphasised his dedication to nationwide responsibility, stating that he “devoted himself” to attaining the assigned goals, which included qualifying for each the 2022 World Cup and the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations. Nonetheless, he acknowledged the workforce’s shortcomings, stating, “Sport being what it’s, our performances throughout these competitions weren’t commensurate with the notoriety and status of Cameroonian soccer.”

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Taking duty for the outcomes, Track additionally mirrored on the constructive points of his expertise, expressing his appreciation for the time spent with the workforce and the non-public development he gained. He prolonged his gratitude to numerous entities who supported him throughout his tenure, together with the federal government, gamers, employees, and the Cameroon Soccer Federation.

Lastly, Track addressed the passionate fanbase, thanking them for his or her unwavering help. He acknowledged their need to see the Indomitable Lions “reign in continental soccer,” and expressed his perception that attaining such a objective stays potential.

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Track’s departure comes after Cameroon’s exit within the Spherical of 16 of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations that was hosted in Ivory Coast, owing to a defeat by the Tremendous Eagles of Nigeria. The Cameroon Soccer Federation has but to announce a alternative.

Many coaches have resigned following their dismal performances within the final version of the AFCON, from which hosts Ivory Coast emerged as champions.

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Tanzania Observes 7 Days Mourning for Former President Ali Hassan Mwinyi

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President Samia Suluhu Hassan has declared a seven-day mourning interval following the loss of life of former Tanzanian President Ali Hassan Mwinyi. The revered statesman handed away on the age of 98 after battling lung most cancers. Mwinyi, who held the presidential workplace from 1985 to 1995, performed a pivotal position in shaping the future of the East African nation.

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President Samia Suluhu delivered the information of Mwinyi’s demise on Thursday at 5:30 pm, casting a pall over the nation because it bid farewell to one in every of its outstanding leaders. The late president’s contributions to Tanzania lengthen past his practically decade-long tenure; he succeeded the nation’s founding father, Julius Nyerere, and left an indelible mark on its political panorama.

Among the many enduring legacies of Ali Hassan Mwinyi is the introduction of multi-party democracy to Tanzania. His dedication to political pluralism ushered in an period of larger political participation and illustration within the East African nation. Mwinyi’s imaginative and prescient for a extra inclusive political system laid the groundwork for the various political panorama that exists in Tanzania as we speak.

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The passing of the previous president marks a big second in Tanzanian historical past, leaving a void that resonates with the lack of different iconic leaders who’ve formed the nation’s future. Mwinyi’s loss of life on February 29, 2024, makes Jakaya Kikwete, now 73 years previous, the one residing former Head of State in Tanzania.

When contemplating Tanzania’s presidents since its independence, it is very important observe that they’ve all come from the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) celebration. Nonetheless, the nation has endured the sorrow of bidding farewell to 4 of its leaders, together with the founding father Julius Nyerere 24 years in the past, President John Magufuli in 2021, and now the current lack of Ali Hassan Mwinyi. The passing of three presidents inside the span of 5 years, from 2020 to 2024, underscores the nation’s collective grief over the departure of those influential figures.

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As Tanzanians embark on per week of mourning to honour the reminiscence of Ali Hassan Mwinyi, the nation displays on the numerous contributions of its leaders and the challenges and triumphs they navigated throughout their respective tenures. The legacy of Mwinyi, marked by his dedication to democracy and public service, will undoubtedly endure within the hearts and minds of the Tanzanian folks.

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Francis Ngannou suscite l’inquiétude chez Anthony Joshua

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Francis Ngannou, le boxeur camerounais, a testé son coup de poing le 27 février dernier, et le résultat affiché sur la machine n’augure rien de bon pour Anthony Joshua.

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En effet, l’ancien champion du monde de MMA, Francis Ngannou, s’apprête à affronter le Britannique Anthony Joshua le 8 mars prochain à Riyad. Pour se préparer à ce fight, il s’est engagé dans une préparation intensive ces derniers mois afin d’être prêt le jour J. Il a récemment saisi l’event de mesurer la puissance de son coup de poing sur une machine à punch. Le résultat est sans appel : Francis Ngannou a affiché un impressionnant 999 au compteur, signe que le “Predator” a pulvérisé le tableau.

Ce n’est pas la première fois que Francis Ngannou se prête à ce style de check. Avant de quitter l’UFC, il détenait déjà le document du combattant poids lourds au coup de poing le plus dévastateur. Certains specialists affirment même que la drive de frappe du Camerounais équivaut à celle de 96 chevaux. Selon Dana White, le patron de l’UFC, “C’est comme se faire percuter par une Ford Escort lancée à pleine vitesse, bien plus puissant qu’un marteau de foire jeté par-dessus la tête”.

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Il n’est pas étonnant que des poids lourds notables, tels que Mike Tyson, attirent l’consideration d’Anthony Joshua sur ce sujet. Tyson Fury en a fait les frais lors de son affrontement avec Francis Ngannou, et selon diverses sources, il en garde encore des séquelles, ce qui l’a contraint à reporter son fight prévu en février dernier contre l’Ukrainien Oleksandr Usyk.

Francis Ngannou disputera son deuxième fight en boxe anglaise contre Anthony Joshua le 8 mars prochain, avant de faire son retour en MMA pour son tout premier fight au PFL. Il affrontera le Brésilien Renan Ferreira, alias “Problema”. Ce dernier a remporté son dernier fight contre Ryan Bader par TKO et determine parmi les grands combattants MMA du PFL. Francis Ngannou aura ainsi l’opportunité de décrocher sa première ceinture depuis son départ de l’UFC.

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