UN Condemns Saudi-Iran Dispute

SaudiThe UN Security Council has strongly condemned an attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran by protesters angered by the execution of a Shia cleric.

Saudi Arabia has broken off diplomatic relations with Iran and is cutting trade and air links.

On Monday, some of Riyadh’s allies also joined diplomatic action against Iran.

Meanwhile, the Turkish government had urged both sides to calm their diplomatic row, saying the dispute will only worsen regional tensions.

Deputy Prime Minister, Numan Kurtulmus, said that the Middle East is “already a powder keg”.

He criticised attacks on Saudi missions in Iran and he also criticized Saudi Arabia’s execution of a Shia Muslim cleric, which triggered the dispute.

Saudi Arabia and Iran are respectively the key Sunni Muslim and Shia powers in the region and back opposing sides in Syria and Yemen.

Saudi Arabia had earlier criticised UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, who had spoken of his “dismay” at the executions, however, Mr Mouallimi described Mr Ban’s comments as “misinformed”.

Following the attacks on the missions, Saudi authorities announced late on Sunday that they were severing diplomatic relations with Iran. They said that all commercial and air traffic links were being cut and that Saudi citizens were banned from travelling to Iran.

 

Cameroonian Official Denies Report Of Release Of Boko Haram Hostages

Boko haramCameroon’s Communication Minister, Issa Bakary, says that he is surprised by the news that some hostages kidnapped by the Boko Haram sect in northern Cameroon have been released.

Earlier reports had said that the sect members have released the wife of Cameroon’s Deputy Prime Minister, Amadou Ali, 10 Chinese workers and district heads who were kidnapped in different attacks.

The Chinese workers were found missing and believed to be taken by the sect on May 16 after an attack at a Chinese work site in northern Cameroon.

The wife of Amadou Ali was also believed to be kidnapped on July 27 by Boko Haram militants in Kolofata but the group did not claim responsibility.

Cameroonian President, Paul Biya, in August, strengthened military operations in the far north region to fight against Boko Haram militants.

Lesotho ‘Coup’: Prime Minister Returns After Fleeing

LesothoLesotho’s Prime Minister, Thomas Thabane, has returned home after fleeing the mountain kingdom to neighbouring South Africa on Saturday.

Thabane, who has been in a fractious coalition government with his political rival, Deputy Prime Minister, Mothetjoa Metsing, left for neighbouring South Africa on Saturday (August 30) after the army surrounded his residence and police stations in Lesotho’s capital, Maseru, and gunshots rang out.

One policeman was shot dead and four others wounded during the confrontation, according to police.

At the time of fleeing, Thabane had accused the military of staging a coup. Regional leaders rejected his call for troops to be deployed to restore order.

The army denied trying to force the Prime Minister out of power, saying it had moved against police officers suspected of planning to arm a political faction in the small southern African kingdom.

The unrest is thought to be linked to a struggle between Mr Thabane, reportedly supported by the police, and Deputy Prime Minister, Mothetjoa Metsing, said to have the loyalty of the army.

Diplomats in Maseru told Reuters on Saturday that the army was largely seen as loyal to the Deputy Prime Minister, while the police force largely supported the Prime Minister.

Regional power, South Africa, condemned the army’s actions and later invited the Deputy Prime Minister to talks there on Sunday, Lesotho’s Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Selibe Mochoboroane, said. He did not specify who the talks would be with.

Deputy Prime Minister, Mothetjoa Metsing, has, however, taken charge of the government after the Prime Minister fled.

People on the streets of Maseru said the situation appeared to be returning to normality.

Mr Thabane has headed a unity government since elections in May 2012, but suspended parliament sessions in June to avoid a vote of no confidence amid feuding in his coalition.

Lesotho, which is surrounded by South Africa, has experienced several coups since independence in 1966.

2013 In Retrospect: Leadership, Electoral Processes And Conflicts In Africa

Network Africa on its debut edition for 2014 takes a look at the continent of Africa during the year 2013.

Focus is on Ghana because of the presidential election it held during the year, the electoral process, the post-election disputes and the eventual victory for President John Dramani Mahama.

Efforts by African leaders to sustain democratic governments across the continent are also in focus as 2013 witnessed the toppling of a democratically elected government in Central African Republic, with bloody crisis in Mali.

2013 also provided Nigeria the reminder for the build-up to a controversial centenary, with its 1914 amalgamation having come under scrutiny, raising questions about the terms of existence of Nigeria as a nation.

Also in focus is the Kenyan election of March 4, 2013, which produced Deputy Prime Minister, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta as President.

Looking back at the year 2013 would be incomplete without the monumental passing away of Anti-apartheid hero, Late Dr Nelson Mandela.

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