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News in brief

 

Egypt: President Mursi holds crisis talks

Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi has held talks with senior judges in an attempt to calm a growing crisis over his decree to increase his own powers.

Mr Mursi’s decree, which would see challenges to his decisions banned, has been met by protest, with opponents of the legislation holding rallies throughout the country.

Following discussions with the group of Supreme Council for the Judiciary judges, a spokesperson for the president said that the judges had been told that their judicial independence would not be interefered with and that the decree’s powers would be limited to “sovereign matters”.

Rallies against the decree did proceed, however, with spokesperson Mona Amer saying: “We asked for the cancellation of the decree and that did not happen.”

The judicial talks have been seen by some observers as an attempt to difuse the situation by Mr Mursi.

Ivory Coast: International Criminal Court issues warrant for Simone Gbagbo

An arrest warrant for Simone Gbagbo has been issued by the ICC. The wife of Ivory Coast’s ex-president Laurent Gbagbo is wanted for alleged crimes against humanity following the controversial presidential elections of 2010.

Laurent Gbagbo is already awating trail at The Hague. The former president is facing four charges of crimes against humanity.

Ivory Coast’s presidential election results were violently disputed and around 3000 people died following outbreaks of violence as Mr Gbagbo refused to concede defeat. Mr and Mrs Gbagbo were eventually arrested in 2011.

The ICC has called on Ivory Coast to surrender Mrs Gbago, who becomes the first woman it has charged.

DR Congo: M23 rebels name withdrawal terms

The M23 rebel group occupying the eastern city of Goma have set out the conditions of their withdrawal, which include the release of political prisoners.

Uganda and Rwanda have both denied accusations by the United Nations that they are backing the rebel group, which took control of Goma last week.

Sutani Makenga, the commander of the M23, flew to Uganda earlier this week for talks, while the group’s political leader Jean-Marie Runiga said that M23 was seeking negotiations with DRC president Joseph Kabila.

M23’s demands also include the dissolution of the electoral commission and freedom of movement for opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi.

Mr Runiga was quoted by Reuters as saying:”If Kabila agrees to our demands then we’ll go quickly.”

However, observers have reported that it would be politically difficult for Mr Kabila to agree to the demands and he is unlikely to do so.

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