Mali’s MNLA clarified its stance on their would-be state Azawad, claiming that they want independence, but that doesn’t mean territorial independence:
‘We declare a right to self-determination, but that doesn't mean secession,’ said Ibrahim Ag Assaleh, an MNLA official…’As for independence, that's our objective. But independence doesn't solely mean territorial independence…It is the right to life, to health care, to education, a political voice and freedom of expression’
In Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan asked the leaders of the country’s armed forces to develop a new security strategy that would combat terrorists and stop crude oil theft:
‘The unacceptable rising incidences of crude theft must be tackled frontally. I expect the Chief of Naval Staff and other serving Chiefs to immediately go to work to urgently bring the issue if crude oil theft to an end. While we are determined to reposition Nigeria for sustained growth and development, we shall proactively prosecute the fight against terrorism with total commitment and effectively check the activities of all criminal elements in our dear land. In this regard we will step initiatives aimed at strengthening and repositioning our security agencies for greater efficiency to discharge their constitutional responsibilities.’
In nearby Ghana, President Mahama clarified that the new districts and constituencies created are not the product of political manipulation, but rather an attempt to decentralize so as to ease the provision of public goods:
…the creation of new districts and constituencies in the country was to accelerate national development, and not for political gratification as perceived by some people.
[Mahama] said apart from providing jobs for the people, the creation of districts would lead to the provision of basic amenities such as health and educational facilities, good roads, police stations and decentralized offices to help expand those areas.
Meanwhile in Kenya, UDF Presidential candidate Mudavadi denies partaking in the political alliance known as the G7 and claims that it is the media’s way to discredit him for being ‘dumped’ by the alliance.
‘The media has reported that I have been left out by G7, but I want to put the record straight that I have never belonged there. Therefore how can I be left out in a group that I did not belong to in the first place? That doesn’t mean that I also don’t have friends in other parties. We have friends in all parties but my agenda is to unite all Kenyans’
And on the topic of Kenyan elections, Orengo urges Kenyans to refrain from pre-election violence to postpone the polls. This comes one week after security forces indicted MRC members who were planning on disrupting the polls.
South Kordofan’s capital in Sudan was struck by five mortar shells, killing one person.
Lastly, there has been a cabinet reshuffle in Mozambique that involved the sacking of the Prime Minister and the shifting of positions of five ministers and four provincial governors. Alberto Vaquina, governor of Tete was named new prime minister.