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13:24, 27 June 2017 Tuesday
19:33, 09 November 2016 Wednesday

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Africa reacts to Trump's US victory
Africa reacts to Trump's US victory

Amid congratulations from African leaders, campaigners issue warning over US commitments on human rights

World Bulletin / News Desk

 African leaders reacted positively to the shock victory of Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential elections on Wednesday.

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, in power since 1986 when Ronald Reagan was U.S. leader, congratulated President-elect Trump on his victory over his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

In a statement, Museveni said: “Elections in the U.S. are a matter for the people of that country.

"Our relationship with the U.S. will continue regardless of which leader or party is leading. I look forward to working with [Trump] as we have been working with the other leaders before him."

Somalia’s federal government also congratulated Trump on his victory, which saw the Republican nominee pull off a win early Wednesday morning after securing several key U.S. states.

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud said his country would be a “willing partner” of the U.S. and was ready to work with Washington in “safeguarding the peace, stability and prosperity of both Somalia and the wider Horn of Africa region”.

“We are grateful to the government and the people of the United States for the invaluable support they have given to Somalia,” a statement from the president added.

The Democratic Republic of Congo President, Joseph Kabila, also congratulated Trump. “And through him, I congratulate the American people who decided to entrust him.” Kabila said he was ready to work with Trump to strengthen bilateral ties.

A senior member of the Congolese opposition coalition, Silvester Kanza, said they were happy with a Trump victory.

“Trump promised to deal with African leaders who do not want to leave power. We are happy that he has been elected as president and hope he will kick out such leaders,” Kanza said.

Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza tweeted directly to Trump, writing: “Your Victory is the Victory of all Americans.”

Kenyan leader Uhuru Kenyatta also congratulated Trump on his victory and said: “The ties that bind Kenya and the United States of America are close and strong.

“They are old, and based in the values that we hold dear: in democracy, in the rule of law and in the equality of peoples. These values remain dear to the peoples of both nations, and so our friendship will endure."

Zimbabweans also reacted to Trump’s election on Wednesday. Harare-based Lorraine Sibanda, president of the country’s Chamber of Informal Economy Association, was critical of the tone of the election campaign.

Sibanda told Anadolu Agency: “It’s a very sad reality that Hillary Clinton has lost as a woman, but also it sort of belies the opinion or perception that Western countries are better on women’s rights issues. Once something controversial [is said] against a woman it’s taken as the truth.

“With Hillary there was an issue of emails and for me it caused that shift as she was doing very well during campaigns. I have personally learnt that patriarchal politics is deeply embedded in the world, including the U.S.”

However, a spokesperson for the opposition Zimbabwe People First party dismissed the claim. Jealousy Mbizvo Mawarire said: “It is not accurate to say Hillary lost the American polls because she is a woman. Actually she was being viewed as a continuation of the Obama term as president.

“What we are seeing is that, globally, there is now that anti-establishment wave which is inexorable. This has made sure that anything that stands in its way is swept aside.”

Elsewhere, South African President Jacob Zuma also congratulated Trump.

In a statement, Zuma said he looked forward to working with Trump on building upon the strong relations that already exist between the two countries.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame tweeted his congratulations over Trump's “well-earned” victory. Kagame said Rwanda looked forward to “continued good relationship” with United States and its new administration.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn wished “a happy and fruitful tenure” to the U.S. president-elect. Hailemariam in a statement expressed his “conviction that the long-standing friendship between U.S.A. and Ethiopia would grow up to a new height and the people-to-people relations as well as trade and multi-faceted ties would also be reinvigorated during his presidency.”

Senegalese President Macky Sall also congratulated Trump via his tweets in French and said his country intended to continue its working relationship with the U.S.

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari said Abuja looked forward to working with him on shared areas of cooperation. “The President looks forward to working together with President-elect Trump to strengthen the already established friendly relations between both countries, including cooperation on many shared foreign policy priorities, such as the fight against terrorism, peace and security, economic growth, democracy and good governance,” Buhari said.

Top Nigeria’s opposition politicians said Trump’s election could well signal a different future for Nigeria.

Several Nigerian opposition figures believe the outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama somehow helped Buhari to power, while, support for Trump is overwhelming among the country's ethnic Igbo who hope the president-elect would support the secessionist tendency in the southeast region. Trump was once quoted as criticizing Abuja’s handling of secessionist activist Nnamdi Kanu, who has been in detention over treason charges since last year October.

Respected foreign affairs experts in Nigeria have said Trump’s victory represents an "uncertain" future in the international environment. Nigerian Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka said last week he would tear his green card if Trump was elected president, a pledge which was now being used as a taunt by his fellow countrymen.

*Anadolu Agency’s correspondents Halima Athumani from Uganda, Mohammed Dhaysane from Somalia, Addis Getachew from Ethiopia, Godfrey Olukya from DR Congo, John Cassim from Zimbabwe, Hassan Isilow from South Africa, Ivan R. Mugisha from Rwanda, Rafiu Ajakaye from Nigeria and Alpha Kamara from Senegal contributed to this report. 

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Cyprus president seeks peace deal in Switzerland
Cyprus president seeks peace deal in Switzerland

Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades said Monday he hopes to clinch a reunification deal laying out a new security blueprint for the divided island during a crunch summit in Switzerland this week. Anastasiades will attend United Nations-backed talks at the Alpine Crans-Montana ski resort Wednesday with "complete determination and goodwill... to achieve a desired solution", he said in a statement. He said he hopes to "abolish the anachronistic system of guarantees and intervention rights", with a deal providing for the withdrawal of the Turkish army. The eastern Mediterranean island has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded its northern third in response to an Athens-inspired coup seeking union with Greece. Turkey maintains around 35,000 troops in northern Cyprus. The so-called guarantor powers of Turkey, Britain and Greece retain the right to intervene militarily on the island. Greek and Turkish Cypriots are at odds over a new security blueprint, but their leaders are under pressure to reach an elusive peace deal. "I am going to Switzerland to participate in the Cyprus conference, with the sole aim and intent of solving the Cyprus problem," Anastasiades said. Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci is also set to attend the summit, which is expected to last at least 10 days. Greece, Turkey and Britain will send envoys along with an observer from the European Union. UN-led talks on the island hit a wall in late May after the sides failed to agree terms to advance toward a final summit. Unlocking the security question would allow Anastasiades and Akinci to make unprecedented concessions on core issues. But they have major differences on what a new security blueprint should look like. Anastasiades's internationally recognised government, backed by Athens, seeks an agreement to abolish intervention rights, with Turkish troops withdrawing from the island on a specific timeline. Turkish Cypriots and Ankara argue for some form of intervention rights and a reduced number of troops remaining in the north. Turkish Cypriots want the conference to focus on broader issues of power-sharing, property rights and territory for the creation of a new federation. Much of the progress to date has been based on strong personal rapport between Anastasiades and Akinci, leader of the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. But that goodwill has appeared frayed in the build-up to their meeting in Switzerland. The Greek Cypriot presidential election next February has also complicated the landscape, as has the government's search for offshore oil and gas, which Ankara argues should be suspended until the negotiations have reached an outcome.