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VENICE, ITALY - APRIL 07: Nigerian playwright, poet and essayist, Nobel prize in literature, Wole Soyinka attends a photocall during Incroci di Civiltà International Literature Festival on April 7, 2018 in Venice, Italy.

Wole Soyinka Backs Bobi Wine Ahead of Uganda's Presidential Elections

Nigerian Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, has expressed his support for Bobi Wine's presidential run in Uganda's 2021 elections this January.

Prolific Nigerian writer, Wole Soyinka, has expressed his support for Bobi Wine's presidential run in Uganda's upcoming elections. According to Quartz Africa, Soyinka has backed Bobi Wine's presidential run to topple current president Yoweri Museveni's three-decade long rule. Bobi Wine, real name Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, is the youngest presidential candidate at just 38 years-old. Woyinka reportedly stated that Wine is now the "face of democracy" for Uganda ahead of the nation's 2021 elections taking place this Thursday.


Read: Listen to a Podcast Detailing the Life & Times of Iconic Ugandan Activist Bobi Wine

According to Face2Face Africa, Soyinka has been following Wine before he even announced his candidacy. The democratic mission for Africa is reportedly the reason cited by Soyinka for throwing his weight behind Wine's running for the presidency. An outspoken advocate for human rights, Soyinka met Museveni in his earlier years has said that he is "fed up with leadership of old sick men".

The Nobel Literature Laureate reportedly met Wine in 2019 during a symposium on legendary Nigerian Afrobeat founder, Fela Kuti. This meeting followed Wine's arrest in 2018 in which Soyinka, Angelique Kidjo, Femi Kuti and a number of high profile personalities signed a petition in support of Wine's release. Soyinka has a long history of political activism including the war between Nigeria and Biafra in 1967 which led to him to go into exile. In the 1970s, he joined protests against Uganda's dictator, Idi Amin. Soyinka's condemnation of Museveni is deeply related to the fight to end Amin's violent rule which he explained as follows:

"We just have to ask Museveni to stop terrorizing Ugandan people, to stop behaving even worse than Idi Amin against who we all rose. I met Museveni during the fight against Sani Abacha [former Nigerian military dictator]. At the time we met it was still possible to consider him a democratic leader. Today he's joined the gang—the enemies of society."

Unsurprisingly, the young political leader of the National Unity Platform (NUP) has faced countless arrests. A proverbial thorn in Museveni's side, he has faced charges of treason and "intending to annoy" President Museveni. Wine is not one to cower to Museveni's intimidations but according to BBC, he is taking precautions by campaigning in a bullet proof vest and helmet following the recent murder of his bodyguard.

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Sudan Declares State of Emergency, As Military Dissolves Transitional Government

As the North African country edged closer to democracy, Sudan's military has seized power.

Sudan's military has seized power over the North African country, arresting multiple civilian leaders, including the current Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. The power-sharing, unstable coalition, called the Sovereign Council, was created as a transitional government after the fall of dictator Omar al-Bashir in 2019, in an attempt to move towards a democratic Sudan.

The Sudanese public has been split in recent weeks as groups protested for a military-run state, while others pushed for a civilian lead, democratic nation. Last week, the Prime Minister vocalized his plans towards a full transition to civilian rule, and his plans to have that body in place by November 17, echoing the voices of thousands of Sudanese demonstrators who showed up in hoards to demand that the promise of Sudan's pro-democracy movement be honored. But on Monday the PM and multiple government ministers and officials were placed under arrest, resulting in Sudan's top general's declaring State of Emergency.

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said in a televised statement, "To rectify the revolution's course, we have decided to declare a state of emergency nationwide… dissolve the transitional sovereign council, and dissolve the cabinet." His statement came as soldiers fired live rounds at anti-military protestors, outside of the army headquarters in the capital.

Internet services were cut across the country around dawn and the main roads and bridges into Khartoum shut, before soldiers stormed the headquarters of Sudan's state broadcaster in the capital's twin city of Omdurman, the ministry said. After months of rising tensions in the country, army and paramilitary troops have been deployed across the capital city, Khartoum, with the airports and internet access being shut down. As a result of the coup, hundreds of protestors have taken to the streets, demanding the return of a civilian ruled and the transitional government, the BBC reports.

Demonstrators have spread to a number of Sudanese cities including Atbara, Wad Madani, and Port Sudan, and more are expected to attend the call for action. "We will not leave the streets until the civilian government is back and the transition is back," protest attendee Sawsan Bashir told AFP. While demonstrator Haitham Mohamed says, "We are ready to give our lives for the democratic transition in Sudan."


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