Beijing Not Sending Arms To Russia Now, Says China Envoy 

In this file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shake hands during a signing ceremony inside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on June 8, 2018.  Nicolas ASFOURI / POOL / AFP

 

China’s ambassador to the US said Sunday his country was not sending weapons to Russia for use in Ukraine, but he did not definitively rule out the possibility Beijing might do so in the future.

In a lengthy phone call Friday, US President Joe Biden warned his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping that there would be “consequences” if Beijing provided material support to Moscow as it prosecutes its war against Kyiv.

Asked Sunday on CBS whether China might send money or weapons to Russia, Ambassador Qin Gang spoke about the present, saying: “There is disinformation about China providing military assistance to Russia. We reject that.”

READ ALSO: Ten Million Have Fled Their Homes In Ukraine – UN

Instead, “what China is doing is sending food, medicine, sleeping bags, and baby formula, not weapons and ammunition to any party,” he said.

Beijing, which shares with Moscow a sense of hostility and resentment toward the United States, has been loath to criticize its Russian ally over the invasion of Ukraine, despite urging by US, British, and other officials.

Qin, interviewed on CBS talk show “Face the Nation,” said Beijing was continuing to “promote peace talks and urge immediate cease-fire.”

But the sort of public condemnation urged by many in the West “doesn’t help,” he said. “We need reason. We need courage. And we need good diplomacy.”

The Chinese foreign ministry has said the West must take Russian security concerns into account.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday lent his voice to calls for China to join in condemning the Russian invasion.

“As time goes on, and as the number of Russian atrocities mounts up, I think it becomes steadily more difficult and politically embarrassing for people either actively or passively to condone Putin’s invasion,” he told the Sunday Times.

Mikhailo Podolyak, a top advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, pleaded with Beijing on Saturday to “condemn Russian barbarism.”

Were Beijing to deliver military support to Russia, analysts say, it could transform an already explosive transatlantic standoff into a global dispute pitting the West against the world’s second-biggest economy, prompting turmoil on international markets.

AFP

Arms Proliferation: Navy Disclaims Submission By Officer

A photo combination of a man carrying a gun and the Director of Legal Services, Nigerian Navy, Commodore Jemila Malafa

 

The Nigerian Navy has dissociated itself from the submissions made by commodore Jemila Malafa at a House Public Hearing on a bill to establish a commission against the proliferation of small arms and light weapons.

Commodore Malafa who represented the Navy at the hearing earlier on Tuesday alleged that Chadian soldiers engaged in the illicit trade of small arms.

According to her, Chadian soldiers sell guns for as low as $20 (N8,200) and this further endangers Nigeria’s security.

“Some of these countries that we have a border with have no armoury. They do not have armoury. So most of their arms that are being donated by — I don’t want to be specific — the developed countries in the name of assisting us to fight our problems — are compounding our problems in Nigeria because you find out that each average Chadian soldier has 20 to 30 arms underneath his bed,” she said.

“Since we are going to collaborate with ECOWAS and other countries that are donating such arms to these countries [African countries], I think we should insist that they should either enact laws to govern the handling of these arms and ammunition or build an armoury for these countries or else we will not see peace.”

But according to a statement signed by the Spokesman of the Navy, Commodore Dahun Suleiman, the Nigeria Navy disowned her claims, saying they do not represent the position of the Navy.

Read Also: Arms Proliferation: Chadian Soldiers Sell Guns For As Low As $20, Endanger Nigeria’s Security – Navy

“During the hearing on this Bill, the representative of the Nigerian Navy (NN) duly presented the position of the Service on the proposed Act but went ahead to make some unauthorized, personal comments on the issue of transnational trafficking of small arms and light weapons,” the statement read in part.

“The Nigerian Navy appreciates the indelible contributions of our regional partners and neighbours in the fight against small arms and light weapons trafficking”.

The navy further stated that Nigeria maintains robust diplomatic security relationships with its neighbouring countries and commits to deepening the existing arraignments.


Watch the video of Commodore Jemila Malafa speaking House of Reps Public Hearing.

Arms Proliferation: Chadian Soldiers Sell Guns For As Low As $20, Endanger Nigeria’s Security – Navy

 

The Nigerian Navy has called for concerted efforts to end the proliferation of small and medium arms in Nigeria.

Speaking during a public hearing by the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence in Abuja, the Director of Legal Services, Nigerian Navy, Commodore Jemila Malafa, said Chadian soldiers sell guns for as low as $20 (N8,200) and this endangers Nigeria’s security.

Chad shares a border with Nigeria in the North, just as Niger, Cameroon and Benin Republic are the country’s neighbours.

“Some of these countries that we have a border with have no armoury. They do not have armoury. So most of their arms that are being donated by — I don’t want to be specific — the developed countries in the name of assisting us to fight our problems — are compounding our problems in Nigeria because you find out that each average Chadian soldier has 20 to 30 arms underneath his bed,” she said.

“Since we are going to collaborate with ECOWAS and other countries that are donating such arms to these countries [African countries], I think we should insist that they should either enact laws to govern the handling of these arms and ammunition or build an armoury for these countries or else we will not see peace.

A photo combination of a man carrying a gun and the Director of Legal Services, Nigerian Navy, Commodore Jemila Malafa

 

Commodore Malafa thinks a border war should be built between Nigeria and these neighbouring countries or we should have serious surveillance or “else we will not see peace in this country.”

In declaring the event open, Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, called on all stakeholders to make good use of the opportunity for the good of the country’s security.

The Chief of Air Force Intelligence, Air Commodore Friday Ogohi, lamented that fertilisers were being sold to “unscrupulous persons who use the chemical substance locally as explosive materials to manufacture IEDs.”

The hearing was organised by the committee to take the input of the public on four bills on national security.

The bills are A Bill to Establish the National Commission Against the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons; A Bill to Make Provision for the Integration of Private Closed Circuit Television (CCTV); A Bill to Repeal the Explosives Act, and A Bill to Designate the Month of November as the National Appreciation for Security Agencies Month.

Insecurity: ‘Where Are The Arms We Bought For $1bn?’ – Wike Asks FG

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has asked the Federal Government to provide answers to the $1 billion dollars that was withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account to purchase arms for the fight against insecurity.

Speaking during a recent interview on Channels Television’s Newsnight which aired on Monday, the governor asked President Muhammadu Buhari to hold officials accountable for their actions.

The National Economic Council had on December 15, 2017 agreed to utilise $1billion from Nigeria’s excess crude account to tackle Boko Haram insurgency and other security challenges.

The meeting which was chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had the 36 state governors in attendance and it came as the state governors pledged to support the Federal Government to rid the North East of the insurgents.

Four years after, several questions have been raised by many, including Governor Wike regarding the purchase of the equipment, especially as insecurity has worsened since then.

“I remember there was a time when $1 billion was taken from the Excess Crude Account to provide for security. Where is the equipment that we bought,” Wike questioned.

“If I should release that money as the Chief Security Officer, knowing how Nigeria is, I will make sure that those weapons and the right ones were bought.”

READ ALSO: Arms Procurement Were Done By Specific Individuals, Invite Them – COAS Tells Reps

The governor also reacted to the decision of the House of Representatives to summon the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, over the procurement of arms.

He also faulted the response of the army chief over the arms purchase during his appearance before the lower chamber.

File photo of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike

 

Wike added, “I was surprised when I was watching the television when the House of Representatives invited the Chief of Army Staff about the purchase of weapons and he said ‘look, you know the right people to ask.

“You have to take leadership. Even if those who were at the helms of affairs of security, the onus is on you, you can still summon them back. ’”

Wike’s remarks come about three weeks after a tension ensued between the as some tension between the House ad-hoc committee on arms and ammunition, and the COAS following the investigation into arms purchase by the military.

Things took a different turn when the Chief of Army Staff, refused to speak further on a document which he had presented to the committee, asking the committee instead to review the documents which he considered self-explanatory.

The Chief of Army Staff insisted that he had barely settled into office and is definitely not the right person to speak on arms and ammunition purchased by his predecessors.

“Issues of arms procurement that you so demand to know were done by specific individuals, I will rather you call these individuals to explain to you very specific issues the general explanation is contained in this report,” the COAS told the lawmakers.

He added, “The submission before you speaks to the report before you. It is an executive summary. It is very self-explanatory to the extent that it has been pluralised. When you demanded this report, you stated a specific period for which you wanted it.

“You may wish to recall that the Chief of Army Staff took over the mantle of leadership barely two months ago.

“The period for which you want this report having been summarised in the executive summary explained whatever details you require.”

Gunmen Attack Police Station In Aba, Cart Away Arms

Party Advisory Council Calls For Postponement Of Abia Election

 

 

A police station in Aba, Abia State has come under attack by yet-to-be-identified persons who were said to have carted away arms and ammunition from the station.

It was gathered that the attack, which occurred in the early hours of Tuesday, resulted in the death of some people, both on the side of the police and the hoodlums.

Meanwhile, the Abia State Government has condemned the incident.

In a statement, the government noted that security agencies in the state have swung into action to fish out the perpetrators of the crime and bring them to justice as quickly as possible, vowing that no part of Abia will be ceded to criminals operating under any guise.

The state government also promised to pay ₦1 million to anyone with relevant information leading to the recovery of the stolen arms as well as the arrest of any suspects.

Meanwhile, the state government has imposed a curfew on the operation of motorcycles and tricycles from between 7:00 pm and 7:00 am in all major cities of the state with effect from today.

EU Sanctions Three Firms For Breaking Libya Arms Embargo

An official hangs a Union Jack next to an European Union flag at EU Headquarters in Brussels on October 17, 2019, ahead of a European Union Summit on Brexit.
Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP

 

The European Union on Monday imposed sanctions on three companies — one Turkish, one Kazakh and one Jordanian — for breaching the UN arms embargo on Libya, drawing an angry reaction from Turkey.

At a regular meeting in Brussels, EU foreign ministers signed off on the measures, which freeze any EU assets held by the companies, cut them off from EU finance markets, and bar them from doing business with anyone in the bloc.

Two individuals were also hit with sanctions for human rights abuses in Libya, where the UN-recognised government in Tripoli has been under attack from strongman Khalifa Haftar, who runs a rival administration in the east.

The EU has a naval mission operating in waters off Libya which is tasked with policing the embargo and collecting intelligence on violators.

“These new listings show the EU’s strategic use of its sanctions regime and ability to react to developments on the ground in support of the political process and to deter past and present perpetrators from further violations,” the EU said in a statement.

Libya has endured almost a decade of violent chaos since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed veteran dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

But there have been signs of progress, with representatives from the two sides meeting for peace talks in Morocco, announcing a surprise ceasefire and pledging national elections.

“After many months I see a reason for cautious optimism. There is a positive momentum, there is a ceasefire and we need to use it,” EU diplomatic chief Josep Borrell said as he arrived for the foreign ministers’ talks.

– Turkey attacks ‘wrong decision’ –
But the targeting of a Turkish company risks inflaming already tense relations between Ankara and the EU following a recent flare-up in the eastern Mediterranean over oil and gas reserves.

The EU says the company, Avrasya Shipping, operates a vessel called the Cirkin, which it says breached the arms embargo by transporting military material to Libya in May and June 2020.

Turkey lashed out at the decision in a statement from the foreign ministry late on Monday.

“At a time when efforts are made to reduce tensions in the eastern Mediterranean, making such a wrong decision is extremely unfortunate,” it read.

It also accused the EU’s naval mission in waters off Libya, called Operation Irini, of “ignoring” shipments to Haftar, “especially by the UAE (United Arab Emirates)”

“The EU’s Operation Irini rewards Haftar and punishes the Libya government recognised by the United Nations,” said the statement.

The Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli is backed by Turkey and Qatar, while Haftar has enjoyed the support of Russia, Egypt, the UAE and France.

“If the EU wants security and stability in the region, it should give up on its biased attitude and act in consultation and cooperation with Turkey,” the foreign ministry statement added.

The other two companies targeted by the EU sanctions were Kazakh cargo air operator Sigma Airlines and Jordanian maritime firm Med Wave Shipping.

 

 

-AFP

Syria: France Suspends Arms Exports To Turkey

 

France has suspended all planned exports of “war materials” to Turkey that could be used in their offensive into Syria, said a statement from the foreign and defence ministries Saturday.

A meeting in Luxembourg Monday of the European Union’s foreign affairs committee will decide on a coordinated European approach to the issue, the statement said.

 

Troops Ambush Terrorists, Kill Three Insurgents In Borno

 

Following credible information from some patriotic Nigerians about terrorists movement along Banki Road Junction, Pulka in Gwoza general area, troops of Special Response Area (SRA) Pulka under the Nigerian Army Super Camp Gwoza, in collaboration with Civilian Joint Task Force conducted a successful night ambush on Thursday 3rd October 2019.

The ambush resulted in the neutralization of 3 terrorists, recovery of 2 AK 47 Rifles and 2 motor cycles. Unconfirmed number of terrorists were reportedly wounded during the ambush. There is no casualty on the Nigerian Army or Civilian JTF.

According to the army spokesman, Colonel Ado Isa, items recovered by troops include 2 X AK 47 rifles and 2 X bicycles.

READ ALSO: Army Arrests Chikwedum, Alleged Boko Haram Logistics Supplier

Similarly, at about 2250 hours on 3rd October 2019, in what seems like a repraisal attack to avenge the lost of their members in the ambush conducted by the troops, some marauders/criminals woefully attacked the Delta Company Location of the SRA at Pulka.

Consequently, troops swiftly responded by effectively repelling the attack, one bandit lost his life and one Ak 47 rifle was recovered. No casualty was recorded by the Civ JTF or the troops.

The Acting General Officer Commanding 7 Division and Commander Sector 1 Operation LAFIYA DOLE Brigadier General AK Ibrahim was in SRA Pulka where he interacted with the troops, commended them for the successes so far and urged them to remain committed and unwavering in the struggle to end the insurgency soon.

Germany Extends Saudi Arms Exports Ban

German Chancellor Angela Merkel/ AFP

 

Germany has extended a weapons export embargo against Saudi Arabia for six months until the end of March 2020, a government spokesman said Wednesday.

Besides a halt in deliveries during the period, no new weapons contracts would be approved, the spokesman added about the embargo, which was imposed last October over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

AFP

US To Accelerate Missile Program After INF Treaty Exit

 

The United States is to accelerate its development of new cruise and ballistic missile systems following its withdrawal from a nuclear treaty with Russia, the Pentagon said on Friday.

Accusing Russia of “sustained and repeated violations” of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the US had already begun work to develop “mobile, conventional, ground-launched cruise and ballistic missile systems.”

As the United States had “scrupulously complied” with its obligations to the 1987 treaty until its formal withdrawal, “these programs are in the early stages,” Esper said in a statement.

“Now that we have withdrawn, the Department of Defense will fully pursue the development of these ground-launched conventional missiles as a prudent response to Russia’s actions.

“The Department of Defense will work closely with our allies as we move forward in implementing the National Defense Strategy, protecting our national defense and building partner capacity,” he added.

Moscow has said that Washington is making a “serious mistake” pulling out of the treaty, insisting that the US had abandoned the agreement for its own gain rather than because of alleged Russian violations.

AFP

Trump To Bypass Congress To Sell Arms To Saudi, UAE

FILES) In this file photo taken on May 20, 2017, US President Donald Trump (L) and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud take part in a signing ceremony at the Saudi Royal Court in Riyadh. MANDEL NGAN / AFP

 

President Donald Trump’s administration is bypassing Congress to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, citing a threat from Iran, despite lawmakers’ concerns about their possible use against civilians in Yemen, a senator said Friday.

Senator Robert Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had used his powers to block sales of tens of thousands of precision-guided bombs to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, fearing they would contribute to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, where the US allies are mounting an offensive.

But the administration informed lawmakers that it was bypassing a legally required review by Congress to approve the sales as part of a total of 22 arms transactions to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other nations, Menendez’s office said.

READ ALSO: Trump Congratulates India’s Modi, BJP On ‘BIG’ Election Win

“I am disappointed, but not surprised, that the Trump administration has failed once again to prioritize our long-term national security interests or stand up for human rights, and instead is granting favors to authoritarian countries like Saudi Arabia,” Menendez said in a statement.

“With this move, the president is destroying the productive and decades-long working relationship on arms sales between the Congress and the executive branch,” he said.

“The possible consequences of this decision will ultimately threaten the ability of the US defense industry to export arms in a manner that is both expeditious and responsible,” he said.

The sales come after Trump vetoed a move by Congress to stop US support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, where tens of thousands have died and millions risk starvation in what the United Nations calls the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has resolutely defended the US support for the Saudis, noting that the Huthi rebels who control much of Yemen are allied with US adversary Iran and saying that Huthi rocket attacks into Saudi Arabia could kill Americans taking commercial flights.

AFP

Surrender Illegal Weapons In Your Possession, Acting IGP Warns Nigerians

Surrender Illegal Weapons In Your Possession, Acting IGP Warns Nigerians
Acting IGP, Mohammed Adamu.

 

The acting Inspector General of police, Mohammed Adamu, has warned Nigerians currently in unlawful possession of illegal weapons to immediately ensure a voluntary return of the weapons to police stations or public armoury nearest to them.

He gave the warning in a statement signed by the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, on Sunday in Abuja.

The warning followed intelligence report which indicated the presence of a huge quantity of arms in unlawful possession of some Nigerians.

It also highlighted the desperation of some citizens to acquire more arms and the continued proliferation of illicit weapons in the polity with the attendant negative and security implications.

READ ALSO: CCT Adjourns Onnoghen’s Alleged False Asset Declaration Case Indefinitely

In view of this, the police boss, with immediate effect, placed an embargo on the issuance of new licences for designated arms throughout the country.

He advised Nigerians to take advantage of the “voluntary arms return window” and do the right thing as there would be dire consequences for defaulters and those who fail to heed the call.

Meanwhile, the police have concluded plans to embark on massive joint arms mopping up operations across the country.

According to the statement, the operation which will be intelligent driven and target oriented is designed to retrieve all illicit weapons in circulation.

It would also halt the ongoing proliferation of weapons as well as restore law and order and bring perpetrators to justice.