Terrorism War: UN, AU, ECOWAS Express Support For Nigeria

World Faces Worst Humanitarian Crisis Since 1945 - UNThe United Nations (UN), African Union (AU), and ECOWAS have condemned and deplored the Boko Haram terrorists ambush in Maiduguri, against a convoy of personnel of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company accompanied by geologists, under military escort.

Different sources revealed that around 50 persons were killed during the attack.

The AU, UN, and ECOWAS reaffirmed their support to the people and the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in their implacable struggle against terrorism.

The Unions also reiterated their support to all ECOWAS states to fight against terrorism, by encouraging them to implement the ECOWAS counter-terrorism strategy aimed at eradicating this menace in the region.

In a statement, the Unions sincerely wish the injured a swift recovery and express their deepest condolences to the victims and their families, as well as the people and Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

READ ALSO: Osinbajo Condemns Boko Haram Ambush

Earlier, the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo has condemned the appalling ambush, attack and abduction of soldiers, and civilians who were carrying out their duties to the Nation in the Lake Chad Basin Frontier Exploration.

He said the objective of this patriotic exercise is to open up new areas for oil exploration for the common good of all Nigerians. The terrorist attack resulted in a number of deaths of hardworking and innocent Nigerians, and the abduction of some.

Prof. Osinbajo commiserates with the families, relatives, and associates of those who lost their lives in the despicable onslaught and wishes the injured speedy recovery.

Buhari Speaks With African Union Chairperson

President Muhammadu Buhari is celebrating a Prince of Sokoto and former Nigeria's High Commissioner to South Africa, Alhaji Shehu Malami, on his 79th birthday.Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has received a call from the Chairperson of the African Union (AU), President Alpha Conde of Guinea, to wish him good health and speedy recovery.

The President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement, explained that President Conde made the call on behalf of the leaders of member countries of the AU.

Mr Conde then assured President Buhari that all African leaders stand with him in prayers especially at a time like this.

On his part, Buhari thanked Conde for the call and congratulated him on his election as AU chairperson during the 28th ordinary summit of the union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in January 2017.

President Buhari expressed confidence that Africa will witness improved political stability, security and economic growth during Conde’s tenure.

200 Nigerian Air Force Men Return From Gambia

200 Nigerian Air Force Men Return From GambiaTwo hundred of the Nigerian Air Force personnel sent for peace keeping in Banjul, The Gambia, are back home, after what they called a successful campaign in the country.

The officers and men who arrived at about 6:30 on Thursday evening, were brought in an Air Force plane.

The troops were part of the ECOWAS military force sent to restore democracy in The Gambia.

Former President Yayah Jameh had refused to step down after losing an election to current President Adama Barrow.

The officers and airmen were received by Air Vice Marshal, James Gbum at the Air Force wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.

ECOWAS decided to engage its military after the mediating team led by Nigerian leader, Muhammadu Buhari, could not convince President Jammeh to relinquish power to then president-elect of Gambia, Adama Barrow.

Mr Jammeh had earlier said he would accept the result of the election but changed his mind few days later, insisting that another election should be held.

Nigeria’s Minister of Defence, Mr Mohammed Dan-Ali, explained that ECOWAS decided in a meeting to use its standby force in upholding the result of the presidential election held in December 2016, which produced Mr Adama Barrow as winner.

The Minister added that in line with the ECOWAS directive, the Nigerian military would deploy its assets to protect the people of The Gambia and maintain regional peace and security.

The mission was accomplished when Mr Adama Barrow was successfully sworn-in as President in neighbouring Senegal with Jammeh left with no other option than to leave few days after.

This paved the way for the return of Barrow as President, but the ECOWAS troops had to remain in the country ahead of the arrival of the elected President Adama Barrow.

ECOWAS said that it was retaining troops from Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana to secure the city for the next six days ahead of President Adama Barrow’s return.

Nigerian Government Plans Mass Evacuation From Libya 

Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Nigerian Government Plans Mass Evacuation From Libya The Senior Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Foreign Affairs and the Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa says the Nigerian government is executing mass evacuation abroad, particularly in Libya where many Nigerians still languish in deplorable conditions.

This is to check the worrisome consequence of illegal migration which is the subsequent mistreatment and abuse of Nigerians in various countries abroad once identified as undocumented.

Hardship and struggle is the experience of many in the cavity of Nigeria’s economic recession, but for some, it started a journey of unraveling.

Desperate for survival, many head for unknown destinations through unknown routes only to find conditions worse at the destination than conditions burdening at the origin, if the destination is ever seen at all.

The presidential adviser acknowledged this challenge but urged Nigerians to weather the storm at home where they are welcome.

She said that the current cash crunch does not shake the commitment of the federal government to prioritize the welfare of its people both home and abroad.

Officials from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) say 669 Nigerians were evacuated from Libya on chartered aircraft in 2016 alone by the federal government in rescue missions.

The Head Of Search and Rescue at NEMA, Bandele Onimode, made this disclosure, adding also that more operations are expected in the coming weeks.

The increasing rate of illegal outflows of migrants from Nigeria into various countries in northern Africa and Europe has become an issue of concern to all countries involved as the global community aims to check illegal migration around the world.

ECOWAS Troops To Remain In Gambia

ECOWAS Troops To Remain In GambiaThe President of the ECOWAS commission, Marcel Alain De Souza says ECOWAS troops deployed for mission in The Gambia would remain in the country ahead of the arrival of the elected President Adama Barrow.

Briefing members of the diplomatic corps and commissioners from member countries, the President said that it has retained troops from Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana to secure the city for the next six days ahead of President Adama Barrow’s return.

The ECOWAS president appealed for financial support from international partners to conclude its mission successfully in The Gambia.

Responding to the allegation that the former president, Mr Yahaya Jameh took away 11.4 million dollar from the country’s treasury, ECOWAS promised to encourage and support any form of investigation.

ECOWAS says while it lends support to the present government in any investigative move on the former President Yahya Jammeh, it has not validated the joint declaration by the EU and AU to grant him presidential amnesty.

Nigeria Warns Citizens Against Illegal Migration To Libya

Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Libya, NigeriaThe Nigerian Government has warned its citizens and the people of Africa against the dangers of living in Libya.

The warning was contained in a statement issued on Monday by the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa.

It follows reports of purported killing of black immigrants in the West African state of Libya.

Mrs Dabiri-Erewa said that the Federal Government’s attention has been drawn to a trending video and some pictures depicting the crime.

She noted that while the authenticity of the pictures and video cannot be verified, it was a known fact that Libya has been purportedly executing alleged black illegal immigrants for years.

“I hereby appeal again to Nigerian migrants to avoid Libya as penalty for illegal migration to Libya, when caught, is usually a death sentence.

“While the authenticity of the pictures and tapes in question cannot be verified, it is a known fact that Libya has been executing alleged black illegal immigrants for years.

“As the Chairman Committee on Diaspora in the House of Representatives in the Seventh Assembly, we intervened in the case of 24 Nigerians about to be killed in Libya.

“The committee, in collaboration with SERAP, an NGO, petitioned the UN, AU, ECOWAS, and Ghadaffi yielded to pressure and released them,” the President’s aide said.

Uganda Plans Withdrawal Of Troops In CAR

Ugandan-troops-in-CARUganda plans to withdraw troops involved in an operation to hunt down Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels in Central African Republic by the end of 2016, a military spokesman said on Friday.

Uganda has 2,500 troops tracking the rebels, notorious for mutilating their victims and kidnapping children and their leader Joseph Kony.

According to Reuters, most of the soldiers are in the Central African Republic, though there is a small contingent in South Sudan.

Spokesman Paddy Ankunda said the withdrawal did not mean Uganda was ending the operation. But while he said the African Union (AU) favoured keeping the troops in place, he pointed out that Uganda had been discouraged by insufficient international support.

“Even when we have international indictments on some of the (LRA) characters, there seems to be no serious goodwill on the part of international actors or stakeholders to participate or contribute toward the ending of the LRA problem,” he said.

The International Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants for the arrest of Kony and other LRA commanders.

Ankunda said Uganda had not yet considered the AU request to maintain its troops in Central African Republic.

Although its ranks have dwindled to several hundred fighters, the group still launches attacks against civilians.

In April, an organisation tracking the LRA said more than 200 people had been kidnapped in eastern Central African Republic since January.

Buhari Advocates Dialogue In Resolving Political Crisis In Burundi

Buhari and Pierre BuyoyaNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has urged the people and government of Burundi to explore dialogue in resolving the current political differences in the country.

Receiving the former Burundian President, Mr Pierre Buyoya, on Tuesday at the State House in Abuja, President Buhari said that Nigeria would continue to support peace processes in the continent through the African Union (AU), which had already intervened in Burundi.

The President said that since President Pierre Nkurunziza rejected the proposal of a “stabilising force from the AU, we can’t impose it on him, but we will continue to opt for dialogue.

“Nigeria has been playing a key role in the continent through the AU. We participated fully in ensuring a truce in Mali, and we want citizens to enjoy the impact of the truce, although the terrorists are not helping matters.

“Nigeria is always committed to regional and continental peace, and we will continue to do our best,” he said.

President Buhari told the former President of Burundi, who is the High Representative of the AU Mission to Mali and the Sahel, that he remained hopeful that there would be an amicable solution to the situation in Burundi.

In his remarks, the former President commended Nigeria for the role it played in restoring peace to Mali, noting that the AU was working to promote security in the Sahel, particularly through fighting trans-border terrorism.

He also urged Nigeria to use its clout to work for peace in Burundi, warning that the “country is gradually inching towards a civil war.”

Organised Labour Asks UN, AU To Sanction Morocco Over Western Sahara

Western-SaharaThe Organised labour movement in Nigeria is asking the international community to impose economic sanctions on Morocco for continuing to colonise Western Saharan people despite the United Nations’ resolution for their decolonisation.

Professor Ibrahim Gambari, a guest speaker at a forum organised by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, to push for the liberation of the Saharan people also called on the United Nations to back their resolutions on decolonising of Western Sahara with actions.

He stated that the United Nations had in its 1960 General Assembly reached a resolution which recognised the rights to self-rule for Western Sahara people.

Both the NLC and the guest speaker believe that the international community needed to do more to help in liberating Western Sahara.

Referendum To Be Conducted

At the event, the NLC chanted solidarity songs before leaders of the organised labour movements took their turn to give speeches that centred on the liberation of West Sahara.

Some of those at the event were the President of ASSU, Nasir Isa and the President of the NLC, Ayuba Waba.

Although that UN resolution of 1960 asked for a referendum to be conducted, this has not been done 55 years after.

The Saharawi Ambassador to Nigeria, Oubi Bachir, expresses confidence that the call for economic sanctions would liberate his people.

Western Sahara is a disputed territory in the Maghreb region of North Africa, bordered by Morocco to the north, Algeria to the northeast, Mauritania to the east and south and the Atlantic Ocean to the west.

It has been a member of the African Union since 1984.

Since then, the region, which some have referred to as the last African nation to be decolonised, has been asking for international support for its full liberation from Morocco.

Nigeria Will Redeem Its $100 Million Pledge To MNJTF – Buhari

Terrorism-BuhariNigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, has given the assurance that Nigeria will redeem its pledge of $100 million for the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to enhance the operations of the Task Force against Boko Haram.

The President made this disclosure during a high-level meeting of the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

President Buhari revealed that having already released $21 million to the task force in June 2015, Nigeria will remit the balance of $79 million very soon.

President Buhari also assured the Council that Boko Haram’s capacity to conduct conventional attacks has been “heavily degraded”.

He said; “As at now, there is no single Nigerian territory under the control of the insurgents other than their hideouts in Sambisa Forest.

“Displaced persons (IDPs) are now being resettled in their respective homes,” the President declared.

“This feat totally accords with our promise to Nigerians to rid the country of terrorism and extremism within few months of our assumption of office.

“Our efforts are already yielding dividends and we will not relent until the terrorist groups are totally decimated and wiped out of our country and subregion,” he added.

Buhari also reaffirmed Nigeria’s readiness to support measures to end the conflicts in Burundi and South Sudan, including the proposed deployment of troops by the AU to Burundi.

“Let me reiterate Nigeria’s deep commitment to ensuring durable peace, stability and security on our continent.

“Without peace, there will be no development. It is therefore vital for all of us to join hands in taking appropriate measures to end the conflicts and bring a stop to the incalculable damage being inflicted on innocent citizens in the affected countries,” the President told participants at the meeting.

U.S. Urges African Leaders To Sway Burundi On Peacekeepers

brundiThe United States on Saturday urged African leaders to “work behind the scenes” before their annual summit next weekend to convince Burundi to accept a deployment of international troops in the tiny African state amid festering political violence.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, said members of the African Union Peace and Security Council expected leaders to endorse its proposed deployment of 5,000 troops to protect civilians, despite a rejection of the force by Burundi.

“I didn’t get a sense from the African countries gathered in the room that they’re going to take that as a final answer,” Power told reporters after a meeting between the U.N. Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council in Addis Ababa.

“We will need leaders to work behind the scenes to get the Burundi government to change its position.

“It is in the interests of the Burundian government to consent to having an enhanced African presence in Burundi to monitor the border, to disarm those elements outside the traditional security forces and to help stabilize the situation,” Power said.

Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza, has said the plan to send peacekeepers would constitute “an invading force”. Nkurunziza’s re-election for a third term last year sparked the crisis, which has raised fears of an ethnic conflict in a region where memories of neighbouring Rwanda’s 1994 genocide remain fresh.

The U.N. Security Council traveled to Burundi on Thursday for one night, it’s second visit to the country in less than 10 months. The United Nations estimates the death toll at 439 people but says it could be higher. More than 240,000 people have fled abroad and the country’s economy is in crisis.

The African Union plans to seek U.N. Security Council backing for any deployment of troops. France will draft a resolution, Deputy U.N. Ambassador Alexis Lamek said, adding that an initial priority was to send some 100 AU human rights and military observers to Burundi.

Russia’s Deputy U.N. Ambassador Petr Iliichev said the situation in Burundi appeared to be improving, but not to the point where “we can say we should put it on the back burner.”

“For us it will be very difficult to oppose any resolution from the African Union because we always say that there should be African solutions to African problems,” he said, referring to any request for U.N. authorisation to deploy troops.

Russia is a council veto power.

“There are no signs of genocide, but there is potential for genocide … but there is no imminent threat,” he said. Iliichev said on Friday that Burundi did not need peacekeepers and instead needed help increasing its police capacity.

During a meeting with the U.N. Security Council on Friday, Nkurunziza accused neighbouring Rwanda of supporting rebels by training and arming Burundian refugees recruited on Rwandan soil. Rwanda has previously dismissed the allegations.

Burundi and Rwanda have the same ethnic mix – about 85 percent Hutus and 15 percent Tutsis. A 12-year civil war in Burundi, which ended in 2005, pitted a Tutsi-led army against Hutu rebel groups.

Buhari Commits To 20% Emissions Cut At Conference Of Parties 21

Buhari President Muhammadu Buhari has announced Nigeria’s Intended National Determined Contributions, committing to emissions cut of 20 per cent. 

At the ongoing Conference of Parties 21 on Climate Change in Paris, President Buhari on Monday explained that Nigeria would meet this goal by making more use of natural gas and climate smart agriculture.

“There will also be more focus on energy efficiency measures and investment in renewable energy,” the Nigerian leader told the conference.

Providing Climate Finance

He asked developed countries to honour their promises in relation to providing climate finance to help developing countries including Nigeria adapt to and mitigate climate change.

President Buhari insisted that there must be constant review and monitor of The Paris Agreement, which he stressed must be legally binding and result orientated.

The Nigerian President is one of the 150 world leaders at the Conference of Parties 21 (COP21) on climate change.

President  Buhari is expected to also later in the day participate in the launching of the International Solar Alliance, an initiative of Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.

The alliance, which is code-named the International Agency for Solar Policy and Application (INSPA), comprises all African nations located within the tropic of Cancer and tropic of Capricorn.

President Buhari will on Tuesday, also participate in the summit of the heads of state and government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and Benin Republic which would dwell on Boko Haram and other issues on security.

He will also attend another event of the African Union, AU, tilted “Conference on Climate Change and African Solutions”.

Meanwhile, French authorities have elevated security level in the cities ahead of the meeting to prevent any eventuality.

The measure follows the recent devastating terror attacks in the capital city.