UK Announces £200m Support For North East As Johnson, Patel Visit Nigeria

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson unveiled the British High Commission’s new office in Abuja in the morning today, Thursday, August 31, 2017

 

The United Kingdom has announced a humanitarian support worth £200million for Nigeria’s insurgency-ravaged North East.

UK’s International Development Secretary Priti Patel announced this today when he and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson visited Borno State, which is at the heart of the insurgency.

The support is an allocation of DFID Nigeria’s budget for four years from 2018 – 2022, building on UK’s existing £100 million of humanitarian support for 2017 that Patel announced earlier this year, according to a statement from the British High Commission said.

It is also part of the UK’s efforts aimed at averting famine and building stability and security in the region and will boost the DFID’s humanitarian programme by enabling the provision of lifesaving food for more than 1.5 million people on the brink of famine.

Furthermore, it will, among other things, allow for the treatment for up to 120,000 children at risk of dying from severe acute malnutrition; and help keep 100,000 girls and boys in school to get a decent education, providing a brighter future for the next generation.

Johnson and Patel are on their first joint visit to Nigeria and were in Borno to assess the impact of the UK’s security and humanitarian efforts, and how the British military have been providing training to Nigerian soldiers fighting Boko Haram on the front line.

Commenting on the impact of the insurgency, Patel said, “It is catastrophic that at least 20,000 people have been murdered by Boko Haram’s terrorist regime, and over five million people have been left hungry and many homeless. Babies’ bodies are shutting down and mothers who have lost everything are fighting to keep their children alive.”

He promised that the UK would not turn its back on people living in danger and desperation.

To this end, he said, “We are leading the way on the international stage through our world-class development, defence and diplomacy, providing a lifeline to over 1.5 million people on the brink of famine, tackling Boko Haram and pushing for global aid reform to deliver help more effectively.”

Johnson, on his part, gave an insight into his experience during the visit and is proud of the UK’s support.

“Boko Haram has generated suffering, instability, and poverty on a huge scale, with profound knock on effects far from Nigeria’s borders, and I am proud of Britain’s commitment to supporting the Nigerian people in tackling terror,” Johnson said.

“In Maiduguri I met casualties of Boko Haram violence, including bomb and gunshot victims, and saw for myself the displacement of people that brutality and poverty have created.

“Our military, diplomatic and development assistance is making a big difference. The British military has to date trained 28,000 Nigerian troops, equipping them with skills to turn the tide against Boko Haram, while our humanitarian aid is alleviating widespread suffering. This is about helping a Commonwealth partner in its time of need as well as addressing the root causes of international challenges such as migration.”

The new package of emergency relief announced today also includes the restoration of key infrastructure and services in north east Nigeria.

Osinbajo Receives British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has received the British Foreign Secretary, Mr Boris Johnson, at the State House in Abuja.

Professor Osinbajo received the UK top diplomat on Thursday in company of the Minister of Foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; and that of budget and national planning, Udo Udoma.

Mr Johnson was also accompanied on the visit by the UK International Development Secretary, Priti Patel.

He made the visit hours after unveiling the new office of the British High Commission in Nigeria’s federal capital.

According to the British diplomat, the new building, located at Plot 1157, Diplomatic Drive, Central Business District, is a symbol of UK’s commitment to strengthening its long-term relationship with Nigeria.

Details later…

Libya Is Terror Fight Front Line, Says Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson

Britain Foreign Minister Boris Johnson has met with the Prime Minister of Libya’s united government Fayez Seraj to look at ways to stabilise the country.

Speaking after the visit to Libyan coastguard, he stated that “Libya was a frontline in the struggle against illegal migration and terrorism”.

In a statement from the foreign office, Britain it is “stepping up its efforts to deal with threats posed to the UK from Libya”.

British Foreign Secretary Kicks Off Sydney Visit

British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, met his Australian counterpart Julie Bishop on Wednesday after visiting the Sydney Opera House.

Johnson and Bishop will be joined on Thursday by British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon and the Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne for the Australian United Kingdom Ministerial Consultation (AUKMIN), where they will discuss security and trade.

At the Sydney Opera House on Wednesday, Johnson inspected the ongoing refurbishment of the Joan Sutherland Theatre involving the British company Laing O’Rourke and met companies at the Tyro Fintech Hub that have U.K.-Australian connections.

various of Johnson and others inspecting construction work at Sydney Opera house

Johnson arrived in Australia on Tuesday after a visit to Japan and New Zealand.

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Syria Presses Toward Aleppo, Tells Rebels To Leave

Syria, Allepo, UN, Boris JohnsonSyrian government and allied forces are pushing toward Aleppo, pursuing their week-old offensive to take the rebel-held part of the city after dozens of overnight air strikes.

The Syrian army told the insurgents to leave their positions, offering safe passage and aid supplies.

Syrian forces supported by Iranian-backed militias and Russian air power began their push to take the whole of the divided city after a ceasefire collapsed last month.

An air campaign by the Syrian government and its allies has been reinforced by a ground offensive against the besieged eastern half of Aleppo, where insurgents have been holding out. Hospitals have been badly hit in the assault, medics say.

Reuters reports that while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, spoke by phone to discuss normalisation of the situation, Britain said the bombing of hospitals by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al Assad made it impossible to talk about peace.

“It is the continuing savagery of the Assad regime against the people of Aleppo and the complicity of the Russians in committing what are patently war crimes – bombing hospitals, when they know they are hospitals and nothing but hospitals – that is making it impossible for peace negotiations to resume,” British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Syrian military said on Sunday that the army and its allies had advanced south from the Handarat refugee camp north of the city, taking the Kindi hospital and parts of the Shuqaif industrial area.

Zakaria Malahifji, of the Aleppo-based rebel group Fastaqim, told Reuters there were clashes in this area on Sunday.

The Observatory said air strikes and shelling continued on Sunday and there was fierce fighting all along the front line which cuts the city in two.

The Syrian army said that rebel fighters should vacate east Aleppo in return for safe passage and aid supplies.
“The army high command calls on all armed fighters in the eastern neighborhood of Aleppo to leave these neighborhoods and let civilian residents live their normal lives,” a statement carried by state news agency SANA said.

East Aleppo came under siege in early July after its main supply route, the Castello Road, fell under government control.

International attempts to establish ceasefires to allow in United Nations humanitarian aid have failed, although other aid groups have brought in limited supplies.

New Prime Minister Names Boris Johnson Foreign Secretary

Boris_JohnsonNew Prime Minister, Theresa May has made Boris Johnson, the former London mayor, foreign secretary in her new government.

He replaces Philip Hammond, who becomes chancellor. Ex-Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has been appointed home secretary.

No 10 said ex-Chancellor George Osborne had resigned from the government.

On arriving at Downing Street, Mrs May vowed to lead a “one nation” government that works for all not just the “privileged few”.

The UK’s second female prime minister promised to give people who were “just managing” and “working around the clock” more control over their lives.

Michael Fallon continues as defence secretary, and Liam Fox, who resigned as defence secretary in 2011, has a new role as international trade minister.

Tory Leadership: Theresa May Gains More Backing

Theresa MayTheresa May’s bid to become the next conservative leader has won the support of two more cabinet ministers and the Daily Mail.

Michael Fallon and Patrick Mcloughlin both say they back the home secretary.

Ms. May has also received pledges of support from many more lawmakers than the other four candidates, with at least three more cabinet members among her backers.

Rivals Micheal Gove, Stephen Crabb, Andrea Leadsom and Liam Fox are also in the running to lead the Conservative Party and become UK Prime Minister.

Mr Gove was a surprise addition to the race, having been expected to back Boris Johnson, who shocked the political world by ruling himself out on Thursday.

Obama Rules Out Ground Troops In Syria

obamaUnited States President, Barack Obama, has ruled out deploying US ground troops in Syria.

He told the BBC that it would be a mistake for the United States or Great Britain to send in ground troops and overthrow the Assad regime, and that military efforts alone cannot solve the country’s problems.

Mr Obama also does not believe that the Islamic State would be defeated in his last nine months of office.

He was speaking during his three-day visit to the UK.

The US President, however, offered an assurance that the US-led coalition would continue to strike Islamic State targets in places like Raqqa, try to isolate and lock down those portions of the country that are sending foreign fighters into Europe.

Barack Obama Asks UK To Stick With EU

Barack-Obama-UK-EUPresident of the United States, Barack Obama, has advised the UK to stick with the European Union (EU).

President Obama made the call on Friday during his final trip to Britain as US President.

Earlier in the day, Mr Obama and his wife, Michelle, traveled by helicopter to Windsor Castle for lunch with Queen Elizabeth II, who turned 90 on Thursday, and her husband, Prince Philip, 94.

UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, is hosting Mr Obama, who is on a three-day visit with his wife, Michelle at Downing Street.

BBC says London Mayor, Boris Johnson, called his view hypocritical”, describing the EU system as “alien” to US traditions.

Both leaders are holding talks on the fight against alleged Islamic State and would later be joined by the UK’s home, foreign and defence secretaries, as well as the chancellor.

They are billed to deliberate on the progress being made in combating IS in Iraq and other steps to be taken to tackle the terrorists in Syria.

As they are expected to later hold a joint press conference, the leaders would also discuss the situation in Libya, where the West is considering how to support the newly-established Government of National Accord (GNA) in the battle against IS.