UN Security Council Partners MNJTF On Fighting Terrorism

U.N. Warns Of Water Crisis In Nigeria's Megacity Lagos  The United Nations Security Council has visited the headquarters of the Multinational Joint Task Force in N’Djamena, Chad.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Military Public Information Officer, Col. Mustapha Anka.

They were received by the Commander of the MNJTF, Major General Lamidi Adeosun and other top officials.

Head of the UN delegation, Ambassador Mathew Rycroft, offered partnership to the MNJTF saying the council is impressed with the achievements of the MNJTF.

Rycroft then assured the Commander MNJTF of the council’s “friendship and partnership”.

The delegation was given a detailed brief on the activities of the MNJTF, after which an interactive session followed.

The head of the team noted that with the role being played by the force, there is evidence that mandates would be achieved.

The Force Commander thereafter thanked the members of the Security Council for the honour accorded the MNJTF and their interest in the activities of the force to bring Boko Haram Terrorists to their knees in conjunction with the national operations of the member countries of Lake Chad Basin and Benin.

Those in attendance of the meeting were the Deputy Force Commander, Brigadier General Moussa Mahamat Djoui, the Chief of Staff, Colonel Major Sayed Badje, staff of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and Chief of Cells, MNJTF.

President Buhari Heads To The Gambia For ECOWAS Mediation Mission

President Buhari Heads To The Gambia For ECOWAS Mediation MissionPresident Muhammadu Buhari will travel to Banjul, the capital of The Gambia and Bamako, the Malian capital from January 13 to 14, 2017.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.

In Banjul, President Buhari, as the Mediator in The Gambia, is scheduled to meet with President Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia and the President-elect Adama Barrow to continue dialogue on the political situation in the West African country.

The President will be joined by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia and Chairperson of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, President Ernest Koroma of Sierra Leone, and the immediate past President of Ghana, John Mahama, who is the co-mediator of The Gambian mission.

Later on January 13, President Buhari will travel to Bamako, Mali to participate in the 27th Africa–France Summit.

The Summit for Partnership, Peace and Emergence, convened by French President Francois Hollande, is aimed at strengthening cooperation between France and African countries in the areas of peace and security, economic partnership and development.

Recognising the role played by France in the successes so far recorded in the implementation of the regional initiative against terrorism, President Buhari will reaffirm Nigeria’s commitment to global efforts on the war against terror and underline the need for improved collaboration to address the menace of terrorism in the region.

President Buhari will use the opportunity of the summit to underscore the efforts government is making to improve Nigeria’s business environment to attract more foreign direct investment.

The President will be accompanied by Governors Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State and Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Interior and Defence.

Gambian Minister ‘Quits In Protest’ Amid Political Impasse

Gambian Minister 'Quits In Protest' Amid Political ImpasseThe Gambia’s Information Minister Sheriff Bojang has resigned to protest President Yahya Jammeh’s refusal to accept defeat in December’s presidential election.

In a statement, he said that efforts to contest the results are “an attempt to subvert the express will” of the Gambian people.

The state television however reported that Mr Bojang had been sacked.

“The Gambia has decided and we must accept and respect this decision,” he said, quoting a popular poster slogan which has been effaced by soldiers in the capital Banjul in recent weeks.

Bojang confirmed the authenticity of the statement to Reuters via telephone from neighboring Senegal.

The minister made headlines in October by announcing that Gambia intended to leave the International Criminal Court, calling it the “International Caucasian Court”.

Jammeh’s opponents hope Bojang’s departure might signal further departures from among allies within the country who retain control of the army and other state institutions.

This comes after the UN Security Council has called on President Jammeh to step down.

He initially accepted that opposition leader Adama Barrow won the election, but then reversed his decision, citing electoral “abnormalities”.

Foreign Minister Neneh Macdouall Gaye resigned in December, though her decision attracted little publicity.

Many officials and businessmen have fled the country, fearing a crackdown by the former lieutenant who seized power at aged 29 in a 1994 coup and is accused by rights groups of jailing and killing his critics.

Hundreds Leave Syria City As Evacuations Resume

Hundreds Leave Syria City As Evacuations ResumeEvacuations have resumed from east Aleppo, with buses and ambulances leaving rebel areas of the Syrian city.

At least 350 people have reportedly left rebel enclaves, heading towards other rebel-held territory.

Meanwhile, a separate evacuation of government-controlled parts of Idlib province, besieged by rebels, started early on Monday.

Thousands more are waiting to leave east Aleppo amid dire conditions.

The UN Security Council is said to have agreed to a compromise to allow UN monitoring of the operation.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, said early on Monday that 10 buses had now left the villages.

The Observatory said 500 of the 4,000 villagers had left.

Earlier on Sunday, armed men set fire to at least five buses that were about to transport the sick and injured from the villages.

Several reports said the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham group, linked to al-Qaeda, was responsible.

U.N. Security Council Pushes For Peaceful Congo Transition

congo protestThe United Nations Security Council pushed for a peaceful transition of power in Congo during a weekend visit aimed at averting massive violence when President Joseph Kabila’s mandate runs out on December 19.

The visit by diplomats from countries on the council on Saturday and Sunday aimed to break the deadlock over whether Kabila should step down before an election which has been delayed until at least April 2018.

Delay has been credited to slow voter registration.

He has vowed to stay on until the poll goes ahead, but the opposition accuse Kabila of manipulating the process to cling to power in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a charge his supporters deny.

Several protests have erupted against Kabila, who has been in power since his father was assassinated in 2001. More than 50 people were killed in street protests in September.

Reuters reports that the Security Council members stressed that Kabila’s seeking to change the constitution to allow him to run for a third elected mandate, as the opposition accuse him of doing and some of his supporters suggest he might, would be no solution.

“The DRC is at a pivotal moment in its history,” France’s ambassador to the United Nations, Francois Delattre, told journalists after the meetings on Saturday.

“For the first time, a peaceful transition of power at the end of the president’s mandate is possible.”

Angola’s ambassador to the United Nations Ismael Abraao focused more on the peaceful resolution of the crisis.

“We have assurances. There is a desire from everyone to avoid the worst … The Security Council is ready to work with you so that there is peace,” he said.

But he added: “A third term has not been considered as a solution to the crisis. The solution lies in permanent dialogue”.

Leonard She Okitundu, a senator representing Kabila’s ruling coalition, sought to allay fears Kabila would seek another term.

“There is no question of a third term because the constitution forbids it,” he said. “There can be no third term.”

World powers fear that the political impasse over Kabila staying on beyond Dec. 19 could reignite chaos in the vast Central African nation, where millions died in regional conflicts between 1998 and 2003.

UK Parliament Attacks Cameron Over Libya ‘Collapse’

David Cameron, Libya, UKIt does seem like the ghost of former Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, is coming back to haunt western leaders as a UK parliamentary report sternly criticised the intervention by Britain and France that led to the 2011 Libyan revolution.

The Foreign Affairs Committee accused the former UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, of lacking a coherent strategy for the air campaign.

It said the intervention was flawed as it lacked “accurate intelligence”, and that it led to the emergence of the Islamic State in North Africa.

However, BBC said the UK government insisted it had been an international decision to intervene.

According to the foreign office, the action had been called for by the Arab League and authorised by the UN Security Council.

UN Agree To Send Police To Burundi

united nations, BurundiThe United Nation’s Security Council has agreed to send its police force to Burundi in other to subdue the violence and human right abuses in the country.

More than 400 people have been killed in unrest since President Pierre Nkurunziza said he would run for a third term in office last April.

More than 200,000 people have fled their homes.

“Given an increase in violence and tension, the Security Council must have eyes and ears on the ground to predict and ensure that the worst does not occur in Burundi,” French UN Ambassador Francois Delattre told Reuters.

“This is a strong act of preventative diplomacy,” he added.

Burundi earlier said it would accept no more than 50 police officers.

The government of Burundi earlier warned that it would agree to no more than 50 UN police officers.

Diplomats are now negotiating how to implement the UN Security Council’s resolution.

Although both Burundi’s opposition and government forces are ethnically mixed, some fear that the violence could descend into a repeat of the genocidal killings which the country has previously experienced.

North Korea Fires Projectiles Into Sea

North KoreaSouth Korea’s defence ministry says North Korea has allegedly fired six short-range projectiles into the sea.

This comes hours after the UN Security Council unanimously voted to impose some of its strongest ever sanctions against North Korea.

BBC says a South Korean spokesman disclosed that the projectiles were fired from Wonsan on the east coast.

He noted that they were still trying to determine exactly what was fired.

The new UN measures were a response to North Korea’s recent nuclear test and satellite launch, both of which violated existing sanctions.

They will result in all cargo going to and from the country being inspected, while 16 new individuals and 12 organisations have been blacklisted.

The United States and North Korea’s long-standing ally, China, spent seven weeks discussing the new sanctions.

Obama Imposes Sanctions On North Korea

Barack-Obama-on-Buhari-VisitPresident Barack Obama has approved new expanded sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear programme, weeks after it launched a long-range rocket.

Pyongyang had refused to stop its nuclear programme and the bill was easily passed last week by the congress.

The sanctions attempt to cut off funds needed by North Korea to develop miniaturised nuclear warheads.

The US and China are also negotiating over a UN Security Council resolution on new sanctions.

North Korea recently fired a long-range rocket, which critics said was a test of banned missile technology.

The BBC reported that the morning after the launch, Mr Obama said: “This is an authoritarian regime. It’s provocative. It has repeatedly violated UN resolutions, tested and produced nuclear weapons, and now, they are trying to perfect their missile launch system.”

It came after the North’s fourth nuclear test in January. Analysts said that Kim Jong-un is looking to appear powerful before his important Seventh Party Congress in May.

“The bill was the first one exclusively targeting North Korea, which was passed in an unusually expeditious fashion. We expect it to provide a platform for the US to take strong and effective measures [against North Korea],” said South Korea’s Foreign Ministry in a statement.

The South has said it would be discussing with the US the deployment of a missile defence system.

UN Security Council Condemns North Korea’s Rocket Launch

RocketThe UN Security Council has strongly condemned North Korea’s launch of a long-range rocket, with members considering new sanctions.

After an urgent meeting in New York, the council said it would soon adopt a new sanctions resolution in response.

The long-rang rocket launch had drawn criticisms from different countries, with North Korea describing the act as a test of ‘Banned Missile Technology’.

Pyongyang said it fired the rocket to place a satellite in orbit – but critics believe the real purpose was to test a ballistic missile.

Sunday’s launch comes weeks after North Korea held a fourth nuclear test – both acts violate UN resolutions.

Speaking after the closed-door talks, Venezuela’s UN envoy Rafael Ramirez, the current council president, said: “The members of the Security Council strongly condemn this launch.”

He called it “a serious violation of the Security Council resolution”.

The BBC quotes US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, as saying that Washington would now “ensure that the Security Council imposes serious consequences” on Pyongyang.

“There can be no business as usual. We’ll come up with something tough,” she said.

Her words were reiterated by Japanese envoy Motohide Yoshikawa, who said sanctions must be strengthened.

“The existing sanctions have not stopped North Korea from developing nuclear weapons,” he said.

The council meeting was requested by South Korea, Japan and the US.

Criticisms Trail North Korea Long-Range Rocket Launch

North Korea fires RocketNorth Korea has come under criticism after it fired a long-range rocket described as a test of ‘Banned Missile Technology’.

A state broadcaster also announced that North Korea had successfully placed a satellite in orbit.

Japan, South Korea and the US had condemned the launch, and requested an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council later on Sunday.

South Korea said it is to begin discussion with the US over the deployment of a missile defence system aimed at countering the threat from the North.

“Unforgivable”

And while North Korea insisted its space programme is purely scientific in nature, the US, South Korea and even ally China, said that the rocket launches were aimed at developing an inter-continental ballistic missile capable of striking the US.

North Korea provoked international criticism earlier this year with a fourth nuclear bomb test on January 6.

Sunday’s launch does not significantly alter the strategic balance of power in North East Asia. It is not the first time North Korea had attempted to put an object into space using a long-range rocket.

But it is nonetheless a highly-provocative act, hence the reaction from Seoul, Tokyo and Washington, calling it “unforgivable”, “intolerable” and a “major provocation.”

The significance is in the timing, with the launch coming just a month after the North’s fourth nuclear test and with the UN Security Council in the middle of weighing its sanctions response.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UN Backs Colombia Peace Deal Mission

 UN The UN Security Council has approved the creation of an unarmed mission in Colombia to oversee a bilateral ceasefire, if Farc rebels and the government signs a peace agreement.

The 15-member council unanimously adopted a British-drafted resolution that would establish a political mission for 12 months “to monitor and verify the definitive bilateral ceasefire and cessation of hostilities, and the laying down of arms.”

In a televised speech on Monday night, Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos, said: “Today, Colombia is the synonym for hope in the world”.

“The decision taken by the Security Council means that from now we are not alone – but that we go hand in hand with the UN, with the whole world – toward the end of this war,” said Santos, who staked his 2014 re-election on the peace talks with Farc.

The mission would have a one-year mandate that can be extended if both sides request it.

Negotiators for the two sides issued a joint request for the UN’s involvement last week during peace talks in Cuba.

They have set a deadline of March 23 for the signing of a peace accord.

The UN “political mission” would consist of unarmed observers from Latin American and Caribbean nations.

Colombia has seen decades of fighting between the government and the left-wing Farc movement, with more than 220,000 people killed and millions displaced. It is the longest-running armed conflict in the western hemisphere.

The UN resolution asked Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, to make detailed recommendations on the mission’s size and operation to be approved by the security council within 30 days of a ceasefire.

Last week, the Colombian government’s lead negotiator, Humberto de la Calle, described the request to the UN as a “transcendental” moment.

He said it was an “unequivocal demonstration of our desire to end confrontation”.

Since official peace talks started in Havana in November 2012, negotiators have reached agreement on key issues such as the political participation of the rebels, land rights, drug trafficking and transitional justice.