The Trump administration is now denying visas to unmarried same-sex domestic partners of foreign diplomats and United Nations employees, while ordering those who are already in the U.S. to either get married by the end of the year or leave the country.
The policy came into effect on Monday, with partners of diplomats and U.N. workers given until December 31 to show the State Department proof of marriage or leave the country within 30 days, according to Foreign Policy magazine, which first reported the story.
The U.S. mission to the U.N. has reportedly explained the move as an effort to update its international visa practices to reflect current U.S. policy.
Since the Supreme Court ruled in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage in 2015, U.S. policy has dictated that diplomatic visas only be available for married spouses.
“Same-sex spouses of U.S. diplomats now enjoy the same rights and benefits as opposite-sex spouses,” the U.S. mission reportedly wrote in a July 12 memo to U.N.-based delegations.
“Consistent with [State] Department policy, partners accompanying members of permanent missions or seeking to join the same must generally be married in order to be eligible [for a diplomatic visa],” the memo said.
Some have argued that while that may be true, the new policy could be dangerous for couples whose home countries have criminalized same-sex marriage.
“Those not yet in the country will need to show they’re married to secure a visa, potentially forcing those living in countries without marriage equality to choose between a posting at UN headquarters or family separation,” Akshaya Kumar, deputy United Nations director at Human Rights Watch, said in a blog post.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power also hit out at the policy on Twitter, calling it “needlessly cruel and bigoted.”
The former ambassador noted that only 12 percent of U.N. member states allow same-sex marriage, meaning those who do marry in the U.S. to secure visa status could face criminal charges if and when they return to their home countries.
According to Foreign Policy, at least 10 unmarried U.N. employees currently in the country will need to get married before the end of the year in order for their partners’ visas to receive extensions.
HOT GIST: Man Bumps Into A Friend In Anambra, Finds Out Later He Died 6 Days Ago In Ghastly Accident
This weird story was shared by a social media user; Kimberly Ezeike.
Read the full gist below…
On 17th February 2020 I met someone who I knew in Vietnam (though we are not close friends but we are friends), he held me from behind oga Buchi…., then I turned and shouted “Willy” what are you doing here? were are you coming from? he said he is coming from Port Harcourt, that he is going to Awka. This is happening in Upper Iweka Onitsha in front of Ifeanyichukwu Motors.
He brought out gold from his pocket, and told me to buy or help him to sell it. he told me he saved money with it to complete his mother’s house before raining season and they have other expenses in the village to do soon, he told me he bought it 4000 Dollars. I told him that I am heading to main market, let’s go together but he insist I should collect the gold that he trust me. So my friend who is with me said I should collect it.
I told him to collect my number so he will call me by then I will tell him how much they are pricing it. He said he will get his phone if he gets to Awaka. He do not know his number off-hand….. I went to a nearby shop and get pen and wrote my number for him. He left in hurry.
Later in the day he did not call me, (even till now)… I was so worried my friends told me may be he stole it or someone wants to set me up with it, I was so scared I contacted another friend who is in Vietnam and I knew that he is a little bit closer to him, we chat he then told me Willy died on 11th January (our chat is below). I can not believe it, he helped me to get his people’s phone number. until on 18th I spoke with his mom (tho she was only shouting saying… Uchechi who do you leave me for).
I was able to speak with his aunty who is a Revrend Sister. She told me my Son God will bless you….. What is the Value of what he gave me…. I said 1.440.000 Naira…. She cried as she said again My son you will never lack. She started telling me that Uchechi (they call him) is the only son, he came back on November, he will be getting married on 15th January. They killed him because he came back with Lexus. Her mother is a primary school teach who manage to build the house to linter level, and train her 2 daughters.
She told me that his car tumbled over 5 times (as they were told) and he died on the spot on his way from their Village to Port Harcourt. She told me that he has gone to dream to tell his mother’s cousin to tell his mom that they should not bury him in their father’s family house that, there is where they planned for his death. He also mentioned one of his uncle and said he is the person that kept him in this condition he is.
But her poor mom do not have money to roof and do some finishing work in that building. It kept making them sleepless night until I called them to tell them about this. Which they did not believe till yesterday 20/2/20, I met with 5 Members of his mother’s family, I tried to look for buyers who will make it bigger in value.
On 19th Someone connected me to one Mrs Uju Turkey…… She is traveling to Turkey for business soon she bought the gold at the cost of 1.450.000 Naira, we went to bank in Head Bridge yesterday afternoon and she sent the money to his mothers account number not any other person as I directed base on what Willy said to me at Upper Iweka. Though they showed me some of his pictures both the ones he took during his secondary and his OND days. I was fully convinced that she is his mother.
They told me that he will be buried in March being next month.
My people this world is full of mistry …. Uwa di imirimious.
BREAKING: Heavy Gunfire As Boko Haram Terrorists Attack Adamawa
Personnel of the Nigerian Army are currently engaging in a fierce gun battle with members of the Boko Haram sect, who invaded Garkida, a town in Gombi Local Government Area of Adamawa State.
A native of the town, Mr. Joshua Malgwi, reliably informed The PUNCH about the attacks on the town by members of the Boko Haram sect on Friday evening.
Many persons, according to reports, are feared killed by the invaders who announced their entry into the town by shooting indiscriminately.
Garkida Town is a town in Gombi Local Government of Adamawa State. It is located on the Gombi-Biu -Damaturu Federal Road, which shares proximity with Southern Borno and Sambisa Forest.
Abba Kyari vs Monguno: Buratai Withdraws Army Officers Attached To ONSA
The Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, has ordered the immediate withdrawal of top army officers attached to the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Babagana Monguno, after battles with Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.
It was gathered that seven Colonels and three Army Generals serving at the NSA were ordered to leave without being replaced on February 4; the remaining team of 13 Army officers serving at the NSA were notified to report elsewhere on February 10, leaving the fortified ONSA facility without any army protection.
Recall that, the Nigeria’s national security adviser, Babagana Monguno, accused President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, of undue and dangerous interference on matters bordering on national security.
According to Premium Times who reported that Monguno has fired a warning memo to all service chiefs to desist from taking further directives from Mr. Kyari.
Monguno said Mr Kyari’s directives to service chiefs were sometimes issued without the knowledge much less approval of the president, a practice he said has added to government’s failure to contain insecurity.
“Chief of staff to the president is not a presiding head of security, neither is he sworn to an oath of defending the country,” Mr Monguno, a retired major-general, said in the December 9, 2019, letter.
As such, unprofessional practices such as presiding over meetings with service chiefs and heads of security organisations as well as ambassadors and high commissioners to the exclusion of the NSA and/or supervising ministers are a violation of the Constitution and directly undermine the authority of Mr President.
“Such acts and continues meddlesomeness by the chief of staff have not only ruptured our security and defence efforts but have slowed down any meaningful gain that Mr President has sought to achieve.”
Meanwhile, it appears that Tukur Buratai, to have taken sides with Abba Kyari in the chief of staff’s raging battle against the national security adviser, Babagana Monguno.
Mr Buratai ordered the immediate withdrawal of top army officers attached to the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).
Twenty-three army officers serving at the NSA were transferred out without being replaced, the largest redeployment from a single outpost.
The officers consist of two majors-general, one brigadier-general, seven colonels, seven lieutenant colonels, five captains and one lieutenant.
Although Mr Monguno was away from the country at the time of the postings, our sources said, but he rejected the entire exercise as a charade upon his return and ordered the personnel to disregard Mr Buratai’s directive and remain in place.
Yet, Mr Buratai himself has not rescinded his decision; over two weeks after the first letters of deployment went out.
Recall that, Buratai approved postings of about 137 army officers serving in over a dozen military departments and formations between February 4 and 10. Twenty-three army officers serving at the NSA were transferred out without being replaced, the largest redeployment from a single outpost.
The officers consist of two majors-general, one brigadier-general, seven colonels, seven lieutenant colonels, five captains and one lieutenant.
Those affected include Adeyinka Famadewa, a major-general and principal staff officer to the NSA.
Ado Ibrahim, a colonel and military assistant to the NSA, was also transferred and given three days to report at his new posting in Jaji, home of the military infantry in Kaduna State.
Other than core intelligence analysts of non-uniform career, the NSA, which coordinates all intelligence and security agencies of the Nigerian government, has always been staffed largely by personnel from security and law enforcement agencies in the country, according to officials familiar with its personnel practice.
The Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force, Nigerian Navy, police, State Security Service, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the National Intelligence Agency, the civil defence, Nigeria Customs Service, Nigeria Immigration Service all have personnel at the NSA.
“Any federal law enforcement agency you could think has personnel at the NSA, but most of the directors there are military officers,” a former official of the agency, Premium Times reports.
The former NSA official, who spoke under anonymity because he is still in service, said all the agencies have the powers to make changes to their respective personnel serving there.
“But it has to be in liaison with the NSA before officers could be changed or withdrawn,” the source said. “This is because it takes a cumbersome process to vet personnel before they are admitted at the NSA and some requirements have to be satisfied before they are posted out.”
National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno
Monguno returned to the country in the middle of the postings between February 4 and 10. The first batch of the redeployment was reported by Daily Nigerian on February 7, but additional details like the second and total withdrawal of army officers and the lingering stand-off that emanated from it are just being uncovered by Premium Times.
All the officers posted out of the NSA were ordered to report at their new posting within three days, failure of which they could face disciplinary action, the transfer memo said.
But Mr Monguno allegedly insisted the officers would not leave the NSA, dismissing their transfer as a vindictive measure taken by Mr Buratai to stand in solidarity with Mr Kyari, who is allegedly helping to keep the service chiefs in office despite public outcry and a resolution by both chambers of the National Assembly.
Army spokesperson Sagir Musa declined requests seeking comments over the crisis. The NSA does not have a spokesperson.
A rudderless team
Mr Buratai’s determination to cut army support to the ONSA and Mr Monguno’s decision to spurn it has resulted in a stand-off that could threaten the country’s stability, as military officers are caught between obeying their most-senior commander and another authority that supervises the entire military architecture, security experts said.
The confrontation marks one of the most damaging fallout of a ceaseless animosity between the NSA and Mr Kyari, a former journalist and banker now widely considered the most powerful associate of the president.
It came a few weeks after Mr Monguno, a retired army general who led the military intelligence for several years, wrote a series of memos to President Muhammadu Buhari and other members of national security framework, informing them of how Mr Kyari’s undue and dangerous “meddlesomeness” was frustrating efforts to address Nigeria’s acute insecurity.
Two of the NSA’s series of confidential circulars have now been obtained and published earlier this week, sparking nationwide uproar and fresh calls for Mr Buhari to take charge of his government and abandon his arcane delegation of powers to close aides.
The published memos, both dated December 9 2019, contained Mr Monguno’s frustration with how Mr Kyari has been overriding key security decisions taken by the president. In some cases, the NSA said, Mr Kyari would summon security chiefs for meetings, a power he has no constitutional backing to wield.
Security sources told newsmen Mr Kyari has been the top State House official pushing for continued stay of service chiefs despite relentless calls for the president to remove them as security has worsened under their watch.
The service chiefs, who comprise the chief of army staff, chief of naval staff, chief of air staff and the chief of defence staff, were appointed shortly after Mr Buhari assumed office in 2015. They were all senior military officers nearing retirement at the time they were appointed in July 2015.
But when they were due for retirement after two years in July 2017, the president asked them to remain in office for another six months, a decision that caused many in the military to grumble about their uncertain career progression.
When the six months tenure elongation elapsed in December 2017, Mr Buhari again extended the tenure of the service chiefs, commending them for a great service and citing the need to maintain existing approach to tackling insecurity, especially the ongoing war against Boko Haram.
The president has continued to renew the tenure of the service chiefs, mostly biannually and sometimes without an official statement.
“The service chiefs now seem to believe they have been retained in office at the benevolence of the president’s chief of staff and not the president himself,” said security and political analyst Sola Olubanjo. “There is a serious danger in such a mindset.”
Mr Olubanjo said the hostility between the NSA and the chief of staff has already started throwing up issues whose implications may be too costly for the country.
“If it is true that we already have a situation in which military officers are unable to obey the chief of army staff because the NSA asked them not to, then we might not be able to comprehend where the country is headed,” the analyst added.
Ken Eluma Asogwa, a legal practitioner who chaired a political action committee that backed Mr Buhari at the last election, said it was bad enough that Mr Buratai ordered withdrawal of security chiefs from the ONSA.
“I am not privy to the information, but I know this media outfit is credible enough and I will say that I am disappointed that we have this kind of situation,” Mr Eluma Asogwa said. ” It is bad enough that the chief of army staff ordered withdrawal of personnel from ONSA and even more unspeakable that they were unable to obey his directive.”
The analyst said Mr Buhari cannot afford to keep tolerating disastrous developments in his national security framework without mitigating them, especially at this time of national emergency on security.
“The NSA is the one who would be advising the president on security matters, intelligence, training or exercise, and not the chief of staff,” he said. “The president should take charge now.”