The Federal Government has provided 47 vehicles and military equipment to the government of Niger Republic as assistance towards the successful hosting of the 12th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union on African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the First Mid-Year Coordination Meeting of the AU and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in Niamey.
The items which, were donated at the request of the Nigerien government, include 100 bulletproof vests worth 2.8 million CFA, five Toyota Coastal buses and two Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs).
Also donated for the purpose of the events but to be returned to Nigeria are 40 other vehicles of different brands.
The Nigerian Ambassador to the Niger Republic, Attahiru Dahiru, who confirmed the donation of the items in Niamey on Saturday, said, “everything they requested for has been provided for them and they are happy.”
President Muhammadu Buhari is participating at the conference in the Nigerien capital, Niamey where he is expected to sign the AfCFTA agreement on Sunday.
The Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union is also expected to launch the operational instruments of the Agreement establishing AfCFTA.
The instruments include: AfCFTA Rules of Origin, Tariff Concession Portals, Portal on Monitoring and Elimination of Non-Tariff Barriers, Digital Payments and Clearing Systems and African Trade and Observatory Dashboard.
The Presidency had informed that prior to the Summit, the Buhari administration had embarked on extensive consultations with stakeholders, culminating in the submission of the report by the Presidential Committee to Assess Impact and Readiness of Nigeria to join the AfCFTA.
The committee had recommended that Nigeria should sign the agreement which aims to boost intra-African trade.
A statement issued by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity) at the weekend had recalled that while formally accepting the report on June 27, President Buhari said: ”For AfCFTA to succeed, we must develop policies that promote African production, among other benefits.
”Africa, therefore, needs not only a trade policy but also a continental manufacturing agenda. Our vision for intra-African trade is for the free movement of ‘made in Africa goods.’ That is, goods and services made locally with dominant African content in terms of raw materials and value addition.”
BREAKING: UN Moves To Create New Country Out Of Nigeria, Cameroon
The Federal Republic of Nigeria may lose 24 local councils, by way of ceding, to a new country to be known as United Nations Organisation (UNO) State of Cameroon at its borders with la Republique du Cameron by July 10, 2020.
The Guardian reports that the withdrawal of his country’s soldiers by President Paul Biya from the southern part of the planned UNO State of Cameroon has set the stage for the creation of the new state being spearheaded by the UN.
The withdrawal of troops by Biya was formally demanded by the former President of the United Nations General Assembly, Ali A. Treki on May 20, 2020. This was disclosed in a May 26, 2020 letter of the UNO State of Cameroon to Prof. Martins Chia Ateh, the United Nations-appointed workshops coordinator in Cameroon and Nigeria.
Ateh said in the letter: “Greetings and thank you very much for the attached list of those who were detained in the Nkambe prison of Cameroon in August 2008.
“It is only now that the soldiers of la Republique du Cameroun are being withdrawn from the southern part of UNO State of Cameroon.” He said it was a good thing Treki kept the records straight.
On UN’s creation of a new country in Africa, Ateh said: “I should be getting back to you once the United Nations finishes with an official announcement on the existence of UNO State of Cameroon to the international community.”
While conceiving the new state, the former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan invited former President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and Biya of Cameroon to sign documents respecting their countries’ international boundaries.
It was learnt that Obasanjo and Biya signed the documents in March 2003 to cede their twin territories (Northern and Southern Cameroons) to the proposed UNO new country in West and Central Africa.
The UN, according to recent reports, pledged to actualize a new State of Cameroon on July 10, 2020.
Residents of Southern Cameroon were excited over the merger of their land with Northern Cameroon in Nigeria, comprising 24 local government areas in Borno (five), Adamawa (12) and Taraba (seven) states.
According to The Guardian, the Southern Cameroon residents have since last year during their agitations to separate tagged the UNO State of Cameroon as “Ambazonia.”
In Nigeria, the new country’s landmass extends from Bakassi Peninsula in Cross River State to Ngala Local Government Area of Borno State in the Lake Chad region.
While responding to ceding five local government areas from Borno State, an aide to Governor Babagana Zulum said: “We’ll study the recent unfolding developments on ceding Bama, Gwoza, Dikwa, Kala/Balge and Ngala councils to the UNO State of Cameroon.
“The state government will also be liaising with federal agencies on how to cede the affected local government areas as Obasanjo and Biya had signed documents with the UN to respect their international boundaries.”
According to the UN workshop coordinator and chairman, steering committee, Ateh, the councils to be ceded to UNO State of Cameroon, include Bama, Gwoza, Ngala, Kala/Balge, Dikwa. Others include Madagali, Michika, Mubi North, Mubi South, Mayo/Belwa, Toungo, Ganye, Serti, Hong, Jada, Maiha and Jada councils.
It was learnt that before the announcement of the new state, the UN had kept Northern and Southern Cameroons under watch since Obasanjo and Biya signed the documents under the UN treaty.
Meanwhile, the Secretary-General of UN, Antonio Guterres has commenced the process of sensitization towards the July 10 date of creating the new state for the Anglophone separatists in Cameroon.
According to reports, Guterres has continuously reached out to the UNrepresentative in charge of the territories, Ateh to constantly organize sensitisation workshops on the brief history of the UNO State of Cameroon.
The UN is determined and constantly fingered as an interested party in the arrangement to actualize the new state.
The Nigerian government has been urged to carry out an investigation to establish the facts surrounding the ceding of 24 local government areas to create a new country.
According to Google Map, Nigeria, particularly in the Northeast region with a decade-long Boko Haram insurgency is sandwiched between its territory and Cameroon Republics, with Bakassi Peninsula and Lake Chad located south and northeast of the UNO State of Cameroon.
The new state will have a total landmass of 28, 214 square km with an estimated population of 20 million people. Last year’s 72-hour ultimatum given by the United States (U.S.) to Cameroon to withdraw its troops from la Republique du Cameroons was heeded by President Paul Biya last month.
Before the pullout, neither the U.S nor Cameroon had responded to the expiration date until Treki asked Biya to withdraw his troops.
The Speaker of the Cameroonian National Assembly, Cavage Yeguie Djibrilhad also asked the Cameroonian government to fully implement the new law on decentralization that seeks to grant greater power to local councils and regions.
Consequently, Biya signed the law on the promotion of official language in Cameroon, settlement law of the Republic of Cameroon for2020 financial year, last December.
The bill addresses the creation of assemblies of chiefs, regional assemblies and councils with each of the two territories having elected presidents, vice president, secretaries and public affairs management controllers.
Credit: The Guardian.
Rwanda Court Jails Ex-Politician For Life Over His Role In The 1994 Genocide
Rwanda’s High Court on Thursday May 28th sentenced a former mayor to life in prison for his role in the country’s 1994 genocide, which resulted in the deaths of 800,000 people in the East African country.
Ladislas Ntaganzwa, was one of the top fugitive suspects, accused of playing a key role in the massacre. He was arrested in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo in 2015 before he was brought back to Rwanda in 2016 where he has been on trial.
Ntaganzwa, who had a $5-million (4.6-million-euro) US bounty on his head was accused of organising “the massacre of thousands of Tutsis at various locations,” the UN-backed Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) said when he was arrested.
“He was also alleged to have orchestrated the rape and sexual violence committed against many women,” it said.
A statement from Rwanda’s prosecution authority said the court “convicted him for genocide, extermination as crime against humanity and rape as crime against humanity and sentenced him to life imprisonment.”
Ntaganzwa was, however, “not found guilty of murder as crime against humanity and direct and public incitement to commit genocide,” the prosecution authority said.
The court found the former mayor of southern Nyakizu personally led a series of massacres of Tutsi civilians, including an attack on a church where thousands had taken shelter.
“It’s a guilty verdict. The court has sentenced him to life in prison. Overall we are not satisfied with the ruling. We are going to appeal,” his lawyer Alexis Musonera told AFP.
In a related development, a French court on Wednesday denied bail to Felicien Kabuga, the top-most fugitive from the genocide who was arrested earlier this month in France after 25 years on the run.
COVID-19: Africa Doing Better Than Other Continents — WHO Declares
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared that Africa is doing better than other continents in the management of the coronavirus pandemic with lowest number of cases and deaths so far recorded.
Figures it released yesterday showed that Africa has 1.5 per cent of global reported cases of COVID-19 and less than 0.1 per cent of deaths.
Latest COVID-19 Situation Report–127 (Data as received by WHO by 10:00 CEST, May 26, 2020) showed that Africa has 83,044 cases and 2,214 deaths compared to 5,404,512 global cases and 343,514 deaths.
America has highest number of cases with 2,454,452 and 143,739 deaths, followed by Europe with 2,041,705 cases and 173,213 deaths; Eastern Mediterranean with 438,900 cases 11,293 deaths; South-East Asia with 210,273 cases and 6,140 deaths; and Western Pacific with 175,397 cases and 6,902 deaths.
Director-General of WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at the media briefing on May 25, 2020, said, “So far, although around half of the countries in the region have community transmissions, concentrated mainly in major cities, Africa is the least-affected region globally in terms of the number of cases and deaths reported to WHO.
“Africa has 1.5 per cent of the world’s reported cases of COVID-19 and less than 0.1 per cent of the deaths. Of course, these numbers don’t paint the full picture, because testing capacity in Africa is still being ramped up and there is a likelihood that some cases may be missed.”
However, a professor of pharmacology and pioneer Director General of the Nigerian Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), Professor Charles Wambebe and Chairman, Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria (AHAPN), Dr. Kingsley Chiedu Amibor, have explained why chloroquine should be useful in the management of COVID-19.
Wambebe said, “From theoretical considerations, chloroquine should be useful in the management of COVID-19. Firstly, chloroquine has antiviral activity. The Chinese scientists confirmed it before they started using it to treat their patients. Secondly chloroquine has immune-modulatory property.
“There is a current trial involving hydroxychloroquine in Australia which involved about 2000 patients. It is called Ascot Trial, which is still in progress.”
Meanwhile, the WHO and United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) have explained why women who have contracted COVID-19 could breastfeed their babies.
A new report they released yesterday in conjunction with the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) encouraged women to continue breastfeeding their children even if they have the virus.
“While researchers continue to test breast milk from mothers with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, current evidence indicate that it is unlikely that COVID-19 would be transmitted through breastfeeding or by giving breast milk that has been expressed by a mother who have COVID-19.
“The benefits of breastfeeding substantially outweigh the potential risks of illness associated with the virus. It is not safer to give infant formula milk,” it noted.
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