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Buhari calls on international community to support peaceful transition in Chad

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President Muhammadu Buhari has called on the international community to support Chad to conclude the transition from military to democratic government in a peaceful manner within the set time of 18 months.

President Buhari spoke at the opening of the Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) in Abuja on Tuesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the summit was convened to discuss the recent developments in Chad after President Idris Deby Itno died on the frontline while defending the territorial integrity of his country.

The Nigerian leader, who declared the one-day summit open in his capacity as the Chair of leaders of LCBC member-countries, rallied development partners and countries particularly France, the United States, and the United Kingdom to support the transition regime in Chad.

He also urged Germany, the Netherlands, and Russia; the United Nations, the African Union and the European Union, as well as other friendly and partner nations to support the transition framework put in place by Chad’s Transition Military Council led by General Mahamat Idris Deby.

‘‘The need to support the Chadian government to effectively carry out its planned 18-month transition is sacrosanct.

‘‘However, it must be stated that the sanctity of the Chadian constitution as the supreme guiding document defining the social contract in the country must be respected.

‘‘The transition period should be civilian-led, with requisite powers given to the constitutionally mandated organs of government saddled with the responsibility of administering the country,’’ he said.

At the in-person meeting attended by the Presidents of Central African Republic, Niger, Chad, Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya and a representative of the President of Cameroon,

Buhari noted that the death of President Deby Itno had direct implications for the continued peace and stability of Chad as a nation, the Lake Chad region and the wider Sahel Region.

‘‘Our region is faced with difficult, several challenges that need the support and engagement of all to overcome.

‘‘While transnational crimes and rebellion cutting across our region continue to evolve in scope, the attendant conflicts also continue to retain their distinct form of inflicting untold hardship and difficulty on the lives of our citizens.

‘‘The threats by the Chadian rebel groups, who are clamouring to overthrow the government, must be viewed with all the seriousness they deserve because the consequences of a destabilized Chad to the sub-region cannot be imagined.

‘‘The flow of refugees and displaced persons from the country, unrestrained flow of arms, drugs and other harmful substances into Lake Chad and Sahel Regions, which are already challenged by terrorists seeking to establish parallel systems, would further compound the security and stability of our areas and neighbouring countries.

‘‘It is, therefore, our collective duty and in honour of the memory of the men and women that have died in search of peace in the region, to rise in unison as leaders of the region to ensure that peace, stability and security are not disrupted in Chad and in the entire region.

‘‘These challenges, which are fuelled by an interplay of poverty and the loss of sustainable means of livelihood due to climate change, have been further exacerbated by the direct consequence of complete breakdown of law and order in Libya.

‘‘The Libyan conflict has increased fragility in our region with debilitating security implications across the Lake Chad and the larger Sahel Region,” he said.

According to him, this is also typified by increased circulation of illicit arms and ammunition, narcotic substances as well as a refugee crisis that continues to threaten the security of the region.

While urging fellow leaders not to relent in their efforts and allow the enemies of the region to succeed in their quest to destabilize the area, the Nigerian leader said:

‘‘We must reinvigorate our collective will and commitment towards eradicating terrorism and entrenching democratic rule and good governance in Chad and in our region.

‘‘We must remain focused and true to ensuring sustainable development of the region.’’

Buhari also commended the untiring efforts of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, the Multinational Joint Task Force, member countries’ National Armed Forces and Security and Intelligence Agencies ‘‘who daily strive to ensure the complete restoration of peace and stability in the region.’’

He pledged that officers, some of whom had paid the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty for the survival of the region, would never be forgotten.

‘‘We are committed to ensuring that the ideals of restoring peace, stability and viability of the Lake Chad Region to its glorious state to which some of you have paid the ultimate price, is achieved,’’ he declared.

NAN reports that on the request of President Buhari and in recognition of the immense and sterling contributions of the late President of Chad to peace and stability in the region, the Summit observed a minute silence for the departed leader.

While eulogising the Marshal of Chad, Buhari described the late president as a committed African leader and statesman.

He said late Deby stood for peace and stability of the Lake Chad Region, the Sahel and the African continent in general.

‘‘His passion, commitment and zeal to the cause of the Lake Chad and African unity would be greatly missed,’’ he said. (NAN)

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UN Secretary-General visits Buhari At State House

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United Nations Secretary-General Antonio
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The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday paid visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja.

He was received by top government officials.

Buhari’s conversation with Guterres centred on the need to ensure peaceful and democratic elections as well as the robust participation of women and young people in all areas.

President Buhari also thanked the UN boss for the visit, stressing that it came at a time when the world is focussing on the Russia/Ukraine crisis. Buhari also believes that the visit underscores the assurance that the world is with Nigeria.

On his part, the UN scribe called for developed nations to ramp up vaccine support to countries in the global north, halt the asymmetrical distribution and reform the global financial system.

Earlier in the day, he visited the UN House in Abuja alongside some top officials and diplomats of the agency.

Guterres is on a two-day official visit to Nigeria – the first of such.

The UN chief had arrived in Nigeria on Tuesday and also visited Borno State where he proposed the reintegration of repentant terrorists. This, he said, is key to the restoration of peace in the North East region.

“The best thing we can do for peace is to reintegrate those, that in a moment of despair, became terrorists but want to become now citizens and to contribute to the well-being of their brothers and sisters,” he told a gathering at an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp.

The UN scribe is also expected to perform the wreath-laying ceremony in honour of the August 26, 2011, suicide bomb attack victims.

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Ukraine : UN Agencies Condemn Attacks On Health Care Facilities

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UN agencies on Sunday called for an immediate ceasefire and an end to attacks on healthcare professionals and facilities in Ukraine, describing such incidents as acts of “unconscionable cruelty”.

Since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, 31 attacks on health care have been documented via the WHO’s Surveillance System for Attacks on Health Care (SSA), the heads of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN Population Fund and the World Health Organization said in a joint statement.

“To attack the most vulnerable -– babies, children, pregnant women and those already suffering from illness and disease, and health workers risking their own lives to save lives –- is an act of unconscionable cruelty,” they said, calling for an immediate ceasefire.
In 24 of the reported attacks, health care facilities were damaged or destroyed, while in five cases ambulances were hit. A total of 12 people were killed and 34 injured, according to the UN agencies’ statement.

“Humanitarian partners and health care workers must be able to safely maintain and strengthen essential health service delivery, including immunisation against Covid-19 and polio, and the supply of life-saving medicines for civilians across Ukraine as well as to refugees crossing into neighbouring countries,” said the statement, signed by UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell, UNFPA counterpart Natalia Kanem and WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

At least three people were killed, including a young girl, in an attack Wednesday on a children’s hospital in Mariupol in southern Ukraine.

According to the United Nations’ reproductive health agency two other Ukrainian maternity hospitals had already been attacked and destroyed before that strike.

“Attacks on health care and health workers directly impact people’s ability to access essential health services -– especially women, children and other vulnerable groups,” the UN agency chiefs said in their statement on Sunday.

“We have already seen that the health care needs of pregnant women, new mothers, younger children and older people inside Ukraine are rising, while access to services is being severely limited by the violence,” the statement added.

Oxygen and medical supplies, including for the management of pregnancy complications, are running dangerously low, they warned.

“The health care system in Ukraine is clearly under significant strain, and its collapse would be a catastrophe. Every effort must be made to prevent this from happening,” the UN agencies warned.

“We call for an immediate ceasefire, which includes unhindered access so that people in need can access humanitarian assistance. A peaceful resolution to end the war in Ukraine is possible.”

AFP

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Yoon Suk-yeol wins South Korea’s presidential election

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Yoon Suk Yeol
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Yoon Suk Yeol, a conservative former top prosecutor, has been elected South Korea’s new president, defeating his chief liberal rival in one of the country’s most closely fought presidential elections.

With more than 98 percent of the ballots counted, Yoon had 48.6 percent of the votes against his rival Lee Jae-myung’s 47.8 percent.

Yoon said on Thursday that he would honour the constitution and the parliament and work with opposition parties when he takes office as the country’s next leader, calling the election result a “victory of the great people”.

“Our competition is over for now,” he said in an acceptance speech, thanking and consoling Lee and other rivals.

“We have to join hands and unite into one for the people and the country.”

At a separate ceremony with supporters, Yoon said he would put top priority on “national unity,” adding all people should be treated equally regardless of their regional, political and socioeconomic differences.

“I would pay attention to people’s livelihoods, provide warm welfare services to the needy, and make utmost efforts so that our country serves as a proud, responsible member of the international community and the free world,” he said.

Yoon is to take office in May and serve a single five-year term as leader of the world’s 10th-largest economy.

 

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