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ECOWAS Protocols: Member Sates advocate sensitisation of citizens to foster integration

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Member Countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have said sensitisation of citizens of Member States on ECOWAS Protocol was critical to foster regional integration.

Some ECOWAS Member States made the call while presenting their “Country Report” at the ongoing 2021 Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament on Monday in Abuja.

Members of Parliaments from The Gambia noted that without proper sensitization of ECOWAS Citizens, the implementation of various protocols and conventions will be very difficult.

Presenting the report of The Gambia, Hon. Kebba Barrow, leader of the delegation noted that parliamentarians in the Gambia have continue to educate their citizens on ECOWAS integration protocols among others.

“The Gambian delegation in consultation with the Ministry of Trade and ECOWAS Matters continue to publish series of newspaper press releases and advertisements on the community text.

“To educate and enlighten the general populace on these important ECOWAS Community instruments,” he said.

According to him, all these efforts are meant to sensitize and bring ECOWAS protocol and its institutions to the people.

“We firmly believe that without proper sensitization of our citizens, the implementation of various ECOWAS protocols and conventions will be very difficult.

“The delegation, on behalf of the people of the Republic of Gambia wishes to reiterate that the Gambia is ever committed to the ideals of the Regional Bloc.

“And shall never relent in its efforts for the integration process of the ECOWAS Community,” Barrow noted.

Similarly, Members of Parliament representation from Senegal said plans were underway by the legislators to foster regional integration by bringing border communities together.

Head of the Senegalese delegation, Hon. Aime Assine, while delivering the Country Report of Senegal said such actions should also be replicated by other countries.

“As part of our sensitisation activities, the ECOWAS MPs from Senegal are planning to step up activities to bring border communities closer together.

“Activities that should be replicated, particularly in the areas of sport as well as culture.

“The Senegalese party recommends the organising of sub-regional festivals to enhance the rich cultural heritage of our people,” Assine noted.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that regional integration is one of the core pillars of ECOWAS.

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International

Ruto Sworn In As Kenya’s President

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William Ruto takes Oath of Office as New Kenya President
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William Ruto was sworn in as Kenya’s fifth post-independence president at a pomp-filled ceremony on Tuesday, after his narrow victory in a bitterly-fought but largely peaceful election.

He was sworn in by the Chief Judge, Martha Koome, on Tuesday at a ceremony held in the packed Moi International Sports Centre in Kasarani.

Amid cheers from the excited crowd, Ruto swore an oath of allegiance and another oath for the execution of the functions of the office.

“I William Samoei Ruto, in full realisation of the high calling I assume as president of Kenya, do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the public of Kenya, that I will obey, preserve and protect this constitution of Kenya,” he said.

Ruto beat his rival Raila Odinga — who had been backed by outgoing president Uhuru Kenyatta — by less than two percentage points in the August 9 poll.

The 55-year-old rags-to-riches businessman, who once sold chickens on the roadside, now faces a daunting task to steer a polarised country gripped by a cost-of-living crisis and punishing drought.

His rise to State House has been closely watched by the international community, which looks to Kenya as a reliable and stable democracy in a turbulent region.

Foreign allies and independent observers praised the conduct of the vote, which was largely peaceful and free of the violence that has marred past elections in the country of 50 million people.

Ruto won by only around 200,000 votes out of 14 million but the Supreme Court on September 5 upheld his victory, dismissing his opponents’ claims of fraud and mismanagement.

Outgoing head of state Kenyatta, who in a stunning turn of events had backed his longtime arch-rival Odinga in the election race, has promised a smooth transfer of power.

Kenyatta finally shook hands with Ruto at a meeting at the presidential residence on Monday after pointedly failing to publicly congratulate his deputy for several weeks.
Ruto has struck a conciliatory tone, extending a “hand of brotherhood” to his rivals and their supporters.

“We are not enemies. We are Kenyans,” Ruto said after the court’s decision.

But Odinga turned down an invitation to attend Tuesday’s ceremony and instead travelled outside the country, charging in a statement that the election body did not conduct a “free and fair” poll.

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Queen Elizabeth II dies at age 96

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Queen Elizabeth II
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The United Kingdom’s longest serving monarch, Queen Elizabeth II has died

The Queen died at Balmoral at the age of 96, after reigning for 70 years.

Family members gathered at Queen’s Scottish estate after concerns grew about her health earlier on Thursday.

The Queen came to the throne in 1952 and witnessed enormous social change.

With her death, her eldest son Charles, the former Prince of Wales, will lead the country in mourning as the new King and head of state for 14 Commonwealth realms.

A statement by the Buckingham Palace said: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.

“The King and the Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”

All the Queen’s children travelled to Balmoral, near Aberdeen, after doctors placed the Queen under medical supervision.

Her grandson, Prince William, is also there, with his brother, Prince Harry, on his way.

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International

Pakistan Flood: Death Toll Tops 1,000

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Pakistan Flood: Death Toll Tops 1,000
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The death toll from monsoon flooding in Pakistan since June has reached 1,033, according to figures released Sunday by the country’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

It said 119 people had died in the previous 24 hours as heavy rains continued to lash parts of the country.

The annual monsoon is essential for irrigating crops and replenishing lakes and dams across the Indian subcontinent, but each year it also brings a wave of destruction.

Officials say this year’s monsoon flooding has affected more than 33 million people — one in seven Pakistanis — destroying or badly damaging nearly a million homes.

The NDMA said more than two million acres of cultivated crops have been wiped out, 3,451 kilometers (2,150 miles) of roads destroyed, and 149 bridges washed away.

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