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Buhari to address UN General Assembly Sept. 24

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President Muhammad Buhari
President Muhammad Buhari
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President Muhammadu Buhari will address the 76th Session of the high-level General Debate of the UN General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday, Sept. 24, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

A provisional list of speakers obtained by the Correspondent of NAN from the UN headquarters in New York showed that Buhari would be the second speaker on the fourth day.

The Nigerian leader would deliver his address around 9am (around 2pm Nigerian time) to other world leaders during the morning session.

The President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro would be the first world leader to present his address to the 76th session as it is tradition, followed by the U.S. President, Joe Biden, the traditional second speaker, being the host country.

Leaders from more than 80 countries would speak in-persons at the Assembly while other world leaders would speak through pre-recorded video messages.

At a press briefing, Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Mr Stephane Dujarric, said strict pandemic rules would be enforced at the Assembly for the 2021 session.

Dujarric said the enforcement would include mandatory mask-wearing for all participants, required vaccinations for headquarters staff and severely limited access to its 16-acre complex.

The UN is aiming for at least a partial restoration of the person-to-person diplomacy that its leaders regard as critical for the organisation’s ability to function.

The 2021 high-level meeting is in contrast to the 2020, when the General Assembly was conducted in a virtual format through pre-recorded video messages only.

The year 2020 General Assembly, was the first time in the 75 years of the UN existence that the annual high-level meetings were conducted virtually.

Nigeria’s Tijjani Muhammad-Bande presided as the President of the Assembly throughout the lockdown and was praised for devising novel means for the Assembly to conduct its affairs through virtual means during the pandemic.

NAN reports that the 76th session of General Assembly opened on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021 with the inauguration of a new President, Abdulla Shahid of Maldives.

The gavel was passed to Shahid by his predecessor, Volkan Bozkir of Turkey at the closing of the 75th session of UN General Assembly. (NAN)

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International

Bin Laden’s Deputy Al-Zawahiri Killed In US Drone Strike

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Al Zawahiri
Al Zawahiri
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A United States drone strike killed Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri at a hideout in Kabul, President Joe Biden said Monday, declaring that “justice had been delivered” to the families of the 9/11 attacks.

Zawahiri’s assassination is the biggest blow to Al-Qaeda since US special forces killed Osama bin Laden in 2011 and calls into question the Taliban’s promise not to harbour militant groups.

It was the first known over-the-horizon strike by the US on a target in Afghanistan since Washington withdrew its forces from the country on August 31 last year, days after the Taliban swept back to power.

“Justice has been delivered and this terrorist leader is no more,” Biden said in a sombre televised address, adding he hoped Zawahiri’s death would bring “closure” to families of the 3,000 people killed in the US on September 11, 2001.

Zawahiri was believed to be the mastermind who steered Al-Qaeda’s operations — including the 9/11 attacks — as well as bin Laden’s personal doctor.

A senior administration official said the 71-year-old Egyptian was on the balcony of a three-storey house in the Afghan capital when targeted with two Hellfire missiles after dawn Sunday.

“We identified Zawahiri on multiple occasions for sustained periods of time on the balcony where he was ultimately struck,” the official said.

The house is in Sherpur, one of Kabul’s most affluent neighbourhoods, with several villas occupied by high-ranking Taliban officials and commanders.

The interior ministry previously denied reports of a drone strike circulating on social media, telling AFP a rocket struck “an empty house” in Kabul, causing no casualties.

Early Tuesday, however, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted that an “aerial attack” was carried out.

“The nature of the incident was not revealed at first,” he said.

“The security and intelligence agencies of the Islamic Emirate investigated the incident and found in their preliminary investigations that the attack was carried out by American drones.”

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African Union Hails Landmark Russia-Ukraine Grain Deal

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The African Union on Saturday hailed a landmark deal between Ukraine and Russia that will allow Kyiv to resume exports of grain through the Black Sea and relieve a global food crisis.

Ukraine’s farms are a major source of grain for the world market, in particular in the Middle East and Africa, where food supplies are critically tight.

Cereal prices in the world’s poorest continent have surged because of the slump in exports, sharpening the impact of conflict and climate change and sparking fears of social unrest.

“The Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat welcomes the signing by Russia and Ukraine of agreements,” a statement said, praising Senegalese leader and AU chair Macky Sall “for having called for the urgent need for the resumption of cereals from Ukraine and Russia to global markets as made to President Vladimir Putin during a joint AU mission to Sochi” in early June.

Ukraine and Russia and two of the world’s largest grain producers.

But Ukrainian mines laid across the Black Sea to avert an amphibious assault, as well as Russian warships, have blocked exports from Ukraine, leaving up to 25 million tonnes of wheat and other grain in danger of rotting in ports and silos.

Sall thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who oversaw the signing ceremony in Istanbul on Friday, as well as presidents Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine.
“This was the objective of the mission I led in Sochi on June 3,” Sall tweeted.

The International Rescue Committee, which helps people affected by humanitarian crises, also welcomed the accord, saying countries in East Africa relied “on Russia and Ukraine for over 90 percent of their wheat imports”.

“The lifting of these blockades will go some way in easing the extreme hunger that over 18 million people in East Africa are facing, with three million already facing catastrophic hunger conditions,” Shashwat Saraf, IRC’s East Africa emergency director, said.

AFP

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International

Boris Johnson Agrees To Resign As Prime Minister

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson
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British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, on Thursday finally agreed to step down as Britain’s prime minister.

The Tory leader announced his resignation this afternoon at 10, Downing Street, London.

His agreement to step down comes after several weeks of intense calls for his resignation and a loss of party support, borne out of his mishandling of damaging scandals including parties held at Downing Street in defiance of coronavirus lockdowns and the appointment of Chris Pincher into his government despite knowing of past allegations of sexual misconduct.

“It is clearly now the will of the parliamentary Conservative Party that there should be a new leader of that party and therefore a new prime minister,” Mr Johnson announced.

“I have agreed with Graham Brady, the Chairman of our back bench MPs, that the process of choosing that new leader should begin now.”

More details soon

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