Connect with us

Foreign

UN humanitarian operations continue in Niger amid coup

Published

on

UN humanitarian operations continue in Niger amid coup

Last Updated on July 29, 2023 by Fellow Press

The United Nations and partners continue their humanitarian assistance in Niger regardless of Wednesday’s coup that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum, UN officials in Niger said on Friday.

“The United Nations in Niger … would like to confirm that humanitarian assistance and (the) development and peace program continue in the country,” said Nicole Kouassi, acting UN resident coordinator and humanitarian coordinator in Niger.

UN humanitarian assistance flights, however, are suspended due to the closure of the Nigerian air space, she told reporters at the UN Headquarters in New York via a video link from Niamey, the Nigerian capital.

Humanitarian and development partners remain committed to supporting the vulnerable population who are affected by a combination of climate, economic and security shocks, she said.

Right before the coup, 4.3 million Nigerians needed humanitarian assistance.

Some 3.3 million people were in acute food insecurity, the majority of whom were women and children, she said.

Kouassi, who is also the representative of the UN Development Programme in Niger, called for more funds as the UN humanitarian response plan for Niger, which requires 583 million U.S. dollars, is only 32 per cent funded.

She said the situation in the country remains calm and the UN staff face no security threats, with all UN staff members accounted for and no accidents related to UN staff, vehicles or other resources.

According to Kouassi, the UN team in Niger is not in contact with the military as it does not have a political mandate.

Even if contact with the Nigerian military is required, no engagement is expected until after a summit of the Economic Community of West African States on Sunday and on the condition that the country team receives instructions from the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel.

Jean-Noel Gentile, the representative of the World Food Programme (WFP) in Niger, also confirmed that the programme’s humanitarian operations continued with cash and food assistance to Nigerians.

The closure of the Nigerian borders has temporarily affected logistical support to operations in neighboring Chad for Sudanese refugees, and the WFP is working on alternative routes to Chad, he told the same press briefing.

Breaking News

Emmanuel Macron announces dissolution of National Assembly

Published

on

Last Updated on June 10, 2024 by Fellow Press

French President Emmanuel Macron has announced the dissolution of the National Assembly, following defeat of his party in 2024 European Parliament (EP) elections, according to local media report.

“I have decided to give you back the choice of your parliamentary future through the vote. I am therefore dissolving the National Assembly,” Macron said in a short speech.

“This is a serious, weighty decision. But it is above all an act of trust,” he added.

He added that the elections to the National Assembly are to take place in two rounds on June 30 and July 7.
Macron’s Renaissance party gained 15.2 per cent of the votes in 2024 European Parliament elections, far behind far-right National Rally who received 31.8 per cent.

“The unprecedented gap between the presidential majority and the leading opposition party reflects a stinging disavowal and rejection of the policies led by Emmanuel Macron,” RN President Jordan Bardella said after the EP elections results were unveiled, quoted by local media.

“We’re ready for it. I call on French people to join us in forming around the RN a majority in the service of the only cause that guides our steps: France.” parliamentary party leader of RN, Marine Le Pen, said Sunday evening on social media platform X.

The EP elections were held from June 6 to June 9, with voters of the 27 EU member states selecting 720 lawmakers to the 10th EP.

Continue Reading

Foreign

UN adds Israel to blacklist

Published

on

Last Updated on June 10, 2024 by Fellow Press

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has added Israel’s military to a global list of offenders that have committed violations against children, his spokesman confirmed on Friday.

Israel had been told it is being placed on the list in the secretary-general’s annual report on children in armed conflict, to be sent to the UN Security Council next Friday, Stephane Dujarric told a press briefing.

Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad were also added to the list, according to a diplomatic source, along with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

Dujarric added that the Israeli UN mission was called by Guterres’ chief of staff on Friday, a courtesy afforded to countries that are newly listed. “It is done to give those countries a heads-up and avoid leaks,” he said.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan recorded a video of himself making a phone call from his office, apparently to a UN official, and leaked part of it on social media.

In the video, Erdan expressed outrage at the UN decision, calling the IDF “the most moral army in the world.”

“The only one who is blacklisted today is the secretary-general, whose decisions since the war started, and even before, are rewarding terrorists and incentivizing them to use children for terror acts… Shame on him!”

Dujarric said it was “shocking and unacceptable” that Erdan had apparently published the private call, saying it was “something he had never seen in my 24 years serving this organization.”

Israel’s inclusion on the list comes after eight months of war in Gaza, in which more than 15,500 children have been killed, according to the Ministry of Health in the enclave.

The war was sparked by a Hamas-led assault on Israel on October 7, which killed 1,200 people and saw some 250 others taken hostage. Many are still in captivity and Hamas’ top leadership is still at large despite the Israeli onslaught.

The UN’s so-called blacklist has previously included countries such as Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian envoy to the UN, said the decision to add Israel to the list “will not bring back tens of thousands of our children who were killed by Israel over decades and will not restore normal life for the children who were permanently disabled by its actions.”

“But it is an important step in the right direction towards ending the double standards and the culture of impunity Israel has enjoyed for far too long and that left our children vulnerable to its consequences.”

The annual report will go to the Security Council on June 14. The official report will be published on June 18. It will be discussed at a debate in the council on June 26.

Asked about ramifications, the UN spokesman said it will be up to the members to decide any action.

The war has seen Israel-UN relations reach historic lows with Israeli diplomats using their platforms at the UN to denounce the world body.

Israel’s quarrel with the UN has gone beyond the secretary-general. Israeli officials have also criticized the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), the World Health Organization, UN Women, and the UN’s Special Rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territories Francesca Albanese.

Meanwhile, dozens of UN staffers have been killed in Gaza since the conflict began, the largest loss in the world body’s history.

Israel has long accused UNRWA of anti-Israeli incitement, which UNRWA has repeatedly denied, and in 2017, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought to dismantle the UN body, saying it should be merged with the main UN refugee agency.

Since the October 7 attack, Israeli journalists and news outlets have refocused their attention on UNRWA and have amplified stories questioning its role in the war.

Continue Reading

Facebook

Trending