Connect with us


UN says humanitarian aid delivery still on in Niger




The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Niger says aid continues to be delivered to people in need amid the uneasy situation in the country.

UN Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, Farhan Haq said this at a news conference in New York on Tuesday.

“Last week, we and our partners carried out some 200 humanitarian field missions.

“Food distributions are underway in Diffa, in the east of the country, which hosts internally displaced people, refugees and returnees.

“Humanitarian agencies are also preparing to distribute cash,’’ he said.

The spokesperson added that the secretary-general was concerned over the continued detention of President Mohamed Bazoum, the health and well-being of all those detained, and the failure so far to restore constitutional order in Niger.

He reiterated his full support to the ongoing mediation efforts by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Answering a question on the diplomatic mission and humanitarian access to Niger, he said they were separate issues.

He, however, noted that whereas there was need for humanitarian operations to be carried out on the one hand, on the other hand, there was the diplomatic mission – about the political process.

“On the humanitarian side, the secretary-general calls for safe and unhindered access for the UN in the country, as well as the need to guarantee the continued operation of our humanitarian air services to allow the safe passage of humanitarian goods and services into Niger.

“So that’s what we’re pushing for on that side. On the political side, our Special Representative, Leonardo Santos Simão, is currently in Abuja, Nigeria, where he’s actively engaging with relevant stakeholders.

“This is part of our ongoing efforts to seek a peaceful resolution to the crisis, and he will participate in the extraordinary summit on Niger this Thursday that has been announced by ECOWAS.,’’ he said.


Putin Registers As Candidate For Russia’s Next Presidential Election



Russia on Monday officially recognised Vladimir Putin as a candidate for the presidential elections in March, a vote that he is all but certain to win.

The 71-year-old has led Russia since the turn of the century, winning four presidential ballots and briefly serving as prime minister in a system where opposition has become virtually non-existent.

The Central Election Commission said it had registered Putin, who nominated himself, as well as right-wing firebrand and Putin-loyalist Leonid Slutsky as candidates for the vote.

The election will be held over a three-day period from March 15 to 17, a move that Kremlin critics have argued makes guaranteeing transparency more difficult.

Following a controversial constitutional reform in 2020, Putin could stay in power until at least 2036.

Rights groups say that previous elections have been marred by irregularities and that independent observers are likely to be barred from monitoring the vote.

While Putin is not expected to face any real competition, liberal challenger Boris Nadezhdin has passed the threshold of signatures to be registered as a candidate.

However, it is still unclear if he will be allowed to run, and the Kremlin has said it does not consider him to be a serious rival.

Continue Reading


Hong Kong court grants Chinese real estate giant reorganisation postponement



Hong Kong’s Supreme Court has once again granted the highly indebted Chinese real estate giant Evergrande a postponement for its reorganisation plan.

Judge Linda Chan surprisingly postponed the decision until Jan. 29, the South China Morning Post reported on Monday.

The property developer, which has liabilities estimated at more than 300 billion dollars, is threatened with liquidation.

However, creditors from abroad had taken the company to court because of its missing several payments.

Chan had already said at the previous hearing that this would be the last postponement and that she would very likely agree to liquidation if China Evergrande did not find a plan for restructuring with its creditors.

According to reports, however, the lawyers of the Hong Kong-listed group had now held out the prospect of being able to reach an agreement with the lenders in the coming weeks.

In the case of liquidation, an insolvency administrator would monetise the company and pay out the creditors.

Meanwhile, some experts were of the opinion that liquidation would return less money to creditors than a reorganisation, China Evergrande argued the same in court, according to reports.

The group had been trying to submit a restructuring plan since 2022, without success. Its founder and once China’s richest man, Hui Ka Yan, is being investigated by the Chinese authorities.

Like many other property groups, the company had been in a serious crisis for some time because it is earning significantly less on the slumping property market.

The company is finding it more difficult to obtain state support and is no longer able to service its loans.

“The Evergrande case also shows that the era of large private property developers in China is coming to an end,’’ says Max Zenglein from the Merics China Institute in Berlin.

If Chan decides to wind up China Evergrande, this could also have an impact on other companies.

“One challenge for the government will be to prevent domino effects in the economy caused by major bankruptcies,’’ says Zenglein.

Continue Reading