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Mali Crisis: Keita Resigns, Dissolves Government 

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Mali Crisis: Keita 
Resigns, Dissolves Government

Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta has resigned, hours after he and his Prime Minister, Boubou Cissé, were taken to a military camp near the capital Bamako.

Keita also announced the dissolution of his government and parliament in a televised address to the nation yesterday.
“I want no blood to be spilled to keep me in power,” he added.
“If today, certain elements of our armed forces want this to end through their intervention, do I really have a choice?” said Mr Keïta.
“I hold no hatred towards anyone, my love of my country does not allow me to,” he added. “May God save us.”
Earlier, the mutinying soldiers took control of the Kati camp.
There has been anger among troops about pay and over a continuing conflict with jihadists – as well as widespread discontent with the former president.
Mr Keïta won a second term elections in 2018, but there has been anger over corruption, the mismanagement of the economy and the rise of communal violence in areas of the country.
It has prompted several large protests in recent months. A new opposition coalition led by the conservative Imam, Mahmoud Dicko, has called for reforms after rejecting concessions from Mr Keïta, including the formation of a unity government.
It was led by Col Malick Diaw – deputy head of the Kati camp – and another commander, Gen Sadio Camara, BBC Afrique’s Abdoul Ba in Bamako reports.
After taking over the camp, about 15km (nine miles) from Bamako, the mutineers marched on the capital, where they were cheered by crowds who had gathered to demand Mr Keïta’s resignation.
On Tuesday afternoon they stormed his residence and arrested the president and his prime minister – who were both there.
The number of soldiers taking part in the mutiny is unclear.
Kati camp was also the focus of a mutiny in 2012 by soldiers angry at the inability of the senior commanders to stop jihadists and Tuareg rebels taking control of northern Mali.
When news first broke of the mutiny, the United Nations and African Union both called for the release of those held by the soldiers.
The Economic Community of West African States( ECOWAS), a regional body, also said its 15 member states had agreed to close their borders with Mali, suspend all financial flows to the country, and eject Mali from all sub-regional decision-making bodies.
In recent months, Ecowas has been trying to mediate between Mr Keïta’s government and opposition groups.
The UN Security Council is to meet on Wednesday to discuss the latest developments in Mali.
Mali’s former colonial ruler, France, was also quick to condemn the president’s detention, and Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian urged the soldiers to return to barracks. Mali is a key base for French troops fighting Islamist insurgents across the Sahel region.

Source: BBC

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Solidaridad West Africa to support Nigeria, Ghana in oil palm production – Stakeholders

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Solidaridad West Africa to support Nigeria, Ghana in oil palm production – Stakeholders


By Friday Idachaba

Solidaridad West Africa says it is making progress in enabling governments in Nigeria and Ghana to support and work with farmers toward a more sustainable climate-smart oil palm production.

Stakeholders stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the end of a two-day Civil Society Organisation (CSOs) Wrap-up Workshop organised by Solidaridad West Africa – Nigeria on Saturday in Uyo.

The workshop was organised under the National Initiatives for Sustainable and Climate-Smart Oil Palm Smallholders (NISCOPS) in West Africa being run by Solidaridad and IDH and funded by the Government of Netherlands.

The programme which aims to build capacity of smallholders, Organisations and local institutions to improve performance among others, is placing smallholder farmers at the centre of interventions as change agents in the oil palm sector.

The CSO stakeholders and participants at the end of the workshop expressed satisfaction that the project being executed in Akwa-Ibom, Cross-Rivers, Enugu and Kogi States was making steady progress.

They expressed optimism that lessons learnt at the workshop would positively impact their various approaches to executing the Solidaridad intervention in ensuring sustainable oil palm production.

According to Dr Sam Ogallah, the Solidaridad Technical Team Lead, the CSOs from the four states have given good account of themselves in their presentation on the journey so far.

“I think they have made impressive presentations. I am happy to see the level of impact that solidaridad is making in the four states through the activities of the CSOs that we are engaging in the various States.

“It is also impactful to note how the livelihood of oil palm farmers are being transformed in all the states we are working. That shows clearly that indeed, Solidaridad is making and creating that ‘Change That Really Matters’ which is our slogan.

“On the way forward, I think the reward for good work is more work. We will continue to engage with the CSOs and continue to consolidate on our gains, so far,” he said.

Mr Kene Onukwube, Project Manager of NISCOPS said it was expected that the CSOs would become more vibrant to take up issues of social and or legislative advocacy at the end of the workshop.

Onukwube said they would also be able to help communities on how to process the challenges of social inclusion with policy makers and the Legislature and as well, engage with private sector actors in the states for fundraising opportunities.

One of the participants, Mr James Odiba, Managing Partner of Intellect Associates A&J Ltd., said that the Wrap-up Workshop exposed the CSOs to what they needed to know in the NISCOPS project and enabled deeper understanding of the goals of the programme.

Odiba said the workshop also helped to inform participants how Solidaridad West Africa-Nigeria should be known and reported, adding that the workshop was worth the effort as its potentials to build stronger commitment in the participants to support NISCOPS project.

Also speaking with NAN, Ms Halima Sadiq of Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change in Development (PIBCID) lauded Solidaridad for encouraging small holder farmers participation and involvement in sustainable oil palm production in communities.

Sadid particularly commended the resource mobilisation and proposal writing aspects of the workshop, adding that state actors and the private sector had a huge role to play investing in the oil palm sector. (NAN)

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Humanitarian minister leads in return of 134 Nigerian refugees from Cameroon

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Humanitarian minister leads in return of 134 Nigerian refugees from Cameroon

The minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Umar-Farouk has led the successful return of 134 Nigerian refugees from Cameroon.

This was coming as a follow up to President Muhammadu Buhari’s instructions that all Nigerian refugees in Cameroon be returned home safely to a life of dignity and pride with immediate effec.

The National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), had earlier met with the officials of the Cameroonian government and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Maroua, Cameroon, over the weekend.

The Honourable Federal Commissioner, Senator Basheer Garba Mohammed (Lado) led Nigerian officials in the meeting with the officials of the Cameroonian government and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Maroua, Cameroon, over the weekend.

The meeting, is a follow-up to meetings in 2017 initiated by the then commissioner and now minister of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouk

The humanitarian minister who has also shown tremendous concern and care towards the return of the refugee, also stressed that necessary arrangements have been made for the refugees’ socioeconomic reinsertion into Nigeria.

Speaking at the meeting, the commissioner, who was represented by the commission’s director of refugee and migration, Tai Hassan Ejibunu added that the importance of the meeting of the Technical Working Groups (TWGs) of both countries, on the Voluntary Repatriation of Nigerian Refugees in Cameroon and the suppport of the humanitarian ministry cannot be overemphasized.

Senator Lado, who is also the chairman, Technical Working Group (TWG) of Nigeria on the voluntary repatriation of Nigerian refugees, said the TWGs’ meeting is a forerunner to the Tripartite Commission (TC) meeting scheduled to hold this week”.

“”The meeting this week would provide the latitude and platform for officials of both counties to have in-depth discussions on the protocols and strategies to follow in repatriating the several thousands of Nigerian Refugees that are stationed in Minawao Camp in the Republic of Cameroon”, he explained

“Therefore, I would urge officials of both countries to be opened in their discussions, while putting into consideration, the interests of the refugees, following international best practices and the guidance of our technical partner, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Offices, both in Nigeria and Cameroon”, Lado further stressed.

“At this juncture, let me take this opportunity, to thank the UNHCR Country Representative in Nigeria, Ms. Chansa Kapaya, and her dedicated staff for their invaluable contribution, assistance and collaboration in all spheres, to ensure that discussions were held always, on how best to tackle the repatriation of these Persons of Concerns (PoCs) to Nigeria”, he added.

“The Governor of Borno State, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, is a governor that has demonstrated uncommon passion in ensuring that the citizens of his State in Cameroon are repatriated home in safety and given a new lease of life”.

“Zulum’s reintegration plans for the PoCs, if well executed, and with support of the relevant stakeholders and partners will assuage the losses and fears being entertained by the refugees upon their return home back in Borno State”.

He then thanked the government and people of Cameroon, who have shown love and hospitality to the Nigerian refugees.

“The Government and the country have exemplified the true African spirit, character and culture of good neighborliness, in being fellow African brother’s keeper. The country’s acceptance to host the Joint TWG is a further attestation of the spirit of umbuntu ‘You Live, So I Live’ which is engrained in the psyche and the blood streams of Africans”, he concluded.

The return of the refugees he said will also be in line with the Commission’s on going resettlement cities project, which will shelter thousands of displaced persons in a two-bedroom housing units across some states, consisting of primary health care and education centres, security outposts, worship houses, skill acquisition centres, markets and adjoining farmlands for use by the occupants.

According to him, the commission’s Project Reliance is another programme aimed at providing a stable means of livelihoood for the returnee refugees, empowering them by way of giving them start-up capitals and empowerment tools in more than 50 different vocations and businesses of their choices.

Other stakeholders in the humanitarian space on the exercise are; the representatives of the governors of Borno and Adamawa states, representatives of the ministers of humanitarian affairs, foreign affairs, health, finance, interior and budget and national planning.

Others are; the representatives of the NSA NIA, DSS, Police IG, Chief of Defence Staff, Civil Defence, Immigration, NAPTIP, NEDC and NEMA

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7 #EndSARS protesters to be kicked out of Egypt says Dabiri-Erewa

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7 #EndSARS protesters to be kicked out of Egypt says Dabiri-Erewa

Seven Nigerians who took active part in the #EndSARS protest in Egypt have been scheduled to be deported, Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has said.

She made the disclosure in a series of tweets on Monday from her verified twitter handle.
Eight Nigerians were earlier arrested in Cairo, Egypt for protesting against police brutality, extra-judicial killings, and bad governance in that country.
After their arrest, appeals were made to NIDCOM to intervene and secure the release of the Nigerians.
Dabiri on Mondsy said seven of the detained Nigerians are to be deported for “lack of resident permits”.
According to her, the Federal Government is pleading for leniency on behalf of the seven Nigerians scheduled for deportation.
She tweeted, “Update on the eight Nigerians detained in Cairo for protesting without a permit – Seven of them are to be deported to Nigeria for lack of resident permits. The only one that has a Residency will get final clearance from the Minister of Interior after signing an undertaking not go against the laws of Egypt.
“The Nigerian mission in Egypt is still appealing for leniency on behalf of the seven slated for deportation.”

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