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Facebook to change rules on attacking public figures on its platforms

Facebook Inc(FB.O) will now count activists and journalists as “involuntary” public figures and so increase protections against harassment and bullying targeted at these groups, its global safety chief said in an interview this week.

The social media company, which allows more critical commentary of public figures than of private individuals, is changing its approach on the harassment of journalists and “human rights defenders,” who it says are in the public eye due to their work rather than their public personas.

Facebook is under wide-ranging scrutiny from global lawmakers and regulators over its content moderation practices and harms linked to its platforms, with internal documents leaked by a whistleblower forming the basis for a U.S. Senate hearing last week.

How Facebook, which has about 2.8 billion monthly active users, treats public figures and content posted by or about those figures has been an area of intense debate. In recent weeks, the company’s “cross-check” system, which the Wall Street Journal reported has the effect of exempting some high-profile users from usual Facebook rules, has been in the spotlight.

Facebook also differentiates between public figures and private individuals in the protections it affords around online discussion: for instance, users are generally allowed to call for the death of a celebrity in discussions on the platform, as long as they do not tag or directly mention the celebrity. They cannot call for the death of a private individual, or now a journalist, under Facebook’s policies.

The company declined to share a list of other involuntary public figures but said they are assessed on a case-by-case basis. Earlier this year, Facebook said it would remove content celebrating, praising or mocking George Floyd’s death, because he was deemed an involuntary public figure.

Facebook’s Global Head of Safety Antigone Davis said the company was also expanding the types of attacks that it would not allow on public figures on its sites, as part of an effort to reduce attacks disproportionately faced by women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community.

Facebook will no longer allow severe and unwanted sexualizing content, derogatory sexualized photoshopped images or drawings, or direct negative attacks on a person’s appearance, for example, in comments on a public figure’s profile.

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Just In: Facebook, WhatsApp Restored For Globally, Users Data Protected

Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger which all went down on Monday afternoon with users worldwide reporting the crashes, have now been restored according to SaharaReporters

It was observed that the sites were restored around 10.45pm after about six hours of crash, cutting off billions of users around the world.

The online services all share an infrastructure and are owned by Facebook, which is owned by American billionaire Mark Zuckerberg.

SaharaReporters had earlier reported that the crash started around 16:41BST, according to the website Downdetector. While just two problems were reported at 16:26, the site says, this had jumped to more than 27,000 just fifteen minutes later.

According to The National, users attempting to access Facebook on their browser were shown a blank error page, while those using WhatsApp or Instagram mobile apps were able to view existing content, but nothing new has loaded.

“We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing the Facebook app. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience,” Facebook had said via @facebookapp

Posting on Twitter, which has not seen any issues, the Facebook app had said it was aware of outages affecting “some people”.

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Over 1.5B Facebook users, data on sale at Hacker Forum

Amid the global outage of Facebook along with its associated platforms, the data of its over 1.5 Billion users are now being sold on the dark web.

A report said the data are being sold on a Hacker Forum.

Sputnik News reported that in late September, an announcement was posted on a hacking forum that claimed to have the name, email, phone number, location, gender, and user ID of 1.5 billion Facebook users

“One prospective buyer has allegedly been quoted at $5,000 per 1 million Facebook accounts.

“This would value the entire set of Facebook user data at $7.5 million.

“In a subsequent post, the seller alleges to represented a large company that works to scrape Facebook for data”.

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp went offline Monday evening, Nigerian time

Facebook Inc said it was working to restore the platforms.

“We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products.

“We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience”, Facebook said on Twitter.

Instagram also issued an apology:

“Instagram and friends are having a little bit of a hard time right now, and you may be having issues using them. Bear with us, we’re on it!”

WhatsApp couched its apology in similar words like Facebook:

“We’re aware that some people are experiencing issues with WhatsApp at the moment. We’re working to get things back to normal and will send an update here as soon as possible

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ECA celebrates World International Translation Day 2021

The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) on September 30 joined the rest of the United Nations family across the globe to mark the International Translation Day under the theme “United in translation,” which focuses on uniting the world through translation.

The day is celebrated every year on September 30 to pay tribute to translators and interpreters for their hard work and service to the translation world.

During the virtual event, attended by government officials and representatives of diplomatic missions in Ethiopia, ECA’s Deputy Executive Secretary, Antonio Pedro, said translation expresses people’s shared humanity and helps build a better and more peaceful, and tolerable world.

He noted that translators benefit society by bridging the gaps of the language barriers for people to engage and communicate clearly.

“We recognize the contribution of translators in fostering our understanding of various languages and passing information through clear text and verbal communication to everyone. This has resulted in our cooperation towards peace security, human rights, equality worldwide,” said Mr Pedro, adding that world translation day provides us with an opportunity to pay tribute to the work of translators and interpreters.

“At ECA translators and interpreters have been able to communicate to us through six official languages to make sure that we are able to communicate clearly and ensure that information reaches everyone easily.”

We recognize the contribution of translators in fostering our understanding of various languages and passing information through clear text and verbal communication to everyone

Russian ambassador to Ethiopia, Evgeny Terekhin, described translation as “a great science and art,” pointing out that in the era of globalization, translation plays a big role in the convergence of various cultures across the world.

“In this era of globalization, translation has become a big feature as it allows for communication between different people and nations with different languages, cultures, and beliefs,” said Mr Terekhin

Zahra Kamil, the representative of the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) to the African Union, said translation plays a big role in facilitating dialogue, contributing to development, and enhancing peace and security across the globe

Nita Deerpalsing, Director of ECA’s Publications, Conference and Knowledge Management Division, paid tribute to the language service staff who perform a function whose importance cannot be overstated.

“Invisible though they may be, it is their work that breaks down language barriers and facilitates a permanent dialogue that helps to build world peace and understanding among peoples, thereby making it possible to resolve their differences,” said Ms. Deerpalsing.

“By celebrating language services staff on this day, the entire world fulfils a duty of gratitude towards them and underscores the great value of their profession.”

The UN General Assembly adopted resolution 71/288 on May24, 2017, on the role of language professionals in connecting nations and fostering peace and declared September 30 as International Translation Day.

The World Translation Day has been observed in honor of Saint Jerome, the Bible translator and father of translation, ever since the founding of the International Federation of Translators in 1953. The International Federation for Translators began commemorating this day worldwide in 1991 in order to raise public awareness.

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BURSTED! Nurse ‘accepts’ $53,000 to kill U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris

Thirty-nine-year-old Niviane Petit Phelps of Miami-Dade County has pled guilty in federal district court to a six-count indictment charging her with threatening to kill Vice President Kamala Harris.

During the change of plea hearing, Ms Phelps admitted that in February, she sent her husband, who was in prison, 30-second video clips of herself threatening to kill the vice president, said a statement by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The videos show Ms Phelps making the threats, screaming curse words, saying that she had accepted $53,000 to carry out the “hit” against Ms Harris, and explaining that she would assassinate the U.S. vice president within 50 days.

Some of the video clips she recorded herself; others she had her children record.

After sending these videos, Ms Phelps sent a photograph of herself holding a firearm with a target sheet at a gun range.

Two days later, Ms Phelps applied for a concealed weapon permit. She also admitted telling law enforcement officers who handled this case that she “doesn’t know” what would have happened if they had not come to her house.

Ms Phelps is scheduled for sentencing on November 19, at 2:00 p.m., before United States District Judge Jose E. Martinez, where she faces a possible maximum sentence of five years in prison.


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Taliban: How we’ll govern Afghanistan

The Taliban said Tuesday that women’s rights will be protected in Afghanistan within the limits of Islamic law.

“The women are going to be very active in the society, but within the framework of Islam,” Zabihullah Mujahid, the group’s spokesperson said.

The Taliban held its first official news conference in Kabul, on Tuesday, since taking power on Sunday.

The group also said it wants peaceful relations with other countries.

“We don’t want any internal or external enemies,” Al Jazeera quotes Mr Mujahid as saying while encouraging Afghans who had fled to the airport with their families to return.

He also said private media would be permitted to “remain independent” if journalists “did not work against national values.”

The group had earlier declared an “amnesty” across Afghanistan and urged women to join its government.

Al Jazeera reports that the Taliban is trying to calm nerves across a tense capital city that only the day before saw chaos at its airport as thousands made desperate attempts to flee.

On Tuesday, evacuation flights from Afghanistan resumed as a Western security official told the Reuters news agency that the Kabul airport’s tarmac and runway – which troops from the United States control – were now clear of crowds.

The official said military flights evacuating diplomats and civilians from Afghanistan have started taking off.

Not less than seven people died in Monday’s chaos, including people who clung to the sides of a jet as it took off.

The Taliban has declared the war in Afghanistan over and a senior leader said the group would wait until foreign forces had left before creating a new governance structure, Al Jazeera reports.


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‘Widespread and systematic’ violence linked to clashes over gold in DRC

Rival armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are carrying out horrific sexual attacks against women and girls, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) warned on Friday.

The alert was prompted by what UNHCR has called “widespread and systematic” abuse in Tanganyika province, where thousands of people have been internally displaced this year, often many times.

“Some women and girls have been abducted and used as sex slaves by armed group members”, spokesperson Shabia Mantoo told journalists in Geneva.

‘Horrific violence’

The UNHCR spokesperson explained that in just the past two weeks, humanitarian partners in the Kongolo and Mbulula health zones, have recorded 243 incidents of rape, 48 of which involved minors, in 12 different villages.

Noting that the actual figures are thought to be even higher, as reporting of gender-based violence remains taboo in most communities, she said that amounted to an average of 17 reported attacks per day.

“Our staff have heard horrific testimonies of extreme violence”.

In addition to the huge physical and psychological trauma from being raped, survivors of sexual violence can face stigma and possible exclusion from their families.

Humanitarian and protection needs are growing and UNHCR is seeking further financial support

Rival armed groups

Since May, more than 23,000 people have been displaced in northern Tanganyika’s Kongolo Territory alone, according to local authorities. And most have fled insecurity multiple times in the past three months.

As of last month, UN estimates reveal that insecurity and violence have uprooted nearly 310,000 people, and are currently displaced in Tanganyika Province.

According to the UNHCR spokesperson, rival armed groups responsible for the attacks were competing for control of mining areas – especially gold mines – and the abuse was linked to retaliation for Government-led military operations.

“Forcibly displaced persons have accused armed groups of carrying out mass rape as women attempt to flee their homes”, she said, adding that “ransoms have been demanded from families in exchange for their freedom”.

‘Triangle of death’

While the UN agency remains committed to helping the survivors, ongoing violence and the need to travel long distances for care at medical centers are hampering its work.

To protect civilians, especially women and girls, UNHCR is calling on the authorities to urgently scale up security in the so-called “triangle of death” – an area bordering several localities between Tanganyika, Maniema, and South Kivu Provinces.

The move would also allow humanitarian access as well as for investigations to be launched and perpetrators to be brought to justice.

“Humanitarian and protection needs are growing and UNHCR is seeking further financial support”, Ms. Mantoo said, informing the journalists that only 36 percent of the $205 million required for DRC operation has been received.

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UN Chief Welcomes Historic’ IMF Liquidity Boost for Governments in Need

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to exacerbate restrictions on government spending throughout the world, the UN chief on Tuesday welcomed the decision by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to approve a $650 billion allocation of Special Drawing Rights to “boost liquidity”.

Secretary-General António Guterres issued a statement on the policy change towards Special Drawing Rights or SDRs, a type of foreign reserve asset that are IMF defined and maintained, as additional funding that could help to pay down debts.

He also underscored that economies not in need of access to cash should “consider channeling these resources to vulnerable low and middle-income countries that need a liquidity injection by replenishing the IMF’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust Fund”.

‘Historic decision 

Yesterday’s IMF’s allocation makes new borrowing available to the fund’s 190 member countries, roughly in proportion to their share of the global economy.

“This is a historic decision – the largest SDR allocation in the history of the IMF and a shot in the arm for the global economy at a time of unprecedented crisis”, said IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva.

This is a historic decision – the largest SDR allocation in the history of the IMF and a shot in the arm for the global economy at a time of unprecedented crisis

“The SDR allocation will benefit all members, address the long-term global need for reserves, build confidence, and foster the resilience and stability of the global economy. It will particularly help our most vulnerable countries struggling to cope with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.”

Halting debt default 

The Secretary-General stressed that it is also “critical to quickly establish the proposed Resilience and Sustainability Trust at the IMF…[for] a comprehensive response and recovery, including providing more support for vaccinations and debt management and to support the efforts of developing economies in restructuring for inclusive growth”.

Last month, he urged the world’s largest economies to spearhead a global COVID-19 vaccination plan and expand debt relief to developing countries battered by the pandemic.

Bulwark against default 

He also advised supporting a new $50 billion IMF investment roadmap aimed at ending the pandemic and driving a fast recovery.

As many developing countries are “teetering on the verge of debt default”, the UN chief encouraged the G20 leading industrialized nations to channel unused SDRs to the Fund’s new resilience and sustainability plan, for these nations.

“Special Drawing Rights also need to be considered as additional funding, not deducted from Official Development Assistance”, he reminded.

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Security Council: Peace and Security in Africa

PARFAIT ONANGA-ANYANGA, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Horn of Africa, said the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam encapsulates the conflicting narratives, hopes and fears, challenges and opportunities related to water usage, security and energy in Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan and the wider Horn.  Recalling his last briefing on the matter in June 2020, he said that, since then, the three countries have been unable to agree on a framework of engagement to settle several remaining contentious issues.  Those include a dispute-resolution mechanism and an agreement on drought mitigation, particularly the filling and operation of the dam during drought years.

Outlining the recent negotiations and their scope, he said the three sides failed to agree on the exact role of the experts and observers supporting the African Union-led negotiations process, first at a virtual ministerial-level meeting in October 2020, and then at a subsequent meeting in January 2021.  In February, Sudan put forward a new proposal contemplating a quadripartite joint mediation by the African Union, the United Nations, the European Union and the United States, he recalled.  In March, Sudan with Egypt’s support formally requested that those entities mediate.  Ethiopia, however, preferred fewer changes to the ongoing African Union-led process, he said.  During subsequent talks in Kinshasa in April, the three States were once again unable to agree on a mediation framework.

Owing to the lack of progress, he continued, President Félix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in his capacity as Chair of the African Union, stepped up his engagement on the issue.  In May, he undertook a tour of the region, meeting with all three sides on the basis of a two-step approach — first addressing the most pressing issue of filling the dam during the rainy reason, and second, seeking guarantees for a more comprehensive agreement on its subsequent filling and operation, he recounted.  In June, the League of Arab States passed a communiqué on the dam dispute, calling upon Ethiopia to refrain from filling its reservoir without first reaching an agreement, and upon the the Security Council to meet on the issue.

However, Ethiopia objected to that communiqué, which it saw as an attempt to politicize and internationalize the dispute, he said, adding that Addis Ababa also underlined its commitment to African Union mediation while reiterating its plan to move forward with the second filling of the dam in July.  Highlighting bilateral meetings between Ethiopia and Sudan, and the latter’s recently announced intention to accept an interim agreement on the dam’s filling, he said the Government of Ethiopia sent letters to those of Egypt and Sudan last week, informing them of the start of the second filling.  Both Egypt and Sudan have objected to that notification, reiterating their position that any further filling should take place in the context of an agreed framework.

He stressed: “Each of the countries sharing the Nile waters has both rights and responsibilities, and the use and management of this natural resource requires the continued engagement of all nations involved, in good faith, with a view to reaching common ground.”  To assist in that process, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) will provide technical advice based on the best available scientific data and knowledge, with a view to helping the three countries reach a mutual understanding.  Calling upon all sides to engage in a constructive manner and to avoid any pronouncements that could increase tensions, he said that, together, alongside other interested partners, “there is room to move forward” in the spirit of cooperation, compromise and good neighbourliness.

INGER ANDERSEN, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), said water sources can be the basis for cooperation, as well as the cause of disputes between countries or communities.  “Well-planned hydraulic infrastructure on a shared river course can be a source of enhanced collaboration, and need not be a zero-sum game,” he emphasized, pointing out that integrated planning can help prevent damaging seasonal floods and generate development benefits.  Drawing particular attention to the Blue Nile — a critical water resource for Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan — he its headwaters are situated in a region where highly seasonal rains produce 69 per cent of the annual river flow between July and September.

Outlining the river’s trajectory, he said the Blue Nile merges with the White Nile in Khartoum, Sudan, and then flows downstream into Egypt.  Noting that the Nile has delivered freshwater, fed agriculture and supported livelihoods in the three countries for thousands of years, he said that, since 2011, Ethiopia has been constructing the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, a major hydropower source, on the Blue Nile.  The generation of hydroelectricity will enhance Ethiopia’s energy supply and help accelerate industrialization, he said, adding that surplus electricity can be exported across the region.  Construction of the dam is now nearing completion, and the reservoir began to fill for the first time in 2020, he pointed out.

A number of dams exist in the Nile Basin, including smaller dams on the Blue Nile, he said, citing the Merowe Dam and Roseires Dam in Sudan, and the High Aswan Dam in upper Egypt.  When completed, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will generate more than twice as much water as the latter.  “Where water is scarce and drought frequent, such as is the case in the Blue Nile Basin, cooperation on a shared river is the only long-term sustainable option,” he stressed, noting that in the coming years, both the High Aswan and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance dams — two of the world’s largest — will largely control and regulate the flow of the Nile.  Careful and cooperative basin-wide management will be crucial in maximizing the benefits of such infrastructure and minimize any negative consequences, he said.

Each of the countries sharing the Nile waters has both rights and responsibilities, and the use and management of this natural resource requires the continued engagement

The Governments of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have made sustained efforts to enhance their cooperation on transboundary water resources, he continued.  In 2015, they signed the Agreement on Declaration of Principles, in which they committed to “cooperation, equitable and reasonable” water‑resource‑use, agreeing to settle any disputes peacefully.  They are also working under the auspices of the African Union Chairperson on other parts of the negotiation, but consensus has not yet been reached regarding some critical aspects.  Those include arrangements for the management of protracted drought; the development of upstream and downstream waters; and a dispute-resolution mechanism.  Some differences also remain regarding the scope and nature of the proposed agreement, he added.

“With other sources of regional tension increasing,” he said, “We must recognize that overcoming the remaining differences among the parties will require careful, meticulous work […] with a determination by the three States to arrive at a cooperative solution.”  As all three Governments have recognized, demand on water resources, both for agriculture and energy, is rising.  Underlining that effective, cooperative water management is becoming even more important in the context of climate change, he said models indicating that the flow of the Nile will exhibit increasing variability during the period leading up to 2040, resulting in more floods and more intense droughts.  “It is therefore imperative that the parties work together to manage these interconnected challenges,” he concluded.

PAUL LOSOKO EFAMBE EMPOLE (Democratic Republic of the Congo), speaking on behalf of the Chair of the African Union, said the dam, which is situated 15 kilometres from Sudan’s border, aims to increase Ethiopia’s energy supply and meet the needs of other countries.  It will be the largest dam in Africa, but the enormous project is posing problems for Sudan and Egypt, whose people depend on the White Nile, he noted.  Tensions have been observed for years and several initiatives been taken to address the situation, including negotiations under the auspices of the United States and the World Bank, as well as discussions in the Security Council on 29 June 2020.

The matter then reverted to the African Union, under the principle of “African solutions to African problems”, he said, pointing to the draft agreement and resolution of 90 per cent of the technical problems as being among the gains made.  The creation of a dispute-resolution mechanism and the management of water during drought periods are among the pending issues, he said.  Outlining the African Union’s diplomatic initiatives, he said they included an in-person ministerial conference in Kinshasa in April.  Such consultations at the highest level allowed for the facilitation of negotiations, he added, recalling that, on 24 June, President Tshisekedi reassured the Bureau of the Assembly of the African Union Heads of State and Government that he is working to restore trust and find consensus among the three States.

He said that, upon their conclusion, the President Tshisekedi affirmed that he would provide a comprehensive report to the Bureau.  In the meantime, the President requested that all sides abstain from taking positions that could complicate the talks.  Those efforts, with the assistance of observers, led to the drafting to a document that will soon be presented to the three Governments as the basis for negotiations, he said.  Noting that the filling of the reservoir and operation of the dam were among the points agreed, he emphasized:  “A solution remains possible in this crisis.  The will is there.”  However, efforts are required to “break the ice of mistrust”, he said, expressing hope that the Council will provide support for the efforts of the African Union and the facilitator to forge a peaceful resolution “in this sensitive part of the Horn of Africa”.


TAREK LADEB (Tunisia) called for an agreement that respects the vital interests of the people and countries involved, stressing that the Nile is a source of livelihood and development for Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan.  There is urgent need for a cooperation mechanism on the use of water and the settlement of disputes that protects the rights of the upstream countries without harming the interests of those downstream.  “This is not impossible,” he said, emphasizing that it requires political will to settle outstanding legal and technical issues.  The three should continue negotiations under African Union auspices, with a view to reaching a legally binding agreement in a reasonable time frame, he added.  That would pave the way for a new era of constructive cooperation and partnership, as agreed by the African Union Bureau on 21 July 2020, and in line with the 2015 Declaration of Principles.  The Council must support the African Union in sponsoring the negotiations by sending a clear message on the issue, he stressed, encouraging the countries involved to resume talks and work constructively for an agreement.

BARBARA WOODWARD (United Kingdom) emphasized her country’s strong emphasis on consensus around issues affecting a shared natural resource, adding that many of the elements needed to reach consensus on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam are captured in the 2015 Declaration of Principles, in particular the commitment Not to cause Significant Harm and the one relating to Equitable and Reasonable Utilization.  The three States have continued talks to reach a more detailed trilateral agreement on the filling and operation of the dam, she said, while noting the disappointment of Egypt and Sudan that a resolution has yet to be reached, as well as the stated commitment of all three countries to the African Union-led talks.  She called upon all three sides to refrain from actions that undermine negotiations and to engage urgently to seek a mutually acceptable agreement.

MARTIN KIMANI (Kenya), noting that the Nile Basin has been a source of hope and connection throughout history, said its more than 257 million inhabitants will be impacted by the statements and decisions made halfway around the globe in the Council Chamber.  Recalling that the objectives of the 1999 riparian Nile Basin Initiative included developing the basin’s water resources in a sustainable and equitable way, he said the goal of the region’s peoples is only to throw off the shackles of poverty and the ills of war.  However, the concerns of two riparian States, Egypt and Sudan, regarding the legitimate use of Nile waters by the third State, Ethiopia, are also legitimate.  “Kenya stands with the three States, recognizing their equality and that all their people equally deserve development and prosperity,” he said, commending those Governments for placing their faith and confidence in the African Union’s mediation mechanism while emphasizing the critical importance of the principle of subsidiarity.  Kenya is confident that Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan will make the principle of “African solutions for African challenges” a reality, he said.

MONA JUUL (Norway) agreed that Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have legitimate interests in the Nile and its water resources, emphasizing that a sustainable solution to the dam issue can only be found by the States themselves.  Noting that much has already been agreed through the Declaration of Principles, she described the latter as a good framework within which to seek equitable and reasonable use of the Blue Nile.  What remains is for all sides to reach consensus on the modalities for future cooperation, based on those Principles, and on transparency and trust, she said, stressing:  “This requires constructive engagement, political will and the courage to find compromise.”  She echoed calls for the three countries to refrain from any action that could undermine negotiations.

INGA RHONDA KING, (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines), acknowledging that the Nile River is indispensable to the development of each country, encouraged all three to reconsider their entrenched positions and continue with the trilateral negotiations in good faith.  The African Union is the best suited to facilitate the peaceful settlement of disputes on the continent, she said, emphasizing the importance of respecting the Principle of Subsidiarity, as well as Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations.  “The existing disagreement is among family members,” she asserted, expressing confidence that Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan will resolve their difficulties, “as all families do, with wisdom and harmony”.  Noting that “our sister nations” have a shared history linked by the Nile, with which their futures will remain interwoven, she said it is in their collective interests to find a palatable solution, especially given that they have already agreed on 90 per cent of the issues.

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Amb. Abdullahi Bindawa: FG should maximize forest for agricultural development to curb kidnapping and banditry

Terrorism , banditry , kidnapping are crime ravaging the country with negative effect on economic growth , reduction of government revenue , lack of investment , destruction of physical infrastructure and human capital.  Apart from this, it also affects Education, Tourism, Agriculture, Transportation, and Mining.

In view of this, apart from domestic efforts, interventions of international communities are further needed to proffer a lasting solution which was disclosed in an ADM exclusive interview with UN security expert, peacekeeper, Amb Abdullahi Bindawa.

Bindawa noted that “Arms Control Awareness and Campaign is the first solution the government should consider citing an example that the Niger Delta conflicts were resolve through negotiations and campaign awareness; the IRA conflicts in the United Kingdom were resolved through negotiations, the Etta conflicts in Spain were resolved through negotiations, the US government is still fighting Al Qaeda even after the death of their leader with reported death of US citizens worldwide.”

“After fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan for many years, the US government is now negotiating with the Taliban to find a lasting solution to the conflicts. This is a war the US government cannot win without Arms Control Awareness.”

Amb Abdullahi Bindawa

Amb. Bindawa also suggested that constitution of an International Commission of Inquiry into the issue of Boko Haram Conflicts, Kidnapping, Banditry and Implements its recommendations with trusted member which can include:.

A Judge of the International Court of Justice as Chairman, National and International Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Traditional rulers of the geo-political zones, Security Experts/Consultants, Senate and House of Representatives members, Prominent lawyers, journalists, few members of the public.

“Let us stop this war and let all Nigerians witness the commission of inquiry lives on TV with all the stakeholders including Boko Haram and other insurgent members in detention or those who are ready to embrace peace”. He noted

Secondly, the danger of forest, intelligence reports revealed that abductors were always held hostage in a forest. Thus, most express way is now known for kidnap point by miscreants, courtesy of the endless forest on that stretch. Also, Statistics have shown that Nigeria has the highest percent of forest in sub-saharan Africa occupied by terrorists and miscreants. This means that our forest aid terrorism and criminalities; meaning also that school abductions and kidnapping would continue in Nigeria .if nothing positive is done in our forest. He said

On the whole, since forest is been identified as one of the flash points, its high time the government at all levels maximized the forest for agriculture and other uses that would bring development, job creation, and increase in GDP, this will drastically reduce insecurity. he added.

“What Nigerians need is jobs, good education, electricity and good roads, jobs being the most important. We can create jobs in their millions by making Arms Control awareness through positive way of agriculture in North and South, open coal mining for green coal electricity generation in the East. Once we do this, Boko Haram and other insurgent members will take jobs and join other law abiding citizen of this our great Nation”.

We can have peace!! Boko Haram members are ordinary Nigerians just like all of us looking for daily living. Poverty has no doubt led to the foundation of Insurgency in Nigeria.

If the government considered the aforementioned the results of these are employments, jobs, Small and large scale farming, retraining for coal miners and grants for businesses. We can do the same in our country and not neglect our people with all the Support by Coalition of Arms Control Campaign.

“Many Nations have sung the songs of freedom, after travelling the valleys of death. Our own time will come in Nigeria when we shall sing the song of Victory”

I am confident; we will sing the song of victory. He added.



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