WORLD NEWS 22-09-2021

HERE ARE THE HIGHLIGHTS

  • PRESIDENT BUHARI CALLS FOR AMMENDMENT OF PIA.
  • WHO URGES STAKEHOLDERS TO FULFIL VACCINES PLEDGE TO AFRICA.
  • EARTHQUAKE STRUCK SOUTHEASTERN AUSTRALIA.
  • TALIBAN REQUESTS TO ADDRESS WORLD LEADERS AT UNGA IN UNITED STATES.

BUHARI/ ACT

THE SENATE HAS RECEIVED A REQUEST FROM PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI TO AMEND THE PETROLEUM INDUSTRY ACT 2021 PASSED BY THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OVER 2 MONTHS AGO.

REPORT SAYS THE REQUEST WAS CONTAINED IN A LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 16, 2021 AND READ AT THE HOUSE PLENARY ON SEPTEMBER 21 BY THE SENATE PRESIDENT, AHMAD LAWAN.

PRESIDENT BUHARI IN THE LETTER EXPLAINED THAT THE APPOINTMENT OF 2 NON-EXECUTIVE MEMBERS AS PROVIDED BY THE ACT TO THE BOARD OF THE NIGERIAN MIDSTREAM AND DOWNSTREAM PETROLEUM REGULATORY AUTHORITY, NPRA AND UPSTREAM REGULATORY COMMISSION, URC DOES NOT REFLECT BALANCED GEOPOLITICAL REPRESENTATION.

THE PRESIDENT THEREFORE REQUESTED AMENDMENT TO SOME SECTIONS OF THE BILL WHICH PROVIDES FOR THE ADMINISTRATIVE STRUCTURE OF THE PIA 2021 TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF THE NON-EXECUTIVE MEMBERS FROM 2 TO 6 ON THE BOARDS OF THE NPRA AND URC.

WHO/AFRICA

THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION, WHO HAS STATED THAT GLOBAL COMMITMENT TO PROVIDE COVID VACCINES TO AFRICA NEEDS TO TRANSLATE TO REAL DELIVERY OF THE VACCINES TO THE CONTINENT.

THE WHO AFRICA REGIONAL DIRECTOR, DR RICHARD MIHIGO MADE THIS KNOWN WHILE SPEAKING WITH NEWSMEN, NOTING THAT PLEDGES DONE IN THE PAST WERE ALL GOOD BUT ALSO URGED ALL STAKEHOLDERS TO FULFIL THEIR PLEDGES.

DR MIHIGO WHO SAID THE GLOBAL COVAX VACCINE SCHEME, WHICH WAS INTENDED TO HELP POORER COUNTRIES HAD DONE WELL DESPITE BEING UNABLE TO ACCESS ENOUGH VACCINE SUPPLIES ALSO URGED COUNTRIES TO SUPPORT THE SCHEME BY CHANNELLING THEIR DONATIONS THROUGH COVAX.

MEANWHILE, THE COVAX SCHEME HAD SUPPLIED ABOUT 37% OF THE 177 MILLION VACCINE DOSES SUPPLIED TO AFRICA, WITH THE REST ACQUIRED THROUGH BILATERAL DEALS AND DONATIONS FROM A VARIETY OF SOURCES.

UN/MOZAMBIQUE

THE UNITED NATIONS HAS WARNED PEOPLE RETURNING TO THE RESTIVE NORTHERN MOZAMBICAN PROVINCE OF CABO DELGADO TO BE SECURITY CONSCIOUS, SAYING IS UNCLEAR WHETHER THE ONGOING MILITARY OPERATION HAD REDUCED JIHADIST GROUPS’ CAPACITY TO STAGE ATTACKS THERE.

THE UN’S DEPARTMENT OF SAFETY AND SECURITY MADE THE WARNING AT THESAME TIME WHEN MOZAMBIQUE AUTHORITIES HAD BEEN ENCOURAGING PEOPLE DISPLACED BY THE ATTACKS TO RETURN HOME.

THE UN WHO WARNS ABOUT THE UNCERTAINTY OF THE INSURGENTS ALSO NOTED THAT AREAS DESTROYED BY MILITANTS NEED TO BE FIXED AND SERVICES RESTORED BEFORE PEOPLE COULD RETURN GRADUALLY.

MEANWHILE, JOINT MOZAMBICAN, RWANDAN AND OTHER FORCES OPERATING IN AREAS PREVIOUSLY OCCUPIED BY MILITANTS HAD BEEN ACCOMPANYING POPULATIONS ON THEIR WAY BACK TO PALMA, AN AREA NEXT TO GAS PROJECTS THAT WAS HIT BY DEADLY ISLAMIST ATTACKS IN MARCH THIS YEAR.

ETHIOPIAN/REBELS

THE ETHIOPIAN GOVERNMENT SAYS REBELS HAVE DESTROYED THOUSANDS OF HEALTH FACILITIES IN THE NORTHERN PART OF THE COUNTRY AND OVER 1.9 MILLION PEOPLE IN ETHIOPIA’S AMHARA AND AFAR REGIONS HAD NO ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE AFTER REBELS LOYAL TO THE TIGRAY PEOPLE’S LIBERATION FRONT, TPLF REPORTEDLY VANDALISED HEALTH FACILITIES.

ETHIOPIAN HEALTH MINISTER, LIA TADESSE WHO SPOKE WITH NEWSMEN ON SEPTEMBER 21 SAID REBELS HAD DESTROYED 20 HOSPITALS, 277 HEALTH CENTRES AND 1,162 HEALTH POSTS IN AMHARA REGION, ADDING THAT ONE HOSPITAL, 10 HEALTH CENTRES AND 38 HEALTH POSTS HAD BEEN DESTROYED IN AFAR REGION.

IT WOULD BE RECALLED THAT EDUCATION MINISTER, GETAHUN MEKURIA HAD STATED THAT REBELS HAD DESTROYED OVER 7,000 SCHOOLS IN NORTHERN ETHIOPIA INCLUDING 445 IN AFAR REGION AND OVER 140 IN AMHARA REGION.

MEANWHILE THE FIGHT BETWEEN TIGRAY REBEL FORCES AND ETHIOPIAN FEDERAL TROOPS BROKE OUT IN TIGRAY REGION IN NOVEMBER 2020, BUT HAS SINCE SPREAD TO NEIGHBOURING AMHARA AND AFAR.

 

 

AUSTRALIA/EARTHQUAKE

A RARE EARTHQUAKE HAS RATTLED SOUTHEASTERN AUSTRALIA EARLIER TODAY, SEPTEMBER 22, SHAKING BUILDINGS, KNOCKING DOWN WALLS AND SENDING PANICKED RESIDENTS RUNNING INTO THE STREETS OF MELBOURNE, THE COUNTRY’S SECOND-BIGGEST CITY.

THE COUNTRY’S BUREAU OF METEOROLOGY WHO MADE THIS KNOWN IN A STATEMENT RELEASED TO JOURNALISTS SAID THE QUAKE WHICH WAS ONE OF THE COUNTRY’S BIGGEST ON RECORD WAS AT A DEPTH OF 10 KM.

CONFIRMING THE INCIDENT, EMERGENCY SERVICES SAID THE QUAKE DAMAGED BUILDINGS IN MELBOURNE AND MORE THAN 1,000 HOMES ACROSS THE STATE WERE WITHOUT POWER AS DEBRIS ALSO LITTERED ROADS IN THE POPULAR SHOPPING AREA AROUND MELBOURNE’S CHAPEL STREET WITH BRICKS APPARENTLY COMING LOOSE FROM BUILDINGS.

HOWEVER, REPORT SAYS NO TSUNAMI THREAT ISSUED TO THE AUSTRALIAN MAINLAND, ISLANDS OR TERRITORIES.

UN/TALIBAN

THE TALIBAN HAS REQUESTED TO ADDRESS WORLD LEADERS AT THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN NEW YORK CITY, UNITED STATES.

THE GROUP’S FOREIGN MINISTER, AMIR MUTTAQI MADE THE REQUEST IN A LETTER ON SEPTEMBER 20 ALSO NOMINATING THEIR DOHA-BASED SPOKESPERSON, SUHAIL SHAHEEN AS AFGHANISTAN’S UN AMBASSADOR.

THE TALIBAN WHICH SEIZED CONTROL OF AFGHANISTAN LAST MONTH NOTED THAT THE ENVOY FOR THE OUSTED GOVERNMENT WOULD NO LONGER REPRESENT THE COUNTRY.

MEANWHILE, THE REQUEST TO PARTICIPATE IN THE HIGH-LEVEL DEBATE WOULD BE CONSIDERED BY A CREDENTIALS COMMITTEE, WHOSE 9 MEMBERS INCLUDE THE US, CHINA AND RUSSIA BUT THEY ARE UNLIKELY TO MEET BEFORE THE END OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY SESSION ON SEPTEMBER 27 AND TILL THEN GHULAM ISACZAI WOULD REMAIN AFGHANISTAN’S AMBASSADOR TO THE GLOBAL BODY.

PAKISTANI/ CIVIL WAR

PAKISTANI PRIME MINISTER, IMRAN KHAN HAS WARNED OF THE RISK OF A CIVIL WAR IN AFGHANISTAN IF THE TALIBAN IS UNABLE TO FORM AN INCLUSIVE GOVERNMENT THERE.

KHAN GAVE THE WARNING IN AN INTERVIEW WITH NEWSMEN, SAYING HIS COUNTRY WAS PRIMARILY CONCERNED ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF A HUMANITARIAN AND REFUGEE CRISIS IF A CIVIL WAR BREAKS OUT AS WELL AS THE POSSIBILITY OF AFGHAN SOIL BEING USED BY ARMED GROUPS THAT WERE FIGHTING THE PAKISTANI GOVERNMENT.

THE PM ADDED THAT PAKISTAN WOULD PUSH THE TALIBAN TO FORM A POLITICALLY AND ETHNICALLY INCLUSIVE GOVERNMENT BECAUSE THERE WOULD NOT BE ANY LONG TERM SUSTAINABLE PEACE OR STABILITY UNLESS ALL FACTIONS AND ETHNIC GROUPS WERE REPRESENTED.

IT WOULD BE RECALLED THAT PAKISTANI FOREIGN MINISTER, SHAH QURESHI HAD REITERATED CALL FOR THE UNFROZEN OF AN ESTIMATED 10 BILLION DOLLARS OF AFGHAN CENTRAL BANK IN FOREIGN BANK ACCOUNTS SO AS TO ALLOW THE AFGHAN GOVERNMENT’S INSTITUTIONS, INCLUDING SCHOOLS AND HOSPITALS, TO FUNCTION.

PHILIPPINE/DRUG WAR

PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT, RODRIGO DUTERTE HAS PROMISED THAT THE PHILIPPINES WOULD HOLD WRONGDOERS IN HIS DEADLY DRUG WAR ACCOUNTABLE AFTER THE UN-BACKED INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT, ICC BEGAN AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE KILLINGS.

DUTERTE MADE THE PROMISE WHILE SPEAKING AT THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON SEPTEMBER 21, 2021 AFTER THE ICC FORMALLY AUTHORISED AN INVESTIGATION INTO ALLEGED CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY OF MURDER LINKED TO HIS WAR ON DRUGS.

THE PRESIDENT WHO SAID THOSE FOUND TO HAVE ACTED BEYOND BOUNDS OF THE PHILIPPINE LAW WOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE WHILE INDIRECTLY REJECTING THE ICC INVESTIGATION ADDED THAT HE HAD ALREADY ORDERED A REVIEW OF THE CONDUCT OF THE CAMPAIGN.

IT WOULD BE RECALLED THAT DUTERTE HAD PREVIOUSLY STATED THAT HE WOULD NOT SUBMIT HIMSELF TO A FOREIGN TRIBUNAL AS THE PHILIPPINES WOULD NOT COOPERATE IN THE ICC INVESTIGATION INTO THE DRUG WAR.