Three UN-appointed independent human rights experts returned from Ethiopia on Tuesday after working to negotiate access to areas important for investigations.
The United Nations International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia is mandated to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into allegations of violations and abuses of international human rights law.
Specifically, it will investigate the violations of international humanitarian law and international refugee law in the state of Ethiopia committed on November 3, 2020 by all parties to the conflict in the Tigray region.
Access Meeting Initially created by the Human Rights Council on December 17, 2021, the three-member Commission, composed of Kaari Betty Murungi (chair), Steven Ratner and Radhika Coomaraswamy, concluded a five-day visit to the country where met with the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Justice and other senior government officials.
Members hoped that their meetings with officials would result in “immediate and full access to visiting sites” as well as their ability to collect testimonies.
The Commission is also tasked with providing guidance and recommendations on technical assistance to the Ethiopian government on transitional justice issues, including accountability, reconciliation and healing.
In addition, members met with members of the National Dialogue Commission and Interministerial Working Group, the Ethiopian National Human Rights Commission, civil society, diplomats, and UN agencies and staff in Ethiopia to discuss the current situation of human rights in the country.
The investigation continues The Commission presented its first update to the Council on 30 June 2022 after UN-appointed investigators announced that they had launched an investigation into an alleged massacre of at least 200 people in the Oromia region of Ethiopia.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Human Rights Council in Geneva at the time, Ms. Murungi said that while she continued her work investigating rights abuses related to the conflict in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region that erupted in November 2020, the Commission had received reports of killings in western Oromia.
Despite many other conflicts around the world, Ms. Murungi had emphasized that the world must not ignore what is happening in Ethiopia.
"The continued spread of violence, fueled by hate speech and incitement to ethnic and gender-based violence, are early warning indicators of new heinous crimes against innocent civilians, especially women and children, who are most vulnerable."
The Commission is scheduled to present a written report to the human rights body on this trip during its next session in September 2022.
The Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council appoints special rapporteurs and independent experts to examine and report on about a specific human problem.
issue of rights or the situation of a country.
The charges are fees and the experts are not paid for their work.
The Director-General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig.-Gen. Muhammad Fadah, has warned that embarking on unauthorised journeys by youth corps members may attract sanction.
Information about the D-G’s warning is in a statement issued by the NYSC Director, Press and Public Relations, Mr Eddy Megwa in Abuja.
Megwa stated that the D-G gave the warning while addressing youth corps members at the NYSC orientation camp in Zamfara, in Kebbi and in Sokoto State.
He quoted Fadah as saying “we love you and we want you to stay safe.
Don’t travel without permission and if it is compulsory that you travel, try and get permission from NYSC because if you travel without permission, NYSC will penalise you.
“You have to be security conscious and beware of the people you associate with.
” Fadah said that if they were travelling a long distance, they should break the journey once it is 6 p.
m. “and pass the night in safe places like military barracks, NYSC secretariats and youth corps lodges, among others.
” The director-general also warned the youth corps members to avoid cultism, drug peddling, drug abuse and other vices that could lead to lifelong regrets.
He advised them to abide by the rules and regulations in camp, adding that erring NYSC members would be sanctioned as stipulated in the NYSC by-laws.
He encouraged them to serve as electoral officers in their respective states, whenever they were called upon to do so and abide by the electoral laws.
The NYSC Coordinator in Zamfara, Namalam Taura, said the camp was going on smoothly with a total of 183 female and 144 male youth corps members registered as at the time of Fadah’s visit.
Also, the NYSC Coordinator in Kebbi, Mr Mustapha Muhammed, said all the 722 members comprising 552 males and 190 females had been in high spirits since camp commenced.
Similarly, the NYSC Coordinator in Sokoto State, Mohammed Nakamba, said a total of 419 youth corps members comprising 287 males and 132 females registered in camp and had been participating in camp assignments.
Despite a challenging economic environment, South Sudan has implemented many of the 2019 Article IV recommendations; The authorities have taken encouraging steps to improve macroeconomic governance and liberalize the foreign exchange market.
Public financial management reforms have been initiated and continue to advance.
Subject to continued implementation of the R-ACRSS and prudent fiscal and monetary policies, the medium-term outlook is for economic recovery and contained inflation; However, in the short term, the impact of the historic floods will continue to weigh on economic activity, while inflation is likely to rise due to the global commodity price crisis.
On July 29, 2022, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article IV consultation  with the Republic of South Sudan.
On July 18, 2022, IMF management also approved the completion of the second review, as well as an extension of the South Sudan Staff Supervised Program.
 (SMP) which was approved on March 17, 2021.
Under the Revitalized Agreement on Conflict Resolution in South Sudan (R-ARCSS), the peace process to end South Sudan's civil war has achieved some notable milestones since 2018.
However, progress has been slower than anticipated, and the global pandemic and devastating floods have further impeded recovery from the sharp contraction of the economy during the civil war years.
South Sudan remains heavily dependent on oil, which accounts for nearly all exports and 90 percent of government revenue.
This leaves the country exceptionally exposed to fluctuations in the price of oil.
In addition, the population is critically dependent on international humanitarian aid.
Extra-budgetary support from international donors provides the bulk of South Sudan's social spending, but this is projected to decline amid shrinking aid budgets and rising costs of providing aid.
The authorities have taken encouraging steps to reform macroeconomic governance, liberalize the foreign exchange (FX) market, and restore price stability.
The removal of most foreign exchange restrictions and the strict control of the money supply by the authorities have made it possible for individuals and companies to buy and sell currencies at predictable and competitive rates since the start of the SMP in March 2021.
This led to a dramatic reduction in inflation, at a time when inflation was rising in many other countries.
Public finance management and governance reforms have also made progress, albeit slowly.
As a result, many of the recommendations of the 2019 Article IV consultation have been implemented, demonstrating traction with respect to IMF advice, despite the challenging economic environment.
In the short term, the continued consequences of the floods on oil production will cause a further contraction in output, while inflation is likely to rise temporarily due to the commodity shock from the war in Ukraine and the recent depreciation of the South Sudanese pound.
However, the medium-term outlook is for economic recovery and contained inflation.
This perspective is based on the continued implementation of the R-ARCSS, which should deliver peace dividends for the non-oil sector, and prudent fiscal and monetary policies that keep money and price growth in check.
The authorities will also need to find ways to close the sizable medium-term fiscal and balance-of-payments gaps that arise from the need to expand development and social spending, service a large volume of highly non-concessional debt, and address a legacy of arrears in debt.
Executive Board Evaluation “Executive directors agreed with the central idea of the personnel evaluation.
While welcoming the projected medium-term economic recovery, they noted the negative near-term outlook and large downside risks due to external shocks and Russia's invasion of Ukraine, political uncertainty and extreme flooding that are exacerbating an already high level of food insecurity.
In this context, they underlined the importance of advancing in the implementation of the 2018 peace agreement, as well as continuing with prudent macroeconomic policies to maintain economic stability and debt sustainability, while improving social spending, governance and transparency reforms are implemented and resilience is built.
“Directors welcomed the reforms implemented under the Staff Monitored Program (SMP), including improvements in macroeconomic management and foreign exchange liberalization reforms, which have led to the unification of exchange rates and the restoration of price stability.
To underpin these reforms, they encouraged the authorities to put in place the necessary safeguards, including replenishing international reserves, maintaining steady growth in monetary reserves, and gradually expanding the central bank's toolkit and capacity.
In addition, the directors encouraged the authorities to go ahead with their plan to address the problem of undercapitalized and non-systemic banks.
AML/CFT reforms in coordination with the Financial Action Task Force are also important.
“The directors encouraged the authorities to consolidate gains under the SMP by keeping money growth stable and managing public finances prudently.
They noted delays in the implementation of public finance management reforms and encouraged the authorities to redouble efforts to safeguard the integrity of the budget process and debt management, including avoiding the recurring accumulation of salary arrears.
To that end, Directors urged the authorities to improve transparency and accountability in public financial management, especially in relation to the use of oil revenues.
These include the regular publication of budget execution reports, the establishment of mechanisms to ensure that spending is consistent with the approved budget, and the protection of budgeted expenditures, particularly public sector salaries.
Directors also urged the authorities to complete the audit of all outstanding external loan agreements and guarantees and to publish the audit results as required by the SMP.
Directors noted that the authorities have indicated their intention to request an ECF along with the final review of the SMP.
While some Directors welcomed such a request, most Directors agreed that discussions of such a program would require successful completion of the SMP and demonstrated ability to implement a quality UCT program, with some Directors emphasizing the need.
further progress on governance safeguards to monitor the use of funds.
“Directors agreed on the importance of financial and capacity-building support from the international community and development partners in light of the very difficult humanitarian situation, the significant fiscal gaps to address the country's development needs, and the limited implementation capacity.
They welcomed the closer involvement of the IMF, particularly through the IMF's support for capacity development.
Directors were also encouraged by the authorities' commitment to economic reforms with a view to gaining more support from donors and the international community.”
A total of 566 participants from 48 countries around the world participated in a virtual exchange in which recommendations were made to achieve clean cities and move towards a circular economy on the African continent.
The meeting under the auspices of the African Clean Cities Program (ACCP) was held to exchange knowledge and experiences and create partnerships with people who share the same challenges in solid waste management in Africa.
ACCP Assemblies are organized to share knowledge and experiences every three years in conjunction with TICAD (Tokyo International Conference on African Development).
After the first two meetings held in Rabat, Morocco 2018, and Yokohama, Japan, in 2019, the third Assembly organized by Tunisia took place from July 25 to 29, 2022, one month before TICAD 8, as part of the process of preparation.
CFCA members captured the results of activities set out in the Yokohama Action Guide adopted at the Second Assembly in 2019 and agreed on CFCA activities in the next three years.
With the support of digital technologies and the new online format, the participants actively discussed the challenges and exchanged knowledge and experiences to improve solid waste management.
A business matching platform was also created to showcase innovative circular economy solutions provided by private companies in Africa.
"Our meeting reflects the importance of shared responsibility in the effort to fight against environmental degradation," said Najla Bouden, Prime Minister of Tunisia, who opened the Assembly and called for more cities from Tunisia and Africa to join the platform.
Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi, Japan's Environment Minister, spoke about the nexus between waste and climate and the vital role that improved solid waste management plays in tackling plastic pollution, assuring Japan's commitment to continued support for ACCP.
Many best practices of waste data monitoring and action planning using the Waste Wise Cities Tool, controlled landfill management using the Fukuoka Method, and awareness raising activities were shared.
Presenters presented new opportunities for solid waste management training programs on the second and third days of the meeting.
“The SDG indicator 11.6.1 baseline survey and action planning supported by UN-Habitat informed governments and other stakeholders.
This led to the mobilization of new funding for several projects to tackle plastic pollution,” said Godfrey Nato, a member of the Mombasa County Executive Committee.
Kenya, whose presentation provoked many questions from the other African participants.
Heidi Solba, founder of 'Let's Do It World' from Estonia, introduced and called to action to join World Cleanup Day on September 17, 2022.
"Even without a budget, you can create a partnership with the industry private or different embassies, making the event to work with the community and the people to clean up your city, with joy," he added.
Innovations and solutions on the ground were also shared by the active participation of private sectors on the fourth day.
"In the West, financing is done through the government through tenders.
In Africa, this model does not work.
For various reasons, African governments lack the financial capacity to adopt the Western model.
Most of the waste collected they are done by the private sector in Africa.
The average gate fee to dump 1 ton of waste in the US is $50, while the average gate fee for the same amount of waste in Africa is $1" , Daniel Paffenholz, CEO of Kenya's Taka Taka Solutions, testified as he shared the reality of solid waste financing in Africa.
"Newly available data on SWM in supply chain management can open up new financing, such as carbon finance and the plastic fund.
We cannot underestimate the power of data," said Victor Boyle-Komolafe, founder of GIVO.
, from Nigeria.
Donor communities also joined the Assembly, expressing their interest in deepening the partnership with the CFCA.
"We are interested in developing meaningful projects in Africa, benefiting from UN tools and knowledge, such as the Waste Wise Cities tool and SDG data," said Jonas Byström, waste management and circular economy expert at European Investment Bank. The Assembly closed with the adoption of the Tunis Action Guide, which dictates the activities of the CFCA for the coming years until 2025, the year of TICAD 9.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the Federal Government is proud of the achievements recorded so far by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and other Related Matters (NAPTIP).
Osinbajo said this in Abuja at the closing of NAPTIP’s one-week celebration of the 2022 World Day against Human Trafficking organised by the agency in collaboration with the International Centre for Migration Policy Development.
Represented by Adeola Ipaye, Deputy Chief of Staff to the President in the Office of the Vice President, Osinbajo called on the youths to make the change even where they had hitherto fallen short.
Osinbajo also said it was on record that the Federal Government had continued to deploy the necessary political will in the fight against human trafficking by providing direction and support to NAPTIP.
“As a government, we are proud of the achievements already recorded by NAPTIP, her partners and other stakeholders but I am here to urge that we all must do more.
” I am persuaded that with more support from everyone including the private sector as already evident in this year’s collaboration, more will be achieved and Nigeria and the world will be better for it.
“It is on record that this administration has continued to deploy the necessary political will in the fight against human trafficking by providing the direction and support to NAPTIP and other critical stakeholders to make Nigeria a human trafficking-free nation,” he said.
Earlier in her address of welcome, the Director General of NAPTIP, Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi, said the agency, since its inception, had secured 530 convictions, with 36 in 2022. Waziri-Azi said the theme, “Use and Abuse of Technology,’’ was apt, adding that it underscored the dynamism of the crime of human trafficking and the growing use of online interactions as an efficient enabler.
The NAPTIP boss said that while technology was frequently misused to facilitate trafficking in persons, its positive use helped in combating trafficking and supporting anti-trafficking work.
The Network Against Child Trafficking, Abuse and Labour also commended NAPTIP and other partners for the elevation of Nigeria to Tier 2 in the 2021 Trafficking in Persons report.
Iranian lawmakers voted Wednesday to ratify a prisoner exchange treaty with Belgium, where the deal has been criticised for potentially enabling an Iranian diplomat jailed on terrorism charges to return home.
Iran’s parliament approved the treaty by 195 votes to two, its Icana news agency reported.
Two weeks ago, the Belgian parliament passed it by the much narrower margin of 79 votes to 41.
The Belgian opposition alleged the treaty was “tailor made” to permit the release of Assadollah Assadi, the diplomat sentenced last year to 20 years in prison for orchestrating a foiled 2018 bomb plot targeting a meeting outside Paris of Iran’s exiled opposition.
The Belgian government said the deal was the only way to free aid worker Olivier Vandecasteele who was detained in Iran in February.
But critics of the treaty, who also include Iran’s vocal exiled opposition, argue that Belgium is backing down in the face of what is in effect hostage-taking by Tehran.
The Assadi case sparked a furious reaction in Iran. The Antwerp court ruled that he had masterminded the bomb plot, under diplomatic cover as an envoy to Austria — and thus had no immunity in Belgium.
Tehran has demanded that Belgium recognise Assadi’s diplomatic status and release him.
Belgian judges last month granted a request from opponents of the prisoner swap treaty to block any attempt to send Asadi home, until the decision can be challenged in court.
The OPEC+ group of major oil exporters meets Wednesday to discuss its output strategy after US President Joe Biden lobbied Saudi Arabia to boost production to tame soaring prices.
The cartel led by Saudi Arabia and Russia has resisted US pressure to ramp up production significantly so far after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine sent oil prices soaring.
After cutting production in 2020 in response to falling prices during the Covid pandemic, OPEC+ began to modestly raise it last year and has renewed the policy every month.
Its output is supposed to have returned to pre-Covid levels — but only on paper as some members of the 23-nation group have struggled to meet their quotas.
Craig Erlam, analyst at OANDA trading platform, said the OPEC+ meeting will show whether “President Biden has any influence in the cartel at all”.
Biden made a controversial trip to Saudi Arabia in July in part to convince the kingdom to loosen the production taps to stabilise the market and curb rampant inflation.
The US president met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman despite his promise to make the kingdom a “pariah” in the wake of the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Biden said after his meetings with Saudi officials that he was “doing all I can” to increase the oil supply.
“Saudi Arabia and its allies will have to decide whether to heed Joe Biden’s request and raise production or show solidarity towards Russia by staying put,” said Tamas Varga, analyst at oil broker PVM.
French President Emmanuel Macron also reached out to bin Salman, hosting him last week in Paris, with Macron’s office saying the two leaders agreed to work “to ease the effects” of the Ukraine war.
Before resigning as British prime minister, Boris Johnson had also visited bin Salman in Riyadh in March to lobby for higher oil production.
But Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management, said OPEC+ is “unlikely to announce a significant production increase given growing recession fears” and a drop in oil prices since early June.– More cautious?
–After reaching close to $140 per barrel in early March, crude prices have slid further this week following weak economic data from China, the world’s biggest importer of oil.
The main contracts were slightly down on Wednesday ahead of the meeting, though Brent — the international benchmark — was back above $100.
This week’s price slide “could make OPEC+ more cautious”, Commerzbank said in a note.
The German bank said news that Libyan production has returned to normal levels for the first time in nearly four months could also serve as an argument against a bigger expansion in output.
OPEC+ began to add around 400,000 barrels per day to the market last year, renewing the policy every month until June, when it upped production by almost 650,000 bpd.
Analysts say the group has now reversed cuts totalling 9.
7 million bpd that had been agreed in 2020, though only in theory.
The Nigerian Navy, says it plans to recruit more Nigerians to boost its ongoing internal security and maritime operations across the country.
Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, Director of Information, Nigeria Navy said this when he spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
He said the recruitment was part of plans by the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Awwal Gambo to provide the needed manpower for the naval operations.
“The Nigerian Navy has made recruitment and engagement of men and women a top priority to build up its human resources on annual basis.
“Just last Saturday, 1,008 ordinary sailors graduated from the Nigerian Navy Basic Training School (NNBTS) in Onne, Rivers after six months of rigorous military training,” he said.
Ayo-Vaughan said that recruitments of personnel into the service were being carried out based on available resources and infrastructure.
“As they graduated, that same day, the result for Batch 33 candidates who will undergo training at NNBTS was announced.
“So, in summary, Batch 32 graduated on Saturday; Batch 33 will be reporting for training from Aug. 6 while Batch 34 will have recruitment advertised from Aug. 7. “Aside this, we also commission officers for Direct Short Service Commission and regularly do the Special Duty Commission for rank and file found worthy in character and learning,” he said.
The navy spokesperson said that the navy also received new intakes from the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA), which usually train young Nigerians to serve as officers in the army, navy and air force.
He said that the recruitment was being handled expertly to ensure that people who served jail terms and those with questionable character were not recruited into the navy.
According to him, physical, medical, academic and mental checks among other tests are also carried out to ensure only the best are recruited.
“Consequently, the Batch 34 recruitment will commence on Aug. 7 with an online registration on www.
The recruitment will close on Sept. 7. “Application is free of charge while applicants who submit multiple entries will be disqualified.
“Applicants must have a minimum of five credits at not more than two sittings in with English and Mathematics as compulsory courses “School Certificate qualification must not be older than six years from date of application,” he added.
Ayo-Vaughan said applicants with school certificate must be between the age of 18 and 22 by January 2023, while those with higher qualifications must be between the age of 18 and 26. He listed the higher qualifications to include NCE, OND, Diploma; registered midwife, and .
The navy officer urged interested applicants to check the navy recruitment portal: www.
com for more information on the enrolment exercise.
Alhaji Sani Umar-Jabbi, the District Head of Gagi in Sokoto South Local Government Area of Sokoto State, has lauded UN Population Fund (UNFPA) interventions on maternal health in the area.
Umar-Jabbi said the maternal health and other supports had enhanced citizens’ lives in the state.
He made the remark when the UNFPA Programme Coordinator, Lead Officer, Kaduna Decentralised Office in Kaduna, Dr Polycarpe Takou, visited him in his palace.
He said the interventions had broaden public accessibility to healthcare services, especially on maternal health where associated deaths had drastically reduced.
He explained that the UNFPA built a labour waiting room for pregnant women at Gagi Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC), describing the initiative as “distinct.
” He said that the waiting room had reduced the sufferings of pregnant women during labour, as most of them travelled long distances to the PHC.
He noted that the Gagi PHC is being patronised by about 60 communities in three neighbouring local government areas but due to banditry activities, most communities have relocated to the area which contributed to the upsurge of patients.
He added that “many pregnant women seek accommodation in houses near the Gagi PHC to wait for delivery, as they find it difficult to go back to their homes in distant communities and start going to the centre again.
“The women prefer to stay around the PHC when due for delivery to avoid complications.
“The well furnished labour waiting room had help pregnant women from distant places to stay near the PHC until delivery.
“The labour waiting room has touched the lives of many women, while the PHC’s labour room has been upgraded, furnished and equipped for the women’s comfort.
“Before the UNFPA intervention in Gagi PHC, we used to record between six to 12 child deliveries in a month, however, with the improved services supported by UNFPA, the figure has increased to above 90 child deliveries per month.
“The intervention has increased access to overall family health, as community members are educated on importance of healthcare services through UNFPA support,” Umar-Jabbi said.
He explained that measures to maintain the facilities were put in place by PHC management and community groups because community ownership of projects was incorporated in all the programmes.
“This would also strengthen complete healthcare system and reduce maternal and infant mortality,” he said.
The district head also said that pregnant women attending antenatal care at different places came to Gagi PHC for delivery, while pregnant women in labour with suspected complications and those from poor family background and distant places are being prioritised at the established waiting room.
At the Maryam Abacha Women and Children Hospital which has a Vesicovaginal Fistula (VVF) Treatment Centre, the Chief Medical Director, Dr Bello Lawal, said UNFPA impacted positively on the lives of VVF patients because they receive free treatment, care and empowerment support there.
Lawal said the support led to upgrade of structures and equipment which enhanced fistula services and canvassed for further possible collaborations to enhance the wellbeing of citizens.
The team also inspected the Nana Khadija referal centre where Gender-Based Violance (GBV) survivors are being treated and supported in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Takou also inspected facilitaties, equipment, records and interacted with workers during the visit, which was part of his four-day maiden state working tour in Sokoto State.
Finland’s customs service said Wednesday it had caught several travellers carrying drones and other sanctioned goods across the border with Russia that could boost Moscow’s “industrial and military capabilities”.
The seizures came as Finland debates restrictions on Russian visas following Moscow’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine that led to swingeing Western sanctions.
More than 2,500 checks were carried out between July 22 and 27 and around 100 such cases emerged, the customs service said.
“Currently, approximately 20 cases related to passenger traffic are under preliminary examination,” a statement said, adding that searches revealed various EU-sanctioned luxury products as well as goods that could have military applications, “such as tools used in maritime traffic.
” “There have also been drones as well as such items that we cannot comment on at this moment,” Enforcement Director Mikko Gronberg told AFP.
The increasing number of Russian tourists in Finland has spurred discontent as many think tourism should be restricted due to the war in Ukraine.
Finland’s conservative opposition party last week proposed a halt to new tourist visas for Russians.
President Sauli Niinisto is due to discuss the issue with the government on Thursday and the proposal appears to have wide backing in parliament.
“Personally, I think restrictions should be increased,” Aki Linden from the ruling Social Democrats, who is acting prime minister while Sanna Marin is on holiday, told AFP.
Last week, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia “would react very negatively” if there was a curb on Russian visas.
After Russia lifted Covid travel restrictions on July 15, the number of Russian tourists heading to Finland has steadily increased.
Although the numbers are still below pre-Covid levels, there have been more than 185,000 border crossings in July — up from the 125,000 in June.