President Muhammadu Buhari has departed Abuja for Aswan, Egypt to attend the Aswan Forum designed to set “An Agenda for Sustainable Peace and Development in Africa.”
Nigeria News Agency reports that the president accompanied by Governors Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa, Godwin Obaseki of Edo and Mai Mala Buni of Yobe departed the Presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, for Egypt at about 2.00p.m.
The Forum which holds between Dec. 11 and Dec. 12, is an initiative to address the interconnections between peace and development in Africa while promoting Africa-led solutions through strengthening policies and practices.
The initiative is being launched by the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in his capacity as the Chairman of the African Union (AU) and as an advocate of Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development in Africa – a recurring theme of his tenure as the AU Chairman.
It is also grounded in the AU’s Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want, and the search for African solutions to African problems.
The gathering is expected to bring together heads of state and government, leaders from regional and international organisations, financial institutions, private sector and civil societies.
”(Others are) scholars, visionaries and prominent experts for action-oriented discussions on the threats, challenges and opportunities.
It is also expected to end with a Declaration on the theme of the Forum and become an annual event,’’ an earlier statement on Monday by the president’s spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina disclosed.
Others members of the president’s entourage included the Minister of Defence, Gen. Bashir Magashi (Rtd); Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, Amb. Zubairu Dada; National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (Rtd); and the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ahmed Abubakar.
Buhari is expected back in Abuja on Friday.
Edited by: Sadiya Hamza
12 dead in clashes between troops, al-Shabaab in Somalia
At least 12 people have been killed in a series of clashes and attacks in south and central Somalia, sources said on Monday.
Eight militants and two Somali soldiers were killed in clashes in the central Galgaduud region, said military official Masuud Warsame.
“We received information that armed militants from al-Shabaab group entered the village of Miirdugulle and we sent many soldiers to flush them out,” Warsame said.
In the capital Mogadishu, two soldiers were killed after their military vehicle hit a powerful roadside bomb on Monday morning, police officer Ali Hassan said.
In yet another incident, Somali government spokesman Ismael Omar said they were still assessing the casualties after heavily armed militants engaged in fierce fighting with AU and Somali troops in the village of Qooqani in the Lower Jubba province.
Al-Shabaab claimed the attack on their Radio Andalus, claiming they killed scores of AU troops from Kenya and Somali soldiers, but no independent sources could verify the group’s claims.
Al-Shabaab, which has ties to al-Qaeda, regularly launches attacks on government officials, journalists, prominent businessmen and civilians in the volatile nation in the Horn of Africa.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Felix Ajide
EU Diplomats to discuss ways to support Libyan ceasefire on Monday – Borrell
The EU’s foreign ministers will discuss efforts to shore up Libyan ceasefire later on Monday, the bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said, cautiously expressing optimism over the developments in the conflict-hit country.
In August, the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) declared an immediate ceasefire in a move that was backed by the rival eastern-based parliament.
Last week, GNA Head Fayez Sarraj announced his intention to resign and transfer powers to a new executive authority by the end of October.
“After many months I see a reason for cautious optimism. There is a positive momentum, there is a ceasefire and we need to use it,” Borrell said upon the arrival at the Foreign Affairs Council.
The top diplomat would also brief the council on his visits to Libya and Egypt.
According to Borrell, the bloc has “concrete decisions” on a Libyan sanctions list, which will be announced at a press conference later in the day.
Along with Libya, the council will focus on Belarus and relations with Africa.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Ali Baba-Inuwa
Erdogan says saddened by Sarraj’s decision to step down
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that it was sad to hear about the resignation of Fayez Sarraj, the head of Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA).
On Wednesday evening, Sarraj announced his intention to step down and transfer his powers to a new executive authority by the end of October.
He has led the GNA since March 31, 2016.
“Sarraj’s resignation announcement saddened us.
“This week our delegation may hold talks with the Libyan side.
“(Head of Libyan National Army Khalifa) Haftar is losing, and we are looking forward to a positive development of events,” Erdogan told reporters.
The LNA is under the command of Marshal Khalifa Haftar, which cooperates with the parliament sitting in the east — in Tobruk.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
Kano Govt offers scholarship to students with special needs
Kano State Government, says it has provided free scratch cards to enable eligible students with special needs to enroll in its online scholarship registration.
Alhaji Abubakar Zakari, the Executive Secretary, Kano State Scholarship Board, disclosed this in a statement issued on Tuesday in Kano.
Zakari stated this when indigent students with special needs paid him a courtesy visit on Monday.
He said the gesture was designed to enable the students with special needs studying in various tertiary institutions in the country to benefit from the scholarship scheme.
The secretary noted that Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje had approved the distribution of free scratch cards to students with special needs, to encourage them towards achieving adecamic excellence.
He said the board had issued about 40, 000 scratch cards to promote participation in the exercise, adding that over 20, 000 students had so far applied for the scholarship.
Zakari revealed further that the state government also approved upward review of bursary allowances for students of the state studying in various institutions of higher learning in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the state government has earmarked over N250 million to settle outstanding tuition fees and other clearance fees for its graduating students of Al Mansoura University, Egypt.
Edited By: Modupe Adeloye