The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Saturday denounced an attack that killed 16 people, including five girls under the age of 15, in the northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this attack on innocent children,” said the UNICEF representative in the DRC, Edouard Beigbeder.
The victims were all formerly displaced persons who had returned to the village. After the gunfire and knife attack, dozens have fled to seek shelter in neighboring villages, UNICEF said.
Since the beginning of the year, ongoing violence in Ituri province has taken the lives of more than 300 people.
More than 200,000 individuals, mostly children, have fled intensifying violence in Djugu, Mahagi and Irumu areas in Ituri province, seeking shelter in host communities and extremely overcrowded displacement sites in and around Bunia.
Moreover, UNICEF received some 100 allegations of serious child rights violations, such as rape, killing and maiming, in addition to attacks on schools and health centers, during April and May alone.
Last month, the UN specialized agency warned of the quickly deteriorating security situation there and urged the DRC government and international community to act urgently to avert a crisis that would forcibly uproot and endanger even more children.
“We call on all parties to respect the rights of women and children,” said the UNICEF representative.
Edo poll: INEC declares additional results from 3 LGs
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday declared additional results of the Edo governorship election from three local government areas of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that collation officers from 13 Local Government Areas (LGAs) had earlier submitted their results to the Resident Electoral Commissioner(REC) for Edo, Mr Johnson Alalibo.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner had announced Prof. Akpofure Rem-Rukeh, Vice-Chancellor, University of Petroleum Resources, Effuru, Delta, as the Returning Officer to announce the final collated results.
The released LGAs results included:
Accredited voters- 28404
Total valid votes-27824
Rejected votes 335
Total votes cast 28159.
Registered voters -121027
Accredited voters -46967
Total valid votes- 43377
Rejected votes -617
Total votes cast -43994.
Registered voters- 50004
Accredited voters -16092
Total valid votes- 15885
Rejected votes- 157
Total vote cast -16042
Meanwhile, collation officers for Ovia South West and Orhionmwon LGAs were being awaited to make their presentations before final collation and declaration of result.
Edited By: Mufutau Ojo)
Edo Polls: Foundation commends security personnel
Cleen Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has commended the conduct of the security personnel deployed for the Edo State Governorship election on Sept. 19.
Mr Benson Olugbuo, the Executive Director of the foundation, gave the commendation in a preliminary statement on the conduct of the election.
Olugbuo said that the conduct of the security agents made the electorate feel safe and confident while carrying out their civic duty.
“We observed the feeling of safety at the polling units. Our reports showed that 78 per cent of the polling units were safe and secure while 22 per cent were observed to be somewhat safe and secure.
“Report from our observers also showed that 94 per cent of the security personnel at the polling units were approachable and 83 per cent of the security personnel were impartial.
“However, we observed that at Uwa Primary School, Ward 10, Pollin Unit 21, Oredo Local Government Area, party and security agents were observed monitoring electorate’s votes in the cubicle disregarding the secrecy of the balloting system,” he said.
He lauded the security for early arrivals at 86 per cent of the polling units and for not scaring or threatening the safety of the electorate with the possession of firearms.
Olugbuo said its foundations observers also reported that on the aggregate, 83 per cent of the polling units had three or more security personnel which boosted voters’ safety and confidence.
He said that 96 per cent of security personnel were observed to be wearing easily identifiable name tags, which also encouraged voters to feel safe.
He said that apart from wearing of facemasks, there was no physical distancing and there was absence of sanitisers.
He said that other observations were vote trading across the state, malfunctioning of some smart card readers and late commencement of voting in few places.
Olugbuo said that the organisation would continue to observe the elections and issue its post-election statement to detail more on the overall conduct of the security personnel.
He said that the observation was done by its trained observers under the platform of the Election Security Support Centre (ESSC), of the foundation, in collaboration with the Police Service Commission (PSC).
Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Donald Ugwu
Edo election: INEC begins release of results
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday began the collation of results from 18 local government areas of Edo .
The Resident Electoral Commissioner for INEC in Edo, Mr Johnson Alalibo, gave the name of the Returning Officer for Edo governorship election, to include Prof. Akpofure Rem-Rukeh, the Vice-Chancellor of University of Petroleum Resources, Effuru.
Alalibi declared that the results from 13 local government were ready for collation
“This is final stage of the election and I urge urged you to be calm, if you have any protest we will recognise you to speak,” he said.
register voters 84241, accredited 20825, total valid 20369,rejected 361
Total vote cast 20730
Esan Central APC 6719, PDP10,694.
Register voters 55569, accredited 17931, total valid votes 17672, rejected 242, total vote cast 17914
Egor APC 10202, PDP27621. Register voters 219841, accredited 39709, total valid votes 38396, rejected 955, total votes cast 39351
Edited By: Kevin Okunzuwa/Kayode Olaitan
United States initiates ‘snapback’ process to reimpose sanctions on Iran – Pompeo
The United States has initiated the so-called snapback process to restore almost all previously lifted UN sanctions against Iran, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Saturday.
“Today, the United States welcomes the return of virtually all previously terminated UN sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror and anti-Semitism,” Pompeo said.
He said the snapback of previously terminated UN sanctions became effective at 8 pm Washington time (0000 GMT).
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif rejected the United States move, saying that the snapback mechanism and reimposed sanctions were invalid.
“This step is not supported by the UN Security Council because the United States is no longer in the nuclear agreement and accordingly no longer plays a role in UN resolution 2231,” Zarif said referring to the resolution in which the UNSC backed the Iran nuclear deal signed in Vienna in 2015.
The move by Washington was merely a “propaganda trick” ahead of the United States election, Zarif said on Iranian state television.
Washington’s plans to reimpose international sanctions on Iran have been met with overwhelming opposition from other countries.
Other members of the UN Security Council (UNSC), including key United States allies who are part of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, have rejected Washington’s move and have vowed to ignore it.
Under the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Tehran limited its nuclear activities in return for sanctions relief.
“Sanctions are being re-imposed on Iran pursuant to the snapback process under UN Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 2231. On August 20, the United States notified the President of the Security Council of Iran’s significant non-performance of its JCPOA commitments,” Pompeo said in the Saturday statement.
“Virtually all @UN sanctions have returned on Iran, the leading state sponsor of terrorism and anti-Semitism.
“This includes a permanent extension of the arms embargo. This is great news for peace in the region!” Pompeo added on Twitter.
He later added that Washington would soon “announce a range of additional measures to strengthen enforcement of @UN sanctions on Iran.”
“Our maximum pressure campaign on the Iranian regime will continue until it stops spreading chaos, violence, and bloodshed,” he said.
United States special representative for Iran and Venezuela Elliott Abrams had already signalled Washington’s determination to reimpose sanctions on Tehran earlier this week.
The United States launched a formal bid in August to revive the UN sanctions under the “snapback” mechanism included in the Iran deal.
Those sanctions include the indefinite extension of an arms embargo that would otherwise expire in October.
But few countries believe Washington’s move is legal, as United States President Donald Trump unilaterally exited the JCPOA in 2018.
Washington said it would provide more information this weekend and next week on how the United States intended to enforce the global sanctions.
“In the coming days, the United States will announce a range of additional measures to strengthen implementation of UN sanctions and hold violators accountable,” Pompeo said in Saturday’s statement.
“Our maximum pressure campaign on the Iranian regime will continue until Iran reaches a comprehensive agreement with us to rein in its proliferation threats and stops spreading chaos, violence, and bloodshed,” Pompeo asserted.
Trump is likely to address Iran in his speech next week to the UN General Assembly’s largely online meeting of world leaders.
The stand-off between the United States and other member states over the issue threatens a diplomatic crisis at the world body.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim