Assistance

Cuba blames unrest on U.S. interference as Joe Biden backs protests

Cuba blamed historic protests that took place over the weekend on U.S. “economic asphyxiation” and social media campaigns by a minority of U.S.-financed counter-revolutionaries, while U.S. President Joe Biden said he stood with the Cuban people. The streets of Havana were quiet on Monday, although there was a heavy police presence. Outages in mobile internet – the only way many Cubans have of accessing the web – were frequent. Chanting “freedom” and calling for President Miguel Diaz-Canel to step down, thousands of Cubans joined street protests here from Havana to Santiago on Sunday in the biggest anti-government demonstrations on the Communist-run island in decades. At least 80 protesters, activists, and independent journalists had been detained nationwide since Sunday, according to exile...

Pentagon: US team going to Haiti to assess needs

A team of U.S. security and law enforcement experts is traveling to Haiti to determine what assistance Washington can provide following the assassination of the Haitian president last week, the Pentagon said on Sunday. “Today, an inter-agency team largely from the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI are heading down to Haiti right now to see what we can to do help in the investigative process,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told “Fox News Sunday.” “That’s really where our energies are best applied right now – in helping them get their arms around investigating this incident and figuring out who’s culpable … and how best to hold them accountable,” Kirby said in the interview. President Joe Biden will be briefed by the team when it returns and “then make decisions about the way forwa...

Haiti asks US, UN to send troops after president’s assassination

Haiti has asked Washington and the UN for troops to secure its ports, airport and other strategic sites after the assassination of President Jovenel Moise opened a power vacuum in the crisis-hit Caribbean nation, an official said Friday. The United States has already said it will send FBI and other agents to Port-au-Prince, two days after Moise was shot dead in his home. In the wake of the slaying “we thought that mercenaries could destroy some infrastructure to create chaos … During a conversation with the US secretary of state and the UN we made this request,” elections minister Mathias Pierre told AFP. The US State Department and Pentagon both confirmed receiving a request for “security and investigative assistance” and said officials remain in contact with Port-au-Prince, but did not s...

NEMA: Why we held simulated terror attack on Abuja stadium

The National Emergency Management Agency says the simulated terrorists attack on the Moshood Abiola National stadium, Abuja is to prepare relevant agencies for coordinated emergency response. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the exercise held on Wednesday. Mustapha Ahmed, the Director-General of NEMA said this in an interview with newsmen at the event organised by the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) with planning and assistance from the U.S. and UK. NAN reports that the exercise code named “Idahun Kankan’’ Yoruba words meaning (Quick Response) saw a simulated bomb attack and marauding gunfire in the stadium while a match was going on. The simulated attacks left many spectators feigned maimed, wounded and others scampering for safety and escape. Following notification, ...

Ethiopia urges Tigray rebels to join ceasefire, hostilities persist

Ethiopia’s government urged Tigrayan rebels to join a unilateral ceasefire in their conflict on Thursday as aid agencies struggled to reach hundreds of thousands of people facing famine. The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the former rulers of Ethiopia’s Tigray region, said on Monday it was back in control of the regional capital Mekelle after nearly eight months of fighting. The government declared a unilateral ceasefire but the TPLF dismissed it as a joke. Hostilities persisted on Thursday and pressure built internationally for all sides to pull back. “Operations are under way … and the number of prisoners of war is increasing by the minute,” TPLF spokesman Getachew Reda told Reuters by satellite phone, with light artillery fire crackling in the background. “We are closing in on...

Nasarawa governor frees 36 prison inmates, donates N250,000 transport fare

The Nasarawa State Government has released 36 inmates in the state’s correctional centre to reduce overcrowding. The inmates, who are prisoners mostly awaiting trials and convicts, were released by State Governor Abdullahi Sule who visited the correctional facility in Lafia on Wednesday. The Lafia Correctional Centre is one of the six prisons in the state, located along Doma Road, Lafia City and is known to be overstretched presently with mostly awaiting trials inmates. Speaking while presiding over the release of the prisoners, Governor Sule said the move was to mark the June 12 Democracy Day. ‘I am glad to be here. By law, it is the responsibility on the part of leaders to forgive when it is time to forgive because God forgives us. When I looked at the faces of these inmates, I discovere...

AfreximBank to support Ogun infrastructural development with $200 million

The African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) has disclosed its plans to support infrastructural development in Ogun State with an envelope of $200m. The fund, according to the bank, will be dedicated towards projects and other developmental initiatives embarked upon by the incumbent administration in the state. The President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Afrexim Bank, Benedict Oramah, who made this known when he led management of the bank on a courtesy visit to Governor Dapo Abiodun at his Oke-Mosan Office, Abeokuta, on Monday, equally said the bank would partner Ogun on ensuring that the 250-bed Specialist Hospital, Abeokuta, is completed and begin operations soon. Oramah, while noting that the bank has been investing heavily in the health sector in Africa to develop vaccines ...

Canada, Germany, EU, others funding farming in northeast Nigeria

The People and Government of Canada, the European Union Trust Fund for Africa, the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Kingdom of Norway and the Kingdom of Sweden are funding the 2021 rainy season farming in troubled North-east of Nigeria. The funding, which is implemented through the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), is providing farming inputs to 65,800 farmers in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States adversely affected by over a decade Boko Haram insurgency. A statement on Friday by FAO recognized that the rainy season farm cultivation is critical to food production in Nigeria, as it ensures food availability and income generation, especially for smallholder and low-income households. The statement read: “...

US prioritises students’ visas

US Embassy in South Africa The U.S. Mission Country Consular Coordinator, Susan Tuller, has said the Mission in Nigeria will continue to prioritise student visa appointments throughout the summer months. Tuller disclosed this during the celebration of the U.S. Consulate’s “Student Visa Day.” According to her, there are over 13,000 Nigerian students and soon a few more may join them in studying in the U.S. She added that the Mission has interviewed over 2,500 student applicants since this year. Tuller noted that student visa numbers have gone down worldwide due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. According to her, student numbers from Nigeria were up to 2.5 per cent for the 2019/2020 school year, adding that in the eighth year in a row, the percentage has increased. Tuller encouraged students ...

NAF chief: Armed forces committed to end insecurity

The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, yesterday declared that the Armed Forces remained committed to ending the crisis of insecurity ravaging the nation. He said the expected delivery of six A-29 Super Tucano fighter jets by the United States in July and two drones from China, would be a “game changer” in the war against insurgency. The position of the air force chief is coming on a day the Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, sought the assistance of the Chief of Army Staff, Maj. Gen. Farouk Yahaya, to provide security for train stations and railway construction sites across the country. Speaking at the graduation ceremony of 1,031 recruits of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Basic Military Training Course 41/2020, Amao affirmed that “the NAF in consonance w...

NCS: Nigerian government to inaugurates Funtua inland dry port November

The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, will in November inaugurate the ongoing Funtua Inland Dry Port project in Sokoto State. Also the French government has indicated its interest in collaborating with its Nigerian counterpart and therefore hinted that it will assist the government in form of financial assistance to the sector. The Executive Secretary/CEO Nigerian Shipper’s Council (NSC), Mr. Hassan Bello, made this known Thursday in Abuja during a meeting between the Council, Concessionaires for the Inland Dry Ports and the French Embassy. NSC ES, while highlighting the successes so far recorded by the Council stated that the federal government thought it necessary to bring shipping closer to the people by establishing ports in the hinterland. Hassan told the audien...

VP Osinbajo: Nigerian government democratising broadband connectivity

It’s the first in sub-Saharan Africa and one of the three such cutting-edge facilities on the continent, with top prime global certifications for smart card manufacturing and it is based in Lagos, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, relished yesterday afternoon while touring SecureID company’s premises, and affirmed Nigeria’s extremely bright economic future, which he said cannot be aborted despite current challenges. According to him, “the economic future of our nation is extremely bright. Yes, we have challenges today and they may look daunting. But let me assure you that these issues will be resolved. The march of this nation to its manifest destiny as Africa’s leading economic power will not be aborted. We are more than able to overcome.” An impressed Prof. Osinbajo said the Buhari Admi...

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