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China mourns death of former Indian FM Sushma Swaraj



China  mourns the passing of India’s former External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj and expresses sincere condolences to her family.

A foreign ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday.

“ Swaraj was a senior Indian politician during her tenure as external affairs minister, she visited China many times and made important contributions to the development of China India relations,’’ spokesperson Hua Chunying said.

Swaraj passed away in New Delhi on Tuesday night after suffering from a massive cardiac arrest, according to media reports.

She died at the age of 67. (Xinhua/NAN)



Nigeria Embassy seeks trial of Ekweremadu’s attackers



The Nigerian Embassy in Germany has called on German authorities to unmask the identity of and try the Aug. 17 attackers of Sen. Ike Eweremadu  in Nuremberg, Germany.

In a statement on Monday in Berlin, the embassy also demanded that the attackers be tried in accordance with German laws.

The embassy stated that investigations would help identify the attackers with a view to bringing them to justice.

The Nigerian embassy, which said that investigating the perpatrators would discourage any individual or group from  carrying out acts of violence against Nigerian government officials on German soil, cited the threat by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to carry out similar attacks on Nigerian dignitaries especially from the Eastern part of the country that would travel abroad.

“The Embassy of Nigeria in Berlin, Germany wishes to react to viral videos of a vicious physical attack on the immediate past Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate and serving Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Ike Ekweremadu, by some members of an illegal and terrorist entity named Indigenous Peoples of Biafra in Nuremberg on Aug. 17, 2019.

“The attack happened at an event organised by Nigerians in Germany under the auspices of a socio-cultural organisation known as Ndigbo Germany, a registered entity in the Federal Republic of Germany.

“Invitations were extended to Nigerian dignitaries, including the Distinguished Senator and Nigeria’s Ambassador to Germany, Yusuf Maitama Tuggar.

“The Nigerian ambassador also honoured the invitation, but arrived at the venue shortly after the incident.

“The organisers reportedly requested for police protection to ensure public order during the event, but were told that the threat level was minimal and did not require the stationing of any personnel at the venue before the incident.

“The embassy has requested a thorough investigation of this attack with a view to identifying the perpetrators and bringing them swiftly to justice in accordance with German laws,” the embassy stated.  


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FG, ECOWAS commission pledge to provide basic amenities in Northeast



The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, says the commission in collaboration with Nigerian Government will provide boreholes, rehabilitate damaged schools and health facilities in communities affected by insurgency in the Northeast.

The president, who was represented by Dr Siga Jagne, Commissioner, Social Affairs and Gender, ECOWAS, said this in Abuja on Monday at the symposium organised to commemorate the World Humanitarian Day.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the 2019 World Humanitarian Day has the theme: “Celebrating #Women Humanitarians”.

Brou said that the United Nations has rightly chosen the 2019 humanitarian day to honour women, who have acted as first responders to the darkest hour of crisis.

According to him, this year’s campaign on women humanitarians support the recognition that women deserves a part in strengthening of global humanitarian response as well as in protection efforts under the international law.

” This world humanitarian day continues to recognise the suffering of millions of civilians caught in conflict, particularly women and children.

“People in cities and towns struggle to find food, water and safe shelter while fighting drives millions from their homes; schools are destroyed and children are recruited and forced to fight.

” Women are abused and used as tools of war.

“As humanitarian workers deliver aid and medical workers help the wounded and sick, they are directly targeted, treated as threats and prevented from bringing relief and care to those in desperate need”.

He said that the commission would work with all partners to sensitise the public during peace and conflict times of the need not to see humanitarians, especially women humanitarians as targets.

He added that humanitarian workers must be respected and protected.

According to him, the need for humanitarian services is on the increase worldwide and the challenges of delivering them are also increasing in a world that is conflict saturated.

Brou stressed the need to create enabling environment for these important humanitarian professionals to carry out their tasks.

He reiterated the commission’s commitment to continue to work with Member States and partners to promote the protection of humanitarian workers through policy orientation and advocacy.

He disclosed that the commission has since 2013 been providing assistant to the affected population in the Northeast.

The Director General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr Mustapha Maihaja, said the day provides the opportunity to reflect on the risk associated with the provision of humanitarian services in the country.

Maihaj, who was represented by Mr Vicent Owan, Director, Disaster Risk Reduction, NEMA, said it was also designated to honour the heroism, who defy obvious dangers to offer hope and succor in dire situations.

He disclosed that the United Nations General Assembly in 2008 set aside 19th of August every year as the World Humanitarian Day.

He said this was to commemorate the 2003 terrorists attack in Bagdad, Iraq where 22 people lost their lives including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Special Representative of the Secretary General to Iraq, Mr. Sergio Vieira de Mello.

“Sadly, attacks on humanitarian workers have been on the increase.

“For instance, in 2015 four NEMA staff survived an attack on a camp of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Yola where they were providing humanitarian supports.

“But another staff, John Iliya was not so lucky as he was killed by Boko Haram insurgents on 8th August 2018 in the line of duty while providing supports in Borno State.

“In April 2019, four staff of the Agency on humanitarian service in community affected by flood in Rivers State were kidnapped and spent more than 7 days in captivity.

“Recently, the emergency rescue equipment of the agency in Central Business Area, Abuja, were razed down in another attack targeted at NEMA personnel and facilities”, he said.

Mrs Ngozi Azodoh, Director, Special Projects Dept. And National Coordinator, Health Sector Response Programme to Humanitarian Crisis in Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Health said every woman in conflict was a humanitarian worker.

She said that the ministry started its humanitarian response with the Northeast as a result of its urgency.

Azodoh said that the ministry has developed a health and children emergency response in the Northeast.

“In providing health services we are mindful of the critical components, which is gender base violence.

“Women are at risk when they are in humanitarian needs and also at risk when they are humanitarian health workers.

“Women are at risk mentally, they are at risk physically they are at risk sexual and they are at risk in any way you look at it.

“So we need to provide health support that is targeted for the female in humanitarian crisis and for the female health care workers in Humanitarian crisis,” she said

According to her, the ministry has presented to the world the names of the people who have died while working as humanitarians between 2013 to 2018.

“We have a pictorial of all the humanitarians, who have died in the course of the work. We do not want it to be just data, we want to let the world know that this people are human being and not just data”, she said.

Ms Lois Auta, Person Living with Disability and Founder of CEDAR SEED foundation, said that in Nigeria there are over 27million Persons Living With Disabilities (PLWD).

She said that the crisis in the country has continued to increase the numbers of PLWD daily, adding that PLWD suffer triple jeopardy in the face of conflict.

” We suffer, first as persons, secondly the discrimination from the society and lastly the barriers that is stopping us from exercising our rights,” she said.

Edited by Felix Ajide


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Syrian Kurds hand over 4 Islamic State children to Germany





This is the first time Germany has taken back Islamic State children. France and Norway have already taken some.

The children were handed over to employees of the German consulate in Iraq’s Erbil at the border with Syria, a spokeswoman for Germany’s Foreign Ministry said.

The four children are three orphans, two girls, a boy and a 6-month-old baby girl who is very sick.

Abdel Karim Umer, head of foreign relations in the Kurdish administration, said the baby has a tumour in her head and needs immediate treatment.

The Kurdish official said there were negotiations to take one more person but gave no further details.

The children were living in north-eastern Syria’s al-Hol camp, home to nearly 74,000 people.

According to dpa sources, the four children will fly from Erbil to Germany and be accompanied by their grandparents.

The mother of the 6-month-old continues to live in the refugee camp with her other children.

The matter of returning children of Islamic State fighters has long been controversial in Germany.

The government has in the past pointed to the lack of diplomatic representation in Syria as a reason not to get involved.

A Berlin court, in July disagreed, saying Germany’s Foreign Ministry must provide support for relatives of Islamic State fighters who are German citizens to be brought back.

The children were among Islamic State families who had surrendered to the U.S-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) during battles against the extremist group in eastern Syria.

According to the Rojava Information Centre, an estimated 117 children with German citizenship are in north-eastern Syria, as well as dozens of German women and 66 men, more than 40 of whom are accused of war crimes.

The German government has in the past estimated 68 women and more than 120 children in the region.

The head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdel-Rahman, said foreigners being held by the SDF included just 13 German men and 21 women, along with 48 children whose parents are German nationals.

In March, SDF announced the defeat of Islamic State and seized the militant group’s last stronghold in eastern Syria after months of fighting.

The fate of foreign Islamic State fighters and their families has become a pressing issue for the SDF.

The SDF have been calling on the United Nations to establish an international court to try foreign jihadists.

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U.S. provides $8bn humanitarian aids in 2018 — Pompeo



Edited by Emmanuel Yashim

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India vows to eradicate manual scavenging




Mumbai, Aug. 19, 2019 (Xinhua) The Indian government on Monday said it was committed to eradicating manual scavenging as it has laid increasing emphasis on mechanical cleaning and preventing human entry into sewer and septic tanks through use of modern technologies.

This is contained in a statement issued by its bureau after a national Workshop Cum Exhibition on Sustainable Sanitation organised by the Ministry for Housing and Urban Affairs.

According to Hardeep Puri, Minister of State for Housing & Urban Affairs, the ministry has consistently made efforts to devise efficient systems, processes and technologies for mechanical cleaning of sewer and septic tanks.

The national body of manual scavengers said at least one worker died while cleaning sewerage or septic tanks every five days, since the beginning of 2017, while another 1,850 people died in last decade while cleaning sewers.


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