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Defence/Security

“Operation Sharan Daji” rescues 80 abductees in Zamfara

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Rescue

By Abubakar Ahmed

Gusau, Feb. 16, 2019, (NNN) – The Air Component of Operation Sharan Daji has carried out several air strikes around Dumburum Forest rescuing 80 abductees, the Acting Force Information Officer, Maj. Clement Abiade has disclosed.

Abiade made this known in a press statement in Gusau on Saturday.

He said the abductees consisted of men, women and children from some communities in Zamfara.

He said the operation was carried out last week through a simultaneous action with land soldiers keeping vigil on all exits, which frustrated the bandits.

The spokesman also said six persons suspected to be bandits, cattle rustlers and kidnappers were arrested while several weapons, ammunition and rustled animals were also recovered during the operation.

He said those arrested would be handed over to the police for investigation and prosecution.

He, however, regretted that six of the soldiers on the operation lost their lives in gun battle with the bandits who ambushed them near Bini village of Maru Local Government Area.

He noted that the the operation would remain resolute on its mandate of tackling the menace of the bandits in Zamfara. (NNN)

ABA/JTJ


Edited by Julius Toba-Jegede

Metro

Lockdown: Market leaders urge LASG to allow daily operations

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Some foodstuff traders at Agboju Market, Festac Town in Lagos on Thursday called on the state government to further ease the lockdown to allow daily markets in the state.

They told the News Agency of Nigeria, in separate interviews in Lagos that they were incurring losses opening markets on alternate days.

The Market Leader, Mrs Osinatu Adebayo, said government’s directive to alternate market days in the state to curtail the spread of Coronavirus pandemic came with some challenges, particularly for the foodstuff traders.

“We know the government bears us in mind when taking decisions and because of that, we have been obeying the directives.

“We wash our hands, we use face masks and we only operate the market as directed.

“The people, who sell foods like fish, meat, tomatoes, pepper and vegetables are really suffering; when they have leftovers, it goes bad before the next market day,” she said.

Adebayo urged the LASG to consider allowing the market operate daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Also, Mrs Rebecca Udeh, a trader, said it has been quite challenging for those of them who sell perishable foods, particularly on wet days, when sales are low.

Udeh, who is also a member of the market task force said: “These three days don’t work for us; if we don’t finish selling today, by next tomorrow, they’ve spoilt.

“We’ve been observing the state’s directives of wearing face masks, washing hands and trying to maintain social distancing; we even have a drum outside for water and soap.

The LASG can give more restrictions, we’ll obey them, but they should please allow us sell daily.”

She commended the Nigeria Police and members of the Man-O-War, who collaborate with the market task force to enforce the directives.

Udeh further commended the residents of Festac Town for complying with the use of face masks when shopping at the market.

Another trader, Mrs Sikiratu Ajao, urged the LASG to further ease the directives on markets.

According to her, some of the traders are the breadwinners of the families and depend on daily sales to meet their responsibilities.

“Anything they want us to do, we will do but let them adjust it a little more by allowing us to sell daily,” she said.


Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

 

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Turkey, Libya to enhance cooperation in Eastern Mediterranean: Turkish president

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Turkey and Libya agreed to further enhance their cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean over a deal made on maritime delimitation, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday.

“On maritime delimitation, we aim to improve our cooperation, including exploration and drilling,” Erdogan said at a joint press conference with Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.

Sarraj on Thursday met with Erdogan in the Turkish capital Ankara after GNA’s military said in a statement that they had regained control over Tripoli.

Erdogan welcomed the recent military success of the GNA forces.

Turkey supports the GNA both politically and militarily. Ankara deployed Turkish troops in Libya to train and advise forces loyal to Sarraj in Tripoli.

Sarraj and Erdogan discussed the ways of lifting embargos on Libya, the Turkish president said, “We are on the same page on the issue of continuation of oil exports of Libya,” he stated.

Erdogan called on international actors to prevent the “illegal” oil export of Hafter.

Sarraj expressed gratitude for Turkey’s “historical and responsible attitude.” He said they want to increase cooperation with Turkey.

Since the uprising which killed former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, Libya has been divided between the powers of GNA and the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA).

(XINHUA)

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Defence/Security

Operation Katsina: Military eliminates 392 bandits since commencement of operation – DHQ

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The Defence Headquarters says the military has eliminated about 392 bandits in the North West and North Central since the commencement of Operation Katsina on May 14.

The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, disclosed this while giving update of the military operations across the country at a news conference on Thursday in Abuja.

Enenche stated that the operation was launched as a subsidiary Operation under Operation Hadarin Daji to deal with the menace of banditry in the region.

He said that the troops through land and air offensives successfully degraded the bandits and other criminal elements in the two zones.

According to him, those bandits that escaped resorted to reprisal attacks on civilian targets leading to the launching of Operation Accord on June 1.

Enenche said that Operation Accord was planned by the military high command to handle the situation.

“In this regard, the Chief of Defence Staff ordered the commencement of Operation Accord from June 1 as a joint operation involving the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies.

“It is a concomitant operation by all the theatres of operations in the North West and North Central regions of the country targeted at tackling banditry and other criminal activities.

“In this regard, all identified hideouts and hibernations of the enemies will be decisively cleared through land and air combat actions.

“This can easily be achieved through provision of credible information that can translate to actionable intelligence.

“Thus, the general public is hereby requested to avail the various operational outfits in their locations with this highly desirable information, to enable the Nigerian Military and other security agencies achieve the set objective,” he said.

Enenche said that the various operations had progressed successfully in all the theatres of operations in the last one week.

In the North East, he disclosed that the military and other security agencies had been on the offensive against the terrorists mainly through the Land and Air components of Operation Lafiya Dole.

According to him, the significant feats achieved in this theatre include deletion of key commanders, destruction of their logistics bases and cutting off their supply routes.

“Equally, their camps have been in disarray as a result of the killing of some of their key commanders through airstrikes and artillery bombardments on their identified locations.

“This is additional to the aggressive mobile clearance operations and air interdictions.

“Thus, the terrorists now carry out attacks in depleted strength on soft targets which is being effectively countered by the gallant troops of Operation Lafiya Dole.”

Enenche added that the military high command had commended the gallantry of all the troops of Nigerian Army, Navy, Air Force and personnel of other security agencies involved in various operations across the country.

He also commended the public for providing credible information that had so far facilitated the successes of these operations.

Enenche also urged the public to be proactive in providing timely information by reporting suspicious movements and strangers within their locality to troops stationed in their areas.

This, according to him, is very necessary for enhancement of operational activities.

The Armed Forces of Nigeria assures that these offensives against the common enemies of this Nation will not cease until normalcy is restored to all the troubled regions of the country,” he said.


Edited By: Nick Nicholas/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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UK PM urges funding, global cooperation in virtual Global Vaccine Summit

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson opened the Global Vaccine Summit virtually on Thursday, urging countries and organizations to pledge funding for vaccinations to save millions of lives in the poorest countries and protect the world from future outbreaks of infectious diseases.

The summit hosted by Britain aims to mobilize at least 7.4 billion United States dollars for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, in additional resources to protect the next generation with vaccines, reduce disease inequality and create a healthier, safer and more prosperous world.

Addressing attendees from over 50 countries and organisations, Johnson said in his opening speech that the summit is a moment “when the world comes together to unite humanity in the fight against disease”.

“I urge you to join us to fortify this lifesaving alliance and inaugurate a new era of global health co-operation, which I believe is now the most essential shared endeavour of our lifetimes,” he added.

Britain is contributing 1.65 billion pounds (about 2.07 billion dollars) to Gavi over the next five years, according to Johnson.

In specific, the summit is expected to raise money to immunize a further 300 million children in world‘s poorest countries by 2025, protecting them from deadly diseases like polio, diphtheria and measles, and also helping ensure the global recovery from COVID-19 pandemic.

As the world focuses on tackling novel coronavirus, the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and Gavi have warned that the pandemic is disrupting routine immunization, affecting approximately 80 million children under the age of one across the world.

Health experts have warned that if coronavirus is left to spread in developing countries, this could lead to future waves of infection reaching the developed countries including Britain.

If a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine is developed, Gavi will have a role in its delivery around the world.

Also on Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said China will provide support to relevant international organizations within its capacity and make contributions to vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries.

Zhao announced Wednesday that Chinese Premier Li Keqiang would deliver a speech at the virtual Global Vaccine Summit Thursday.

Zhao said the Chinese government upholds the vision of building a community with a shared future for humanity and attaches great importance to the development of global public health security.

China will offer support to international organizations including the WHO and Gavi within its capacity, and make contributions to boosting vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries, as well as the building of a community of health for all, he added.

(XINHUA)

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Kurdish-led militia, United States-led coalition forces brace for operation in eastern Syria: monitor

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The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and forces of the U.S.-led coalition are bracing for operation in eastern Syria against Islamic State (IS) militants, a war monitor reported on Thursday.

The SDF brought hundreds of its members in the eastern countryside of Deir al-Zour province to areas in the northern countryside of that province, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The watchdog group said the military operation will be focused on in the desert region in the northeastern countryside of Deir al-Zour.

The IS still has sleeper cells and members in the Syrian desert in Deir al-Zour and Homs provinces.

The group has carried out a number of attacks against the Syrian army in Deir al-Zour.

(XINHUA)

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Iran’s energy minister visits Iraq on boost of cooperation

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Iran’s Minister of Energy Reza Ardakanian visited the neighboring country of Iraq on Wednesday seeking to discuss development of cooperation in energy sector, official IRNA news agency reported.

Ardakanian met new Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi in Baghdad on Wednesday and urged for development of mutual ties in the field of electricity exchanges despite pressures of the United States.

During another meeting with his Iraqi counterpart earlier on the day, Ardakanian also discussed “synchronization of Iran-Iraq electricity network” and cooperation in the field of education in the electricity networking.

He is expected to meet the Iraqi President Barham Salih during his one-day trip to Baghdad.

Iraq is under the U.S. pressures to reduce its reliance on energy imports from Iran.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Spotlight: Israeli experts call for change as COVID-19 crisis exposes lack of int’l cooperation

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The world is lacking a coordinated global response to the raging COVID-19 pandemic and its economic ramifications, several Israeli experts have said recently.

To better cope with the COVID-19 crisis, they have urged all countries to come together to form cohesive policies on such issues as vaccine research and international travel.

LACK OF COOPERATION

LACK OF COOPERATION

LACK OF COOPERATION

Many previous crises in history, such as the financial crisis of 2007-08, have witnessed countries making joint efforts to tackle problems, yet the current COVID-19 crisis, which has so far recorded over 6 million infections worldwide and more than 380,000 deaths, has seen a lack of coordinated response across the world with some countries shirking responsibilities expected of them, experts said.

For example, international flights were canceled and airports shutdown following the outbreak. The United States, the sole superpower which should have taken the lead in promoting global cooperation, halted exports of masks and respiratory machines to neighboring Canada, as well as Latin American countries.

Amnon Lahad, chairman of Family Medicine at the Hebrew University, found the real situation quite contrary to such expectations “that the United States would lead and that there would be a global response.”

“There should have been an agreement on the implementation of World Health Organization (WHO) decisions. But every country made their own policy,” Lahad told Xinhua.

Noting that politics have overshadowed the response process, he said that the current crisis “became a political problem rather than a health problem.”

“Medicine mixed with politics, which made decision-making difficult,” he said.

“What we witnessed is not a global world,” Ronni Gamzu, CEO of Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, told Xinhua, adding that the lack of cooperation against the epidemic has also darkened the global economic outlook.

CHANGES NEEDED

CHANGES NEEDED

CHANGES NEEDED

In the face of the deadly virus, experts have urged countries to make changes as soon as possible, such as by forming cohesive policies on developing vaccines.

The international community should coordinate a push for progress in research for vaccines and treatment, they said.

Lahad warned that under the current circumstances, “vaccines will be distributed unevenly, not according to morbidity but according to financial or manufacturing abilities.”

Still, he said the above-mentioned situation could be avoided with firm international resolve, adding that global leaders must not be shortsighted when dealing with this global issue.

The experts also called on countries to set the same standard on pre-travel testing, and to form a common policy on how to compensate people who were and may still be hit by travel bans and flight cancellations.

“Now is the time to begin working,” Lahad said, adding, “there should be an international summit with experts from all countries that will manage the crisis before a second wave.”

The WHO needs to improve its operative multi-national arm,” suggested Gamzu, calling for solidarity among the members of the global agency.

(XINHUA)

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Defence/Security

NAF again makes history, records 1st all-female crew on operational mission

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The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), again, made history with the conduct of an operational Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) mission by an all-female crew.

Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, made this known in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.

Daramola said the mission, which was conducted on May 28 using the NAF Beechcraft KingAir ISR aircraft, had Flying Officers, Oluwabunmi Ijelu and Genevieve Nwaogwugwu as Captain and Co-Pilot, respectively.

He said on the mission, were also Sergeant Njoku Patience as the Airborne Tactical Observation System (ATOS) mission operator and Lance Corporal Shawulu Godiya as the on-board technician.

“It is noteworthy that Flying Officer Ijelu is the first female officer to become a Captain on a NAF aircraft.

“The aircraft was also marshaled by a female Marshaller, Aircraft woman David Precious.

“The mission, which was preceded by the customary pre-flight briefing, originated from the 307 Executive Airlift Group (307 EAG), at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport and covered selected areas of interest in Niger State and its environs, where intelligence that would support NAF air interdiction missions as well as the operations of ground forces was gathered.”

Daramola said the Commander 307 EAG, Air Commodore Francis Edosa, while welcoming the all-female crew from the mission, applauded them for displaying a high level of professionalism.

Edosa said that the feat was only made possible as a result of the commitment of Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, to providing a level playing field for all personnel, whether male or female, to thrive and realise their dreams and aspirations in service to the Nation.

This, Edosa said, had translated into tangible positive results.

He thanked the CAS for giving the female personnel the opportunity to prove their worth in hitherto male-dominated specialties in the NAF.

Daramola said that within the past 4 and half years of the current NAF leadership, there has been a surge in the involvement of female personnel in areas that were previously the preserve of men.

He noted that five female pilots have been winged within the period, bringing the total number of female pilots in the NAF to 7.

Daramola said many other female officers and airwomen were also excelling in their various fields of specialisation including Regiment and Special Forces, Aircraft/Armament Engineers and Technicians as well as Air Traffic Controllers, amongst others.

He said the NAF’s objective in this regard was to maximise all of the potentials of Nigeria’s vast human resource pool, male and female, to ensure the effective, efficient and timely employment of Air Power in response to Nigeria’s national security imperatives.


Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)

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Metro

Flight Resumption: NCAA lists 5 approved airports for operations

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The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) named five airports where  flights will resume on the June 21, as announced by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

NCAA Director-General,  Capt. Musa Nuhu, made the announcement in a letter to Accountable Managers of all domestic and foreign airlines in the country with ref /11/16/121, in Lagos on Wednesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that was coming on the heels of the announcement by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on the easing of and restart of the second phase of the COVID-19 lockdown and restart of flights on June 21.

Nuhu said the five airports are Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport Abuja, Murtala Mohammed International Airport Lagos, Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport Kano, Omagwa International Airport, Port Harcourt and Sam Mbakwe Airport Owerri

The director-general said in the letter that other airports would be added gradually to flight operations after a review and assessment.

Following the announcement by Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 on the easing of and the start of second phase of the COVID-19 lockdown, we wish to inform the industry of the following.

The closure of Nigerian airports to domestic flights has been extended to 2300Z on 20th June 2020.

“The gradual start of domestic flight operations will commence on June 21 with Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport Abuja, Murtala Mohammed International Airport Lagos, Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport Kano,

“Others are Omagwa International Airport, Port Harcourt and Sam Mbakwe Airport Owerri while other airports will be gradually added to the network after a review and assessment.

Nuhu noted that all flights to any airport outside the above five listed airports above should comply with the existing COVID-19 Protocols for approvals

The director general said the closure of Nigerian airports to international flights would continue until a date of resumption is announced.

Nuhu said emergency and essential flights were exempted from the restriction and should comply with the existing COVID-19 protocols for approvals.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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