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U.N. says 300,000 civilians at risk in Damascus battle, pause needed.

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Fighting around Syria’s capital Damascus has cut 300,000 people off from humanitarian aid and pauses in the conflict are needed to let aid convoys in, Jan Egeland, U.N. humanitarian advisor on Syria, said on Thursday.”They are totally dependent on our supplies. Starvation will be just around the corner unless we get there in the coming weeks,” Egeland told Reuters in an interview after chairing the weekly Syria humanitarian taskforce meeting in Geneva.

 

Fierce clashes persist in Syria ahead of renewed peace talks.

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Jihadists and other rebel groups made advances against the Syrian army north of Hama on Thursday, a war monitor said, part of their biggest offensive for months, underscoring the bleak prospects for peace talks which resume later in the day. The assault coincides with clashes in the capital Damascus, where rebels and the army are fighting on the edge of the city center in the Jobar district for a fifth day amid heavy bombardment, state media and the war monitor reported. Increased fighting, despite a ceasefire brokered in December by Russia and Turkey, casts further doubt on peacemaking efforts in Geneva, where talks resume on Thursday after making no progress towards peace in recent rounds. “We hope to see some serious partner on the other side of the table”, Salem al-Muslet, spokesman for the opposition’s High Negotiating Committee (HNC), said in Geneva.

 

Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabia signs program to treat dengue fever cases in Yemeni provinces

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Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabia, adviser at the Royal Court and general supervisor of the King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aid, and Abdul-Ilah Salem bin Mahfouz, chairman of the Board of Trustees of Al-Awn Foundation, signed an executive program agreement for the teatment of dengue fever cases to find health and environmental programs in six Yemeni provinces, including Taiz, Hadramaut, Hodeida, Lahj, Aden and Shabwa. King Salman Center for Relief will coordinate with Al-Awn Foundation, Yemeni Health Ministry and the World Health Oragnization (WHO) to make a survey on the infected areas and determine work specifics.

Two Malaysian tugboat crewmen rescued from Abu Sayyaf in Sulu.

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A military operation led to the rescue of two Malaysian held captive by the Abu Sayyaf since last year. The military on Thursday said it has “successfully rescued” two of the Malaysian tugboat crewmen held by Abu Sayyaf bandits since July 2016. In a statement, Maj. Gen. Carlito Galvez of the Philippine Army said Malaysians Tayudin Anjut, 45, and Abdurahim Bin Sumas, 62, were freed after a “focused military operation” in Kalinggalang Caluang town in Sulu, particularly near Pata Island in southern Philippines.

Nigeria introduces visa on arrival for foreign investors.

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The Nigeria  Immigration Service (NIS) has announced  the introduction of an online Visa on Arrival (VOA) facility especially for foreign investors willing to invest in Nigeria. The Comtroller of the NIS, Mr Muhammad Babandede said that‎ the measure was part of the resolution of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council in order to attract foreign investors to the country.The controller said that the new process was‎ designed to eliminate all unnecessary bureaucratic visa processing procedures in Nigerian Missions abroad.‎ He said that a VOA desk had been opened at all international airports in the country where visas would be issued upon the presentation of all the necessary travel documents. The NIS boss expressed optimism that the VOA process and the introduction of the harmonised arr‎ival and departure cards would go a long way in attracting investors to the country.

Three killed in attacks in refugees camp in Nigeria.

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Three kamikazes got in a camp for displaced people in Maiduguri (northestern part of Nigeria) carriyng with them explosives weapons killed three people and made twenty injuried. The victims were fastly took to Maiduguri Hospital, near the displaced camp. Five coordinated attacks took place, the first one in an informal building hosting around 200 people: three kamikazes got and activated their explosive belt. The following attack has been in a displaced camp nearby called Muna, where the terrorists provoked a fire, said the coordinator of the camp. The Muna camp  ( which has been denounced for its  degradating humanitarian conditions, such as the lack of water) has already been attacked in February.

China seeks APC’s support on Nigeria’s ‘full execution’ of One China rule.

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The Peoples Republic of China Ambassador to Nigeria, Zhou Pingjian, has met the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, John Odigie-Oyegun, requesting the Party’s support in ensuring Nigeria’s ‘full execution’ of the China policy between the two countries. China has almost approved $5 billion to support infrastructure projects in Nigeria and every five year it draw a new blueprint for the year ahead, it means that major policy decisions will be made. Relationship between the two countries has always been friendly, since 1971 but in 1999, Nigeria’s ministry of commerce signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Taiwan which led to a Trade between the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Nigeria, and that makes two Chinas: this controvenes the policy of one China. Last year President Muhammadu Buhari was in Beijing and raised an issue with the Chinese President. “Nigeria’s policy is one China but unfortunately, it has not been fully executed”. What we are asking the ministry of foreign affairs to do is to fully implement, execute the One China policy”. The APC Chairman declared  that Nigeria will take the message very seriously, in order to not let this issue stand in the way of the so much important relationship between China and Nigeria.

Protesters want Amnesty International to leave.

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A group of protesters barricated themselves at Amnesty International offices, at Abuja, asking the international organization to leave within 24 hours. Melvin Ejeh, protesters speakperson, said that the group will carry on a five day protest as a first warning: “Let us warn at this point that there will be no interval of respite if Amnesty International fail to leave Nigeria at the end of the five days, as we will activate other more profound options to make the organization leave Nigeria”. Amnesty International is accused by the protestors to “carrying out atrocities which destabilise Nigeria”. Mr. Ejeh said even organisations like the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, and the Global Amnesty Watch had condemned a recent report by Amnesty International which alleged human rights abuses by Nigerian security agencies against arrested Boko Haram suspects. The organisation’s reports stated that 240 people, including infants, died in a military detention centre in Borno in 2016. The military denied the claims contained in the report, saying “they were contrived lies orchestrated to blackmail and ridicule the Nigerian Armed Forces”.

 

Libya's oil production rebounds back to level before clashes.

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Libya’s oil production has climbed back to the level before clashes disrupted output three weeks ago and forced the OPEC nation’s two biggest oil ports to halt shipments. The global target for next month will be to reach 800,000 barrels a day. This objective is close to the previous oil output , before recent clashes, and in all case much more than before, the oil output has decreased to 260,000 barrels a day last August. However it is still lower than before Ghadaffi’s fall, production reached 1.6M barrels a day.

Libyan coast guard faces allegations of corruption.

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Preoccupations about migration from Libya. Italian coast guard officials report that maritime migration is increasing on the Libya-to-Europe route, driven by deteriorating living conditions on the ground and concerns that the route may soon be closed by toughened EU border enforcement policies That situation put in question the EU plan, which consist in training Libyan Coast guard in exchange of a better protection of their borders. Numbers of protestations come from migrants, whom described an high corruption from Libyan Coast Guard, and some acts of torture.

 

 

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