Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has reportedly pleaded with the people of Niger Delta to stop the destruction of pipelines and embrace agriculture. Buhari urged the people of the region to take advantage of the huge potential in agriculture and stop the destruction of oil and gas pipelines, which only served to destroy the country’s ecosystem and economy. He said that his administration was committed to doing “everything possible” to support Niger Delta to achieve their potential in agriculture which is far more than its endowments in oil and gas.
The National Union of Tunisian Women (UNFT) will hold its 15th congress in March 2017, told on Sunday the president of the organisation, Radhia Jerbi. The congress, which will coincide with the celebration of International Women’s Day, will elect a new executive bureau, a central committee, a national council and a president. UNFT had held an extraordinary congress on February 3, 2013, which resulted in a new executive bureau. Radhia Jerbi added that the women’s organisation has begun the renewal of its regional structures, noting that the sections of Sousse, Gafsa and Kebili have been renewed and that regional congresses have allowed young women activists to win the elections (one third of the elected members are under 40). She indicated that all regional conferences will be held no later than December 2016, noting that several regional chapters have not been renewed since 2006. National congress committees that will be responsible for the preparation of the Congress motions will be formed after the regional congresses.
The presidency has warned that Nigeria, Africa’s largest producer of cereals and grains, risks famine from early next year following a huge demand in the global market targeting the country’s surplus production. The huge demand for Nigerian grains in the global market is creating an excellent environment for the mindless export of Nigerian food across the borders and unless this is curtailed, Nigerian markets will be bereft of grains by January next year. The Ministry of Agriculture advised the president to call the attention of all Nigerians to the issue which, if not addressed promptly, could lead to a shortage of grains in the country.
Damascus is ready to cooperate with US President-elect Donald Trump if his policies are in line with Damascus’ expectations, the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s Political and Media Adviser Bouthaina Shaaban said on Thursday. Shaaban said that Damascus hopes the United States to become an active participant in the fight against terrorism. She added that Syria is not interested in the elections’ result, confirming that what concerns Damascus is the new President’s policies and how it would coincide with Syria’s expectations.
On Wednesday, Saudi forces stationed on the southern border repelled an attack by Houthi militias and forces loyal to ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The attack targeted Al-Dood Mountain in the Al-Khobah area. Saudi forces launched a counterattack that resulted in the death of at least 15 Houthi fighters and the capture of four others by the Parachute Brigade. Dozens of militiamen fled the battleground, abandoning their weapons.
President-elect Donald Trump invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to meet with him in the United States at the earliest opportunity. Netanyahu had called Trump to congratulate him on his electoral victory earlier in the day. According to the Prime Minister’s Office, the invitation came during that phone call.
Netanyahu assured Trump that the United States has no better ally than Israel as they discussed regional issues. The conversation between them was heartfelt and warm.
On Thursday, President Reuven Rivlin held a working meeting at his residence with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. “Russia has always had an important role in our region, perhaps today more than ever,” Rivlin said. We are faced by many challenges, and at the same time opportunities, and we need to be prepared for both.” President Rivlin concluded, “As we mark 25 years since the renewal of relations between us, your visit here is also an important opportunity to discuss the close ties between our peoples, and I am looking forward to our meeting today with you and your delegation.”
Secretary General of the Arab League, Ahmed Abul-Gheit, arrived on Wednesday in Ramallah ahead of the opening ceremony of Yasser Arafat Museum, and later met with President Mahmoud Abbas at the presidential headquarters in Ramallah where they discussed the situation in Palestine in addition to Arab support for the Palestinian people. Abbas stressed the importance of coordination between the Arab League and the Palestinian leadership on future steps to protect Palestinian rights and to work towards ending the Israeli occupation. Abbas also said that it was important that there should be Arab backing to the French initiative to convene an international conference on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict before the end of this year to resume the peace process.
Ivory Coast goes to the polls on Sunday to vote on constitutional changes that President Alassane Ouattara says will help to end years of instability and unrest linked to the vexed issue of “Ivorian-ness”. The draft constitution put forward by Ouattara – which parliament overwhelmingly approved earlier this week – would also create a vice president picked by the president and a senate, a third of whom would be nominated by the head of state. The controversial package of changes has succeeded in both alarming opposition leaders and leaving much of the electorate confused.