Mexican Asylum Seekers into US Are to Be Returned Back for Asylum Proceedings

law enforcement, News, Politics, SEcurity

The U.S. has reached a deal with the Mexican government to force asylum seekers at its southern border to remain in Mexico while they wait to bring their case before an American immigration judge, a process that could take several months or even years, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced at a congressional hearing on Thursday.

The new policy, effective immediately, is the latest attempt by the Trump administration to curb what it insists are loopholes in the immigration system. Like many of its immigration policies, the plan was likely to face pushback in court.

Nielsen’s announcement before a House Judiciary Committee came as President Donald Trump remained locked in a bitter dispute with lawmakers over whether to shut down the government if he doesn’t get the money he wants to buy a border wall.

PHOTO: A mother migrating from Honduras holds her 1-year-old child after surrendering to U.S. Border Patrol agents for illegally crossing the border near McAllen, Texas, June 25, 2018.
A mother migrating from Honduras holds her 1-year-old child after surrendering to U.S. Border Patrol agents for illegally crossing the border near McAllen, Texas, June 25, 2018.more +

“We have a huge problem with asylum fraud,” Nielsen told the House panel. “We need to work together to combat that.”

Nielsen’s testimony encountered immediate pushback from congressional Democrats who called the plan a misguided attempt to demonize immigrants.

“Is it as (though) you can’t see the realities of modern immigration or the contributions of anyone who came from countries other than Norway or other parts of Europe,” said Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, D-Illinois. “It’s as though you and others in the administration are blind.”

At issue is how the United States decides who should be granted asylum, a right granted to migrants by U.S. and international law. According to the Homeland Security Department, border officials have seen a surge in migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras and that the vast majority are granted entrance into the United States after passing a “credible fear” interview.

DHS said in a statement Thursday that in nearly half of these cases in 2018, the person later failed to appear at a hearing or file an asylum claim, indicating that the person likely opted to remain illegally inside the U.S. As a result, DHS says, only 9 percent of people from those three countries are ultimately granted asylum.

John Cohen, a former acting under secretary at the Homeland Security Department and an ABC News contributor, noted that the law does allow for the federal government, through the attorney general, to deport someone to a “safe third country” pending an asylum claim, if there is bilateral agreement.

But, the law requires that the person’s “life or freedom” not be threatened, and that the person claiming asylum still have “full and fair” access to the U.S. immigration system. That means it’s likely the U.S. will have to devote resources to either bring people into the United States to see an immigration judge, or set up U.S. courts in Mexico — a highly unusual situation that presents legal complications, Cohen said.

“It’s highly probable this will be challenged in court,” Cohen said. “It’ll be up to the courts to determine whether processing someone in Mexico is consistent with the law or not.”

PHOTO: Central American migrants taking part in a caravan heading to the US, line up to borrow a sleeping pad, after arriving at a temporary shelter, set up in a stadium in Mexico City, Nov. 5, 2018.
Central American migrants taking part in a caravan heading to the US, line up to borrow a sleeping pad, after arriving at a temporary shelter, set up in a stadium in Mexico City, Nov. 5, 2018.more +

Administration officials said they expect a dramatic drop in asylum claims if people are not allowed to enter the U.S. and are instead forced to wait in Mexico. Several Republicans on the House committee said they supported the move.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the plan “historic” and said that the Mexican government has promised to give the migrants humanitarian visas to stay on Mexican soil, as well as the ability to apply for work.

“We think that they (migrants seeking asylum) will now see that they can’t disappear inside the United States, and so they will remain in their home countries,” Pompeo told Fox News host Laura Ingraham.

Mexico has previously refused to accept the return of migrants who aren’t Mexican citizens. But earlier this week, the U.S. signed a joint declaration with Mexico promising to invest $5.8 billion in southern Mexico and the three countries where most of the migrants were coming from — El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The administration also promised a U.S.-Mexico business summit next year and a cabinet-level meeting in January.

The Associated Press reported Thursday that Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department called the latest agreement to allow U.S. asylum seekers to remain in Mexico was a temporary, humanitarian measure)

Trump has been under political pressure from his supporters to take a hard line with immigration. While illegal crossings fell during his first year in office, they have returned to previous levels.

The president’s other executive actions aimed at curbing those crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border have faced setbacks in court. On Wednesday, a federal judge blocked a separate policy that restricts asylum claims of migrants fleeing domestic and gang-related violence. Another federal judge in California issued a nationwide preliminary injunction against a Trump administration rule that made anyone who crosses the southern border outside a port of entry ineligible for asylum.

Trump has expressed frustration in recent days that he hasn’t been able to fulfill his promise to build a border wall.

“When I begrudgingly signed the Omnibus Bill, I was promised the Wall and Border Security by leadership,” Trump tweeted. “Would be done by end of year (NOW). It didn’t happen! We foolishly fight for Border Security for other countries – but not for our beloved U.S.A. Not good!”

ABC News reporters Conor Finnegan and Luke Barr contributed to this report.Sponsored Stories

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The Nigeria Security Tracker (NST)

News, SEcurity, Terrorism

The Nigeria Security Tracker (NST), a project of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Africa program, documents and maps violence in Nigeria that is motivated by political, economic, or social grievances. Different groups in Nigeria resort to violence. The militant Islamist movement Boko Haram is active in northern Nigeria. Violence among ethnic groups, farmers, and herdsmen sometimes acquires religious overtones. A new generation of Niger Delta militants threatens war against the state. Government soldiers kill civilians indiscriminately. Police are notorious for extrajudicial murder.

The Current Situation in Nigeria

2019 Elections, Africa, Nigeria, Politics, Power, SEcurity

A USIP Fact Sheet

President Buhari’s 2015 election saw the country’s first peaceful transfer of power to an opposition candidate. Elections raised hopes that some of Nigeria’s most pressing problems—including weak governance, corruption, the Boko Haram insurgency, and persistent intercommunal conflicts—could soon be under control. Despite President Buhari’s vision for reform, the country’s security challenges are surging as the factors that fuel violent conflicts remain largely unaddressed. 

USIP’S Work

USIP brings together state governors and civic leaders to design, foster, and implement inclusive policies that mitigate violence and strengthen community-oriented security. The Institute engages a variety of influential figures, empowers citizens, and uses its expertise and convening power to inform Nigeria policy in the U.S., the region, and around the world. Recent work includes:

Promoting Inclusive, Peaceful Societies.

Many of the factors driving conflict and the Boko Haram insurgency exist across Nigeria’s northern region. These include governance challenges, marginalization, and youth unemployment. Nigeria’s federal system gives governors great responsibilities to address these issues.

The Institute leverages the governors’ influence by working with them to focus policies on citizens’ needs and establish strategies that prevent and resolve violent conflict. In the process, USIP and the state governors build more inclusive processes and send the message that addressing violent extremism must be achieved cooperatively.

Through the Nigeria Working Group on Peacebuilding and Governance, the Institute adds public figures to the dialogue. The Working Group fosters relationships between citizens and governors—ensuring that a diversity of citizens’ voices impacts important decisions. The Working Group also demonstrates thought leadership through publications, research, editorials, and op-eds on state government roles in addressing conflict.

Strengthening Local Security.

USIP’s peacebuilding initiatives in Nigeria improve state-level institutions’ ability to manage local conflict by piloting dialogue-based approaches and providing recommendations and lessons learned to policymakers.

  • Network of Nigerian facilitators. USIP recruited and continues to provide technical and financial support to a cadre of facilitators to convene dialogues related to election security, transitioning to community-oriented policing, and manage communal disputes that pose a risk of violence.
  • Justice and Security Dialogue project. Modeled an approach for community policing through ongoing dialogues between police and the community, particularly youth.
  • State peacebuilding institutions. Bolstering the ability of state peacebuilding institutions in Plateau and Kaduna states to respond to local conflicts before they become violent.
  • Conducting research that translates into action. USIP’s Nigeria research improves understanding of violence’s risks and develops effective approaches to managing violent conflict.
  • Elections violence risk assessment. Together with several partners, USIP is conducting an elections violence risk assessment ahead of Nigeria’s 2019 elections to provide actionable and timely analysis that will help key figures work to prevent violence before, during, and after the elections.
  • Transitioning from military operations to civilian policing. The Institute conducted research on the transition to community-oriented policing following military-led security in northeast Nigeria. The research incorporated the perspectives and priorities of vigilante groups into recommendations for a more responsive security sector.
  • Researching resistance to violence. With USIP’s support, the Centre for Information Technology and Development examined the factors that make certain communities more resistant to the threat of violence in north-east Nigeria. The research showed that community resilience thrives when there is a robust community platform for active citizen participation and democratic decision-making. The absence of such a platform in many communities led to their quick and brutal destruction by Boko Haram.

Download full Report at: USIP

The Risk of Election Violence in Nigeria is Not Where You Think

2019 Elections, Africa, APC, Oil, PDP, PMB, Politics, Power, SEcurity

Containing violence at the state level will be key to a peaceful election

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 / BY: Oge Onubogu ; Idayat Hassan

Nigeria’s political parties are in full campaign mode ahead of national and state-level elections early next year, and unfortunately signs are emerging that election-related violence is a real possibility. It’s not too late, however, for Nigerians and the international community to take steps to reduce the risks of coercion and possibly even bloodshed. To do so effectively, it’s crucial that as much attention be paid to flashpoints at the state level as to tensions surrounding the higher profile campaign for president.

People gather and watch election coverage at a small market in Kano, northern Nigeria, March 31, 2015. (Samuel Aranda/The New York Times)
People gather and watch election coverage at a small market in Kano, northern Nigeria, March 31, 2015. (Samuel Aranda/The New York Times)

In Nigeria, All Politics is Local

September’s off-cycle election for governor in the southwestern state of Osun illustrates the intensity of state elections and the accompanying risks. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the initial results inconclusive because of technical problems and other disruptions, and the vote had to be redone. In the second round, U.S., European Union and U.K. observers reported that they found “incidents of interference and intimidation of voters, and heard reports of harassment of party monitors, journalists and domestic observers.” Social media posts showed photos of allegedly injured civilians. Higher profile state races in 2019 are likely to be even more volatile.

State-level elections are important for democratic development in Nigeria, which serves as a bellwether for stability in Africa as the continent’s most populous country and biggest oil-producing nation. State races often function as a proving ground for candidates aspiring to national office. Moreover, the country’s powerful state governors, who allocate federally disbursed revenue and shape policy on development and security, oversee the state election commissions that manage local government elections—the essence of grassroots democracy.

The 2019 state-level voting will usher in leadership to some of the most populous and economically important states in Nigeria, including Lagos, Kano and Rivers, as well as in states that experience recurring intercommunal violence including Plateau, Kaduna and Benue.

The electoral calendar will be crowded in the first quarter of 2019. Just two weeks after the general elections, balloting will take place on March 2 to select governors and state assemblies in 29 of Nigeria’s 36 states (seven others are scheduled off-cycle for various reasons). In the 29 contests, incumbent governors are defending 19 seats. Of those, 12 are members of President Muhammadu Buhari’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). The other seven belong to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of opposition candidate and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. Incumbent governors running for a second four-year term hold significant advantages because of their domination of state party structures, leverage over powerful patronage networks and the ways they can manage to employ state funds to bolster their campaigns.

In Lagos state, the APC incumbent lost in the October primary, and in the remaining nine of the 29 state contests (Borno, Gombe, Imo, Kwara, Nasarawa, Ogun, Oyo, Yobe and Zamfara), the incumbents cannot run again because of term limits, making for competitive open races.

A Complex Risk Environment

In the 2015 state elections, voting generally proceeded smoothly across the country, according to the Center for Democracy and Development (CDD), a U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) partner organization in Nigeria. Even so, “significant incidences of shootings, protests, arson and fatalities were recorded in most geopolitical zones,” the CDD reported.

Three years later, conditions have changed. The nature of these changes—and the forces behind them—must be considered in weighing whether state-level election violence is likely, and if so, how to prevent it or mitigate the consequences.

The number of violent conflicts across the country and their toll have increased. Clashes between farmers and herders over land and water have escalated and are particularly deadly in the northern states of Benue, Taraba, Plateau, Adamawa, Zamfara and Kaduna. Some of those states, including Benue and Plateau, fall within the politically influential region of North Central Nigeria.

In the country’s Northeast, the military claims to have decimated Boko Haram, but the group continues to stage well-publicized attacks. Meanwhile, paramilitary forces organized in response to the terrorist threat now pose a danger themselves in places such as Borno state. So, the contest to replace Borno’s term-limited Governor Kashim Shettima will be especially important.

Another change since 2015 is proliferating fissures within the APC and the PDP. In Kano, northern Nigeria’s most populous state and long considered a harbinger of a party’s political prospects across that region, divisions are deep within the APC between supporters of incumbent Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and backers of Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, formerly the state’s governor, and now member of the opposition PDP. Already, the party primaries in October in Zamfara were marred by violence. Preparations for that state’s elections in March continue to be controversial, as INEC has declined to accept the APC’s gubernatorial candidate, saying the party submitted his name too late.

As intraparty conflicts sharpen, rivalry between the APC and the PDP remains intense. That competition lies at the root of persistent violence, including around elections, in the Niger Delta’s leading oil producer, Rivers state—hostility heightened by the APC’s growing challenge to the PDP’s previous dominance in the lead-up to the 2015 vote. The Fund for Peace, another USIP partner in Nigeria, reports that “the personal rivalry between former Governor Rotimi Amaechi (APC) and current Governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike (PDP)” exacerbates divisions along party lines. Rivers state is considered a political crown jewel for any party able to capture control of the jurisdiction.

How Election Violence can be Mitigated

So, what can be done? Nigeria must be held to a higher standard than in the past in order to fulfill its proper role as the best example of democratic development in Africa. While there has been much improvement in recent years, the country’s political leaders need to do better.

First, planning for prevention of election violence needs to occur earlier and be sustained longer to contain post-election incidents.

Secondly, the United States and international community, including the African Union and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), should intensify their pre-election diplomacy. All stakeholders with potential influence on Nigeria’s leaders must clearly convey their expectation that Nigeria’s political parties will act responsibly throughout campaigns, balloting and the post-election period. They must demand that parties discipline their members, officials and their candidates should they violate standards of acceptable conduct.

Finally, Nigerian authorities should identify credible state-level and community leaders in advance who could provide leadership and advice—or even mediation—in the event of rising tensions. USIP’s Nigeria Working Group on Peacebuilding and Governance, a group of eminent civic leaders, could be a source of support, and there may be other community leaders with the skills and influence to prevent and defuse violence. Some states already have institutions designed to reduce violence, such as the Plateau State Peacebuilding Agency and the Kaduna State Peacebuilding Commission. These bodies are still getting their footing, but they can work closely with local community leaders and civil society representatives.

While Nigeria has made major strides since democracy was restored almost 20 years ago, the struggle to control the widespread violence that plagues its communities is far from over. Reducing election-related violence, especially in the all-important state gubernatorial elections, is a crucial place to start.

Oge Onubogu is a senior program officer for Africa programs at USIP. Idayat Hassan is the director of the Centre for Democracy and Development–West Africa, an Abuja-based policy advocacy and research organization.

Russia will build missiles if US leaves treaty, Putin warns

Politics, Power, SEcurity, Tech, War
Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Nato’s accusation was a pretext for the US to leave the treaty

Russia will develop missiles banned under a Cold War agreement if the US exits the pact, President Vladimir Putin has warned.

His comments follow Nato’s accusation on Tuesday that Russia has already broken the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

Signed in 1987 by the US and USSR, it banned both countries’ use of all short and medium-range missiles.

But Mr Putin says the accusation is a pretext for the US to leave the pact.

In televised comments, the Russian leader said many other countries had developed weapons banned under the INF treaty.

“Now it seems our American partners believe that the situation has changed so much that [they] must also have such a weapon,” he said.

“What’s our response? It’s simple – in that case we will also do this.” 

US President Donald Trump has previously said the country would leave the treaty because of Russian actions.

Analysts say Russia sees the weapons as a cheaper alternative to conventional forces.

Arriving for talks with Nato foreign ministers, EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini urged the two countries to save the treaty, saying it had “guaranteed peace and security in European territory for 30 years now”.

What has Nato said?

On Tuesday, the Western military alliance formally accused Russia of breaking the treaty.

“Allies have concluded that Russia has developed and fielded a missile system, the 9M729, which violates the INF Treaty and poses significant risks to Euro-Atlantic security,” the Nato foreign ministers’ statement read.

The statement said the member nations “strongly support” the US claim that Russia is in breach of the pact, and called on Moscow to “return urgently to full and verifiable compliance”.

A Russian missile is fired during military exercises
Image captionRussia denies building missiles that violate the accord

Speaking after the release of Nato’s statement, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Russia had 60 days to return to compliance with the treaty, after which time the US would suspend its own compliance.

“During this 60 days we will still not test or produce or deploy any systems, and we’ll see what happens during this 60-day period,” he said.

Russia has repeatedly denied breaking the Cold War treaty.

Presentational grey line

What is the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty?

Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan signing the INF Treaty in 1987
Image captionSoviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and US President Ronald Reagan signed the INF Treaty in 1987
  • Signed by the US and the USSR in 1987, the arms control deal banned all nuclear and non-nuclear missiles with short and medium ranges, except sea-launched weapons
  • The US had been concerned by the Soviet deployment of the SS-20 missile system and responded by placing Pershing and cruise missiles in Europe – sparking widespread protests
  • By 1991, nearly 2,700 missiles had been destroyed
  • Both countries were allowed to inspect the other’s installations
  • In 2007, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared the treaty no longer served Russia’s interests
  • The move came after the US withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002

Hunters said they were ready to help infighting terrorists provided they were incorporated in the salary scheme and provided with enough logistics to fight the terrorists. The National Adviser of Board of Trustees of the association, Chief Yusuf Alao, disclosed this while receiving a confirmation certificate as the new National Adviser of the association.

hunters said they were ready to help infighting terrorists provided they were incorporated in the salary scheme and provided with enough logistics to fight the terrorists.

The National Adviser of Board of Trustees of the association, Chief Yusuf Alao, disclosed this while receiving a confirmation certificate as the new National Adviser of the association.

He lamented the high rate of terrorism in the country, saying, the hunters are capable of fighting terrorism anywhere in the country.

He said: “The Federal Government ought to be paying us salaries as a way of encouraging us to fight the menace of terrorists in the country.

“The payment of salary to hunters is our rights, because we are working tirelessly for the Federal Government not only in the fight against terrorism, but, protecting lives and properties.”

He boasted that the hunters remained the most competent and powerful in fighting terrorism in Nigeria.

He said: “We, hunters, are capable to fight terrorists; we have the traditional power which makes us different from others in curbing terrorism in Nigeria.

“The police and the soldiers do not have the kind of power we have, and that is why some of them, while fighting the terrorists lose their lives in the process.

“The Federal Government should also consider us because we are doing great job for them, we are not relenting, most of the time we are always in the bush working diligently for government.”

via Hunters; pay us we’re ready to fight terrorism — NEWSSPLASHBLOG

Hunters; pay us we’re ready to fight terrorism — NEWSSPLASHBLOG

Boko Haram, Herdsmen, law enforcement, News, Politics, SEcurity

Negotiating new Leadership for Nigeria

Africa, PMB, Politics, Power, SEcurity

Leadership have been identified as a service which combine all human and nonhuman resources nurturing them to produce real and measurable results in any organisation or society. Any society without leaders with inherent ability to manage people and resources properly always fail.

The failure of the Nigerian society is regtetable given inherent human reaources and immeasurable minerals deposits. The paucity of able men to steer the affairs of this nation to Eldorado has been blamed on obvious lack of capable hands to manage these inherent potentials.

In 2015, a desperate move by the public led to hugely aclaimed judgemental error. The people elected an ancient and tired hand to manage a festering modern problem. Several schools have concluded that the uniqueness of the Nigerian problem requires a more agile and dedicated decision maker hence current leaders cannot nd might not be the batch to negotiate a new deal for Nigerians.

Great leaders are known by their acute listening and negotiation senses. Unfortunately leadership in Nigeria is based on the use of blunt force to overwhelm all nad any opposition. Government suspends rthe ruke of law and imposes the rule of force to serve their personal ends.

As the 2019 elections approaches,aside from all rhetorics there exists need for an academic look at basic qualifications for a new president for Nigeria. While many analyst and public commentators have contribute to this discussion, I will love to add these few qualities to the till.

For Nigeria to succeed, its leaders must be willing to understand the neeed to articulate national interest and move from self or regional interest. We must have leaders willing to stand and negotiate with global leaders using articulated national interest to design a place for Nigeria in International finance and trade. No nation can develop and geow without playing a major role in international trade. Effective leaders seek to understand the interests of those they lead and to find ways of satisfying those interests in order to achieve organizational and societal goals.

Nigerian are fleeing the country in thousands because of lack of business opportunities and means of achieving their individual and collective aspurations within Nigeria. It is ab I it time the Nigerian State recognise that human security goes beyond proviso of physical armed guards. Nigerian economy needed a boast and noone will give you what you never asked for. Nigeria cannot continue to attend international organisation meeting as a side show. A nation of over 200 million people, the largest market and biggest economy in Africa should be able to negotiate trade deals that give advantage to its people.

The leader Nigeria need should be firm and meliable enough to negotiate local and international business and trading relationships. The era of illmanaged international agreements and negotiations should come to an end. The new leader shoukd look at government as viable concern with potential for growth.

Relationships are the basis of trust. Positive relationships are important because they engender trust – a vital means of securing desired actions from others. People will be willing to sacrifice more when the leaders visions are clearer and are communicated in more friendly environment.

The right leadership is the voice of the people and uses his voice to negotiate a vision for the people using collaborative approach The age of know all solution leadership shoukd be jettisoned. New leasers must be able to fave squarely the challenge of forging a single vision out of the multiplicity of visions held by the group’s members.

National consensus are not easy to achieve but with the right voice, which the people can trust it’s achievable.

#justkukukilllme

Nigeria: And the herdsmen killings contines

Africa, Boko Haram, Crime, Herdsmen, PMB, SEcurity, Terrorism

Central Nigeria have witnessed persistent attacks and killing from marauding herdsmen without any hope of restraints from the state security on the restless herdsmen.

Plateau Reportedly witnessed a major attack during the weekend with over aa hundred mortality. Its condemnable and cannot be allowed to countinue. The whole country should u it talking about it, its time we all stand nad take action on stopping these massacre. If the state is powerless, then the people needed to stand and look for a way to stop the evil acts.

ORGANISING NGOS AND FAITH-BASED ORGANISATION FOR DEVELOPMENT PURPOSES

Boko Haram, Herdsmen, Islam, law enforcement, SEcurity, Terrorism, War

Counterterrorism has to be woven into the everyday workings of every department. It should be included on the agenda of every meeting, and this new role must be imparted to officers on the street so that terrorism prevention becomes part of their everyday thinking.” Kelling, G L. & William K. B, (2006) Policing Terrorism, Civic Bulletin 43, New York: Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, September 2006.

Terrorism has become a political tool in the 20th century and its spread has become so dynamic that it has now become on of the “new wars” that nations today fights. Emergency response and preventive measures have to become more flexible and adapt to the dynamism of attacks. Terrorist related incidence must be documented, researched and evaluated in line with local needs. The current randomness of terror attacks in Nigeria put all at risks and we must have a structure plans in place to restrict and mitigate these strikes.

Basic understanding of terrorism, its goals and operational method would have sufficed in allowing for designing proper response. It is a waste of resources fighting a reactive battle against terrorists. The Nigerian response to terrorism has been flawed by the lack of institutional understanding of what terrorism is all about. Proactive resources can only be deployed when we are all able to deduce the fact that terrorism is not fought using heavy machinery and standing armies but through employment of psychological warfare that is designed based on proper analysis of the terror groups operational methods, recruitment operations and goals.

Terrorism is a form of rebellion against the state. Modern terrorists have better equipment and global media as its mouthpiece. The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Response to Terrorism, (START) Department of Homeland Security Think-Thank based in the University of Maryland, United State is one of the center set up by the US government to analyse and design engagement protocol for counter-terrorism in US. One of the conclusion of this center that changed the US counter-terrorism engagement was the fact that in over 1000 years of review of terrorism engagement by states globally, the use of military force eliminated the threat in only 4% of such engagements, while the use of proper local security, policing and development programmes was able to achieve end of these groups in more than 40%.

Development NGOs are committed to working towards economic, social or political development in developing countries. The Norwegian bilateral aid agency, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) defines development-oriented NGOs as organisations that “attempt to improve social, economic and productive conditions and are found both as small community-based organisations at village and district levels, and as large professional development agencies at state or national level”

Northern Nigeria economic environment has been described as backward and has continued to regress in the period after the 1970s. The average Disposable Income, access to education and basic infrastructure has equally fallen in the past decades. Lack of access to proper education has created a huge mass of unemployable youth in an environment experiencing a burgeoning youth population. Available data point at a growing youth population in an environment without corresponding growth in infrastructure and industry has led to high pressure on resources leading to perennial class conflict in the region.

Failure of government institutions to deliver on appropriate economic and infrastructural reforms has led to conflicts between state officials and citizens. Increased distrust of officials has led to several clashes and self-help actions. Uncoordinated rebellions in the past decades had eventually matured into current terror operations by the Boko Haram insurgents.

The war on terror have been severely stunted by the growing supply of radical youths from the stock of unemployable youth that littered the streets of northern Nigeria in need of sense of spiritual emancipation from years of poverty and lack. Many literatures had maintained the fact that poverty is not an impetus for rebellion acts yet it has been proven through direct observation that rebellion thrives where the state failure and poverty is evident. As a matter of fact, the basis for international humanitarian efforts in Africa has been based on prevention of high criminality that may result from unchecked growth in poverty and hunger in several failing states in the continent.

One major challenge to the provision of public infrastructure development has been in the slow bureaucratic processes and the attendant high corruption of government officials in most African countries. NGOs and Community Based Organisations has been a bridge between the people and the government in actualizing people oriented development projects.

As development actors, NGOs have become the main service providers in countries where the government is unable to fulfill its traditional role. In the education sector, many NGOs have moved beyond ‘gap- filling’ initiatives into capacity building activities. This paper seeks to address the role of NGOs in development through the lens of capacity building. Through academic articles and NGO working papers, we can determine the effect of NGOs on capacity development and their role in building capacity on all levels, using a framework based on positive hypotheses:

NGOs are increasingly involved in capacity development. As the development discourse leans towards developing skills and tools for strengthening society, NGOs have reacted accordingly. They wish first and foremost to remain important stakeholders in development and to impart their extensive knowledge in the education sector. This involvement changes the ways in which NGOs operate. Capacity-building activities complement traditional service provision, though this does not mean that all NGOs have good relations with government.

In any case, NGO activities are increasingly diverse. They have an impact on the interpretation of capacity development. NGOs are influenced by the ideology of capacity development as defined by the hegemonic development discourse, but they also influence its meaning from the outside. This modified interpretation of capacity development can weaken central government but strengthen it in the long term. NGOs have the capacity to innovate and adapt more quickly than national governments; therefore, their actions can undermine government initiatives. But if they scale up their activities and impart their knowledge and techniques at the government level, the country as a whole can benefit.

NGOs have a significant impact on the whole process but are also plagued by severe obstacles. NGOs continue to suffer from a lack of resources and from their general estrangement from the state. Unless they become partners with government, and not competitors, capacity-building initiatives will continue to be stunted.

The environment in Northeastern Nigeria remains inundated by high-level insecurity that makes development programme seem essentially impossible. While most stakeholders abstained from the area due to high risk factor and the ongoing sate of emergency has further negated the infrastructural capacity of these three states under the military onslaught on the insurgents. The apparent lack of trust for state institutions in these areas will make the use of conventional government MDA approach to development clearly unwelcome. Locally based NGOs, CBOs and FBOs can easily breach this gap and stand in as the only way to reach out and provide succor to non-combatants and civilians in these areas. Government should provide funds for locally established and managed Community Based and Faith Based Organisations to drive development agendas in the tri-violent states of Yobe, Bauchi and Borno to kick start development in these areas.

The advantage of using locally based organisations in handling the development programmes in these areas are two pronged:

1. Train employable locally Based service delivery experts: One of the problems with the region remains in the increasing number of unemployable youth, given low economic activities in the areas. Inflow of fresh funds may increase economic activities and create expansion of local industry to support the increase in demand for resources in the area. The use of locally based personnel should avail the growth of necessary local experts needed for the entrenchment and maintenance of programme. The failure of most INGOs has been traced to the lack of proper local supports for their programme.
2. Increase trust in the process: Most locals may become part of the process since it is being handled through local personnel known to them. Trust in the process may enhance collaboration and could boost the programme at all level.

Recommendations:

Civil societies or NGOs in Nigeria has had a cheered history, from a vibrant, uncompromising and result focus pre-independence era, through a government hampered and corrupt operation before mid-1990s to a strong indivisible front during the democratic struggles of the late eighties and this era of political activism, corrupt leadership and weaken structure.

Regrettably, there cannot be a sustainable reform without the supports and inputs of the civil societies. Civil societies are needed to act as middlemen between the policy makers and their communities. Hence the role of these groups in reforms may includes:

• Raising public awareness on issues and reasons for reforms: There is a need for proper information, direct and people oriented to educate the public. These should not be media driven but generated and managed by the people. The CS could be empowered through seminars and workshops to educate the public on the needs for direct engagement in programmes and their roles in reforms in Nigeria.
• Promoting debates and talks on issues, practices, challenges and reforms required:
Policies can only succeed when the public opinion form its bedrock. The NGO programme should be directed to organize formal public debates and hearings on important policy and inform the state of their reports.
• Spreading Reform Information:
Organizing and maintaining civil societies in areas where there is no awareness and education level is low. Thereby reaching out to lower cadres of the society with proper information on reforms.
• Monitoring and Evaluating the Reform Processes: Exposing and reporting to appropriate authorities’ misconducts, demanding transparency and accountability from all security organization through a nationwide monitoring system. Reporting and writing articles on reform issues to educate the public and the police officers alike.
Creating framework and opportunities for future reforms through the setting-up of bodies to monitor and collate data on PSC operatives and organizations and the police operations in all areas of the country.
• Partnering:
Organizing local and international workshops, talks and town hall meetings to share, discuss, teach and compare feedbacks on policing issues from different unit of the society and publishing their memorandum in national press.
• Act as links between the public and police:
Encouraging and involving community groups in policing, creating neighborhoods watch and vigilante groups -under proper legislations- to guard and secure their environment.

Don Michael Adeniji, MA, pnm
Director, Security Policy Analysis.
African Initiative for Peace and Human Development

Houston police chief: Vote out politicians only “offering prayers” after shootings – Tillet

Corruption, Crime, law enforcement, Politics, SEcurity

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo slammed elected officials for inaction on the state and federal level in response to repeated shootings at schools across the country. His comments come in the wake of the latest school shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas which left 10 people dead.

Appearing on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” Sunday, Acevedo said that political leaders are failing to heed the will of the voters when it comes to gun regulations and reforms.

“Let me tell you, people at the state level and the federal level in too many places in our country are not doing anything other than offering prayers,” Acevedo said. “We need to start using the ballot box and ballot initiatives to take the matters out of the hands of people that are doing nothing that are elected into the hands of the people to see that the will of the people in this country is actually carried out.”

Acevedo added that “local governments are starting to make a difference” by enacting their own reforms.

“I think that the American people, gun owners — the vast majority of which are pragmatic and actually support gun sense and gun reform in terms of keeping guns in the right hands,” Acevedo said.

Acevedo posted on Facebook that he had “hit rock bottom” and “shed tears of sadness, pain and anger” over the Texas killings. The post went viral in the days after the shooting.

On Sunday, he said that one policy to consider would be stronger laws mandating proper security of guns in private homes. According to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, the suspect used a shotgun and a .38-caliber revolver which his father owned legally. Abbott told reporters that he didn’t know whether the father was aware his son had obtained the weapons.

“If you have firearms in your home and you do not secure them and you don’t secure them in a manner that can preclude someone from grabbing them and taking them and carrying out this carnage, [there] is a criminal liability that attaches,” Acevedo suggested.

He added, “I believe that anyone that owns a firearm that doesn’t secure it properly [and it] ends up in the wrong hands and used to kill innocent people, that that should carry some significant consequences. We need to think about that on the national level across this country.”

IGP plotting to set me up – Saraki

2019 Elections, APC, law enforcement, Nigeria, SEcurity, Uncategorized

Senate President Bukola Saraki says Ibrahim Idris, inspector-general of police (IGP), is planning to implicate him.

Speaking while presiding over plenary on Wednesday, Saraki said Abdulfatah Ahmed, Kwara governor, called him him Tuesday night to give him the information.

The senate president said from what he learnt, the IGP ordered that some suspected cultists arrested in Illorin should be taken to Abuja where their statements will be altered to implicate him and the state government.

He said the action is a recipe for anarchy.

“Last night, my state governor, revealed to me an information at his disposal that a group of suspects who have been arrested in our state for cultism, whose investigation has been completed and were about to be under prosecution under the state law on the advise of the ministry of justice, all of a sudden were ordered to be transferred to Abuja this morning,” Saraki said.

“The information reaching him from the commissioner of police that they have been directed by IGP to bring them to Abuja. With the information that he has, they would find how to alter their statement already made in Ilorin and try and implicate the state government and particularly myself. I feel that as we speak now, these suspects are already here in Abuja.

“These acts I don’t know whether to call it desperation or intimidation, all actions to undermine our democracy, a recipe for anarchy because we are doing our work by asking officials to obey the law, due process and subject themselves to constituted authority.

“I think it is important to call your attention to this dangerous development. The impunity happeneing in this country is a danger to our democracy.”

The IGP refused to honour the invitation of the senate on three separate occasions. In anger, the upper legislative chamber branded him an enemy of democracy, saying he is unfit to hold any public office.

https://wp.me/p8kB6r-1QID

Legalshield now offers a Gun Owner Supplement in 46 states!!

Crime, SEcurity

Please SHARE so others can be protected with this plan. #Legalshield now offers a Gun Owner Supplement in 46 states!! If you own a gun, please take a look at this coverage!! It includes emergency #attorney access after the use of a #firearm as well as other benefits!! Not available in NC NV, NY & MA. http://jerrytolle.wearelegalshield.com

You can follow Jerry Tolle at http://www.JerryTolle.com

https://wp.me/pP2LU-cm

Paris stabbings investigated as terror attack, claimed by IS — WEATHER INTERNAL

Crime, News, SEcurity, Terrorism

PARIS (AP) — A knife-wielding assailant killed one person and injured four others in a lively neighborhood near Paris’ famed Opera Garnier before he was killed by police Saturday night. The Islamic State group claimed the attacker as one of its “soldiers.”

Counterterrorism authorities took charge of the investigation, and President Emmanuel Macron vowed that France would not bow to extremists despite being the target of multiple deadly attacks in recent years.None

Paris police officers evacuated people from some buildings in the Right Bank neighborhood after the attack, which happened on rue Monsigny at about 9 p.m. (1900 GMT.) Bar patrons and opera-goers described surprise and confusion in the immediate area.

Beyond the police cordon, however, crowds still filled nearby cafes and the city’s night life resumed its normal pace soon after the attack.

Prosecutor Francois Molins said counterterrorism authorities are leading the investigation on potential charges of murder and attempted murder in connection with terrorist motives.

None“At this stage, based on the one hand on the account of witnesses who said the attacker cried ‘Allahu akbar’ (God is great in Arabic) while attacking passersby with a knife, and given the modus operandi, we have turned this over to the counterterrorist section of the Paris prosecutor’s office,” Molins told reporters from the scene.

The Islamic State group’s Aamaq news agency said in a statement early Sunday that the assailant carried out the attack in response to the group’s calls for supporters to target members of the U.S.-led military coalition squeezing the extremists out of Iraq and Syria.

The Aamaq statement did not provide evidence for its claim or details on the assailant’s identity.

France’s military has been active in the coalition since 2014, and Islamic State adherents have killed more than 200 people in France in recent years, including the 130 who died in the coordinated November 2015 attacks in Paris.

President Emmanuel Macron tweeted his praise for police who “neutralized the terrorist” and said “France is once again paying the price of blood but will not cede an inch to enemies of freedom.”

Paris police said the attacker in Saturday’s stabbings was armed with a knife and targeted five people in the 2nd arrondissement, or district, killing one and seriously injuring two. The other two suffered less serious injuries.None

The attack occurred near many bars and theaters, as well as the opera.

France’s BFM television interviewed an unnamed witness in a restaurant who said a young woman was at the entrance when “a man arrived and attacked her with a knife.” A friend came to her aid and the attacker left, “hitting on all the doors, all the shops,” the witness told BFM. He turned onto another street, and everyone scattered, the witness said.

“I was having a drink with friends and we heard a boom,” a witness named Gloria, who had been in a nearby bar, recounted on Saturday night. She said she went outside to see what happened and “I saw a guy lying on the ground.”

Another witness described leaving the opera house and being told to go back inside because of the attack.

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb denounced the “odious attack.”None

via Paris stabbings investigated as terror attack, claimed by IS — WEATHER INTERNAL

#Breaking “Worst case scenario” predicted for latest outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo

News, SEcurity

USAfricaLIVE

The World Health Organisation says it is preparing for “the worst case scenario” in a fresh outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo. WHO has recorded 32 suspected or confirmed cases in Bikoro, including 18 deaths, between April 4 and May 9. The cases include three healthcare workers, one of whom has died. This is the country’s ninth known outbreak of Ebola since 1976, when the disease was ærst identiæed in then-Zaire by a Belgian-led team.ebola-un.png

Efforts to contain the latest outbreak have been hampered because the affected region of the country is very remote. “There are very few paved roads, very little electriæcation, access is extremely difæcult… It is basically 15 hours by motorbike from the closest town,” WHO’s head of emergency response Peter Salama said. Cases have already been reported in three separate locations around Bikoro, and Mr Salama warned there was a clear risk the disease could spread to more densely populated areas.

WHO is particularly concerned about the virus reaching Mbandaka, which has around one million inhabitants and is only a few hours away from Bikoro. “If we see a town of that size infected with Ebola, then we are going to have a major urban outbreak,” Mr Salama warned. The organisation has a team on the ground and is preparing to send up to 40 more specialists to the region in the coming week or so.

Nigeria’s government this week ordered that travellers from DR Congo should be screened as an additional security measure after the fresh outbreak was confirmed, but the request was rejected by Nigeria’s health workers’ unions, who have been striking since April 18 over pay and conditions. The country does not share a border with DR Congo but memories are still fresh of an Ebola outbreak in 2014 that killed seven people out of 19 confirmed cases.

ref: AFP

We are going to challenge Senate’s resolution in court – Police — AdeLove.com|Best Nigerian Blog

2019 Elections, News, Power, SEcurity

The police authorities have resolved to drag the senate to the court to challenge the untoward action and resolution against the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris.

Image result for We are going to challenge Senate’s resolution in court – Police

The plan by the police to approach the courts came barely 48 hours after the angry senators declared Idris as unfit to hold public office

The Commissioner of Police (Legal), Force Headquarters, Mr. David Igbodo, stated this on Thursday while appearing on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

“That declaration, we are going to challenge it (in court),” he said.

“We want the court to interpret whether each time the IGP is invited to appear before the National Assembly (NASS), whether he must, as a matter of fact, appear in person.”

The police boss and the National Assembly have not been on the same page since the arrest of Senator Dino Melaye over offences bordering on alleged murder and unlawful possession of firearms among several others.

Idris was first summoned on April 25, but he failed to appear, rather sent a DIG to represent him at the Senate, noting that he was on an official assignment to Bauchi with President Muhammadu Buhari.

He was summoned for the second time to appear on May 2, but he again failed to honour it, delegating Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Operations), Joshak Habila, whom the Senate refused to entertain.

Igbodo explained that the IGP acted in accordance with the law by delegating the DIG to represent him in an official capacity.

“Official functions of the IGP can be performed by the DIG or the Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIGs). So why are they insisting that it must be the IGP to appear in person?

“What is personal about it? The facts are known to the DIG (Operations). The facts are known to all the DIGs. They are expected to brief the NASS, why are they making it personal?”

Igbodo further accused the Senators of making the issue personal, wondering why the police chief cannot assign another senior officer on official assignments.

The police had earlier absolved the IGP of blames, stressing that he is not an enemy of democracy as declared by the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki.

Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, had in a statement on Wednesday said the police is rather the first defender of democracy in Nigeria.

He said, “It is important to correct the impression created in the minds of the people from the Senate’s resolution that the IGP is not and will not be an enemy to democracy.”

According to Moshood, the Senate’s declaration of the Police boss as an enemy of democracy is a deliberate blackmail, witch-hunting, and mischief aimed at casting aspersions on the integrity of the IGP.

The post We are going to challenge Senate’s resolution in court – Police appeared first onAdeLove.com|Best Nigerian Blog.

via We are going to challenge Senate’s resolution in court – Police — AdeLove.com|Best Nigerian Blog

Iran denies attacking Israeli positions — Peace and Freedom

Middle East, News, SEcurity, SYRIA

Iran has denied involvement in rocket attacks on the Golan Heights that led to Israeli strikes on Iranian sites in Syria. The UN has called for an end to “hostile acts” amid fears of further escalation.

    
Tanks on the Golan Heights (picture-alliance/Xinhua News Agency)

Iran on Friday rejected accusations by Israel that it had fired rockets at Israeli positions in the Golan Heights, describing them as ” freely invented and baseless” charges designed to justify Israel’s own attacks on Syria.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi also criticized the international community for not condemning Israeli airstrikes in Syria on Thursday that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a retaliation against Iran’s aggression.

Image result for Bahram Qasemi, photos

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi

Its silence “only gives the Zionist regime (Israel) the green light for further aggressions that serve only to make the region more insecure and unstable,” he said.

The defense committee of Iran’s parliament also said Iranian forces had nothing to do with the attacks on Israeli positions.

“This is another lie from the Zionist regime for propaganda purposes, ” said committee spokesman Mohammad Nabandegani. Nobandegani also denied that Iran had any military forces in Syria at all.

Read more: The West tends to ‘exaggerate’ Iran’s role in the Syrian conflict

 

Israel announced early on Thursday that its forces had hit “almost all” Iranian infrastructure sites in Syria during airstrikes carried out in retaliation for Iran’s firing of 20 rockets into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Netanyahu said that Iran had “crossed a red line” with the rocket attacks.

The attacks were some of the worst direct violence between arch rivals Israel and Iran in years and have raised fears of a wider conflict in the region. Israel has long expressed concern that Iran could establish a military presence in Syria amid the instability caused by Syria’s long-running civil war.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres echoed fears of further escalation in a tweet in which he called for an end to “all hostile acts and any provocative actions.”

António Guterres

✔@antonioguterres

The Middle East is already embroiled in terrible conflicts with immense suffering of civilians. I urge an immediate halt to all hostile acts and any provocative actions to avoid a new conflagration in the region. https://bit.ly/2I4yCzH 

A UN spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, told reporters that Guterres had been in contact “with various people at various levels” about the attacks.

‘Right to self-defense’

Germany’s Foreign Ministry has sided with Israel in condemning Iranian aggression. In a tweet, it said the rocket attacks were “a serious provocation that we condemn in the harshest way possible. Israel has, as we have stated several times, a right to self-defense.”

Washington also slammed what it called “the Iranian regime’s provocative rocket attacks” and reiterated its support for “Israel’s right to act in self-defense.”

Israel’s UN ambassador, Danny Danon, has called on the UN Security Council and Guterres to condemn Iran and call on Tehran to remove its forces from Syria.

However, in light of the divisions within the Security Council over Syria, it seems unlikely that the body will issue any statement on the matter.

tj/ng (AP, dpa, Reuters)

http://www.dw.com/en/iran-denies-attacking-israeli-positions/a-43736095

via Iran denies attacking Israeli positions — Peace and Freedom

1,500 schools destroyed by Boko Haram in North-East – FG

Boko Haram, News, SEcurity, Terrorism

Olaleye Aluko, Abuja

The Federal Government said on Wednesday that more than 1,500 primary and secondary schools in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states had been destroyed by the Boko Haram insurgency since 2014.

The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, stated this at a workshop on the Safe School Declaration initiative in Abuja, noting that there was “an urgent need to protect education from attacks.”

chi

The minister said the Federal Government was concerned over the systematic destruction and targeting of education, adding that over 2,295 teachers had been killed and 19,000 others displaced in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states in the last nine years.

Adamu, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Sonny Echono, said in his address, “There is an urgent need to protect education from attacks, because without access to quality learning, the children are not only being deprived of education; they are also being robbed of future opportunities which will affect the entire society.

“We express concern over the systematic destruction and targeting of education, where over 2,295 teachers have been killed and 19,000 others displaced in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states in the last nine years.

“In the same vein, an estimated 1,500 schools have been destroyed since 2014, with over 1,280 casualties among teachers and students, thereby devastating the school system.

“Education should continue despite the conflicts but this was not evident for many people.

The Director of Education Support Services of the ministry, Mrs Justina Ibe, said there was a need to develop a sound legal framework to ensure proper implementation of the Safe School Initiative for protecting schools from attacks.

She said the workshop was meant to formally inform stakeholders about the researches on the protection of education from attacks and to interact and share experiences with countries that had implemented the Safe School Declaration.

PUNCH.

Empowering young women to stand up for conflict resilience

News, SEcurity, Terrorism

However, risk can be reduced through conflict resilience led by young women. Conflict resilience is defined as the capacity for societies and communities to recover quickly from violent disputes and reduce their vulnerability to a resurgence of such conflicts. Women, as described in UN Resolution 1325, should play a more active role in efforts to achieve peace and security. Given the vulnerability of young women during violent conflicts, it makes sense to capacitate them to do so.

Identifying young women in affected conflict areas who are motivated to transform their communities into pillars for peace and development is the first step. This is the basis of partnerships between young women and governments in the resilience process. The second step is for governments to infuse conflict-resilience education into school curriculums as the foundation for future initiatives.

Recognising young women who are already leading their communities in conflict transformation can inspire others. Organisations led by young women that have begun to emerge in Africa include Messengers of Peace Liberia and the Borno Women Development Initiative. The latter, a Nigerian-based organisation, aims to place women under the age of 35 at the centre of resilience efforts to combat Boko Haram in Maiduguri.

Unique to the Borno Women Development Initiative is the fact that a young woman, Fatima Askira, leads this initiative. A biological science graduate, the 30-year-old has learnt that her career is not defined by her studies but by the state of her society.

In a forthcoming podcast produced by the Institute for Security Studies and Igarapé Institute’s Innovation in Conflict Prevention project, she tells how supporting and helping people affected by conflict is a responsibility and not a choice. Young women like Askira are an asset to the continent and more young women need to be afforded the opportunity to undertake similar initiatives.

The ability of young women to champion resilience is, however, limited by the marginalisation of youth in general from African peace and governance processes and by the lack of sufficient investment in youth education. These contribute to a longer-term problem for young women, because they are not expected to become engaged in conflict resilience, particularly as leaders.

This kind of structural inequity prevents young women from championing resilience to conflict in other ways too. Firstly, societal expectations for young men and young women in Africa diverge once they transition from childhood to adulthood. This moment is often the point at which the world expands for boys and contracts for girls.

Cultural restrictions such as marriage prospects dictate the future for many young women while young men conversely start to enjoy increased autonomy and social mobility. To help address these concerns, United Nations (UN) Women developed a youth and gender equality strategy in 2017 that aims to foster gender equity championed by youth.

The second structural challenge is that young women are typically labelled as victims in conflict situations, rather than actors with the ability to protect and rebuild their communities. As a result, priority is not given to the potential role of young women in ending conflicts, for example as mediators. Closing this gap is not easy but it is crucial.

Building resilience needs to be multi-dimensional to ensure success. This means a strong partnership between young people, government, civil society and development partners should exist. At a community level, development partners such as the African Development Bank could fund intervention studies assessing the vulnerabilities of communities and their capacity to accommodate young women in conflict resilience.

This, when done in partnership with civil society and government departments responsible for education, can lead to effective training of young women and their community leaders. Building awareness and skills on conflict and trauma, and coping strategies, is the basis for resilience.

Governments should engage with development partners and regional economic communities to build the necessary human resources to enable young women’s role in community resilience. This would have the added benefit of building trust between governments and young people.

Making young women champions of conflict resilience is a missing part in the peacebuilding puzzle and is long overdue in Africa. Once the partnerships and actions outlined above between government, civil society and development partners get stronger, the trust and empowerment that young women need will follow.

Muneinazvo Kujeke, Junior Research Consultant, Peace Operations and Peacebuilding, ISS Pretoria

Two Obvious Gaffe in the Tuccano Purchase

APC, law enforcement, News, PMB, Politics, SEcurity, Tech, Terrorism

Buhari-Saraki-and-DogaraThe hue and cry on the propriety of the Federal Government payment for 12 unit of A-29 Tuccano Super Fighter Jets without due consent from the National Assembly still remain a mystery in public discussions. Clear facts revealed that several terror groups are challenging Nigerians’ security and killing innocent civilians on daily basis; the Nigerian Army need better air support to dislodge these terror groups especially the Boko Haram from their entrenched hideouts; it is a fact that the Tuccano is cheaper and retained all capabilities of more advanced fighter jets avionics; the Tuccano are also designed and has been used for guerrilla warfare and low level fast attack operations in areas similar to the Northeast Nigeria terrains, which make them ideal for the current security challenges in Nigeria; and to top these, the aircrafts have one of the lowest operation costs in the industry –at less than $1000USD per flight hour.

Incredible credentials for a turboprop trainer converted for low-intensity combat operations, so why the challenges on the purchase. We have tried to assuage two major facts behind the obstreperous challenges of this payment of $496 million for 12 A29 Tuccano Super Fighter Jets by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Unit Cost:

 Average costs of the Nigerian purchase for these jets remained the highest ever paid. The airframe cost of the Tuccano as paid by the Dominican Republic for training purposes was a mere $8m. Industrial facts put the costs of a Tuccano at about $12m for a fully equipped versions though recent American buys of Super Tuccano for Afghanistan have come out to between $20 and $30 million because of inflation, different equipment, the inclusion of long-lead spares, and other factors.

The Nigeria government paid a total of $496m for 12 aircrafts giving an average of $41.33m each. Discounting the fact that four of the order were filled for basic airframe suited for Pilot trainings, the average could go higher than $50m per aircraft. Experts reasoned that Nigeria could have purchased better equipment for the price we are currently expending on these Tuccanos.

Delivery Date:

Given the expediency of current security challenges in Nigeria and the attendant-growing spate of attacks in the country, the purchase of the Tuccano would have been a welcome idea if the jets will be available to join in the fray immediately. The delivery dates for these equipment by the American government is in 2020. The jets might not come into formal usage before the end of 2020 give need for training of pilots and tests of equipment before formal commissioning and deployment.

For a nation with a depressed economy fighting serious on-going battle with terrorists using current scarce resources to purchase equipment that might not come into service to aid current security onslaught could be “technically flawed”.

DIVIDED COUNTRY: All the charts that show South Africa’s inequality is only getting worse – Quartz Africa

Africa, News, SEcurity

south-africa-democracy-anniversarySouth Africa often feels two different countries chaffing up against each other—one for the rich and one for the poor. This separation was legislated under apartheid, but post-apartheid South Africa has struggled to bridge the divide.

Today, the disparity in education, skills and income continues. Two recently released World Bank reports further show that the gap is not only widening, it is intergenerational. The circumstances that exacerbate South Africa’s inequality are both historical and a result of years of policy uncertainty, making it harder for ordinary South Africans to claw their way out of poverty.

More than half of the population already lives in poverty, and a further 27% of the population live in a state of susceptibility to poverty. These 27% are referred to as the transient poor by the World Bank in it’s report “Overcoming poverty and inequality in South Africa.” On the other hand 20% of the country can be considered middle class, while only 4% of the country is considered elite. In comparison, Mauritius’ middle class is nearly 80% of the population.

South Africans in the top-earning income bracket earn nearly five times more than the average low skilled jobs, according to the report. That disparity creates a gulf of two economies in one country, where top earners’ wages are comparable to developed countries, while wages on the lower scale are akin to those in impoverished countries. Much of that gulf is due to differences in education levels.

The middle class has particularly suffered from South African economy’s inability to create new jobs. To achieve a significant reduction in the country’s unemployment rate, the World Bank estimates 600,000 jobs would need to be created every year. The economy is producing half that number. Most of the new jobs are in the services sector, while low-skill agriculture and manufacturing jobs are on the decline. Unemployment disproportionally affects black South Africans, perpetuating apartheid’s inequality.

When identifying who “the poor” are, the profile has remained the same before and after apartheid. Two fifths of sons born to very poor fathers will never get out of the the bottom 40% of the next generation’s income distribution, according to World Bank’s South Africa Economy Update (pdf). The chances of a boy born into the bottom 20% of the income distribution even reaching the top 20% for one year are slim, at just over 16.2%. Nearly 43% of boys born into the top 20% reach those heights.

Post-apartheid economic policies have been unable to find a balance between job creation and economic growth. During the Mandela years, the country tried the Reconstruction and Development Program, which focused on social security but the program was costly and was not able to broaden the tax base. Then there was Growth, Employment and Redistribution, which tried to stimulate growth and reduce inflation and the deficit, but failed to create many jobs. It unsuccessfully depended on a trickle-down effect to grow the middle class.

The Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (ASGISA)was a compromise that aimed to halve unemployment in 10 years, but implementation was hindered by political power playing. Its replacement, the New Growth Path and the current National Development Plan languish under the same lack of political will.

These policy decisions have created so-called missing middle in various sectors of society who are becoming increasingly dissatisfied. It is glaring in South Africa’s higher education. Categorized as households who earn less than 600,000 rand per year ($47,800), the students who make up the missing middle don’t qualify for national assistance, but they simply can’t afford to pay tuition.

They made up the thousands of young people who created the#FeesMustFall movement, and they are overwhelmingly black. Only 5% of black students are likely to graduate, compared to 15% in 1975. In contrast, the number of white graduates had increased slightly during the same period.

While the reports show inequality is most pronounced in the labor market—through income, education and, skills—it is impossible to remove contemporary circumstances from the country’s history. Inequality and its effects still disproportionately affect black South Africans, especially women. While some previously disenfranchised may have escaped poverty, the country’s inability create jobs and find a sustainable solution means the ranks of the impoverished are swelling far faster than those able to climb out.

An Israeli minister hints that Assad could be assassinated over any Iranian attacks on Israel from Syria — National Post

international News, Middle East, News, Politics, SEcurity, SYRIA

JERUSALEM, May 7 (Reuters) — Israel could respond to any Iranian attack on it from Syria by toppling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government, an Israeli security cabinet minister said on Monday, hinting that Assad himself may be targeted for assassination. Israel and Iran have traded blows over Syria since February, stirring concern that major escalation…

JERUSALEM, May 7 (Reuters) — Israel could respond to any Iranian attack on it from Syria by toppling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government, an Israeli security cabinet minister said on Monday, hinting that Assad himself may be targeted for assassination.

Israel and Iran have traded blows over Syria since February, stirring concern that major escalation could be looming ahead of next week’s review decision by U.S. President Donald Trump on the 2015 international nuclear deal with Tehran.

On April 9, an air strike killed seven Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps members at the Syrian base. Tehran blamed Israel and vowed unspecified retaliation, drawing Israeli counter-threats to broaden attacks on Iranian military assets in Syria.

Sharpening these warnings, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Monday that Assad may find himself in Israel’s sights.

“If Assad allows Iran to turn Syria into a military vanguard against us, to attack us from Syrian territory, he should know that would be the end of him, the end of his regime,” Steinitz told the Ynet news site.

Asked if that meant Israel might assassinate Assad, Steinitz said: “His blood would be forfeit.” He also appeared to suggest that his remarks did not reflect Israeli government policy, saying: “I’m not talking about any concrete proposal.”

There was no immediate response from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office or from Israel’s Defence Ministry.

A Ynet text story had quoted Steinitz as saying explicitly that Israel would kill Assad, but this was not borne out by a video clip of the interview.

Iran, Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia and Russia have been reinforcing Damascus against a seven-year-old Syrian rebellion. The Israelis worry that Iran’s garrison will remain, linking with Hezbollah to form a broad Syrian-Lebanese front against them.

On Sunday, Israeli media carried what they described as an alert by Israel’s intelligence services that Iran was planning a missile salvo against Israeli military bases from within Syria.

Some analysts interpreted the publication as a warning to Iran that its plans were known, lest it try to carry out the missile strike without explicitly claiming responsibility.

On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow to discuss Syria, where Moscow wants to see Assad’s rule restored.

“Whoever is interested in Assad’s survival should do the honour of telling Assad to prevent attacks on Israel,” Steinitz said, alluding to Putin.

via An Israeli minister hints that Assad could be assassinated over any Iranian attacks on Israel from Syria — National Post

45 dead as militia, bandits clash in Kaduna State, Northern Nigeria.

Crime, News, SEcurity

world01pix

The Kaduna State Police Chief, Austin Iwar, confirmed the attack, saying: “There was violence between the militias, who are very powerful, and bandits.” AFP PHOTO 

By AFP
  • Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has been criticised for failing to curb the violence, which is becoming a key election issue ahead of presidential polls in 2019.
  • The military and police are fighting Boko Haram jihadists in the north, militants and pirates in the oil-rich south, a simmering separatist movement in the east as well as the bloody conflict between herdsmen and farmers spanning the vast central region.

Fighting between armed bandits and militiamen left 45 dead in northern Nigeria, police and a local militia said Sunday, amid escalating rural violence often involving cattle rustling, robbery and kidnappings.

“The 45 bodies were found scattered in the bush. The bandits pursued residents who mobilised to defend the village after overpowering them,” said a vigilante who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals.

“The dead included children abandoned by their parents during the attack” in the village of Gwaska, in Kaduna state.
“The attackers were obviously armed bandits from neighbouring Zamfara state who have been terrorising Birnin Gwari area,” he added.

The Kaduna state police chief, Austin Iwar, confirmed the attack, saying: “There was violence between the militias, who are very powerful, and bandits.”
He could not break down the casualties, saying only: “For now all we know is that 12 people were buried yesterday and 33 today.”

The vigilante said the bandits struck at about 2:30 pm (1330 GMT) Saturday and stayed for three hours before retreating to their base in the forest in Zamfara.
“They burnt down many homes,” he said.

The killings follow the death of 13 people in prolonged clashes between cattle thieves and local civilian militia in Zamfara last week.
The attacks underlined the diversity of Nigeria’s security threats that persist because of an overstretched army and security forces.

Rural communities in Zamfara have been under siege for several years from cattle rustlers and kidnapping gangs, who have raided herding communities, killing, looting and burning homes.
To defend themselves, villages and herdsmen form vigilante groups, but they too are often accused of extra-judicial killings, provoking a bloody cycle of retaliatory attacks.

Adding to the proliferation of violence due to these criminal groups, Nigeria is in the grip of a security crisis as nomadic herders and sedentary farmers fight over land in an increasingly bloody battle for resources.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has been criticised for failing to curb the violence, which is becoming a key election issue ahead of presidential polls in 2019.

The military and police are fighting Boko Haram Jihadists in the north, militants and pirates in the oil-rich south, a simmering separatist movement in the east as well as the bloody conflict between herdsmen and farmers spanning the vast central region.

Woman Allegedly Stabbed To Death On Her Birthday By Her Baby Daddy Over ‘Romantic Slap’ In Rivers State (Photos)

Crime, Legal, SEcurity

Late Desire Sokari West A promising young woman, Desire Sokari West has paid with her life after she reportedly gave her baby daddy a ‘romantic slap’ on her birthday. The tragic incident happened yesterday in Buguma area of Rivers State. It was gathered that the man went on rampage after the slap and murdered the […]

http://www.informationng.com/?p=601203

Okowa believes Enforcement of Antigrazing Laws could put an End to Killings in Nigeria

Crime, Herdsmen, law enforcement, Nigeria, Politics, SEcurity, Terrorism

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State on Sunday called on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to encourage cattle ranching so as to stop incessant killings between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria.

Okowa, who spoke at the St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Ekpan, Uvwie Local Government Area of the state during the third session of the 12th Synod of the Diocese of Warri, Anglican Communion, noted that open grazing should be highly discouraged.

The governor, who decried the killings by suspected herdsmen across the country, posited that it was time for those involved in cattle rearing to embrace ranching.

He said, “Herdsmen/farmers clash is a national problem and as a state, we are trying to bring the crisis to the barest minimum. As a nation, we must go into ranching for our cattle.

“It is our hope that necessary actions will be taken for us to go into ranching. We cannot continue to allow our cattle to be roaming around.”

Okowa, however, disclosed that he had sent a bill to the state House of Assembly seeking to criminalise youths harassing and extorting money from companies and property developers.

The governor, accompanied by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori, the state Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olorogun Kingsley Esiso and other top government functionaries, warned youths in the state to stop such practice as anyone caught would be dealt with.

“We have sent a bill to the Delta State House of Assembly which will criminalise ‘deve’ (extortion) by youths and anyone who is found guilty will go to jail.

“Anyone who is caught causing trouble, no matter how highly placed you are or who your sponsors are, will face the wrath of the law. We like the peace we are enjoying in the state,” Okowa added.

Source: DailyPost.ng

TechCrunch: Our “modern” Congress doesn’t understand 21st century technology

law enforcement, Legal, Politics, Power, SEcurity

TechCrunch: Our “modern” Congress doesn’t understand 21st century technology . “Facebook is a business that sells social connection, its algorithms are made for targeted advertising. The data that we users provide via friends, likes and shares makes their model lucrative. But connecting a person to a pair of shoes cannot be the same engagement algorithm that we use to build a cohesive democratic society. Watch any hearing on Capitol Hill. It’s a durable, if old fashioned bridge between leaders and citizens. Informed deliberation could be a lot more compelling, but it can never compete on the same turf with funny GIFs and targeted videos. Algorithms optimized for commercial engagement do not protect public goods like democratic discourse. They are built for shareholders, not citizens. To the contrary, they can exploit and damage democracy’s most precious resource– civic trust.”

https://wp.me/p6lZHy-9e1