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ECOWAS Set For Niger Invasion If Diplomacy Fails

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Niger coupists

If the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is unable to use diplomacy to restore democracy in Niger Republic, it will invade the country to remove the military junta .

ECOWAS disclosed this yesterday in Accra, Ghana.

This came as the German government said it is in support of sanctions imposed on the military junta in the country by the European Union (EU).

ECOWAS Heads of State and Government had at its second extraordinary summit in Abuja last week, activated its standing force should the junta in Niger refuse to restore to power ousted president of the country, Mohamed Bazoum.

The threat came as defence chiefs of member states met in the Ghanaian capital to strategise on the next line of action on Niger and discuss details of the standby force. The meeting continues today.

“Let no one be in doubt that if everything else fails, the valiant forces of West Africa…are ready to answer to the call of duty.

“By all means available, constitutional order will be restored in the country,” ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Abdel-Fatau Musah, said.

He listed past ECOWAS deployments in Sierra Leone, Liberia and elsewhere as examples of readiness for military action.

Musah rejected the accusation that ECOWAS is being manipulated by France or any other outside power.

“What they forget is that ECOWAS is a rules-based organisation. We have our protocols, we have our norms and we are ready to protect them.

“That’s why the Heads of State are saying if push comes to shove, we are going into Niger with our own contingents, own equipment and our own resources to make sure we restore constitutional order. If other democracy-loving partners want to support us, they are welcome,” he said.

Musah accused the Niger coup leaders of “playing cat-and-mouse” with ECOWAS by refusing to meet with its envoys and seeking justifications for their takeover of power.

He said most of the bloc’s 15 member states are prepared to participate in the standby force that could intervene in Niger, noting, however, that the exceptions are those also under military rule, including Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea and tiny Cape Verde.

He criticised the junta’s announcement that it had elements to put Bazoum, who is being detained, on trial for treason.

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BREAKING:Iranian President Raisi Dies In Helicopter Crash

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Iranian President Ebrahim Iraisi

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has been confirmed dead in a helicopter crash.

The chopper, which also had Hossein Amirabdollahian, foreign minister; Malek Rahmati, governor of East Azarbaijan province; and Hojjatoleslam Al Hashem, Tabriz Friday prayer leader onboard, crash-landed Sunday afternoon in the Varzaqan region.

Search and rescue teams scoured the mountainous terrain amid heavy fog overnight, and found the wreckage early Monday.

Raisi, 63, was elected president on his second attempt in 2021.

He was regarded as a potential successor to Ayatollah Khamenei, the country’s supreme leader, who has held the position since 1989.

In 2019, Khamenei appointed Raisi as head of the judiciary.

Raisi was also deputy chairman of the Assembly of Experts — the 88-member clerical body responsible for electing the next supreme leader.

State media report that the Iranian government held an emergency meeting after the president and some members of the cabinet were confirmed dead on Monday.

Vice President Mohammad Mokhber led the emergency meeting.

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King Charles III Down With Cancer

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King Charles III King Charles III

By John Michael Ojo

King Charles III whose reign began in September 2022 after the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II is currently suffering from a cancer-related illness.

The King’s ill-health was made known on Monday evening in a circular from the Buckingham Palace.

While the circular did not reveal the exact nature of the cancer, it stated that  the disease was detected during a medical procedure that recently treated the monarch’s enlarged prostate.

The circular which has now gone viral and seen by New Times reads in part: “During The King’s recent hospital procedure for benign prostate enlargement, a separate issue of concern was noted.” “Subsequent diagnostic tests have identified a form of cancer. His Majesty has today commenced a schedule of regular treatments, during which time he has been advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties.”

The Royal Palace added that while the King may not be facing the public anytime soon, he would however be actively working “to undertake state business and official paperwork as usual.”

“The King is grateful to his medical team for their swift intervention, which was made possible thanks to his recent hospital procedure. He remains wholly positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible.”

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Namibian President Dies

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Hage Geingob

Namibia’s President Hage Geingob, 82, died in hospital early on Sunday, the presidency said, weeks after he was diagnosed with cancer.
Geingob had been in charge of the thinly populated and mostly arid southern African country since 2015, the year he announced he had survived prostate cancer.

Vice President Nangolo Mbumba takes the helm in Namibia – a mining hotspot with significant deposits of diamonds and the electric car battery ingredient lithium – until presidential and parliamentary elections at the end of the year.

A presidency post on social media platform X did not give a cause of death, but late last month the presidency said he had travelled to the United States for “a two-day novel treatment for cancerous cells”, after being diagnosed following a regular medical check-up.

Born in 1941, Geingob was a prominent politician since before Namibia achieved independence from white minority-ruled South Africa in 1990.

He chaired the body that drafted Namibia’s constitution, then became its first prime minister at independence on March 21 of that year, a position he retained until 2002.

In 2007, Geingob became vice president of the governing South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO), which he had joined as an agitator for independence when Namibia was still known as South West Africa.SWAPO has remained in power in Namibia unchallenged since independence. The former German colony is technically an upper middle-income country but one with huge disparities in wealth.

“There were no textbooks to prepare us for accomplishing the task of development and shared prosperity after independence,” he said in a speech to mark the day in 2018. “We needed to build a Namibia in which the chains of the injustices of the past would be broken.”
Geingob served as trade and industry minister before becoming prime minister again in 2012.
He won the 2014 election with 87% of the vote but only narrowly avoided a runoff with a little more than half the votes in a subsequent poll in November 2019.

That election followed a government bribery scandal, in which officials were alleged to have awarded horse mackerel quotas to Iceland’s biggest fishing firm, Samherji, in exchange for kickbacks, according to local media reports. The resultant outcry led to the resignation of two ministers.

The following year, Geingob lamented that Namibia’s wealth still remained concentrated in the hands of its white minority.

“Distribution is an issue, but how do we do it?” Geingob said in a virtual session at an event organised by international organisation Horasis.

“We have a racial issue here, a historical racial divide. Now you say we must grab from the whites and give it to the Blacks, it’s not going to work,” he said.

His comments came after the government rescinded as unworkable a policy that would have made it mandatory for white-owned businesses to sell a 25% stake to Black Namibians.

Geingob died at Lady Pohamba Hospital in Windhoek, where he was receiving treatment from his medical team, the presidency said.

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