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UN rights council to consider call for Israel arms embargo

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By Francesca Hangeior

The United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council will consider a draft resolution on Friday calling for an arms embargo on Israel, citing the “plausible risk of genocide in Gaza”.

If the draft resolution is adopted, it would mark the first time that the United Nations’ top rights body has taken a position on the war raging in Gaza.

The text condemns “the use of explosive weapons with wide-area effects by Israel” in populated areas of Gaza and demands Israel “uphold its legal responsibility to prevent genocide”.

The draft resolution was brought forward by Pakistan on behalf of 55 of the 56 UN member states in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) — the exception being Albania.

The text is co-sponsored by Bolivia, Cuba and the Palestinian mission in Geneva.

The eight-page draft demands Israel end its occupation of Palestinian territory and immediately lift its “illegal blockade” on the Gaza Strip.

It calls upon countries to stop the sale or transfer of arms, munitions and other military equipment to Israel, citing “a plausible risk of genocide in Gaza”.

The draft also “condemns the use of starvation of civilians as a method of warfare”, calls for an immediate ceasefire and “condemns Israeli actions that may amount to ethnic cleansing”.

Last week, the UN Security Council in New York passed a resolution calling for a ceasefire — thanks to an abstention from Washington, Israel’s closest ally.

The draft being brought in Geneva calls on states to ensure that UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, receives sufficient funding and demands Israel stop expanding settlements in Palestinian territories.

It “reaffirms that criticism of violations of international law by Israel should not be conflated with anti-Semitism”.

The resolution condemns the firing of rockets against Israeli civilian areas and demands “the immediate release of all remaining hostages and detainees”.

The council will discuss Friday whether to adopt the resolution, alongside three other resolutions concerning Israeli settlements, the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, and human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan.

Israel has long accused the Human Rights Council of being biased against it.

The bloodiest-ever Gaza war erupted with Hamas’s October 7 attack, which resulted in about 1,160 deaths in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

Palestinian militants also seized around 250 hostages. Israel believes about 130 remain in Gaza, including 34 who are presumed dead.

Israel’s retaliatory campaign has killed at least 32,975 people, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza.

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Nigerian govt to sell crude oil in Naira to Dangote, other local refineries

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The Nigerian government has decided to sell crude oil to Dangote and local refineries to strengthen the Naira.

Gbenga Komolafe, the CEO of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, revealed this information on Monday during a briefing in Abuja.

According to him, Nigeria’s condensate and crude oil reserves rose to 37.5 billion barrels on January 1, 2024, with a 68.01-year life index.

“The commission, in conjunction with relevant stakeholders from NNPC Upstream Investment Management Services, representatives of Crude Oil/Condensate Producers, Crude Oil Refinery-Owners Association of Nigeria, and Dangote Petroleum Refinery came up with the template for the buy-in of all.

“This is in a bid to foster a seamless implementation of the DCSO and ensure consistent supply of crude oil to domestic refineries.

“The Petroleum Industry Act, PIA intends to make the implementation (of crude oil obligation) easy for producers and refineries.

“So, the answer simply is that the transaction currency would be in Naira or dollar. That is the simple answer.

“But we all know that if the transaction is carried out in Naira, that will free the pressure on the exchange rate.

“That will help the exchange rate. So that is the intent, and besides, the overall intent of the Petroleum Industry Act is to develop our midstream, which is a very laudable provision of the PIA,” he said.

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BREAKING: Wike, Atiku Meet At PDP Caucus Meeting Ahead Of NEC

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, are currently attending the National Caucus meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abuja.

The duo, who sought the presidential ticket of the party for the 2023 election, are among stakeholders at the meeting holding at Bauchi Governors’ lodge behind ECOWAS secretariat in Asokoro.

Details shortly…

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BREAKING: Court Grants EFCC Warrant to Arrest Ex-Kogi Gov Yahaya Bello

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The Federal High Court Sitting in Abuja has granted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, warrant to arrest the former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello.

Justice Emeka Nwite granted the warrant on Wednesday, April 17, at the instance of the EFCC.

According to the Judge, Bello’s arrest is preparatory to his arraignment on Thursday, April 18.

More Details shortly…

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