UK supports Nigeria in fight against extremism – Foreign Secretary

By sdnonline.net

The United Kingdom Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has visited the North East of Nigeria to show that the UK remains committed to supporting Nigeria and its neighbours in the fight against Boko Haram and Islamic State in West Africa. The UK has repeatedly called for the release of all those abducted by Boko Haram and Islamic State in West Africa and the protection of all civilians.

 Hunt visited the World Food Programme (WFP) warehouse in Maiduguri during his week-long trip to Africa, where he spoke to people providing life-saving support to millions who have fled their homes following attacks by terrorist groups. He also met with the UK Military Liaison and Support Team which is working with the Nigerian military.

 Speaking in Maiduguri, Hunt said: “People are being forced from their homes by the evils of extremism and terrorism. Boko Haram and Islamic State are the antithesis of the values we all hold dear, and we will continue to support Nigeria in the fight to give people secure, prosperous and happy lives.”

 The UK is providing a substantial and increasing package of security, humanitarian and development support. This includes training and capacity building for Nigerian armed forces deploying in the North East. The UK has trained over 30,000 Nigerian troops in recent years.

 As the second largest humanitarian donor, the UK government was one of the first to respond to the crisis, investing £300 million in live-saving aid over five years to reach over 1.5 million of the most vulnerable people. UK support is also addressing root causes of the conflict, helping the Nigerian Government to deliver for its citizens in the longer term, including in health and education.

The UK-Nigeria Security and Defence Partnership, signed during the Prime Minister’s visit to the country in 2018, will increase the UK’s co-operation in the fight against terrorist groups and other security challenges.

Nigeria needs to plan for civilian-led stabilisation and development in areas where the military has ousted the terrorist groups. Together with international partners, the UK will continue supporting Nigeria and its neighbours to tackle threats to regional stability.

hdForeign secretary meets with Nigerian and British soldiers who are part of a training and support programme by British military.

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2019 WPFD: IPC criticizes rise in fake news, threats to journalists

-By sdnonline.net

 As the world commemorates the World Press Freedom Day (WPFD), the International Press Centre (IPC) has called attention to the need for deliberate ways to combat the rising tide of fake news and disinformation as well as growing threats to journalists in reporting democratic development and elections.

Global discourse for Year 2019 WPFD, which is the 26th edition of the event taking place at the African Union Headquarters, Addis Ababa, is with the theme; “Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation.”

In a statement, Mr. Lanre Arogundade, Director, IPC, noted that the role that the media play in reporting the actions and activities of stakeholders in the electoral process remains imperative as journalists remain obligated in providing factual and truthful information to citizens.

“In the face of emerging realities, media channels especially online platforms have become susceptible channels for the dissemination of disinformation in reporting elections as witnessed in the building up to the 2019 general elections, which is a dangerous trend that  ethical and professional journalistic report must address.

“Respect for truth and for the right of the public to truth is the first duty of journalists, and this must be upheld at all times, especially when it comes to reporting democratic governance”, he said.

Arogundade however lamented that journalists have also become targets of repression and assault of anti-democracy forces, which tramps on the rights of journalists.

“The International Press Centre (IPC) through its 2019 Media and Elections situation room found it worrisome that there was an increase in the attacks on journalists during the Governorship and State Assembly elections in disregard to the rights of journalists to monitor and report election activities as guaranteed by various regulatory frameworks such as the Electoral Act, the Nigeria Broadcasting Code and the Nigerian Media Code of Election Coverage”.

“These acts are inimical to an enabling operational environment for journalism”, he added, while calling on institutional stakeholders to use the 2019 WPFD as a spring board to addressing all infractions inimical to freedom of expression and free media.