President Replaces Two Top Ministers, Army Chief As Buhari Panics Over UN Next Move

Buhari panics over UN move to expel Libyan foreign fighters

President Muhammadu Buhari has raised the alarm that the expulsion of foreign fighters in Libya, in consonance with a UN resolution, may worsen militancy and terrorism in West Africa, the Sahel and Lake Chad region.

Buhari raised the issue at the ongoing ECOWAS summit in Accra.

He said it is important that fighters be disarmed first and insisted that the expulsion must be done in collaboration with with regional stakeholders.

Buhari has always linked the civil war in Libya to the emergence of insurgency in the Sahel region and his country.

”On the security situation in the region, our organisation must note with serious concern, the recent decision by the United Nations and its Resolution to expel all foreign fighters in Libya, without first, ensuring that they are disarmed and that neighbouring countries and the sub-regions were engaged, to put in place modalities for containing or managing the movement of these fighters.

”While this action was aimed at bringing about sustenance of peace in Libya, non-collaboration with regional stakeholders on this critical decision, has now created newer threats to peace, security and stability in the region,” he said.

He further maintained that this could lead to lack of coordinated management of huge humanitarian crisis across the Sahel, North, Central and West Africa, including the Lake Chad region.

He reiterated that these regions faced the clear possibility of instability with the invasion of the foreign fighters that were fully armed.

”It is imperative that ECOWAS leaders, at this Summit, decide how the UN-Sub-regional organisations partnerships should be reviewed to address the dangers that this UN Resolution poses to the region,” he said.

The statement by the Nigerian leader at the Summit also addressed the military takeover in Mali.

”While democracy continues to develop in our sub-region, recent events in Mali are sad reminders that vigilance remains a crucial imperative to protect people’s aspirations to freely choose the form of government they want.

”Pressures are needed to ensure that the transition process in Mali, which is half-way to its conclusion, is not aborted.

”A further slide in Mali could prove catastrophic to the sub-region, considering that about half of that country is unfortunately under the grip of terrorists.”

The Nigerian leader, therefore, appealed to the military leadership in Mali to understand the critical state of their country, which he described as being ”clearly under siege.”

While noting that the principal responsibility of the military must be to protect and guarantee the sovereignty of the West African country, the president cautioned them not to perpetuate acts that would facilitate the destabilisation and destruction of Mali.

”I urge our organization to remain engaged with all stakeholders in Mali through our astute Mediator, former President Goodluck Jonathan, who, I congratulate warmly, for his untiring efforts thus far.

”I encourage him to sustain these efforts to ensure that the transition is completed as scheduled,” he added.
Source – PM News



Afghan president replaces two top ministers, army chief as violence grows

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has replaced his defense and interior ministers and the army chief of staff amid rising casualties among Afghanistan’s security forces in sharply increased fighting with the Taliban.

The changes, announced late on Saturday by the presidential palace, come as Afghan security forces battle the Taliban in 28 of 34 provinces in the country, with the hardline Zgroup claiming more territory in recent weeks.

Bismillah Khan Mohammadi was appointed as caretaker defense minister replacing Asadullah Khalid, who had recently returned to the country after a prolonged illness while Abdul Sattar Mirzakwal was picked as new interior minister replacing Hayatullah Hayat.

A senior commander under late anti-Soviet resistance hero Ahmad Shah Massoud, Mohammadi has had a long military career and served as interior minister, defense minister and army chief of staff in the government of former president Hamid Karzai.

General Wali Mohammad Ahmadzai was appointed as the new chief of army staff, replacing General Yasin Zia, the palace said.

On Friday, 24 members Afghan special forces soldiers were killed and dozens more wounded during a fight to retake a district captured by the Taliban in northern Faryab province, security officials said.

The Taliban has staged a months-long campaign to expand its influence across the country as the US has begun withdrawing troops from May 1 and closed some bases and handed them over to the Afghan government.

Since the US announced plans in April to pull out all of its troops by Sept. 11, at least 30 districts have been seized by the Taliban.
Source – Alarabiya