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Most UN Security Council members oppose US bid for Iran sanctions | News

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The United States was further isolated on Friday over its bid to reimpose international sanctions on Iran, with 13 countries on the 15-member United Nations Security Council expressing their opposition and arguing that Washington’s move is void given it is using a process agreed under a nuclear deal that it quit two years ago.

In the 24 hours since US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he triggered a 30-day countdown to a return of UN sanctions on Iran – including an arms embargo – long-time allies the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Belgium as well as China, Russia, Vietnam, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, South Africa, Indonesia, Estonia and Tunisia have already written letters in opposition, Reuters news agency reported.

The US has accused Iran of breaching a 2015 deal with world powers that aimed to stop Tehran from developing nuclear weapons in return for sanctions relief. But US President Donald Trump described it as the “worst deal ever” and quit in 2018.

Diplomats said Russia, China and many other countries are unlikely to reimpose the sanctions on Iran. Pompeo again warned Russia and China against that on Friday, threatening US action if they refuse to reimpose the UN measures on Iran.

The Trump administration on Friday dismissed the near universal opposition to its demand and declared that a 30-day countdown for the “snapback” of penalties had begun.

“We don’t need anyone’s permission,” US special envoy for Iran Brian Hook told reporters in a briefing on Friday. “Iran is in violation of its voluntary nuclear commitments. The condition has been met to initiate snapback. And so we have now started to initiate snapback.”

He said that “whether people support or oppose what we’re doing is not material,” adding that “today is day one of the 30-day process.”

The US acted on Thursday after the Security Council resoundingly rejected its bid last week to extend an arms embargo on Iran beyond its expiration in October. Only the Dominican Republic joined Washington in voting yes.

Iran’s Ambassador to the UN Majid Takht Ravanchi immediately rejected the US move, which he said was “doomed to failure”.

The Dominican Republic has not yet written to the council to state its position on the sanctions snapback push.

Under the process Washington says it has triggered, it appears all UN sanctions should be reimposed at midnight or 00:00 GMT (8pm New York time) on September 19 – just days before Trump is due to address world leaders at the UN General Assembly, the annual meeting that will be largely virtual because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Iran’s UN Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanch said the US move was ‘doomed to failure  [Mike Segar/Pool via Reuters]

What now?

A 2015 Security Council resolution enshrining the nuclear deal states that if no council member has put forward a draft resolution to extend sanctions relief on Iran within 10 days of a noncompliance complaint, then the body’s president shall do so within the remaining 20 days.

The US would be able to veto this, giving it a cleaner argument that sanctions on Iran have to be reimposed.

However, the 2015 resolution also says the council would “take into account the views of the states involved”. Given the strong opposition, some diplomats say the council president – Indonesia for August and Niger for September – would not have to put up a draft text.

“Faced with this very strong view of a majority of Security Council members that the snapback process has not been triggered, as the presidency they are not bound to introduce the draft resolution,” UN Security Council diplomat told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Pompeo and Hook signalled that Washington expects Indonesia or Niger to put a text to a vote. Another US option is to put forward the draft itself or ask the Dominican Republic to do so.

The US argues that it can trigger the sanctions snapback process because the 2015 Security Council resolution still names it as a nuclear deal participant.

However, in a joint letter to the Security Council on Thursday hours after the US submitted its complaint, the UK, Germany and France said: “Any decisions and actions which would be taken based on this procedure or on its possible outcome would also be devoid of any legal effect.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres distanced himself from the showdown in the Security Council.

“Security Council members will need to interpret their own resolution,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters. “It’s not the Secretary-General.”



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Charles Mbire gains $1.2 million as stake in MTN Uganda rises above $51 million

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Ugandan businessman and MTN Uganda Chairman Charles Mbire has seen the market value of his stake in MTN Uganda surge above $51 million in just two days, as the share price in the leading teleco company increased by a single digit.

The single-digit bump in the share price caused the market value of Mbire’s stake to gain UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million) in less than two days.

The million-dollar increase in the value of his stake came after Uganda’s largest telecom company delivered the country’s largest-ever IPO through the listing of 22.4 billion ordinary shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).

Upon completing the largest IPO in Uganda’s history, MTN Uganda raised a record UGX535 billion ($150.4 million) from the applications that it received for a total of 2.9 billion shares, including incentive shares.

As of press time, Dec. 7, shares in the company were trading at UGX204.95 ($0.0574), down six basis points from their opening price this morning.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that since the telecom company registered its shares on the Ugandan bourse on Mon., Dec. 6, its share price has increased by 2.5 percent from UGX200 ($0.056) to UGX204.95 ($0.0574) as of the time of writing, as retail investors sustained buying interest long after the public offering.

The increase in the company’s share price caused the market value of Mbire’s 3.98-percent stake to rise from UGX178.45 billion ($49.96 million) to UGX182.86 billion ($51.2 million).

In less than two days, his stake gained more than UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million).

In a statement after the successful listing of MTN Uganda’s shares, Mbire said the IPO shows the confidence that Ugandans and other investors have in the company, its brand and strategic intent.

“We commend all the regulators for their support in our work to become a USE-listed company and to comply in a timely manner with the listing provisions of the national telecommunications operators’ license,” he said.

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350 million (debt free).

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350. ( debt free).

He is into communications-revenue assurance-cement-distribution-oil services-real estate-oil exploration and logistics.

Source: Billionaires Africa

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2-year-old dies at Arua hospital as nurse demands Shs 210,000 bribe

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A two-year-old child died at Arua Regional Referral hospital after a nurse, Paul Wamala demanded a bribe amounting to Shs 210,000 before carrying out an operation. 

The incident happened on Saturday, after Aron Nabil, a two-year-old child was referred to the hospital for an operation after he was diagnosed with intestinal obstruction, a medical emergency caused by a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through the small intestine or large intestine.

According to the relatives of the child, Wamala allegedly asked them to initially give him Shs 30,000 to buy medicines to commence the procedure. He however returned shortly asking for an additional Shs 180,000 from the relatives.

Emily Adiru, a resident of Osu cell, in Bazar Ward, Central Division, and a relative of the child says although they paid money to Wamala, he abandoned the child without carrying out the operation. According to Adiru, Wamala later refunded Shs 200,000 through mobile money, after she threatened to report him to the police.

“They told us this boy needs an operation which was supposed to be done in the morning on Sunday at around 7 am. They took him inside there, some doctor came from the theatre, he called one of us and said, we should pay Shs 70,000 for buying medicine to start the operation. We paid the Shs 30,000 [but] after paying the Shs 30,000, after some minutes, the same man came and opened the door and called us again, and told us we should pay another Shs 100,000. We also paid the Shs 100,000 and we thought it is finished. We were outside there waiting for our patient to come out [but] then this man came back again and said we should pay another Shs 80,000,” said Adiru.

Although the operation was later carried out after a 7-hour delay, the child didn’t make it, and relatives attribute the death to negligence. Miria Ahmed, a concerned resident wonders why such incidents have persisted at the facility which is supposed to service the citizens.

“Is the problem the hospital, is it the management or it is the human resource that is the problem in the hospital? A small child like this you demand Shs 210,000 for the operation? Well, if the money was taken and the operation is done, I would say anything bad but this money was taken and the small boy was abandoned in the theatre,” she said. 

When contacted Wamala refused to comment on the allegations. Dr Gilbert Aniku, the acting hospital director says that the hospital will issue an official statement later since consultations about the matter are ongoing.

Arua City resident district commissioner, Alice Akello has condemned the actions of the nurse saying she has ordered his arrest so as to set an example to the rest. The case has been reported to Arua regional referral hospital police post under SD reference No:05/30/05/2022.



Source – observer.ug

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Mexican president’s Mayan Train dealt new legal setback | Tourism News

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Activists say the planned tourist train will harm the wildlife and natural features of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been dealt the latest setback to an ambitious plan to create a tourist train to connect the country’s southern Yucatan Peninsula.

On Monday, a judge indefinitely suspended construction on a portion of the project, known as the Mayan Train, saying the plans currently do not comply “with the proceedings of the environmental impact evaluation”.

The ruling follows a legal challenge by activists who said they were concerned the 60km (37 mile) portion of the train that would connect the resorts of Playa del Carmen and Tulum would adversely affect the area’s wildlife, as well as its caves and water-filled sinkholes known as cenotes.

The original plan for the disputed section was for an overpass over a highway, but the route was modified early this year to go through jungle at ground level.

The federal judge cited the “imminent danger” of causing “irreversible damage” to ecosystems, according to one of the plaintiffs, the non-governmental group Defending the Right to a Healthy Environment. In a statement, the group said that authorities had failed to carry out the necessary environmental impact studies before starting construction of the section.

Lopez Obrador had announced the ambitious project in 2018, with construction beginning in 2020. The roughly 1,500km (930 mile) cargo and passenger rail loop was presented as a cornerstone of a wider plan to develop the poorer states and remote towns throughout the about 181,000sq km (70,000sq mile) Yucatan Peninsula.

The railway is set to connect Caribbean beach resorts with Mayan archaeological ruins, with authorities aiming to complete the project by the end of 2023. The plan is estimated to cost about $16bn.

The project has split communities across the region, with some welcoming the economic development and connectivity it would bring. Others, including some local Indigenous communities, have challenged the project, saying it could not only disrupt the migratory routes of endangered species, including jaguars, tapirs and ocelots, but could also potentially damage centuries-old Mayan archaeological sites.

The National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism, the government agency overseeing the project, has said that it expects to “overcome” the latest challenge and that work should continue after an environmental impact statement is finalised. It said the Environment Ministry was currently reviewing its environmental application for the project.

For his part, Lopez Obrador has insisted the railway will not have a significant environmental effect and has accused activists of being infiltrated by “impostors”.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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