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Saudi prince approved Khashoggi killing – US

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A US intelligence report has found that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the murder of exiled journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

The declassified report released by the Biden administration says the prince approved a plan to either capture or kill the US-based Saudi exile.

It is the first time America has publicly named the crown prince, who denies ordering the death.

Khashoggi was murdered while visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

He had been known for his criticism of the Saudi authorities.

“We assess that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi,” the report by the office of the US director of national intelligence says.

It lists three reasons for believing that the crown prince must have approved the operation:

  • His control of decision-making in the kingdom since 2017
  • The direct involvement in the operation of one of his advisers as well as members of his protective detail
  • His “support for using violent measures to silence dissidents abroad”

The report goes on to name individuals allegedly complicit in, or responsible for, Khashoggi’s death. But it says “we do not know how far in advance” those involved planned to harm him.

Saudi authorities have blamed the killing on a “rogue operation” by a team of agents sent to return the journalist to the kingdom, and a Saudi court tried and sentenced five individuals to 20 years in prison last September, after initially sentencing them to death.

In 2019, UN special rapporteur Agnes Callamard accused the Saudi state of the “deliberate, premeditated execution” of Khashoggi and dismissed the Saudi trial as an “antithesis of justice”.

What does it mean for US-Saudi relations?

As far back as 2018, the CIA reportedly believed that the crown prince had ordered the murder but the allegation that he was involved has never been made publicly by US officials until now.

US President Joe Biden is expected to take a firmer line than his predecessor Donald Trump on human rights and the rule of law in Saudi Arabia, a key American ally in the Middle East.

In a phone call on Thursday with the crown prince’s father, King Salman, the president “affirmed the importance the United States places on universal human rights and the rule of law”, the White House said.

According to sources quoted by Reuters news agency, the Biden administration is considering the cancellation of arms deals with Saudi Arabia that pose human rights concerns as well as the limiting of future military sales to “defensive” weapons.

How was Khashoggi killed?

The 59-year-old journalist went to the consulate in October 2018 in order to obtain papers allowing him to marry his Turkish fiancée.

He had allegedly received assurances from the crown prince’s brother, Prince Khalid bin Salman, who was ambassador to the US at the time, that it would be safe to visit the consulate. Prince Khalid has denied any communication with the journalist.

According to Saudi prosecutors, Khashoggi was forcibly restrained after a struggle and injected with a large amount of a drug, resulting in an overdose that led to his death. His body was then dismembered and handed over to a local “collaborator” outside the consulate, prosecutors said. The remains were never found.

Details were revealed in transcripts of purported audio recordings of the killing obtained by Turkish intelligence.

Khashoggi had once been an adviser to the Saudi government and close to the royal family but he fell out of favour and went into self-imposed exile in the US in 2017.

From there, he wrote a monthly column in the Washington Post in which he criticised the policies of Prince Mohammed.

(BBC)


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Breaking: 5000 displaced as Boko Haram unleash terror on Adamawa communities

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Up to 5,000 persons, mainly women and children have been displaced following weekend attack by Boko Haram in Hong Local Government Area of Adamawa.

Dr Mohammed Sulaiman, the executive secretary of the Adamawa state emergency Management agency, announced this in Yola on Sunday.

The Executive Secretary disclosed that many other communities from neighbouring local governments were also displaced.

He recalled that the insurgents came in nine vehicles on Friday to attack Kwapre village in Dugwaba District of Hong Local Government Area.

Suleiman stated that the insurgents surrounded the village and killed seven people, including three children.


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Breaking: South-East Govs float new security squad amidst growing insecurity

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Five Southeast governors on Sunday announced setting up of a new security outfit known as Ebubeagu.

This was disclosed in a communique after a one-day security summit in Owerri, Imo state capital.

Read the full communique

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED BY SOUTH EAST GOVERNORS AND HEADS OF SECURITY AGENCIES AT THE END OF THE FIRST SOUTH EAST SECURITY SUMMIT HELD IN OWERRI ON SUNDAY APRIL 11th 2021

After exhaustive discussions on the current security challenges in the South East and with valuable contributions from participants at the first South East security summit in Owerri on this day Sunday April 11th 2021, it was resolved as follows:

  1. To strongly and unequivocally condemn terrorism and banditry in any part of Nigeria, particularly in the South East. The meeting strongly condemns the burning of police stations, violent attacks on custodial centres with the unlawful release of inmates, and the killings including security personnel, natives/ farmers and headsmen.
  2. That the five South East states are on the same page with the federal government on the issue of security challenges in the country. To this end, the meeting makes it absolutely clear that the South east will stand resolutely with the federal government to fight terrorists and bandits to a finish
  3. That the political leadership in the South East has resolved to bring together all the arsenals at their command, as one united zone, to fight and flush out criminals and terrorist from the zone.
  4. That the summit resolved that to achieve this, there is a need to galvanise all the relevant stakeholders in the south east, the political class, the business community, the bureaucrats and the intelligentsia to provide all necessary support to security operatives in the five south east states to ensure total success in the fight against criminality in the zone.
  5. That the heads of all the security agencies in the south east have resolved to exchange intelligence in a seamless, effective new order that will help to checkmate crime in the zone.
  6. That to fast track crime-busting in the south east, the heads of security agencies have been mandated to draw up a comprehensive list of their logistics and material needs for sustainable success in the fight against criminality, for the immediate provision by the leadership of the South East.
  7. That a committee made up of security personnel, government officials and relevant stakeholders be set up to coordinate and monitor the implementation of the south east joint security platform.
  8. To applaud the initiative of the South east security summit and to make it a statutory summit that will convene every quarter while its hosting shall rotate among the five south east states.
  9. The meeting resolved to maintain a joint security vigilante for the South East otherwise known as Ebube Agu.
  10. The meeting appreciated the formation of South East joint security outfit co. Named Ebubeagu. Headquarters in Enugu to coordinate our vigilante in the South East.
  11. South East Governors requested the Acting IGP to stop the influx of IGP monitory units but to allow cps and state and Zonal commands to handle their cases.
  12. Meeting approve that the acting IGP and other security chiefs do invite the leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo and CAN to find out the reason for increasing insecurity of the South East .
  13. Meeting agreed that military policing in the South East should be adequately funded and become effective.
  14. Meeting agreed that open grazing has been banned and security agency should implement the ban.
  15. The meeting encouraged a peaceful coexistence of farmers and headers to allow Governors to succeed in the fight against criminality.

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Breaking: Iheanacho nets brace but Westham beat Leicester in Premier League clash

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West Ham defeated Nigeria’s midfielder Wilfred Ndidi’s club 3-2 in their English Premier League encounter on Sunday.

Former Manchester United’s striker Lingard and Nigeria’s Kelechi Iheanacho scored twice in the game.

In-form Lingard had scored twice in the first half before Leicester’s Bown goal in the second half.

Later in the second half, Iheanacho scored twice as Leicester launch fightback.


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