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Showing posts from December 17, 2012

Iran urges progress over nuclear talks

Foreign minister asks western powers to reach a conclusion and end the current stalemate over Iran's nuclear programme. Last Modified: 17 Dec 2012 12:48 Iran's foreign minister has said that his country was making progress to end the deadlock with six world powers over Tehran's nuclear programme.
"The two sides have reached a conclusion that they must exit the current stalemate," Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted as saying on Monday by the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA).
Western powers accuse Iran of trying to develop the means to build atomic bombs, but Iran insists that the programme is only for civilian nuclear energy.
Iran and the six powers - the United States, Russia, Francem China, Great Britain and Germany - expressed readiness to revive efforts to find a negotiated solution to the decade-old dispute, to head off the risk of a shattering new war in the Middle East.
Salehi said he did not know when the next round of talks would be held, according to ISN…

'No winner' in Syrian conflict, says VP

Farouq al-Sharaa, the Syrian vice-president, has said that neither the government nor the rebels seeking the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad can win the country's 21-month conflict. Sharaa has rarely been seen since the Syrian revolt erupted in March 2011 and is not part of the president's inner circle directing the fight against the rebels. He is, however, the most prominent figure to say in public that Assad will not be able to win the conflict.
Sharaa was speaking to the Lebanese al-Akhbar newspaper, in an interview published on Monday. Assad's forces have used jets and artillery to try to dislodge the fighters from around Damascus but the violence has crept into the heart of the capital and rebels announced on Sunday a new offensive in the central province of Hama. Sharaa said the situation in Syria, where more than 40,000 people have been killed, according to the opposition, was deteriorating and a "historic settlement" was needed to end the conflict, invo…

Curbing Violence in Nigeria (I): The Jos Crisis

Since 2001, violence has erupted in Jos city, capital of Plateau state, in Nigeria’s Middle Belt region. The ostensible dispute is over the “rights” of the indigene Berom/Anaguta/Afizere (BAA) group and the rival claims of the Hausa-Fulani settlers to land, power and resources. Indigene-settler conflicts are not new to Nigeria, but the country is currently experiencing widespread intercommunal strife, which particularly affects the Middle Belt. The Jos crisis is the result of failure to amend the constitution to privilege broad-based citizenship over exclusive indigene status and ensure that residency rather than indigeneity determines citizens’ rights. Constitutional change is an important step to defuse indigene-settler rivalries that continue to undermine security. It must be accompanied by immediate steps to identify and prosecute perpetrators of violence, in Jos and other parts of the country. Elites at local, state and federal level must als…