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Bosnia is in danger of breaking up, warns EU’s top official in the state

Bosnia

Bosnia is in danger of breaking up, warns EU’s top official in the state

The international community’s chief representative in Bosnia has warned that the country is in imminent danger of breaking apart, and there is a “very real” prospect of a return to conflict.

In a report to the UN, Christian Schmidt, the high representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, said that if Serb separatists carry out their threat to recreate their own army, splitting the national armed forces in two, more international peacekeepers would have to be sent back in to stop the slide towards a new war.

International peacekeeping duties in Bosnia are currently the task of a residual EU force (Eufor) that is 700 strong. Nato retains a formal toehold with a headquarters in Sarajevo. The year-long mandate for both is up for renewal this week at the UN security council, but Russia has threatened to block a resolution unless all references to the high representative are removed, potentially undermining Schmidt’s authority as the overseer of the 1995 Dayton peace deal.

In his first report since taking up the post in August, Schmidt, a former German government minister, warned that Bosnia was facing “the greatest existential threat of the postwar period”.

The Bosnian Serb leader, Milorad Dodik, is threatening to pull out of state-level institutions, including the national army built up with international assistance over the past quarter century, and reconstitute a Serb force. On 14 October, Dodik said he would force the Bosnian army to withdraw from the Republika Srpska (the Serb half of Bosnia) by surrounding its barracks and that if the west tried to intervene militarily, he had “friends” who had promised to support the Serb cause, a presumed reference to Serbia and Russia.

Bosnian Serb police carried out “counter-terrorist” exercises last month on Mount Jahorina, from where Serb forces bombarded Sarajevo throughout a 1992-95 siege.

“This is tantamount to secession without proclaiming it,” Schmidt wrote in a report delivered to the UN secretary general, António Guterres, on Friday. He said Dodik’s actions “endanger not only the peace and stability of the country and the region, but – if unanswered by the international community – could lead to the undoing of the [Dayton peace] agreement itself.”

The high representative said it was possible there would be clashes between Bosnian national law enforcement agencies and Bosnian Serb police.

“Should the armed force of BiH [Bosnia and Herzegovina] splinter into two or more armies, the level of international military presence would require reassessment,” Schmidt warned.

“A lack of response to the current situation would endanger the [Dayton agreement], while instability in BiH would have wider regional implications,” he said. “The prospects for further division and conflict are very real.”

Schmidt’s warnings were delivered as the UN security council was preparing its annual resolution renewing the peacekeeping mandate for Eufor and the Nato headquarters, with a vote as early as Wednesday. Moscow is threatening to block the resolution unless all references to the high representative are removed.

The Kremlin opposed Schmidt’s appointment by a Peace Implication Council, an ad hoc multinational body set up to implement the Dayton peace agreement, and refuses to recognise his authority.

“I suspect what Russia really wants is to chip away at the authority of the high representative’s office by stopping him briefing the council,” said a diplomat close to the discussions.

Kurt Bassuener, co-founder and senior associate of the Democratization Policy Council, a Berlin-based thinktank, said: “It sounds like the Americans, the Brits and the French have effectively agreed to really strip back the references to the high representative that were boilerplate, standard issue language in all the previous resolutions.” He added: “And while legally that doesn’t undercut the high representative, politically it sure as hell does.”

Even if Eufor’s mandate is renewed, there is little appetite in the EU to beef up the small force left in Bosnia. Some member states, particularly Hungary, are supportive of Dodik.

“I think he’s willing to gamble on the possibility that, as improbable as it is, he can get away with it by essentially creating new facts on the ground rapidly and counting on the idea that confusion and delay would grip both Sarajevo and the international community and there would ultimately be no meaningful international consequences,” Jasmin Mujanović, a Bosnian political scientist, said.

US deputy assistant secretary of state Gabriel Escobar told Congress last week that the US is working with the EU to “make sure there are consequences for any illegal or any destabilising actions” in Bosnia. But it is unclear whether the Biden administration would support a return to Nato peacekeeping.

Alida Vračić, the head of a Bosnia-based thinktank, Populari, said the perpetual and worsening sense of crisis allows the country’s leaders to disguise their failure to govern.

“Dodik has gone ballistic, but collectively politicians hope to win points on this crisis and citizens are the only losers as expected,” Vračić said.

“This discussion comes in handy, as it derails all meaningful discussions like the fact that Sarajevo is choking in smog, that [the regional governments] embezzled money in the Covid-19 crisis, that the death toll in Sarajevo is worse than during the war, the fact that half of the country is living in poverty, that we have completed exactly zero reforms, that no laws have been discussed in the parliament for months.”

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Oba Adedapo’s loss a huge loss to Ido-Osun- Gov Adeleke

Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State has described the passing of Oba Aderemi Adedapo, Alayemore of Ido-Osun as touching and painful.

This is as he also commiserated with the traditional council, the people of Ido-Osun and the immediate family of Oba Adedapo.

In a statement by his spokesperson, Olawale Rasheed on Sunday in Osogbo, Adeleke noted that the late monarch was a dedicated advocate for peace and progress of his domain.

In Adeleke’s words, “My condolences to the people of Ido-Osun in Egbedore local government on the loss of its traditional ruler, Oba Aderemi Adeen Adedapo, Sapoyoro I. Oba Adedapo was a highly dedicated monarch, who made the progress of subjects and Ido-Osun the core objective while he was alive.”

He noted the deceased monarch’s exceptional professional background in the legal and architectural field, which he brought to bear in advancing the interest of his people while he was alive.

“His demise is a huge loss and I join the people of Ido-Osun in honouring a life full of impacts that defines Oba Adedapo,” he noted, adding that “As much as we grieve his passage, may I enjoin everyone to honour his memory by sustaining his legacy of good deeds and genuine pursuit for the good of the society.

“May God Almighty be pleased with his soul and grant him eternal rest and it is my fervent hope that everyone touched by Oba Adedapo’s demise find comfort in the fact of a life of many impact that he lived.”

Oba Adedapo it was gathered died at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex, OAUTHC, Ile-Ife, on Friday.

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NDLEA declares couple wanted, arrests 4 cartel members over cocaine seizures

.…Intercepts China, UK-bound drug consignments concealed in steel bolts, shea butter; recovers 2,025 explosives in Niger, Kano, Sokoto

A couple, Kazeem Omogoriola Owoalade (alias Abdul Qassim Adisa Balogun) and Rashidat Ayinke Owoalade (alias Bolarinwa Rashidat Ayinke), who runs a cocaine cartel from India has been declared wanted by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA.

This followed the arrest of four members of the syndicate in Lagos where a Sports Utility Vehicle was recovered and two houses already traced to them sealed for forfeiture to the Federal Government.

NDLEA spokesperson Femi Babfemi disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.

Two members of the syndicate: Imran Taofeek Olalekan and Ishola Isiaka Olalekan were arrested on April 3, 2024 following their bid to export 3.40kg cocaine on a Qatar Airlines flight going to Oman through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA Ikeja Lagos.

While Imran was the courier conveying the drug consignment to Oman, Ishola recruited him for the head of the cartel, which investigation has now revealed to be Alhaji Kazeem Omogoriola Owoalade whose Indian residence permit bears Abdul Qassim Adisa Balogun based in India.

Efforts to dismantle his network in Nigeria paid off after five weeks of surveillance and follow up operations when another member of the syndicate, Hamed Abimbola Saheed who works directly with the baron was arrested on Tuesday 14th May at Abule Egba area of Lagos.

It was indeed Saheed who lodged Imran in a hotel a day before his aborted trip to Oman and equally dropped him and Ishola at the Lagos airport the day they were arrested.

During a search of Hamed house, NDLEA operatives recovered some phenacetine, a cutting agent for Cocaine, weighing 900 grams.

He confessed that the recovered substance was what was left of the consignment Imran was taking to Oman the day he was arrested.
His arrest led to a follow up operation at the home of the Owoalade couple at 20 Eyiaro street, Ogudu Orioke, Lagos where another suspect was arrested and a new model Toyota RAV4 SUV marked FKJ-773 JJ belonging to Rashidat and additional 400 grams of Cocaine recovered in addition to already prepared suitcases to be used for illicit drug concealment, digital weighing scales and other paraphernalia.

In the same vein, NDLEA officers of the Directorate of Operations and General Investigations, DOGI, attached to a courier firm in Lagos on Wednesday 15th May intercepted two parcels, containing Cocaine and Amphetamine concealed in steel bolts and shea butter. While the cocaine weighing 587 grams, was concealed in eight steel bolt screws going to China, the Amphetamine consignment packed in vape pens and hidden in shea butter was going to the United Kingdom.

Attempt by Emeka Nwadiaro (a.k.a Mega) to export 3.6kg Loud, a strain of cannabis concealed in 36 water flasks to Dubai, UAE was also thwarted at a logistic company in Port Harcourt, Rivers state on Thursday 16th May while a swift follow up operation led to the arrest of the owner of the consignment, Emeka Nwadiaro in Onitsha, Anambra state same day.
While NDLEA operatives in Lagos intercepted a mercedes benz bus loaded with 840kg cannabis and arrested the driver, Samuel Henry, at Olojo in Ojo LGA, Lagos, another suspect, Lawal Adam was nabbed along Otukpo road, Aliade, Benue state on Friday 17th May with 75,000 pills of opioids including tramadol and exol-5. Two suspects: Olisa Etisi, 32, and Jonathan Umeh, 25, were arrested along Owerri – Onitsha road, Imo state following the discovery by NDLEA operatives of a big gas cyclinder used to conceal six blocks of Loud, a strain of cannabis weighing 3.85kg.

 

In Borno state, 70-year-old Adamu Mohammed was arrested at Mbulamel, Biu LGA on Thursday 16th May with 2kg cannabis and 33.55grams of diazepam, while Gaddafi Sani, 27, was arrested with 30 kilograms of cannabis along Abuja-Kaduna road, Kaduna.

In Yobe state, a consignment of 91.1kg opioids and 13kg cannabis going to Maiduguri, Borno state, was recovered from hidden compartments of a petrol tanker along Potiskum-Damaturu road by NDLEA officers who arrested the driver, Ismaila Ali.

No less than four suspects were arrested in connection with the seizure of 2,025 pieces of improvised explosive devices (IED) materials intercepted in a Toyota hummer bus marked AGL 905 XX by NDLEA officers along Agaie – Lapai road, Niger state.

While the duo of Abdulrauf Shitu Adeyemi, 46, and Asmiyu Rahim, 45, conyeying the IED materials were arrested on the spot, follow up operations led to the arrest of Husaini Abdullahi, 25, at Sokoto main market, Sokoto and Nazifi Abdullahi, 37, at Naibawa Motor Park, Kano on Friday 17th May.

The Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig Gen Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) has directed that all four suspects and the explosive materials be transferred to the appropriate security agency for further investigation.

In another operation, Muhammad Lawal, 42, was nabbed at Central Market Motor Park, Katsina State with 1,000 Ampoules of Pentazocine injection.

A total of 105kg cannabis was on Friday 17th May recovered from a house at Obola community, Owan West LGA, Edo state and a suspect, Gloria Oris arrested when NDLEA officers raided the area.

In Kwara state, two suspects: Abdulganiyu Karaman, 55, and Sunday Abel, 37, were on Saturday 18th May arrested with 83kg cannabis and tramadol at Boriya, Baruten LGA, and Offa respectively.

With the same vigour, the various commands of the Agency across the country continued with the War Against Drug Abuse, WADA, advocacy campaign in the past week. Some of them include: WADA sensitisation lecture for students and teachers of Government Girls Science secondary school, Malumfashi and Government Girls Science Secondary School, Daudawa, Katsina; Government Girls Science College, Tunga Magajiya Rijau LGA, Niger state; students and teachers of St. Theresa’s College Oke-Ado, Ibadan, Oyo state; students of Government Girls Secondary School, Tudun Wada, Kano; students of Dein secondary school, Imobi secondary school and St. Columbas Grammar School, Agbor, Delta State.

While commending the officers and men of the MMIA, Rivers, Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, Yobe, Borno, Niger, Benue, Kwara, Imo, and Edo Commands of the Agency as well as those of DOGI for their outstanding feats in the past week, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) said the efforts have further affirmed the cardinal role of NDLEA in the security architecture of the country.

He equally applauded their counterparts in all the commands across the country for intensifying their WADA advocacy lectures to create a fair balance between their drug supply reduction and drug demand reduction activities.

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Osun Transport Masterplan to Be Ready Soon-Governor Adeleke

Governor Ademola Adeleke has announced his administration’s plan to release to the public the Osun State Transport Master Plan to facilitate integrated connectivity for the Osun economy.

The Governor made the announcement on Thursday while commissioning the Osun State Computerised Vehicle Inspection Testing Center at Osogbo.

The Governor who narrated a series of ongoing reforms being delivered by his government said “The test center right here is the first of its kind among other interventions of our administration to reposition the State’s Transportation sector

According to the State Governor, “Our government is pursuing reforms across the transport sector. We ensure that Commercial Motorcycle operators across the State are registered under a database with a rider’s jacket and identification card for safety purposes. Mini-buses, popularly known as (Korope) have also been registered and numbered for easy identification and security.

“We have introduced single ticketing to all commercial drivers in the State through the Osun State Transport Management System (OSTMS) to guide against leakage of revenue.

“It is equally my pleasure to inform the public that our administration is working on a Transportation Master plan for Osun state. We are focused on a multimodal plan that will integrate all modes of transportation within the state. It will lay our objectives and strategic agenda for land, air, and water transportation.

“The plan is to regulate, plan, and develop an efficient and well-integrated transport system that will serve the public interest, enhance mobility, and deliver a secure and environmentally friendly Public Transportation System in different areas across Osun.

“The plan is central to our five-point agenda as it focuses on connectivity within and outside the state. Osun is centrally located in the heart of Yorubaland.

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