Russian President Vladimir Putin has rejected Turkey’s calls for a truce to prevent a “bloodbath” in north Syria.
At a trilateral meeting with Iran and Turkey, Mr Putin said Russia would continue its fight against “terrorists” in Idlib province.
Idlib is the Syrian opposition’s last major stronghold, with almost three million residents.
Syrian military forces, backed by Russia and Iran, are poised to launch a major offensive there soon.
The three-way meeting in Tehran had been seen by many as a final chance to prevent a large-scale battle in Idlib.
Syria has been in a civil war since 2011, after a peaceful uprising against President Bashar al-Assad turned into a conflict that has killed more than 350,000 people.
Why are these countries involved?
Iran, Russia and Turkey have played central roles in the Syrian conflict.
Turkey – which has long backed some rebel groups – fears an all-out assault will trigger another major refugee crisis on its southern border.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his Russian and Iranian counterparts: “We don’t want Idlib to turn into a bloodbath.”
“Any attack on Idlib would result in a catastrophe. Any fight against terrorists requires methods based on time and patience.”
Improvised gas masks are being tried out in Idlib ahead of the expected offensive
However, Russia and Iran are allied to Syria’s President Assad, and say jihadist groups in Idlib must be wiped out.
Russian air strikes, and thousands of fighters backed by Iran, have helped the Syrian military attack rebel areas.
At Friday’s meeting, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani argued that “fighting terrorism in Idlib is an unavoidable part of the mission of restoring peace and stability to Syria”.
Meanwhile Mr Putin said “the legitimate Syrian government has a right and must eventually take under control of its entire national territory”.
Why is Idlib so important?
The province is the last major stronghold of the rebel and jihadist groups which have been trying to overthrow Mr Assad for the past seven years.
The population of Idlib has been swollen by refugees from other parts of Syria
It straddles major highways across Syria – and if it is retaken by the government, would leave the rebels with just a few isolated pockets of territory across the country.
The province is not controlled by a single group, but rather by a number of rival factions, including a jihadist alliance linked to al-Qaeda, and a rival National Liberation Front which is backed by Turkey.
Up to 30,000 rebel and jihadist fighters are believed to be in Idlib.
But the vast majority of Idlib’s residents are civilians. The UN says the region is home to some 2.9 million people, including a million children.
More than half of the civilians have already been displaced at least once from elsewhere in Syria and have nowhere left to go.
Why is concern growing?
The UN fears a large-scale offensive in Idlib will lead to a humanitarian disaster.
Without a political solution in Syria, “we will see this war reach new levels of horrors”, the UN special envoy on Syria, Staffan de Mistura, said.
Meanwhile, the new US envoy for Syria, Jim Jeffrey, said the anticipated conflict would be a “reckless escalation”, and that “there is lots of evidence that chemical weapons are being prepared.”
Protesters in Idlib demonstrated against the Syrian government and Russia on Friday
He did not give details of the evidence he was referring to.
Mr Jeffrey said a “major diplomatic initiative” was now needed, and there was “a new commitment” by President Donald Trump to remain involved in Syria until the Islamic State group (IS) was defeated and Iranian fighters left the country.
Mr Jeffrey said President Assad had “no future as a ruler” in Syria, but it was not Washington’s job to oust him. He said the US would work with Russia on a political transition.
What do we know of chemical weapons use?
The Syrian government has denied ever using chemical weapons.
However, experts from the UN and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) have said government forces were behind an attack involving the nerve agent Sarin on a rebel-held town in southern Idlib in April 2017 that killed more than 80 people.
The US state department warned on Monday that Washington would respond to any new chemical attacks by the Syrian government or its allies.
Premiere League Clubs, Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Ashanti Gold have been informed by the National Sports Authority (NSA) they would pay for any damages caused to any property during and after their planned friendly match at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium.
An upcoming friendly game between the two teams has been scheduled to kick-off at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi.
Director for the NSA, Majeed Bawa told Rainbow Sports Isaac Worlanyo Wallace in interview that, the NSA had not been informed about the friendly and usage of the stadium but confirmed they have received a letter from both teams in that regard.
The letter he revealed was sent to the NSA Friday morning and a meeting has been scheduled with management of both teams.
But stressed the two teams would be made to pay for any damages during and after the friendly match.
The NSA has directed Accra Hearts of Oak and Asante Kototo to pay for the destruction of the 271 chairs by alleged Hearts Supporters during the second leg of their friendly encounter at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium.
Hearts of Oak fans were alleged to have clashed with the military towards the end of the game after being angered by a supposed penalty call that was ignored by the center referee.
The fans ripped chairs and hauled them onto the pitch in protest.
The cost of fixing a seat, according to the NSA, is GHS 110 so in total, Hearts of Oak fans destroyed chairs totaling GHS 30,250. Seven of the Supporters who were however caught in action are currently in Police Custody and are set to be arraigned for court.
Mr Bawa in conclusion said it would be a plus for Ghana Football if even teams get access to their own facilities thereby resulting in proper care and maintenance.
By: ABBAN JUSTICE ABRAHAM (Intern, Rainbow Radio)
Some party delegates of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) are questioning why Johnson Asiedu Nketiah is seeking re-election after he reportedly abandoned the party when he was needed the most at the party’s defeat in 2016.
Speaking to Rainbow Radio this week when some aspiring candidates including Koku Anyidoho, the Deputy General Secretary and closest contender of Mr Nketiah filed to contest, they wondered why General Mosquito as he is affectionately called went into hiding when he was needed to console member of the party.
Some quizzed, ‘’how can Asiedu Nketiah was nowhere to be found when the NDC needed him to give hope as General Secretary? The General Secretary abandoned the NDC and went into hiding. It was Koku Anyidoho who stood in the line of fire to support John Mahama and gave hope to the NDC. Koku Anyidoho fought for the NDC when Asiedu Nketiah was nowhere to be found. Koku Anyidoho certainly loves the NDC and his campaign for party first will surely materialise if he is voted as General Secretary.’’
The delegates further alleged the current chief scribe, was happy the NDC lost the general polls and from the way he wore the cap on his fugu in 2016, showed he had an ulterior motive against the party.
Another delegate said, ‘’the way Asiedu Nketiah wore the cap and beaming with smiles when John Mahama was conceding defeat was strange. He was so excited NDC had lost the 2016 elections to the NPP.’’
The delegates are rooting for Mr Anyidoho because they believe his campaign of party first, discipline and respect for party structures is amazing and will surely win NDC political power in 202.
Meanwhile, former Chairman for the NDC in the Central region, Allotey Jacobs has advised delegates to vote against Asiedu Nketiah.
According to him, some executives at the party’s headquarters have organised themselves into a mafia and are stalling the progress of the party ahead of general elections in 2020.
Asiedu Nketiah heads this mafia, according to him.
The Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) has launched its ‘Assessment of Key Commitments and Propositions of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) at a ceremony today [Friday].
According to the Executive Secretary, Madam Beauty Emefa Nertey, the purpose of this is to identify key commitments and policy propositions of the NPP government to create awareness on these commitments and mobilise citizens to demand greater accountability in the management of public resources.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Afia Kwarteng, she disclosed that according to the key 8 promises of the NPP government, it has failed in delivering on it promises.
GAAC used what it described as desktop approach as most of the data were secondary in nature.
The data according to them was gathered from official reports, such as the 2016 NPP Manifesto, the 2017 and 2018 State of the Nation Addresses (SONA) by President Akufo-Addo, the 2017 and 2018 budgetd and economic policy statement s and other NPP government policy statements related to their performance in office.
Information GACC said was obtained from key offices and institutions responsible for delivering the their promises on transparency and fiscal accountability such as Ministry of Finance and Ghana Audit Service although there was no formal administration of a survey or questionnaire, the report said.
The review also focuses on the promises made, those initiated, fulfilled and/or ongoing within the government’s first one and half years (January 2017-June 2018) in office.
The assessment of the feasibility of the propositions also looks at whether or not they are realistic and can be done within their four (4) year-term or not.
Some of the findings by GACC stated that no bill has been brought before Parliament for consideration with regards to the passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Law, to bring comprehensive accountability, transparency and stability to the budget process.
Another was the law that was promised by the NPP to establish Financial Stability Council and yet ‘’no bill has been brought before Parliament for consideration,’’ the report said.
The NPP also promised to shift the focus of economic management from taxation to production by reducing some taxes and abolish some others but ‘’several taxes labelled as nuisance taxes have been abolished. However, the promise to reduce corporate tax rate from 25% to 20% has not yet been implemented,’’ the report noted.
The report also touched on the promise to elect MMDCEs, the promise to put measures to fight corruption among others.
Portions of the conclusions and wayforwad of the review read: ‘’the government has two and half years to end its first term in office and it is important that CSOs monitor the fulfilment of these promises and hold the government accountable to deliver on them the promises…It is hoped that the NPP government will accept the report in good faith and work to honour all its promises as it prepares towards election in 2020.’’
The report underscored the need for politicians to be held accountable and be made to honour their campaign promises, which won them political power.
‘’the NPP while in opposition, made several promises in its 2016 manifesto and on coming into office in January 2017, the government repeated most of these promises and assured Ghanaians of its commitment to execute them. In general, a number of promises have been delivered while others have either been delivered or not touched at all… The fight against corruption is not satisfactory so far. However, it is clear that some of the promises have been executed, the most prominent ones being the establishment of the Office of Special Prosecutor and the reduction of taxes.’’
Brigadier General Joseph Nunoo-Mensah, a Former National Security Advisor, and a retired soldier, has called on Ghanaians to prepare for a revolution due to the current rate of unemployment, economic hardship, failed leadership and corruption in Ghana.
He cautioned Ghanaians not to underestimate the possibility of the uprising like the one, which occurred in Pakistan and Cuba in the late 80’s and 50s respectively.
According to him, Ghanaians are fond of disregarding such occurrences but the retired military capo says the era for the revolution is fast approaching and if care is not taking, we would be shocked because ''Ghana is waiting to explode''.
The youth in Ghana he observed are fed up with the increasing rate of corruption, and lavish spending by political leaders in power despite the hardship in the country. The youth will soon hit the streets to protest against the incompetence and mismanagement in Ghana, he warned.
‘’Ghanaians are tired and they will explode. Don’t tell me they cannot do something about it. Poverty is on the rise and yet our political leaders have ignored the poor. We have Ghanaians who cannot afford basic square meals and yet they have been ignored…People are buying land cruisers when Ghanaians are suffering […] we have economists and learned people in Ghana and yet we do things as if we are unlearned. We don’t care about the people and yet we buy land cruisers.’’
Following a long period of tumult, a radical coalition—led by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in Pakistan—brought down the military regime of Field Marshal Ayub Khan, just as it was celebrating its tenth “glorious” anniversary.
Students soon joined by workers and later by virtually every subaltern social stratum (including sex workers), took on the state apparatus of a corrupt and decaying military dictatorship created and backed by the United States.
They were joined by workers, lawyers, white-collar employees, and, despite severe repression, they won.
Cuban Revolution. The Cuban Revolution(Spanish: Revolución cubana) was an armed revoltconducted by Fidel Castro's revolutionary 26th ofJuly Movement and its allies against the authoritarian government of Cuban President Fulgencio Batista. ... 26 July 1959 is celebrated in Cuba as the Day of theRevolution.
These two histories General Nunoo-Mensah said would be replicated in Ghana in the shortest possible time should leaders fail to address the problems.
He is looking forward to see Ghana great again but ''the current leaders we have today cannot make Ghana great again. There are incompetent,. They lack the vision.Filth has engulfed the state. Nothing is working in Ghana. Nobody is working and yet we lack the courage to speak the truth because it is too bitter.''
A former Supreme Court judge, Justice Vincent Cyril Richard Arthur Charles Crabbe, popularly known as V.C.R.A.C. Crabbe has passed on, rainbowradioonline.com has gathered.
The legal luminary according to deatls died Friday morning after a short ikllness.
He died at the agae of 95.
V.C.R.A.C. Crabbe was Special Commissioner to the 1968 Constitutional Commission; Legislative Draftsmen to the 1969 Constituent Assembly which drafted the 1969 Constitution of Ghana. He was the Chairman of the 1979 Constituent Assembly and drafted the 1979 Constitution of Ghana.
He worked with the Constitutional Review Commission of Kenya and was Leader of the group of Draftspersons who drafted the Kenya Constitution. He did work the Zambian Constititional Commission for the drafting of the Zambian Constitution as well with the Fiajoe Review Commission for the review of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
He was a Professor of Law at the University of West Indies and was recently engaged as a Professor of Law at Mountcrest University College in Accra, Ghana.
Justice Crabbe was born on October 29, 1923 at Ussher town in Accra and had his early education at the Government Junior and Senior Boys Schools in Accra.
He attended Accra Academy for his Cambridge Junior and Senior School certificates and went to London to study Economics at the City of London College Moorgate from 1950 to 1952.
A former military capo, Brigadier General Nunoo-Mensah says the performance of President Nana Akufo-Addo and his New Patriotic Party (NPP) has grown from bad to worse.
Graduate unemployment, economic hardship and other challenges confronting the nation he added have reached its climax.
The previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) government under former President John Dramani Mahama, he sad was bad. However, it has grown from bad to worse under Nana Akufo-Addo, he told Kwame Tutu in an interview on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm.
The two major parties NDC and NPP are destroying the country and we need wise men to save this country.
‘’I am so sad for Ghana. The country is not developing. We don’t need the International Monetary Fund (IMF). We can generate our resources to develop the country but we lack the visionary leaders to help us do this.’’
He was however quick to add that, although the situation has grown from bad to worse, we don’t need Mr Mahama to return as president.
‘’What is Mahama coming to do? What did he fail to do in the past and now coming back to do? The fact that the performance of Nana Addo has grown from bad to worse, do not mean we have to vote for Mr Mahama. There are better candidates but they are scared of the insults and attacks that would be directed at them.’’
Ghanaians he noted could change the narratives and bring in a third force to help shape the country.
Brigadier Nunoo-Mensah, stressed the point on the need for Ghanaians to reject the NPP and NDC, and bring in a third force to help shape the country and prevent an uprising in the future because Ghana is currently waiting to explode.
‘’We are going to encounter chaos soon due to some of these problems,’’ the former military capo said in an interview on the formation of political party vigilantism.
‘’It is time for right thinking Ghanaians to get up and say; we want to save this country. Its about time we form a third force with wise people to prevent these two parties from destroying Ghana.’’
‘’Lawlessness, anarchy is increasing and yet we have refused to talk. We have a president who is a lawyer and yet we continue to witness lawlessness in the country,’’ he fumed.
‘’You don’t care about the people and yet you keep buying land cruisers,’’ he slammed.
He warned there could be a revolution recorded in the country should the situation in the country remain the same.
Former Minister of Health and now MP for Wa West, Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh is demanding for the report on the Central Medical Stores arson, which occurred some few years ago.
The legislator said he is not only looking for the report but the two reports on the cause of fire and circumstances leading to the burning down of the CMS.
He told Rainbow Radio the case was of national interest and Ghanaians are waiting for the final report on the cause of fire and sanctions proposed for those who carried out the act.
‘’This is why I am calling for the report,’’ he added.
When asked why he is now requesting for the report and why his party failed to act on the matter, the former minister expressed his displeasure at the question and quizzed if that should prevent him from demanding for the report.
The current Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu in 2017 revealed that investigations into the fire that tore through the country’s biggest drug storage facility have been completed, two years after the incident.
Mr Yieleh Chireh felt it was not proper for him to be referred to the previous administration adding, ‘’that is not the point but the point is what we have to do’’.
He has called on the police administration to allow the suspects who were accused to be taken through the due processes so they are either exonerated or pinned for the offence.
He said the report has been submitted to Auditor-General, Daniel Domelovo for a forensic audit to be conducted into the findings.
Ghana lost an estimated $80 million worth of drugs and medical equipment when fire destroyed the Central Medical Store located at Tema in 2015.
An interim probe by the past administration established “arson” to be the cause of the fire.
A labourer at the facility, Samuel Dogbe was named as the suspected arsonist allegedly paid to set the fire in the store.
Although 12 officials of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) were interdicted, no one has been prosecuted.
Former United States Ambassador to Ghana, Robert P. Jackson in March this year called for the prosecution of individuals responsible for the arson act.
According to him, commodities worth about 80 million dollars were lost in flames and the culprits are walking freely although their identities are known.
“I personally have been very troubled that no one has been prosecuted about the Tema Central Medical Stores fire because we saw almost 80 million worth of commodities got into flames, we know who the culprits were; those people should be in jail by now.’’
The former United Kingdom (UK) High Commissioner to Ghana, Jon Benjamin in June 2017 disclosed that the UK Parliament was concerned about the CMS fire because the UK pumped about 4 million Pounds worth of medicines into the Medical store, which were later, destroyed by the fire, hence the interest of the UK Parliament in the case.
Chairman of the Finance Committee of Parliament, Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboah has said the Consolidated
Bank of Ghana is set to close down 98 branches out of the 191 they have across the country.
He made the disclosure at a press briefing after day two of the probe into the collapse of the banks in Ghana yesterday [Thursday].
He further indicated that the bank intends to do a nationwide employee assessment of all their employees across the regions to determine the number of workers they may want to keep.
“We asked the question of the number of jobs that they expect to cut and they said they’re still in the process of rationalising the platform they want to use and that will determine where they will go. What we have from them is the number of branches that they will maintain. As of now they have 191 and they’ve come to the determination that they will keep 93 of branches but beyond that, we don’t know the number of jobs that would be lost. They didn’t give us timelines but it’s safe to say that they said they are going to close 98 branches”, he said.
“As for the engagement with the employees, all the employees will have their engagement with Consolidated Bank terminated at the end of September. They were given a 60-day probationary contract. Now going forward Consolidated Bank is going to do a nationwide employee assessment of all the employees of Consolidated Bank. And they’ve given regional centres in Accra, Kumasi, Sunyani, Ho....so all employees are going to go through that assessment and then they will come to a determination as to the number of employees they want to keep so end September employees will have their probationary contract come to an end”, he stressed.
In recognition of his extraordinary commitment to education by implementing free universal education in Ghana, African Leadership University recognize the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his exemplary leadership, and I quote “Education is the most powerful weapon for which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela
African Leadership University.”
These words were contained in a citation presented to the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, by the African Leadership University (ALU), on Friday, 6th September, 2018, in Kigali, Rwanda.
Speaking prior to presenting the award, Mr. Fred Swaniker, founder of the African Leadership University, explained that President Akufo-Addo embodies the meaning of the quote “education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.”
According to him, Ghana, Africa, and, indeed, the world is already witnessing the impact of of the Free Senior High School Policy on the lives of hundreds of thousands of Ghanaians, which, for him, “is the reason number one that we thought he deserves this citation.”
In the first year of the implementation of the Free SHS policy, 90,000 more students entered senior high school in 2017 than they did in 2016. Again, in 2018, the second year of the policy, 180,000 more students have been admitted into senior high schools across the country.
The second reason for the award, the ALU Founder said, is the President’s belief in the ability of the youth.
“From the beginning, as he assumed office, he made it very clear that his number priority was to ensure that the youth of Ghana got the opportunity, and were able to get jobs, and he's implemented the policy of “One District, One Factory”, which is really about promoting the youth entrepreneurship, and making sure that the rural youth got an opportunity for employment,” he added.
Thirdly, President Akufo-Addo’s persistence and perseverance in not giving up on his vision of serving Ghana, according to Fred Swaniker, is one which has to be emulated by this generation of African youth.
“Nelson Mandela was in jail for 27 years, and I believe that one of the traits of great leaders is their persistence, they don't give up until they achieve their vision. And our President ran for office twice, before he eventually won. And, that, I believe, is the mark of a great leader,” he said.
The final reason for the award being given to President Akufo-Addo, Fred Swaniker said, was his belief in African self-reliance.
“I remember watching him proudly in this video that was going around. It went viral, and many of you might have seen this video, and if you haven't, then you should watch it. This was when the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, visited and he stood there, as our President told him about Ghana without aid and described his vision for African self-reliance and for Ghana’s self reliance, where we will no longer depend on colonial powers like France,” he said.
The ALU Founder continued, “I have never felt more proud to be a Ghanaian than when I watched that video. So, Mr. President, thank you so much for really inspiring all of us to think about how, as Africans, we can only drive our destiny and no longer rely on the rest of the world.”