UN, BANGLADESH SIGN DEAL ON ROHINGYA ASSISTANCE

The Bangladeshi government and UN on October 9 signed a long-awaited deal related to the island of Bhasan Char, agreeing to establish a common protection and policy framework for the Rohingya humanitarian response. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on behalf of UN agencies, according to a statement from UNHCR’s Dhaka office. Bangladesh is hosting around 1.2 million Rohingya in refugee camps in the southern district of Cox’s Bazar who fled Myanmar’s Rakhine state after a brutal military crackdown in August 2017. Citing overcrowding at the Cox’s Bazar camps, the government started relocating 100,000 Rohingya refugees to the Bhasan Char island last December. It has already relocated some 20,000 refugees there so far. The agreement relating to Bhasan Char allows for close cooperation between the government and the UN on services and activities to the benefit of the increasing numbers of Rohingya refugees living on the island.

ADEN CAR BOMB TARGETING OFFICIALS KILLS AT LEAST FIVE

A car bomb targeting the governor’s convoy shook Yemen’s southern port city of Aden on October 10, killing at least five people. Governor Ahmed Lamlas and agriculture minister Salem al-Suqatri, both members of a southern separatist group, survived a “terrorist assassination attempt”, the state news agency said. Killed in the attack were the governor’s press secretary and his photographer, the head of his security detail and a fourth companion as well as a civilian bystander, a local government source said, adding that at least 10 others were injured. A military spokesperson of the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) earlier said at least five people were injured including three civilians, one of them a child.

KAZAKHSTAN TO LAUNCH 2060 CARBON NEUTRALITY CONCEPT

Kazakhstan will launch a national 2060 carbon neutrality concept this month, said President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev during the ceremony where he received credentials from newly appointed envoys on October 6.  Tokayev spoke about the country’s climate change policy and its importance in the light of the upcoming COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow. “Access to green financing and green technologies will be critical in its implementation, and we look forward to partnering with the countries you represent, including the United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, Ireland, New Zealand and Norway,” the President said. Kazakhstan is also committed to greening and sustainably developing the agricultural sector. In terms of security issues, conflict prevention and sustaining peace in Asia is also a priority.

THOUSANDS RALLY AGAINST TUNISIA PRESIDENT’S POWER GRAB

Thousands of Tunisians demonstrated in the capital Tunis on October 10 against power seizure by the country’s president, Kais Saied. Demonstrators gathered in the Hayreddin Pasha Street and marched towards the Habib Bourguiba Avenue amid a heavy security presence. “Constitution, Freedom, National Dignity” reads a banner waved by protesters, amid calls for the release of activists and journalists held by the authorities. “We are only against the coup, not against our people,” Jawhar bin Mubarak, spokesman for a protest movement known as Citizens Against Coup, which called the protests. Meanwhile, the executive office of Tunisia’s Ennahda Movement on October 7 expressed its “deep concern over pressure attempts to subdue the judiciary to serve political agendas, as well as the insults, skepticism and madness that judges have become liable to.”

DISMANTLE MILITIAS, RESUME POLITICAL PROCESS IN YEMEN

Yemeni Nobel laureate Tawakkol Karman has vowed to continue her struggle against internal and external counter-revolution forces that work together against her war-ravaged country. She also called for stopping the war, dismantling all militias, and resuming the political process. In an exclusive interview with the Anadolu Agency on the 10th anniversary of her winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Karman said Yemenis are facing a “fateful battle” against enemies who are trying to destroy and divide their country. In 2011, some Yemenis described Karman as the “Iron Woman” and “Mother of the Revolution” after receiving the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. She also became the first Arab woman, and the second Muslim woman to win the prestigious global prize.

ABDULRAZAK GURNAH WINS 2021 NOBEL PRIZE IN LITERATURE

Tanzanian author Abdulrazak Gurnah has won the 2021 Nobel Prize in literature, the award-giving body said. The prestigious prize was awarded on October 7 by the Swedish Academy, which cited Gurnah’s “uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents”. Born in Zanzibar and based in England, Gurnah recently retired as a professor of post-colonial literature at the University of Kent. He has published 10 novels and a number of short stories. He is best known for his 1994 novel “Paradise”, set in colonial East Africa during World War I, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction. Anders Olsson, chairman of the Nobel Committee for Literature, called him “one of the world’s most prominent post-colonial writers”. The prestigious award comes with a gold medal and 10 million Swedish kronor ($1.14m).

IRAN’S FIRST PREZ AFTER ISLAMIC REVOLUTION PASSES AWAY

Iran’s first president after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Abolhassan Banisadr, died on October 9 at the age of 88. The former statesman died in the French capital Paris at the Salpêtrière hospital “after a long battle with illness” having lived there for decades since fleeing into exile. He was impeached just 16 months after taking office for challenging the growing power of the clerical establishment as the republic became a theocracy. Born in 1933 in the Hamedan province of western Iran, Banisadr’s father was an ayatollah and friend of the Islamic Republic’s founder and first Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Banisadr is said to have worked closely with Khomeini during his own exile in France, before returning to Tehran as the revolution unfolded.

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