‘Gambia Should Not Dent Progress of Democracy in West Africa’ -Dr. Ibn Chambas

first_imgDemocracy, which is government by the people, is gradually taking a stronghold in the West African region and The Gambia, which is gradually being plunged into political anarchy after the December 1 electoral process, cannot be of any exception, the most senior official of the United Nations in West Africa, Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, has said.The West African region has experienced successful elections as well as smooth transitions across the region in recent years, and Dr. Chambas said at a press conference in Monrovia that the situation in The Gambia cannot be a dark spot on these successes.The conference was the climax of the 30th High-Level Meeting of the heads of the UN Missions in West Africa, convened at the invitation of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mohamed Ibn Chambas.The Special Representatives of the UN Secretary-General and heads of the UN Missions in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI), Ms. Achatouw Mindaoudou Souleymane; in Liberia (UNMIL), Farid Zarif; and in Mali (MINUSMA), Mahamat Saleh Annadif, attended yesterday’s meeting.The objective of the bi-annual meeting, Dr. Chambas said, was to provide insight and exchange views on the peace and security dynamics in the areas of operation of the respective missions as well as in the West African region.In the last two years, there have been ten presidential elections across the region. Opposition leaders were victorious in five of them with the rest won by incumbents. There have been smooth transfers of powers in all of the elections that the opposition won. “This is the level of progress that we have seen in recent years and this cannot be reversed in our region,” Dr. Chambas, a native of Ghana, said.On behalf of his colleagues, Dr. Chambas expressed the hope that upcoming elections in West Africa, especially in Liberia and a few other countries, will consolidate democratic progress and bring about increased participation in politics.Election successes and smooth transitions simply mean that the period of coup d’états are over and democracy, the popular will of the people, is now reigning across a region that was known to have experienced the highest number of bloody coups. Dr. Chambas indicated that The Gambia must move by the wind of democracy that is sweeping across the continent.He expressed serious concern over the rejection of the December 1 election results by incumbent President Yahya Jammeh, and called for peaceful transfer of power, noting that heads of UN Missions support the ECOWAS and the UN Security Council position on The Gambia.Upholding the election result is a must. “The will of the people of The Gambia must be respected,” he added.He also prayed that Liberia and other countries that will be going to the poll next year will have peaceful and transparent processes, and admitted that the real challenge that the region faces has to do with extremism. “This is our greatest challenge as a region and we must address it collectively,” he said.The Monrovia meeting was meant to also strengthen coordination in order to address common challenges in such areas as elections, transnational organized crime, violent extremism and terrorism, the security sector and constitutional reform processes and democratic transitions.Chambas lauded the peaceful execution of the December 7 elections in Ghana, while also commending the outgoing President John Mahama for peacefully conceding defeat. He also referenced the peaceful local and presidential elections in Cape Verde, held in September and October, respectively, this year. “We are very glad that all of these are happening in our region,” he added, and made specific reference to the upcoming Malian election which will be its first since 2009.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Braves Squeeze By Mets, 3-2

first_imgNEW YORK — Braves pitchers are thankful Andrelton Simmons is their shortstop and not another powerful pitching arm.The 24-year old would not sign with Atlanta in 2010 unless the Braves allowed him to remain in the infield.With the potential tying run on third base in the eighth inning on Aug. 27, he ranged onto the outfield grass to snag Travis d’Arnaud’s grounder, then made a one-hop throw to first baseman Freddie Freeman.That preserved the lead as the Braves beat the New York Mets 3-2 behind Julio Teheran’s strong start to stop a three-game losing streak.“Two out, man on third, not only does he make the play, but he makes an accurate throw to first base,” Braves Manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “Today, Teheran should take him out to dinner because he saved him the win.”Teheran (13-9) gave up three hits in 6 1-3 innings, struck out four and walked two. “My fastball was working and I threw my changeup more,” he said. “I think that’s how I got them off-balance.”Jason Heyward connected on Zack Wheeler’s third pitch of the game for his 11th homer of the season.After Wilmer Flores’ home run tied the game in the second, the Braves went ahead for good in the third when Phil Gosselin reached on a bunt single, Freeman doubled, Justin Upton hit a broken-bat RBI groundout and shortstop Ruben Tejada allowed Evan Gattis’ two-out bouncer to pop out of his glove for a run-scoring error.“Justin’s at-bat was huge,” Heyward said. “It was a broken bat and scored the go-ahead run. When you put the ball in play, it puts pressure on the defense. And then when Gattis put the ball in play, they made an error and it led to another run.”Craig Kimbrel allowed Eric Campbell’s leadoff single in the ninth and walked Matt den Dekker. After Flores sacrificed, Gosselin threw out Campbell at the plate on Tejada’s grounder to third and pinch-hitter Kirk Nieuwenhuis flied hit a game-ending flyout. Kimbrel got his 39th save in 43 chances.Juan Lagares had an RBI single in the eighth off Jordan Walden before Lucas Duda grounded into a double play. Then came Simmons’ sterling throw.“It looks like he has no chance, and then in the last second, he just reaches for it and throws it,” d’Arnaud said. “What a great play.”Wheeler (9-9) gave up three runs — two earned — four hits and three walks in seven innings with seven strikeouts. He had been 6-0 with a 2.12 ERA in 10 starts since losing to Oakland on June 25.Atlanta began the night 1 1/2 games behind San Francisco for the second NL wild card.(CHARLES O’BRIEN)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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Super Netball: Magpies stun Firebirds as Swifts hold off Thunderbirds

first_imgShare on LinkedIn Topics Earlier, the NSW Swifts scored two late goals to scrape past Adelaide 51-49 on Sunday and leave the Thunderbirds still without a Super Netball win this season.In an unexpectedly tense finish, the Thunderbirds levelled the scores with two minutes to go at Quay Centre in Sydney.But timely intercepts from Swifts pair Paige Hadley and Abbey McCulloch ended their late run as the home side recorded their fourth victory from six games.The upside for Adelaide was they banked their first competition points of the season with two bonus points for winning the third and fourth quarters.Swifts coach Briony Akle made an uncharacteristic number of changes as she attempted to avoid an upset loss – including swapping out star goal shooter Sam Wallace (30 goals from 34 attempts) at the final break.Adelaide’s defence provided some hustle but the Swifts were helped by the contributions of shooters Helen Housby (15/20) and Sophie Garbin (6/9).Adelaide goal shooter Shimona Nelson finished with healthier figures (33/39) after dropping below 80 per cent at one stage, her rebounding efforts making up for her at-times wayward shooting.NSW led 31-25 at halftime and despite the Thunderbirds cutting the deficit to three goals heading into the final quarter, the Swifts continued to make a raft of substitutions. Share via Email ‘Exciting’ scoring changes to spice up new Super Netball season In a surprise move, the Magpies handed 19-year-old defender Matilda Garrett her first Super Netball start ahead of Diamonds goal keeper Sharni Layton.The line-up change appeared to be a masterstroke with the Magpies bursting out to an early five-goal advantage and extending the lead to seven in the third quarter before the Firebirds fought back to tie the game.But the Magpies steadied after subbing in the experience of Layton and centre Kim Ravaillion to help withstand Queensland’s late charge.Collingwood won three quarters to finish with seven competition points in the win and move within striking distance of the top four heading into the bye round.With leading scorer Caitlin Thwaites locked in a tough battle with Firebirds veteran Laura Geitz, Bell played her best game in Collingwood colours with her string of eight straight goals sparking the Magpies’ four-goal break at halftime.Thwaites imposed herself on the game in the second half to finish with 34 goals with 85 per cent accuracy while midcourter Madi Robinson compiled 37 circle feeds and 22 goal assists.Romelda Aiken bagged 42 goals from 51 attempts in her 150th game for the Queensland Firebirds while Gretel Tippett made 20 of her 21 shots to go with 18 assists.Behind their new-look defensive pairing, the Magpies cashed in on some errant Queensland turnovers to build a 6-2 lead, forcing Firebirds coach Roselee Jencke to use an early time out.The Firebirds regrouped with Aiken and Tippett starting to break down Collingwood’s defence but the Magpies held on to take a lead 17-16 at the first change.The second quarter turned into an arm-wrestle with both teams trading goals until the Magpies broke away in the final minutes with five goals in a row to establish at 35-31 lead at halftime.Bell was on song early in the second half as the Magpies’ lead grew to seven goals but Aiken poured in 15 third-quarter goals as the Firebirds levelled the scores at 50-all before the Magpies took control in the final quarter.The Magpies will travel to Sydney after the bye to play the Giants while the Firebirds will face the Adelaide Thunderbirds. Sam Wallace was swapped out at the last break despite 30 goals from 34 attempts. Photograph: Craig Golding/AAP Support The Guardian Impassioned rallying cry strikes chord with netball followers Read more Read more Twitter Since you’re here… Super Netball The Collingwood Magpies have broken through for just their second Super Netball win of the season by defeating Queensland Firebirds 67-62 in Launceston.Collingwood headed into Sunday’s match stranded in seventh spot on the ladder but stunned the in-form Firebirds as goal attack Erin Bell (33 goals) powered the Magpies to a morale-boosting victory.center_img Share on WhatsApp … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Facebook Australia sport Share on Facebook news Share on Twitter Netball Pinterest Share on Messenger Share on Pinterest Akle was relieved after admitting her side felt the pressure as the Thunderbirds threatened the upset. “Everyone knew that the T-Birds hadn’t won a point – everyone’s talking about it and I think that’s where the youth comes in,” Akle said. “If we had a few older heads, we’d just play our game and we’d be okay but I think the pressure got to them.”The introduction of the bonus-point system has brought a new level of intensity to Super Netball and Sunday’s result highlighted the way it can extend the meaning of games.By not banking all bonus points, the fourth-placed Swifts (26 points) missed the chance to draw level on the table with the Giants and Sunshine Coast Lightning (both 28 points). The West Coast Fever (35) sit clear at the top. Reuse this contentlast_img read more

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