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Amir Khan Muttaqi, Taliban's acting foreign minister, in Kabul. [Courtesy]

The United Nations has been left in dilemma on whether to give Pakistan an opportunity to address this week’s General Assembly in New York.

This comes after the Taliban made a requested to be represented at the high-level meeting. 

An article published by CNN indicates that the Taliban, who now govern Afghanistan after takeover from the US forces, instructed the UN on Monday to replace Ghulam Isaczai with their own representative a move that is expected to kick off a diplomatic battle.

Afghanistan is currently represented at the UN by Isaczai, an appointee of the country's former democratic government, which crumbled under the Taliban's advance last month.


UN Secretary-General's spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said the rival requests by the Taliban and Isaczai are now being considered by UN's credentials committee.

"The Secretary-General received a communication with the letterhead 'Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs' dated 20 September 2021, signed by 'Ameer Khan Muttaqi' as 'Minister of Foreign Affairs,' requesting to participate in the '76th session of the UN General Assembly on September 21-27 2021,” read part of CNN’s article.

According to the article, Isaczai no longer represents Afghanistan. Instead Taliban named Mohammad Suhail Shaheen as the Islamist militant group's nominee for permanent representative in New York. 

“The letter also noted that former President Mohammed Ashraf Ghani has been "ousted and [countries across the world] no longer recognize him as president," it read.

Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, Isaczai has continued to advocate for his country, meeting with foreign envoys and even calling on the UN Security Council to pressure the Taliban into forming a more democratic government.

Last week, it is said Antonio Guterres received a communication from Isaczai, with the list of Afghanistan’s delegation for the assembly’s 76th annual session.

Five days later, he received another communication with the letterhead ‘Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’ signed by Amir Khan Muttaqi as minister of foreign affairs, requesting to participate in the UN gathering of world leaders, reports CNN.

Muttaqi in the letter said that former Afghan president Ashraf Ghani was “ousted” as of 15 August and that countries across the world no longer recognise him as president, and therefore Isaczai no longer represented Afghanistan. 

As a result, UN officials are torn between deciding which representative to recognize in the high-level meeting.

In cases of disputes over seats at the UN, the general assembly’s nine-member credentials committee must meet to make a decision. Both letters have been sent to the committee, says CNN.

Afghanistan is scheduled to give the last speech on the final day of the high-level meeting on 27 September, but it is unclear whether the committee will meet before the end of the convocation on Monday.

The committee is made up of Russia, China, the US, Sweden, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Chile, Bhutan and the Bahamas.

A senior US State Department official further told CNN that the United States "will obviously follow this issue closely and deliberate along with other members of the Credentials Committee" and noted they do not expect a decision to be made before the end of the UN General Assembly high-level week.

"The Credentials Committee generally has taken some time. I'm not going to predict how long it's going to take this time," the official said.

"I would note that the broader General Assembly goes on for some three months, high level week, obviously, is just this week, and I don't expect this issue to be resolved within high level week. So watch the space," the official said.

UN watchers had told CNN that they anticipated potential conflict this year over at least two seats in the General Assembly Hall.

Those of Myanmar and Afghanistan, where new regimes have recently surged to power but diplomats representing the previous governments still hold UN accreditation. By Patrick Vidija , The Standard

  • JKUAT graduates seated at the graduation square in the Institution. TWITTER  
  • The United Kingdom (UK) has announced scholarship opportunities for Kenyan graduates to study in the UK for the 2022-2023 academic year.

    In the announcement seen by, the Commonwealth Master's Scholarship stated that the program was aimed at providing opportunities for Kenyans who cannot afford to travel to the UK for studies.

    “Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships enable talented and motivated individuals to gain the knowledge and skills required for sustainable development, and are aimed at those who could not otherwise afford to study in the UK,” stated the advert.

    The program, funded by the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), will see Kenyan graduates receive full scholarships for their studies in England with their air tickets catered for.

    An aeroplane mid-air
    An aeroplane mid-air

    "Each scholarship provides an approved airfare from your home country to the UK and a return ticket at the end of your award,” read the statement. Successful applicants will also receive a monthly stipend of Ksh 170,600 with single parents receiving additional support for their kids.  

    "The program will provide a stipend at the rate of Ksh 170,600 (£1,133) per month, or Ksh 209,300 (£1,390) per month for those at universities in the London metropolitan area," read the statement.

    Eligible candidates are required to be Kenyan citizens with an undergraduate degree from a Kenyan institution of higher learning.

    “By September 2022, hold a first degree of at least a first-class or a second class honors,” read the statement.

    How To Apply

    Interested graduates are advised to make their online applications on the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) website with the help of the Ministry of Education. 

    “You must apply through one of the nominating bodies(Ministry of Education),” read the statement.

    The Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships further advises applicants to visit their website for further queries on their application.

    Applicants are advised to make their applications before November 1, 2021.

    Poster announcing the 2022-2023 Commonwealth Master's Scholarships
    Poster announcing the 2022-2023 Commonwealth Master's Scholarships  TWITTER, Washington Mito,
  • A Nanyuki-bound train rams into a soda truck in Karatina town on Wednesday, September 22. FILE
  • A Nanyuki-bound train rammed into a soda truck at a level crossing in Karatina town on Wednesday, September 22.

    Youth and passers-by seized the moment and made away with crates of sodas as others watched in disbelief.

    By the time of going to press, it had not been established whether there were any injuries and police officers were not at the scene.

    A Nanyuki-bound train which stalled due to mechanical problems on Friday night, January 15.
    A Nanyuki-bound train which stalled due to mechanical problems on Friday night, January 15.

    The cause of the accident had also not been established. It is not the first time that a train in the route is being involved in an accident.

    In June 2021, a train travelling from Nanyuki to Nairobi caught fire mid-journey at Kabuta village in Kiharu. Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) disclosed that the fire was caused by an electric fault in the engine. 

    In January 2021, yet another Nanyuki bound train stalled mid-journey, leaving passengers stranded for five and a half hours.

    The train developed mechanical problems, before stalling at a remote ravine in Nyeri County.

    Recent statistics by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) show a rise in cases of road accidents in 2021, compared to a similar period last year.

    The survey indicated that fatalities had increased by 25 percent as of September 20, 2021.

    The accidents were attributed to reckless driving, dangerous overtaking, drunk driving, drunk walking, drunk riding, failure to use helmets among other issues. By Stephanie Wangari,


An attendant in the background moves about the deserted Faith Power Center Church Entebbe, owned by Bishop Charles kiwanuka Kaisali on Wednesday. Photo Paul Adude

As Ugandans await President Museveni’s address on the Covid-19 situation in the country this evening, Daily Monitor talked to some people on their expectations.

A senior pastor at Faith Power Center Church Entebbe, Bishop Charles Kiwanuka Kaisali told this reporter that he expected Mr Museveni to open up places of worship since they provide hope and peace to people, especially in such dire times when many have lost their jobs and others going through dejected situations.

“In a time when there is no peace of mind, a person changes, people may not turn into horrible people but due to the situation they need encouragement. Of recent I saw a musician on the news who was responsible run mad because of rent, debts yet if the places of worship were open he would perhaps have sought help there,” he said.

Bishop Kiwanuka said the perception that spreading the gospel didn’t stop since there are online avenues being used by most faith’s to reach believers was wrong.

“The question is, how many people can access those online avenues? Facebook which was the easiest means is still blocked in Uganda and some people have to use VPN to access it yet many are skeptical to use it because of personal security,” he added.

According to him, there was need to devise means of how churches will operate with the necessary SOPs in place since there are no signs of the Covid-19 pandemic coming to an end any time soon. 

“Opening up business to operate was a responsible move; the same should be done for places of worship and schools. Some parents say their children are more exposed to risks while at home than at school,” he added.

Ms Hadija Nanyanzi who sells Banana’s in Abaita Abariri market said she hoped the president would lift the curfew time and allow open markets to resume.

“The biggest number of customers used to come to the market. During Friday open market, we would make higher sales which have reduced since their suspension. The trucks that used to deliver the bananas used to arrive here very late in the night, we could purchase and stock, enabling us to start selling early in the morning. Now days we wait until morning,” she said.

Mr Arthur Segawa,   a boda boda rider also hopes Mr Museveni would lift the curfew time to allow them more hours to operate.

Bishop Charles Kiwanuka Kaisali

“We used to make more money during night because many people used to frequent nightclubs and bars. We had many clients and at times I could make up to Shs 70, 0000 a single night, especially during weekends,” he said.

Ms Dorah Damba who operates a Wines and Spirits bar said she hoped the president would consider the time bar owners have spent without operating which has rendered many jobless in the nightlife sector.

However, Mr Steven Mujuuzi Mayanja a teacher at Victoria High School Entebbe said he does not have any positive expectations from the president this evening concerning the education sector other than extending the lockdown.

 “For the past two years I have been at home, government has not thought about me, schools have been closed, some repossessed by banks which made us turn to other sources of income like brick making and hawking snacks. We didn’t even get the [PM Robinah] Nabbanja’s money. I don’t expect much since I hear they are expecting a third wave any time from now,” he said. By Paul Adude, Observer


NAIROBI (Reuters) -Explosions killed at least five people and injured 50 in Burundi’s largest city Bujumbura on Monday night, the prime minister and a health worker said after the latest in a string of attacks in the east African country.

The Interior Ministry said on Twitter that “unidentified terrorists” were responsible. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the grenade attacks.

Two grenade explosions hit a bus parking lot in the city centre, according to seven eyewitnesses, while a third blast hit Jabe market in the Bwiza neighbourhood, according to another witness.

Five people were killed and about 50 wounded, a health worker helping to care for the injured told Reuters on Tuesday. The witnesses and the health worker requested anonymity.

A man in a bus hit by a grenade explosion said it killed at least three people including a woman. The blast injured his leg, he told Reuters while awaiting treatment.

“I saw people running in all directions, some crawling to find cover,” said a witness to the second explosion at the bus parking lot.

During a visit to the wounded in hospital, Prime Minister Alain-Guillaume Bunyoni, told reporters the attacks had killed four and promised government help for those wounded.

On Sunday, a grenade attack in the administrative capital Gitega killed two, according to local media. It was not clear who was responsible.

An airport worker confirmed there had been an attack on the Bujumbura airport on Saturday. He declined to say what weapons were used and said the building had not been damaged.

Congo-based rebel group Red Tabara claimed responsibility for the airport attack in a statement on Twitter. It said it fired mortars as the president prepared to travel to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Red Tabara was formed in 2011 with the aim of overthrowing the government, which it says does not respect the rule of law.

Burundians accused of having ties to the Congo-based rebels have been tortured and likely disappeared, Human Rights Watch said in a report on Friday.

Unidentified bodies have been found in the river separating Burundi and Congo in recent months, it said.

Burundi, a nation of about 11.5 million people, has suffered decades of war and ethnic and political bloodletting. The United Nations says the youth wing of the ruling party and the security services are complicit in the torture, gang-rape and murder of political opponents, charges the government denies. - Reuters

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