African Migrants Start Hunger Strike Over Israel Expulsion

Netanyahu Says Government 'Stable' After Police Recommend His Indictment
FILE PHOTO   Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu

 

Hundreds of African migrants launched a hunger strike to protest Israel’s implementation of its controversial policy to expel or indefinitely imprison them, a spokesman for the group said Wednesday.

Israel has resolved to expel thousands of Eritreans and Sudanese who entered illegally over the years, giving them an ultimatum to leave or risk being imprisoned indefinitely.

As the migrants could face danger or imprisonment if returned to their homelands, Israel is offering to relocate them to an unnamed third country, which the migrants and aid workers say is Rwanda or Uganda.

Authorities on Tuesday transferred seven Africans from the Holot detention centre to a nearby prison, prompting the 750 men held in Holot to launch a hunger strike that evening, said Abdat Ishmael, an Eritrean held at the southern Israel open facility.

On Wednesday, another five were taken to prison, Ishmael told AFP.

A spokeswoman for the Israeli interior ministry confirmed they had begun implementing the deportation or prison policy on Holot detainees ahead of the April 1 mark for the rest of the Africans who had entered Israeli illegally.

Ishmael said they would prefer prison over deportation to Africa.

“We saw what happened to people who went (to other African countries) a year or two ago, they don’t receive asylum and can die,” he said.

Migrants began entering Israel through what was then a porous Egyptian border in 2007. The border has since been strengthened, all but ending illegal crossings.

Israel’s deportation or imprisonment plan has drawn criticism from the United Nations’ refugee agency as well as some in Israel.

According to interior ministry figures, there are currently some 42,000 African migrants in Israel, half of them children, women or men with families, who are not facing the April deportation deadline.

Israeli officials stress that no one they classify as a refugee or asylum seeker will be deported.

AFP

Ooni Of Ife Calls On Africans To Embrace Their Cultural Heritage

 

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has called on Africans to embrace their cultural heritage as a tool for development.

Oba Ogunwusi made the call while speaking at the Annual Aje Festival (Wealth Festival) in Ile Ife, Osun State.

According to him, the promotion of culture encourages unity which is important for development in all aspects of life.

The Ooni is unhappy that despite the diversity of the Nigerian culture, the government is not doing enough to explore the opportunities inherent in the development of culture and heritage.

“There is no nation that will grow without culture and heritage, go and find out; all developed nations in the world decided to put their heritage, culture and tradition as number one. But we have jettisoned our heritage and culture. Both of them are stronger than religion, they should be number one,” he said.

“We have a very diverse culture in Nigeria and common ancestral roots as Africans. Our culture is the only way forward for growth and development. It is unfortunate, the government is not paying attention to it as they used to.”

He lamented that since Festac 77, 41 years ago, there hasn’t been a festival of that calibre.

“The Largest gathering of the entire black race happened in 1977 in Nigeria; that’s over 40 years ago. The way forward for the entire black race is to continue to uphold our culture and heritage and that is what we are doing in Ife land we are very proud of it,” he said.

“Our faith still stands and nothing can shake it but our culture must be allowed to thrive.”

Rwanda Offers To Take In Africans Abused In Libya

Rwanda’s President, Kagame

Rwanda is willing to provide refuge to as many as 30,000 African migrants suffering abuse and slave-like conditions in Libya, the foreign minister told AFP Wednesday.

“Rwanda is currently under discussions… to see how we can help in welcoming migrants held captive in Libya,” said Louise Mushikiwabo. “It has just been decided so numbers and means are still under discussion but Rwanda estimates the number to be welcomed around 30,000,” she said, adding that this figure “is not confirmed yet but an estimation”.

The African Union (AU) added its voice to the outrage that greeted footage last week of African migrants being auctioned at a “slave market” in Libya, and on Tuesday AU Commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat called on African countries to help.

“I appeal to all member states of the African Union, the African private sector and African citizens to make financial contributions to help alleviate the suffering of African migrants in Libya,” Faki said Tuesday. “I urge member states that have logistical means to make them available to facilitate the evacuation of African migrants who wish to leave Libya.”

Earlier Wednesday Mushikiwabo tweeted in response: “For Africans being sold in Libya: Rwanda is small, but we will find some space!”

Mushikiwabo told AFP that, “Rwanda, like the rest of the world, was horrified by the images of the tragedy currently unfolding in Libya, where African men, women and children who were on the road to exile, have been held and turned into slaves.”

Obasanjo Urges Zambian Govt. To Follow Rule Of Law In Dealing With Opposition

Xenophobia Attacks: Obasanjo Lays Blame On SA Government
Former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo.

A former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has appealed to the Zambian government to adhere to the rule of law and human rights principles, in dealing with the opposition in the Southern African country of Zambia.

The appeal is coming on the heels of the report, which broke early on Tuesday that the house of the main opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema, was allegedly broken into by the Government Police and other Paramilitary Agencies with the purpose of arresting him without any warrant.

Obasanjo, in a statement signed by his Media Aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, said it was in the best interest of the country to maintain the rule of law and human rights principles, which are recipes for peace, stability and development not only in the Southern African country, but the entire African continent.

“Early Tuesday, the news broke that the Zambian Government Police and other Paramilitary Agencies broke into the house of the opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema, to effect his arrest without any warrant.

“Special appeal is being made to the Government of Zambia to ensure that the rule of law is followed without Bach of human rights in dealing with the opposition leader of the stature of Hakainde Hichilema.

“It is in the best interest of the country in ensuring that the rule of law and human rights principles are followed to ensure peace, stability and security, which are fundamental basis for development, which all Africans require at this point in time”, he stated.

22 Migrants Killed In Libya Fighting

22 Migrants Killed In Libya FightingTwenty-two people have been killed with at least 100 others wounded during a fight between rival smuggling gangs on Libya’s Mediterranean coast.

Authorities believe the dead are migrants and not smugglers, as most of them were sub-Saharan Africans.

The latest deaths are in addition to the 140 bodies washed ashore in the Libyan city of Zawiya.

The International Organisation for Migration said the number of migrants leaving Libya for Italy has risen to more than 50% in 2017.

Xenophobia: Nigeria Asks South Africa To Protect Foreigners

South Africans Attack Foreign Nationals In PretoriaNigeria has appealed to the South African Government to take every step necessary to protect its citizens in the face of renewed wave of xenophobic attacks in the country.

The call was made by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mrs Khadijat Bukar Abba, at a news conference in Abuja.

Mrs Abba urged Nigerians to be calm while assuring them that the government was taking steps to address the matter.

The appeal followed the protest by Nigerian students at the premises of some South African businesses in the Federal Capital Territory.

Earlier in response to a summon, South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Lulu Mnguni, briefed the Foreign Affairs Ministry on what was being done by his country to stop the attacks.

The Nigerian community in South Africa had confirmed the attacks and looting of Nigerian-owned businesses in Pretoria West in South Africa.

The group, led by Mr Ikechukwu Anyene, said that they had reported the incident to the Nigeria Mission and South African Police.

The Senior Special Assistant to Nigeria’s President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Honourable Abike Dabiri-Erewa, in a statement described the attacks as an unnecessary setback.

She advised Nigerians to be extra cautious, saying it appears the South African Government seems to have no control over the attacks.

House Cmtte’ Blames FG For Xenophobic Attacks On Nigerians

House of Representatives, JudiciaryThe House of Representative Committee on Diaspora has criticised the Federal Government for failing to stem the attacks on Nigerians living abroad.

The Chairperson of the Committee, Rita Orji, stated this on Monday while speaking to journalists at the National Assembly on the recent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.

She said the failure of the Federal Government to address previous attacks of Nigerians in South Africa was responsible for the incessant killings of Nigerians abroad.

The lawmaker recounted some of the killings of Nigerians in South Africa, Libya and other countries, claiming that the committee had investigated some of the cases and sent a report to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with no visible action taken.

Meanwhile, the Senior Special Assistant to Nigeria’s President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Honourable Abike Dabiri-Erewa, in a statement said the Nigerian community in South Africa confirmed the attacks and looting of Nigerian-owned businesses in Pretoria West on Saturday.

The group, led by Mr Ikechukwu Anyene, said that they had reported the incident to the Nigeria Mission and South African Police.

Honourable Dabiri-Erewa described the attacks as an unnecessary setback and advised Nigerians to be extra cautious, saying it appears the South African Government seems to have no control over the attacks.

She also urged the African Union to intervene urgently in the renewed xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

“We have lost about 116 Nigerians in the last two years and in 2016 alone, about 20 were killed.

“This is unacceptable to the people and Government of Nigeria,” the Presidential aide said.

Nigeria Condemns Xenophobic Attacks On Citizens In South Africa

Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Nigeria, South Africa, Xenophobic Attacks Nigeria has called on the South African Government to take decisive and definitive measures to protect its citizens and other Africans within the country’s borders.

The call was made on Monday by the Senior Special Assistant to Nigeria’s President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Honourable Abike Dabiri-Erewa.

Honourable Dabiri-Erewa also urged the African Union to intervene urgently in the renewed xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

In a statement issued in Abuja, she described the attacks as an unnecessary setback and advised Nigerians to be extra cautious, saying it appears the South African Government seems to have no control over the attacks.

The Presidential Aide asked Nigerians to refrain from staging reprisal attacks and warned that further attacks without any reprimand may have dire consequences.

“We have lost about 116 Nigerians in the last two years and in 2016 alone, about 20 were killed.

“This is unacceptable to the people and Government of Nigeria,” Dabiri-Erewa said.

According to the statement, the Nigerian community in South Africa, led by Mr Ikechukwu Anyene, confirmed the attacks and looting of Nigerian-owned businesses in Pretoria West on Saturday.

Anyene said that the union had reported the incident to the Nigeria Mission and South African Police.

“As we speak, five buildings with Nigerian businesses, including a church, have been looted and burned by South Africans,” he said.

UNIC Urges Nigerian Children To Shun Slavery

UNIC Urges Nigerian Children To Shun SlaveryThe United Nations Information Centres (UNIC) has asked Nigerian children to say no to all forms of slavery.

The UNIC took the campaign to the Southfield Academy in Lagos on Thursday, to mark the Remembrance Day of the Victims of Slavery.

A member of the group tasked the pupils of the school, as well as youngsters in the country live up to any challenge they might come across.

“Those slaves taken from East Africa and transported to India by the colonial masters at that time did not resign to fate. We are saying that even those Africans that were transported to other parts of the world still found a way of making their marks in the lands they were transported to,” he said.

The Executive Director of Africa Anti-Slavery Coalition, Femi Phillips, also highlighted corruption and bad governance as the forms of modern slavery that should be resisted by the populace.

“In this our present generation, we have rulers who do not fear God. That is why we are having these problems of bad governance in Nigeria,” he said.

This year’s remembrance of the slave victims is focused on ‘African Slaves Taken to India’ with the aim of imbibing into the young ones, the resilience and resourcefulness of African slaves.

Flying Eagles Coach, NFF Boss React To World Cup Exit

Flying EaglesThe elimination of the Flying Eagles from the ongoing FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand with a 1-0 loss to German opponent has attracted different reactions from disappointed Nigerians.

Levin Oztunali’s first half goal at the Christchurch Stadium took Germany through to the last eight of the competition at the expense of the Nigerians.

Ultimately, the European side were deserved winners against the Group E runners-up, as the Africans were unable to create meaningful chances in the Thursday morning match.

Different Nigerians in some parts of the country expressed displeasure in an interview with Channels Television over the Flying Eagles’ performances.

Flying Eagles Head Coach, Manu Garba, attributed the loss to loss of concentration, which he said gave the Germans a chance to score.

The disappointed Coach further stressed that he believed his players had learnt a lot from the game and a big lesson in general from the tournament.

Meanwhile, President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, has applauded the Flying Eagles despite the defeat, noting that the positives should be considered in such cases.

The exit of the Flying Eagles has left Africa’s hope of winning the FIFA U20 World Cup on Mali and Senegal who have both qualified for the quarter finals.

National Conference: Delegates Should Be Elected Not Chosen – Ashiru

A Political Scientist, Dele Ashiru, has criticised the planned selection of delegates to represent Nigerians at the proposed National Conference, insisting that it should be by “election”.

He said that his opinion was informed by the fact that the same people who had put Nigeria in its current position would be selected, if the delegation would be based on selection.

“The delegates should be elected from a list of persons put together as an electoral college,  made of a group of stakeholders and elder statesmen that have impacted the nation,” he emphasised.

Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr. Ashiru stressed that “the composition of the conference seem to under estimate what the conference is supposed to do”. He said that the conference world present a great opportunity for Nigerians to handle and address issues, but insisted that “recycling people that have put the nation into the situation it is” should not be allowed.

Mr. Ashiru further pointed out the need to ensure that at least 50% of people that would be in the conference had the mandate of a group of Nigerians.

He insisted that those going for the conference should get the mandate of Nigerians, as the final document from the conference would be aggregated into the constitution.

AYC Prep: Flying Eagles held to a draw in Benin

The U-20 team of Nigeria; the Flying Eagles this weekend played a 1-1 draw against Benin Republic in Cotonou ahead of the 2012 African Youth Championship.

The warm-up match which was played on Sunday had the Young Squirrels of Benin Republic on the scoreboard first thanks Bissan Jacques with his header in 2nn minute after a free kick was awarded to Benin.

The Flying Eagles got back into the game with Moses Orkuma who capped the effort of the whole team who were determined to outshine the squirrels of Benin Republic with an impressive move which tore apart the defence of the Squirrels.

The Flying eagles would been crowned the winner at the end of the second half but Bright Ejike’s effort inside the penalty area was stopped Benin Republic keeper as the Striker’s effort would have saved the day for Nigeria.

Standing as a prep game for both teams for the African Youth Championship qualifiers which starts in a week will have the world and Africans especially cling to their television to support their darling teams.