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Musings From Abroad

‘It’s a big number,’ Ambassador speaks of Nigerians in Italian prisons

Italian prisons are bursting at the seams with Nigerians. The Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, Stefanou Pontesilli, says no fewer than 1500 Nigerians are serving jail terms for various offences in Italy

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Italian prisons are bursting at the seams with Nigerians. The Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, Stefanou Pontesilli, says no fewer than 1500 Nigerians are serving jail terms for various offences in Italy.

“In Italy we have about 1500 Nigerians in jail for various offences. It is a big number.

“We sometimes send them back to Nigeria once they finished their terms because they have not behaved well, ” he said.

He however denied reports that Italy sometimes send Nigerian migrants from Italy to Libya.

“Never, we never sent anyone not even one single person to Libya.

“Some Nigerians are stuck in Libya because they were never able to cross over to Italy, but all those who went to Italy no one, not even one was ever sent back.

“All Nigerians who have reached Italy and are behaving well have no problem.

“Not one of them not even one has heard of being sent back to Libya,” he said.

According to him, thousands of Nigerians unable to cross from Libya to Italy have been stuck in Libya.

“Thank God the government is doing a lot to repatriate them through chattered flights.

“Thanks for the help from the European Union and the International Organisation for Migrations that are slowly repatriating them back to Nigeria,” he said.

Musings From Abroad

Russia’s African influence grows as envoy claims 1,890 ‘instructors’ in Central African Republic

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The Russian ambassador to the Central African Republic, Alexander Bikantov has revealed that the country’s military presence in the insurgency-plagued African country.

Bikantov said in an interview published on Friday that 1,890 “Russian instructors” were present in the country. He mentioned that a focus of operations for the Kremlin-linked Wagner Group mercenary outfit.

“Today, there are 1,890 Russian instructors in the C.A.R.. The government is interested in increasing their number. Relatively recently, Bangui sent the relevant application to the UN Security Council”. Bikantov was quoted by the state-owned news agency RIA.

Russia’s influence among African countries battling insurgency has been on the rise lately, with solidified ties with West African country, Mali and much more recently its neighbours Burkina Faso. Both countries, which are under military dictators have reportedly engaged Russian mercenaries – the Wagner Group in the bid to overcome the uprising in their territories.

There are however reports of likely cases of crimes against humility by the government of Mali in its fight against terrorism in connection with its engagement with the Wagner group.

Although it is mineral-rich, the Central African Republic is one of the poorest countries in the world.

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Musings From Abroad

Israel, Sudan advance talks normalise relations

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Following a transfer of power from the military to a civilian government in Khartoum, Israel, and Sudan have finalized a deal to normalise relations.

The Israeli foreign ministry made the revelation on Thursday, noting that the deal was agreed upon during a visit by Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen to “move forward towards normalising relations between the two countries.”

The visit is the first by an Israeli official acknowledged by Sudanese authorities, though there had been a series of exchanges by officials in recent years.

According to a statement by the Israeli foreign ministry, “… the visit, which was made with the consent of the United States, the parties finalised the text of the agreement.”

“The signing ceremony is expected to take place after the transfer of power in Sudan to a civilian government that will be established as part of the ongoing transition process in the country,” it said.

“We definitely look forward to signing the agreement and then to having diplomatic representatives both in Israel and in Sudan,” Lior Haiat, spokesperson for the foreign ministry who took part in the delegation, Cohen told newsmen.

“We are (now) building a new reality with the Sudanese, in which the ‘Three No’s’ will become the ‘Three Yeses’,” he said. “Yes to negotiations between Israel and Sudan, yes to recognition of Israel, and yes to peace between the states and between the peoples.”

In January 2021 Sudan said its then-justice minister Nasredeen Abdulbari had signed the Abraham Accords during a visit by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

A joint statement issued by the governments of Israel, Sudan, and the United States said that “The leaders agreed to the normalisation of relations between Sudan and Israel and to end the state of belligerence between their nations.”

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