Melania Trump announced on Monday she will be travelling to Africa in October, without her husband Donald Trump, for her first major solo trip since becoming First Lady.
The announcement comes only a few months after the US President said the US was swamped with immigrants from “s***hole countries” in Africa.
The first lady is planning to make stops in a series of African countries, which will be announced in the next couple of weeks.
She said in a statement: “This will be my first time traveling to Africa and I am excited to educate myself on the issues facing children throughout the continent, while also learning about its rich culture and history.
“We are a global society and I believe it is through open dialogue and the exchanging of ideas that we have a real opportunity to learn from one another.”
Melania’s spokesman, Stephanie Grisham, also said the First Lady looks forward to focussing on humanitarian efforts.
Mrs Trump decided to visit Africa after learning about a series of development programmes which include those focussing on children’s education and wellbeing with investment from the US.
The First Lady has visited many international destinations, but largely while accompanying her husband President Trump.
These destinations have included: Saudi Arabia, Israel, Italy, France, Poland, Turkey, China, South Korea, Japan, England and Belgium.
However, the First Lady’s planned trip to Africa will be her first big solo trip.
The announcement came the same day Mrs Trump was spotted at Rockville in Maryland in support of the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention (FPBP), part of the Cyberbullying Prevention Summit.
As part of her Be Best campaign, Melania made a speech at the summit, which aims to stop bullying.
Kenya, UAE seal economic relations deal
Thani Al Zeyoudi, the United Arab Emirate’s minister of foreign trade, has announced that his country and Kenya have reached an agreement for a comprehensive economic partnership (Cepa).
According to a social media post by Al Zeyoudi, non-oil commerce between the Gulf State and Kenya reached $3.1 billion in 2023, up 26.4% from 2022.
As part of a plan to diversify its oil-based economy, the UAE initiated bilateral trade talks with many African nations in 2022, including Kenya, the largest economy in East Africa.
“We will now look to expand across sectors, from food production and mining to technology and logistics,” he said of the agreement.
Kenya’s Trade Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Miano was quoted by the UAE state news agency WAM as saying that the agreement would be crucial in making it possible for Kenyan exports to reach significant markets in Asia and the Middle East as well as “in stimulating investment inflows that will further develop our national capabilities.”
The UAE has inked other Cepas, including agreements with Asia’s superpowers, India and Indonesia, as well as longtime adversaries, Israel and Turkey. 2023 saw the Gulf State sign its first CEPA with two African countries, the Republic of Congo-Brazzaville and the island of Mauritius.
With over €2 million in total trade, Kenya ranked the UAE as its fourth-biggest trading partner, and it was also the largest trading partner and export destination in the Middle East.
UN sanctions six Congolese rebels over crisis in its eastern region
Six members of five armed organisations in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have been sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council as violence between the Congolese army and M23 Tutsi-led rebels, who are backed by Rwanda, has escalated.
The fighting in this decades-long battle has made it more likely that Rwanda and Congo could go to war, which might draw in armies from nearby countries like South Africa, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, and Malawi.
The Deputy U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Robert Wood, told a meeting of the 15-member Security Council that “The United States firmly supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the DRC and lasting peace for all Congolese people. Rwanda and the DRC must walk back from the brink of war.”
A travel ban, asset freeze, and arms embargo were placed on two leaders of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), one commander of the Twirwaneho armed organisation, and one leader of the National People’s Coalition for the Sovereignty of Congo (CNPSC) rebels by the Security Council’s DRC sanctions committee.
The military spokesman for the M23 Tutsi-led rebels, allegedly backed by Rwanda, and a leader of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), an organisation started by Hutus who left Rwanda after participating in the 1994 genocide that killed over 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus, were also placed on the UN list.
“These individuals are responsible for numerous abuses,” Wood said of the six sanctioned individuals.
After replacing a previous U.N. operation in 2010 to aid in reducing insecurity in the country’s east, Congo has been home to a UN peacekeeping force known as MONUSCO for more than 13 years.
Felix Tshisekedi, the president of the Congo, requested in September that the peacekeepers’ withdrawal be expedited, and the UN Security Council granted his request, allowing the deployment to terminate in December.
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