Connect with us

Musings From Abroad

Africans escaping Ukraine war hint at racist attacks but AU leaders unimpressed by denials

Published

on

The plight of Africans attempting to cross borders into safe haven amidst the recent Russian/Ukraine crisis has drawn reaction across boards with the latest from the African Union.

The current Chair of the African Union and President of the Republic of Senegal, Macky Sall, and Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission made the observations through a statement issued on February 28, 2022. 

According to the statement, “Reports that Africans are singled out for unacceptable dissimilar treatment would be shockingly racist and in breach of international law. In this regard, the Chairpersons urge all countries to respect international law and show the same empathy and support to all people fleeing war notwithstanding their racial identity,” the statement reads in part. 

The AU reaction came days after its European counterpart the European Union had condemned the invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops, The EU labelled the attack as “barbaric” and condemned the cynical arguments to justify it.

Also reacting to reports of discrimination at the Ukraine/Poland borders, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari remarked that “All who flee a conflict situation have the same right to safe passage under the UN Convention, and the colour of their passport or their skin should make no difference”

Meanwhile, President Buhari has approved the sum of $8.5 million to evacuate at least 5,000 Nigerians who are stranded as a result of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

Nigeria’s Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, announced this Wednesday after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Wednesday.

An unverified video shared by one Twitter user @Damilare_arah shows images of people of colour in some confrontation with some Caucasians in what has been alleged to be a fight over who boards a moving train at the Polish Ukraine border.

It was reported that three Nigerian students, Joseph, Eric and Francis, were among the tens of thousands of people who crossed from Ukraine into Poland on Monday. 

One of the students, Joseph, a computer engineering student told newsmen “There is a lot of discrimination going on there, we actually had to beg people to take us to the border so we could find a way to escape.” 

…………

Media now another theatre of war

However, Poland, which is one of the countries allowing entry for people fleeing the humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine and at the heart of the reported allegations of discriminating against Africans has denied been picky about receiving refugees.

In a report made available in the official Polish government website, it claimed “In recent days, false information about the alleged mistreatment of particular countries citizens by Polish and Ukrainian services has appeared in the public space. Manipulated photos and videos circulate on social media to discredit and tarnish the image of both Ukraine and Poland. The media have become another theatre of war, which is why we urge you not to be manipulated”.

“reports suggesting that Polish authorities are segregating refugees from Ukraine on the basis of race or religion are both false and outrageous.”

 “Poland admits citizens of different countries in accordance with the existing procedures. We urge for prudence and to refrain from disseminating disinformation,” the Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Poland said via Twitter.

As at press-time, 3 March 2022, the Polish government through the Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Poland on Twitter claimed over 500,000 refugees have entered Poland since the invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops.  

Among Africans who have been living in Ukraine, there are students estimated in thousands. Available estimates suggest that roughly 20 per cent of Ukraine’s foreign students are African, including 4,000 Nigerians.

Musings From Abroad

Indonesia passes law that bans sex outside marriage, protest, others

Published

on

Sex outside marriage is now an offence with a punishment of up to one year in jail in Indonesia, according to new laws passed by the country’s parliament.

Indonesia’s parliament dared worries about scaring away tourists from its shores and harming investment as the legislature banned premarital sex in the Asian country.

The law applies to both locals and foreigners alike and also prohibits cohabitation between unmarried couples.

It also bans insulting the president or state institutions, spreading views counter to the state ideology and staging protests without notification.

Stakeholders in the tourism sector of the country have criticized the new law. Deputy chief of Indonesia’s tourism industry board, Maulana Yusran, remarked that the new code was “totally counter-productive” at a time when the economy and tourism were starting to recover from the pandemic.

“We deeply regret the government has closed its eyes. We have already expressed our concern to the ministry of tourism about how harmful this law is,” he said.

The new law has also drawn a reaction from United States Ambassador to Indonesia, Sung Kim who claimed that the development could result in less foreign investment, tourism, and travel to the Southeast Asian nation.

“Criminalising the personal decisions of individuals would loom large within the decision matrix of many companies determining whether to invest in Indonesia,” he said.

Despite its notable diplomatic ties with African countries, Indonesia has a poor history of human rights.

In 2021, Amnesty International reported that at least 158 physical assaults, digital attacks, threats, and other forms of attack against 367 human rights defenders were reported during the year.

Continue Reading

Musings From Abroad

US President, Joe Biden, signs legislation against planned rail workers’ strike

Published

on

The United States President, Joe Biden has signed legislation to block a national railroad strike that could have devastated the American economy.

Senate voted 80 to 15 on Thursday to impose a tentative contract deal reached in September on a dozen unions representing 115,000 workers, who could have gone on strike on December 9.

“It was tough for me but it was the right thing to do at the moment — save jobs, to protect millions of working families from harm and disruption, and to keep supply chains stable around the holidays,” Biden said, adding the deal avoided “an economic catastrophe.”

“That fight isn’t over,” Biden said of the push for sick leave.

Reacting to the president’s assent, American Association of Railroads CEO Ian Jefferies said “none of the parties achieved everything they advocated for” but added, “without a doubt, there is more to be done to further address our employees’ work-life balance concerns.”

The attempt to slash labour and other costs to bolster profits in recent years has been fiercely opposed to adding paid sick time that would require them to hire more staff.

The strike could have left millions stranded and frozen almost 30% of U.S. cargo shipments by weight, stoked already surging inflation, and cost the American economy as much as $2 billion a day.

Continue Reading

EDITOR’S PICK

Sports5 hours ago

Qatar 2022: Morocco make history with World Cup win over Spain

The Atlas Lions of Morocco gave Africa a quarterfinals berth at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar after beating...

VenturesNow6 hours ago

Israel-based oil and gas firm, NewMed, signs exploration deal with Morocco’s energy ministry

Israel-based oil and gas firm, NewMed has signed a deal with Morocco’s energy and mining ministry and Adarco Energy for...

Politics6 hours ago

Ruling junta, politicians sign agreement for civil transition in Sudan. Will it work?

An agreement for a civilian-led transition that will last for two years has been made between Sudanese political parties and...

Musings From Abroad7 hours ago

Indonesia passes law that bans sex outside marriage, protest, others

Sex outside marriage is now an offence with a punishment of up to one year in jail in Indonesia, according...

Metro10 hours ago

Somali forces, local vigilantes, recapture strategic town from Al-Shabaab terrorists

The Somali National Army (SNA), alongside local vigilantes popularly called Mo’awisley, on Monday, recaptured the strategic city of Adan Yabaal...

Politics10 hours ago

Zambia’s Vice President, Mutale Nalumango, to visit Ivory Coast for summit on nutrition

Zambia’s Vice President, Mutale Nalumango is set to visit and attend the African Union (AU) High-level meeting to address issues...

Tech10 hours ago

Egyptian supply chain startup, OneOrder, secures $3 million funding to scale up expansion plans

An Egyptian supply chain solutions startup, OneOrder, has successfully raised $3 million in seed to enable it achieve its aim...

Culture11 hours ago

Eight years after, abducted Nigerian schoolgirls recaptured by French artist in art exhibition

Eight years after their abduction while preparing for the West African School Certificate examination in a school in Chibok town...

Metro12 hours ago

Tanzania President, Samia Hassan, cancels country’s Independence Day celebrations: Here’s why

Tanzania’s President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, has cancelled the country’s Independence Day celebrations which was scheduled for Friday, December 9, and...

Musings From Abroad1 day ago

US President, Joe Biden, signs legislation against planned rail workers’ strike

The United States President, Joe Biden has signed legislation to block a national railroad strike that could have devastated the...

Trending