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13 African migrants, including six children, four women, die, as two boats sink off Tunisian coast

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Not less than 13 African migrants, including six children and four women, have been confirmed dead when their boats sank off the Tunisian coast on their way to Europe, a judicial official in the country, Mourad Turki, said.

“Another 10 migrants were declared missing as the two make-shift boats sank off the coast of Sfax, while 37 were rescued. Among the bodies recovered were four women and six children,” Turki said.

Majority of the migrants were said to be from sub-Saharan Africa and had set off in the two boats to embark on the often dangerous attempt of crossing the Mediterranean into European countries in search of greener pastures, with many of them fleeing conflicts and poverty in their countries.

In recent months, hundreds of Africans have drowned off the Tunisian coast following an increase in the frequency of attempted crossings to Europe, especially Italy and Spain, from Tunisia and Libya.

Tunisia and neighbouring Libya have become key departure points for migrants seeking to reach European shores, often in vessels that are barely seaworthy, an official of the
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said.

The UN agency added that in 2021 alone, around 1,300 migrants drowned or went missing in the central Mediterranean, making it the world’s deadliest migration route.

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) on it’s part, estimates that more than 18,000 migrants have died or disappeared while attempting to make the crossing since 2014.

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Nigeria: Presidency warns against planned nationwide protest, accuses opposition

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The Nigerian Presidency has warned against a planned nationwide protest scheduled to kick off on August 1, saying it could degenerate into anarchy.

Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, who gave the warning on Saturday, said those behind the planned protest want to destabilise the country, urging citizens to be very careful because they may not predict what could be the end of such action.

Onanuga also accused supporters of the Labour Party presidential candidate in the 2023 elections, Peter Obi, popularly called Obidients, of being behind the planned protest.

Onanuga who acknowledged that it is the right of people to protest in a democracy, he however cautioned those behind it to should be careful so that it will not be hijacked by people who would use the opportunity to cause problems.

“My post is just to highlight that the people who are organizing this so-called nationwide protest are members of Labour party, they are Peter Obi supporters, so that’s my own take of it, it’s my own opinion so I am not going to say more than this,” he said.

“That is their problem, I am not interested in what they want to do. I am just trying to say, look these are the people that are saying, we must do Kenya, so these are the people mobilizing, that is my own point.

“So, nobody is saying you must not protest, protest is legitimate in a democracy. The concern of people is that when you start a protest and it is not well managed, the end cannot be predicted just like people could not predict the end of EndSars.

“So, that’s just the concern of people. And again when you are saying revolution now, revolution now, do they know the meaning of revolution now? Revolution means you are calling for a coup d’etat, that’s the meaning of it and that’s the point that I am making, nothing more than that. So anybody can protest, it’s within their rights to protest, nobody says you should not protest.

“Check their handles and see what they are posting, just follow what they have been posting. What I did was to do content analysis of what these people are posting as a journalist,” the Presidential spokesman said.

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Metro

Over 10 million people displaced by Sudan war— IOM

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The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported that as the world’s worst displacement crisis worsens in Sudan, almost 10 million, which is about 20% of the country’s population, have been forced from their homes since the conflict there started.

This is the most recent alarming estimate from the nation in East Africa, which has been destroyed by fighting that started in April 2023. The majority of the nation, around 50 million people, are now in need of humanitarian help and half of them are experiencing starvation as a result of the war.

According to a bimonthly report from the IOM, since the start of the conflict, over 2.2 million people have fled to foreign nations and about 7.8 million have sought safety within the nation. Previous conflicts in the country have already resulted in the displacement of an additional 2.8 million people.

When fighting broke out between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in the capital city of Khartoum last year, it soon spread to the west throughout Darfur, with the RSF seizing control of most of the major cities.

Some UN experts have argued that the main cause of migration from Darfur—where it is impossible to provide aid—is now hunger rather than conflict.

“All refugees I met said the reason why they fled Sudan was hunger,” said World Health Organisation country director Dr. Shible Sahbani to reporters after visiting refugees from Darfur, the source of half of the displaced population, in Chad.

“A woman who just reached Adré reported that all food they used to produce locally in Darfur was taken by the fighters,” he added.

More than 150,000 people were displaced from Sennar state as the RSF extended its reach in the southeast of the nation in recent weeks, according to the IOM. Many of these individuals were relocated for the second or third time following RSF attacks on houses and marketplaces in the state’s minor towns and villages.

The RSF blames the activities of rogue actors and disputes that it has harmed civilians.

RSF forces have conducted incursions in Gedaref state, home to 668,000 people who are facing heavy rains and no shelter. This state is currently hosting a large number of displaced persons.

Human Rights Watch issued a warning last week about the risk of the RSF expanding into the Gedaref for the 40,000 Ethiopian refugees, most of whom are Tigrayans, who are alleged by the RSF to be fighting alongside the army.

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