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African refugees complain of racism as US welcomes Ukrainians with open arms

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Scores of African refugees have complained of the racism and inhuman treatment they get from the United States as the US prepares to welcome hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians fleeing the war in their country.

The refugees, on Saturday, cried out over the way they are treated by US officials including forced deportation, torture, rape, arbitrary arrest and other forms of abuses.

The African asylum seekers who protested the inhuman treatment they get from US officials on Saturday, said though they do not begrudge the US for swiftly “granting humanitarian protections and easy passage to Ukrainians escaping Russia’s devastating invasion of their homeland,” the same treatment should be accorded to other immigrants.

Spokesman for the group, Wilfred Tebah, a Cameroonian who fled the Central African country after escaping from a detention camp, said he could not help but wonder what would happen if the millions fleeing that Eastern Europe nation were of African descent.

Teblah, a leading member of the Cameroon American Council, an advocacy group organizing the protests, said:

“They do not care about a Black man. The difference is really clear. They know what is happening over there, and they have decided to close their eyes and ears,” he said, referring to the situation of Africans who seek refuge in the US.

He also made reference to the frosty reception African and Middle Eastern refugees have faced in western Europe compared with how those nations have enthusiastically embraced displaced Ukrainians.

“We’ll continue to beg, to plead.
We are in danger. I want to emphasize it. And only the Temporary Protected Status for Cameroon and other black refugees will help us be taken out of that danger. It is very necessary,” he said.

In late March, President Joe Biden had made a series of announcements welcoming 100,000 Ukrainian refugees, granting Temporary Protected Status to another 30,000 already in the U.S. and halting Ukrainian deportations.

Musings From Abroad

Niger, Turkey expand energy, defence cooperation

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Following Niger’s request for the departure of Western military forces and the cancellation of many Western countries’ mining contracts, Turkey and Niger decided to increase their collaboration in the areas of energy, mining, intelligence, and defence.

On Wednesday, MIT intelligence chief, Ibrahim Kalin, Energy Minister, Alparslan Bayraktar, Defense Minister, Yasar Guler, and Foreign Minister, Hakan Fidan, of Turkey paid a visit to Niamey, the capital of Niger.

The Turkish team also met with General Abdulrahman Tiani, the leader of Niger, who assumed office in July of last year following the overthrow of President Mohamed Bazoum by the military council he led and the country’s shift in allegiance.

The junta expelled the French forces, and the United States was instructed to remove its military men from the nation. Additionally, it broke security agreements with the EU.

Two months have passed since Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Niger’s Prime Minister Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine met in Ankara, where the Turkish officials are currently on a visit.

Following their discussions on Wednesday, Fidan informed reporters that officials from Turkey and Niger had talked about enhancing their defence intelligence collaboration.

Guler talked about measures to strengthen defence and military training cooperation between Turkey and Niger, an official from the Turkish Ministry of defense said on Thursday.

The energy ministry of Turkey announced on Wednesday that the two nations had inked a statement of intent to assist and motivate Turkish enterprises to develop the oil and natural gas resources in Niger.

Niger is the seventh-largest producer of uranium in the world and possesses the highest-grade uranium ores in Africa.

However, a Turkish diplomatic source stated that Ankara is not looking to purchase uranium from Niger for its first nuclear power station, which is being built in Akkuyu in Turkey’s Mediterranean area by Russia’s Rosatom.

 

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Musings From Abroad

IMF lowers Botswana’s growth projection for 2024

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In a statement, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reduced its earlier April estimate of 3.6% growth for Botswana to 1%, primarily because of decreased diamond production.

In addition, the IMF warned that a decline in mineral income would cause the budget deficit to balloon to 6% from 3.45% and urged the diamond-rich nation in southern Africa to think twice before embarking on new infrastructure projects to support the economy.

“The continued (economic) slowdown is mainly due to a fall in diamond production,” said IMF said in a statement released late on Friday.

“Some fiscal relaxation is warranted this year given the fall in mineral revenues, but the execution of the ambitious capital budget should be slowed down to contain the deterioration of the deficit and prioritize projects with the highest returns,” the IMF said.

 

The demand prognosis for diamonds, which are typically regarded as luxury goods, has decreased due to weaker consumer demand and a weakening in the global economy.

Finance Minister Peggy Serame predicted in February that the economy would expand by 4.2%, but a few months later the central bank issued a warning, stating that the ongoing challenges in the world diamond market made it doubtful that this goal would be met.

Diamond sales account for 30–40% of Botswana’s total revenue and 75% of its foreign exchange profits.

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