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African refugees stranded in Tunisia demand evacuation to other countries

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Faced with abuse, torture and discrimination, scores of African refugees and migrants currently trapped in Tunisia, have demanded the authorities to evacuate them to other countries.

The refugees who are mostly survivors of illegal immigration attempts to European countries by sea, have been staging a “sit-in” in front of the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Tunis, the Tunisian capital since Saturday, and have also petitioned the United Nations to compel the Tunisian government to evacuate them.

The migrants and refugees, particularly from sub-Saharan Africa, have regularly complained of being subjected to verbal and physical abuse in Tunisia by security and government officials.

The migrants, many of whom are women and children, have been spending the night on cardboard boxes spread out on the grounds of the agency amid suitcases containing their personal belongings.

Denouncing the inaction of the UN in their plights, the refugees displayed banners with inscriptions such as “We need to be evacuated,” hung at the entrance to the building.

A spokesman for the migrants, Saleh Saeed, a Sudanese from Darfur, told reporters that the UN has refused to act accordingly, accusing the commission of abandoning them.

“The real problem is, the UN commission has abandoned its main role, which is our protection. Instead of doing that, it has left us on the street. We were living in Zarzis, and the UN commission demanded our evacuation from there, cut off all funds and stopped protecting us.”

A refugee from Chad, Mohamed Nour, who also spoke to journalists, claimed there have been instances of racism against them which makes life difficult.

“We have been attacked in our homes. We just want to be evacuated from this country.”

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Spanish PM, Pedro Sanchez, blames ‘Mafia’ for human trafficking after African migrants’ deaths at Morocco/Melilla border

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Spanish PM, Pedro Sanchez, blames ‘Mafia’ for human trafficking after African migrants deaths at Morocco/Melilla border

The Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sanchez, has blamed the death of over 20 African migrants at the Morocco/Melillah border while trying to cross to Europe, on a “Mafia” trafficking syndicate.

The incident which happened late on Friday, saw a violent and fatal border incursion on the Moroccan border with the Spanish north African enclave of Melilla, leading to the deaths and injury to scores of Spanish and Moroccan officers injured.

While speaking on the incursion at a press conference in Madrid on Saturday, Sanchez said:

“If there is a party responsible for everything that happened on the border, it is the mafias that traffic in human beings.

“It was an attack on the territorial integrity of our country.

“The tactics of migrants trying to get into Melilla have changed. Before now, they used to spread along the whole length of the fence. Now they concentrate on the part where they think it is weakest,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez who paid tribute to officers on both sides of the border for fighting off “a well-organised, violent assault,” called on more stringent measures to be taken to avoid a future occurrence.

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South Africa: Eskom announces ‘Stage 4’ power cuts

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South Africa’s state-owned power utility, Eskom says it will continue with “Stage 4” power cuts until Wednesday.

The power rationing has been through 3 stages. The stage 3 was a level of a power cut on an eight-level system under which the utility implements a seven and a half hour rolling outage across the country. The stage was a five-hour rolling blackout.

The utility said in a statement said “it regrets to inform the public that Stage 4 load shedding is anticipated to continue from 05:00 on Monday morning until midnight at least until Wednesday.”

“This is due to unlawful and unprotected labour action at a number of power stations, which has caused delays in carrying out planned maintenance and repairs.”

Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd is South Africa’s primary electricity supplier, generating approximately 90% of the electricity used in South Africa and approximately 30% of the electricity generated on the African continent.

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