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Church of England condemns UK plan to send asylum seekers, immigrants to Rwanda

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The Church of England has condemned the United Kingdom parliament’s agreement to would send asylum seekers and illegal immigrants to Rwanda.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby on his Easter homily on Sunday considered the arrangement as a way of “sub-contracting [The UK’s] responsibilities, even to a country that seeks to do well like Rwanda, [was] the opposite of the nature of God”.

The Archbishop said the UK was a nation “formed by Christian values”, therefore “sub-contracting out its responsibilities” was “the opposite of the nature of God”.

The said deal involves transporting people deemed to have entered the UK illegally to the east African country, where they will be allowed to apply for the right to settle. But it has faced widespread opposition since the countries signed last Thursday what they called an “economic development partnership” in Kigali.

Rwandan foreign affair minister, Vincent Biruta said the partnership was built on the eastern African country’s record of hosting those fleeing conflict. Vowing the deal would ensure that migrants are protected and offered opportunities to live and work alongside Rwandans if they choose to settle there.

Opposition politicians in Rwanda have criticised its agreement to accept thousands of unauthorized asylum seekers flown from the UK, saying wealthy western countries should “own up to international obligations on the migration issues”.

But the United Kingdom’s Home Office believes the plan is in line with the UK’s “proud history” of supporting those in, adding that Rwanda was “safe and secure” and would process claims in accordance with international human rights laws.

 

Musings From Abroad

CLIMATE CHANGE: Germany to sign climate protection contracts with industries

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As the cry towards a green environment intensifies amidst the increasing effects of climate change, Germany is taking a lead in the climate renewal agenda as it is set to sign climate protection contracts with industrial companies next year.

The Economy Minister, Robert Habeck revealed on Sunday that the agreement will support a transition towards cleaner production and a switch to hydrogen.

Habeck was quoted as saying by Funke media group that  “the aim is to efficiently develop a green industry along the value chain that becomes marketable.”

Reports emerged during the week that Germany was planning to award companies in energy-intensive industries including chemicals and steel 15-year subsidy arrangements that he called climate protection contracts, in return for reducing carbon emissions in their production.

Recall that several world leaders last month, converged in Cairo, the capital of Egypt for the United Nations COP27 Climate Summit, over talks on the “need to deepen cuts in emissions and financially back developing countries already devastated by the effects of rising temperatures.”

According to UNFCCC, the most recent seven years, from 2015 to 2021 were the warmest on record. The 2018–2022 global mean temperature average is estimated to be 1.17 ± 0.13 °C above the 1850–1900 average.

Africa seems to be feeling the heat more as countries across the continent’s East and West have suffered devasting drought and floods beyond what used to be the usual climate pattern.

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Musings From Abroad

Swiss firm, ABB, gets $4.3 million fine over bribery case in South Africa

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Judicial authority in Switzerland has fined engineering and technology group ABB, the sum of 4 million Swiss francs ($4.3 million) in connection with a bribery case in South Africa.

According to the country’s Attorney General, the fine on ABB is for “not having taken all necessary and reasonable organisational provisions in order to prevent bribery payments to foreign officials in South Africa”.

The group was found guilty of improper payments and other compliance issues at the Kusile power station after a wide-scale investigation into state corruption concluded in June 2022.

Earlier in the week, ABB and South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) agreed that the company will pay reparations for its involvement in state corruption.

According to a statement by the NPA, the company agreed to pay 2.5 billion rands ($144.51 million) in punitive reparations to South Africa within 60 days from the first day of December.

The reparation is in addition to 1.6 billion rand ($92.48 million)the company paid back to South African state power utility Eskom in 2020.

The Central Europe country has been fingered in lots of corruption cases involving African countries.

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