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IOM rescues 25 Niger migrants 3 days after being stranded in desert

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Twenty-five Niger migrants have been left stranded in the middle of a desert while, after failing to get to their supposed “greenland” have been rescued by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The IOM on Tuesday announced that twenty-five Niger migrants, including women and children, who were abandoned by their driver in the middle of the desert in northern Niger have been rescued.

The IOM revealed that the migrants were rescued “last weekend in the Sahara Desert by (teams of) IOM and the Directorate of Civil Protection of Niger,” said the UN agency in a Facebook post.

The United Nation agency further revealed that survivors, whose destination was not specified, “remained without food and water for three days” before they were found by the agency.

A report on Oxfam.com says every day, thousands of people undertake a perilous journey to seek refuge and protection in a country other than their own. Pushed by hunger, forced to flee violence or persecution, they leave everything behind and follow illegal and unsafe routes in search of safety. Sometimes however the journey itself costs them their lives.

It is reported that in 2015 between 80,000 and 150,000 people crossed the harsh and arid desert zone in northeastern Niger on their way to Europe. Most of them were young, sometimes very young, men, coming from Cameroon, Senegal, Gambia, or Guinea. The majority transited through Agadez, the last city in the north before starting their journey across the desert to reach the Libyan coast.

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Tragedy as 22 die in South African night club

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At least 22 people have died from exposure to poisonous substances in a popular nightclub in East London, South Africa.

Bodies of the victims were said to have been found on chairs early on Sunday morning at the scene occurred at Enyobeni Tavern in the city.

Siyanda Manana, a spokesperson for the Eastern Cape provincial health department, told Reuters: “We are going to immediately be embarking on autopsies so we can know the probable cause of death. We are talking 22 bodies right now.”

Police spokesperson, Tembinkosi Kinana, said “the incident is still under investigation, we do not want to make any speculations at this stage.”

Meanwhile, South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his condolences to the families affected.

The president in a statement said he was worried about the circumstances under which young people, potentially under the age of 18 years, were allowed to gather at the tavern but said the law must take its course once investigations conclude.

Night life is a big part of South Africa’s entertainment industry with is the largest market for food and drink in sub-Saharan Africa, and a large and competitive hospitality industry.  According to a study by Statistics, South Africa, spending on alcoholic drinks such as Wine and Beer trumps that on other beverages such as Tea and Coffee.

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Gabon, Togo become newest members of Commonwealth group of nations

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Gabon and Togo have become the latest countries to be admitted into the Commonwealth Group of Nations following their acceptance at the Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali, Rwanda.

The two African Francophone nations were formally admitted to the group after years of trying to join the 54 nations bloc, bringing the number to 56, the first since Rwanda joined in 2009.

The admission of Gabon and Togo by the Commonwealth on Saturday, which was the highlight of the summit as it drew to a close, sees a continuing expansion of the group of nations beyond ex-British colonies as smaller states seek to benefit from the group which is projected to bring $2 trillion in trade by 2030.

While welcoming the new nations in his closing remarks at the summit, Rwandan President Paul Kagame said:

“We have admitted Gabon and Togo as new members, and we all welcome them to the Commonwealth family.”

Togo’s Foreign Minister Robert Dussey said the membership of the country has opened the door to 2.5 billion consumers in the Commonwealth realm, offered new education opportunities, and tapped a craze for English among his countrymen.

“Togo’s membership is motivated by the desire to expand its diplomatic, political, and economic network… as well as to get closer to the English-speaking world,” he told a news conference.

On his part, Gabonese President Ali Bongo said his country was “making history” by joining the group after 62 years of its independence.

“Sixty-two years after its Independence, our country is getting ready to breakthrough with a new chapter. It’s a world of opportunities for Gabon on the economic, diplomatic & cultural levels,” Bongo said in a statement on Twitter.

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