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Too much money: UK signs multimillion pounds deal to send asylum seekers to Rwanda for processing 

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The United Kingdom parliament has reached an agreement to sign a deal that would send asylum seekers who cross the English Channel in small boats, to Rwanda while their claims are processed in the UK.

The move which was proposed two weeks ago by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, was put on hold as the parliament could not come to an agreement on how the deal would be handled.

But after a lot of deliberations, the agreement which will be worth millions of dollars to the African country, is to be announced on Thursday and will target people trying to reach England in small boats and claim asylum.

Home Secretary Priti Patel will sign the 120 million pound ($158m) agreement for a “migration and economic development partnership” in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda.

According to Patel, the cost would be funded by UK taxpayers.

As part of the deal, crossing the English Channel in small boats will be made a crime, and those who are allowed to stay will have to live in strictly-controlled camp-like environments while their cases are considered.

Last year alone, more than 28,000 people crossed from Europe to the UK, many in small dinghies, with many losing their lives after their boats sank.

“Before Christmas 27 people drowned, and in the weeks ahead there may be many more losing their lives at sea, and whose bodies may never be recovered.

“Around 600 came across the Channel yesterday. In just a few weeks this could again reach a thousand a day,” Johnson said, while justifying the deal with Rwanda.

Johnson who has been under renewed pressure by the British press after being fined by police for breaking COVID-19 lockdown rules at a number of parties in his office, is also set to announce new plans to tackle people-smuggling gangs in the Channel.

But his critics say Johnson is trying to “divert attention from his own behaviour amid calls for his resignation over the repeated lockdown breaches.”

Musings From Abroad

UN sanctions six Congolese rebels over crisis in its eastern region

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Six members of five armed organisations in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have been sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council as violence between the Congolese army and M23 Tutsi-led rebels, who are backed by Rwanda, has escalated.

 

The fighting in this decades-long battle has made it more likely that Rwanda and Congo could go to war, which might draw in armies from nearby countries like South Africa, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, and Malawi.

 

The Deputy U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Robert Wood, told a meeting of the 15-member Security Council that “The United States firmly supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the DRC and lasting peace for all Congolese people. Rwanda and the DRC must walk back from the brink of war.”

A travel ban, asset freeze, and arms embargo were placed on two leaders of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), one commander of the Twirwaneho armed organisation, and one leader of the National People’s Coalition for the Sovereignty of Congo (CNPSC) rebels by the Security Council’s DRC sanctions committee.

The military spokesman for the M23 Tutsi-led rebels, allegedly backed by Rwanda, and a leader of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), an organisation started by Hutus who left Rwanda after participating in the 1994 genocide that killed over 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus, were also placed on the UN list.

“These individuals are responsible for numerous abuses,” Wood said of the six sanctioned individuals.

After replacing a previous U.N. operation in 2010 to aid in reducing insecurity in the country’s east, Congo has been home to a UN peacekeeping force known as MONUSCO for more than 13 years.

Felix Tshisekedi, the president of the Congo, requested in September that the peacekeepers’ withdrawal be expedited, and the UN Security Council granted his request, allowing the deployment to terminate in December.

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Musings From Abroad

US keen on expanding bilateral trade with Nigeria

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According to the US Consulate in Nigeria, it is looking for ways to guarantee prosperity for Nigeria by increasing bilateral trade and investment.

 

The Consulate, in a statement, maintained it was looking for ways to develop bilateral investment and trade as well as guarantee prosperity between the US and Nigeria.

 

Mike Ervin, the chief of the Political and Economic Section of the US Consulate in Lagos made this statement on Wednesday during a working visit to the governor of Abia State, Alex Otti, on Wednesday,

 

He noted that the consulate covers the 17 southern states of Nigeria; hence its mission “to expand bilateral trade and investment and ensure prosperity between the United States and Nigeria”.

 

“In the US consulate in Lagos, we cover the 17 southern states and our top job more than any other is to seek ways to expand bilateral trade and investment and expand shared prosperity between our people.

 

“Our people share a long history of partnership and that was highlighted by the visit of our Secretary of State, Anthony Blinkin, in Nigeria a couple of weeks ago, where he spoke eloquently and strongly on the significance and importance of US-Nigeria bilateral relationship. And our desire is to seek ways of expanding that relationship to build prosperity for our people,” he stated.

 

The petroleum/mining and wholesale trade industries account for the majority of foreign direct investment from the United States, which is the country that invests in Nigeria the most. The value of goods traded both ways in 2022 between the US and Nigeria exceeded $8.1 billion.

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