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UK PM Boris Johnson plans to send migrants to Rwanda to be processed in secret deal worth millions to African country

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United Kingdom Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has announced plans to send thousands of migrants to Rwanda to be processed in a secret deal said to be worth millions of pounds for the African country.

The deal has been described as ‘secretive’ with ministers only allowed to refer to ‘country X’ during meetings.

The plan, if it sees the light of day. would see the UK government fly asylum seekers, irrespective of their nationality, out to Rwanda for processing while the UK pays the African country millions of pounds.

There had been similar attempts to send migrants to Ghana and Albania in the past but these plans fell due to international outcry.

The plan, which is still in the pipeline and not fully clear how it would be carried out, was to be announced last week following a new surge in the number of migrants crossing the channel into the UK in the past few weeks.

Officially, the number of migrants that have so far crossed the Channel this year have passed 4,500, according to statistics from the Home Office, prompting the plan by Johnson.

In 2021, a total of 28,526 people crossed the Channel, but the record is expected to be broken this year.

However, the bill has met resistance in the House of Commons where an MP, David Davis, tabled an amendment to scrap the measures.

Speaking during the debate, the Bishop of Durham, the Rt Rev Paul Butler, was deeply critical of such a move, saying enabling the offshoring of asylum seekers to overseas processing centres was evil and should not be condoned.

“When people arrive on our shores seeking protection we have a responsibility to treat them as we would wish to be treated if we indeed had to flee for our lives.

“If we move them to other countries for the process of their asylum claims, I very much fear a blind eye will be turned to their treatment.

“The inhumanity of this part of the Bill is my primary concern. There are however significant practical and financial concerns,” Butler said.

However, supporters of the plan believe it was the only way to profile asylum seekers.

Home Office Minister Baroness Williams of Trafford said: “Asylum processing overseas is one part of a system-wide reform designed to break the business model of people smugglers and disincentivise unwanted behaviours.”

Musings From Abroad

US wants Africa to isolate Russia but won’t force its decision – Secretary Blinken

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Despite having seek support from the continent’s 54 countries in efforts to isolate Russia over its Ukraine invasion, the United States says it will not dictate Africa’s choices.

The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken said on Monday, while presenting a new strategy document for sub-Saharan Africa at the University of Pretoria in South Africa’s capital.

The presentation is part of a continental tour that will also take him to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

“Too often, African nations have been treated as instruments of other nations’ progress, rather than the authors of their own,” said Blinken. “They have been told to pick a side in great power contests that feel far removed from daily struggles of their people.”

The strategy document stressed the threats posed by China and Russia to the United States’ interest in this increasingly important region.

Africa has been at the centre of the Russian/Ukraine war, with the two European countries being power houses in the supply of grains and other staple, the war has lunched in an era of high food cost in developing countries, largely African countries.

The continent has had a contingent of international guest lately. Recall  that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavlov and French President Emmanuel Macron’s travel recently visited. Ukraine also announced that its Foreign minister will soon be visiting in a yet to be announced that.

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Musings From Abroad

Ukraine foreign minister to tour African states. Here’s why

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Ukraine President, Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Thursday revealed that its foreign minister will make a tour of African states this autumn.

The president’s office quoted Zelenskiy as saying at an online news conference for African media.

“I can’t do it now because of the war. I planned before the war, and I am sure that after the war I will do it,” The presidency said.

Africa has been at the centre of the Russian/Ukraine war, with the two European countries being power houses in the supply of grains and other staple, the war has lunched in an era of high food cost in developing countries, largely African countries.

The Ukrainian foreign minister’s visit will be the fourth in the series of strategic diplomatic visits to the continent in recent month by international leaders.

News broke on Monday that The United States Secretary of State, Anthony Blnken, is scheduled to tour Africa at a later date this month. That is shortly after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavlov and French President Emmanuel Macron’s travel to three west African states where the European Union pledged to make Africa its focal point.

Despite the geographical distance, there are important ties between Ukraine and Africa, including more than 8,000 Moroccans and 4,000 Nigerians studying in Ukraine and over $4 billion in exports from Ukraine to Africa.

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