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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

Despite heavy security presence, Libyan protesters step up campaign, vow to continue demonstrations

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Libyan protesters have vowed to step up its campaign and continue with their demonstrations until all the ruling elites quit power and pave way for elections.

The protests which began on Friday, saw the burning of the country’s parliament building in Tobruk when a large crowd broke through the security and set the building on fire.

The incident prompted the government to release thousands of security personnel into the streets but the demonstrators were not deterred as they defied the presence of the forces on Saturday and Sunday by holding rallies in Tripoli, Tobruk, and Benghazi, and other major cities in the North African country.

While addressing the protesters, leaders of the movement said they would step up its campaign from Sunday, urging demonstrators to set up tents in city squares and practise civil disobedience until they achieve their goal of ousting political institutions and holding new elections.

Libyan Observer reports that the protesters held their biggest rally in Tripoli for years, chanting slogans against the feuding political elites, as demonstrators blocked off roads in Benghazi and Misrata and set fire to government buildings in Sebha and Qarabuli.

The media also reported that despite pleas by United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the demonstrators are bent on going on with their daily protests until they force the ruling elites out.

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Musings From Abroad

US commends Kenya’s effort at resolving Rwanda/Congo tension

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The US has praised Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta for his effort at resolving tensions between East African neighbour, DR Congo and Rwanda.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with President Kenyatta in a phone call on Thursday describes Kenya’s move as the best approach to end armed conflict in the troubled east of the country.

The US State Department Spokesman Ned Price said of the phone call, that “Secretary Blinken expressed his appreciation for the Nairobi process, which has brought together the leadership of the DR Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, South Sudan and Tanzania.

“The Secretary noted these heads of state meetings are instrumental for facilitating the de-escalation of regional tensions, and in particular between the DR Congo and Rwanda.”

The acrimony between the countries was pronounced last month when Rwandan military authorities accused the armed forces of neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo of cross-border attacks.

Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, last week called on the East African regional bloc to deploy East African force to the troubled eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to restore security following renewed fighting between government forces and the M23 rebels which has seen thousands killed and displaced since the resumption of hostilities.

Although the move to deploy the forces has been commended by the US, United Nations and the African Union, Congolese politicians and the public have expressed reservations about the proposed deployment of peace troops. They said the East Africa Standby Force (EASF) would be duplicating roles of the UN Mission (Monusco) as well as other existing interventions currently on the ground.

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