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USA: Protests continue over killing of Congolese refugee, Patrick Lyoya by Michigan officer

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The death of a 26-year-old Congolese refugee, Patrick Lyoya, has ignited demands for Police reform as dozens of demonstrators gathered Saturday in a fresh protest in Grand Rapids, eastern USA.

The enraged protesters were chanting “there is no justice in this land” and “Justice for Patrick.”

Patrick Lyoya was killed in Grand Rapids, Michigan on April 4 by a Michigan police officer with a gunshot after the officer couldn’t subdue him in a duel during a traffic stop. The death of the 26-year-old Congolese-American has ignited the protests against racism and demands for Police reform.

Prior to the shooting, he appeared to be wrestling on the ground with the officer in a video recorded by the passenger in his car.

Lyoya’s death is the latest in a grim litany of Black unarmed people dying at the hands of police. Recall that 46-year-old, George Floyd, was murdered in May 2020 in the U.S. city of Minneapolis by Derek Chauvin, a 44-year-old white police officer leading to international outrage.

Patrick Lyoya’s parents said they had fled the war in DR Congo only to have their “son killed with bullets” in the United States.

Speaking at a press conference, attorney Ben Crump described the attack as an “unnecessary, unjustifiable, excessive use of fatal force” that saw the officer “escalate a minor traffic stop into a deadly execution.”

There was nothing, he said, “to justify him reaching for his service revolver, taking it and putting it to the back of Patrick’s head, and pulling the trigger. blowing his head off. “

“If it’s wrong to shoot civilians in the back of the head in Ukraine, it is wrong for the police to shoot civilians in the back of the head here in Grand Rapids, Michigan”, he added.

Musings From Abroad

Russia’s African influence grows as envoy claims 1,890 ‘instructors’ in Central African Republic

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The Russian ambassador to the Central African Republic, Alexander Bikantov has revealed that the country’s military presence in the insurgency-plagued African country.

Bikantov said in an interview published on Friday that 1,890 “Russian instructors” were present in the country. He mentioned that a focus of operations for the Kremlin-linked Wagner Group mercenary outfit.

“Today, there are 1,890 Russian instructors in the C.A.R.. The government is interested in increasing their number. Relatively recently, Bangui sent the relevant application to the UN Security Council”. Bikantov was quoted by the state-owned news agency RIA.

Russia’s influence among African countries battling insurgency has been on the rise lately, with solidified ties with West African country, Mali and much more recently its neighbours Burkina Faso. Both countries, which are under military dictators have reportedly engaged Russian mercenaries – the Wagner Group in the bid to overcome the uprising in their territories.

There are however reports of likely cases of crimes against humility by the government of Mali in its fight against terrorism in connection with its engagement with the Wagner group.

Although it is mineral-rich, the Central African Republic is one of the poorest countries in the world.

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Musings From Abroad

Israel, Sudan advance talks normalise relations

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Following a transfer of power from the military to a civilian government in Khartoum, Israel, and Sudan have finalized a deal to normalise relations.

The Israeli foreign ministry made the revelation on Thursday, noting that the deal was agreed upon during a visit by Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen to “move forward towards normalising relations between the two countries.”

The visit is the first by an Israeli official acknowledged by Sudanese authorities, though there had been a series of exchanges by officials in recent years.

According to a statement by the Israeli foreign ministry, “… the visit, which was made with the consent of the United States, the parties finalised the text of the agreement.”

“The signing ceremony is expected to take place after the transfer of power in Sudan to a civilian government that will be established as part of the ongoing transition process in the country,” it said.

“We definitely look forward to signing the agreement and then to having diplomatic representatives both in Israel and in Sudan,” Lior Haiat, spokesperson for the foreign ministry who took part in the delegation, Cohen told newsmen.

“We are (now) building a new reality with the Sudanese, in which the ‘Three No’s’ will become the ‘Three Yeses’,” he said. “Yes to negotiations between Israel and Sudan, yes to recognition of Israel, and yes to peace between the states and between the peoples.”

In January 2021 Sudan said its then-justice minister Nasredeen Abdulbari had signed the Abraham Accords during a visit by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

A joint statement issued by the governments of Israel, Sudan, and the United States said that “The leaders agreed to the normalisation of relations between Sudan and Israel and to end the state of belligerence between their nations.”

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