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We Die Here: UK forced to delay first Rwanda asylum flights after migrant threatens suicide

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The first set of flights which would have conveyed asylum seekers from the UK to Rwanda on Friday had been forced to delay after one of the migrants threatened to commit suicide instead of being deported to the African country.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had, during the week, announced that 50 asylum seekers had already been informed that they were due to be flown to the East African nation within two weeks, with anticipated plans set to complete the evacuation by the end of May despite several opposition to the plans.

However, any further arraignment have been put on hold after one of the migrants from Sudan who claimed to have spent six years trying to get to Britain, vowed he would rather commit suicide than get deported to Rwanda.

The migrant said to be a trainee engineer, was among the first Channel migrants earmarked for the deportation to Rwanda but during a protest against the move, said he preferred dying on UK soil.

“I will kill myself before I get deported; if the UK as a government and a country cannot uphold human rights, who will?” the migrant who gave his name as Ali, said.

Speaking through an Arabic interpreter from the Brook House detention centre in West Sussex where he and others are being kept in  preparation for the deportation, Ali described how he fled war-torn Sudan six years ago, spending two years in detention in Libya where he said he was tortured, before heading up through continental Europe to Calais, where he waited for seven months before crossing the Channel to the UK two weeks ago.

He said his family had to sell their home to pay smugglers but had no idea of the asylum deportation policy.

“I was trying to get here for six years to rebuild my life. Upon receiving the news from the Home Office, once I realised I was being moved to Rwanda, I wrote down my will and asked my solicitor to send my goodbye letter and my will to my mother and my wife.

“I will kill myself before I go to Rwanda,” Ali insisted.

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Nigeria: Zamfara state government wants gun licenses for residents over insecurity

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The Commissioner for information in one of Nigeria’s Northern states, Zamfara state says residents in the state can start approaching the police command in the state for gun licences.

The troubled state wants individuals to carry guns to defend themselves against armed gangs of kidnappers causing havoc in the country’s northwest.

The commissioner, Ibrahim Magaji Dosara in statement said the state governor had directed the state police commissioner to issue 500 gun licences in each of the 19 emirates in the state to those wishing to defend themselves.

“Government is ready to facilitate people, especially our farmers to secure basic weapons for defending themselves,” Dosara said.

The state also banned the use of motorcyles and selling of petrol in three districts and one emirate, in areas which are the most affected by banditry, Dosara said. The state is divided into emirates and the emirates into districts.

“Anybody found riding motorbike within the areas is considered as bandits and security agencies are thereby directed to shoot such persons at sight,” said Dosara.

Gunmen, locally called bandits, have been attacking and killing thousands of people in the country’s North-west since 2017. These assailants have attacked rural dwellers, destroyed their farmlands and in many cases only allow them to the farm after they have paid protection fees. They have also targeted travellers across the region in what some analysts say is one of the most lucrative kidnap-for-ransom syndicates in the continent.

Owning a gun in Zamfara needs permission from the state governor and state police commissioner.

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Ex-Liberian rebel warlord charged in US over attempt to obtain citizenship fraudulently

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A former commanding general of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), a notorious rebel group during the West African country’s civil war, Moses Wright, who had sought asylum in the US has been charged with fraudulently attempting to obtain US citizenship, among other crimes.

According to the United States Justice Department, the 69-year-old Wright lied about his involvement in the persecuting and killing of non-combatants during the war when he applied for US citizenship.

If convicted, Wright faces a maximum possible sentence of 165 years in prison and a $7m (£5.7m) fine, according to the JD.

“The United States will not be a safe haven for human rights violators and war criminals,” the United States Attorney, Jacqueline C. Romero, said on the indictment of Wright.

The indictment of Wright comes after two other former combatants in Liberia’s civil war, Mohammed Jabbateh and Thomas Woewiyu, were convicted in the US for similar offences while a third rebel leader, Sekou Kamara, was arrested earlier this year in New York.

The AFL was responsible for death of an estimated 250,000 Liberians which amounted to around 8% of the population at the time, in the war which started from 1989 to 1997 and in 1999 to 2003, according to a report by the Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission in late 2021, which described the AFL as a “significant violator group found to be behind some of the civil war’s largest scale massacres.”

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