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Despite worldwide prorests, UK judge rejects bid to stop asylum seekers’ deportation to Rwanda

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A British judge, on Friday, rejected lawsuits filed in attempts to halt UK’s bid to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda next week, but gave the migrants permission for a last-minute appeal.

The Judge, Jonathan Swift, in his ruling, refused a request from a group of the asylum-seekers, backed by a trade union and refugee groups, for an injunction grounding the flight.

But he said an appeal could be heard on Monday, and a full legal challenge to the British government’s new Rwanda deportation policy is to be held before the end of July.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Britain’s Immigration Minister, Home Secretary Priti Patel, both welcomed the ruling with Patel saying the government would “not be deterred” by further challenges in carrying out the deportations.

“Rwanda is a safe country and has previously been recognized for providing a safe haven for refugees.

“We will continue preparations for the first flight to Rwanda, alongside the range of other measures intended to reduce small boat crossings,” Patel said.

The first one-way flight which is supposed to airlift 30 of the migrants who were arrested while crossing the English Channel into the UK, has been scheduled to leave next Tuesday but several human rights groups had filed suits on behalf of the migrants, many of whom had threatened to commit suicide if they were forcefully deported.

The Tuesday flight which will be the first under a controversial deal between the U.K. and the East African country, will see Britain sending the migrants who arrived in the UK either as stowaways or in small boats to Rwanda, where their asylum claims will be processed.

The deal said to be worth millions of pounds in compensation to the African country, with the UK already paying Rwanda £120 million ($158 million) upfront for the plan, will see successful migrants staying in Rwanda, but human rights groups have called the idea unworkable and inhumane.

The British government has not provided details of those selected but refugee groups say the group includes people fleeing from Syria and Afghanistan who arrived in Britain across the English Channel.

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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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