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Rwanda ready to receive first batch of migrants from the UK

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As the June 14 deadline for the deportation of asylum seekers from the United Kingdom to Rwanda, the East African country says it is getting ready to greet the first set of migrants when their flight arrive on Tuesday.

Despite worldwide opposition to the plan by the British government to transfer the migrants to Rwanda, including the United Nations, Pope Francis, Prince Charles and human rights activists, the UK says the plan will still proceed with the first batch of 30 migrants expected to be air lifted on Tuesday.

An official of a committee set up by Kigali to see that the migrants are welcomed properly and are given all the comfort and assistance they require, said the arriving asylum seekers will be housed at a four-star facility in the capital, the Hope Hostel.

“Rwanda is a good country that loves Rwandans and foreigners, we welcome the migrants warmly.

“Their new homes have been prepared and they will be safe. We are happy because others have come to seek shelter here. Rwanda is recognized for its hospitality,” the committee member said.

The Hope Hostel manager, Ismael Bakina, also echoed the same sentiments.

“This is not a prison. It’s a home like our home. Just, we serve them, the migrants, as a hotel. In a hotel, a person will be free in everything they want. So when they want to go out of the hotel, no problem,” Bakina, said while taking journalists around thr hostel.

Since the plan worth £120 million to Rwanda was signed in April, it has been widely slammed by human rights groups but also by politicians of all parties from both countries.

While some British politicians have kicked against the plan, back home in Rwanda, opposition figures have also kicked against the moves.

Victoire Ingabire, the president of the opposition Development and Liberty for All Party, said in a statement on Sunday:

“We have thousands of young Rwandans who do not have jobs. If you cannot give work to your own population, to your young people, if the Rwandan youth do not have jobs, how can the government promote work for these refugees who are going to come here to Rwanda?”

Metro

Tragedy as 22 die in South African night club

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At least 22 people have died from exposure to poisonous substances in a popular nightclub in East London, South Africa.

Bodies of the victims were said to have been found on chairs early on Sunday morning at the scene occurred at Enyobeni Tavern in the city.

Siyanda Manana, a spokesperson for the Eastern Cape provincial health department, told Reuters: “We are going to immediately be embarking on autopsies so we can know the probable cause of death. We are talking 22 bodies right now.”

Police spokesperson, Tembinkosi Kinana, said “the incident is still under investigation, we do not want to make any speculations at this stage.”

Meanwhile, South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his condolences to the families affected.

The president in a statement said he was worried about the circumstances under which young people, potentially under the age of 18 years, were allowed to gather at the tavern but said the law must take its course once investigations conclude.

Night life is a big part of South Africa’s entertainment industry with is the largest market for food and drink in sub-Saharan Africa, and a large and competitive hospitality industry.  According to a study by Statistics, South Africa, spending on alcoholic drinks such as Wine and Beer trumps that on other beverages such as Tea and Coffee.

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Gabon, Togo become newest members of Commonwealth group of nations

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Gabon and Togo have become the latest countries to be admitted into the Commonwealth Group of Nations following their acceptance at the Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali, Rwanda.

The two African Francophone nations were formally admitted to the group after years of trying to join the 54 nations bloc, bringing the number to 56, the first since Rwanda joined in 2009.

The admission of Gabon and Togo by the Commonwealth on Saturday, which was the highlight of the summit as it drew to a close, sees a continuing expansion of the group of nations beyond ex-British colonies as smaller states seek to benefit from the group which is projected to bring $2 trillion in trade by 2030.

While welcoming the new nations in his closing remarks at the summit, Rwandan President Paul Kagame said:

“We have admitted Gabon and Togo as new members, and we all welcome them to the Commonwealth family.”

Togo’s Foreign Minister Robert Dussey said the membership of the country has opened the door to 2.5 billion consumers in the Commonwealth realm, offered new education opportunities, and tapped a craze for English among his countrymen.

“Togo’s membership is motivated by the desire to expand its diplomatic, political, and economic network… as well as to get closer to the English-speaking world,” he told a news conference.

On his part, Gabonese President Ali Bongo said his country was “making history” by joining the group after 62 years of its independence.

“Sixty-two years after its Independence, our country is getting ready to breakthrough with a new chapter. It’s a world of opportunities for Gabon on the economic, diplomatic & cultural levels,” Bongo said in a statement on Twitter.

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