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Musings From Abroad

French President, Emmanuel Macron, calls out Russia over propaganda against it in Africa

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Amidst the recent diplomatic rifts between France and some African countries, the French President, Emmanuel Macron has accused Russia of feeding anti-French propaganda in the continent.

Macron insisted that Russia’s African posture serves “predatory” ambitions in troubled African nations.

He made the position while responding to critics who say France exploits historic economic and political ties in its former colonies to serve its own interests.

Macron said “this perception is fed by others, it’s a political project,” Macron told TV5 Monde in an interview. “I’m no fool, many influencers, sometimes speaking on your programmes, are paid by the Russians. We know them,” he said.

“A number of powers, who want to spread their influence in Africa, are doing this to hurt France, hurt its language, sow doubts, but above all pursue certain interests.”

“You only have to look at what’s going on in the Central African Republic or elsewhere to see that the Russian project underway there, when France has pushed aside, is a project of predation,” Macron said.

“It’s done with the complicity of a Russian military junta,” he said.

There have been recent anti-French protests in some African countries. The government in Gabon was forced to stop the planned protests in May. There were also pockets of “anti-French” protests in South Africa.

In March, protesters also disrupted an auction right before a 19th-century carved mask.

Meanwhile, the French in July hinted at plans to implement an operational overhaul of the country’s army, a decision that is likely to affect its relations in the Sahel region.

Russia has been accused of aiding extra judicial killings in the fight against terrorism in Africa, particularly with the. involvement of mercenaries – the Wagner Group in Mali.

The EU and the US have both also condemned Mali’s alleged use of Russian-based mercenaries the (Wagner Group) to fight terrorists and alleged attacks on civilians. But Russia has consistently denied foul play in its role in Africa.

Musings From Abroad

Rwanda to receive at least $470m from Britain for asylum deal

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As part of the arrangement to have asylum seekers in the UK relocate there, Rwanda will receive at least $470 million from the United Kingdom.

The National Audit Office (NAO), the UK government’s spending watchdog, disclosed on Friday that up to $190,000 would also be paid for each individual sent to the East African nation over five years.

The NAO report was released in response to MPs’ demands for increased clarity regarding the scheme’s cost. However, Labour has criticised the figures, labelling them a “national scandal.”.

Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda, stated in January that the United Kingdom’s attempts to establish an asylum agreement with his nation are proceeding too slowly, following opposition to the proposal that resulted in demonstrations, legal actions, and decisions that put a stop to it. In November, the Supreme Court declared the plan to be “illegal.”

The UK Supreme Court declared in November that Rwanda could not be considered a safe third country, making the government’s plan to send thousands of migrants there illegal.

As a result, the Prime Minister proposed emergency legislation that would supersede both domestic and international human rights laws and halt deportations, and Sunak and Rwanda signed a new treaty. In December, there will be a first vote on the legislation in Parliament.

Britain and Rwanda first signed the deal in April 2022. The UK Supreme Court declared in November that Rwanda could not be considered a safe third country, making the government’s plan to send thousands of migrants there illegal.

The five-year agreement would allow the UK to deport people who enter the nation illegally and allow them to apply for asylum in Rwanda.

As a result, the Prime Minister proposed emergency legislation that would supersede both domestic and international human rights laws and halt deportations, and Sunak and Rwanda signed a new treaty. In December, there will be a first vote on the legislation in Parliament.

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Musings From Abroad

US urges UN Security Council action in Sudan conflict

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The United States has asked the United Nations Security Council to intervene in the nearly year-long conflict in Sudan between the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the Sudanese army.

The RSF and its allies are accused by the US of committing crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing, in addition to the war crimes committed by the fighting parties.

According to the UN, about 8 million people have fled their homes, hunger is on the rise, and nearly 25 million people—or half of Sudan’s population—need aid.

“It is clear that this is an urgent matter of peace and security that demands greater attention from the Security Council,” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield told Reuters in a statement.

“The council must act urgently to alleviate human suffering, hold perpetrators to account, and bring the conflict in Sudan to an end. Time is running out,” she said, without specifying what action the 15-member council should take.

The council has only released three press releases denouncing and expressing concern about the war since it broke out on April 15, 2023. It was similar to the wording used in a resolution passed in December that closed a political mission of the United Nations at the request of Sudan’s acting foreign minister.

According to a UN sanctions monitoring report seen by Reuters last month, between 10,000 and 15,000 people were killed in one city alone in Sudan’s West Darfur region last year in ethnic violence committed by the RSF and allied Arab militia.

Visiting a refugee camp in Chad close to the border with Sudan’s Darfur in September, Thomas-Greenfield expressed her disappointment, saying, “I am deeply disappointed that the allegations detailed in this report have received such little attention, both inside the U.N. Security Council and outside the United Nations.”

Recently, the Sudanese government banned aid supplies from entering Chad, thereby blocking a vital supply route to the vast region of Darfur, which is under the control of the rival RSF. The action was deemed “unacceptable” by Thomas-Greenfield because it jeopardised a “critical lifeline.”

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