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British PM Sunak remains adamant over migration deal with Rwanda

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British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has remained adamant on the controversial migration deal, promising to start sending asylum seekers to Rwanda within 10 to 12 weeks.

This would happen after parliament passed long-awaited legislation that would make it easier to remove people who come to Britain illegally.

The Supreme Court ruled the policy illegal in November, but Sunak says the new law is more important than any legal issues. This is how he plans to keep his promise to stop people coming across the Channel in small boats.

Sunak also said he would stop people from taking small boats across the Channel, which is a dangerous route that goes for about 20 miles (32 km). Last year, more than 29,000 people came this way. In 2022, a record 45,775 refugees came this way.

For many Britons, leaving the European Union in 2016 meant taking back control of Britain’s borders and stopping people from freely moving into the country but reports show the situation remains a problem. There have been 6,265 people found so far this year, which is almost 25% more than the same time last year.

Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed to the plan in April 2022. It sends anyone who came to Britain illegally after January 1, 2022, to Rwanda, which is about 4,000 miles (6,400 km) away.

Nevertheless, European courts stopped the first flight of people being sent back to their home countries in June 2022. The Supreme Court then supported a decision that the plan was illegal because migrants could be sent back to their home countries or to other countries where they would be mistreated.

Sunak said that the government had reserved commercial charter planes, ready an airfield, and trained staff to take migrants to Rwanda. He said that the first flight would leave in 10 to 12 weeks, but his party thinks that the new law doesn’t go far enough to stop asylum seekers from being able to appeal against being sent back to their home country.

Because of the law, British courts won’t be able to decide if Rwanda is safe, but they might have to decide on specific cases on their own, though only for very narrow reasons.

“If it ever comes to a choice between our national security — securing our borders — and membership of a foreign court, I’m, of course, always going to prioritise our national security,” Sunak said.

Britain has already paid Rwanda more than 200 million pounds ($304 million), and it could cost more than 600 million pounds to resettle about 300 people. At this point, about 50,000 people could be sent there, but it’s still unclear how many people Rwanda can hold.

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Musings From Abroad

Niger, Turkey expand energy, defence cooperation

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Following Niger’s request for the departure of Western military forces and the cancellation of many Western countries’ mining contracts, Turkey and Niger decided to increase their collaboration in the areas of energy, mining, intelligence, and defence.

On Wednesday, MIT intelligence chief, Ibrahim Kalin, Energy Minister, Alparslan Bayraktar, Defense Minister, Yasar Guler, and Foreign Minister, Hakan Fidan, of Turkey paid a visit to Niamey, the capital of Niger.

The Turkish team also met with General Abdulrahman Tiani, the leader of Niger, who assumed office in July of last year following the overthrow of President Mohamed Bazoum by the military council he led and the country’s shift in allegiance.

The junta expelled the French forces, and the United States was instructed to remove its military men from the nation. Additionally, it broke security agreements with the EU.

Two months have passed since Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Niger’s Prime Minister Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine met in Ankara, where the Turkish officials are currently on a visit.

Following their discussions on Wednesday, Fidan informed reporters that officials from Turkey and Niger had talked about enhancing their defence intelligence collaboration.

Guler talked about measures to strengthen defence and military training cooperation between Turkey and Niger, an official from the Turkish Ministry of defense said on Thursday.

The energy ministry of Turkey announced on Wednesday that the two nations had inked a statement of intent to assist and motivate Turkish enterprises to develop the oil and natural gas resources in Niger.

Niger is the seventh-largest producer of uranium in the world and possesses the highest-grade uranium ores in Africa.

However, a Turkish diplomatic source stated that Ankara is not looking to purchase uranium from Niger for its first nuclear power station, which is being built in Akkuyu in Turkey’s Mediterranean area by Russia’s Rosatom.

 

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Musings From Abroad

IMF lowers Botswana’s growth projection for 2024

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In a statement, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reduced its earlier April estimate of 3.6% growth for Botswana to 1%, primarily because of decreased diamond production.

In addition, the IMF warned that a decline in mineral income would cause the budget deficit to balloon to 6% from 3.45% and urged the diamond-rich nation in southern Africa to think twice before embarking on new infrastructure projects to support the economy.

“The continued (economic) slowdown is mainly due to a fall in diamond production,” said IMF said in a statement released late on Friday.

“Some fiscal relaxation is warranted this year given the fall in mineral revenues, but the execution of the ambitious capital budget should be slowed down to contain the deterioration of the deficit and prioritize projects with the highest returns,” the IMF said.

 

The demand prognosis for diamonds, which are typically regarded as luxury goods, has decreased due to weaker consumer demand and a weakening in the global economy.

Finance Minister Peggy Serame predicted in February that the economy would expand by 4.2%, but a few months later the central bank issued a warning, stating that the ongoing challenges in the world diamond market made it doubtful that this goal would be met.

Diamond sales account for 30–40% of Botswana’s total revenue and 75% of its foreign exchange profits.

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