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60 migrants feared missing after boat capsizes on lake in Turkey



60 migrants feared missing after boat capsizes on lake in Turkey

…As India’s COVID-19 death toll rises to 17,400 with total cases hitting 585,493***

Turkish’s Interior Minister on Wednesday said no fewer than 60 migrants were feared missing after a boat capsized on Lake Van in south-eastern Turkey.

“Six bodies have been recovered from the lake since the incident late on Saturday,’’ Suleyman Soylu told newsmen in the city of Van.

According to Soylu, the boat is believed to have been carrying 55 to 60 illegal migrants.

Lake Van is close to the border with Iran and sits on a path in which asylum seekers and migrants, particularly those from Afghanistan, have been using as a gateway into Turkey in the hope of reaching Europe.

Meanwhile, the identities of the victims were not immediately clear.

Soylu said search and rescue efforts were still underway and added that 11 people had so far been detained in relation to the incident.

In December, seven people died and 64 were rescued after another boat carrying migrants capsized on Lake Van.

The boat had been carrying migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Turkey hosts nearly four million refugees, including 3.6 million from neighbouring war-torn Syria.

Ankara has been blocking refugees from reaching the European Union in return for billions of euros in aid under a 2016 agreement.

In February, Turkey said it would no longer stop thousands of migrants from trying to reach Europe, triggering crowds of people gather on the land border with Greece.

The migrant movement halted following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Also read:  32 drown, following passenger ferry mishap in Bangladeshi river

In another development, India’s Health Ministry on Wednesday said 507 new deaths due to COVID-19, besides fresh 18,653 positive cases, were reported during the past 24 hours across the country.

The new deaths had taken the number of deaths to 17,400 and total cases to 585,493.

“As of 8.00 a.m. (local time) on Wednesday, 17,400 deaths related to novel coronavirus have been recorded in the country,’’ the information released by the ministry revealed.

According to ministry officials, so far 347,979 people have been discharged from hospitals after showing improvement.

“The number of active cases in the country right now is 220,114,’’ it added.

The country entered unlock 2.0 phase on Wednesday, the guidelines of which continue to impose restrictions inside the COVID-19 containment zones.

It has been decided that schools, colleges and coaching institutions would remain closed till July 31.

Metro Rail services and places like cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums and assembly halls would be allowed to open in areas outside containment zones.

-dpa, with additional reports from Xinhua


Foreign News

Sri Lankan President Thanks Seychelles Defence Forces For Rescuing Sri Lankan Vessel From Somali Pirates



President Ramkalawan says Seychellois military boarded boat with utmost courage to take complete control

 The Seychelles Defence Forces (SDF) Special Forces and Seychelles Coast Guards on board Coast Guards vessel Topaz led a successful operation to regain control of a Sri Lankan vessel hijacked by armed Somali pirates.

Seychellois special military forces boarded the boat with utmost courage to take complete control of the vessel and rescue our Sri Lankan brothers.

The Commander in Chief of the Seychelles, President Wavel Ramkalawan has spoken to the Chief of Defence Forces, Brigadier Michael Rosette to congratulate the Special Forces and Coast Guards team on a well-executed and successful mission.

“This is the spirit of the Seychelles Defence Forces. Professionalism, courage, and bravery are the tenets of the new spirit in the force. Though small, we will make our contribution to attaining maritime security, peace, and determination in the fight against terrorism to ensure that the world, especially in our part of the Indian Ocean remains a safe and peaceful region. Once again, I reiterate the  pride and confidence of the Seychellois nation in the Seychelles Defence Forces.”

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Foreign News

GoG: Promoting Trans-boundary Management For Sustainable Socio-Economic Development



…Mission builds upon previous efforts by AU-IBAR in the beneficiary countries (Benin and Togo) for the national validation of the report on the State of the Transboundary Marine Environment (SoME)

NAIROBI, Kenya, January 23, 2024/ — From January 21st to 27th, 2024, AU-IBAR is on a mission in the republics of Benin and Togo. The mission is dedicated to supporting the implementation of a Transboundary Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) initiative between the two nations. Funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), under the project “Conservation of Aquatic Biodiversity within the Framework of the Africa Blue Economy Strategy,” this initiative holds the promise of fostering socio-economic development through the judicious use of marine resources.

Collaborative Efforts: AU-IBAR is collaborating with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) body, the Abidjan Convention, and the World Bank-funded West African Coastal Area Management (WACA) Project. The SIDA-funded project, implemented by AU-IBAR, involves an assessment to map the extent of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) usage in Africa as a management tool for the conservation of aquatic biodiversity and ecosystems in the west, central, and northern regions of Africa.

Mission Objectives: This mission builds upon previous efforts by AU-IBAR in the beneficiary countries (Benin and Togo) for the national validation of the report on the State of Transboundary Marine Environment (SoME). The current objective is to secure joint expert validation of the SoME report and obtain high-level political endorsement for the provisions of the jointly validated report, demonstrating the commitment of both countries to the cause. Participants in the joint validation workshop include WACA project-nominated committee members from Benin and Togo, representatives from the Abidjan Convention, and government authorities from both nations, alongside relevant AU-IBAR staff.

Political Commitment: The opening statements during the joint meeting saw representatives from the Governments of Benin and Togo, the Executive Secretary of the Abidjan Convention, and the representative of the Director of AU-IBAR express unwavering commitment to the transboundary marine management process. Both the Director of AU-IBAR and the Executive Secretary of the Abidjan Convention reiterated their support for the Governments of Benin and Togo in realizing their shared vision for the sustainable management of coastal and marine resources in the designated shared maritime boundary.

Key Outcomes: The pinnacle achievement of the joint meeting is the validation of the study report on the state of the marine environment between Benin and Togo. This validation marks a significant milestone towards establishing the transboundary MSP between the two countries. AU-IBAR Director, DR Huyam Salih, emphasized that this accomplishment is a crucial step forward in enhancing aquatic biodiversity conservation and environmental protection in the Gulf of Guinea.

Conclusion: The joint expert consultation workshop serves as a testament to the collaborative efforts aimed at promoting transboundary management of shared marine aquatic ecosystems in the Gulf of Guinea. The validated report and political commitment from Benin and Togo are integral to realizing the socio-economic development potential inherent in the sustainable use of marine resources. As AU-IBAR continues its mission, the hope is that this initiative will serve as a model for other regions seeking to harmonize efforts for the conservation and management of their shared marine ecosystems.
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Foreign News

U.S.-British Strikes In Yemen Left 5 Dead, Say Houthi Rebels



The U.S. and British military strikes in Yemen have left five Houthi fighters dead and six others injured, the Iran-aligned rebels said on Friday, vowing retaliation.

“The American and British enemy bears full responsibility for its criminal aggression,’’ the Houthi military spokesman Yehya Saree said in a statement.

Saree said the massive attack had targeted several Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen including the capital Sana’a.

“It will not pass unanswered and without punishment.

“The Yemeni Armed Forces will not hesitate to target sources of threat and all hostile targets on the ground and in the sea,’’ he said. 

  • dpa
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