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Xenophobia: FG endorses Air Peace to evacuate stranded Nigerians from South Africa

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Xenophobia: 320 Nigerians to arrive Lagos 7 p.m. on Tuesday- Air Peace, Mission

…As NSCDC deploys personnel nationwide***

The Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs may have endorsed the Air Peace Airline to begin tomorrow, September 6, the evacuation of stranded Nigerians in South Africa, following recent attacks on them.

Spokesperson for the Ministry, Mr Ferdinand Nwonye highlighted this on Wednesday in Abuja.

Nwonye said that Mr Allen Onyema, Proprietor of Air Peace Airline had volunteered to send an aircraft as from Sept. 6 to evacuate Nigerians who wish to return free of charge.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to inform the general public that following the recent unfortunate xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals, including Nigerians in South Africa, the Proprietor of Air Peace Airlines, Chief Allen Onyema, has volunteered to send an aircraft from Sept. 6 to evacuate Nigerians who wish to return to Nigeria free of charge.

“The general public is hereby advised to inform their relatives in South Africa to take advantage of this laudable gesture.

“Interested Nigerians are, therefore, advised to liaise with the High Commission of Nigeria in Pretoria and the Consulate General of Nigeria in Johannesburg for further necessary arrangement,” Nwonye said.

Earlier, the Airline had offered to evacuate Nigerians from South Africa following the ongoing xenophobic attacks on foreigners living in the country.

The airline made this known in a letter by its Chief Operating Officer, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Olajide, addressed to Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Olajide said the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa were unfortunate, adding that the airline could not fold its hands and watch Nigerians being killed by the South Africans.

She said: “To this end, Air Peace is willing to support the Nigerian Government’s efforts in this matter by deploying our B777 aircraft to evacuate Nigerians back home.

“We humbly plead with the Federal Government to inform the Nigerian Embassy and the South African Government to rescue the stranded Nigerians by transporting them to the airport to allow Air Peace to evacuate them to Nigeria.”

The Federal Government had recalled its Ambassador to South Africa, Kabiru Bala, and pulled out of the World Economic Summit holding in Cape Town.

The government had also issued travel advice to Nigerians intending to visit South Africa due to the xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals.

This followed the recent xenophobic attack on Nigerians in South Africa on Sunday, which had left several Nigerians stranded and seeking refuge.

The intervention from Air Peace Airline is therefore a ray of hope for many Nigerians seeking to return home to safety.

Also read:  Xenophobia: Nigeria Recalls Ambassador, pulls out of World Economic Summit, demands full compensation

In the meantime, Mr Abdullahi Gana, the Commandant-General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), has directed the immediate deployment of operatives of the corps across the country to prevent breakdown of law and order.

Gana gave the directive in a statement issued by Mr Emmanuel Okeh, the NSCDC’s Public Relation officer (NSCDC), on Thursday in Abuja.

The commandant-general said that the deployment followed the directives of the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.

Gana explained that the measure was to avert retaliatory attack on South African companies and people in the country.

He said he shared the thoughts of the minister, who had condemned the reprisal attack by some Nigerians as an expression of anger over the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.

“This is not the solution to the crisis at hand because more lives of innocent Nigerians and properties worth millions of Naira would be lost in the process,’’ he said.

Gana said that apart from deploying personnel to provide physical security, the NSCDC had engaged the Crisis Management Department (CMD) and the Peace and Conflict Resolution team to mitigate the crisis.

“This is to immediately carry out enlightenment and advocacy programme to educate the citizens on the need to embrace peace and shun violence because of its dire consequences on our collective security,’’ he said.

He appealed to Nigerians to be patient with the Federal Governments and not allow the retaliatory attack snowball into national emergency in order to avert hoodlums taking it over.

 

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

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

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

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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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