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Xenophobia: First batch of 320 Nigerians to return on Wednesday – Envoy

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Xenophobia: First batch of 320 Nigerians to return on Wednesday – Envoy

The Consul General of Nigeria in Johannesburg, Godwin Adama, has said that the first batch of the Nigerian returnees from South Africa would depart South Africa for Lagos on Wednesday.

Adama told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in a telephone interview  that the first batch of returnees, are expected to depart South Africa by 9:00 a.m Wednesday.

The consul general also disclosed that Air peace had indicated interest to evacuate over 600 Nigerians that were willing to return to their country following the latest xenophobic attacks.

“The first flight leaves by 09: 00 hours  this Wednesday with about 320 passengers and the second batch will leave on Thursday all things being equal.

“We have over 600 who had indicated interest. All things being equal, without any hitches, the plane will take off by 09 : 00 hours this Wednesday.

“The manifest for the first flight is ready, and we are working on the next flight,” he said.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Monday called for the immediate evacuation of  Nigerians willing to return home from South Africa following the latest attacks on Nigerians and other  nationals.

Buhari gave the directive when he received the Report of the Special Envoy to South Africa, the Director-General of the  National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Amb. Ahmed Abubakar.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Chairman of Air Peace Mr Allen Onyema, had last week volunteered to send aircraft to evacuate Nigerians who wished to return home without payment.

Also read:  Xenophobia: Over 400 Nigerians ready to leave South Africa

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

The Chairman of the Air Peace also advised the returnees against making payment to anyone for their flights to Lagos.

Onyema urged the returning Nigerians to guard against unauthorised persons, reportedly collecting 1,000 dollars from them, adding that none of them should pay for the flights.

According to him, airline is particularly concerned about the safety of Nigerians in South Africans following the attacks.

“We have not designated or recruited any agent in South Africa to collect money on behalf of Air Peace.

“So, nobody should pay money to anyone or group of persons posing as Air Peace agent or staff.

“Any Nigerian who has paid money for repatriation to Nigeria with Air Peace should request for a refund and report to appropriate authorities,” he said.

The Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa,  had also pledged  the Federal Government’s support to  any Nigerian that wanted to return home.

Dabiri-Erewa said this after a closed door meeting with the Senate Committee on Diaspora and Non-Governmental Organisations in Abuja.

She said that the returnees would be encouraged to enroll and participate in the various social intervention programmes of the government.

“We will encourage them to enroll in small scale entrepreneurial programmes with the Bank of Industry under the social investment programme . So, there are things that they can do’’, she said.

 

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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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