Tag Archives: Nigeria

Nigerian drug gang arrested in Sicily asylum

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said in a radio interview on RTL that the government will close the Cara asylum seeker centre in Mineo, Sicily, by the end of this year. “The bigger the centres are, the easier it is for criminals to infiltrate,” Salvini said.

A gang of Nigerian drug dealers based at the Cara di Mineo (Catania) and practicing Mafia methods were dismantled thanks to law enforcement and the judiciary. “For my part, I repeat the commitment to empty it by the end of this year“, he added.

At Cara di Mineo asylum centre police arrested 19 false asylum seekers who belonged to the Nigerian drug mafia.

 

 

 

 

New Ambassadors to EU

The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk received the letters of credentials of the following Ambassadors:

H.E. Ms Nonye UDO, Ambassador, Head of Mission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the European Union

H.E. Mr Aníbal DE CASTRO, Ambassador, Head of Mission of the Dominican Republic to the European Union

H.E. Mr ZHANG Ming, Ambassador, Head of Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the European Union

 

Conflict-famine link

The United Nations has declared famine in parts of South Sudan and warned that more than 20 million people risk dying from starvation because of drought and conflict in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and northeast Nigeria, while more than 100 million face acute malnutrition worldwide.

Stephen O’Brien, the United Nations’ top humanitarian official underlined the link between conflict and famine. “Those (hunger crises) all share this terrible and devastating commonality: violence and conflict which have contributed to or directly caused famine risk conditions,” he said.

A decade ago most international aid organizations focused almost 80% of their resources on natural disaster threats and the rest on “manmade humanitarian risks”, but it is now the other way around, he said.

 

UN: 20 million facing famine

Famine Africa

The world faces the largest humanitarian crisis since the United Nations was founded in 1945 with more than 20 million people in four countries facing starvation and famine, the U.N. humanitarian chief said.

Stephen O’Brien told the U.N. Security Council that “without collective and coordinated global efforts, people will simply starve to death” and “many more will suffer and die from disease.”

He urged an immediate injection of funds for Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and northeast Nigeria plus safe and unimpeded access for humanitarian aid “to avert a catastrophe.”

“To be precise,” O’Brien said, “we need $4.4 billion by July.”

Without a major infusion of money, he said, children will be stunted by severe malnutrition and won’t be able to go to school, gains in economic development will be reversed and “livelihoods, futures and hope will be lost.”

 

 

 

 

 

Chad: EU to support Multination mixed force against Boko Haram

 

Chadian soldiers sit with guns on a vehicle as they drive in Bangui

France requested the EU to release 50 million euro fund, promised to Multinational mixed force (MMF) leading military operation against terroristic group ‘Boko Haram’ in the region of lake Chad. Created to defeat Boko Haram  insurgency after Baga massacre in January 2015, the 8.500 strong group composed of forces from Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Benin and Cameroon, the MMF has been acting since, in spite of a considerable scepticism of the international community.

During his visit to Chad (29/12/2016) Prime Minister Bernad Cazeneuve confirmed the engagement of France to defeat the terrorism in the region , however he pointed at necessity to support Chadian army with logistic and equipment. Still the strongest in the region it continues to undertake operations fighting terroristic groups from Nigeria and Mali, not the least the relentless efforts of the Islamic State to spread influence over Sahel region.

French diplomacy confirmed the release of 30 million euros  to MFF in August spent on transport, information and communication equipment, but still awaiting  18 millions to reinforce headquarters of MMF in N’Djamena. French government also continues to support people of Chad on bilateral basis, releasing eight million euro budget in aid in 2016, including three million on urgent humanitarian needs.

The European Union conducted a military bridging operation, EUFOR Tchad/RCA, from 28 January 2008 to 15 March 2009, under the mandate provided by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1778 (of 25 September 2007).

(Source: AFP)

Rutte: Dutch gamble

Leiders bijeen in Brussel over toekomst unie

Anna van Densky, OPINION

Dutch Prime-Minister Mark Rutte tries to play hard the card of EU solidarity versus ‘aggressive Russia’, while looking for a compromise at the EU Summit in Brussels. The Union has stumbled over Dutch rejection of Ukrainian free-trade perspectives, and the integration process in general, when The Netherlands said clear ‘NO’ in the referendum over EU-Ukraine Association agreement.

Today’s appeal to necessity for the EU unity at face of Russia’s ‘aggression’ is a pretty worn out card,  signifying #Rutte has no aces in the sleeves. Dutch voters can hardly understand their PM passion for Crimea, while Cyprus problem has never caught his eye, although it is the EU member. While the Ukraine’s integration and free trade with the EU can significantly undermine Dutch agriculture, with overwhelming Europe by  cheap agricultural products. There is also a clear message of protest on raising Ukrainian living standards on expense of Dutch citizens. The legendary European ‘solidarity’ increasingly became a victim of averse therapy performed by the European burocrats, lavishing new member states with favors indiscriminately, at expense of the tax-payers of the old member-states. The perspective to open gates to Ukraine, sharing corruption index with Nigeria  does not inspire many of Dutch citizens, although being exceptionally generous with the European project though entire membership.

In view of general elections in March – ironically the 15th of March called Ides of March by Romans is a historic day, when Julius Caesar was assassinated, – Rutte has increasing difficulty to convince his compatriots that Russian are more dangerous than #jihadi invading Europe with the migrant flows. Especially, when Dutch see success projects as Hermitage Amsterdam, where part of the masterpieces collection from St-Petersburg is exposed on permanent basis, seeing that the parallels with Islamists don’t impress.

The compromise with ‘caveats’ for EU candidacy status for Ukraine, and free-trade deal were hinted as possible by a number of the EU diplomats. Rutte himself is visibly full of determination to ‘iron folds out’ at the Summit, brining back a deal that will be satisfactory enough to pass in the Parliament’s both chambers before the elections.

In a way a symbolical compromise offered to Dutch people by the EU will be in a line with its usual method of coping with the ‘vox populi’ they undertook with the EU Constitution, modifying it into Lisbon Treaty, or bluntly offering Irish people to vote once again when the Eurocrats didn’t like the outcome of referendum. ‘You only live twice’ in the EU:)

However, the final ‘verdict of today’s compromise on Ukraine Rutte hopes to achieve will be announced by the Dutch ballots on the 15th of March, when Rutte will get the genuine assessment of his work, including the response to Dutch ‘NO’ referendum on Ukraine.