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Rwanda has Agreed to Take in Thousands of Libyan Migrants

While South Africa is using violence to force migrants out, Rwanda is doing the exact opposite.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Refugee Agency and the African Union (AU), signed a memorandum yesterday which stated that refugees and asylum seekers currently being held in detention centers in Libya, will be transported and handed over to the Rwandan government for protection. The UNHCR reports that as many as 4700 migrants, who are trying to escape conflict and political turmoil in their own countries by escaping to Europe via Libya, are currently living under inhuman conditions in the Libyan detention centers. In July of this year, 44 migrants were killed while 130 others were injured because of an airstrike on the Tajoura Detention Center, just outside of Libya's capital.


While there have been claims that the Rwandan government is being paid to take the Libyan immigrants in. However, the BBC reports that Rwanda's Minister of Home Affairs, Germaine Kamayirese, said that, "It is just a humanitarian action. Any African should aim to do the same. I don't agree with those who are saying Rwanda has received any money from anyone."

According to Aljazeera, Rwanda will reportedly take in 30 000 African migrants from Libya, however, in batches of 500 at a time so that the country does not become overwhelmed. The Rwandan government first made the commitment back in 2017 when it emerged that those who were trying to get to Europe but had failed, were being sold in Libya's "modern-day slave markets".

Last year, the Rwandan government refused to enter into discussions with Israeli lawmakers who wanted to deport about 38 000 Sudanese and Eritrean migrants who were undocumented.


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#EndSARS: 1 Year Later And It's Business As Usual For The Nigerian Government

Thousands filled the streets of Nigeria to remember those slain in The #LekkiTollGateMassacre...while the government insists it didn't happen.

This week marks 1 year since Nigerians began protests against police brutality and demanded an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The #EndSARS protests took the world by storm as we witnessed Nigerian forces abuse, harass and murder those fighting for a free nation. Reports of illegal detention, profiling, extortion, and extrajudicial killings followed the special task force's existence, forcing the government to demolish the unit on October 11th, 2020. However, protestors remained angered and desperate to be heard. It wasn't until October 20th, when soldiers opened fire on demonstrators at Lekki tollgate in the country's capital, Lagos, that the protests came to a fatal end. More than 56 deaths from across the country were reported, while hundreds more were traumatized as the Nigerian government continued to rule by force. The incident sparked global outrage as the Nigerian army refused to acknowledge or admit to firing shots at unarmed protesters in the dead of night.

It's a year later, and nothing has changed.

Young Nigerians claim to still face unnecessary and violent interactions with the police and none of the demands towards systemic changes have been met. Fisayo Soyombo the founder of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, told Al Jazeera, "Yes, there has not been any reform. Police brutality exists till today," while maintaining that his organization has reported "scores" of cases of police brutality over this past year.

During October 2020's protests, Nigerian authorities turned a blind eye and insisted that the youth-led movement was anti-government and intended to overthrow the administration of current President Muhammadu Buhari. During a press conference on Wednesday, in an attempt to discredit the protests, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed hailed the Nigerian army and police forces for the role they played in the #EndSARS protests, going as far as to say that the Lekki Toll Massacre was a "phantom massacre with no bodies." These brazen claims came while protesters continued to gather in several major cities across the country. The minister even went on to shame CNN, Nigerian favorite DJ Switch as well as Amnesty International, for reporting deaths at Lekki. Mohammed pushed even further by saying, "The six soldiers and 37 policemen who died during the EndSARS protests are human beings with families, even though the human rights organizations and CNN simply ignored their deaths, choosing instead to trumpet a phantom massacre."

With the reports of abuse still coming out of the West African nation, an end to the struggle is not in sight. During Wednesday's protest, a journalist for the Daily Post was detained by Nigerian forces while covering the demonstrations.

According to the BBC, additional police units have been set up in the place of SARS, though some resurfacing SARS officers and allies claim to still be around.

Young Nigerians relied heavily on social media during the protests and returned this year to voice their opinions around the first anniversary of an experience that few will be lucky enough to forget.



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