country:nigeria

  • BIMCO Calls on EU, China and U.S. to Support Counter-Piracy Ops in Gulf of Guinea – gCaptain
    https://gcaptain.com/bimco-calls-on-eu-china-and-u-s-to-support-counter-piracy-ops-in-gulf-of-g

    The EU, China, and the U.S. need to step up their support of counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Guinea amid a scourge of attacks and kidnappings in the region, international shipping association BIMCO said Wednesday.

    Around 40 ships have been attacked in the Gulf of Guinea in the past 12 months. Most recently, six seafarers were kidnapped from the MSC Mandy, which was on the way to Lagos, Nigeria.

    BIMCO called piracy in the Gulf of Guinea an unacceptable burden to seafarers and shipping companies, BIMCO said in a press release. For this reason, BIMCO is asking on behalf of its members that maritime powers increase their presence and expand their collaboration with local states to curb piracy.

    We look towards the EU, China and the United States to join forces and deploy naval capacity in the Gulf of Guinea to end this constant threat to seafarers,“ Jakob P. Larsen, BIMCO Head of Maritime Security, says.

    In the 2013 Yaoundé Code of Conduct, states in the Gulf of Guinea recognized that piracy constituted an issue and initiated several initiatives to strengthen maritime security. The Yaoundé Code of Conduct was inspired by the United Nations’ Security Council Resolution 2018 (2011) and 2039 (2012) and contains several initiatives to strengthen maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.


  • Chimurenga signale sur FB

    The African Imagination of a Borderless World:

    https://www.facebook.com/BardeAmu/posts/2053819831377429?__tn__=-R

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/m2ahiylwb2rfv00/afrique%20festac%2077.pdf?dl=0

    The debate that started in Manchester 1945 when the leadership of a movement founded by “concerned black people” in the West (Garvey, du Bois, CLR etc) was taken up by Africa-born poet-philosopher-politicians like Nkrumah and Nyerere - and accelerated when these poet-philosopher-politicians took charge of independent states (or “mini-states” as Walter Rodney liked to call them) and reduced pan Africanism to OAU bureaucracy (which Mbeki subsequently re-branded AU). Not all were poets or philosophers..

    Anyway, this debate was still in full swing by the time FESTAC came around - the 2nd World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture, held in Lagos/Kaduna in 1977 (note the “Black AND African”)

    This is Kongi speaking his peace for Abibiman (his prefered name for Africa) at the FESTAC Colloquium - btw we’re working on a publication on FESTAC, soon come!

    (And this vid is courtesy of the Centre for Black Arts and Civilisations in Lagos - part the legacy of FESTAC. Check them out)

    Bright Moments!

    FESTAC’77 - the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture - YouTube
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzAIGgWNHbY

    Festac ’77, also known as the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (the first was in Dakar, 1966), was a cultural jamboree held in Lagos, Nigeria, from 15 January 1977 to 12 February 1977. The month-long event celebrated African culture and showcased to the world African music, fine art, literature, drama, dance and religion. About 16,000 participants, representing 56 African nation and countries o


  • Amid an Export Boom, the U.S. Is Still Importing #Natural_Gas - Bloomberg
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-27/amid-an-export-boom-the-u-s-is-still-importing-natural-gas

    The U.S. may be exporting natural gas at a record clip, but that hasn’t stopped it from accepting new imports. A tanker with fuel from Nigeria has berthed at the Cove Point import terminal in Maryland, while a second ship with Russian gas is idling outside Boston Harbor.

    Pipeline constraints, depleted stockpiles and a 98-year-old law barring foreign ships from moving goods between U.S. ports is opening the way for liquefied natural gas to be shipped from overseas with prices expected to spike as the East Coast winter sets in.

    The two tankers are carrying about 6 billion cubic feet of #LNG, enough to power 150,000 homes for a year. At one point Thursday, the ship carrying Nigerian fuel to Cove Point passed another tanker in the Chesapeake Bay filled with U.S. gas that was headed abroad.

    It is ironic,’” said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC in New York. But the “super cheap gas” produced in the nation’s shale fields “is trapped down west of the Mississippi unable to serve its own market,” he said by phone. “The gas is where the people aren’t.

    bout the money. The companies shipping the gas into Maryland — BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc — will likely have it stored until freezing East Coast temperatures push prices higher as local suppliers struggle to meet demand, according to Trevor Sikorski, head of natural gas, coal and carbon with the London-based industry consultant Energy Aspects Ltd. in a note to clients on Wednesday.

    Meanwhile, the gas being exported out will likely fetch higher prices right now in Europe and Asia. Dominion Energy Inc., which owns the Cove Point terminal, didn’t respond to emailed and telephone requests seeking comment.

    Other factors are at play as well. For instance, American providers can’t just ship LNG from shale fields in the south because the giant ships that transport the super-chilled fuel sail under foreign flags. Under the 1920 #Jones_Act, that means none can legally transport LNG to the Northeast from existing export terminals in Louisiana and Texas.

    At the same time, even the vast pipeline network feeding the region can quickly develop bottlenecks at a time when stockpiles are sitting at their lowest levels for this time of year since 2002. While production is soaring, strong demand from more and more U.S. power plants using the fuel, along with new export terminals, soaks up much of that new supply.

    There’s still some logistics and pipelines that need to be built to match out to where the demand is,” Kilduff said.

    #GNL


  • Stop security guard and police violence! Justizwatch on the Bamberg police raid of Dec 11, 2018

    Statement by Justizwatch on the police raid in the AEO Bamberg (Bavaria, Germany) on the night of December 11, 2018

    18.12.2018

    A dispute between Eritrean asylum seekers and security guards in the AnkER Centre of Upper Franconia (AEO) in Bamberg (Bavaria, Germany) on December 11, 2018 shortly after midnight was followed by a large-scale, brutal police raid involving 100 to 200 police officers and the Special Deployment Commando (SEK). According to the police report, nine asylum seekers were arrested. Pre-trial detention orders were later issued against four of them. The accusations by the public prosecutor are severe: it investigates among other things because of attempted manslaughter and serious arson.

    The police and the public prosecutor’s office describe the asylum seekers as extremely violent: Allegedly they first attacked guards, then barricaded themselves in a building, set fire to an apartment and threw cobblestones at police officers. The media uncritically adopted this depiction. Hardly any journalist took the trouble to talk to the victims on the spot and to check the information provided by the police.

    However, talking to the affected Eritreans results in a completely different picture. They report that security guards attacked and severely beat them after a verbal dispute. This resulted in serious injuries, including broken teeth and a broken rib. The abuse by the guards continued even after the police had arrived on site. However, the police were not interested in the perspective of the asylum seekers, and simply arrested them.

    The incident follows systematic security guard violence in the camp that is known to both to the Bamberg public prosecutor and the AEO management. They know that employees of the company Fair Guards and its subcontractors founded a so-called “special team” in the summer of 2017. This team has been responsible for countless attacks against asylum seekers, especially Black men. Complaints by asylum seekers concerning these attacks to the AEO management and by former security employees against the main company Fair Guards have so far remained largely without consequences. Instead, the police and the prosecutor have criminalized the victims of such attacks in several cases.

    Most reports on the December 11 police raid in Bamberg also do not mention that after the arrest of the Eritreans, the police carried out a brutal raid in other AEO buildings. Civil servants violently destroyed the doors of unlocked apartments and searched the rooms of completely uninvolved residents. They took eight asylum seekers from Nigeria out of their beds at 4 a.m., handcuffed them and drove them, some still half-naked, to the police station – on the unfounded accusation that they had participated in the dispute between the Eritreans and the guards.

    We demand a complete investigation of the police raid on December 11, 2018 and a thorough examination of all the evidence in the Bamberg Security Complex.

    We demand that the role and complicity of the security company Fair Guards, the camp management and law enforcement be investigated.

    We demand an end to the constant police raids in the AnkER Centres that have no other purpose than to stage refugees as criminals and to intimidate them.

    We call for journalism that allows refugees to voice their views.

    http://cultureofdeportation.org/2018/12/18/justizwatch-on-the-bamberg-police-raid
    #police #violences_policières #Bamberg #Allemagne #réfugiés #migrations #médias #criminalisation #réfugiés_érythréens #demandeurs_d'asile #violence





  • #Canada registers sixfold increase in US citizens seeking asylum in 2017

    Americans were the third largest group seeking asylum, spurred by fears they would be deported by the Trump administration

    Tiroude and Gislyne are Haitians by birth and migrants by necessity.

    The couple’s 18-month-old daughter, however, was born in Fort Lauderdale, and – as an American by birth – she is part of a growing number of US citizens seeking refuge in Canada.

    In 2017, some 2,550 US citizens applied for asylum in Canada – an increase of more than sixfold from 2016 and the largest such number since at least 1994, according to data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

    Americans were the third largest contingent of asylum seekers in 2017, after Haitians and Nigerians. The vast majority are children born to Haitian parents, according to experts.
    Daughter of Haitians, 10, urges Trump to extend families’ protected status
    Read more

    “Most of the Americans applying for refugee status are the children of non-residents,” says Stéphane Handfield, a Montreal-based immigration lawyer. “They are US citizens because they were born there, but they come across the border with their parents because they don’t want to be separated.”

    Trump has repeatedly said he wants to find a way to end birthright citizenship, although legal scholars say this is impossible.

    Tiroude and Gislyne fled Haiti for Brazil in 2014, in search of work and safety after Gislyne was targeted for her advocacy.

    Two and a half years later, they headed north after Tiroude lost his job, entering the United States in November 2017 – just as the Trump government announced that it wanted 59,000 Haitians living legally in the US to leave the country.

    In May, the couple moved again – this time with a newborn baby – becoming some of the roughly 6,000 Haitian asylum seekers who fled the US for Canada last year.

    “We left because President Trump said he wanted to deport people,” said Tiroude, who, like his wife, didn’t want his last name used.

    The family flew from Florida to Plattsburgh, New York, and crossed into Canada by way of Roxham Road in Quebec, a remote section of the border which has become a well-trodden path for asylum seekers.

    Because they crossed the border “irregularly” they were quickly arrested. They claimed asylum and were eventually released to await their hearing in front of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board.
    Advertisement

    They chose their destination largely because of a tweet by Justin Trudeau welcoming to Canada “those fleeing persecution, terror and war” – which came just as Trump made his first attempt to bar refugees from majority Muslim countries.
    Is this a Muslim ban? Trump’s executive order explained
    Read more

    Tiroude and Gislyne originally fled Haiti because Gislyne had been targeted by political rivals for her advocacy work. “If I go back to Haiti, I die. It’s that simple,” she said.

    But their odds aren’t good; last year, only about one in four Haitian asylum applicants were successful.

    They would be compelled to return to an unstable country still reeling from the 2010 earthquake and near-chronic political unrest. For their two children – their son was born in October – Haiti is a foreign country.

    “Going to Haiti as a parent is dangerous. For my kids it’s worse because they don’t know it. They won’t know how to speak Creole,” Tiroude said. “We’re very pessimistic, because they’re starting to deport people.”

    Since Trudeau’s tweet, his government’s welcome for asylum seekers has cooled notably, with Ralph Goodale, the country’s public safety minister, saying that there was no “free ticket” into Canada.

    Canada’s border agency hopes to increase deportations of failed refugee claimants by up to 35%, according to a recent investigation by the CBC, Canada’s public broadcaster.

    Meanwhile, Trudeau’s Liberal government – under increasing political pressure over immigration – has dispatched officials to Haiti and Nigeria in an attempt to convince would-be asylum seekers to stay put.

    Tiroude said he was aware of the backlash against migrants, though he is facing bigger issues. His immigration hearing was recently postponed for a second time, leaving him and his family in limbo once again. “We are pessimists. We don’t know when our turn will be. We are waiting. We hope it works,” he said.


    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/14/us-citizens-seeking-asylum-canada-increases-immigration-refugees
    #USA #Etats-Unis #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Haïti #réfugiés_haïtiens #réfugiés_américains


  • Investment platforms vie to capture a share of global #remittances

    Investment platforms are vying to capture a share of global remittances
    IN 2016 AYO ADEWUNMI, a Nigerian-born agricultural trader living in London, bought a five-hectare farm in
    his homeland. It has produced little since. “I am not in the country, so I have to rely on third parties. It’s just
    not good enough,” he says.
    Mr Adewunmi has since discovered another, potentially more satisfactory way to make such investments:
    through #FarmCrowdy (https://www.farmcrowdy.com), a crowdfunding platform that lends to Nigerian farms and provides technical
    assistance to their owners. The two-year-old startup, which is considering expanding into Ghana, places high
    hopes in the African diaspora as a source of funds.
    The case for such platforms goes beyond agriculture. Global remittances are expected to soar from $468bn
    in 2010 to $667bn in 2019. They are among the top two foreign-currency sources in several countries,
    including Kenya and the Philippines. Yet hardly any of the money is invested.
    In part, this is because recipients use three-quarters of the money for basics such as food and housing. But it
    is also because emigrants who want to invest back home have few options. New investment channels could
    attract lots of extra cash—about $73bn a year in Commonwealth countries alone, according to research by
    the 53-country grouping.

    Crowdfunding platforms would enable investors to put modest sums directly into smaller businesses in
    developing countries, which are often cash-starved. Yet of the emerging world’s 85 debt- and
    equity-crowdfunding ventures, only a handful raise money abroad. Several platforms set up in rich countries
    over the past decade to invest in developing countries, including Emerging Crowd, Homestrings and Enable
    Impact, quickly folded.
    A big problem is that few developing countries have rules about crowdfunding. Many have allowed activity
    so far chiefly because the industry is so small, says Anton Root of Allied Crowds, a consultancy. Cross-border
    transfers using such platforms easily fall foul of rich countries’ rules intended to stop money-laundering and
    the financing of terrorism.
    Some developing countries have realised that they need to act. Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia
    have all recently passed regulations on equity crowdfunding or peer-to-peer lending. But from a
    cross-border perspective, Africa seems most inventive, owing to active entrepreneurs and Western help.

    Last month the British government approved a grant of £230,000 ($300,000) to the African Crowdfunding
    Association to help it craft model accreditation and investor-protection rules. Elizabeth Howard of
    LelapaFund, a platform focused on east Africa, is part of an effort to see such rules adopted across the
    continent. That would help reassure sending countries that transfers do not end up in the wrong hands, she
    says. She hopes to enlist the support of the Central Bank of West African States, which oversees eight
    Francophone countries, at a gathering of crowdfunders and regulators sponsored by the French
    government in Dakar, in Senegal, this month.
    Thameur Hemdane of Afrikwity, a platform targeting Francophone Africa, says the industry will also study
    whether prospective laws could be expanded to the Central African Economic and Monetary Community, a
    grouping of six countries. Harmonised rules will not guarantee crowdfunders’ success, but would be a useful
    step towards raising the amount of diaspora capital that is put to productive use.


    https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/2018/11/08/investment-platforms-vie-to-capture-a-share-of-global-remittances?fsrc=scn/tw/te/bl/ed/investmentplatformsvietocaptureashareofglobalremittancesitscominghome
    #agriculture #crowdfunding #migrations #investissement #développement


  • What’s Driving the Conflict in Cameroon?
    Violence Is Escalating in Its Anglophone Regions.

    In recent months, political violence in the Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon has escalated dramatically. So far, at least 400 civilians and 160 state security officers have been killed in the conflict between the government and an armed separatist movement that, just two short years ago, started as a peaceful strike of lawyers and teachers. How did such upheaval come to a country that has prided itself for decades as a bulwark of stability in a region of violent conflict? And why has it escalated so quickly?

    THE ROOTS OF THE VIOLENCE

    The Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon have a special historical legacy that sets them apart from the country’s other eight regions: between 1922 and 1960, they were ruled as a British trust or protectorate while the rest of the territory was administered by France. This is why today, 3 million residents of the Northwest and Southwest regions—roughly 20 percent of the Cameroonian population—speak primarily English, not French. These two regions also use their own legal and educational systems, inherited from the British, and have a unique cultural identity.

    Many analysts argue that the current conflict stems from the intractable historical animosity between Cameroon’s Anglophones and Francophones. Yet if that is the case, it is strange that the violence is only occurring now. Why not in 1972, when Ahmadou Ahidjo, the first president of Cameroon, ended the federation between the Anglophone and Francophone regions, forcing the Anglophones to submit to a unitary state? Or in 1992, when current President Paul Biya held Cameroon’s first multi-party elections, and narrowly won a heavily rigged contest by four percentage points against Anglophone candidate John Fru Ndi? Furthermore, if differences in identity are the primary driver of the conflict, it is quite surprising that Cameroon—one of the most ethnically diverse countries in Africa—has largely avoided ethnic conflict.

    Most Anglophones themselves say that they would be happy to put their national identity above their linguistic one if they weren’t systematically neglected and repressed by Cameroon’s central government. According to a survey from the Afrobarometer, an independent polling and research network, when asked whether they identify more as Cameroonians or more with their ethnic group, the vast majority of respondents in the Northwest and Southwest regions said they identified with these categories equally. Less than five percent said they identified more with their ethnic group. Nonetheless, members of this population have long felt themselves to be treated as second-class citizens in their own country. Anglophones who go to the capital city of Yaoundé to collect government documents, for example, often report being ridiculed or turned away by public officials because they cannot speak French. Separatists argue that this mistreatment and discrimination by Yaoundé, and Francophone Cameroonians more broadly, is grounds for secession.

    Yet regional neglect and mistreatment are not enough to explain the current wave of violence. If they were the root cause, then we should also be seeing separatist movements in Cameroon’s North and Far North regions, where state violence has become endemic in the fight against Boko Haram over the past four years. Moreover, in the North and Far North regions, the poverty rate is higher (more than 50 percent in each, compared to 15 percent in the Southwest and 25 percent in the Northwest) and state investment in public goods such schools, health clinics, and roads is lower than anywhere else in the country.

    To be sure, the Anglophones’ unique linguistic and cultural identity has played a role in the rebellion. But in order to understand why the escalating violence is taking place where and when it is, we must consider not only the Anglophone regions’ exceptional political isolation and relative economic autonomy from the rest of Cameroon, but also the increasing impatience of Africans living under non-democratic regimes.
    WHY THE ANGLOPHONE REGIONS?

    Biya, who last month won his seventh term in office, has been in power since 1982, making him one of the longest ruling leaders in the world. In fact, Cameroon has only had two presidents since gaining independence in 1960. Because the country’s median age is 18, this means that the majority of Cameroonians have only ever known one president. Yet the decline of Africa’s strongmen over the past two decades—most recently Blaise Compaoré in Burkina Faso, Yahya Jammeh in the Gambia, Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, José Eduardo dos Santos in Angola, and even Jacob Zuma in South Africa—has made Biya’s continued rule increasingly untenable. Democracy may have begun to lose its appeal in many parts of the world, but it remains important to most sub-Saharan Africans. Many Cameroonians with an education and a smart phone consider their president’s extended rule increasingly illegitimate. The political tide currently washing away the strongmen of Africa has made this moment an exceptional one for mobilizing people against the regime.

    In spite of these democratic headwinds, Biya has managed to maintain his legitimacy in some quarters through his cooptation of Francophone elites and control of information by means of the (largely Francophone) state-owned media. He has masterfully brought Francophone leaders into government, offering them lucrative ministerial posts and control over various government revenue streams. Importantly, he has not been excessively repressive—at least not before the current outbreak of violence—and has gone out of his way to uphold the façade of democratic legitimacy through holding regular elections, allowing a relatively unfettered (although weak) independent media, and having a general laissez-faire attitude toward governing.

    The state media and elites within the ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement are stalwart defenders of the president, operating whole-heartedly on the fictitious assumption that the regime is democratic. Many Cameroonians, especially those isolated from independent media, opposition parties, or information from outside of the country, earnestly believe this narrative. Another survey by the Afrobarometer conducted in 2015 before the outbreak of violence, showed that the presidency is the second most trusted institution of the state, after the army. It also showed that only ten percent of Cameroonian respondents believe that their country is not a democracy.

    In contrast, the Anglophone regions’ relative distance from both Biya’s networks of patronage and influence and the Francophone state media puts them in a unique position to see the autocratic nature of the regime and rebel against it. Although 75.4 percent of Francophone Cameroonian respondents said they trust Biya “somewhat” or “a lot,” in the Afrobarometer poll, only 45.5 percent of Anglophones felt the same way. Part of the reason for this is easier access to criticism of the Biya government. In electoral autocracies, opposition parties are often the only institutions that consistently voice the view that the regime is not truly democratic. The strongest opposition party in Cameroon—the Social Democratic Front (SDF)—is headquartered in the Northwest region, thus further exposing Anglophones to narratives of state repression. Other parts of Cameroon do not have occasion to become as familiar with opposition party politics. In the most recent 2013 elections for the National Assembly, for example, the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement ran completely unopposed in 13 of the country’s 83 electoral districts.

    In comparison to other parts of the country, such as the north, Cameroon’s Anglophone regions are also more economically autonomous from Yaoundé. They have a robust cross-border trade with Nigeria, successful plantations in the Southwest, and fertile farming land. They are not overly-reliant on the export of primary resources, such as oil or timber, which funnels through state-owned corporations. And they are not as poor as, for example, the northern regions, which face chronic food insecurity. The Anglophones thus have not only the will, but also the resources to rebel.

    THE SUCCESSION QUESTION

    Unfortunately, an end to the crisis is nowhere in sight. Last month, Biya won his seventh term as president with 71.3 percent of the vote. The already unfair election was marked by exceedingly low participation in the Anglophone regions—just five percent in the Northwest—due to security fears. Meanwhile, Biya has responded to the separatists with an iron fist. He refuses to negotiate with them, instead sending in his elite Rapid Intervention Battalion (trained by the United States and led by a retired Israeli officer), which has now been accused of burning villages and attacking civilians in the Northwest and Southwest. But as long as the violence does not spill over into the Francophone regions, the crisis will likely not affect the president’s legitimacy in the rest of the country. Moreover, Biya remains staunchly supported by the West—especially France, but also the United States, which relies strongly on Cameroon in the fight against Boko Haram. The separatists, meanwhile, remain fractured, weak, and guilty of their own atrocities against civilians. Apart from attacking security forces, they have been kidnapping and torturing teachers and students who refuse to participate in a school strike.

    It is extremely unlikely that Biya will make the concessions necessary for attacks from separatists to stop, and the fluid nature of the insurgency will make it difficult for state security forces to end the violence. The scorched earth tactics on both sides only work to further alienate the population, many of whom have fled to Nigeria. It seems likely that a resolution to the crisis can only happen once the questions of when Biya will step down and who will replace him are fully answered. Right now, there is only unsubstantiated speculation. Many assume he will appoint a successor before the next presidential elections, scheduled for 2025. But if there are any surprises in the meantime similar to the military move against Mugabe in Zimbabwe or the popular uprising against Compaoré in Burkina Faso, a transition may come sooner than expected. A post-Biya political opening might provide a way for Cameroon’ s Anglophones to claim their long-awaited autonomy.

    https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/cameroon/2018-11-08/whats-driving-conflict-cameroon?cid=soc-tw
    #Cameroun #conflit #Cameroun_anglophone #violence #différent_territorial #autonomie


  • La sindaca di #Lodi non torna indietro: «Il regolamento resta in vigore». Nuovo caso in Veneto

    Per ottenere il contributo regionale sull’acquisto di testi scolastici in Veneto, i cittadini non comunitari devono presentare, oltre alla certificazione Isee, un certificato sul possesso di immobili o percezione di redditi all’estero rilasciato dalle autorità del Paese di provenienza.

    È quanto si legge nelle «istruzioni per il richiedente» rilasciate a settembre sul sito internet della Regione. Nei giorni scorsi, era scoppiata la polemica su un caso simile a Lodi, dove il Comune ha chiesto un documento aggiuntivo a chi non è italiano per ottenere le agevolazioni sulla mensa scolastica.

    La norma non è però presente né nella delibera di Giunta né nel bando per la concessione di contributi, ma soltanto nelle «istruzioni per il richiedente» rilasciate a settembre sul sito internet per la compilazione della richiesta. A renderlo noto, in un’interrogazione alla Giunta regionale, è il Gruppo del Partito democratico, che chiede una proroga per il termine di presentazione delle domande, che è stata fissata a mezzogiorno di oggi. «La Giunta - afferma l’interrogazione che ha come primi firmatari i consiglieri Francesca Zottis e Claudio Sinigaglia - faccia chiarezza sui contributi per il buono libri: la documentazione richiesta ai cittadini non comunitari sta provocando ritardi e disagi».

    La certificazione richiesta ai cittadini extra Ue è «un passaggio obbligatorio - spiegano Zottis e Sinigaglia - che compare solo nelle istruzioni delle procedure web per la validazione delle domande alla Regione. Tuttavia la documentazione non serve in presenza di un’apposita convenzione tra l’Italia e lo stato di provenienza: bastano delle semplici dichiarazioni sostitutive. Ma le amministrazioni locali neanche sanno quali sono i Paesi con cui sono stati firmati questi accordi, oltre ad aver scoperto in ritardo la necessità di un ulteriore passaggio in quanto non c’era alcuna traccia nel bando. Non si può scaricare ulteriori incombenze e responsabilità sui Comuni. Senza considerare che si rischia di tagliar fuori dai contributi una buona fetta di cittadini non comunitari che invece avrebbe bisogno di un sostegno».

    La replica della Regione Veneto rispetto alla vicenda, sottolinea che la necessità di un certificato ai cittadini non comunitari per usufruire dei buoni per l’acquisto di libri ricalca quanto stabilito dalla normativa statale. Si sarebbe trattato, quindi, dell’applicazione in ambito regionale del Decreto del Presidente della Repubblica 31 agosto 1999, n. 394 tutt’ora vigente.

    La norma regola l’utilizzo degli istituti della autocertificazione di fatti, stati e qualità personali relativamente ai soli cittadini non comunitari, appartenenti a Paesi che non hanno sottoscritto con lo Stato Italiano convenzioni internazionali. In ambito regionale la materia è regolata dalla legge 7 febbraio 2018 n. 2 «Disposizioni in materia di documentazione amministrativa» ai sensi dell’articolo 3 del Decreto del Presidente della Repubblica 28 dicembre 2000, n. 445 «Testo unico delle disposizioni legislative e regolamentari in materia di documentazione amministrativa» e dell’articolo 2 del Decreto del Presidente della Repubblica 31 agosto 1999, n. 394 «Regolamento recante norme di attuazione del testo unico delle disposizioni concernenti la disciplina dell’immigrazione e norme sulla condizione dello straniero».

    Intanto, sul «caso Lodi», è intervenuto Matteo Salvini, attraverso una dichiarazione postata sul suo profilo Facebook: «Basta coi furbetti, se c’è gente che al suo Paese ha case, terreni e soldi, perché dovremmo dare loro dei servizi gratis, mentre gli Italiani pagano tutto?».

    E, dopo le polemiche, arriva la replica della sindaca di Lodi, che non arretra. «Certamente il Regolamento rimane in vigore, la Legge deve sempre valere per tutti - si legge in una nota - dispiace che non tutti condividano il principio di equità che sta alla base di questa delibera, che vuole mettere italiani e stranieri nella stessa condizione di partenza per dimostrare redditi e beni posseduti, né il successivo impegno preso dall’Amministrazione nei confronti dei cittadini che sono nell’oggettiva impossibilità di presentare la documentazione richiesta».

    https://www.huffingtonpost.it/2018/10/15/bimbi-stranieri-esclusi-da-buoni-libro-senza-certificato-ad-hoc-nuovo

    #enfants #enfance #école #discriminations #Italie #mensa #manuels_scolaires #xénophobie #racisme #cantine_scolaire

    • Lodi, l’affondo di Fico: «Chiedere scusa ai bimbi e riammetterli a #mensa»

      Dopo la rivolta contro l’esclusione dei bimbi stranieri l’inversione di rotta del governo. Salvini: «Se i genitori non possono portare i documenti, varrà la buona fede». E Di Maio: «I bambini non si toccano, Bussetti troverà soluzione». Ma la sindaca resiste: «Il regolamento resta in vigore»

      https://www.repubblica.it/cronaca/2018/10/15/news/lodi_dietrofront_del_governo_ai_bimbi_stranieri_bastera_l_autocertificazi

    • Lodi: sospendere la delibera comunale sulle modalità di accesso alle prestazioni sociali agevolate

      Lodi: Amnesty International Lombardia chiede la sospensione della delibera comunale sulle modalità di accesso alle prestazioni sociali agevolate

      Amnesty International Lombardia ha espresso preoccupazione per la delibera approvata dal comune di Lodi, che prevede che ai fini dell’accoglimento della domanda per ottenere le agevolazioni vengano considerati – per i cittadini stranieri – anche i redditi e i beni posseduti all’estero e non dichiarati in Italia.

      Ai fini di tale certificazione, anche in assenza di beni o redditi, è necessario produrre una certificazione rilasciata dalla competente autorità dello stato estero (ambasciata o consolato), corredata da traduzione legalizzata dall’autorità consolare italiana che ne attesti la conformità.

      In una lettera inviata alla sindaca di Lodi, Sara Casanova, il responsabile di Amnesty International Lombardia, Simone Rizza, ha dichiarato che “in conseguenza di tale disposizione, in molti casi si ha l’impossibilità di attestare una situazione patrimoniale di difficoltà, a carico di una considerevole fascia di popolazione debole e sulla base di un criterio inequivocabilmente discriminatorio (…). Gli effetti sono di particolare rilevanza se visti in relazione al servizio di mensa e di trasporto pubblico per i bambini delle famiglie colpite dal provvedimento, il cui diritto allo studio e ad una positiva integrazione con i compagni pari-età rischiano di essere seriamente compromessi“.

      Amnesty International Lombardia ha dunque chiesto alla sindaca di sospendere questa misura al più presto, individuando in via alternativa criteri diversi e comunque non discriminatori.

      https://www.amnesty.it/lodi-amnesty-international-lombardia-chiede-la-sospensione-della-delibera-co

    • Veneto, bimbi stranieri non hanno sconti sui libri senza certificati dei Paesi d’origine

      Nuovo ‘caso Lodi’: i bimbi stranieri vengono discriminati in Veneto: senza certificazioni dei Paesi d’origine che attestino la condizione economica della famiglia non possono ottenere agevolazioni sui libri scolastici. Assessore del comune di Padova: “Lo faccia la Regione la verifica visto che si tratta di una disposizione regionale anche perché ad oggi non c’è un elenco dei Paesi che aderiscono alle convenzioni quindi tecnicamente è una norma inapplicabile e per questo discriminatoria”

      https://www.fanpage.it/veneto-bimbi-stranieri-non-hanno-sconti-sui-libri-senza-certificati-dei-paes

    • Mensa ai bimbi migranti, il dem Guerini: «Non cancellate l’umanità della mia Lodi»

      Sindaco per otto anni, ora a capo del Copasir. Il deputato dem parla del caso-mense scolastiche: «L’immagine che si sta dando non ha nulla a che fare con la nostra comunità che si è sempre caratterizzata per l’impegno verso gli altri»


      https://www.repubblica.it/politica/2018/10/17/news/lodi_l_ex_sindaco_guerini_ora_capo_del_copasir_nostra_citta_sempre_stata_accogliente_-209132976/?ref=twhs&timestamp=1539771237000&refresh_ce

    • Italy’s Salvini forced into U-turn over school lunches for immigrant children

      Far-right minister forced to drop support for edict that effectively excluded children from school canteens

      Italy’s far-right interior minister, Matteo Salvini, has been forced to drop his support for a controversial policy in a northern city that led to the children of immigrants paying more for school lunches than their Italian counterparts.

      The minister came under pressure after a crowdfunding appeal raised €60,000 (£46,000) within a few days to fund school lunches for the children of mainly African migrants in protest against a resolution passed by Sara Casanova, the mayor from Salvini’s League party in the Lombardy city of Lodi, that in effect forced them to eat separately.
      The edict had obliged parents to declare their assets, in Italy and their countries of origin – a difficult if not impossible request for those coming from African countries – in order to qualify for the standard cost of meals.

      Failing to provide the asset details meant they had to pay the highest rate of €5 per child, and with migrants constituting the poorest people in the city, many could not afford to do so. Families were also required to pay €210 per child each quarter for the school bus.

      The resolution, first reported by the Piazza Pulita television programme, meant that for two weeks, more than 300 children were in effect excluded from school canteens across the city and forced to dine at home.

      Activists and leftwing politicians attacked the resolution, with a senator from the centre-left Democratic party, Simona Malpezzi, describing it as “apartheid”.

      Italy’s children’s commissioner, Filomena Albano, urged the city’s council to rethink the policy, telling La Repubblica: “It’s unthinkable to force young children to eat alone, cut off from their classmates, because their parents cannot pay.”

      The aid group Coordination of Equal Duties launched a crowdfunding campaign across Italy that raised €60,000 to ensure school lunches and bus rides for children affected by the resolution.

      Amid the outcry, Salvini relinquished his support for the move, writing on Facebook that “a self-certification of assets” would be enough to guarantee school meals for the children of foreigners.

      He also came under pressure from his government coalition partner, Luigi Di Maio, the leader of the populist Five Star Movement, who praised Italians’ generosity and said “no child should be harmed”.

      In spite of the pressures from the government and the protesters, Casanova has insisted she will not go back on her decision. Although she is likely to accept the self-certification, the resolution will not be dismissed, she told reporters.

      The former prime minister Matteo Renzi described the resolution as a “national disgrace”.

      ‘‘Seeing children discriminated against in the school canteen for economic reasons hurts the heart,” he wrote on Twitter. “Politics based on hate and fear generates monsters.”


      https://amp.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/15/italys-salvini-forced-into-u-turn-over-school-lunches-for-immigrant

    • Italy’s Tough Line on Immigrants Reaches a School Cafeteria

      At the beginning of the school year, as most of the elementary students chatted over warm plates of pasta in the cafeteria, about a dozen immigrant children unwrapped sandwiches around three tables in a spare classroom with slanted purple blinds, drab office furniture and a form reading, “Students who bring lunch from home.”

      “I wanted to go back to the cafeteria,” said Khadiga Gomaa, a 10-year-old Egyptian girl.

      Khadiga and the others did not belong to an Italian breakfast club of poorly behaved students. They were segregated from the rest of the pupils at Lodi’s Archinti school because they had lost their daily lunch subsidy.

      And that was because they failed to meet a new, and critics say punitive, requirement introduced by the town’s mayor, a member of the governing and anti-immigrant League party.

      In addition to the usual documentation needed for lunch and bus subsidies, the mayor now requires foreigners to prove that they do not possess property, bank accounts or other revenue streams in their countries of origin.

      Without that proof, children cannot get subsidized lunch and instead have to pay five euros a day, which many parents say they cannot afford. But in Lodi’s schools, as in much of Italy, children cannot bring outside food into the cafeteria.

      That meant students who hadn’t paid or received subsidies had to go home for lunch. To avoid burdening parents, the school’s principal allowed the children to bring sandwiches from home and eat them in a separate room.

      Reports of segregation in Lodi — and the violation of the sacred Italian ritual of lunching together — struck an Italian heartstring.

      After a national outcry, Italians raised 80,000 euros to pay for the lunches and school buses of about 200 immigrant children, many of them born and raised in Italy, through December. And many hailed the haul as a first sign of resistance to the League, and to Matteo Salvini, its national leader and Italy’s powerful vice premier, who has cracked down on immigration, hardened opposition to birthright citizenship and spoken harshly about migrants.

      But here in Lodi, a town in the fertile Po River Valley, with a handsome piazza paved with cobbled gray river stones and adorned with a medieval cathedral and neoclassical facades, many locals took another view.

      On Tuesday morning, as the committee that had raised money for the children held a rally in a small piazza directly under the mayor’s offices, Adriana Bonvicini, 60, bought gladioli in the piazza’s flower shop.

      “They are exploiting their children and people’s feelings to get what they want,” she said, gesturing at the square, filled with women in hijabs and flowing African dresses.

      “They are trying to cast us as heartless,” she continued. “They are the cruel ones. It’s a question of justice. They all have five kids each and want a free ride. Remember what Erdogan said.”

      This was a reference to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, who has urged Turkish people living in Europe to “have not just three but five children.” She quoted him, loosely: “We will take over Europe through our women’s bellies.”

      The women around Ms. Bonvicini agreed.

      They argued that it wasn’t so hard for foreigners to get proof from their embassies and that foreigners took advantage of the town’s largess and then complained about it.

      They sounded, in short, like the people who voted for the League in the town and all over the country.

      “Let them govern,” Ms. Bonvicini said, referring to the government.

      But Lodi mothers from Tunisia and Egypt said that they returned home to get the documents and that none existed. A mother from Nigeria said her husband went to the embassy in Rome and submitted the requisite documentation to the city, but had yet to hear back and was struggling to pay the full freight for her child.

      The mayor, Sara Casanova, had the backing of Mr. Salvini (“SHE’S RIGHT!!!” he wrote on Twitter). On Tuesday she was nowhere to be seen.

      She declined an interview request, but told La Verità, a newspaper preferred by the government, that she didn’t require the documentation from people from war-torn nations, and that “we’re not racist and there’s no apartheid here.”

      On Tuesday, the committee’s organizers hung signs showing children with their noses pressed up against a cafeteria window.

      Another sign showed a boy with his hands in the air saying: “Fascism is back. History didn’t teach you anything!!”

      That sign was directed to Lodi’s mayor, whose door they knocked on every two hours with chants of “Open up.” But it could have been a message to the national government.

      Tuesday was also the 75th anniversary of the deportation of Roman Jews to Nazi death camps, but the prime minister’s office wrote that it was the 80th anniversary, and the president of the country’s national broadcaster, who was chosen by Mr. Salvini, wrote of “the celebration of the 65th anniversary.”

      Northern regions controlled by the League have also required immigrants to prove their financial status through the same bureaucratic requirement used in Lodi when trying to get low-cost public housing and subsidies to buy school textbooks. For the demonstrators in Lodi, the town, a famous battlefield for Napoleon, was now a front against the government’s creeping racism and resurgent fascism.

      “I’m sorry for Italy if they think this is equality,” said Imen Mbarek, 30, who said she returned to Tunisia to get the right papers but that they simply didn’t exist. She is now paying full price for school lunch; last year, she said, she paid 1.65 euros a day.

      Hayat Laoulaoi, 35, a Moroccan housewife with a blue headdress and pink cellphone cover, had four children, all but one born in Italy. She said she was unable to secure the required documentation or afford the full freight.

      o she made her son Soufiane, 9, tuna sandwiches that he ate in the separate room.

      She said that after losing the bus subsidy, she walked with him six kilometers to school and that when they saw a bus drive by on the street he asked, “‘There’s a school bus, why can’t we go on it?’”

      As she spoke, her son played quietly with a Transformer toy and said he missed his friend Rayen, a Tunisian boy who still eats in the cafeteria.

      The majority of the students in his school, as high as 80 percent according to school officials, are considered foreigners, even though many of them were born and raised in Italy.

      Eugenio Merli, the principal of the Archinti school — which is named for Ettore Archinti, a former Lodi mayor sent by fascists to die in a Nazi concentration camp — defended his decision to put the children in a separate classroom to eat.

      “Eating in the classroom created a type of separation, but it was a way to help the parents,” he said, adding that he worried that if the children were forced home for lunch, they might not come back.

      This month, he strong-armed the cafeteria’s caterers into letting the students back into the cafeteria, where they ate their sandwiches at separate tables.

      “The kids have a right to be with their friends, not to be segregated,” he said. “They aren’t just going to school to learn. They are also learning how to live together.”

      Outside the school, he greeted Khadiga Gomaa, who was in high spirits. She said she had eaten her first hot lunch with her friends since school started.

      “I had penne pasta, cod and salad,” she said. “It was good.”


      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/22/world/europe/italy-schools-league.html


  • 15 personnes poursuivies pour avoir tenté d’empêcher le décollage d’un charter de 57 expulsés (Ghana et Nigeria) en se couchant sur le tarmac (voir End Deportation latest newsletter : https://us16.campaign-archive.com/?u=ae35278d38818677379a2546a&id=6be6b043c3)
    –-> reçu via la mailing-list Migreurop par Claire Rodier.

    #Stansted_15 : Amnesty to observe trial amid concerns for anti-deportation activists

    Amnesty considers the 15 to be human rights defenders

    ‘We’re concerned the authorities are using a sledgehammer to crack a nut with this case’ - Kate Allen

    Amnesty International will be observing the trial of 15 human rights defenders set to go on trial at Chelmsford Crown Court next week (Monday 1 October) relating to their attempt to prevent what they believed was the unlawful deportation of a group of people at Stansted airport.

    The protesters - known as the “#Stansted 15” - are facing lengthy jail sentences for their non-violent intervention in March last year.

    Amnesty is concerned that the serious charge of “endangering safety at aerodromes” may have been brought to discourage other activists from taking non-violent direct action in defence of human rights. The organisation has written to the Director of the Crown Prosecution Service and the Attorney General calling for this disproportionate charge to be dropped.

    The trial is currently expected to last for approximately six weeks.

    Kate Allen, Amnesty International UK’s Director, said:

    “We’re concerned the authorities are using a sledgehammer to crack a nut with this case.

    “Public protest and non-violent direct action can often be a key means of defending human rights, particularly when victims have no way to make their voices heard and have been denied access to justice.

    “Human rights defenders are currently coming under attack in many countries around the world, with those in power doing all they can to discourage people from taking injustice personally. The UK must not go down that path.”

    https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/stansted-15-amnesty-observe-trial-amid-concerns-anti-deportation-activis

    #avion #déportation #renvois #expulsions #UK #Angleterre #résistance #procès #migrations #asile #réfugiés #frontières

    • The Stansted protesters saved me from wrongful deportation. They are heroes

      The ‘Stansted 15’ face jail for stopping my flight from taking off. They helped me see justice – and the birth of my daughter

      I’ll never forget the moment I found out that a group of people had blocked a charter deportation flight leaving Stansted airport on 28 March 2017, because I was one of the people that had a seat on the plane and was about to be removed from Britain against my will. While most of those sitting with me were whooping with joy when they heard the news, I was angry. After months in detention, the thought of facing even just one more day in that purgatory filled me with terror. And, crucially, I had no idea then of what I know now: that the actions of those activists, who became known as the Stansted 15, would help me see justice, and save my life in Britain.
      Stansted 15 convictions a ‘crushing blow for human rights in UK’
      Read more

      I first arrived in Britain in 2004 and, like so many people who come here from abroad, built a life here. As I sat in that plane in Stansted last year I was set to be taken “back” to a country that I had no links to. Indeed there is no doubt in my mind that had I been deported I would have been destitute and homeless in Nigeria – I was terrified.

      Imagine it. You’ve lived somewhere for 13 years. Your mum, suffering with mobility issues, lives there. Your partner lives there. Two of your children already live there, and the memory of your first-born, who died at just seven years old, resides there too. Your next child is about to be born there. That was my situation as we waited on the asphalt – imagining my daughter being born in a country where I’d built a life, while I was exiled to Nigeria and destined to meeting my newborn for the first time through a screen on a phone.

      My story was harsh, but it’s no anomaly. Like many people facing deportation from the United Kingdom, my experience with the immigration authorities had lasted many years – and for the last seven years of living here I had been in a constant state of mental detention. A cycle of Home Office appeals and its refusal to accept my claims or make a fair decision based on the facts of my case saw me in and out of detention and permanently waiting for my status to be settled. Though the threat of deportation haunted me, it was the utter instability and racial discrimination that made me feel like I was going mad. That’s why the actions of the Stansted 15 first caused me to be angry. I simply didn’t believe that their actions would be anything more than a postponement of further pain.

      My view isn’t just shaped by my own experience. My life in Britain has seen me rub along with countless people who find themselves the victims of the government’s “hostile environment” for migrants and families who aren’t white. Migration and deportation targets suck humanity from a system whose currency is the lives of people who happen to be born outside the UK. Such is the determination to look “tough” on the issue that people are rounded up in the night and put on to brutal, secretive and barely legal charter flights. Most take off away from the public eye – 60 human beings shackled and violently restrained on each flight, with barely a thought about the life they are dragged away from, nor the one they face upon arrival.
      Stansted 15 activists vow to overcome ‘dark, dark day for the right to protest’
      Read more

      I was one of the lucky few. My removal from the plane gave me two life-changing gifts. The first was a chance to appeal to the authorities over my deportation – a case that I won on two separate occasions, following a Home Office counter-appeal. But more importantly the brave actions of the Stansted 15 gave me something even more special: the chance to be by my partner’s side as she gave birth to our daughter, and to be there for them as they both needed extensive treatment after a complicated and premature birth. Without the Stansted 15 I wouldn’t have been playing football with my three-year-old in the park this week. It’s that simple. We now have a chance to live together as a family in Britain – and that is thanks to the people who lay down in front of the plane.

      On Monday the Stansted 15 were found guilty of breaching a barely used terror law. Though the jury were convinced that their actions breached this legislation, there’s no doubt in my mind that these 15 brave people are heroes, not criminals. For me a crime is doing something that is evil, shameful or just wrong – and it’s clear that it is the actions of the Home Office that tick all of these boxes; the Stansted 15 were trying to stop the real crime being committed. As the Stansted 15 face their own purgatory – awaiting sentences in the following weeks – I will be praying that they are shown leniency. Without their actions I would have missed my daughter’s birth, and faced the utter injustice of being deported from this country without having my (now successful) appeal heard. My message to them today is to fight on. Your cause is just, and history will absolve you of the guilt that the system has marked you with.

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/dec/10/stansted-15-protesters-deportation

    • Regno Unito, quindici attivisti rischiano l’ergastolo per aver bloccato la deportazione di migranti

      La criminalizzazione della solidarietà non riguarda solo l’Italia, con la martellante campagna contro le Ong che salvano vite nel Mediterraneo. In Francia sette attivisti rischiano 10 anni di carcere e 750mila euro di multa per “associazione a delinquere finalizzata all’immigrazione clandestina”. Nel Regno Unito altri quindici rischiano addirittura l’ergastolo per aver bloccato nella notte del 28 marzo 2017 nell’aeroporto di Stansted la deportazione di un gruppo di migranti caricati in segreto su un aereo diretto in Nigeria.

      Attivisti appartenenti ai gruppi End Deportations, Plane Stupid e Lesbian and Gays Support the Migrants hanno circondato l’aereo, impedendone il decollo. Come risultato della loro azione undici persone sono rimaste nel Regno Unito mentre la loro domanda di asilo veniva esaminata e due hanno potuto restare nel paese. Nonostante il carattere nonviolento dell’azione, il gruppo che ha bloccato l’aereo è finito sotto processo con accuse basate sulla legge anti-terrorismo e se giudicato colpevole rischia addirittura l’ergastolo. Il verdetto è atteso la settimana prossima.

      Membri dei movimenti pacifisti, antirazzisti e ambientalisti si sono uniti per protestare contro l’iniquità delle accuse. Amnesty International ha espresso la preoccupazione che siano state formulate per scoraggiare altri attivisti dall’intraprendere azioni dirette nonviolente in difesa dei diritti umani. Il vescovo di Chelmsford, la cittadina dove si tiene il processo, si è presentato in tribunale per esprimere il suo appoggio agli imputati. La primavera scorsa oltre 50 personalità, tra cui la leader dei Verdi Caroline Lucas, la scrittrice e giornalista Naomi Klein, il regista Ken Loach e l’attrice Emma Thompson hanno firmato una lettera in cui chiedono il ritiro delle accuse contro i “Quindici di Stansted” e la fine dei voli segreti di deportazione.

      Nel Regno Unito questa pratica è iniziata nel 2001. Molte delle persone deportate hanno vissuto per anni nel paese; vengono portate via dai posti di lavoro, in strada o dalle loro case, rinchiuse in centri di detenzione, caricate in segreto su voli charter notturni e inviate in paesi che spesso non conoscono e dove rischiano persecuzioni e morte. Alcuni non vengono preavvisati in tempo per ricorrere in appello contro la deportazione. “Il nostro è stato un atto di solidarietà umana, di difesa e resistenza contro un regime sempre più brutale” ha dichiarato un’attivista.


      https://www.pressenza.com/it/2018/12/regno-unito-quindici-attivisti-rischiano-lergastolo-per-aver-bloccato-la-
      #UK #Angleterre #solidarité #délit_de_solidarité #criminalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #expulsions

    • Activists convicted of terrorism offence for blocking Stansted deportation flight

      Fifteen activists who blocked the takeoff of an immigration removal charter flight have been convicted of endangering the safety of Stansted airport, a terrorism offence for which they could be jailed for life.

      After nearly three days of deliberations, following a nine-week trial, a jury at Chelmsford crown court found the defendants guilty of intentional disruption of services at an aerodrome under the 1990 Aviation and Maritime Security Act, a law passed in response to the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.

      The court had heard how members of the campaign group End Deportations used lock-on devices to secure themselves around a Titan Airways Boeing 767 chartered by the Home Office, as the aircraft waited on the asphalt at the airport in Essex to remove undocumented immigrants to Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone.

      The prosecution argued that their actions, which led to a temporary shutdown of Stansted, had posed a grave risk to the safety of the airport and its passengers.

      The verdict came after the judge Christopher Morgan told the jury to disregard all evidence put forward by the defendants to support the defence that they acted to stop human rights abuses, instructing jurors to only consider whether there was a “real and material” risk to the airport.

      In legal arguments made without the jury present, which can now be reported, defence barristers had called for the jury to be discharged after Morgan gave a summing up which they said amounted to a direction to convict. The judge had suggested the defendants’ entry to a restricted area could be considered inherently risky.

      Human rights organisations and observers had already expressed concerns over the choice of charge, which Kate Allen, the UK director of Amnesty International, likened to “using a sledgehammer to crack a nut”. Responding to the verdict on Monday, Gracie Bradley, policy and campaigns manager at Liberty, called the verdict a “grave injustice” and a “malicious attack” on the right to peaceful protest.

      Dr Graeme Hayes, reader in political sociology at Aston University, was one of a team of academics who observed the trial throughout. The only previous use of the 1990 law he and colleagues were able to find was in 2002 when a pilot was jailed for three years after flying his helicopter straight at a control tower.

      “This is a law that’s been brought in concerning international terrorism,” he said. “But for the last 10 weeks [of the trial], we’ve heard what amounts to an extended discussion of health and safety, in which the prosecution has not said at any point what the consequences of their actions might have been.”

      In a statement released by End Deportations after the verdict, the defendants said: “We are guilty of nothing more than intervening to prevent harm. The real crime is the government’s cowardly, inhumane and barely legal deportation flights and the unprecedented use of terror law to crack down on peaceful protest.

      The protest took place on the night of 28 March 2017. The activists cut a hole in the airport’s perimeter fence, the court heard. Jurors were shown footage from CCTV cameras and a police helicopter of four protesters arranging themselves around the front landing gear of the aircraft and locking their arms together inside double-layered pipes filled with expanding foam.

      Further back, a second group of protesters erected a two-metre tripod from scaffolding poles behind the engine on the left wing on which one of them perched while others locked themselves to the base to prevent it from being moved, the videos showed. In the moments before police arrived, they were able to display their banners, one of which said: “No one is illegal.”

      Helen Brewer, Lyndsay Burtonshaw, Nathan Clack, Laura Clayson, Mel Evans, Joseph McGahan, Benjamin Smoke, Jyotsna Ram, Nicholas Sigsworth, Alistair Temlit, Edward Thacker, Emma Hughes, May McKeith, Ruth Potts and Melanie Stickland, aged 27 to 44, had all pleaded not guilty.

      They will be sentenced at a later date.


      https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/dec/10/activists-convicted-of-terror-offence-for-blocking-stansted-deportation


  • UN Human Rights Council passes a resolution adopting the peasant rights declaration in Geneva - Via Campesina
    https://viacampesina.org/en/un-human-rights-council-passes-a-resolution-adopting-the-peasant-right

    Seventeen years of long and arduous negotiations later, peasants and other people working in rural areas are only a step away from having a UN Declaration that could defend and protect their rights to land, seeds, biodiversity, local markets and a lot more.

    On Friday, 28 September, in a commendable show of solidarity and political will, member nations of United Nations Human Rights Council passed a resolution concluding the UN Declaration for the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas. The resolution was passed with 33 votes in favour, 11 abstentions and 3 against. [1]

    Contre : Australie, Hongrie et Royaume-Uni

    In favour: Afghanistan, Angola, Burundi, Chile, China, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iraq, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Mongolia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Switzerland, Togo, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela

    Abstention: Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Georgia, Germany, Iceland, Japan, Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain

    https://viacampesina.org/en/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2011/03/Declaration-of-rights-of-peasants-2009.pdf

    #droit_des_paysan·nes


  • As the World Abandons Refugees, UNHCR’s Constraints Are Exposed

    The U.N. refugee agency lacks the funding, political clout and independence to protect refugees in the way that it is supposed to, says former UNHCR official and refugee policy expert #Jeff_Crisp.

    Over the past three years, the world has been confronted with a number of major new refugee emergencies – in Myanmar, Nigeria, South Sudan, Yemen and Venezuela, as well as the Central American region. In addition, existing crises in Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia and Syria have gone unresolved, making it impossible for large exiled populations to return to their own country. As a result, the global refugee population has soared to more than 25 million, the highest figure ever recorded.

    This means that the role of the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, which is supposed to protect and find solutions for this growing population, is more important than ever. But is it up to the task? The proliferating crises have stretched it to the limit. Funding, most of which comes from a dozen key donor states, has not kept up with the rising numbers the agency is expected to support. In April, UNHCR said it had received just $2.3 billion of the $8.2 billion it needed for its annual program.

    Things look unlikely to improve. UNHCR is losing the support of the United States, traditionally the organization’s most important government partner, whether under Republican or Democrat administrations. Since Donald Trump’s election, the country has slashed the number of refugees it admits through its resettlement program. In his final years in office, Barack Obama had raised the annual quota to 110,000 refugees. That is now down to 45,000 and may yet be reduced to 25,000.

    There is also the prospect that the Trump administration will demonstrate its disdain for the U.N. and limited interest in the refugee issue by reducing its funding to the agency, as it has already done with UNRWA, a separate agency that supports Palestinian refugees. Given that the U.S. currently contributes almost 40 percent of the UNHCR budget, even a modest reduction in its support will mean serious cuts in expenditure.

    The agency therefore has little choice but to look for alternative sources of funding and diplomatic support, especially from the European Union and its member states. But that may come at a price. One of the E.U.’s top priorities is to halt the arrival of refugees and asylum seekers who have transited through nearby countries such as Libya, Morocco and Turkey. Populist political parties throughout much of the E.U. are reaping the electoral benefits of taking a hard line on the issue of refugees and migration. Several European governments have shown little hesitation in violating the international refugee laws they have signed in their desperation to seal Europe’s borders.

    The E.U. thus looks to UNHCR for two things: first, the expertise and operational capacity of an organization that has years of experience in responding to mass movements of people; and second, the legitimacy that E.U. policies can acquire by means of close association with an agency deemed by its founding statute to be “entirely non-political and humanitarian.” In this context, it should come as no surprise that E.U. foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has been at pains to point out that the E.U. and UNHCR “work together” and have a “close partnership” – and that the E.U. remains “the strongest supporter of UNHCR.”

    But this partnership (which involved $436 million in funding from Brussels alone in 2017) also involves an important element of compromise on the part of UNHCR. In the Mediterranean, for example, the E.U. is funding the Libyan coast guard to intercept and return any refugees who try to leave the country by boat. Those people are subsequently confined to detention centers where, according to Amnesty International, they are at risk of torture, forced labor, extortion and murder at the hand of smugglers, bandits or the Libyan authorities.

    The U.N. high commissioner for human rights has publicly chastised the E.U. for its failure to improve the situation of migrants in Libya. By contrast, UNHCR has kept very quiet about the E.U.’s role in the process of interception, return and detention, despite the fact that these actions violate a fundamental principle of refugee protection: that no one should be returned to a country where their life or freedom would be threatened.

    This reveals a fundamental tension in the organization’s character. Ostensibly, UNHCR enjoys a high degree of independence and moral authority. As part of the U.N. system, it is treated with more respect by states and other actors than NGOs doing similar work. It has regular access to heads of state, government leaders, regional organizations, the U.N. security council and the secretary-general himself (who was previously UNHCR chief).

    But in practice, the autonomy enjoyed by UNHCR is at best a relative one. Almost 90 percent of the agency’s funding is provided by states, much of it earmarked for specific programs, projects and countries. UNHCR’s governing board consists entirely of states.

    The organization can operate in a country only if it has the agreement of the government, which also has the ability to shape the scope of UNHCR’s operational activities, as well as the partners it works with. In countries such as Ethiopia, Pakistan, Sudan and Syria, for example, the organization is obliged to work with government departments whose priorities may well be different from those of UNHCR.

    Almost 90 percent of the agency’s funding is provided by states, much of it earmarked for specific programs, projects and countries. UNHCR’s governing board consists entirely of states.

    The tensions at the heart of UNHCR seem unlikely to diminish. Throughout the world, governments are closing their borders to refugees and depriving them of basic rights. Exiled populations are being induced to repatriate against their will and to countries that are not safe. As epitomized by the E.U.’s deal with Turkey, asylum seekers have become bargaining chips in interstate relations, used by political leaders to extract financial, political and even military concessions from each other.

    Given the constitutional constraints imposed on the organization, UNHCR’s options are now limited. It can try (as it has done for many years) to diversify its funding base. It could assume a more assertive stance with states that violate refugee protection principles – and in doing so risk the loss of its already diminished degree of diplomatic support. And it can hope that the recently completed Global Compact on Refugees, a nonbinding declaration of principles that most U.N. member states are expected to sign, will have some effect on the way that governments actually treat refugees.

    A final option available to UNHCR is to be more transparent about its limitations, to moderate the relentless self-promotion of its branding and marketing campaign and give greater recognition to the efforts that refugees are making to improve their own lives. In that respect, UNHCR’s favourite hashtag, “We Stand #WithRefugees,” could usefully be changed to “Refugees Are #StandingUpForThemselves.”

    #UN #ONU #HCR #UNHCR #crise #indépendance #fonds #financement #it_has_begun


  • Pirates kidnap 12 crew members from Swiss vessel in Nigerian waters - ship operator | Reuters
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-nigeria-piracy/pirates-kidnap-12-crew-members-from-swiss-vessel-in-nigerian-waters-ship


    © N. Nikolov
    MarineTraffic.com

    Pirates kidnapped 12 crew members from a Swiss merchant vessel on Saturday in Nigerian waters, the ship’s operator said in a statement.

    Kidnapping for ransom is a common problem in parts of Nigeria. A number of foreigners have been kidnapped in the last few years in the southern Niger Delta region, source of most of the crude oil which is the mainstay of west Africa’s biggest economy.

    Massoel Shipping, operator of MV Glarus, said the vessel carrying wheat was travelling between the southwestern commercial capital Lagos and southern Niger Delta oil hub Port Harcourt when it was boarded by pirates, who took 12 away of the 19 crew members.

    It said the attack happened around 45 nautical miles south west of Bonny Island.

    The company is working with the authorities and specialists to secure the speedy and safe release of those being held,” Massoel Shipping said in its statement. The statement did not give the nationalities of the crew members.

    Switzerland’s foreign ministry said it had learned from the company that none of the crew members were from Switzerland itself.

    Nigeria’s navy and maritime police said they were unaware of the kidnapping and would investigate.


  • Anatomy of a Killing - BBC News

    Voici une recherche (Forensic research) très impressionnante sur cette histoire horrible : La démarche devrait beaucoup intéresser @simplicissimus et peut-être pourrions nous reparler et débattre de ce que le BBC a réussi à faire ici. Je reste sans voix.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4G9S-eoLgX4

    In July 2018 a horrifying video began to circulate on social media. It shows two women and two young children being led away at gunpoint by a group of Cameroonian soldiers. The captives are blindfolded, forced to the ground, and shot 22 times.

    #cameroun #nigéria #meurtres #boko_haram

    • These women and children while being led to their deaths the soldiers accused them of belonging to the jihadist group Boko Haram graphic tissue here they’re blindfolded posted the ground and shot a close-range 22 * one of the women still has the baby strapped to her back the video began to circulate on my 10th 2018 some claimed that this atrocity took place in Molly where government soldiers have been fighting Boko Haram since 2014 the government of Cameroon initially dismissed the video as fake news a month later they announce the seven members of the military wear under investigation but there has still been no official admission that these killings were carried out in cameroonian song by government soldiers and there is still no guarantee that anyone will be held to account so how can we tell what really happened here over the next few minutes we’re going to follow these women and children on the short walk to the end of their lives and to glean from this video the clues that tell us where this happened when it happened and who was responsible for this atrocity this looks like the kind of Dusty anonymously track that could be anywhere in the Sahel what the first 40 seconds of the film capture a mountain range with the distinctive profile we spent hours trying to match this rage to the Topography of Northern Cameroon and then in Late July we received a tip-off from a cameroonian sourced have you looked at the area near Santa Fe close to the town of side of it we found a match for the Ridgeline it this is the scene on a dirt road just outside of Village called crime Alpha a few hundred meters away is the border with Nigeria the video also reveals other details that can be matched precisely to what we see on the satellite imagery this track these buildings and these trees putting all this evidence together we can say with certainty but the killings took place here less than a kilometer away instead of it we found this compound and identify this the combat Outpost used by the cameroonian military and their fight against Boko Haram will come back to this base later exactly when the killings took place at First Sight harder to say but again the video contains Clues this building is visible and satellite imagery but only until February 2016 the murders must have happened before that date satellite images also captured this structure the Wolves surrounding it I’ll present an imagery dated March 2015 but it not yet been built in November 2014 giving earliest possible date for the atrocity the video also reveals this footpath a part that only appears in the hot dry season between January and April less obvious clues in the video as they leave these women away the soldiers like moving sundials cost Shadows on the track a simple mathematical formula tells us the end the sun in comparison to the Horizon we can also see what direction the light is coming from when we add this data to our location we can get a precise time frame for this event The Killing between March 20th and April 5th 2015 we now know where this happened and we know when it happened but who are the men who murdered these women and children in July is Serta Roma Bakery cameroon’s minister of communication insisted that the killers are not cameroonian soldiers and presented what he claimed was irrefutable evidence from the video itself the weapons he said I’m not those used by the cameroonian Army in this area of operation but your analysis shows that one of these is a Serbian made the stopper M21 it’s rare in sub-Saharan Africa but it is used by some divisions of the cameroonian military also claimed that a close examination of the shoes the soldiers wearing colorful Forrestal camouflage in the phone knows he said cameroonian soldiers wear pale desert style fatigues a closer look at the evidence reveals this cancel just seen here in a 2015 report by Channel 4 News filmed inside of it wearing darker forestal fatigues similar to those seen in the video on Facebook we also found these pictures cameroonian soldiers wearing the same type of camouflage the images attack to CertiFit but carry also question why the soldiers are not wearing the standard combat gear of troops stationed in that area be helmets bulletproof vest and ranges boots Beyonce is that the soldiers when those house on patrol they would just a few hundred metres away from the combat Outpost we saw earlier we know that this is a military base because we match the features visible in satellite imagery to the details in the channel 4 news report that was short hair in 2015 new movies this year and I Misty International investigators spoke with residents who have been displaced by the fighting to a nearby Town among them was the man who said that sold these women and children being brought into the base by cameroonian soldiers a short while after they will either way he said he heard gunfire in August there was a sudden change in the government Fishing Off 2 weeks of denying that these killings took place in Cameroon vicari announced that seven members of the cameroonian military had been arrested and we’re under investigation or analysis has and avoid three men who actually pulled the trigger one of them is this man introduced at the start of the film as chocho that links the nickname chocho to a soldier called Syriac patiala is among the detainees named by the government the BBC has also spoken with a former cameroonian Soldier to confirm but this is chocho cyriak patiala at the end of the film we see him again blindfolding the little girl he’s about to kill a few seconds later he draw his weapon and opens fire analysis Identify two other guns that were used in The Killing one of them was in the hands of this man we see him here blindfolding the woman with the baby seconds before the shooting starts resource identified him as Barnabas go no so we would not able to confirm this identification a very similar name Barnabas Donna Sue appeared 11 days later on the government’s List of soldiers under investigation the 3rd weapon used in The Killing is the Zastava M21 we saw earlier it is in the hands of a man introduced in the video as second-class cobra so who is Cobra of the women and children are killed Cobra is the lost man still firing into the body’s one of his colleagues calls out tangle leave it there dead when he still does not stop shooting the cold out again that’s enough tanker that’s enough the name Sanger also appears list of men under investigation suggesting but Cobra is a nickname for Lance corporal Tanga another man named among those arrested is Etienne Sebastian he’s the platoon commander who was interviewed by channel 4 news in 2015 as far as week until he does not appear in the video we put these findings to the government of Cameroon who responded Honda investigation right now until the investigation has been concluded and that hold of them will be given a fair trial new due process was extended to the two women killed outside set of it and no presumption of innocence was a foot to the children who died with them
      In July 2018 a horrifying video began to circulate on social media. It shows two women and two young children being led away at gunpoint by a group of Cameroonian soldiers. The captives are blindfolded, forced to the ground, and shot 22 times.

      The government of Cameroon initially dismissed the video as “fake news.” But BBC Africa Eye, through forensic analysis of the footage, can prove exactly where this happened, when it happened, and who is responsible for the killings.

      Warning: this video contains disturbing content

      Investigation by Aliaume Leroy and Ben Strick.
      Produced by Daniel Adamson and Aliaume Leroy.
      Motion Graphics: Tom Flannery

      Please subscribe HERE http://bit.ly/1rbfUog

    • (je commente ici…)

      Intéressant (et horrible !) La localisation par la ligne de crête me laisse très dubitatif. Elle me semble habiller une localisation obtenue par des moyens plus … classiques ; peut-être pour protéger une source.

      En particulier, la suite de la vidéo montre que les enquêteurs ont eu accès directement sur place, par exemple lors du reportage sur le poste militaire, à diverses informations, notamment l’identité des participants.

      Le recoupement entre images et vues par satellite interviennent plus comme confirmation ou pour préciser la localisation des séquences : les constructions sont vraiment sommaires et elles manquent totalement d’éléments remarquables. Sans localisation globale, rien de tout cela n’est utilisable.



  • L’EPFZ accusée de mener des recherches risquées au Nigeria Jean-Marc Heuberger/jgal - 31 Aout 2018 - RTS
    http://www.rts.ch/info/suisse/9812239-l-epfz-accusee-de-mener-des-recherches-risquees-au-nigeria.html

    L’Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Zurich (EPFZ) profiterait d’une législation plus laxiste en Afrique pour mener une expérience de dissémination d’OGM jugée dangereuse par plusieurs ONG suisses et nigérianes, révèle vendredi SRF.
    Cible des critiques, le projet de la biologiste Livia Stavolone qui étudie en conditions réelles du manioc génétiquement modifié à Ibadan, au Nigeria.


    « Cet essai est purement scientifique. Nous voulons savoir si les résultats obtenus en laboratoire à Zurich se confirment dans les conditions réelles », explique-t-elle à l’émission alémanique 10 vor 10. L’objectif est de rallonger la durée de conservation du manioc, l’un des aliments de base en Afrique, via génie génétique.

    Normes internationales « respectées »
    Malgré les mesures prises pour surveiller le terrain jour et nuit, le projet est vivement critiqué par Swissaid. L’ONG suisse juge le projet risqué et accuse l’EPFZ de profiter de la législation moins stricte au Nigeria pour s’épargner des contrôles de sécurité qui seraient exigés en Suisse.

    « Il faut s’assurer que les mêmes normes soient appliquées en Suisse comme à l’étranger », estime Céline Kohlprath, responsable de la politique de développement et médias pour Swissaid.

    Du côté de la haute école, on assure que « les risques sont très limités ». « Nous respectons les normes internationales. Toutes les plantes ont un code et à la fin nous brûlerons tout ce que nous avons amené », indique Livia Stavolone.

    #EPFZ #Suisse #OGM #livia_stavolone #manioc #Nigeria #Plantes    #agriculture    #environnement #nature_/_ecologie #Afrique #cobayes #génie_génétique


  • Organized crime in Nigeria - Wikipedia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organized_crime_in_Nigeria

    An example of this are the highly organized confraternities/campus gangs that operate worldwide, for example the Neo Black Movement of Africa. In its own words, the Neo Black Movement of Africa is a “registered non-partisan, non-religious and non-tribal organisation that sincerely seek to revive, retain and modify where necessary those aspects of African culture that would provide vehicles of progress for Africa and her peoples”.

    The current worldwide head of the Neo Black Movement is Augustus Bemigho-Oyeoyibo. A representative of the Neo Black Movement of Africa has claimed to be separate from the Black Axe groups and has engaged in charitable giving.

    Behind the welfare facade of the Neo Black Movement hides indeed the most dreaded Nigerian campus cult, the Black Axe confraternity. NBM usually state that they are not identical with Black Axe for propaganda purposes. While the atrocities committed by campus cult members are well-known, very little is known about other activities of the Neo Black Movement. Offiong claims that the group’s initial goal of promoting black consciousness and fighting for the dignity of Africans and their freedom from neo-colonialism has deteriorated into self-serving behaviour that is “notoriously and brutally violent”. He maintains that violence has in fact become the cult’s official policy.

    Apart from the atrocities in the orbit of NBM, most members of the confraternity are involved in fraud and cyber crime. The main reason to join the confraternity is (besides the pressure and intimidation that is applied to students to join) the fact that the confraternity has infiltrated all spheres of Nigerian society and serves the main purpose of helping its members climb the career ladder and going unpunished for their crimes by means of their nepotistic structure.

    Investigations and a number of arrests of members of NBM by the Italian police brought to light various crimes committed by members of NBM. NBM and other cults were found guilty of smuggling of drugs, extortion, 419 fraud, prostitution, passport falsification, and cloning of credit cards.

    In 2011, eight more members of NBM were arrested in Italy for the same offenses mentioned above. They are referred to as an international criminal organisation and Nigerian Mafia. According to internal documents, the confraternity helps members to immigrate illegally to Europe. Nigerian fraud rings have been exported to Europe, America, and Asia (see external links section). In 2015 a sophisticated car theft ring run by the Black Axe organized crime ring was busted in Toronto, Canada. The ring had stolen more than 500 luxury cars in one year, valued at 30 million US dollars.

    #Nigeria #Black_Axe #crime


  • Italy: After Cosa Nostra, Nigerian Black Axe New Foe for Police
    https://www.occrp.org/en/27-ccwatch/cc-watch-briefs/8095-aly-after-cosa-nostra-nigerian-black-axe-new-foe-for-police

    Published: Thursday, 17 May 2018 13:37
    WRITTEN BY JELTER MEERS

    Sicilian authorities that have been fighting the Cosa Nostra for decades are facing a new type of organized crime: a Nigerian sex and drug trafficking gang called Black Axe, NPR reported Wednesday.

    Black Axe members are arrested (Polizia di Stato)
    After the Cosa Nostra in Palermo had been weakened by police, the Black Axe swooped in. A bloody war between authorities and mafia in the 1990s followed by a crackdown on its leading figures created an opening for new criminal groups to take over.

    “The Nigerian organizations have settled in places where mafia groups don’t have complete control,” said Cesare Sirignano, a magistrate at the National Anti-Mafia Directorate.

    As long as they give the original gangsters a cut or “pizzo” of their drug and prostitution profits and don’t encroach on the mafia’s businesses, “the presence of the Nigerian gangs isn’t a problem for the Italian mafia groups," Sirignano said.

    In Palermo, Black Axe operate from the Ballaro neighborhood, home to the city’s oldest market where the air is filled with vendors screaming in thick Sicilian accents and the smells of fresh produce, meat, fish, olives and cheese.

    But that is not the only place where you can get a taste, or “un assaggio.”

    The Nigerian gang uses the neighborhood’s historic but rundown houses to hold the women, and sometimes underage girls, whom they force to prostitute themselves on the city streets.

    “We have shut down several houses ... most of them rundown, some of them entire old buildings in bad shape in Ballaro ... where these girls would be forced into prostitution,” said former Palermo police officer Carmine Mosca.

    On promises of good jobs, Nigerian women have been trafficked to Italy since the 1980s but there has been a spike in recent years.

    The International Organization for Migration said that in 2016 and 2017, the main nationality of people arriving by sea was Nigeria.

    They estimate that 80 percent of Nigerian women arriving in Italy are potential trafficking victims and said the number of minors is increasing.

    While authorities have the tools, such as anti-mafia laws, to combat new crime groups from their fights against local mafia, the same long struggle has made some cities more susceptible to organized crime newcomers, Sirignano said.

    #Nigeria #Black_Axe #Italie #Mafia #Prostitution


  • NBM disowns Black Axe over arrest of 120 suspected cultists NBM disowns Black Axe over arrest of 120 suspected cultists % - The Sun News– The Sun News
    http://sunnewsonline.com/nbm-disowns-black-axe-over-arrest-of-120-suspected-cultists

    12th July 2018 Adewale Sanyaolu

    The Neo Black Movement of Africa (NBM) has denied having any relationship with a group named Black Axe, saying the use of its logo by the group was an infringement on its copyright.

    Recall that the Police had, last week, arrested 120 persons alleged to be members of Black Axe group during the celebration of 777 in preparation for initiation into the group in the Ikorodu area of Lagos.

    The NBM, in a statement by its National President, Engr. Felix Kupa, said its attention had been drawn to the picture accompanying the arrest of 120 suspected cultists in Lagos, which is currently circulating in various online website and blogs, adding that NBM has no approval of any ceremony on the said date.

    ‘‘While we commend the Police Force for the prompt enforcement of law and order, we are however constrained to make this public announcement in view of our noticing a possible infringement on our organizations copyrighted names and logo in the accompanying picture.

    “For the non-discerning, the banner in the accompanying picture may seem as ours and therefore may have a damaging effect on our brand name in the eyes of those who are not able to tell the difference between the one in the picture and ours.

    “We hereby restate, as we always have when our attention is drawn to possible abuse of our names and logo by imposters.”

    The NBM said as a law-abiding organisation registered with the  Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and which  facts have severally been reaffirmed by various courts of the Federal Republic of Nigeria have no relationship with Black Axe.

    “The banner is not ours and we state without any equivocation that none of our member is among the arrested persons.

    “We have instructed our solicitors to liaise with the police to ascertain who or those we will be pressing a case of copyright violation against.

    “We as an organisation remain resolute in the aims and objectives guiding our organisation regardless of the attempts by imposters to distract us from our chosen path.

    “We urge the Police Force to, within the context of due process; charge any infractions of the laws to the court for proper adjudication,’’ Kupa said.

    NBM disowns Black Axe over arrest of 120 suspected cultists NBM disowns Black Axe over arrest of 120 suspected cultists % - The Sun News– The Sun News
    http://sunnewsonline.com/nbm-disowns-black-axe-over-arrest-of-120-suspected-cultists

    12th July 2018 Adewale Sanyaolu

    The Neo Black Movement of Africa (NBM) has denied having any relationship with a group named Black Axe, saying the use of its logo by the group was an infringement on its copyright.

    Recall that the Police had, last week, arrested 120 persons alleged to be members of Black Axe group during the celebration of 777 in preparation for initiation into the group in the Ikorodu area of Lagos.

    The NBM, in a statement by its National President, Engr. Felix Kupa, said its attention had been drawn to the picture accompanying the arrest of 120 suspected cultists in Lagos, which is currently circulating in various online website and blogs, adding that NBM has no approval of any ceremony on the said date.

    ‘‘While we commend the Police Force for the prompt enforcement of law and order, we are however constrained to make this public announcement in view of our noticing a possible infringement on our organizations copyrighted names and logo in the accompanying picture.

    “For the non-discerning, the banner in the accompanying picture may seem as ours and therefore may have a damaging effect on our brand name in the eyes of those who are not able to tell the difference between the one in the picture and ours.

    “We hereby restate, as we always have when our attention is drawn to possible abuse of our names and logo by imposters.”

    The NBM said as a law-abiding organisation registered with the  Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and which  facts have severally been reaffirmed by various courts of the Federal Republic of Nigeria have no relationship with Black Axe.

    “The banner is not ours and we state without any equivocation that none of our member is among the arrested persons.

    “We have instructed our solicitors to liaise with the police to ascertain who or those we will be pressing a case of copyright violation against.

    “We as an organisation remain resolute in the aims and objectives guiding our organisation regardless of the attempts by imposters to distract us from our chosen path.

    “We urge the Police Force to, within the context of due process; charge any infractions of the laws to the court for proper adjudication,’’ Kupa said.

    #Nigeria #Black_Axe


  • Shadowy Black Axe group leaves trail of tattered lives - The Globe and Mail
    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/shadowy-black-axe-group-leaves-trail-of-tattered-lives/article27244946

    Canadian police say they are fighting a new kind of criminal organization.

    The signs began to appear two years ago: photos on Facebook of men wearing odd, matching outfits.

    Then there were stories, even old police files, attached to the people in the photos: a kidnapping, a man run over by a car, brutal beatings over what seemed to be a small slight.

    Mapping a secret criminal hierarchy for the first time is a rare kind of detective work. So when two Toronto police officers and an RCMP analyst in British Columbia started documenting the existence of something called the “Black Axe, Canada Zone,” they could not have predicted it would take them to funerals, suburban barbecue joints and deep into African history before they understood what they were seeing.

    The Black Axe is feared in Nigeria, where it originated. It is a “death cult,” one expert said. Once an idealistic university fraternity, the group has been linked to decades of murders and rapes, and its members are said to swear a blood oath.

    Most often, the group is likened to the Mob or to biker gangs, especially as it spreads outside Nigeria.

    An investigation by The Globe and Mail that included interviews with about 20 people found that “Axemen,” as they call themselves, are setting up chapters around the world, including in Canada.

    Like any criminal organization, it focuses on profit, police say. But instead of drug or sex trafficking, it specializes in a crime many consider minor and non-violent: scamming.

    What police have also learned is that, when done on an “industrial” level as part of a professional global network, scams ruin lives on a scale they have rarely seen.

    Two weeks ago, at a news conference attended by FBI officers, Toronto police announced they had taken part in an international crackdown on a money-laundering network through which more than $5-billion flowed in just over a year. Two local men charged with defrauding a Toronto widow of her life’s savings will eventually face extradition to the United States on money-laundering charges, they said.

    Online fraud is fluid, global and hard-to-track, but it often requires local operatives. Several Toronto-area residents have been defrauded of at least $1-million each in the past two years, and police allege the money was wired with the help of Canadian residents linked to the Black Axe, and sometimes it was handed to the group’s associates in person. The recipients then sent the money ricocheting through bank accounts around the globe, with trusted members in countries on every continent helping with the transfers before it disappeared.

    The sophistication of the money-laundering scheme reflects the efficiency of the scams, in which several people assume false identities and mix reality – bank accounts, real names and real websites – with fake documents.

    The police added an extra charge for one of the men they arrested, Akohomen Ighedoise, 41: “participating in a criminal organization.”

    Officers said in an interview they seized documents that will prove in court that Mr. Ighedoise separately helped a network of fraudsters launder money, that the fraudsters are members of the Black Axe and that he is their bookkeeper. The charge is the first time a Canadian has been publicly linked to the group.

    Interviews with police, gang experts and Nigerian academics paint a picture of an organization both public and enigmatic, with an ostensible charitable purpose as well as secret codes and a strict hierarchy. Police say it has grown to 200 people across Canada.

    Officers in Canada first heard the name “Black Axe” less than two years ago, said Tim Trotter, a detective constable with the Toronto Police Service. They are working quickly, trying to stop the group from becoming entrenched.

    “I mean, 100 years ago, law enforcement dealt with the same thing, the Sicilian black hand, right? It meant nothing to anybody except the Sicilian community,” Det. Constable Trotter said. “And that’s what we have here – that’s what we believe we have here.”

    **

    Many scam victims lose a few thousand dollars. Soraya Emami, one of Toronto’s most recent victims, lost everything, including many friends.

    In 1988, Ms. Emami fled her native Iran with her four sons. Her husband was jailed by the regime and his passport was held for years. Ms. Emami flew to Canada and became a real estate agent in North York.

    It took 30 years to save for a nice house in quiet Stouffville, Ont. The rest of her earnings went to her boys, who grew up to be a doctor, an engineer, a computer engineer and a bank manager. Last year, the youngest – a fifth son, born in Canada – began university. She and her husband had never reunited, and for the first time in decades, Ms. Emami thought about dating.

    “My kids grow up, and I feel lonely,” said the 63-year-old, who has long, wavy black hair. “I didn’t know how, and because I’m not [used to] any relationship, I feel shy.”

    Ms. Emami saw a TV commercial for Match.com and joined, hesitantly. A few days later, she told a friend she had heard from a tanned, white-haired, very nice geologist. Fredrick Franklin said he lived just 45 minutes away, in Toronto’s wealthy Bridle Path neighbourhood.

    He had spent years in Australia, and when they talked on the phone, she could not always understand his thick accent at first. He called her several times a day from Vancouver, where he was on a business trip, then from Turkey, where he travelled on a short contract. He was to fly home via Delta airlines on May 5. She would pick him up from the airport, and they would finally meet.

    “I am a simple man in nature, very easy going,” he wrote in an e-mail, telling her about his son and granddaughters. “I have done the Heart and Stroke ride in Toronto for the past 2 years, have also done the MS ride from London to Grand Bend.”

    A few days before his return date, Mr. Franklin called Ms. Emami in a panic. His bank had told him someone had tried to gain access to his account, he said. He could not clear it up from rural Turkey, so would she mind calling the bank and reporting back with his balance? He e-mailed the phone number for SunTrust bank, a 10-digit account number and a nine-digit tax ID number.

    She spoke to a bank teller. The balance, she was told, was $18-million.

    A few days later, Mr. Franklin asked for a small favour – could she send him a new phone and laptop – saying he would repay her upon his return. She acquiesced, believing he could pay her back.

    Within a few weeks, she lost half a million dollars, and the scam would cost her the home in Stouffville.

    What perplexes police about some of the Toronto romance frauds is not how the victims could be so naive, but how the fraudsters could be so convincing.

    The SunTrust account appears to be real, The Globe determined after retracing the steps Ms. Emami took to access it. The bank said it could not verify the account’s existence, as that was client-related information.

    In the course of the scam, Ms. Emami spoke to at least five people other than the Aussie geologist, including two in person.

    In June, in what they called Project Unromantic, York Regional Police charged nine local people in several cases, including that of Ms. Emami, that added up to $1.5-million. They considered the criminals to be internationally connected. “We don’t know who’s at the top, but there seems to be a hierarchy,” Detective Courtney Chang said.

    The Toronto police believe the crimes that led to their charges against Mr. Ighedoise are linked to the ones in York Region.

    *

    Canadian police came across the Black Axe by happenstance. In 2013, an RCMP analyst in Vancouver was investigating a West Coast fraud suspect and found a photo of him on Facebook with another man, said Det. Constable Trotter (the analyst would not speak to The Globe). Both were wearing unusual clothes and seemed to be at a meeting in Toronto.

    The analyst discovered the second man was under investigation by Toronto financial crimes detective Mike Kelly, an old partner of Det. Constable Trotter. The analyst e-mailed Det. Constable Kelly to ask if he knew the significance of what the two men in the photo were wearing.

    The uniform of the Black Axe is a black beret, a yellow soccer scarf and high yellow socks. These items often have a patch or insignia showing two manacled hands with an axe separating the chain between them, which sometimes also says “Black Axe” or “NBM,” standing for “Neo-Black Movement,” another name for the group. They often incorporate the numbers seven or 147.

    The group tries to maintain a public image of volunteerism. It has been registered as a corporation in Ontario since 2012 under the name “Neo-Black Movement of Africa North America,” with Mr. Ighedoise among several people listed as administrators. In the United Kingdom, said Det. Constable Trotter, it has been known to make small donations – to a local hospital, for example – and then claim to be in a “partnership” with the legitimate organization.

    In the GTA, the group got itself listed publicly in 2013 as a member of Volunteer MBC, a volunteer centre serving Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon. But after expressing an interest in recruiting volunteers, the group involved never posted an ad, and staff at the centre said when they tried to follow up, they found the three yahoo.com addresses on file were no longer working.

    Police found plenty of photos on social media of men in Axemen uniforms at what were said to be conferences or events.

    Det. Constable Kelly and Det. Constable Trotter compiled a list of people in Canada photographed wearing Axemen outfits. From a car, they watched some of them attend a funeral. One mourner had yellow socks and a yellow cummerbund with NBM on it, Det. Constable Trotter said. The rest were dressed normally. Near the end of the ceremony, “all of a sudden the berets and everything came out, and then they put the coffin into the earth,” he said.

    As they added names to their list, the investigators checked each one for connections to previous cases.

    What they found were 10 to 20 episodes of serious violence over the past few years clearly linked to members of the group, many of them at a Nigerian restaurant in northwest Toronto, Det. Constable Trotter said. One man had been run over by a car; another was allegedly kidnapped and beaten with a liquor bottle for a day in an abandoned building; a man was knocked to the ground for refusing to fetch another man a beer. Witnesses generally refused to talk.

    In one incident, a group of men had insulted another man’s girlfriend, and when he objected, they “beat the living hell” out of him, leaving him with cranial fractures, Det. Constable Trotter said.

    “Without the understanding of the context, it’s just a bar fight,” he said. “But when we understand who those people were, and we realize, oh, they’re all affiliated to the group … that’s why no one called [911]. And that’s why, when the police came, suddenly, oh no, those cameras don’t work. And that’s why, out of a bar full of people, the only witness was his girlfriend.”

    That case and the kidnapping case are before the courts, Det. Constable Trotter said. The Globe tried to search for all court records linked to the bar’s address over the past few years, but was told such a search is impossible.

    Police have six criteria to identify members of the group, Det. Constable Trotter said. If a person meets three of the six, he is considered a likely member.

    Police have documents that show when certain people were “blended” or initiated into the group, including some in Toronto, he said. Members live mostly in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.

    “There’s evidence that they’ve been active since 2005, so that’s a decade’s worth of ability to lay under the radar and become ensconced in the criminal community,” he said.

    To set up scams, they work from cafés or home and are “fastidious” about deleting their online history, Det. Constable Kelly said.

    “They have names, titles, they show respect,” Det. Constable Trotter said. “They pay dues to each other. Individuals are detailed by higher-ranking individuals to do things.”

    As they learned of the group’s fearsome reputation in Nigeria, the officers began to equate it more with established Canadian organized crime. At Afrofest in Woodbine Park one summer, a group of Axemen walked through in full uniform – not something anyone from the Nigerian community would do lightly, Det. Constable Trotter said. “I wouldn’t wear a Hells Angels vest if I wasn’t a Hells Angel.”

    He began to worry the group’s brazenness would signify to the community that “Axemen are here. And they’re open about it, and the police are doing nothing.”

    *

    Fraternities such as the Black Axe were born during an optimistic time in Nigeria’s recent history, and at first they reflected it. In the postcolonial 1970s, they were modelled after U.S. fraternities. They attracted top students and were meant to foster pan-African unity and Nigeria’s future leaders.

    When the country descended into widespread corruption after its oil boom, the fraternities split into factions and violently sought power on campuses, trying to control grades and student politics and gain the loyalty of the richest, best-connected students.

    Through the 1990s and 2000s, the groups inspired terror: Students were hacked to death or shot in their sleep, and professors were murdered in their offices in what seemed to be random attacks. Researchers say such crimes were often assigned to new members in their late teens to prove their allegiance after a painful hazing in an isolated cemetery or forest.

    “Sometimes, they are given some tough assignments like raping a very popular female student or a female member of the university staff,” Adewale Rotimi wrote in a 2005 scholarly article.

    Raping the daughters of rich and powerful families, or the girlfriends of enemies, was another tactic of the groups to prove their dominance, Ifeanyi Ezeonu wrote in 2013.

    In addition to innocent victims, one West African organization fighting cult violence says more than 1,700 fraternity members died in inter-group wars in a 10-year span. The groups were outlawed, and much of their ritualistic element – night-time ceremonies, code words – seemed to evolve to avoid detection, said Ogaga Ifowodo, who was a student in Nigeria during the 1980s and later taught at Cornell and Texas State universities.

    “Early on … you could distinguish them by their costume,” he said. “The Black Axe, they tended to wear black berets, black shirt and jeans.”

    The transformation was not a coincidence, Mr. Ifowodo said.

    “At that time, we were under military dictatorships, and they had actually propped up the now-secret cults as a way of weakening the students’ movements,” he said. “It violates something that I think is sacred to an academic community, which is bringing into campus a kind of Mafia ethos.”

    But this does not explain whether, or how, the fraternities could morph into a sophisticated global crime syndicate.

    In Nigeria, the groups are not associated with fraud, said Etannibi Alemika, who teaches at Nigeria’s University of Jos. Mr. Ifowodo agreed. However, he also backed Toronto Police’s conclusion that Black Axe is one and the same as the Neo-Black Movement. In a briefing document posted online, Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board says the two are closely linked, but speculates that the Black Axe is a “splinter group” of the NBM.

    The NBM is known to carry out fraud, said Jonathan Matusitz, a professor at the University of Central Florida who has studied Nigerian fraternities. He said the group’s members have also been linked, mostly in Nigeria, to drug trafficking, pimping, extortion, and the falsification or copying of passports and credit cards.

    “I think that the NBM movement is more about scamming people, and it has some associations with the Black Axe, which kills people,” he said. “Have they joined forces to have like a super-group? I hope not.”

    Despite police fears, several people interviewed by The Globe, mostly business owners, said they had never heard of the Black Axe before the police news conference last week.

    Kingsley Jesuorobo, a Toronto lawyer who has many Nigerian-Canadian clients, said he has never heard of anyone being intimidated by the group.

    Mr. Jesuorobo said he is familiar with the Black Axe in the Nigerian context, but cannot imagine it posing a real threat in Canada. It is more likely that former members gravitate to each other for social reasons, he said.

    “It would be a case of comparing apples and oranges to look at how these guys operate – the impunity that characterizes their actions – in Nigeria, and then sort of come to the conclusion that they can do the same thing here,” he said.

    For Nigerian-Canadians, a cultural minority working hard to establish themselves, the idea is very troubling, he said.

    “If these things are true, it would be a bad omen for our community,” he said.

    *

    After confirming her love interest’s $18-million bank balance, Ms. Emami did not hear from him for a few days. When they spoke again, she told him she had worried. He responded that it was a sign of how close they had become; she had sensed something had happened.

    The geologist said that during his contract in Turkey, he had been in a mining accident. He was injured and could not get to Istanbul to replace his phone and laptop, which had been destroyed, so would she buy new ones and send them by courier? Ms. Emami went to the Apple Store at Fairview Mall and called him, asking if he could pay with his credit card over the phone. He said the store would not allow it, and the employee agreed. So she bought the $4,000 laptop and phone and shipped them.

    A few days later, he called again: He needed $80,000 to pay the salary of an employee, promising to repay with interest. She told him she would have to borrow from her son, but he reassured her, and she wired the money in several instalments.

    The day of his flight, a man called and said he was Mr. Franklin’s lawyer and was with him at the Istanbul airport. Someone injured in the mining accident had died, he said, and Mr. Franklin owed $130,000 to his family or he would go to jail.

    “He’s calling me, he’s crying to me,” she said. “I didn’t have any choice. I go to friends and everybody I know. Because you know, when you’re trying to be a good person, everybody trusts you. …Whatever I asked, they give me.”

    Even a friend of a friend, a cab driver, lent her thousands. “He told me, you know, dollar by dollar I collected this money,” she recalled.

    Mr. Franklin sent her details of his rebooked flight, and she promised to pick him up and cook a meal. He would love that, he said; he liked chicken.

    “You don’t believe how much food I make for him,” she said.

    She was waiting with the packed-up meal the morning of his flight when the phone rang again. It was another lawyer, this time at the Frankfurt airport, he said. Mr. Franklin owed $250,000 in tax before he could leave the country with a valuable stone.

    “My heart is just – crash,” she said. “I was crying on the phone. I said, ’Please don’t do this to me. … Why are you doing this to me? I told you from the first day, I’m borrowing this money from people.’”

    A man saying he was Mr. Franklin’s son, who also had an Australian accent, called and told her he had remortgaged his house to save his father and might lose custody of his children because of it. Ms. Emami pulled together $158,000. When her bank would not let her transfer the money, she was instructed to meet a man and a woman in person who deposited it into their accounts.

    Ms. Emami’s son and her manager at work persuaded her to go to police. When officers told her Mr. Franklin was not real and the money was likely gone for good, they called a psychiatrist to help her grasp the news.

    She cannot pay her bills or afford groceries, her credit rating is destroyed and she is hunting for work despite crippling headaches. On Oct. 27, she was served with notice that she will lose her house in Stouffville in 20 days.

    “I can’t sleep,” she said recently, crying.

    She had always considered it her “duty” to help people in need, she said. Now her friends, even her sons, are angry that the scam impoverished them as well.

    “It’s my life, it’s my relationships,” she said. “And after 30 years living here with five kids, you know, I can’t live in the street. I can’t go to the shelter.”

    *

    Other local women describe the lengths fraudsters went to to blend truth and fiction. One received a forged Ontario provincial contract. Two victims in York said the scammers impersonated an Edmonton mining executive. The fraudsters build Facebook and LinkedIn accounts that seem to be populated by friends and family.

    “When we Google them, they do seem real,” one woman said.

    Daniel Williams of the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, a federal intelligence-gathering agency on fraud, said the scammers profit from economies of scale. “What they did to you, they were doing to 8,000 people that day,” he said.

    The agency gets more calls from fraud victims a day than it can answer, sometimes exceeding 2,000. Staff look for waves of calls complaining of the same methods.

    Authorities estimate they are only ever aware of about 1 per cent to 5 per cent of fraud committed globally, Mr. Williams said. Many victims do not believe they have been scammed or will not report it out of embarrassment.

    Fraudsters, sometimes using credit checks, also home in on well-off victims for special treatment, Det. Constable Kelly said.

    “It’s just like, oh, we’ve got somebody on $100,000 level, let’s steer this to this person,” he said.

    The amount taken from Toronto victims alone is “absolutely astonishing,” he said.

    “If you were going to distribute cocaine, for example, you have to buy that cocaine from another smuggler somewhere, and you have to put up money for that,” he said.

    “In fraud, what is your put-up? What is your overhead? Your commodity that you’re trading in, that you’re selling, is BS. BS is cheap, it’s abundant, it’s infinite. You know, it can be replicated again and again and again and again. … And that’s why it’s a better business.”

    Fraudsters based in Canada work with people in Kuala Lumpur, in Tokyo, in Lagos, Det. Constable Kelly said.

    At the turn of the 20th century in New York, Italian-owned banks started suffering bombings, and homes were mysteriously burned down. Police heard the incidents happened after warnings from something called the “black hand.” But no officers spoke Italian, and investigations were stymied.

    It was not until the 1950s that widespread police crackdowns began. By that time, the group now known as the Mafia had spread around the world and made new alliances. The FBI estimates the organization has about 25,000 members and a quarter-million affiliates worldwide, including about 3,000 in the United States.

    Police hope the charge against Mr. Ighedoise will send an early message to Canada’s Axemen. York and Toronto officers are working to confirm connections between the fraud ring that impoverished Ms. Emami and the ring that Mr. Ighedoise is alleged to help lead.

    At their recent press conference, they appealed to the Nigerian community to report instances where the Black Axe has “intimidated” others.

    They want to know how ambitious the group really is, Det. Constable Trotter said, and how much it is feared.

    If Axemen rely on selling stories, he said, the most important one is for their own community: “That [they] have all the power and authority and the propensity for violence that [they] have back home, here in Canada.”

    #Canada #scam #Nigeria #Black_Axe


  • An Assessment of Black Axe Confraternity Cult in Nigeria: Its Impact on the University Educational System - January 2017
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/318773709_An_Assessment_of_Black_Axe_Confraternity_Cult_in_Nigeria_Its

    PDF: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Aminu_Surajo2/publication/318773709_An_Assessment_of_Black_Axe_Confraternity_Cult_in_Nigeria_Its_Impact_on_the_University_Educational_System/links/597d8971458515687b485967/An-Assessment-of-Black-Axe-Confraternity-Cult-in-Nigeria-Its-Impact-on

    The thesis focuses attention on the activities of Black Axe Confraternity cult in major Nigerian university campuses. The cult group brings about lack of peace and stability in the campus as a result of incessant violence with the rival cult groups. The activities of Black Axe Confraternity cult started at the University of Benin and spread to various universities. The Black Axe cult members also involved in armed robbery, drug trafficking, kidnapping, election rigging and other political malpractice. Every year newly recruited members were initiated into the cult group and they swear with the oath of secrecy. From that day, they give their allegiance to their leaders. The impacts of Black Axe Confraternity cult includes interruption of the academic calendar, lack of peace of minds, insecurity and uncertainty among students, death and injury of many members including the innocent students, destruction of the university properties, the involvement of election violence and civil disobedience. The solutions to the problems of Black Axe Confraternity cult group in Nigerian university campuses comprises of public enlightenment campaign on the negative effect of cultism, moral reorientation, discouraging politicians from assisting the cult member financially, admission based on merit and expulsion of students involved in campus cult violence. The parents, society, government and the religious organisations have the greater role to play in bringing an end to the problem which affects the university educational system in Nigerian.

    #université #Nigeria #Black_Axe


  • Ubang: The Nigerian village where men and women ’speak different languages’ - BBC News
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-45262081

    In Ubang, a farming community in southern Nigeria, men and women say they speak different languages. They view this unique difference as “a blessing from God”, but as more young people leave for greener pastures and the English language becomes more popular, there are concerns it won’t survive, reports the BBC’s Yemisi Adegoke.

    Dressed in a brightly coloured traditional outfit, a red chief’s cap and holding a staff, Chief Oliver Ibang calls over his two young children, eager to demonstrate the different languages.

    He holds up a yam and asks his daughter what it is called.

    “It’s ’irui’,” she says, without hesitating.

    But in Ubang’s “male language” the word for yam, one of Nigeria’s staple foods, is “itong”.

    And there are many other examples, such as the word for clothing, which is “nki” for women and “ariga” for men.

    #nigéria #langues #langage #genre


  • Russian border guards detain more migrants seeking Arctic route

    Pressure on the northern Schengen-border intensifies as several groups of migrants are detained in Russian Arctic borderlands.

    Two citizens of Nigeria have been detained as they illegally tried to cross the border to Norway, Severpost reports. According to the Russian Border Guard Service, the individuals face charges of “attempted illegal crossing of the state border of the Russian Federation”. That could mean up to six years in jail.

    It is not clear where exactly the two Nigerians were detained.

    The arrests come shortly after the Russian border guards detained a group of people from Senegal. These people were also aiming for Norway, Severpost informs.

    The number of reports about cases of illegal border crossing has increased over the last weeks. In the first days of August, two Indian nationals were caught. Prior to that, two groups of Nigerians were detained, B-port reports. At least one of the groups was halted in Pechenga, the Russian border area to Norway. There were reportedly people under adult age in the group.
    Rivers, mountains, sensors and barbed wire

    The border between Russia and Norway is 196 km long and runs mostly through rivers and mountain terrain. On the Russian side, there is a double barbed wire fence with sensors. Both countries have over the last years made major investments in border monitoring and surveillance.

    In March this year, the Russian border guards detained two Syrians after they had made it through the doubled barbed wire fence. However, there are no known successful illegal border crossings between the countries over the last years.

    Norwegian border commissioner Roger Jakobsen confirms to the Barents Observer that he has not been informed about the latest cases of attempted border crossing.

    He previously underlined that he is confident that the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) keeps a good eye on the border in the interest of both countries.

    “I’m very satisfied with the professional job and dialogue with the Russian Commissioner”, Jakobsen said.

    In autumn 2015, about 5,500 migrants were allowed to leave Russia and enter Norway at the Borisoglebsk-Storskog border checkpoints. The so-called “Arctic Migrant Route” ended in late November 2015.


    http://www.rcinet.ca/eye-on-the-arctic/2018/08/13/borders-russia-norway-migrants-arctic-police-security-immigration

    #route_arctique #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Russie #frontières #routes_migratoires #itinéraires_migratoires #Norvège #arctique
    cc @reka @isskein

    • Anti-Racism from the Margins: Welcoming Refugees at Schengen’s Northernmost Border

      Through events of solidarity with refugees that unfolded at the Arctic border between Norway and Russia in 2015, we critically address two common analyses of racism and humanitarianism. First, we argue that the often-claimed explanation that racism results from disenfranchised social class fails to identify solidarities across marginalized groups. Furthermore, as anti-Muslim racism has become more mainstream in the Nordic region, solidarity with refugees offers critical positions in relation to political centers. Second, the case demonstrates how humanitarian action and politicized refugee activism are not necessarily separate forms of action but more entangled forms of engagement. The case where a small Arctic community in #Kirkenes responded in solidarity with the refugees who crossed the border from Russia demonstrates how humanitarian assistance entangles with politicized action against the European border regime and against xenophobia, which the locals perceive to be generated by politicians from the political centers of Europe.

      https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-319-74630-2_8
      #solidarité