Newscast Media TEL AVIV—African asylum seekers in Israel, are being re-routed to
Uganda for political asylum, according to Israeli news outlet Haaretz. According to
Haaretz, a senior government official said that over the past month, dozens of asylum
seekers have agreed to leave Israel for Uganda, and some have already left.
In June of 2013, the state of Israel told the High Court of Justice that it had reached
an arrangement with a third country that would agree to accept asylum seekers from
Africa, but would not reveal the name of the country. Senior officials confirmed that
the country was Uganda; however, the state would not discuss the agreement and
the Ugandan government denied the existence of such an agreement.
MK Michal Rozin (Meretz), chairwoman of the Knesset Foreign Workers Committee,
said: “How can it be that six months ago the interior minister announced with great
fanfare, ‘Look, we have an agreement with a third country and now we can move
thousands there,’ and now suddenly we hear testimony about the voluntary move of
asylum seekers to Uganda without an agreement.”
Rozin, who said the secrecy made it look like an agreement that the government did
not want to show the public, asked Sa’ar for clarifications, but he has not yet
Research by the Population and Immigration Authority reveals, as of September 2013
there were 53,646 asylum seekers from Africa in Israel, among them 35,987 Eritreans,
13,249 Sudanese and 4,400 people from other countries.
According to the cabinet decision, all asylum seekers from Africa who leave the
country by the end of the month via the “voluntary departure” procedure will receive
a $3,500 grant for deporting themselves out of good faith.
Haaretz reports that Many of those leaving by this procedure are apparently
detainees at the Saharonim detention center or have been required to stay at Holot.
Newscast Media ADDIS ABABA—The Turkish Anadolu news agency reported on
Wednesday that Ethiopia rejected a request by Egypt to jointly build all stages of the
Renaissance Dam so as to make sure that Egypt’s share of Nile water is not affected.
The agency quoted an Ethiopian diplomat that attended a meeting between Egyptian
Interim President Adli Mansour and Ethiopian Prime Minister Mariam Desalegn on the
sidelines of the Arab-African summit in Kuwait as saying that Desalegn adhered to the
Entebbe Convention and rejected any Egyptian supervision or participation in the
construction of the dam.
The Entebbe agreement states indirectly that the share of the downstream countries,
namely Egypt and Sudan, could be reconsidered so that upstream countries, including
Ethiopia, may receive a fair and reasonable share. The agreement does not refer to any
rights for downstream countries to supervise water projects of upstream countries.
The Entebbe Framework Convention was signed by Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya,
Tanzania and Uganda in May of 2011. Egypt, Sudan, South Sudan and the Democratic
Republic of Congo did not sign the agreement.
The diplomat’s statement contradicts statements by Mansour and Desalegn that the
meeting was positive.
Mansour said he was satisfied with the outcome of the negotiations with Ethiopia
over the dam, and that Desalegn appreciated the historical relations with Egypt.
Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm
Newscast Media WASHINGTON D.C.—The U.S. is accelerating the prospects of regional trade integration in East Africa, with a proposed White House regional trade package with the East African Community (EAC), as well as the White House Partnership for Growth Initiative in Tanzania, the U.S. International Trade Administration (ITA).
Assistant Secretary of Commerce Michael Camuñez has just concluded a visit to East Africa, with the a package that is sure to slow down nations like China that are heavily invested in the region.
“Momentum is clearly trending strongly in Africa’s favor, and there are extraordinary opportunities to achieve a level of growth and development that can lift millions of people out of poverty. For these and other reasons, engaging Africa is a priority not just for me and and the Department of Commerce but for the entire Obama Administration,” said Camuñez on his trip to Nairobi, Kenya.
“The East African Community represents enormous long-term potential for U.S. industry, and these proposed initiatives will help significantly accelerate the process of regional integration, making the EAC one of the most important trading blocs in Africa,” Camuñez said.
Camuñez also delivered keynote remarks on the role of public-private partnerships in U.S.-Kenyan trade at a structured finance seminar hosted by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Kenyan government’s “Vision 2030.” In addition, he held bilateral meetings with Kenyan officials to address key market access concerns on intellectual property rights and transparency.
In Arusha, Tanzania, Camuñez met with the secretary-general of the EAC to further advance the regional trade package in anticipation of upcoming African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) meetings. In Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Camuñez met with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete to discuss the country’s successful progress on the White House Partnership for Growth (PFG) Initiative, a White House–led development initiative.
The governments of Tanzania and the United States continue to be engaged at the highest levels, ITA said, and have worked laboriously on mapping out the details of addressing two key constraints to growth in Tanzania: an inadequate supply of power and an underdeveloped rural road network.
Newscast Media NAIROBI, Kenya—Somalia’s last two impediments are listed below:
Impediment #5: Political and economic instability due to lack of a legitimate Somalian government in the last 20 years, will certainly play a big role as the application is being considered. As mentioned earlier, South Sudan was encouraged to apply when it first got its independence, but now East African leaders are having second thoughts due to the political instability between the South and its northern neighbor Sudan.
Had Somalia not been a terror state, this impediment could possibly be waited out for it to correct itself. The problem lies with Al-Shabaab’s recent allegiance to Al-Qaeda making it an even more formidable force in the region, that could raise an army over time, and with adequate funding, take over the region and destabilize it. Both Kenya and Uganda have had their share of terrorist attacks and understand this reality.
One might ask where both Al-Shabaab and Al-Qaeda would get the numbers to form a fighting machine to destabilize the region. Well, if Somalia is accepted, Somalians will find it easier to move across borders from one country to another within the East African Community. The elements that may be more interested in destabilizing the region than promoting peace could then launch multi-regional attacks on the already-stable governments.
These numbers could also be harvested from sleeper cells within Kenya and Uganda. According to the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) Kenya alone has over 479,000 Somalian refugees and the number is expected hit 623,000 by December 2012 as shown in this United Nations report.
Sleeper cells that really want to wreak havoc can cross borders freely as members of the EAC pretending to be refugees, and build their numbers until they have an unstoppable army recruited from the 600,000-plus refugees. In return for fighting, the fighters could then be promised land and property of their captives, and also part of the profits from the natural resources of the region. Eventually Kenyans, Ugandans and Tanzanians could then become captive in the land of their forefathers being dominated by foreign invaders or occupiers.
If you look at Libya, it had the highest standard of living in all the Arab world, Africa and even most nations of Europe. This time last year, nobody would have imagined that a group of fighters with unsophisticated weapons called the Transnational Council, backed by Al-Qaeda, would remove Gaddafi from power and turn the once-prosperous nation into a wasteland. The black native Libyans (Tuaregs) are constantly being rounded up and caged like animals, and are forced to eat the green flag by their captors. If this could happen to Libya, there is no doubt that the same thing could happen to an East African country.
Impediment #6: Motive of wanting to join the East African Community may raise suspicions amongst East African leaders who would wonder why Somalia would want to be part of EAC yet Somalia is part of the Arab League. If the reason is for trade purposes then there is a lot more to benefit from oil-rich Arab nations than third-world East African countries. Somalia has been ruled by Islamist militias since 1991 therefore East African leaders would become suspicious about the true motives and intentions of Somalia wanting to join the EAC.
The most disturbing fear that leaders of East African may have is, since Somalia is run by Islamist militias, it may eventually attempt to Islamisize East Africa. This is backed up by a report compiled by the International Crisis Group that says: “Militant jihadi ideology is radicalising young Somalis at home and abroad; veteran foreign jihadis are exerting ever-greater influence; and recently its emir pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda and global jihad.” You may read the report from the International Crisis Group here.
The Somali people themselves are peace-loving people who want a stable country and economy. It is the warlords who are preventing and have prevented this from happening for the past 20 years, through indoctrination of the citizenry and opposition of outside assistance offered by nations that want to see human conditions improve and the conflict brought to an end.
Overall, Somalia’s application has several question marks that will cause the EAC leaders to think twice about a decision that could affect an entire region that is currently enjoying peace, and wants to keep it that way.