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Germany moves to deport 5th batch of Nigerians amidst Coronavirus challenges

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Despite the corona pandemic, the Regional Council in Karlsruhe is undauntedly preparing the next deportations to Nigeria, The Coordination activist of   Refugee4Refugee, a political platform for refugees/migrants self-organisation based in Stuttgart, Germany,  Rex Osa, has said. 

If the deportation takes place, it would be the fifth time the European country would be sending back Nigerians within a space of three months this year. The last deportation was on February 26, 2020. 45 Nigerians were in the chattrered flight that Nigerian government officials scandalously denied. The officials had always denied every deportation from Germany despite overwhelming evidences.  It is yet to be established wjy the Nigerian authorities have unrepentantly denied the deportations.

According to Rex: ” The Green-Christian government of Kretschmann is apparently not interested in the fact that the deportees might also be taken to countries of origin that have so far been largely spared by the pandemic.

“That the deportation coordination department wants to execute the deportation enforcement to Nigeria on 14 April and 18 June at all costs became clear from a court decision of a rejected appeal for the release of two Nigerians in deportation Custody in view of the coronavirus danger.

“Staying in the deportation prison in Pforzheim does not pose any additional danger, since – as the prison director announced on March 16th – newly assigned prisoners would be tested on Corona and isolated on a separate floor until the test results were available.

READ  Nigerian governor resettles over 1,000 IDPs after attack on his convoy

He further said: “Here it becomes clear that even more people are to be arrested in order to carry out the planned deportations to Nigeria and other West African states. The deportation department in Karlsruhe confirms to Radio Dreieckland that there is so far still flight possibilities to Nigeria.

“Detainees could only be released only if the federal police or the government of refugee country of origin communicate that deportation is no longer possible to the authorities. Accordingly, several persons have already been released in the past few days.”

The activist hinted that there are currently eight persons in the Pforzheim deportation Custody to include three Nigerians and people from Gambia, Ghana, Pakistan, Turkey, Russland and Greece.

“Like everyone else, those imprisoned in Pforzheim must have the right to protect themselves from corona infection and also the right not to infect their fellow human beings.

“The prisoners fear an infection through prison employees (about 50 people), who may be infected with the viruses. However, they do not want to become the carriers of corona from the high risk area of Germany.

In an effort to stem the spread of the virus in a country that still cannot guarantee its citizens adequate medical care, the Nigerian government issued an entry ban on March 18th for visitors from countries with more than 1000 cases, highlighting Germany as one of the countries with a growing infection rate.”

READ  Travel ban on Nigeria: Don't punish Nigerians for govt's inefficiencies, Atiku tells Trump

The Nigerian Embassy in Germany, he said has at the same time supported the German authorities in preparing deportations.

“From March 16 to 20, alleged Nigerians were forcibly taken to the office of the German Federal Police in Karlsruhe for a deportation hearing with Nigerian embassy delegation who were expected to identify person presume  as Nigerians and issue deportation papers in facilitation of their deportation.

“Unfortunately, the attitude of disregarding the human rights of Refugees during deportation is not new. That the health situation of prisoners in Pforzheim and deportees is endangered is unfortunately not new either.

“That deportations are more important than the protection of people from the corona epidemic has a new quality. Now it is not just about the deportees, now it is about the population of an entire continent.”

The FC according to him answers the question “Am I not contagious if the test result is negative?”:

“Even if the virus is undetectable, the infection can still develop. A negative test result during the incubation period is no guarantee that there is no infection.” (https://www.bz-berlin.de/berlin/quarantaene-ansteckung-schutz-opfer-100-fragen-und-antworten-zum-coronavirus)

“Deported individuals can – despite a negative test – transmit the corona virus. With its deportation policy, the Kretschmann government increases the pandemic risk for an entire continent.

READ  Inconsistent Nigeria evacuates citizens from China after announcing suspension of exercise

“In view of the corona crisis, we demand even more strongly and immediately the release of all deportation prisoners and an end to deportations.”

Would Nigeria, currently struggling to combat the Coronavirus pandemic allow Germany with 32,781 cases and 156 deaths, deport its citizens whose health conditions are not certain?

  Germany’s

Coronavirus cases:

32,781

Deaths:

156

Recovered:

3,133
ACTIVE CASES
29,492
Currently Infected Patients

29,469 (100%)

in Mild Condition

23 (%)

Serious or Critical

Source of statistics: Worldmeter.info

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Netherlands, IOM launch Global Migration Initiative to protect people on the move

COMPASS will provide vulnerable migrants including victims of trafficking and unaccompanied or separated children access to a broad range of protection and assistance services.

 The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands launched the Cooperation on Migration and Partnerships for Sustainable Solutions initiative (COMPASS) at the beginning of 2021. COMPASS is a global initiative, in partnership with 12 countries, designed to protect people on the move, combat human trafficking and smuggling, and support dignified return while promoting sustainable reintegration.

The initiative is centred on a whole-of-society approach which, in addition to assisting individuals, will work across all levels – households, communities, and the wider communities – and encompasses the following partner countries: Afghanistan, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, and Tunisia.

“We want to mobilize families, peers and communities to encourage informed and safe migration decisions, protect migrants, and help those returning home reintegrate successfully,” said Monica Goracci, Director of the Department of Migration Management at IOM.

READ  Amid 2020 pandemic IOM supported over 2,500 migrants with voluntary return from Greece

“One key component is also undermining the trafficking and smuggling business models through the promotion of safe alternatives and information sharing to reduce the risks of exploitation and abuse by these criminal networks.” Vulnerable migrants, including victims of trafficking and unaccompanied or separated children, will have access to a broad range of protection and assistance services such as mental health and psychosocial support, while migrants in transit who wish to return home will be supported with dignified return and reintegration.

Community level interventions will focus on improving community-led efforts to address trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, and support sustainable reintegration of returning migrants. COMPASS will work with national and local governments to enable a conducive environment for migrant protection, migration management and international cooperation on these issues.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is pleased to launch the COMPASS programme in cooperation with IOM, an important and longstanding partner on migration cooperation,” said Marriët Schuurman, Director for Stability and Humanitarian Aid of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.

READ  Irregular Migration: Women more vulnerable to trafficking

“The programme is a part of the Dutch comprehensive approach to migration with activities that contribute to protection and decreasing irregular migration. Research and data gathering are also important components, and we hope that the insights that will be gained under COMPASS will contribute to broader knowledge sharing on migration and better-informed migration policies.”, added Schuurman. The initiative has a strong learning component, designed to increase knowledge and the uptake of lessons learned, both within the programme and beyond its parameters. COMPASS will actively contribute to global knowledge that supports countries in managing migration flows and protecting vulnerable migrants such as victims of trafficking. The implementation of COMPASS is set to start soon.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, as the donor to the COMPASS initiative, pledges its active support to partner countries to improve migration cooperation mechanisms within its long-term vision. 

IOM, the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration, contributes its expertise as the technical implementation partner to the initiative. IOM works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners in its dedication to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. 

READ  Hungary denying food to asylum seekers, say human rights groups

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A child, 40 others drown in shipwreck off Tunisia

Photo: Mediterranean Sea

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) are deeply saddened by reports of a shipwreck off the coast of Sidi Mansour, in southeast Tunisia, yesterday evening. The bodies of 41 people, including at least one child, have so far been retrieved.

According to reports from local UNHCR and IOM teams, three survivors were rescued by the Tunisian National Coast Guard. The search effort was still underway on Friday. Based on initial information, all those who perished were from Sub-Saharan Africa.

This tragic loss of life underscores once again the need to enhance and expand State-led search and rescue operations across the Central Mediterranean, where some 290 people have lost their lives so far this year. Solidarity across the region and support to national authorities in their efforts to prevent loss of life and prosecute smugglers and traffickers should be a priority.

Prior to yesterday’s incident, 39 refugees and migrants had perished off the coast near the Tunisian city of Sfax in early March. So far this year, sea departures from Tunisia to Europe have more than tripled compared to the same period in 2020.

READ  Nigeria waves payment for migrants affected by travel restriction

UNHCR and IOM continue to monitor developments closely. They continue to stand ready to work with the national authorities to assist and support the survivors, and the family members of those lost.

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Ethiopian migrants return home from Yemen with IOM support in wake of tragic boat sinking

Yemen: Stranded Ethiopian migrants prepare to board an IOM-facilitated flight from Aden, Yemen, to fly home to Addis Ababa. Photo: IOM/Majed Mohammed 2021

One hundred and sixty Ethiopian migrants have returned home safely from Yemen today with the assistance of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), just one day after a perilous journey across the Gulf of Aden claimed the lives of dozens of people, including at least 16 children.

More than 32,000 migrants, predominantly from Ethiopia, remain stranded across Yemen in dire, often deadly, circumstances.

“The conditions of migrants stranded in Yemen has become so tragic that many feel they have no option but to rely on smugglers to return home,” said Jeffrey Labovitz, IOM’s Director for Operations and Emergencies.

At least 42 people returning from Yemen are believed to have died on Monday when their vessel sank off the coast of Djibouti. Last month, at least 20 people had also drowned on the same route according to survivors. IOM believes that, since May 2020, over 11,000 migrants have returned to the Horn of Africa on dangerous boat journeys, aided by unscrupulous smugglers.

READ  Nigeria postpones international flight resumption

“Our Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) programme provides a lifeline for those stranded in a country now experiencing its seventh year of conflict and crisis. We call on all governments along the route to come together and support our efforts to allow migrants safe and dignified opportunities to travel home,” added Labovitz.

COVID-19 has had a major impact on global migration. The route from the Horn of Africa to Gulf countries has been particularly affected. Tens of thousands of migrants, hoping to work in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), now find themselves unable to complete their journeys, stranded across Djibouti, Somalia and Yemen.

While the pandemic has also caused the number of migrants arriving to Yemen to decrease from 138,000 in 2019 to just over 37,500 in 2020, the risks they face continue to rise. Many of these migrants are stranded in precarious situations, sleeping rough without shelter or access to services. Many others are in detention or being held by smugglers.

READ  Thousands of migrants forced to sleep rough after closure, destruction of Bosnia camp

“We cannot find jobs or food here; Yemen is a problem for us,” said Gamal, a 22-year-old migrant returning on the VHR flight. “I used to sleep in the street on cardboard. I could only eat because of the charity people would give me and sometimes we were given leftovers from restaurants. I never had much to eat.”

Since October 2020, in Aden alone, IOM has registered over 6,000 migrants who need support to safely return home. Today’s flight to Addis Ababa was the second transporting an initial group of 1,100 Ethiopians who have been approved for VHR to Ethiopia. Thousands of other undocumented migrants are waiting for their nationality to be verified and travel documents to be provided.

Prior to departure on the VHR flight, IOM carried out medical and protection screenings to ensure that returnees are fit to travel and are voluntarily consenting to return. Those with special needs are identified and receive specialized counselling and support.

In Ethiopia, IOM supports government-run COVID-19 quarantine facilities to accommodate the returnees on arrival and provides cash assistance, essential items and onward transportation to their homes. The Organization also supports family tracing for unaccompanied migrant children.

READ  Removing barriers for immigrant medical professionals is critical to help fight Coronavirus

Across the Horn of Africa and Yemen, IOM provides life-saving support to migrants through health care, food, water and other vital assistance.

Today’s flight was funded by the US State Department’s Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM). Post-arrival assistance in Addis Ababa is supported by EU Humanitarian Aid and PRM.

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