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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  Refugees Commission begins verification of IDPs in Nigeria

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.”

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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  Breaking News: Germany set to deport fourth set of Nigerians Wednesday

“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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Women bringing peace and combating climate change in Somalia

Adale, 8 Nov 2021 – On the warm shores of Adale, a coastal city 220 kilometres north of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, Sakina Mahmoud Moalin, known by others as ‘Mama Sakina’, stands watching a group of women in yellow vests, shovels, and rakes in hand, picking up every piece of trash they find on their way.

“When there are community clean-ups at the beach or other areas, people come out and join,” says Sahra, a woman from Adale who is also part of the women’s group that is organizing the cleaning activity. “Everyone greets each other, people share conversations, and the community grows closer.”

The women are strongly committed to their mission: to bring back the beauty of their city and beaches. After a long day of cleaning, they walk around the streets with loudspeakers, spreading messages on reducing waste and showing others how to maintain good hygiene practices to prevent diseases.

Since July, the women’s efforts have become a familiar sight in the streets of Adale. The idea was born in a community consultation that brought together approximately 100 community members, half of them women, who came together to discuss activities that could benefit their town.

In Adale, a small coastal town in Middle Shabelle, Somalia, a group of women is taking over the streets to combat climate change. Clean-up campaigns, planting trees and advocacy messages are also bringing together a community that has suffered for too long the effects of conflict. Photo: Spotlight Communications/IOM 2021

Led by Sakina, the women decided to start the weekly clean-ups, which they hope to continue for as long as necessary. “By cleaning up the garbage, we are enhancing our health and livelihoods. Cleanliness is the essence of our faith,” said Sakina.

To support their mission, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) trained 35 community members on environmental awareness and provided the necessary tools and protective gear to start the campaign.

“The training helped us understand all the risks that come from improper waste disposal,” Sakina added.

READ  IOM’s World Migration Report 2020  wins  International  Design  Awards 

The activity is part of a larger Community-Based Planning (CBP) process led by the government and supported by IOM, which resulted in a Community Action Plan (CAP) – a participatory consultation method used to empower people to lead positive change in their communities by designing projects that are important to them.

In Adale, a small coastal town in Middle Shabelle, Somalia, a group of women is taking over the streets to combat climate change. Clean-up campaigns, planting trees and advocacy messages are also bringing together a community that has suffered for too long the effects of conflict. Photo: Spotlight Communications/IOM 2021

As part of the activity in Adale, the women are also planting trees around the town to combat desertification, which could forcibly displace hundreds of people if no action is taken.

According to Mohamed Mohamud Adow, a young resident who got a tree planted in his backyard, “strong winds sometimes move sand, creating large dunes that displace people from their homes.” The trees will help the environment while preventing dunes  from forming near houses.

The prolonged drought periods in Somalia have increased conflict among community members as they scramble for water and pasture among other limited resources. Many residents agree the activity is not just about cleaning, but also about bringing together a community that has suffered the effects of conflict since the civil war broke out in 1991.

In Adale, a small coastal town in Middle Shabelle, Somalia, a group of women is taking over the streets to combat climate change. Clean-up campaigns, planting trees and advocacy messages are also bringing together a community that has suffered for too long the effects of conflict. Photo: Spotlight Communications/IOM 2021

Somalia has been mired in intermittent periods of violence. In places like Adale, years of fighting between rival clans have damaged the relationships among its residents. Recurring drought, floods, and food insecurity have continued to devastate the lives of millions of people in Somalia, increasing the vulnerability of communities who are mainly reliant on natural resources for their survival.

READ  Refugees Commission begins verification of IDPs in Nigeria

“These types of projects are essential to restore trust between communities and government authorities in areas that have historically been in conflict,” says Daniel Norfolk, IOM Somalia’s Community Stabilization Programme Manager. “Our mission is to support these communities to lay the foundations for their recovery, while addressing climate change-related issues.”

In Adale, a small coastal town in Middle Shabelle, Somalia, a group of women is taking over the streets to combat climate change. Clean-up campaigns, planting trees and advocacy messages are also bringing together a community that has suffered for too long the effects of conflict. Photo: Spotlight Communications/IOM 2021

When your life depends on the climate

According to latest data from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), in Somalia, natural hazards are now the first reason for displacement in the country, with the numbers of those fleeing disasters being higher than those migrating because of conflict. Just in 2020, floods and droughts push out of their homes over 1 million people, while conflict displaced nearly 300,000 people.

However, climate change is not a standalone issue, “it is also acting as a threat multiplier by exacerbating competition over grazing land and water resources, inducing more displacement and the recruitment of youth by armed actors,” added Norfolk.

Ahead of the COP26, IOM is committed to accelerating action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change by mainstreaming environmental considerations and climate change adaptation into all its interventions.

“Sometimes there are small disputes within our group, and it’s my job to remind the women that, here in our group we are not about clans, we are about our community; we have to set an example for Adale,” Sakina said.

In Adale, a small coastal town in Middle Shabelle, Somalia, a group of women is taking over the streets to combat climate change. Clean-up campaigns, planting trees and advocacy messages are also bringing together a community that has suffered for too long the effects of conflict. Photo: Spotlight Communications/IOM 2021

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Besides advocating for the environment, Sakina and the women’s group also serve as mediators when armed conflict occurs. She remembers an occasion where she, together with other women, accompanied the Governor of Adale on a peacekeeping mission to another town.

“We slept outside for three cold nights to try and stop an ongoing clash between two clans. With the same colour cloth tied on our heads, in harmony, we successfully convinced them to stop,” she recalls.

Now, the city is finding its own path to stability, and women are the ones taking the lead.

“Our group is based on unity, and not on clans. We want to collectively take part in acts that benefit our town, whether it is raising awareness, cleaning the town, or restoring peace when conflict arises,” she added.

Text by Claudia Barrios Rosel.

The activities mentioned in this article were implemented as part of the Daryeel project. Meaning “care” in Somali, Daryeel incorporates years of best practice to deliver IOM’s community stabilization strategy. The project is led by the Federal Government of Somalia with the support of IOM and funding from the European Union’s Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP).

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Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best and latest migration, trafficking, displacement and humanitarian reports including thorough investigative reports in these areas, we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

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Overcoming adversity: Ensuring safety and dignity for Internally Displaced People in Haiti

Port-au-Prince, 8 Nov 2021 – Samuel believes that being blind in Haiti is a punishment. After being fired from his job because of his disability, he found it impossible to find a new trade. “It has been extremely challenging to feed my family, let alone pay for my children’s tuition,” the father of two says.

Blind for more than a decade, 48-year-old Samuel spent most of his visually impaired years in Camp La Piste, in Port-au-Prince, the capital city of Haiti. The site for internally displaced persons (IDPs) had been housing people with all forms of disabilities since the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010, killing more than 200,000 people and injuring over 300,000.

In June this year, the site was engulfed in flames, leaving hundreds scrambling for their lives and homeless once more. Soon after the fire, a local association referred Samuel to Delmas 103 – a school and temporary site for IDPs in Port-au-Prince – where he has been living since.

Since March 2020, the alarming increase in violence has led to the displacement of hundreds of families in the urban and peri-urban areas of ​​Port-au-Prince. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in Haiti there are currently 1.5 million people particularly affected by the impact of ongoing violence on humanitarian access, 19,000 internally displaced and 1.1 million in need of assistance in different neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince, as well as 400,000 in the South.

For those affected by this crisis and living with a disability, this has meant an additional hurdle, while lack of proper living conditions, jobs and resources have only strengthened the stigma and discrimination around living with a disability.

Fortunately, Samuel was able to make ends meet, thanks to his wife’s small business. However, when another earthquake hit Haiti in August this year, not only did the family lose friends and relatives, but they also lost their business, leaving them struggling to find new ways of providing for their children.

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IOM has assisted all the 247 families living in Delmas 103 with their relocation process. Photo: IOM/Monica Chiriac

Since 2010, those both disabled and displaced have regularly suffered due to ongoing violence, and many are now unwilling to return to their homes. IOM aims to provide life-saving protection assistance for those most vulnerable affected by this increasing violence.

Following a needs analysis, IOM set up a voluntary relocation support service for over 10,000 people living in the neighbourhoods most affected by violence, including more than 5,200 women and girls and 550 people with disabilities. The project also targeted 20,000 indirect beneficiaries living in neighbouring communities.

The initiative considered the specific vulnerabilities of those displaced and gave the most vulnerable access to voluntary relocation, psychosocial support, medical screening and assistance, provision of assistive devices such as crutches and wheelchairs for people with disabilities, distribution of dignity kits, and support for documentation.

With eyesight problems running in his family, Samuel’s main concern now is the health of his two children who are already becoming visually impaired at 13 and 18, respectively. “The boys are haunted by the idea that they will one day go blind like their father,” Samuel says. “I need to find the means to pay for an ophthalmologist so they don’t suffer the same fate.”

Ever since the fire in Camp La Piste, Samuel’s children had been staying with friends. His relocation had to be postponed due to ongoing security concerns, but he is now finally reunited with his family. At the end of October, all 247 families living on the site were officially relocated to the regions and houses of their choice. As part of the relocation process, IOM supports each family with cash assistance to cover one year’s rent.

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In addition, IOM and its partner J’Aime Haïti Foundation organized training modules on income-generating activities. The curriculum was tailored to the needs, skills, experience and disability of each participant. An interpreter for those with a hearing impairment was present throughout the training to ensure that each participant fully understood the information.

In the meantime, IOM and its partners have also renovated the Delmas 103 site, known to most as the Ecole Communale de Pétion-Ville. The school is now equipped with new desks and blackboards, and ready to welcome students again – as soon as it is safe to do so.

Left, Esther and Jackson pray that one day Junior could have access to special education. Right, Esther’s friend Judith believes that “as long as there is life, there is hope”. Three years ago, the 27-year-old mother of two suffered a spinal cord injury from a gunshot wound. Photo: IOM/Monica Chiriac

Just like Samuel, Junior’s family took refuge in the Delmas 103 site after the fire in Camp La Piste in June. Born with a psychomotor disability, two-year-old Junior is the youngest of the family’s three children. He attended a few sessions of specialized medical care in St. Vincent, a health facility for children with disabilities in Port-au-Prince, but had to unfortunately cut them short due to lack of funds.

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Enrolled in IOM’s relocation programme, the family received psychosocial support, as well as financial and logistical assistance with their relocation to a safer environment. Currently unemployed, Junior’s mother, Esther, hopes to one day start a business.

“I pray to one day send him to a school where he can have access to special education, so that he doesn’t grow up feeling inferior to children his age,” Esther says. “I will not neglect Junior because of his handicap. On the contrary, I love him more than my other children because he is fragile.”

IOM’s relocation programme and support for internally displaced persons have been possible thanks to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). These activities have been implemented in close coordination and collaboration with Haiti’s General Directorate for Civil Protection (DGPC) and the national Housing and Public Building Construction Unit (UCLBP).

This story was written by Monica Chiriac and IOM’s Protection team in Haiti,

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Voice African Migrants founder, 7 others win IOM 2021 West and Central Africa Migration Journalism Awards

International Organization for Migration (IOM)

 

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) (www.IOM.int) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 West and Central Africa Migration Journalism Awards following an awards ceremony that took place on Wednesday.

Our founder, Innocent Duru, was one of the eight winners.

Choosing the best writing and reporting in a given year is an impossible task, as well as an entirely subjective enterprise. But it is also rewarding and fulfilling to get to read and watch so many great pieces. This is why this journalist competition aims at fostering quality and balanced reporting on migration subject-matters in West and Central Africa including environmental migration, migrant reintegration, awareness raising about risks and alternatives to irregular migration and alternatives to irregular migration.

The competition celebrates journalists who bring attention to the many facets of migration in West and Central Africa in both French and English language. In light of important discussions at COP26, Olatunji Olaigbe highlights in his winning entry the impact of climate change on people’s movements and how rising temperatures and drought in Nigeria have caused conflicts over lands affecting farmers livelihoods and forcing them to relocate. Mental health and the stigmatisation that many returned migrants face upon their return home, is highlighted in Innocent Duru’s winning entry. The 8 winners were announced during a virtual award ceremony which was moderated by CNN Journalist Eleni Giokos. Each of the winners received up to USD 1,250 each and a plaque of recognition.

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Alpha Seydi Ba, IOM Spokesperson for the Regional Office in West and Central Africa is convinced that “the role of journalists in clearly understanding the different dynamics of migration, is crucial. The deconstruction of stereotypes begins with shifting the narrative that underpins the anti-migrant feeling and continues with the sensitization on multiple levels. Migration is beneficial to migrant and the hosting communities. Therefore, stories related to migration must be accurate, fair, balanced. This is vital, as it contributes to preserving the dignity of migrants.”

The complete list of winners:

CATEGORY: MIGRATION ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

  1. Vice Nigeria’s Olatunji Olaigbe of Nigeria for his piece in English The Climate Crisis Is Driving Violent Conflicts Over Farmland
  2. Blog de Foulaty’s (Mondoblog RFI) Aly Abdelkader Foulaty of Chad for his piece in French Tchad: à cause des inondations, N’Djaména traverse des moments difficiles

CATEGORY: STORIES OF REINTEGRATION

  1. The Nations Newspaper’s Innocent Duru of Nigeria for his piece in English Our battles with depression, stigmatization after return from Libya
  2. Ghana News Agency’s Samuel Osei-frempong of Ghana for his piece in English Catholic Relief Services offers renewed hope to returned migrants and at-risk migrant communities
  3. Ortn TV’s Hamidou Diop Amadou of Niger for his piece in French Aneker L’espoir renait

CATEGORY: AWARENESS RAISING ABOUT RISKS AND ALTERNATIVES TO IRREGULAR MIGRATION

  1. TV360 Nigeria’s Oyinkansola Adekunle of Nigeria for her piece in English Labour Migration During a Pandemic
  2. Hebdomagazine’s Fatou Sagar Diop of Senegal for her piece in French Migration sud-sud : Opportunités et potentialités économiques en dérive
  3. KU Radio’s Chinedu Ekeja of Nigeria for his piece in English Youth in Benin City, Nigeria are picking up skills in High Demand

To view the winning entries of the 2021 West and Central Africa Migration Journalism Competition, visit: https://bit.ly/3koOGgW

READ  42 Nigerians, 231 other African migrants arrive Assamaka

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