photo of globe on wooden table

The Wednesday Politics Thread Keeps Abreast

What day is it? Why, it’s Wednesday Day of course! Now if only your distracted header writer knew this yesterday they wouldn’t be scrambling mere hours before the deadline to craft this illusion of being hip to world affairs. Fortunately, some news did seem to happen in the past week, so let’s take a look 👀

UK deportations to Rwanda stalled as European Court steps in

A handful of asylum seekers were scheduled to fly from an air force base in southwest England, but shortly before the plane was due to leave on Tuesday the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) granted injunctions to prevent their deportations.

Under the agreement with Kigali, anyone landing in the UK illegally is liable to be given a one-way ticket for processing and resettlement in Rwanda.

The UK government says that genuine asylum claimants should be content to stay in France.

Al Jazeera [archive]

Refugees in Rwanda warn of challenges for arrivals from UK

Rwanda is one of the most densely populated countries in the world and still among the least developed despite its focus on modernizing since the country’s 1994 genocide. The migrants who sought better lives in Britain are expected to find fewer chances to pursue their dreams here, even as Rwandan officials describe their country as having a proud history of welcoming those in need.

Hundreds of people sent previously to Rwanda under the deal with the U.N. have since been resettled in third countries, according to the U.N. refugee agency. But those sent to Rwanda under the deal with Britain must apply for asylum in Rwanda.

The Associated Press [archive]

DR Congo condemns Rwanda for ‘supporting’ M23 rebels as group seizes border town

The Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday condemned neighbour Rwanda for “supporting, financing and arming” the M23 rebel group that seized an important trading hub near the Ugandan border.

“We will defend every centimetre of our territory,” added a Congolese communications ministry statement, which came a day after M23 rebels took the town of Bunagana in the eastern province of North Kivu.

Agence France-Presse [archive]

Ugandan mission in DR Congo aimed at shielding oil: report

The report, by the Congo Research Group (CRG) at New York University and Ebuteli, a Congolese research institute, delves into the unprecedented crackdown, Operation Shujaa, which the two countries launched in late November 2021.

Ugandan troops crossed the border in a joint operation with Democratic Republic of Congo forces that targeted strongholds of the Allied Defence Forces (ADF) — a rebel group blamed for thousands of deaths in eastern Congo and a string of bombings in the Ugandan capital Kampala.

Military officials on both sides have proclaimed Operation Shujaa to be a success.

Agence France-Presse [archive]

Ethiopia’s PM Abiy says team formed to negotiate with Tigray rebels

The committee, headed by [Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s] deputy Demeke Mekonnen, has 10 to 15 days to work out on details of agendas for negotiations.

Fighting erupted in Tigray in November 2020 and spilled to neighbouring Afar and Amhara regions last year. Thousands have died and many more fled their homes, triggering a humanitarian crisis.

The East African [archive]

Nigeria’s internet regulator releases draft to regulate Google, Facebook, TikTok and others

The draft is titled “Code of practice for interactive computer service platform/internet intermediaries.” The internet regulator claims that these conditions are aimed at “protecting fundamental human rights of Nigerians and non-Nigerians living in the country” as well as “define guidelines for interacting on the digital ecosystem.”

NITDA said it wrote the draft with a presidential directive. It also claimed to collaborate with Nigeria’s communications and broadcasting regulatory bodies–and welcomed input from the internet companies its draft affects.

TechCrunch [archive]

Africa must forgo gas exploration to avert climate disaster, warn experts

Their call came as the UN secretary general, António Guterres, warned that exploring for gas and oil anywhere in the world would be “delusional”.

Last week, Mary Robinson, a former president of Ireland, UN commissioner for human rights and UN climate envoy, stoked controversy when she backed an expansion, saying African countries should exploit their gas reserves.

The Guardian [archive]

Stopping Short of Restitution, King Philippe of Belgium Gives the Democratic Republic of Congo a Stolen Mask on ‘Indefinite Loan’

According to an inventory provided to Congolese authorities by the Belgian government earlier this year, an estimated 84,000 artifacts, including the Kakungu mask, were stolen during the colonial era. Those objects constitute 70 percent of the Royal Museum for Central Africa’s collection.

A law that would lay the groundwork for new restitution policies on a case-by-case basis is currently being reviewed by Belgium’s legislature.

If passed, it would require foreign authorities to apply for individual artifacts to be returned, the New York Times reported. Restitution requests would then go to a joint commission of experts from both Belgium and the outside nation for approval.

ArtNet [archive]

It’s not easy appearing informed without the benefit of a zoom background showcasing a carefully cultivated book collection, but this might just have done the trick. If you’re thinking of hogpoggling about it, please don’t. Also have a care and look to the clam post to help avoid commenting chaos. Finally, I’ve checked and the McSquirrel Rule remains in effect, so please comport yourselves with the calm thoughtfulness befitting an online forum.

Gideon “Mgibe” Nxumalo — Born this day 1929