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United States Condemns Mass Killing Of Civilians In Nigeria, Calls On Buhari To Hold Those Responsible Accountable

United States Secretary of State

The United States in a press statement by the Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo has sent a strong message to the government of Nigeria to hold and bring those responsible for these crimes to book.

But, knowing the culture of impunity in Nigeria and the complicit attitude of the present administration, nothing will be done and it would be business as usual while more lives are lost in these senseless mass murders.

The press statement is below

We condemn the recent  senseless and  brazen killings of civilians  in northern Nigeria.

In recent weeks, suspected  ISIS West Africa  militants launched multiple attacks in  Borno  State, killing more than 120 civilians, including women, children, and the elderly.  On June 9, unidentified armed  bandits  attacked a village in Katsina State, killing dozens.

These horrific crimes follow the  shooting  of a  pastor and his pregnant wife on June 1 and the killing of an imam, local village head, and several civilians  on June  5  in  the course of intercommunal violence in  Taraba State.

Tens of thousands of civilians have  lost their lives  in Nigeria in recent years to  violent  attacks  by  terrorist groups  or  criminal gangs, in inter-communal violence, or due to their religious beliefs.  The United States calls on the Government of Nigeria to do more to strengthen ongoing efforts to address this violence, hold those responsible accountable,  and protect  civilians.

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United Nations Ready To Create New Country Out Of Nigeria, Cameroon |The Republican News

By July 10 this year, Nigeria may lose 24 local councils, by way of ceding, to a new country to be known as United Nations Organisation (UNO) State of Cameroon at its borders with la Republique du Cameroun.

The Guardian learnt that the withdrawal of his country’s soldiers by President Paul Biya from the southern part of the planned UNO State of Cameroon has set the stage for the creation of the new state being spearheaded by the UN.

The withdrawal of troops by Biya was formally demanded by the former President of the United Nations General Assembly, Ali A. Treki on May 20, 2020. This was disclosed in a May 26, 2020 letter of the UNO State of Cameroon to Prof. Martins Chia Ateh, the United Nations-appointed workshops coordinator in Cameroon and Nigeria.

Ateh said in the letter: “Greetings and thank you very much for the attached list of those who were detained in the Nkambe prison of Cameroon in August 2008.

“It is only now that the soldiers of la Republique du Cameroun are being withdrawn from the southern part of UNO State of Cameroon.” He said it was a good thing Treki kept the records straight.

On UN’s creation of a new country in Africa, Ateh said: “I should be getting back to you once the United Nations finishes with an official announcement on the existence of UNO State of Cameroon to the international community.”

While conceiving the new state, the former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan invited former President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and Biya of Cameroon to sign documents respecting their countries’ international boundaries.

It was learnt that Obasanjo and Biya signed the documents in March 2003 to cede their twin territories (Northern and Southern Cameroons) to the proposed UNO new country in West and Central Africa.

The UN, according to recent reports, pledged to actualize a new State of Cameroon on July 10, 2020.

Residents of Southern Cameroon were excited over the merger of their land with Northern Cameroon in Nigeria, comprising 24 local government areas in Borno (five), Adamawa (12) and Taraba (seven) states.

The Guardian learnt that the Southern Cameroon residents have since last year during their agitations to separate tagged the UNO State of Cameroon as “Ambazonia.”

In Nigeria, the new country’s landmass extends from Bakassi Peninsula in Cross River State to Ngala Local Government Area of Borno State in the Lake Chad region.

While responding to ceding five local government areas from Borno State, an aide to Governor Babagana Zulum said: “We’ll study the recent unfolding developments on ceding Bama, Gwoza, Dikwa, Kala/Balge and Ngala councils to the UNO State of Cameroon.

“The state government will also be liaising with federal agencies on how to cede the affected local government areas as Obasanjo and Biya had signed documents with the UN to respect their international boundaries.”

According to the UN workshop coordinator and chairman, steering committee, Ateh, the councils to be ceded to UNO State of Cameroon, include Bama, Gwoza, Ngala, Kala/Balge, Dikwa. Others include Madagali, Michika, Mubi North, Mubi South, Mayo/Belwa, Toungo, Ganye, Serti, Hong, Jada, Maiha and Jada councils.

It was learnt that before the announcement of the new state, the UN had kept Northern and Southern Cameroons under watch since Obasanjo and Biya signed the documents under the UN treaty.

Meanwhile, the Secretary-General of UN, Antonio Guterres has commenced the process of sensitization towards the July 10 date of creating the new state for the Anglophone separatists in Cameroon.

According to reports, Guterres has continuously reached out to the UNrepresentative in charge of the territories, Ateh to constantly organize sensitisation workshops on the brief history of the UNO State of Cameroon.

The UN is determined and constantly fingered as an interested party in the arrangement to actualize the new state.

The Nigerian government has been urged to carry out an investigation to establish the facts surrounding the ceding of 24 local government areas to create a new country.

According to Google Map, Nigeria, particularly in the Northeast region with a decade-long Boko Haram insurgency is sandwiched between its territory and Cameroon Republics, with Bakassi Peninsula and Lake Chad located south and northeast of the UNO State of Cameroon.

The new state will have a total landmass of 28, 214 square km with an estimated population of 20 million people. Last year’s 72-hour ultimatum given by the United States (U.S.) to Cameroon to withdraw its troops from la Republique du Cameroons was heeded by President Paul Biya last month.

Before the pullout, neither the U.S nor Cameroon had responded to the expiration date until Treki asked Biya to withdraw his troops.

The Speaker of the Cameroonian National Assembly, Cavage Yeguie Djibrilhad also asked the Cameroonian government to fully implement the new law on decentralization that seeks to grant greater power to local councils and regions.

Consequently, Biya signed the law on the promotion of official language in Cameroon, settlement law of the Republic of Cameroon for 2020 financial year, last December.

The bill addresses the creation of assemblies of chiefs, regional assemblies and councils with each of the two territories having elected presidents, vice president, secretaries and public affairs management controllers.
(Guardian)

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Covid-19: UK Residents, Visitors Entering The Kingdom From June 8, Must Self-isolate For 14 Days or Face Fine |RN

From 8 June, there will be new rules in place for entering the UK because of coronavirus (COVID-19). The rules are for residents and visitors.

These rules are detailed out in the website for visitors and residents alike to acquaint themselves with the rules, how to handle them and possible fines when they are not properly followed.

The Republican News brought the entire information for the benefits of our readers and they could visit the site and have detailed information.

The coronavirus pandemic has changed how we travel, at least for a foreseeable future until sometimes else is done to change it. Every could remember how the underwear bomber helped to transform forever how travelers are screened in the airports across the entire globe.

United Kingdom Union Jack
  1. Coronavirus (COVID-19) and entering or returning to the UK
  2. What else happens when you arrive
  3. Before you leave for the UK
  4. At border control
  5. Baggage checks
  6. Layovers and transiting through a UK airport

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and entering or returning to the UK

From 8 June, there will be new rules in place for entering the UK because of coronavirus (COVID-19). The rules are for residents and visitors.

When these rules are in place, you will:

  • need to provide your journey and contact details when you travel to the UK
  • not be allowed to leave the place you’re staying for the first 14 days you’re in the UK except in very limited situations (known as ‘self-isolating’)

You do not need to do these things now. But you should check the latest public health advice on coronavirus before you travel, or if you’ve just arrived in the UK.

Once the rules come into place you may be fined £100 if you refuse to provide your contact details, £1,000 if you refuse to self-isolate in England and Wales, or you could face further action. You’ll be able to find more information on enforcement measures in Scotland and Northern Ireland on this page soon.

You should also download the NHS contact tracing app. You’ll be able to find the app on this page when it’s available.

Provide your journey and contact details when you travel to the UK

From 8 June, if you’re travelling to the UK you’ll need to fill in an online form to provide your journey and contact details before you travel.

You’ll be able to find the form on this page when it’s available – check again before you travel.

You might need to show that you’ve completed the form when you arrive at the UK border.

If you refuse to fill in the form, you may be fined. You also may not be allowed to enter the UK (unless you’re either British or a UK resident).

The government will use this information to contact you if you or someone you’ve travelled with develops coronavirus symptoms, and to check that you’re self-isolating for the first 14 days after you arrive in the UK.

If you develop coronavirus symptoms

Do not travel if you have coronavirus symptoms.

If you develop coronavirus symptoms when you’re travelling to the UK, tell the crew or driver on your plane, ferry, train or bus. They’ll let staff in the airport, port or station know, so they can tell you what you should do next when you arrive.

Self-isolate for your first 14 days in the UK

When you arrive in the UK, go straight to the place where you will self-isolate. Your friends or family can collect you from the airport, port or station. Only use public transport if you have no other option. If you do use public transport, wear something that covers your nose and mouth and stay 2 metres apart from other people.

You must not leave the place you’re staying for 14 days.

You can only leave if:

  • you need urgent medical treatment
  • you need support from social services
  • you need food and medicine and cannot get them delivered or get a friend or family member to bring them
  • you’re going to the funeral of a close relative, or for other compassionate reasons
  • there’s an emergency, for example there’s a fire at the place you’re staying

You cannot have visitors, including friends and family, unless they are providing essential care.

If you’re at home or staying with friends or family, avoid contact with the people you’re staying with and minimise the time you spend in shared areas.

If you’re staying in a hotel or guest house, you cannot use shared areas such as bars, restaurants, health clubs and sports facilities. Stay 2 metres away from all other guests and staff.

If you will not be able to safely self-isolate at the place you’re planning to stay, tell Border Force officers when you arrive in the UK. They’ll give you a choice of accommodation to stay at.

After 14 days

If you do not have any coronavirus symptoms after 14 days, you can stop self-isolating. You will then need to follow the same rules as people who live in the UK. Check the rules for the nation you’re staying in:

Find out what to do if you develop coronavirus symptoms.

Who does not need to provide their details or self-isolate for 14 days

You will not need to fill in the form or self-isolate for 14 days if you’re travelling to the UK from:

  • Ireland
  • the Channel Islands
  • the Isle of Man

There are other reasons why you might not need to fill in the form or self-isolate. Read the list of who does not need to fill in the form or self-isolate.

The rules about who does not need to fill in the form or self-isolate will remain under review and may change in the future. You’ll be able to find more information on this page when it’s available.

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Supreme Court Judgement: Imo Citizens In Diaspora Petition Trump, Seek Visa Ban On Supreme Court Judges |The Republican News

US President, Donald Trump

The tussle for the Imo State Government House has taken a new turn, with Ndi Imo abroad under the aegis of Imo Diaspora Coalition for Justice and Democracy petitioning United States President Donald Trump and Speaker Nancy Pelosi over last week’s controversial judgement by the Nigerian Supreme Court removing Governor Emeka Ihedioha and replacing him with Hope Uzodinma.

The coalition in the petition which has gone viral faulted the verdict as illogical and requested a visa ban on those who delivered it. The petitioners a statement issued over the weekend announced that they have set the goal to get 1,000 signatures by Wednesday, January 22, 2020.

The petition reads:

“Dear President Trump,

“Nigeria’s Disgraceful Partisan Supreme Court Must Reverse Her Recent Perverted Ruling or Be Placed on Visa Ban or no Fly List, Including Members of their Immediate Families

“The Nigeria’s Supreme Court recently in what has been described a “judicial coup”, overturned the landslide Imo State Governorship electoral mandate, given to Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and handed victory to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Party candidate, Hope Uzodinma, who came a distant fourth position in the election. Imo State is a totally Christian State!

“On March 9, 2019, during Nigeria’s gubernatorial elections held in Imo State Nigeria, the incumbent APC Party candidate, Hope Uzodinma lost in this highly Christians concentrated enclave to a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), candidate, former Speaker of the National House of Representatives Rt. Hon Emeka Ihedioha, a Knight of the order of St. Christopher of the Anglican Communion, and three others. According to official figures of the electoral umpire – the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the results were as follows;

1.     Accredited voters is                      = 823,743.

2.     The total valid votes cast is          = 714,355

3.     Rejected votes                              =  25,130

4.     Total votes cast (Line 2 Plus 3) is  = 739,485

The top four candidates received the following number of votes:

5.     Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha (People’s Democratic Party-PDP)   = 273,404 votes

6.     Mr Uche Nwosu (Action Alliance – AA)                                = 190,364 votes

7.     Ifeanyi Ararume (All Progressives Grand Alliance – APGA) = 114,676 votes

8.     Hope Uzodinma (All Progressives Congress – APC “Moslem Party”) = 96,458 votes

“On the basis of the above the INEC declared Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha the winner. However, thereafter all the losers went to court, with Hon Ihedioha sustaining his win at the tribunal, and again at the appeal court. Then at the Supreme Court something strange and yet inexplicable happened, the Supreme Court accepted previously tendered and INEC rejected 213,699 votes  from Mr Hope Uzodinma, the fourth placed candidate which was adjudged to be fake and unreliable by the trial Tribunal and concurred by the Court of Appeal.

“They added these fake votes to the official INEC declared votes for him of 96,458 to give Mr Uzodinma the winning votes of 310,153.

“But in a haste to gain foothold in this Christian enclave of Imo State, through their proxy Mr Uzodinma (a notorious character who had been indicted by a Presidential Task Force on fraud for diverting over $11m meant for dredging a government sea port channel and currently has a bench warrant for his arrest issued by an Abuja Magistrate Court for issuance of N200 million naira dud cheque amongst other criminal infractions) they forgot simple Arithmetic.


“When that whole fake results were added without adjustment to other figures, it brought the total votes cast to 928,054 , which is not only higher than INEC declared total valid votes cast of 714,355 but total number of accredited voters of 823,743 for the election. Yet, the Supreme Court in a bizarre judgment awarded more votes to the fourth placed candidate, that inflated total votes cast above the number of voters, and made him winner. When confronted in private, two of the justices said, “we were under instructions”.

“Nigeria legal system allows for Supreme Court to reverse itself in certain circumstances including where the judgement was obtained by fraudulent representations as in the case herein.

“It is based on these that we are calling on the partisan-agenda driven Nigeria’s Supreme court to review and reverse their decision, within ten days, or be sanctioned alongside their immediate families with visa ban and/or put on international No-fly list.

“The compromised Justices who delivered this atrocious ruling and who we demand sanctioned, if they fail to reverse their fraudulent judgement are

“Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad,

“Justice Kudrat Kekere-Ekun,

“Justice Sylvester Ngwuta,

“Justice Olukayode Ariwoola,

“Justice Aminu Sanusi, Amina Augie, and

“Justice Uwani Abba-Aji.

“We need your intervention Mr. President!

“Thank you!”

The petition was signed by the following:

Eddie Oparaoji; Matthew Mbanaja; Chijike Ndukwu; Chiwuikem Ihediwa; Adaugo Vivian Agwuocha; Hyacinth Nwachukwu; Jerry Uchechukwu; Joy Mmegwa; Anyanwu Benedict; Benson Ifeanyi; Kelechi Eberechi; AIhetuge Paschal; Ntim Jonathan; Nneoma Jonathan; Festus Nnodim; Patricia Ndubuisi; Uchenna Nomso; Chidiebere Madumere; Noble Ndubuisi; Flavius Ndubuisi; Goodness Nwafor; Eusebius Emereole; Calista Nnadi; Victor Chikere; Petrus Onyeokoro; Ugochukwu Nwanna; Michael Ishiguzo; Stan Ogadinma; Amam Nwaopara; Ejike Ozoemena; Zeph Achilonu; Isidore Nwoko; Basil Ugwo; Chima Ozioma; Marcel Njoku; Lucky Toochukwu; Ken Obijuru; Emeka Ebiringa; Paul Nwankwo; Michael Izundu; Joshua Ohanu; Christopher Ihekaire; Stella Amanze; Judith Ahamefule; Silas Etoh; Flavor Onyakachi; Luke Chilaka; Chinonso Udeze; Canice Onu; Charles Umudim; Obasi Agwulonu; Nathan Nkemakolam; Vitus Gozie; Bartholomew Akachi; Thomas Abara;  Nwada Akanegbu; Kelechi Wilson; Chizoma Samuel; Enyinna Azuogu; Nnenna Onuoha; Austin Ibeawuchi; Obi Chetachi; Fidelis Okoronkwo; Alphonsus Madubuchi; Daniel Uka; Lawrence Unachukwu; Helen Nwachukwu; Philomena Ogbuja; Deborah Opara; Declan Agwulonu; Polycarp Ejekam; Suzanna Ikeh; Ekene Dimkpa; Stephen Ejiogu; Magellan Ebomuche; David Aso; Damian Ukaga; Kyrian Asoluka; Peter Ezeude; Joseph Okwu; Tunde Ibekwe; Nwalozie Obinna; Ahunna Chidebere; Chinedu Chiedozie; Esther Nweze; Bentley Ogbonna; Thed Clement; Chizoba Nwuzor; Nosike Ebirim; Uchenne Chimezie; Gabriel. C. Madu; Kings Nnaji; Chinemerem Daniel Owuliri; Anthony Egbuhuzor; Robert Unegbu; Eddie Eze Ojukwu; Olelewe Nwamaka; Godwin Osuagwu; James Osuagwu; Charles Ihejirika; Donatus O. Ekeanyanwu; Kate Nwaete-Nwanedo; Patrick Iroegbu; Charlie Ogbuehi; Ibeh Tobechukwu Cynthia; Ndukwu Prisca; Chuks Ikedigwe; Chimaeze Amadi; Prince Ferdinand Alilonu; Moses Ohaegbuchi; Anne Nkwocha; Colman Ejerenwa; Njoku Obioma; Esther Anosike; Olivia Anyanwu; Bismarck Njoku; Austin Ifeanyi; Anad Daberechi Ezebunwa; Chisom Ezebunwa; Zara Blessing; Eburuche John; Ogechi Ugwo; and Julius Udekwe. (Expressnews)

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Buhari Doing Nothing To End Mass Killings, Persecution Of Christians By The Fulanis —European Union


The Eropean Union in a new report released on January 16, 2020 said over 6000 Christians had been murdered by “Fulani militants whereas in Sharia states, Christians face constant discrimination and are often considered second class citizens.”

The European parliament, legislative branch of the European Union, has accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration of overseeing the persecution of Christians in the Northern part of Nigeria where Sharia law is in practice.

The EU in a new report released on January 16, 2020 said over 6000 Christians had been murdered by “Fulani militants whereas in Sharia states, Christians face constant discrimination and are often considered second class citizens.”

The report further adds that, “These attacks have continued with total impunity with perpetrators rarely being held to account whereas Amnesty International report has demonstrated wilful negligence by the Nigerian security forces concerning deadly attacks against farming communities.”

The report says Buhari’s poor handling of Nigeria’s deteriorating situation in the North-East has worsened as non-governmental organisations ready to help are denied access by the Nigerian Government for political reasons.

The EU condemned what it described as “extermination of human beings or ethnic cleansing” while calling on the Nigerian Government to find immediate solutions to the conflict now affecting the stability of West Africa.

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JUST IN: Iran Attacks US Military Bases In Iraq With Ballistic Missiles, No Casualties Reported |The Republican News

US troops and the rain of missles from Iran’s military missiles attack on Iraq military bases

The Iranian government late Tuesday “caught America off guard” with ballistic missile attacks at military bases in Iraq that house US troops.

Though Iranian state media is claiming to have killed 30 American service troops, but Iraq confirms no casualties.

President Donald Trump has since reacted to the development and confirmed that there was no casualties as the Iraqis said.

“All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of damages taking place now. So far, so good!

“We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning”, Trump tweeted.

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Russia Surpasses Competitors In Advanced Weapons For The First —Putin |The Republican News

Russia is spending far less on defense and more efficiently, having developed a series of advanced weapons that rivals are struggling to copy, President Vladimir Putin said teasing a ground-launched hypersonic missile.

The Soviet Union was always catching up to the US, when it came to the atomic bomb, the strategic aviation or the first intercontinental missiles, Putin recalled on Tuesday, during the meeting of the Russian Defense Ministry Board.

Today, we have a unique situation in our new and recent history – they are trying to catch up with us.

The president noted that “not a single country possesses hypersonic weapons, let alone continental-range hypersonic weapons,” but the Russian military is already equipped with Kinzhal air-launched missiles, while Avangard hypersonic gliders are currently being introduced in service.

Kalibr cruise missiles and Peresvet combat laser also recently boosted the capabilities of the Russian military, while the development of other state-of-the-art weapon systems such as the Sarmat ICBM, Poseidon long-range underwater drone, and the nuclear-powered Burevestnik cruise missile is “going according to plan.”

Putin also slipped in a revelation that work was underway on the ground-launched version of the Zircon hypersonic missile, previously only intended to be placed on surface ships.

Zircon is said to be virtually invisible to radar, due to the plasma cloud that appears around the projectile as it reaches the whopping speed of Mach 9, or around 10,000 kilometers per hour. The missile is capable of hitting targets at a range of over 1,000km.

Russia ranks only sixth in the world in terms of gross military spending – behind the US, China, Saudi Arabia, UK, France and Japan –  but the country “must and will remain ahead of the others,” in terms of advanced technology, the president vowed. This will be achieved through “brains, intellect, better organization of work [and] minimization of theft and sloppiness.


Source: RT

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24 Nigerian Sex Traffickers From Edo Sentenced To 7 Years Jail Term In France |The Republican News

A French court sentenced 24 members of a Lyon-based sex trafficking ring to prison terms of up to seven years for forcing Nigerian women into prostitution.

Nearly all of the defendants were themselves Nigerian, in the latest case to highlight the growing use of African migrants in the European sex trade.

They include one of Europe’s most wanted women, Jessica Edosomwan, accused of acting as a France-based “madam” to women recruited mainly in Nigeria’s southern Edo State.

Edosomwan was tried in absentia.

Nigeria was the main country of origin for the tens of thousands of migrants who crossed the Mediterranean to Europe by boat in 2016 and 2017.

Many were women and girls lured to Europe with false promises of jobs as hairdressers or seamstresses, only to find themselves selling sex to repay their smugglers.

Seventeen women filed complaints against the defendants but none of the victims attended the trial, with the exception of one former sex worker who found herself in the dock for luring another woman into the trade.

The accused had faced up to 10 years’ imprisonment on charges including human trafficking, pimping, money laundering and helping people live illegally in France.

Prosecutors estimated that the victims, aged 17 to 38, made up to $166 000 a month for the syndicate by selling sex in vans parked by the side of the road for as little as 10 euros.

A French mechanic who looked after the vans was among the 24 defendants.

Last year, 15 members of a Paris-based, female-led pimping ring known as the “Authentic Sisters” – many themselves former trafficking victims – were jailed for up to 11 years for forcing girls into slavery in France.

Similar gangs have also been dismantled in Italy and Britain.

The UN estimates that 80 percent of young Nigerian women arriving in Italy – usually their first port of call in Europe – are already in the clutches of prostitution networks, or quickly fall under their control.

Most of the women come from Nigeria’s Benin City, a human trafficking hotbed.

Many told investigators they had taken part in “juju” or black magic rituals before leaving Nigeria, during which they had to promise to repay the money for their passage to Europe.

Source: AFP

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8 Former French Colonies In Africa To Withdraw Cash Reserves Kept At France’s Central Bank

The decision of West African nations to withdraw forex reserves from France, fraught with implications, warn experts

Felix Tih and James Tasamba

ANKARA / KIGALI

The proposal of eight West African nations to withdraw their currency reserves from the French central bank, has evoked a spate of reactions. 

While it has been largely hailed in the African continent, experts fear, the move having implications on the French economy, is fraught with political ramifications.

The move also comes with the decision to replace the CFA franc – the euro-linked currency used in 14 West and Central African countries – with new common West African currency, named eco.

Even though these eight West African countries which include, Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Niger and Guinea Bissau had gained independence years ago, they continued to vest their foreign exchange reserves with the French central bank. They have now decided to move their reserves to Senegal.

“We all agree on this, unanimously, to end this model,” Benin’s President Patrice Talon told French media last Thursday.

He claimed that Paris has also agreed to release their reserves, which will now be vested with the Senegal-based Central Bank of West African States.

The CFA, which was specially created in 1945 for the French colonies of Africa, is linked to the euro and its convertibility is guaranteed by France.

According to the arrangement, described by analysts as a colonial relic, these African countries, had to deposit half of their foreign currency reserves, in the French central bank.

A Uganda based analyst Fred Muhumuza said the arrangement was linked to colonial ties with France. Muhumuza, who teaches economics at the Makerere University — one of largest and oldest institution of higher learning – said that depositing currency in developed countries was aimed to insulate it from political instabilities back home.

“They [developing countries] also keep their reserves in the central banks of developed countries, to get good returns, “he said. Many countries prefer to keep their reserves with the Federal Reserve System or the central banking system of the U.S., as international trade mostly uses the U.S. dollar as exchange.

“It is also true, that these reserves act as a good resource for developed countries and not for their real owners,” Muhumuza told Anadolu Agency.

Move to hit French economy

He, however, said the move was fraught with political implications, as it will hit French economy. “Loss of a pool of resources and control of the economies of these countries will have cascading effects on France, which may not take the move lightly. It will be difficult to transfer reserves. There were similar proposals before. They never materialized,” said the experts, adding that he was keeping his fingers crossed.

President Talon agreed that the decision may take time, but it has been adopted at the meeting of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

In July, the leaders of the region also adopted a proposal to introduce single currency — eco, for the entire region by 2020.

In the first phase, countries with their own currencies (Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria and Sierra Leone) will launch the eco.

In a second phase the eight UEMOA (West African Economic and Monetary Union) member countries that have in common the CFA franc (Ivory Coast, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Mali, Togo, Niger, Benin and Guinea-Bissau) will be covered by eco.

The introduction of the eco was initially planned in 2003, but was repeatedly delayed due to various factors.

Chadian President Idris Debby said the move will clear injustice heaped on the African countries for too long. “The injustice has gone for too long. It is time to discuss issues with France to clarify many things, to allow us to have our monetary sovereignty. We do not have it today,” he told a media briefing on Monday.

The West African Economic and Monetary Union consist of Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo from West Africa. The Central African Economic and Monetary Union consists of Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon.

“The success of the monetary union will depend on the dispositions of member states especially the Francophone countries who still rely on France for many things,” Bashiru Animashaun, an expert on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), told Anadolu Agency.

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Slavery’s Bitter Roots: US Marks 400th Anniversary Of Arrival Of First African Slaves |The Republican News

By Chris Simkins, Carol Guensburg

HAMPTON, VIRGINIA – In late August 1619, an English pirate ship named the White Lion sailed into the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay and anchored at Point Comfort. It deposited, according to handwritten records, “20 and odd” Africans seized from a Portuguese slave ship headed to what is now Mexico. 

Those captives from Angola — sold in exchange for food and other supplies — were the first known Africans to set foot in colonial Virginia. Their arrival 400 years ago marked the beginning of slavery in English-speaking America, an institution that persisted for more than two centuries.   

“This is ground zero. This is the beginning of the African imprint on America,” said Calvin Pearson, head of the local history group Project 1619, as he surveyed the former Point Comfort waterfront on a breezy spring day. 

From 1525 to 1866, some 12.5 million captive Africans were put on ships bound for the Americas and Caribbean, according to Emory University’s Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database.  Of those, 10.7 million men, women and children survived the treacherous voyages, chained and crowded below decks with little water or food. The great majority were taken to Brazil or the Caribbean but close to 400,000 arrived in what is now the United States. 

“Those first Africans who landed here were destined for a life of servitude,” Pearson said, noting they were sold or traded to wealthy plantation owners in Hampton or sent to a settlement on the James River. “They had to work the crops — the corn fields, the tobacco fields. It was a life they had to endure knowing they would probably never be free.”

Africans had no official status in the American colonies — not as indentured servants nor as slaves — until Massachusetts became the first to legalize slavery in 1641. Virginia made it a hereditary condition, passing a law in 1662 saying any child born to an enslaved black woman faced the prospect of servitude for life.  Eventually, the number of American slaves swelled to almost 4 million. 

The Triangular Trade 

Slavery came to the Americas as part of the Triangular Trade.

Ships from Europe carried manufactured goods such as cloth, guns and metal pans to Africa, selling or exchanging these items for captives picked up at ports along the continent’s western coast. These people would be delivered into bondage in the Caribbean and Americas. Many were forced into backbreaking work growing sugar, rice, cotton and tobacco — raw materials that were shipped back to Europe on the third leg of the triangle.

Though most slaves from the African continent were taken from Ghana and Senegal, more than 5 million who landed in the Western Hemisphere came from Angola. Colonized by the Portuguese, who dominated the slave trade for centuries, Angola accounted for roughly a quarter of the nearly 400,000 Africans sent to the North American mainland. 

While some tribal chiefs sold captives to European slavers, other leaders tried to protect their people. One was Njinga Mbande, queen of the Ndongo and Mataba kingdoms in the 17th century. A warrior and diplomat, she fended off Portuguese and Dutch slavers throughout her 40-year reign. 

“She was the greatest protector of Angolan sovereignty, and it was 40 years of fighting,” historian Isilda Hurst said from a boat cruising the Kwanza River. Njinga, she said, would hide in the river’s floating islands of tall grass, so her adversaries “could never tell where she was. … She always resisted, and she always won.”

A statue of warrior queen Njinga Mbande stands outside Angola’s National Museum of Military History in Luanda. (B. Ayoub/VOA)
A statue of warrior queen Njinga Mbande stands outside Angola’s National Museum of Military History in Luanda. (B. Ayoub/VOA)

But the Portuguese slavers ultimately prevailed. 

The Kwanza, which empties into the Atlantic just south of the capital city of Luanda, was an important trade route. People who lived near its banks got swept up in the slave trade.

“It was by the river where most of the slaves were captured,” with Africans serving as middle men in the sordid deals, Hurst said.   

The captives were taken to port communities, locked in holding areas, or barracoons, until they could be sold and shipped off.

Bracing the U.S. economy

Slave labor helped build the American colonies and, after they won independence from the British in 1783, the new nation.

“Slavery was so big and so important to the American economy that it was valued at more than all of America’s (other) industries combined,” said Cassandra Newby Alexander, a historian and dean of Norfolk State University’s College of Liberal Arts. “It really is symptomatic of the importance that people had to preserving and expanding slavery.”

By 1860, just before the Civil War, “the nearly 4 million American slaves were worth some $3.5 billion, making them the largest single financial asset in the entire U.S. economy, worth more than all manufacturing and railroads combined,” the writer Ta-Nehisi Coates quoted historian James McPherson in a 2014 essay in The Atlantic.  

Individual states could determine whether to permit slavery. While those in the South held more slaves to tend labor-intensive crops, many whites in the more industrialized, urban North kept slaves as domestic servants or skilled laborers. And though Northern states abolished slavery — some of them gradually — they still profited from the institution. 

For example, merchants in the tiny northeastern state of Rhode Island paid for ships to bring more than 100,000 captives to the New World, said Keith Stokes of Newport, who lectures on the history of Africans in America.

“Between 1705 and 1805, there are at least 900 documented slave ships that begin their voyage in Rhode Island and eventually go from West Africa through the West Indies and back to Rhode Island,” he said.

James DeWolf, who represented Rhode Island in the U.S. Senate in the 1820s, was among those who made a fortune at slaves’ expense. He invested in slave ships, in banks and insurance firms that did business with slaveholders, and in textile mills that turned cotton into garments, fueling America’s industrial revolution. After Rhode Island outlawed the shipment of slaves to North America in 1787 — and the U.S. Congress followed suit in 1807 — DeWolf’s nephew continued the slave trade illegally.
 
DeWolf and his extended family “engaged in slave trading on such an epic level,” said great-grandson James DeWolf Perry. He estimates they brought more than 12,000 enslaved Africans to the New World and are “probably responsible for about half a million people (who) are alive today in the Americas.”

Perry and his cousin, filmmaker Katrina Browne, are confronting the family history that shames them. They collaborated on an Emmy-nominated documentary, “Traces of the Trade” (2008), about slavery and its lingering effects. Then they co-founded the Tracing Center, a Boston-area nonprofit promoting awareness of the slave trade and its legacies affecting all Americans.   

“It’s incumbent upon me to speak out about what our family did and to help other people draw the connections to the ways in which their families are connected to slavery,” Perry said. “If we bury the dark parts of a family history, we will start to assume things like that didn’t happen, and that will greatly distort our understanding of how we got here today.”

Roles of religion 

Faith groups were not without sin.

The Episcopal Church, particularly in Rhode Island during the late 1600s and early 1700s, “profited directly … because donations from our members were proceeds of the slave trade,” said Nicholas Knisely, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island.

Even the clergy enslaved people.

“We had slaves who were owned by the missionary organizations that were creating the Anglican churches here in the United States,” Knisely added. “We have records of slaves who were branded with the letters SPG — Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.”

Unitarian minister William Ellery Channing had an enslaved cook for his household in Newport and praised her industriousness, said Stokes, the Newport historian. Born in 1753 in West Africa, Charity “Duchess” Quamino became known as “the pastry queen of Rhode Island,” using the proceeds from her cake sales to buy freedom for herself and her children.
    
Quamino had a better outcome than many other African-born slaves. 

While awaiting slave ships in Angola, African captives were forced by their Portuguese handlers to convert to Catholicism. Baptisms, conducted in big groups, stripped the captives of their African identity. Those who were detained in Angola would be given Christian names. Those herded onto ships often would be renamed if and when they reached a distant shore.

Religious conversion helped the Africans “embrace the gospel,” said the Rev. Paulino Koteka, a parish priest in the coastal city of Benguela. But, he acknowledged, “it destroyed their identity and their culture. Many of them suffered because of this evangelization.”

In 1985, Pope John Paul II asked Africans to forgive white Christians for their involvement in the slave trade. 

Slavery’s legacy 

 At Angola’s National Museum of Slavery in Luanda, director Vlademiro Fortuna said nearly four centuries of involvement in the slave trade have taken a lasting toll on the country. Today, though Angola has the third-largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa, at least a third of its 30 million people live in poverty.

“This country was harmed in every single aspect. The social fabric was destroyed,” he said, pointing out that Angola wasn’t the only affected place.

“The slave trade destabilized African societies. … It wasn’t possible during the times of slavery and colonization for African societies to reorganize their political and labor systems. … Sometimes, people try to forget this part of the country’s history.”

That’s why the museum exists, he added.  

In the United States, a bill backed by Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives proposes setting up a committee to examine and remedy the “lingering negative effects” of slavery and discrimination.  

At a June 19 hearing, proponents brought up the possibility of reparations or an apology, or both, for slavery and subsequent laws and policies that discriminated against blacks. They say those measures — affecting civil rights, education, housing, finance and more — contribute to ongoing disadvantages, including a racial wealth gap. 

The average black family’s net worth is less than 15% of a white family’s, the Federal Reserve reported in 2017. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell opposes compensation.

“I don’t think reparations for something that happened 150 years ago, for whom none of us currently living are responsible, is a good idea,” he said the day before the hearing.

Hampton’s historic perspective 

Slavery in Britain’s American colonies began in Virginia. It was also in Hampton, at the former Port Comfort site, where the system began to unravel. 

In May 1861, a month after the start of the U.S. Civil War pitting 11 slave-dependent Southern states against the North, three Virginia slaves working for the Confederate Army fled to Fort Monroe. The federal stronghold had been built decades earlier near the site where the first Africans landed two centuries earlier.

The slaves sought refuge with Union troops who’d volunteered to suppress what was characterized as the Southern rebellion. Their commander, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Franklin Butler, declared the slaves “contraband of war,” a seemingly dehumanizing decision but one that meant they could legally be allowed to remain and support the Union cause. 

Butler’s decision lent protection to thousands of blacks who escaped to the fort during the four-year war, and, says Project 1619 co-founder Bill Wiggins, laid the groundwork for historic measures. 

Wiggins said the decision “forced” President Abraham Lincoln, in early 1863, to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared “that all persons held as slaves” in Confederate states “are, and henceforward shall be free.”

That “led to the 13th Amendment, ending enslavement, and paved the way for the 14th Amendment, which provided citizenship (for the formerly enslaved) in 1866,” Wiggins said.

The fort was decommissioned as a military installation in September 2011. Two months later, President Barack Obama — son of a black African father and white American mother — designated Fort Monroe as a national monument.

At a small cemetery in Hampton, Brenda Tucker stood among graves where her forebears — including William Tucker, believed to be the first child born to Africans in the American colonies — have been laid to rest. 

Packed into slave ships from Angola, “so many did not survive. But the ones that did survive were the healthy ones, our ancestors,” Tucker said. Looking around the site, she added, “There is no way we can pass it or walk through it without thinking of an ancestor to whom we owe gratitude.”

Chris Simkins reported from Virginia and Rhode Island, with Mayra de Lasalette contributing from Angola and Carol Guensburg from Washington.To commemorate the first African landing at Point Comfort 400 years ago, a series of events, exhibits and tours are scheduled in and near Hampton, Virginia.

Source: Voice of America

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