Tag Archives: NGO

Italian hostage returned from Kenya

Liberated Italian hostage Silvia Romano landed at Rome’s Ciampino airport aboard a special flight at about 2 p.m. (1200 GMT).

Escorted by masked men from the intelligence service, young woman temporarily removed her protective mask to wave while she descended the steps from the jet before hugging family members waiting for her at the airport. “I am literally bursting with joy at this moment. But it is hard even only to think, please let me breathe. I need to withstand the shock, happiness is so big that it is exploding,” Silvia’s father Enzo was quoted as saying by several Italian media.

NGO volonteer was greeted by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and the chief of Italian diplomacy Luigi Di Maio.

A group of armed men abdicted Romano, who was working for an Italian charity called Africa Milele, in northern Kenya in November 2018.

After extensive international search operations led by Italian intelligence, she was traced in Somalia, some 30 km (19 miles) outside the capital of Mogadishu, and was released due to efforts by the intelligence service, Italy’s Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio underlined.

In her home neighbourhood in Milan, church bells saluted her arrival, with many people on their balconies, SKY TG24 showed.

Romano is expected to meet prosecutors in Rome later on May 10 to participate in the investigatiion case of her abdiction.

“I was strong, and resisted,” Romano was quoted by Italian media as saying publically after her release.

Prime Minister Conte said that the task force working to free Romano had been in the final stages for the last months, after receiving proof that she was still alive. The head of the government added that details were not revealed to avoid compromise of the secret service operation.

We are so glad to welcome Silvia back in such a delicate moment for the country. The State is always there, and will always be there,” Conte said.

Prime Minister expressed gratitude for the efforts of the intelligence services, the judiciary and the defence and diplomacy, all involved in the release the Italian aid worker.

Italian newspapers reported that Italy’s intelligence services had launched a vast and complicated operation together with Somali and Turkish counterparts to free Romano.

UK aid worker killed in Nigeria

A British woman and a Nigerian man were shot dead, and three others were abducted by kidnappers.

Police and the British High Commission have named the woman as Faye Mooney (29), and said they were aware of an incident which took place at a holiday resort on April 19, but would not speculate on a motive.

Late Ms.Mooney was working in Nigeria as a communications specialist for aid group Mercy Corps and was one of 12 tourists travelling to the northern city of Kaduna from Lagos, police said. She worked in the country for nearly two years, had been attending a party before the incident, police added.

AMENDED:

I want the government and people of the United Kingdom to know that these atrocious actions do not reflect Nigeria’s national character” former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar said.

“I condemn the killing of British aid worker, Faye Mooney, and her Nigerian partner, Mathew Oguche two days ago in Kaduna State. Several other Nigerians were kidnapped during the episode”.

These killings must end or Nigeria will lose desperately needed friends, partners and investors”  the politician warned.

 

Portugal offers employment to illegal migrants

A group of illegal migrants rescued from the Mediterranean in July by NGO vessel Aquarius have been re-homed in Fundao, a small Portuguese town 260 km north of Lisbon. (Image above: illustration, Fundao region),

The group of 19 migrants from Eritrea, Nigeria, Yemen and Sudan arrived in town to receive integration course, including classes in Portuguese language, and necessary skills to enter labor market.

The arrival of this group of migrants is a result of Portugal’s commitment to solidarity and European cooperation on migrants,” the government statement said.

These days Portugal joined with Spain, France and Germany in offering shelter and future to 10 people from this week Aquarius arrival  with the 58 illegal migrants on board.

The Portuguese unemployment rate fell to 6.7 % in the second quarter of 2018, while youth unemployment rate of those aged 15 to 24 is estimated 19.4%.

 

Sophie Petronin abductors in Mali unclear about intentions

Sebastian Petronin (38)  discovered a video of his mother, in a headscarf and looking frail and tearful, the latest proof the 75-year-old Sophie Petronin is alive nearly two years after she was kidnapped by jihadists and held in the desert of Mali. The Islamist group releases a video showing the hostages Gloria Cecilia Narvaez and Sophie Petronin. The hostages address respectively Pope Francis and the French government asking to be rescued.

Fearing for her deteriorating health, Petronin hopes her abductors will allow him to visit her just once, even if there is scant chance he will be able to take her back. Now from Niamey, Niger he tries to obtain information to move as close as possible to his mother., reportedly kept in remote places in desert. In the video, Sophie Petronin tells that his captors are accepting a meeting with her son.

“We are really concerned”, – Petronin said. “She is a fighter but I feel like she has suffered blows to her morale that affected her, and I think she is very tired”, he added sharing his thoughts. He prefers to ensure his complete security with his contacts before eventually going on the spot, if possible.

“Nobody knows what these people want in exchange for the release of my mother, so of course, I go in order to release her but I already know that I will not leave with her”, Pétronin admits.

Sebastian Petronin

Sophie Pétronin is a humanitarian worker of a double French/Swiss nationality. She is the founder of the NGO “Aid Association in Gao”, which is focused on child welfare in northern Mali. At present she is the only abducted French national in captivity. 

On December 24, 2016, Sophie Petronin was abducted in Gao. An investigation has been opened by the prosecutors in Paris and entrusted to the General Directorate for Internal Security (DGSI5).

It July 2017 first pieces of information broke out, when a jihadist group in Sahel broadcasted a video with Petronin and five other people kidnapped between 2011 and 2017 in Mali and also Burkina Faso. Their detention is claimed by the Al-Qaeda-linked group.

 

 

Salvini offers Spain to host more migrants from Italy

Italy Interior Minister Matteo Salvini articulated that his country is “no longer the doormat of Europe”, while commenting on repelled migrants transported to Italy from Libyan coast by Aquarius NGO vessel, and the proposal of Spain to host them.  Salvini also said that Spain can also host  “another 66,000” migrants who stay in Italy now.

“Finally the Germans, the French, the Belgians, the Dutch and even the Spanish are listening to us,” Salvini underlined. The minister said he would seek to increase deportations of migrants whose asylum requests are rejected and work on a plan for Africa featuring development interventions to reduce migrant flows.

Reportedly Salvini demanded the Netherlands to recall Dutch-flagged ‘rescue’ ships of open borders NGOs, like Aquarius, insisting Italy refuses to be complicit in “illegal immigration business”.

Egypt new law to burden NGOs

Brussels. “The new NGO law in Egypt is bound to put additional burden on NGOs’ activities and restrict the space of debate and discussion in the country” – says the statement by the spokesperson of the European External Actions Service (EEAS) on the new NGO law in Egypt.

“It risks making civil society’s contribution to political, economic and social development more difficult”.

“Some provisions, such as the ones related to the registration process, the activities NGOs are allowed to perform and the procedure for receiving domestic and foreign funding, are also likely to directly affect European cooperation assistance to Egypt. Indeed, a large part of our cooperation relies on non-governmental organisations as important implementing partners.”

“A flourishing civil society, able to work in good conditions, is important for democratic and economic development and to help build political stability. We therefore expect the Egyptian government to fully implement and uphold all the guarantees stipulated in the Egyptian Constitution and in international law and standards regarding freedom of expression and association, and the Egyptian authorities to apply the new law in a way that does not intimidate, restrict or criminalize peaceful human rights civil society organizations and their members.”

“Egypt is an important partner for the EU, and we stay committed to strengthening our bilateral cooperation and pursuing a constructive dialogue in all fields of our cooperation.” (Photo: President Al-Sisi)