Tag Archives: refugee

Nantes: Rwanda migrant admits arson

The Rwanda irregular migrant has been arrested again, he had previously been questioned and then released after the July 18 blaze that destroyed the precious baroque organ, shattered stained glass windows, and blackened the insides of the Cathedral of St.Peter and St.Paul of the French city of Nantes.

The 39-year-old, a failed asylum-seeker from Rwanda who has lived in France for several years, was detained again on July 25 after laboratory analysis determined that arson was the highly likely cause of the cirminal blaze, the local prosecutor’s office said.

The man had previously been questioned and then released after the July 18 blaze that destroyed the organ, shattered stained glass windows, and blackened the insides of the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul of the western French city of Nantes.

«My client is cooperating,» lawyer Quentin Chabert said at a news conference in Nantes, without speculating what prompted the attempt to burn down the Cathedral,and destroyed precious orgue and other artefacts.

«Obviously it was a relief for him to show, as he would say, his repentance. As a believer, it’s important for him to show this effort,» he said.

BFMTV, citing a source close to the investigation, said that the defendant had been in France since 2012 and was obliged to leave French territory at the end of 2019. His residence permit expired in March of this year and became invalid, and he has exhausted all the legal procedures to stay in France further. Before the fire in the cathedral, the perpetrator had no record of law violations.

The rector of the Nantes cathedral, Hubert Champenois, admitted that he fully trusted the accused, who served in the church for several years.

The version of deliberate arson was a priority from the early stage of the investigation.The fires appeared simultaneously in three places at a considerable distance from each other. Upon closer examination of the consequences of the fire, experts found traces of a flammable liquid.

The accused was the last one to leave the cathedral before the fire and lock its doors. During the first interrogation by the police, he was confused in testimony regarding his future pastime and was the main suspect.

The Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul is the cathedral of the Diocese of Nantes, the largest Gothic church in historic Brittany and one of the largest in France, just 6 meters below Notre Dame Cathedral, and surpasses it in the height of the nave under the arches.

The cathedral was built for almost five hundred years – from 1434 to 1891. This is the fourth church in this place. It was preceded by an early Christian Roman chapel at Namnet (3rd century), a 6th-century cathedral, and an 11th-century Romanesque cathedral.

The ‘grand orgue’, the masterpiece of Jacques Giradet, was constructed in 1620, escapting fire in 1972, has been destroyed to ashes this time.

The instrument of the master Jacques Girardet was equipped with 27 stops. Over the centuries, the organ has been in constant evolution while surviving the upheavals of French history. It has undergone five restorations, bringing their number to 74, or 5,500 pipes.

EU €24M aid to Uganda

The EU will provide €24 million in humanitarian assistance for the most vulnerable people in Uganda in 2020, with a special focus on refugees and their host communities. In addition, the EU has also channelled €1 million to aid organisations in Uganda to support the coronavirus preparedness and control measures, in line with the national response plan to the pandemic.

“EU humanitarian support in Uganda is making a difference to the lives of many refugees who have fled South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. EU aid will provide food and health assistance, access to water and sanitation, as well as education programmes. We remain committed to continuing our support in Uganda, all the more so in these challenging times” said Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič.

EU-funded humanitarian projects in Uganda are also adapting to the new challenges brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. For example, EU funded radio talk shows are raising awareness about the coronavirus and other key issues, such as child protection. Other humanitarian projects provide access to health care and in epidemics control and prevention. EU support has also helped more than 20,000 children benefit from education programmes.

EU humanitarian support in Uganda goes hand in hand with longer-term development strategies to find durable solutions and support the self-reliance of refugees and their inclusion in social protection schemes.

Uganda hosts 1.4 million refugees, one of the largest refugee populations in Africa. The country applies a progressive refugee policy, which is, however, under increasing pressure due to the scale of the crisis, and overstretched services. EU humanitarian funding is helping to address the immediate life-saving needs of refugees and host communities in line with the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework as implemented in Uganda.

Sudanese refugee kills two Frenchmen

A knife attack in Romans-sur-Isère (pictured) southeastern France a Soudanaise refugee has killed two people, and left several others injured. The incident took place in morning hours around 10:45 on April 4, Holy Saturday, at eve of Catholic celebration of Easter. A terror investigation is now underway suspecting deliberate premeditated action.

Five people were reported to have been wounded, and two killed one of them a man(44) who attempted to protect his wife and child (13). Minster of Interior Christophe Castaner visited the community of Romans-sur-Isère the same day.
The assailant has now been identified as Abdallah A.Osman, reported to be in his 30s, born in 1987 according to his affidavit. He is in a regular situation in France. The Ofpra – French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons – granted him refugee status on June 29, 2017, and therefore in possession of a 10-year residence permit. Presumably he did not work, but received an allocation for refugees, and social housing.

Witnesses told local press that the assailant appeared to target random pedestrians while moving around empty streets in the center of the town.
Anyone who had the misfortune to find themselves in his way were attacked,” the town’s mayor, Marie-Helene Thoraval, told AFP.

First assailant entered press-tobacco shop, attacking a man (63), and his wife, both injured, then he left his knife there and headed to a boucher’s shop, where he jumped over the desk to get a bigger knife before killing a client (55); he fled after, and started to search for new victims in the empty streets. Further he injured one more pedestrian (59) next to the supermarket, and a man (44), who opened window shutters. A man (63) and his wife (63), who were walking along the street were next victims of the attack.

Counterterrorism prosecutors have initiated a probe into “murder linked to a terrorist enterprise.”
David Olivier Reverdy, from the National Police Alliance union, said the assailant had called on the police to kill him when they came to arrest him.
He was found on his knees on the pavement praying in Arabic,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

President Emmanuel Macron has called it “an odious act“.

The national anti-terrorist prosecutor’s office said that the preliminary investigation has “brought to light a determined, murderous course likely to seriously disturb public order through intimidation or terror.”
France is currently on lockdown as it battles the coronavirus pandemic. People are allowed to go grocery shopping but are encouraged to stay at least two meters (six feet) from others.

Tanzania repatriates 200th Burundians

Tanzania intends to deport up to 200,000 refugees from Burundi in coming months. Burundi agreed to the plan, but the UN’s refugee agency has objected, insisting on voluntary, but not forced returns.

Nearly 600 Burundian refugees were repatriated on October 3. They make up the first large group as part of a mass repatriation operation that began this week.

Nestor Bimenyimana, Burundi’s general manager for repatriation, said the refugees are returning voluntarily because the country’s security and political conditions have improved dramatically, less than a year before the country’s May 2020 presidential election.

The speaker for the Burundian Ministry of Public Security explained that only those Burundians denied asylum would be repatriated. His assistant said that some 15,000 such people are currently residing in Tanzania despite not having UNHCR refugee status: “Tanzania asked for the repatriation, and ministers from both countries agreed to register those individuals and repatriate them to Burundi. These are not Burundian refugees in Tanzania, but simply Burundians. They never had UNHCR refugee status, and they will be returned to Burundi.”

https://twitter.com/msf/status/1061720721150349312?s=21

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