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24 Hours Across Africa

Trump mistakenly reveals immigration plan

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Source: BBC

US President Donald Trump has inadvertently revealed some details of his immigration deal with Mexico.

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He refused to discuss the plans with reporters, saying they were “secret”.

But he said this while waving around a sheet of paper that had the specifics of the deal written on it – which was then photographed by news media.

It described a plan to designate Mexico a “safe third country”, among other plans that had already been revealed by Mexico’s foreign minister on Monday.

If Mexico were to be a safe third country, migrants’ asylum applications would be processed there rather than in the US.

It also contained references to a regional asylum plan, which would involve several Latin American countries processing migrants’ asylum claims in order to stave off US tariffs, and to “45 days”.

What has Mexico said about the deal?

Mr Ebrard said that Mexico had 45 days to show it was able to stem the flow of US-bound migrants by strengthening its southern border.

It is now deploying 6,000 National Guard personnel to the border with Guatemala.

“You go to the south and the first thing you ask yourself is, ‘Right, where’s the border?’ There’s nothing,” he said on Tuesday. “The idea is to make the south like the north as far as possible.”

If this plan fails, the foreign minister said, Mexico has agreed to be designated a safe third country – something that has been demanded by the US before, but has long been rejected by Mexico.

Mr Ebrard earlier said the US had been insistent on this measure, and that they had wanted this to be implemented straight.

But he said: “We told them – I think it was the most important achievement of the negotiations – ‘let’s set a time period to see if what Mexico is proposing will work, and if not, we’ll sit down and see what additional measures [are needed]’.”

“They wanted something else totally different to be signed. But that is what there is here. There is no other thing,” he said.

If Mexico fails to curb migration in 45 days, other countries will be drawn into the matter.

Discussions would take place with Brazil, Panama and Guatemala – the countries currently used by migrants as transit points – to see if they could share the burden of processing asylum claims.

Mr Ebrard also said US negotiators had wanted Mexico to commit to “zero migrants” crossing its territory, but that was “mission impossible”.


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24 Hours Across Africa

Rwanda ban Burundi,s music star ahead of annual festival

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Burundian musician Jean Pierre Nimbona, popularly known as Kidum, has told the BBC he is confused by Rwanda’s decision to ban him from playing at the upcoming Kigali Jazz Fusion festival.

Kidum is one of Burundi’s biggest music stars and has performed in Rwanda for the past 16 years.

But a police official phoned the musician’s manager to warn that he would only be allowed to make private visits to Rwanda.

“[My manager was told] Kidum is not supposed to perform, tell him to leave. If he comes for private visits fine, but no performances,” the musician told BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme.

The mayor of Rwanda’s capital said that in this instance permission had not been sought from the authorities for him to perform at the festival in Kigali.

Kidum was a leading peace activist during Burundi’s civil war between 1993 and 2003 and used his songs to call for reconciliation.

The 44-year-old musician said he had never had problems with Rwandan authorities until recently when three of his shows were cancelled at the last minute – including one in December 2018.

That month Burundi had banned Meddy, a musician who is half-Burundian, half-Rwandan, from performing in the main city of Bujumbura.

Kidum said he was unsure if the diplomatic tensions between Burundi and Rwanda had influenced his ban.

“I don’t know, I don’t have any evidence about that. And if there was politics, I’m not a player in politics, I’m just a freelance musician based in Nairobi,” he said.

He said he would not challenge the ban: “There’s nothing I can do, I just wait until maybe the decision is changed some day.

“It’s similar to a family house and you are denied entry… so you just have to wait maybe until the head of the family decides otherwise.”

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24 Hours Across Africa

Zimbawe’s doctor goes missing after masterminding strike

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Fearless Zimbabwe’s minister of health has called on the government to address insecurity lapses that has lead to the disappearance Peter Magombeyi, the head of a doctor’s union, who disappeared on Saturday.

Fears are rising over the fate of Zimbabwe medical doctor Dr Peter Magombeyi after he sent a message to say he had been abducted in that country by unknown persons – apparently for demanding a “living wage”.

An AFP report earlier on Sunday quoted the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctor’s Association (ZHDA) as saying Magombeyi had not been heard from since he sent a WhatsApp message on Saturday night saying he had been “kidnapped by three men”.

Zimbabwe doctors, who earn a miserly equivalent of about R3 000 are on strike to press for better wages, equipment and medicines in state hospitals.

The ZHDA has reportedly accused state security forces of abducting the doctor because of his role in organising work stoppages.

This week some doctors said the death of deposed Robert Mugabe, 95, in a Singapore hospital on 6 September was an indication of how bad health services in Zimbabwe

“Dr Magombeyi’s crime is only to ask for a living wage for his profession. This is a reflection of the troubles born out of refusal to implement Political Reforms.”

The Zimbabwe government led by Emmerson Mnangagwa has not publicly commented on the doctor’s disappearance

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