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34 declared wanted over attempted coup in Sierra Leone

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34 declared wanted over attempted coup in Sierra Leone
The police in Sierra Leone, on Tuesday, declared 34 persons wanted in connection with last Sunday’s apparent attempted coup.

The 34 persons whose pictures were released by the Sierra Leone police are wanted for questioning over their roles in the attempted coup that started with an attack on the armoury at the Wilberforce Barracks in Freetown.

The 34 wanted persons include military officers and civilians including two females.

The attempted coup was the second in the country, following a disputed presidential election that returned incumbent President, Julius Mada Bio, to power for a second term in office.

The first attempted coup happened about three months ago following a disputed presidential election in June.

Eight countries in West and Central Africa are under military rule after a series of coups, including Guinea.

However, the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, and regional block, Economic Community of West African States have released statements strongly condemning Sunday’s violence.

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UK Foreign Workers, Students decline by 30%

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The number of foreign workers and students moving to the United Kingdom has plummeted by nearly 30 per cent this year, according to new figures released by the Home Office.

The drop, from 121,000 to 85,200 in the first five months of 2024, aligns with both the Conservative and Labour Parties’ promises to reduce net migration.

This is the most significant decrease since the pandemic, with skilled workers, students, and health and care visa holders constituting the majority of migration to the UK. Last year, the three categories, along with their dependants, collectively received 1.13 million visas.

The figures indicated a significant drop in visa applications across various categories, including a 25.4 per cent overall decrease in visas for foreign workers, students, and their dependants.

The number of dependants brought in by students fell by nearly 80 per cent, while health and care worker visa applications decreased by 75.6 per cent.

The Telegraph of UK reports that the decline was largely attributed to measures implemented by the government, including restrictions on foreign workers and students bringing dependants, increased salary thresholds for skilled workers, and curbs on the shortage of occupation visa schemes.

According to the data, net migration stands at 685,000 for the year ending December 2023, down from a record high of 764,000 in the previous year.

The Conservative government’s objective was to decrease immigration by 300,000, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pledging to “halve” migration and continue decreasing it annually if his party is re-elected.

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Labour’s manifesto also pledged to reduce net migration, although the party has not specified a target or timeline. The party proposed to link training to immigration, requiring sectors applying for foreign worker visas to first train British citizens.

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Home Secretary James Cleverly took to his X handle to attribute the decline to his actions, stating, “I took action to drive down legal migration.

“Data released this week show visa applications have dropped 30 percent amongst key routes. Labour opposed these actions at every opportunity. If you want to reduce migration, vote Conservative on 4th July.”

The Migration Advisory Committee chairman, Prof Brian Bell, said the Prime Minister has a “fighting chance” of reducing net migration to pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year.

This development comes ahead of the July 4 election, with immigration policy playing a crucial role in the campaigns of both major political parties.

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UK court jails man for removing condom without lady’s consent

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The convict, Guy Mukendi

A United Kingdom, UK court on Thursday jailed a man for removing without consent a condom that he was wearing during sex, in what London’s Metropolitan Police called a “milestone” legal case.

Guy Mukendi, 39, of South London, was sentenced to four years and three months in prison after being convicted in April, the London force said.

He had been arrested in May last year following a report of sexual assault made by a young woman in Brixton, south London.

The Met, as the capital’s police force is known, said the woman had consented to have sex with Mukendi on condition that a condom was used.

But during sex, he removed the condom without the victim’s knowledge.

Non-consensual condom removal — sometimes referred to as “stealthing” — is classified as rape in England and Wales.

The Met said such prosecutions are “very rare” due to under-reporting but that they are dedicated to pursuing “justice” for victims.

“This milestone case comes as the Met continues its pledge to be more suspect-focused in their approach to crimes that disproportionately affect women and girls,” the force said in a statement detailing the prosecution.

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Mukendi was found guilty on April 2 at Inner London Crown Court and was sentenced at the same court on Thursday.

“Throughout this investigation, Mukendi denied any wrongdoing — but our officers built a compelling case against him to leave no doubt in the jury’s mind,” said Detective Constable Jack Earl, who led the investigation.

“We were dedicated to securing justice for the victim and will continue to raise awareness that this crime is a form of rape.”

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AFP

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Wreckage of missing Malawi VP’s plane found with no survivor ⁠- Military

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Malawi's Vice President, Saulos Chilima,

Malawian searchers have found the wreckage of a plane that was carrying Vice President Saulos Chilima, a military source said Tuesday, a day after the aircraft went missing in bad weather.

The military plane carrying Chilima, 51, and nine others disappeared on Monday after it failed to land in the northern city of Mzuzu due to poor visibility and was told to return to the capital, Lilongwe and there was no survivor in the wreckage.

Photographs shared with AFP by a member of the military rescue team showed army personnel standing on a foggy slope near debris bearing the registration number of the Malawi Army Air Wing Dornier 228-202K aircraft.

President Lazarus Chakwera was due to address the nation. It was not immediately clear if there were any survivors.

Rescuers had been combing a fog-cloaked forest south of Mzuzu on Tuesday, after authorities located the last tower it transmitted to before the plane disappeared.

Earlier, army commander General Paul Valentino Phiri said other countries, including Malawi’s neighbours, had been aiding the search effort, with support including helicopters and drones.

The group departed just after 9:00 am (0700 GMT) from Lilongwe on Monday to attend the funeral of a former cabinet minister some 370 kilometres (230 miles) away in Mzuzu.

Malawi’s former first lady Shanil Dzimbiri was also on board.

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First elected vice president in 2014, the charismatic yet stern-talking Chilima is a widely loved figure in Malawi, particularly among young people.

But in 2022, during his second stint in the job, Chilima was stripped of his powers after being arrested and charged with graft over a bribery scandal involving a British-Malawian businessman.

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Last month, a Malawian court dropped the charges and he resumed his official duties.

AFP

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