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Would Return, Readmission, Reintegration Programmes in Africa Work?

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Within the framework of the AU-EU Continent-to-Continent Migration and Mobility Dialogue, the African Union Commission and European Union Commission, in partnership with the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) conducted a study on Return, Readmission and Reintegration programs in Africa.

The study includes nine country briefs of selected African Union Members States, which were devel¬oped in close cooperation with respectively nominated focal points, and benefitted from country-level and regional workshops held with key stakeholders.

The Study on Return, Readmission and Reintegration programmes in Africa (RRR) was launched by H.E. Commissioner Amira Elfadil, The Commissioner for Health Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development, H.E. Commissioner Ylva Johannson, The European Commissioner for Home Affairs, and Mr. Michael Spindelegger, the Director General of ICMPD.

The study proposed a definition for effective and sustainable reintegration and identified 5 key messages to achieve sustainable reintegration of migrants in Africa.

During the Launch of the Study H.E. Commissioner Amira Elfadil reiterated that an increased ownership and knowledge on reintegration by countries of origin are central factors to build and strengthen AU Member States responsibility in this field.

Commissioner Amira noted that reintegration programmes need to be more connected to national and local development plans, and the involvement of private sector, local and international, should be redefined and optimized.

“AU Member States and all stakeholders are invited to adopt out-of-the-box and flexible approaches to reintegration, in order to harness long-term added value impact on the life of returnees and the return communities and achieve impetus on socio-economic sustainability,” concluded the Commissioner.

H.E. Commissioner Johannson emphasized the necessary linkage between reintegration and development programmes.

She outlined an example of a Tunisian couple who returned recently to Tunisia stating that the goal of the EU Strategy on voluntary return and reintegration is to improve the quality of support to people who choose to return.

“The only way to prove returns work, is by designing effective policies on return, readmission and reintegration, and the report presented today, is an important contribution, to that goal,” concluded Commissioner Johannson.

Michael Spindelegger, the Director General of ICMPD mentioned that despite the general perception that views on return, readmission and reintegration diverge a lot between the African and European partners, the study shows that the reality is quite different and there is a lot of common ground on which future policy and programming can build upon.

ICMPD Director General assured his full commitment to supporting the partners in Africa to translate the recommendations of the study into concrete and tangible actions.

Member states present during the meeting shared their experience and the ongoing programmes on reintegration of returned migrants.

Adapted from African Union Commission

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Uganda-DRC Special Forces Search Bombed ADF Areas

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Reports emerging from neighbouring DRC indicate that Congolese and Uganda military special forces have moved in to conduct search and area control operations to clean up and secure positions of ADF bombed by first series of strikes.

According to the Congolese army FARDC the Ugandan artillery and aerial bombardment has been very useful for the Congolese to close in on the ADF rebels bases located in Kambi ya Juwa, in the northern axis of the Operational Sector Sukola I Grand Nord.

The FARDC Special Forces, supported by the Ugandan Special Units, have started long-range strikes since yesterday.”

Major General Léon Richard Kasonga, spokesman for the Congolese army has promised that the results of this operation will be made public in the hours that follow.

The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) have been living in DRC since 1995. They are opposed to the Ugandan government under President Yoweri Museveni and this rebel outfit declared its allegiance to ISIS and has since been listed as a terrorist organization by the US government.

On Tuesday members of the Congolese national assembly unanimously voted to support joint Uganda-DRC operations to be more effective in tracking down the ADF, because, according to them, “before the state of siege is equal to during the state of siege”. It was during the plenary session authorizing the 13th extension of the state of siege in the provinces of Ituri and North Kivu.

Out of 287 deputies present at this plenary session, 283 voted in favor of this new extension.

The government is thus authorized to continue military peacemaking operations with a new approach.

In order to allow the state of siege to quickly restore peace in Ituri and North Kivu, the deputies supported, during the debate, the pooling of the Ugandan-DRC armed forces to hunt down the ADF and other negative forces. Nevertheless, they demand results on the ground.

Hunt for ADF Moves To Beni

Taarifa has also established from reliable ground sources that the Congolese military and its Ugandan allies are pooling up in Beni to begin a protracted hunt for the ADF rebels.

In the early hours of Wednesday, a dozen Jungle Battalion vehicles (according to a military source) entered the city.

Experts say that this may take longer as the rebels are well versed with these Jungles.

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President Kagame Opens AU Civil Aviation Plenary

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President Paul Kagame has just opened the 33rd Plenary session of the African Civil Aviation Commission convened at Kigali Convention Centre.

The gathering attended by delegates from the 55 African Union member states kicked off Wednesday and will conclude on December 3rd with recommendations.

The devastating effects of Covid-19 pandemic forced to ground most of the continent’s airlines but customers have turned to private aviation to fill the gaps.

However, there are many challenges to private aviation companies in Africa. Permit sourcing, money movement, maintenance resources, sourcing reliable and current information, access to reliable ground handling, services and catering and fuel price instability can cause issues for clients when traveling. These and more are some of the issues expected to be tackled during this gathering.

After the progress made in the last 12 months, it’s important that companies in Africa have a plan to maintain momentum to ensure the industry reaches its full potential post-pandemic.

In Africa the pandemic has had a positive effect on business aviation as governments, legislators, regulators, the business community, and even the commercial airlines have realized the real value and benefits of business aviation in terms of efficiency, convenience, and flexibility.

Throughout the ongoing pandemic business aviation in Africa has supported cargo flights, medevacs, repatriations, diplomatic flights, as well as moving crew and technical teams around, and more recently reintroduced international business flights.

Business aviation is a small but essential transport pillar in Africa, supporting a basic level of mobility and stability.

African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) is a specialized agency of the African Union responsible for Civil Aviation matters in Africa.

With its headquarters in Dakar, Senegal AFCAC’s purpose is to develop and regulate civil aviation in Africa.

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EAC ‘Tembea Nyumbani’ Campaign to Stimulate intra-regional Travel

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Tembea Nyumbani’, is a new campaign deal propped up by the East African Community aimed at promoting national and regional tourism products and services.

The campaign is set to run for three weeks, from 1st December, 2021. It is part of implementation of the EAC Tourism Marketing Strategy and EAC Recovery Plan supported by German Development Agency, GIZ.

According to architects of this campaign, it seeks to entice East Africans to travel in their specific countries and around the region, in an effort to revive domestic and regional tourism across the region, amid the pandemic.

EAC Secretary General Dr. Peter Mathuki has urged tourism private sector players to extend affordable packages to East Africans so as to entice them into taking advantage of the holiday offers available during the upcoming festive season.

“With preferential entry fees and rates now extended to EAC citizens, it is timely for East Africans to explore the diverse cultures, take on adventure safaris and visit exotic beaches among other opportunities the region has to offer,” he said.

Tourism contributes significantly to the economies of EAC Partner States and pre-pandemic, contributed 10% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 17% export earnings and 7% in jobs creation.

The COVID-19 pandemic saw the sector affected negatively with international tourism arrivals in East Africa dropping by about 67.7%, to an estimated 2.25 million arrivals in 2020 compared to 6.98 million in 2019.

The Tembea Nyumbani campaign is being undertaken by the EAC in collaboration with the East African Tourism Platform that represents the tourism businesses across the region.

Through the campaign, hoteliers and other tourism service providers are being encouraged to promote affordable packages to the EAC citizens.

Jean Baptiste Havugimana EAC Director in charge of Productive Sectors said, “The Sectoral Council on Tourism and Wildlife Management during their Extra-ordinary meeting held on 15th July 2021 recommended that the Secretariat to convene a multisectoral meeting comprising key sectors such as Tourism and Wildlife, Immigration and Security to develop a framework for introduction of the Single Tourist Visa by all the Partner States.”

Havugimana noted that the meeting will be convened early 2022, adding that once fully adopted the Visa will ease travel by foreign tourists across the entire region.

Simon Kiarie EAC Principal Tourism Officer noted that the region will be able to receive about 4 million tourists in 2022, “The tourism sector’s recovery has been on an upward trajectory and we expect that by the year 2024, we will receive about 7 million tourists compared to 2.25 million tourists recorded in 2020.“

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