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Russia University Introduces Yoruba Language & Others

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Last Updated on July 18, 2023 by Fellow Press

Russia university introduces Yoruba language,others to curb international isolation

Article Summary
Russia will start teaching three major African languages at Lomonosov Moscow State University

The languages will help forge closer ties with the continent.

These are Swahili, Amharic and Yoruba
Starting this year, the Russian government will begin teaching three major African languages in a few Moscow schools as part of efforts to strengthen links with the continent.

This is coming in light of the growing international isolation Russia is experiencing as a result of the invasion of Ukraine.

According to Alexei Maslow, director of the Institute of Asian and African Studies at Lomonosov Moscow State University, the languages will be taught in four yet-to-be-disclosed schools starting in September 2023. The languages include Swahili, which is widely spoken in Eastern Africa, Amharic, and Yoruba, which are spoken in Nigeria and neighbouring countries.

The Russian news source Sputnik reported last week that the African languages will be taught as a part of a special program of the IAAS-MSU and is intended to assist create deeper links with the continent.

The announcement was made at a Sputnik international roundtable on Russia-Africa relations that was attended by academics from universities in the two countries and focused on “prospects for economic cooperation. If implemented, the decision will make Russia the first nation in Europe to offer African language instruction in public schools.

What they said
This news brought excitement in some circles in both Russia and Africa, with the Russian embassy in Uganda happily tweeting the news.

“Starting this September, students from four schools in Moscow will begin learning African languages – Swahili, Amharic and Yoruba”, it announced.

“An abrupt turn to Africa requires a completely different type of specialists who could work directly with the economy and with modern political and economic elites, and most importantly, would realise that Africa is not just one big continent, but, a patchwork of diverse national, ethnic, religious and linguistic traditions,” Maslov said at the event.

“An abrupt turn to Africa requires a completely different type of specialist”

The selection of the languages
One of the most widely used languages in Africa, Swahili, also known as Kiswahili, is spoken largely in the East African nations of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The language is spoken by more than 200 million people. It is the official tongue of Kenya and Tanzania, and the African Union has adopted it as their common language.

Yoruba, on the other hand, is primarily spoken in Nigeria, Benin, and Togo in West Africa, where over 50 million people do. Over 50 million people speak Amharic in the nations of Ethiopia and Eritrea.

According to the Study in Russia organization Racus, over 100,000 African students have expressed interest in studying there, and about 30,000 of them are currently enrolled in Russian universities. In recent years, the nation has increased its recruitment efforts, utilizing affordability and quality as the selling point. Russia gets $110m yearly as tuition from 22,000 African students.

The cooperation between Russia and Africa in the field of education is even said to be “at a traditionally high level,” according to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who also noted that 5,000 of the 27,000 African students studying there are being supported by his government through scholarships.

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Emmanuel Macron announces dissolution of National Assembly

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Last Updated on June 10, 2024 by Fellow Press

French President Emmanuel Macron has announced the dissolution of the National Assembly, following defeat of his party in 2024 European Parliament (EP) elections, according to local media report.

“I have decided to give you back the choice of your parliamentary future through the vote. I am therefore dissolving the National Assembly,” Macron said in a short speech.

“This is a serious, weighty decision. But it is above all an act of trust,” he added.

He added that the elections to the National Assembly are to take place in two rounds on June 30 and July 7.
Macron’s Renaissance party gained 15.2 per cent of the votes in 2024 European Parliament elections, far behind far-right National Rally who received 31.8 per cent.

“The unprecedented gap between the presidential majority and the leading opposition party reflects a stinging disavowal and rejection of the policies led by Emmanuel Macron,” RN President Jordan Bardella said after the EP elections results were unveiled, quoted by local media.

“We’re ready for it. I call on French people to join us in forming around the RN a majority in the service of the only cause that guides our steps: France.” parliamentary party leader of RN, Marine Le Pen, said Sunday evening on social media platform X.

The EP elections were held from June 6 to June 9, with voters of the 27 EU member states selecting 720 lawmakers to the 10th EP.

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UN adds Israel to blacklist

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Last Updated on June 10, 2024 by Fellow Press

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has added Israel’s military to a global list of offenders that have committed violations against children, his spokesman confirmed on Friday.

Israel had been told it is being placed on the list in the secretary-general’s annual report on children in armed conflict, to be sent to the UN Security Council next Friday, Stephane Dujarric told a press briefing.

Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad were also added to the list, according to a diplomatic source, along with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

Dujarric added that the Israeli UN mission was called by Guterres’ chief of staff on Friday, a courtesy afforded to countries that are newly listed. “It is done to give those countries a heads-up and avoid leaks,” he said.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan recorded a video of himself making a phone call from his office, apparently to a UN official, and leaked part of it on social media.

In the video, Erdan expressed outrage at the UN decision, calling the IDF “the most moral army in the world.”

“The only one who is blacklisted today is the secretary-general, whose decisions since the war started, and even before, are rewarding terrorists and incentivizing them to use children for terror acts… Shame on him!”

Dujarric said it was “shocking and unacceptable” that Erdan had apparently published the private call, saying it was “something he had never seen in my 24 years serving this organization.”

Israel’s inclusion on the list comes after eight months of war in Gaza, in which more than 15,500 children have been killed, according to the Ministry of Health in the enclave.

The war was sparked by a Hamas-led assault on Israel on October 7, which killed 1,200 people and saw some 250 others taken hostage. Many are still in captivity and Hamas’ top leadership is still at large despite the Israeli onslaught.

The UN’s so-called blacklist has previously included countries such as Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian envoy to the UN, said the decision to add Israel to the list “will not bring back tens of thousands of our children who were killed by Israel over decades and will not restore normal life for the children who were permanently disabled by its actions.”

“But it is an important step in the right direction towards ending the double standards and the culture of impunity Israel has enjoyed for far too long and that left our children vulnerable to its consequences.”

The annual report will go to the Security Council on June 14. The official report will be published on June 18. It will be discussed at a debate in the council on June 26.

Asked about ramifications, the UN spokesman said it will be up to the members to decide any action.

The war has seen Israel-UN relations reach historic lows with Israeli diplomats using their platforms at the UN to denounce the world body.

Israel’s quarrel with the UN has gone beyond the secretary-general. Israeli officials have also criticized the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), the World Health Organization, UN Women, and the UN’s Special Rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territories Francesca Albanese.

Meanwhile, dozens of UN staffers have been killed in Gaza since the conflict began, the largest loss in the world body’s history.

Israel has long accused UNRWA of anti-Israeli incitement, which UNRWA has repeatedly denied, and in 2017, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought to dismantle the UN body, saying it should be merged with the main UN refugee agency.

Since the October 7 attack, Israeli journalists and news outlets have refocused their attention on UNRWA and have amplified stories questioning its role in the war.

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