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World Tour: Sanctions lifted in Niger


WORLD Radio - World Tour: Sanctions lifted in Niger

Plus, protests against a migrant deal in Albania, doctors strike in South Korea, and Afghanistan releases an Austrian prisoner in Qatar

Omar Touray, president of the ECOWAS Commission, left and Ivory Coast President, Alassane Ouattara at the ECOWAS meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, Saturday Associated Press/Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan

NICK EICHER, HOST: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: WORLD Tour with our reporter in Africa, Onize Ohikere.

Niger sanctions lifted — Today’s roundup starts in Niger where regional authorities have lifted some of the sanctions that followed a military coup last year.

The Economic Community of West African States—or ECOWAS—said the lifted sanctions include a no-fly zone, border closures, and frozen assets.

Omar Alieu Touray is the ECOWAS Commission president.

TOURAY: This decision is based on humanitarian considerations, especially as we are in the month of Lent and as we prepare for the holy month of Ramadan.

Nigerien military officers deposed President Mohamed Bazoum last July. He is still imprisoned in the presidential palace in the capital city of Niamey.

Abdoul Aziz Issoufou is a salesman in Niamey.

ISSOUFOU: [Speaking Hausa]

He says here that the lifted sanctions are a cause for celebration since supplies would flow back into the country and people could eat.

AUDIO: [Protesters]

Albania-Italy deal — We head over to Albania where activists and opposition lawmakers opposed a controversial migrant deal with Italy.

A majority of Albanian lawmakers approved the deal that will see the country host two holding centers for migrants rescued in Italian waters.

One camp would screen migrants on arrival while the second would detain them while their asylum requests are processed. The migrants would then either be allowed into Italy or sent back to their countries.

Arilda Lleshi is an Albanian activist.

LLESHI: [Speaking Albanian]

She says here that evidence from other countries shows that the processing centers would increase crime in the area.

Opposition lawmakers blew whistles in protest during the vote. Albania’s Constitutional Court upheld the deal last month.

AUDIO: [Chanting protesters]

South Korean doctors strike — In South Korea, senior doctors have turned out in solidarity with junior doctors, who are protesting the government’s plan to increase medical school admissions.

Thousands of medical interns and residents have walked off their jobs, triggering delays in surgeries and other medical procedures.

Authorities have said the increase in medical students will help with the country’s rapidly aging population. but doctors have argued that authorities need to prioritize working conditions and pay.

Kim Seong-Geun is vice president of the Seoul branch of the Korean Medical Association.

SEONG-GEUN: [Speaking Korean]

He says here that authorities need to change the system and not rely on more doctors to graduate.

The government set a Thursday deadline for the doctors to return to work, or face the consequences.

HERBERT FRITZ: I am happy to be here and I also thank Qatar.

Afghanistan releases Austrian — We close today in Qatar where officials welcomed an 84-year-old far-right Austrian, arrested in Afghanistan more than nine months ago.

Herbert Fritz was a founding member of Austria’s National Democratic Party, a far-right group banned in 1988.

Austrian media said he had traveled to Afghanistan to prove the country was safe. Taliban authorities arrested him on allegations of spying after he published an article lauding the Taliban-ruled country as safe enough to visit.

Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal is the Austrian government spokesman.

LAUNSKY-TIEFFENTHAL: We would like to express our gratitude to the state of Qatar, to his highness the Emir, his excellency the prime minister and state minister (Mohammed bin Abdulaziz) Al-Khulaifi for their strong support that made the return of Mr Fritz possible, the return to his daughters and his grandchildren.

That’s it for today’s WORLD Tour. Reporting for WORLD, I’m Onize Ohikere in Abuja, Nigeria.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.


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