Alika Ogorchukwu was killed in Italy

Hundreds of people, mostly of Nigerian origin, took to the streets last Saturday over the murder of a street vendor in the central Italian city of Civitanova Marche. The killing was captured on a phone camera, but no one intervened to stop the death of Alika Ogorchukwu. The footage shows Filippo Ferlazzo using Ogorchukwu’s crutch to strike him down.

Ogorchukwu lost his job as a labourer after being hit by a car and needed a crutch afterwards. He was selling handkerchiefs for a euro when he was attacked. Ferlazzo’s lawyer explained, “What triggered the attack was that the beggar tugged at the arm of his partner. He says he attacked the peddler when his partner was taken by the arm, he claims that he wanted to make him understand that we do not behave like this, to teach him a lesson.”

Civitanova Marche’s mayor Fabrizio Ciarapica said, “My condemnation is not only for the crime, but it is also for the indifference.” But Ciarapica is part of the right wing collation of Forza Italia, the League and the fascist Brothers of Italy that governs the region.

It was the site of a 2018 Nazi shooting spree targeting African immigrants that wounded six people. The leader of Brothers of Italy has argued for deporting Nigerians to make room for Ukrainians. The virulent anti-immigration rhetoric poisoning Italian politics lay behind Ogorchukwu’s murder. The run up to elections in September is likely to see that rhetoric increase.

United Nations troops shoot protesters in the Democratic Republic of Congo

United Nations (UN) “peacekeepers” shot down protesters last week in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Protesters barricaded roads with burning car tyres, hurled stones and petrol bombs, and looted UN offices in the cities of Goma and Butembo. They were angry at the failure to offer any protection from armed groupings or provide basic supplies to people.

In response UN forces shot at demonstrators, killing at least 16 and wounding dozens. The United Nations Organization Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, known as Monusco has been in the country for over 20 years. It has 16,000 troops in DRC but has brought no peace of stability.

The protesters carried placards with slogans such as, “Bye bye Monusco” and “Monusco must leave now”. Deep poverty and brutal wars over valuable minerals have torn DRC apart. Behind them lie the pressures from multinationals, Western countries and neighbouring states seeking to loot resources.

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