Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for October 16, 2022

Newsline: Vietnam embassy warns of workers trapped in Africa

The Vietnam Embassy in Angola has advised Vietnamese to research carefully before going to Africa for work, following multiple reports of workers who could not leave. The embassy said it had received multiple requests for help from Vietnamese citizens being trapped in certain African countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia. (https://e.vnexpress.net/news/news/reports-of-vietnamese-workers-trapped-in-africa-embassy-4522898.html) The workers said they were in tough circumstances. Some said they were persuaded to come for construction work, with accommodations and meals covered, and a monthly salary of $1,500-3,000. But in fact, they were forced to work at casinos or karaoke parlors, had their passports seized by employers, or had their salaries delayed or reduced. Some were told to owe $8,000 of living costs and travel costs to Africa, and they would have to pay this money back if they want to return to Vietnam, or they would be reported to authorities. Many workers could not speak local languages, making it difficult for them to contact authorities for help. The embassy said it is trying to deploy citizen protection measures for the workers.

Newsline: Zambian Embassy in Berlin warns against online scams

The Zambian Embassy in Berlin, Germany has expressed concern over the high number of Zambians being swindled by online scammers purporting to be Polish based motor vehicle and tractor dealers. Charge d’ Affaires at the Zambian Embassy in Germany, Dorcas Chileshe has cautioned Zambians wishing to purchase motor vehicles and tractors online from Poland to verify the authenticity of the companies they are dealing with before making payments. “Scammers usually purport to be selling tractors and motor vehicles in excellent condition at very low prices to attract unsuspecting buyers,” she said. (https://www.lusakatimes.com/2022/10/13/high-numbers-of-online-car-dealers-scams-worry-zambian-embassy-in-berlin-germany/) Ms Chileshe has since encouraged Zambians to conduct due diligence on the companies they deal with and seek guidance from the Zambian Embassy in Germany or the Consulate in Poland, as the Zambian Embassy in Berlin covers Poland as a country of Extra accreditation.

Newsline: Australia’s former prime minister may become next ambassador to the United States

In the growing speculation around who will be Australia’s next ambassador to Washington, DC, one name keeps coming up: Kevin Rudd. The former prime minister is the lead name in speculation on who will become the next US ambassador, with support from key American foreign policy figures. The Saturday Paper understands the federal government has made no formal decision about who will replace incumbent Arthur Sinodinos – a former senator and chief of staff to prime minister John Howard – when his term expires in February. (https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2022/10/15/kevin-rudd-shortlist-become-next-ambassador-the-united-states#mtr) But Rudd is in the mix. If the list contains more than one name, his is high up. On qualifications alone, it is not clear whose would be higher.