G4NP Around the Globe - Zooming in on Action Against Hunger        

Every dollar and minute count to further your cause and focus on your mission. We’re pleased to highlight nonprofits who were able to make greater impact with fewer resources by using Google tools—from G Suite to Google Ad Grants–made available through Google for Nonprofits (G4NP) at no charge.

Varying in size, scope, and timezones, these nonprofits from around the world share one thing in common: utilizing the G4NP suite of tools to help their specific needs. G4NP offers nonprofit organizations across 50 countries access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Ad Grants and more at no cost. This week, we’ll take a look at how the nonprofit Action Against Hunger utilizes these tools to increase productivity, visibility, and donations,  in order to improve lives in  the communities they serve.

Action Against Hunger

In 2016 alone, Action Against Hunger provided nourishment to over 1.5 million starving children(1). In order to save lives with nutritional programs, Action Against Hunger looked to Google for aid—not for food, but for technology. Action Against Hunger now utilizes five Google technologies that have drastically improved their ability to save lives around the globe.

Raising Awareness with Google Ad Grants & Analytics

For major international emergencies, like the Ebola outbreak or the South Sudan famine, Action Against Hunger needs a way to inform people and recommend ways to get involved. With Ad Grants, the nonprofit activates targeted keywords relating to the crises to drive people to their page and empower them to take action. Google Analytics then allows them to track their effectiveness and adjust accordingly to increase engagement and improve their fundraising techniques. With this data-driven strategy and the tools’ ability to optimize campaigns, Action Against Hunger has nearly doubled funding year-over-year. In fact, Ad Grants brought 158,000 people to their website in the past year alone, raising $66,000 which is equal to treating 1,466 hungry children.

Ad Grants brought 158,000 people to their website in the past year alone, raising $66,000 which is equal to treating 1,466 hungry children.

Increasing Productivity with G Suite

When working with a global network and managing hundreds of programs abroad, collaboration and communication are key. After experiencing unnecessary latencies in their operations, Action Against Hunger has since adopted G Suite which streamlined their workflow. The nonprofit is especially fond of Gmail, Hangouts, and Drive where Action Against Hunger employees can message each other quickly, share files securely, and collaborate on Docs in real-time—avoiding duplication of efforts and saving time.

Fundraising with One Today & YouTube

To drive donations and expand awareness to broad audiences, Action Against Hunger uses One Today, a Google app that allows users to easily donate $1 or more towards causes they care about. Campaigning on One Today on World Food Day in 2016,  Action Against Hunger raised more than $1,200 in support of their cause with each dollar going directly helping those in need. Additionally, Action Against Hunger creates and shares content on YouTube to reach their global audience, and is  beginning to use the YouTube donation cards to further increase donations. The large exposure and website referrals from both YouTube and Google+ helped Action Against Hunger raise over $20,000.

Using Google products Action Against Hunger gained extra time and energy to focus on what really matters: feeding the hungry.

To read more about Action Against Hunger’s story and learn how they used Google tools so effectively, visit our Google for Nonprofits Community Stories page. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more inspirational stories about nonprofits using technology to help their cause.

To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours free access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.

Footnote:  Statements are provided by Nonprofits that received products as part of the Google for Nonprofits program, which offers products at no charge to qualified nonprofits.



          Unlocking G Suite for Nonprofits: Improve internal workflow and communication        

Whether you have a team of five or 500 a seamless, collaborative workflow is critical in the digital age. Our goal is to make sure that your nonprofit is able to focus on changing the world by using technology to save time -- not waste it. In the digital age though, information sharing can often be complex; your team might not work in the same office, or even the same timezone. Some team members might be in an office with computer access, while others are in the field on mobile devices. Who from your team should be able to access confidential documents?

This brings us to a key question: How do you empower team members to work together towards a common goal, and use technology to enable it?

Great question. We’d like to introduce you to G Suite - (formerly  Google Apps for Work ). G Suite aims to help teams work together in real-time -- no matter where they are in the world.

Today, we’re spotlighting a few nonprofits to share how their teams  are using Google tools and apps to improve workflow and internal communication.

Mercy Beyond Borders - Internal Communication with Sheets & Sites

Mercy Beyond Borders (MBB) is a U.S. nonprofit that aims to forge opportunities for women and girls in extreme poverty to learn, connect, and lead. Utilizing a small office in the U.S. as home base, MBB targets rural areas in Haiti and South Sudan. In both of these areas, cultural norms and poverty prohibit full participation of women. In fact, these areas offer minimal education and opportunities for employment, which often  impedes the development of leadership skills or positions. Mercy Beyond Borders focuses its programs on providing trainings, scholarships, leadership camps, and business loans for women.

To achieve their mission, Mercy Beyond Borders faces the challenge of balancing US-based operations with field work in remote areas like South Sudan and Haiti. Their nonprofit partners range from large organizations to local schools to individuals. So how does Mercy Beyond Borders ensure that all staff, vendors, and partners stay connected and working together in sync?
MBB-trained nurse in South-Sudan village
MBB-trained nurse in South Sudan village. Photo credit: Mercy Beyond Borders

Mercy Beyond Border began using G Suite to streamline its workflow, connecting their team across the globe. Using G Suite, MBB’s team is able to access, share, and collaborate together in real-time. Take a glimpse into how they do it:

  • Track Finances: MBB manages their overseas program budget expenditures in Google Sheets. Using this tool, the domestic office tracks monthly vendor payments in Haiti. This enables the staff to wire more money as needed in order to ensure program success. Additionally, using Sheets enables the team to provide transparency in the organization, clarifying spending and creating a simple overview of total annual expenses. This standardized and collaborative approach to data enables better efficiency and communication between domestic and international offices.

  • Store images: Mercy Beyond Borders regularly takes photos in the field to keep the domestic office up to date on progress and communicate stories to their donors. The team overseas is able to upload the pictures to Google Drive, which allows them to share or retrieve the images at any time.

  • Share Information: It’s imperative that MBB shares frequent updates with the Board of Directors, highlighting current developments, areas for growth, and new opportunities. To keep the Board of Directors apprised of progress, the team created a MBB Board website with Google Sites as a way to provide updates outside of meetings. The site functions as a central hub, where the Board can find all relevant information and resources at their discretion. The website is organized in subsections including internal updates from the Executive Director, background articles on country conditions and descriptions of new partnerships. To take it one step further, MBB also added a comment section for board members to engage in open communication.

“It [G Suite] helps to better connect, engage, and keep Board members up-to-date in between meetings, or  if they are unable to make a meeting (in which case they can view the Meeting Archives page),” said Adrienne Perez.


MyFace - Increasing productivity and improving internal workflow by remote access

Established in 1951, MyFace was founded to address the medical, surgical and psychological needs of those living with facial deformities. The organization offers access to care and treatments --- regardless of the severity of the anomaly, the length of treatment, or the family’s ability to afford care. In America alone, 1 in 650 children is born with an facial cleft. Every year, MyFace helps more than 1,000 patients seek treatment. Of this population, 85% are children, 70% live in poverty, and 95% require long-term care. The costs involved in this are high and verges on insurmountable for low income families. With this in mind, MyFace ensures that all children receive highest quality interdisciplinary and comprehensive reconstructive care by doctors who provide their services pro bono.

As a small nonprofit (their staff of eight including their therapy dog, Bentley), employees are required to perform a variety of different tasks. On any given day, team members might be responsible for website design, grant proposal writing, and marketing strategy. And oftentimes, what one employee starts today is  picked up by another employee tomorrow. Because it’s often all-hands-on-deck, collaboration is particularly key for MyFace.

Our mission of changing faces and transforming lives can be fulfilled with the help of technology from G4NP Carolyn Spector Executive Director MyFace

To address their challenge, MyFace began using Google Drive to centrally store, access, and share information from anywhere at anytime. Drive helped decrease the amount of time that MyFace spends on administrative tasks, like sending documents back and forth or working with out-of-date data or information. Drive’s tools like Docs and Sheets enable the team to collaborate both in and out of office.

MyFace also deals with an overwhelming amount of data and information. The team needs this data to not only be easy to store, retrieve, and share — it needs to be secure, since it contains confidential and personal patient information. G Suite offers that as well, ensuring that all information is kept private and secure. (Want to know more about G Suite security and how safe they really are? Read more about it here).

“Our mission of changing faces and transforming lives can be fulfilled with the help of technology from G4NP because it offers invaluable resources to nonprofits of any size at no cost,” stated Carolyn Spector, Executive Director of MyFace.

MyFace Staff photo
MyFace team. Photo credit: MyFace

Having global teams of different sizes with varying access to technology can make timely communication difficult, if not impossible. While nonprofits like Mercy Beyond Borders and myFace strive to accomplish unique missions, both organizations are passionate about changing the world. And about using the right technology to help. Utilizing tools like G Suite has been key for nonprofits like these in order to improve internal workflow and communications. For Mercy and my Face, making information shared, up-to-date, and secure has been crucial for navigating the Technology Age.

Interested in learning more about the tools available to your nonprofit? Check out our website to see how G4NP can help your nonprofit with real-time, up-to-date communication and data sharing.

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To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours free access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.

Footnote:  Statements are provided by Nonprofits that received free products as part of the Google for Nonprofits program, which offers free products to qualified nonprofits.


          World: FPMA Bulletin #7, 10 August 2017        
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Country: Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Brazil, Burundi, Cambodia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Mexico, Moldova, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Peru, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Uganda, Ukraine, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam, World, Zambia

Key messages

  • International prices of wheat rose further in July on quality concerns, particularly for higher protein wheat, although upward pressure was limited by prospects of ample global supplies. Export prices of maize remained generally unchanged, while a slowdown in demand capped gains in rice quotations.
  • In East Africa, prices of cereals in most countries declined signi cantly for the second consecutive month in July with the new harvests, but remained generally higher than a year earlier. However, in Ethiopia, prices of maize surged further and reached record levels, underpinned by uncertain prospects for the 2017 crops.
  • In the CIS, prices of staple potatoes declined sharply from the record or near-record highs of June in most countries of the subregion with the beginning of the new harvest. Prices, however, remained higher than in July last year after the sharp increases of the past months.

          Yemen: East Africa Key Message Update, August 2017        
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
Country: Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen

Major food security Emergencies continue across the region due to conflict, drought

Key Messages

  • A major food security Emergency is expected to continue into early 2018 in the Somali Region of Ethiopia, following a severe drought over the past year. Large food consumption gaps among worst-affected households, in combination with serious outbreaks of Acute Watery Diarrhea and measles are contributing to atypically high levels of acute malnutrition. Given the severity of current and projected food security outcomes, the resumption of large-scale assistance is critically needed to prevent worst-affected pastoral areas from moving into Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5).

  • Poor households in the Hiraan, Bakool, Gedo, Lower Shabelle, and Middle Shabelle agropastoral areas of central and southern Somalia are likely to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) through 2017 with the greatest food insecurity expected after September, when households exhaust food stocks. In the event that there is a significant interruption to current food assistance programs and higher prices further reduce household food access, Famine (IPC Phase 5) is possible.

  • A large-scale food security Emergency continues across South Sudan, with over half of the total population in need of humanitarian assistance. An estimated 10,000 people on isolated islands in the White Nile River, between Leer and Jonglei, remain of greatest concern. Recent field assessments have confirmed that some island locations remain inaccessible to humanitarian actors and it is expected populations on these islands lack access to emergency assistance. It is feared outcomes may be worse among these populations and some households could be in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5).

  • In Yemen, large populations continue to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity, with outcomes likely most severe among the nearly 2 million IDPs. Yemen continues to face a risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) in a worst-case scenario in which imports through Al Hudaydah and Salif ports and internal trade are significantly disrupted, and humanitarian assistance fails to reach populations most in need. Appropriate response is also needed to address a major, ongoing cholera outbreak and mitigate the risk of increased acute malnutrition and mortality, particularly among populations facing both food consumption gaps and cholera.


          World: Food Assistance Outlook Brief, August 2017        
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
Country: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

This brief summarizes FEWS NET’s most forward-looking analysis of projected emergency food assistance needs in FEWS NET coverage countries. The projected size of each country’s acutely food insecure population is compared to last year and the recent five-year average. Countries where external emergency food assistance needs are anticipated are identified. Projected lean season months highlighted in red indicate either an early start or an extension to the typical lean season. Additional information is provided for countries with large food insecure populations, an expectation of high severity, or where other key issues warrant additional discussion.


          World: Humanitarian Coordinator Information Products, 31 July 2017        
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Country: Afghanistan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Ukraine, World, Yemen


          Yemen: Security Council Presidential Statement Urges Greater Humanitarian Access to Famine-Threatened Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria (Presidential Statement S/PRST/2017/14)        
Source: UN Security Council
Country: Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen

SC/12946

SECURITY COUNCIL
8020TH MEETING (AM)

Calling upon all parties in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and north-east Nigeria to urgently take steps that would enable a more effective humanitarian response, the Security Council today expressed its grave concern about the unprecedented level of global humanitarian needs and the threat of famine currently facing more than 20 million people in those countries.

Issuing presidential statement S/PRST/2017/14, the Security Council deplored that in conflict-affected Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and north-east Nigeria, certain parties had failed to ensure unfettered and sustained access for deliveries of vital food assistance, as well as other forms of humanitarian aid.

By the text, the Council reiterated its call on all parties to allow safe, timely and unhindered access to all areas and to facilitate entry for essential imports of food, fuel and medical supplies into each country and their distribution throughout. The Council further urged all parties to protect civilian infrastructure, which was critical to the delivery of humanitarian aid in the affected countries.

Stressing the need to enhance longer-term recovery and resilience of conflict-affected countries, the Council emphasized with deep concern that ongoing conflict and violence had devastating humanitarian consequences and hindered an effective humanitarian response, and were, therefore, a major cause of famine.

The Security Council noted with appreciation the Secretary-General’s leadership in the efforts to respond to the humanitarian crises in the four countries and asked him to continue to provide information on the humanitarian situation and response, including on the risk of famine. He was also asked to give an oral briefing in October on country-specific impediments to an effective response and to make specific recommendations on how to address those obstacles to enable a more robust short- and long-term response.

The meeting began at 10:03 a.m. and ended at 10:04 a.m.

Presidential Statement

The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2017/14 reads as follows:

“The Security Council expresses its grave concern about the unprecedented level of global humanitarian needs and the threat of famine presently facing more than 20 million people in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and north-east Nigeria, and notes with appreciation the Secretary-General’s leadership in the efforts to respond.

“The Security Council notes the devastating impact on civilians of ongoing armed conflict and violence. The Security Council also emphasizes with deep concern that ongoing conflicts and violence have devastating humanitarian consequences and hinder an effective humanitarian response in the short, medium and long term and are therefore a major cause of famine in the situations above. In this regard, the Security Council also notes the links between food scarcity and increased vulnerability of women, children and persons with disabilities.

“The Security Council reiterates its commitment to work with the Secretary-General to pursue all possible avenues to end conflicts, including through addressing their underlying root causes in an inclusive and sustainable manner.

“The Security Council stresses that responding effectively to these crises requires respect for international humanitarian law by all parties.

“The Security Council underlines the obligations of all parties to armed conflict to respect and protect civilians. The Security Council encourages those with influence over parties to armed conflict to remind the latter of their obligation to comply with international humanitarian law.

“The Security Council further underlines the need to ensure the security of humanitarian operations and personnel in conflict-affected countries. The Security Council calls on all parties to respect and protect medical facilities and personnel and their means of transport and equipment.

“The Security Council deplores that in the conflict-affected Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and north-east Nigeria, certain parties have failed to ensure unfettered and sustained access for deliveries of vital food assistance, as well as other forms of humanitarian aid. The Security Council reiterates its calls on all parties to allow the safe, timely and unhindered access for humanitarian assistance to all areas and to facilitate access for essential imports of food, fuel and medical supplies into each country, and their distribution throughout. The Security Council further urges all parties to protect civilian infrastructure which is critical to the delivery of humanitarian aid in the affected countries.

“The Security Council calls upon all parties in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and north-east Nigeria to urgently take steps that would enable a more effective humanitarian response.

“The Security Council commends efforts by international donors to provide humanitarian assistance in response to these four crises. The Security Council calls for the immediate disbursement of the funds already pledged to Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and north-east Nigeria at successive international conferences, including those held in Oslo, Geneva and London, if possible in the form of multi-year and unearmarked funding. The Security Council calls on Member States to provide additional resources and funding to pull people back from the brink of famine.

“The Security Council stresses the need to enhance longer-term recovery and resilience of conflict-affected countries.

“The Security Council requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide information on the humanitarian situation and response, including on the risk of famine, in the conflict-affected Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and north-east Nigeria, as part of his regular comprehensive reporting.

“In light of the unprecedented threat of famine in conflict-affected Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and north-east Nigeria, the Security Council further requests the Secretary-General to provide an oral briefing, during the month of October 2017, on country-specific impediments to an effective response to the risk of famine in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and north-east Nigeria and make specific recommendations on how to address these impediments, in order to enable a more robust short- and long-term response in the four countries. The Security Council welcomes the Secretary-General’s letters on the risk of famine in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and north-east Nigeria of 21 February and 27 June 2017 and in this regard requests the Secretary-General to provide early warning when a conflict having devastating humanitarian consequences and hindering an effective humanitarian response risks leading to an outbreak of famine.

“The Security Council expresses its readiness to continue to support the Secretary-General’s call to action to avert famine in conflict-affected countries and commits to engage constructively on the Secretary-General’s specific recommendations.”


          South Sudan: South Sudan Refugees Statistics as of 31 July 2017        
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Country: Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan


          World: Dorcas: Annual Report 2016        
Source: Dorcas Aid International
Country: Ethiopia, Greece, Kenya, Lebanon, Moldova, Romania, Somalia, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine, World

Highlights
- A new story: We worked on a new story for Dorcas in 2016, with various departments and stakeholders giving their input.
- Strategic plan: We prepared for our new strategic plan (2017-2021) through a focused process of completing a SWOT analysis. The key element of the new strategic plan is to expand inclusive community development in all of our projects. In addition, we are seeking to build a Dorcas “community” in The Netherlands. During an intensive process, which included a SWOT analysis, we prepared ourselves for a new strategic plan for the period 2017 to 2021. Our plan is to develop our work further in inclusive community development. Furthermore, we are building a Dorcas community in the Netherlands.
- Influencing Policy: In 2016 we had a number of productive meetings with members of the Dutch House of Representatives. To support that we showed the film Face Down that concerns the conflict in Eastern Ukraine and which we made at the start of 2016.
- Visits to Field Project: Two groups visited Dorcas projects in 2016, one to Moldova with 23 sponsors visiting their grannies and children and the other group to Romania.
- New Dorcas shops: The Dorcas shops in the Netherlands are doing well. Four new Dorcas shops were opened in 2016. A total of 2,000 volunteers share the work to operate these shops.
- Dorcas Academy: In 2016 we prepared for establishing the Dorcas Academy, through which we will invest in our staff’s knowledge and skill level. Preparations were made in 2016 for setting up the Dorcas Academy, through which we will be investing in the knowledge and skills of our co-workers.


          Ending the South Sudan Civil War: A Conversation with Kate Almquist Knopf        

          Ending War in South Sudan: A New Approach        
Sarah Collman is a research associate in the Ce

          Nyamal Koang: “Under this Nip tree I will build a library”        
August 8, 2017 This is a story of a South Sudanese woman whose dedication to educate children remained a conviction throughout. She is setting up a library for the South Sudanese refugee in Gambella, Western Ethiopia.  Are you an observer of the law? The law in the universe that says the more you give the...
          KEEPING IT REAL ABOUT SOUTH SUDAN        
  By: Justin Ambago Ramba .   August 8, 2017, For all practical purposes, the issues of war and Peace in South Sudan only came to take a foreign policy priority position when the USA administration under William F Clinton, found itself face to face with what became known in the West as the new wave...
          Back to full scale of civil war S. Sudan opposition forces warn civilians within military barracks        
August 8, 2017 (JUBA) – A senior rebel commander allied to South Sudan’s armed opposition leader and former First-Vice President Riek Machar has urged civilians living within military barracks to relocate.Lt. Gen. James Koang Chuol, in Unity state 25 February, 2013 (ST)Lt. Gen James Koang Chuol, the rebels’ deputy chief of staff for administration and...
          North Korea Condemns Latest Sanctions        
Chinese and North Korean foreign ministers meet at an Asia-Pacific summit in Manila, where the US Secretary of State is seeking support for greater isolation of North Korea. Also in the programme: government troops in South Sudan take control of rebel HQ, and the Russian athletes competing as "authorised neutrals" at the World Championships in London. Photo: North Korea launches an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile in August 2017; Credit: KCNA via AFP
          Short Form        

    Day = s/m/t/we/th/f/sa
    Date= 8/7/9
    Month = jan/feb/mar/apr/mar/jun/jul
    Year = 99/98/00/01
    National Police
    K.P.S.=KOSOVO Police Station
    L.P.= Local Police
    P.S.N- 4 = police station n 4
    K.P.S.n 2= KOSOVO Police station n 2
    L.N.P.S.= Liberian National Police station
    P.P.S. =Pristina Police Station
    E.T.P.S= East Timor Police service/Station
    H.N.P.S.= Haitian National Police service/Station
    S.P.S = Sudan Police Station
    SNPS= Sudan National Police Station/service
    TLNOC= Timor leste Netional Operation center
    PNTL= Timor Leste National Police
    F-FDTL= Timor Liste Defense Force
    Inter National Police
    UNP.S.N.4 = UNPOL Station n 4
    CIV.S.N.  2 = CIVPOL Station n 2
    UNL.S.N.5 = UNMIL Station  n 5
    I PS.= International police Service
    IPTF= International Police Task Force
    UNMISS = United Nation Mission in south Sudan
    PKF= Peace Keeping Force
    Kfor-  Kosovo force
    UNMISET = United National Mission of support in     East Timor
    UNMIK= United National Mission in Kosovo
    UNAMID = United National African Mission in     Darfur
    Wit- witness
    Vic - victim
    Mal - male
    Fem – female
    Ano-Caller- Anonymous Caller (अज्ञात कलर)
    Rec - received
    Dis- dispatched
    Inf- inforemed
    Arr - arrived
    St- street
    GR -
    GN -
    GC -
    Color
    Bla/whi/gra/tan/gre/yel/mar/blu
d.o. – duty officer
s.c. – station commander
i.o – investigation officer
p.t – patrol team
t.l. team leader
p.u. – patrol unit
c. pol. – chief of police
f.b. – fire brigade
b.u. – back up unit
r.c. – regional commander
u.a.  un advisor
r.t. – rescue team
p.v. – patrol vehicle
p.c. – patrol car
c. s. – call sign
c.t. – cordon team
re.t. –reserve team
se. c. - section commander
d.c.p – deputy chief of police
q.r.t. – quick response team
imm - immediately
sud - suddenly
hrs - hours
amb - ambulance
veh - vehicle
pol . c – police commissioner
res – responded
Att – attended
B d t – bomb disposal team


          South Sudan begin first World Cup qualifying campaign with draw        
South Sudan earned a draw in their World Cup qualifying debut, holding Mauritania 1-1 on Thursday, a day after the game began and was then abandoned because of heavy rain. The score was unchanged from when it was stopped after 10 minutes of play on Wednesday at the National Stadium. Boubacar Bagili had scored in the third minute for Mauritania. Dominic Abui Pretino equalised with South Sudan's first goal in World Cup qualifying, giving the world's newest nation hope ahead of the return leg in Mauritania...
          World Breastfeeding Week Highlights Plight Of South Sudan's Mothers        
Seven month-old Alex and his mom Rose fled South Sudan for Uganda.

World Breastfeeding Week 2017 has come to a close. This year, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action is focusing on four key areas that influence women's ability to breastfeed.

They are:

  • Environment and climate change
  • Nutrition, food security and poverty reduction
  • Women's productivity and employment
  • Survival, health and wellbeing

Looking at those bullet points, I know that there is still so much work to be done. For women in some of the world's poorest places, all of these areas are working against, not for them.

Perhaps one of the toughest places to be a mother is South Sudan, where violence and drought have combined to create one of the most serious humanitarian crises of our time. Half of South Sudan's population, six million people, are at risk of starvation. Two million people are internally displaced, and another almost two million are seeking refuge and food in other countries.

Onesta, from South Sudan, breastfeeds her two month-old daughter Diana in a sweltering refugee tent.

A desperate journey

As we observed World Breastfeeding Week, mothers and children in South Sudan made the journey towards safe haven across the border into neighbouring Uganda. Many trekked for days and weeks through scorched bush in 40-degree heat. Children and mothers foraged wild fruits and filled punctured water containers at scarce wells and contaminated water sources.

Along the journey, there is no place to sleep, no ability to bring treasured or even practical belongings, no assurance that they will reach their destination.

For those who successfully cross the border into Uganda, there will finally be relief, safety and community. But even there, rations will be just enough to feed their bellies. The humanitarian community and the Ugandan government are struggling to be able to meet the basic needs of nearly a million South Sudanese who have fled conflict and famine.

At 86 per cent, women and children far outweigh male arrivals. Many husbands, fathers and brothers stay behind to fight on both sides, or, in so many cases, have already perished in the conflict. The women and young girls are especially vulnerable to attack along the way, and must often find hiding places in order to sleep.

A baby girl looks over a woman's shoulder

Seeing the situation firsthand

Recently, my World Vision colleague Kristy Allen-Shirley travelled to Bidibidi refugee camp in Uganda, the largest refugee settlement in the world. It's a place that didn't exist nine months ago, but now is overflowing with those fleeing famine and violence. Kristy writes:

The mothers I met in the camp in Uganda, some only hours after arriving in "reception centres" set up to process, assess and assist refugees, are visibly exhausted, patiently awaiting a first hot meal of cornmeal and beans to share with their hungry children.

The line for the meal is long, sometimes taking seven hours to feed the new arrivals. Everywhere, babies wail, nuzzling at their mum's breast for any milk.

Lilian, 27, whose husband and three-year-old child died, is now struggling to feed two-month-old Jonathan. She tells me, "there is no milk coming." Her body is so starved of nutrition that it cannot produce milk. Lilian dips her little finger into the bean gravy and little Jonathan draws on it frantically.

For mothers like Lilian, assistance is already in motion. Once she has registered in the centre, aid agencies collectively ensure each family is given emergency accommodation, food, water and specialist support.

Within a few days she will be allocated her own plot with tent, items such as a mosquito net, solar-powered lamp, tools and food. It is the start of a new kind of journey and one where the future is far from certain, but whilst in the settlement, safety is mostly assured.

Lilian is counting her blessings. She worries for the many others back home: "There are many more coming here," she says.

More than 2,000 people are arriving each day, careening towards a total refugee population of one million.

"Whatever you have, that is what we need," she says, "For now, I just want my baby to be safe."

Help is needed

A recent World Vision report revealed that 81 per cent of South Sudanese moms in Uganda exclusively breastfeed their babies for the first six months. That's compared to 26 per cent in Canada!

After surviving the difficult journey to safety, moms like Lilian have a deep commitment to helping their children survive, no matter what it takes. There is no money to buy formula, and without the usual agricultural tasks moms would have had at home in South Sudan, they spend their time on their kids. That includes breastfeeding whenever baby is hungry.

But Lilian first needs the right food to help feed baby Jonathan. With mom's nutrition levels rising, her milk production will be able to get back to normal.

Jonathan shares his mom's meal of beans and rice.

World Vision is working in Uganda's biggest refugee settlements, already assisting more than 600,000 people like Lilian and Jonathan with food, child protection, water and sanitation and relief items. Will you consider donating to help families like these in the world's most vulnerable places? For a mom and her breastfeeding baby, it could be the lifeline they need.

With files from Kristy Allen-Shirley


          Economic and Geo-Political Prognosis for 2015        

Paper No. 5856                                 Dated 12-Jan-2015

Guest Column by Dr. Rajesh Tembarai Krishnamachari and Srividya Kannan Ramachandran

Abstract:

The re-moderation of the world economy set in place over the past few years continues apace. Notwithstanding some lasting damage on the supply side through the 2008 recessionary trough, our outlook for 2015 is bullish weighing more on optimistic data trends than on continued negative sentiment proffered from some analyst quarters.

Around the world in 80 (or more) words:

Treating the ten-year US Treasury bond yield as a proxy indicator for that nation's nominal GDP growth, we anticipate United States to grow around 3% next year.[1] While this does not mark a return to the buoyant 90s, it is better than the secular stagnation hypothesized earlier in 2014.[2] With US acting as an engine to spur growth, the world economy should also expand by more than 3%.[3] Stability across the world will be maintained – as sparks without a concomitant fury will characterize both overt (e.g. Russia-West over Ukraine) and covert (e.g. China-Japan over Senkaku) animosities.[4] European stagnation from debt and unemployment will be counterbalanced through quantitative easing by the European Central Bank.[5] Similar action in Japan will display the limits of Abe-nomics.[6] China will prepare for a structural slowdown emphasizing domestic consumption and de-leveraging an over-heated financial sector; all the while growing at a 7% rate that will amaze rivals around the world.[7] Indian reform, even if inadequate, will boost the middle classes and reinforce confidence in the Modi government.[8] African countries will find their commodity boom dissipate and ease of borrowing decline as commodity prices fall and yields rise in the developed world.[9]

Continental tectonics:

a. North America:

Economic benefits arising from the exploitation of shale gas have not only silenced the anti-fracking environmentalists, they have altered the strategic world-view of Washington politicians.[10] As US aims to overtake even Saudi Arabia in oil/NGL production in 2015 (and the Saudis pull out all stops in preventing it by driving crude prices down), it has markedly reduced its role as a global policeman.[11] Its own economy is on the mend even as a lame-duck president will be boggled down with partisan grid-lock. Markets will fret about the mid-year (or earlier?) hike in interest rates; though Main Street - aided by a strong dollar - will likely shrug it off with a continued upward movement across different sectors.[12]

Mexico and Canada will benefit from their tight coupling with the United States.[13] Enrique Pena Nieto will claim credit for reforming the Mexican economy – across sectors as diverse as energy and telecom.[14] Pemex, dear to the Mexicans, will face some competition, though nothing remotely similar to the American acquisition of Tim Hortons – dear to the Canadians – will happen.[15] Up north, the Canadian elections in 2015 will reveal whether the country has reverted to its liberal propensities or sticks with Harper's conservative agenda.[16]

b. Latin and South America:

The outlook is disappointing across much of the region. Run-away inflation hammers Argentina and Venezuela; milder ill-effects bedevil Brazil, Bolivia and Uruguay.[17] The Maduro regime in Venezuela and the Kirchner government in Argentina continue to flirt with disaster as their GDP growths slip and mass discontent builds up.[18] Dilma Rousseff has stabilized her position electorally, though her policies continue to disappoint investors and have the potential to reignite sudden protests like the 2013 bus-fare protests.[19] Dependence on commodity exports in a time of declining prices does not portend well for any of the South American states, including Brazil.[20] On a positive note, Cuba – already expected by analysts to grow by close to 4% next year – will see a boost to its fortunes accruing from a thaw in relations with US under Obama.[21]

c. Africa:

African nations had a great run in the past few years. This arose not only from the boom in commodity prices but also from the need for yield amongst DM (developed market) investors resulting in investment in both corporate and public African bonds.[22] In 2015, these factors could dissipate which will place pressure on countries like Angola where household spending has risen more than 4000% since the start of the millennium.[23] Ethiopia and Kenya are expected to continue on a robust growth path.[24] Contradictions abound within Africa, and nowhere are they more visible than in Nigeria. While the northern part struggles under the oppression of Boko Haram, the southern part booms under Goodluck Jonathan's president-ship.[25] In neighboring South Sudan, one is reminded of the risk-reward payoff as the nation widely tipped to experience spectacular growth in 2014, got mired in conflict, with the consequent dissipation of growth potential.[26]

American intervention in Libya undermined the Gaddafi-imposed order and has led to a civil war between the Islamist and secularist factions which will hold back that nation in the coming year.[27] A more benign intervention was that of the French in Mali in 2013; we expect more calls for Hollande's assistance in 2015.[28] El Sisi has stabilized Egypt after the Muslim Brotherhood interlude in the post-Mubarak era. Though more brutal than Mubarak, the El Sisi regime is being propped by both the Americans and Saudis, leading us to expect the recent bull run in Egyptian markets to continue.[29] ANC rule in South Africa continues unimpeded. Though atrophied by many scandals, the rule should produce close to 3% growth in the coming year.[30]

d. Middle East:

The region continues to be a cesspool of ethno-sectarian rivalries as the century-old Sykes-Pikot agreement unravels.[31] Recep Erdogan has stabilized Turkey and should reap a growth on par with other emerging economies.[32] Erdogan's external actions driven by AKP's crypto-desire to establish a caliphate will see him prop the Islamic State (IS) just so that it can damage Shia and Kurdish interests; but not enough to threaten his own Sunni hegemonic plans.[33] The Saudi establishment has focused on the removal of the Muslim brotherhood threat; now they will focus on limiting Shia Iranian influence by keeping crude prices low.[34] Western companies made a beeline to Iran in 2014 in hope of an impending thaw; much will depend on the negotiation ability of the Rouhani establishment on the sanction front.[35] Dubai and Israel remain insulated from the turmoil around and could reap the benefit of the uptick in the world economy.[36] The risk of sudden flare-ups like the 2014 Gaza war continue to remain on the Israeli radar.

e. Asia and Australia:

The Asian political scene is remarkably stable with China, Japan and India looking inward to stabilize their economies under the leadership of Xi Jinping, Shinzo Abe and Narendra Modi, respectively. Some events have gone unnoticed by world media – for example, China starts the year of the goat as the world's largest economy when measured in PPP terms and for the first time ever, Chinese outbound investments could exceed those inbound.[37] The establishment of China on the world stage has made Xi stronger than any Chinese leader in recent memory bar Chairman Mao himself. The Abe regime will continue on its reformist route of bringing Japan out of the deflationary zone, while winking at nationalist sentiment calling for a re-interpretation of the country's post-war pacifist role.[38] Down south in India, Modi has surprised both supporters and detractors alike by his middle-path approach to reforming the economy and his zealous interest in foreign policy. While reforming cautiously, he has not removed the populist schemes of the previous government. 2015 will see him act unimpeded by local elections (other than in Bihar) and will prove to be a litmus test of his claims of good governance.[39]

Afghanistan under Ashraf Ghani will face more trouble from Taliban as US adopts the Pakistani classification into good versus bad Taliban.[40] In nearby Pakistan, the wildly popular Imran Khan - with some help, perhaps, from the deep state – will challenge the established parties in their home turfs.[41] In Indonesia, Jake Widodo has come to power with Imran Khan-type support amongst the youth, and he will be hard-pressed to implement his reformist agenda – including reducing fuel subsidies – amidst persistent opposition from entrenched interests.[42] ASEAN will continue to slip on its stated intentions for closer cooperation.[43] Australia will try to balance its strategic partnership with the United States with economic dalliances with the Chinese.[44]

f. Europe and Russia:

Vladimir Putin will be emboldened by the short-term rise in domestic popularity; and hence ignore the longer-term implications of his intervention in Ukraine.[45] Tighter coupling with Kazakhstan and Belarus will not prevent what is likely to be a low-growth and high-inflation year for the Russians.[46] Europe as a whole continues to underperform, and it will be most visible in France and Italy both of whom might record less than 1% growth in GDP. With the Trierweller-Gayet saga behind his back, Francois Hollande will attempt to rein in a deficit running at close to 4% of GDP. Even with help from ECB's quantitative easing program, there is little expectation that Hollande can avoid being the most unpopular leader amongst all western democracies.[47] In Italy, high debt and unemployment – exemplified by the statistic of four-fifths of Italians between the ages of 20-31 living with parents – will hamper any efforts Matteo Renzi might take to pull the economy out of its doldrums.[48]

The Greeks might look forward to a better year, especially when juxtaposed against their recent past. On the back of painful reforms, the Greek economy is widely anticipated to commence its long journey back to health, though there might be recurrent political scares and recalcitrant rumors of a Greek exit.[49] The German government will be buffeted by opposing demands – external calls for a more interventionist role in stabilizing the world economy and internal ones for tempering the same. Cautious progress on the fiscal front will lead to modest GDP growth.[50] Ironically, the European nations with best GDP growth projections are also the ones with the highest exposure to Putin's misadventures, viz. Poland, Latvia and Lithuania.[51]

Sectors and segments:

Having dropped significantly in the past few months, the level of oil prices affects the prospects for many industry sectors in 2015.  Oil is typically expected to revert to the mean because a lower oil price has discernible impact on both supply (by discouraging investment in its production and distribution) and demand (by boosting economic activity) sides.[52] The speed of such mean-reversion remains unclear. Russia, Iran and US shale producers (esp. those who are not based at strategic locations) suffer disproportionally more than the Saudi establishment at current price levels.[53] Lower oil prices will provide a fillip to consumer discretionary industries and airlines; and have an adverse impact on railroad (benefiting from oil transportation) and petrochemical companies. The shale gas boom - apart from increasing housing activity - is also the prime driver behind growth in the US steel and construction material sectors; consequently both the steel and construction sectors will remain susceptible to crude movements.[54]

Low interest rates and low macro-growth prospects will induce companies with excess cash to acquire other companies to report earnings growth. That trend will be apparent in companies transacting in sectors as diverse as healthcare, industrials, semiconductors, software and materials.[55] On another side of investment banks, trading desks will see higher market volatility as major powers pursue divergent paths to monetary policy (e.g. US against EU/Japan).[56] In US, regulatory obligations increasing cost of capital for holding certain securities might lead to decreased broker liquidity.[57] 2015 shall see the big banks grapple with the regulations in Basel III and Volcker; one expects regulatory push towards vanilla deposit-taking and lending to continue.[58] Analysts will hope that stronger balance sheets coupled with a return to profitability lead to increased dividend payout for investors in financial stocks. China will seek to tame its overheated financial sector amidst a structural slowdown[59], and India will see RBI governor Raghuram Rajan continue his battle against political interference in corporate lending.[60] Wealth management services will perform remarkably well not only in China, but also to a lesser extent in US as a rising market creates wealth and a retiring baby-boomer crowd seeks to couple low risk with acceptable return.[61] In the arena of mobile payment, Apple Pay will try to avoid the lackluster performance of earlier attempts like Google Wallet.[62]

Lower gasoline prices and an accompanying increase in disposable income (through wealth creation at the markets, increased home values, reduced unemployment and improved economic activity) creates a positive outlook for the consumer discretionary sector. Companies dealing with organic farming benefit from increased health consciousness; the market for yoga will continue to rise as 2014 saw the UN declare a world yoga day on Modi's initiative.[63] Even as DVDs and Blue-rays fall, digital film subscriptions and on-demand internet steaming will rise to please Hollywood.[64] Bollywood will get over its obsession with INR 100 crore revenues as movies will cross that level more frequently.[65]  With supply level of hotels remaining the same as few years back, revenue per room will rise across the sector.[66] Tighter access to credit continues to hamper the rise in existing house sales, which nevertheless should improve over the past year.[67] Asian apparel manufacturers continue to improve their market share in the fast fashion market.[68]  October 2015 will see Europeans benefit from the eCall service in all their new cars, which allows a car to immediately report details to the base-stations on any accident. New carbon-emission standards also come into force in Europe; even elsewhere the move towards higher efficiency in cars will continue.[69] Widodo will be pleased at the growth in automobile sales in Indonesia, which should exceed those of other major markets.[70] Internet advertising is rising faster than television commercials, though 2015 will still see the latter dominate the former in overall revenue generated.[71] Privacy concerns continue to erode on the social media front.[72] The newspaper industry will see increased number of advertorials re-packaged as "native advertising" by which companies will pay for advertisements to be written as paid newspaper article.[73]

In India, the BJP government is yet to clarify its position on foreign direct investment in retail.[74] Irrespective of its final decision, retail sales should surge sharply upward there as the consummation of pent-up demand of past few years couples with the thriving of 'mall culture' in middle-tier cities. China will also see an increase in retail sales inspite of its investigation in to WalMart.[75] The anti-corruption campaign though will negatively impact luxury good sales as well as those of higher-end automobiles there[76]. A strong dollar will affect US companies with significant operations abroad. Wheat production might match 2014 record volumes in Europe[77]; though more newsprint will probably be devoted to higher prices of cocoa from Ivory Coast.[78] Idiosyncrasies of local markets will shine as Dubai invests in large-scale brick and mortal malls, while Manhattan gets more of its groceries delivered at home steps.[79]

Demand for energy should rise at the same pace as the world GDP next year. Analysts will point at attractive valuations of oil companies.[80] If shale price remains attractive, Sabine Pass in Louisiana will emerge as the first plant in US to export LNG.[81] Four years after the Fukushima incident, Japan will see nuclear reactors back in operation at Sendai.[82]

2014 saw the denizens of the developed world fret about Ebola, breast cancer (through a campaign by actor Angelina Jolie) and ALS (through the ice bucket challenge).[83] Overall, health spending will comfortably outpace the rate of growth of the overall economy. Long-term secular trends driving this are the aging population in the western world (with the population pyramid replaced by a population dome) and an emerging middle class elsewhere with increasing demand for improved access to healthcare.[84] Universal healthcare has been promised for all in India, which should drive up healthcare expenditure by a significant amount there.[85] In 2015, large US companies are mandated under Obama-care to provide insurance to more than 70% of their eligible workforce.[86] Uncertainty on US healthcare reform and debate thereon may cause short-term price volatility. Millennial Development Goals will reviewed by the UN later in the year with a new set of goalposts announced for countries to be met by 2030; different NGOs will campaign vigorously through media to get their pet agendas included in the final list.[87]

Transportation companies will report higher earnings from increased economic activity.[88] Apart from some airlines which have suffered reputation damage through recurring accidents, airline companies will benefit from the reduced oil prices. Defense industry will see robust growth in China, as "Chi-America" remains no more a chimera.[89] Alarmed by this increase, Vietnam with Philippines will move within the US ambit and Australia will seek to join the tripartite naval exercises in the Indian Ocean between US, Japan and India.[90] Tensions in Eastern Europe and the middle-east will favor increases in expenditure across the region. The nationalist government in India will increase defense expenditure sharply even as it moves beyond lip-service on the long-standing issue of indigenization of defense manufacturing.[91]

The mantra of social-local-mobile (SoLoMo in tech jargon) continues to drive the consumer markets division of information technology companies.[92] Expenditure on IT hardware is significantly retarded by the increasing move to cloud computing.[93] The move to cloud computing - along with increasing use of mobile commerce - bodes well for the computer security business.[94] India should see a sharp increase in smart phone adoption; elsewhere tablet computers will rise against laptop and desktops.[95] Embedded systems coupled with rudimentary networking will be marketed as an all-encompassing internet of things as the era of big data continues.[96]  Today, a single family in US places more demands on data flow than the entire planet did a decade back; and even this data rate is expected to increase by a whopping 70% over the next year. Consolidation in the cable sector (e.g Comcast with Time Warner Cable) and the convergence of content with distribution (e.g. AT&T with DirectTV) are two trends that should continue on from 2014.[97] Even as Indians will talk about 3G coverage spanning the nation; Americans will tweet about 4G price warfare and the Chinese will see ZTE unveil a 5G prototype.[98] Facebook will have more users than China has human beings.[99] Analysts will harp about impact of interest-rate hikes on high dividend paying telecom stocks.[100] Apart from the financial industry, telecom will emerge as an industry most impacted by federal regulation across the globe.

The anthropologist Edward Weyer once compared the future to being akin to a "corridor into which we can see only through the light coming from behind".  It is in that sense that we have analyzed the data of the bygone year and tried to extrapolate into the days and months ahead. And when some are falsified - and falsified, some will be - then we shall lay credit for the same at the feet of those responsible - viz. us, the people.

[The authors are based in New York City, and can be contacted through email at tkrajesh@gmail.com and srivi019@gmail.com. The views represented above are personal and do not in any manner reflect those of the institutions affiliated with the authors.]

References


[1] See the graph titled "10 year bond yield: annual change and real GDP: annual % change" at http://www.swcollege.com/bef/econ_data/bond_yield/bond_yield_data.html.

[2] "Secular stagnation: facts, causes and cures", a VoxEU eBook at  http://www.voxeu.org/sites/default/files/Vox_secular_stagnation.pdf.

[4] A brief historical perspective on the Russia-Ukraine conflict is at http://www.summer.harvard.edu/blog-news-events/conflict-ukraine-historical-perspective.

The Economist magazine summarizes the debate over Senkaku islands at http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2013/12/economist-explains-1.

[5] “The ECB, demigods and eurozone quantitative easing” at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c90dd466-7bb4-11e4-a695-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3NIKpG2Fx.

[6] “Bank of Japan announces more quantitative easing: the next chapter in Abenomics” at http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonhartley/2014/11/02/bank-of-japan-announces-more-quantitative-easing-the-next-chapter-in-abenomics/.

[7] “World Bank urges China to cut economic growth target to seven percent in 2015, focus on reforms” at http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/29/us-china-worldbank-idUSKBN0II05P20141029.

[8] “Reforms by PM Narendra Modi will help India to grow 5.5% this year, 6.3% next year: ADB” at http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-12-17/news/57154602_1_cent-the-adb-growth-forecast.

[10] “The experts: how the US oil boom will change the markets and geopolitics”, http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324105204578382690249436084

[13] “Economic growth patterns in USA, Canada, Mexico and China” at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dominik-knoll/economic-growth-patterns-_b_5832182.html.

[14] “Mexican president Pena Nieto's ratings slip with economic reform” at http://www.pewglobal.org/2014/08/26/mexican-president-pena-nietos-ratings-slip-with-economic-reform/.

[17] “Andres Oppenheimer: Latin America's forecast for 2015: not good” at http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/andres-oppenheimer/article2503660.html.

[18] “Maduro blames plunging oil prices on US war vs Russia, Venezuela” at http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/30/us-venezuela-oil-idUSKBN0K802020141230 and “What's in store for post-Kirchner Argentina” at http://globalriskinsights.com/2014/12/whats-store-post-kirchner-argentina/

[19] “Brazil economists cut 2015 growth forecast to slowest on record” at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-11/brazil-economists-cut-2015-growth-forecast-to-slowest-on-record.html

[20] “Economic snapshot for Latin America” at http://www.focus-economics.com/regions/latin-america.

[21] “Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico business forecast report Q1 2015” at http://www.marketresearch.com/Business-Monitor-International-v304/Cuba-Dominican-Republic-Puerto-Rico-8538079/ and “Obama's Cuba move is Florida's top story for 2014” at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/dec/29/obamas-cuba-move-is-floridas-top-story-of-2014/.

[24] “Ethiopia overview” at  http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/ethiopia/overview and “Kenya overview” at http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/kenya/overview.

[26] “Internal violence in South Sudan” at http://www.cfr.org/global/global-conflict-tracker/p32137#!/?marker=33.

[27] “Political instability in Libya” at http://www.cfr.org/global/global-conflict-tracker/p32137#!/?marker=14.

[28] “The regional impact of the armed conflict and French intervention in Mali” at http://www.peacebuilding.no/var/ezflow_site/storage/original/application/f18726c3338e39049bd4d554d4a22c36.pdf.

[29] “EGX head optimistic on equities as Egyptian economy recovers” at http://www.thenational.ae/business/markets/egx-head-optimistic-on-equities-as-egyptian-economy-recovers.

[30] “Economy - outlook for 2015 dismal, despite boost” at http://mg.co.za/article/2014-11-25-economy-outlook-for-2015-not-encouraging-despite-boost.

[31] “Pre-state Israel: The Sykes-Picot agreement” at http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/sykes_pico.html.

[32] “Turkey - economic forecast summary (Nov 2014)” at http://www.oecd.org/economy/turkey-economic-forecast-summary.htm.

[34] “Saudi-Iranian relations since the fall of Saddam” at http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/MG840.html.

[36] “Dubai 2015 cross sector business outlook extremely bullish” at http://ameinfo.com/blog/mentors/c/capital-club/dubai-2015-cross-sector-business-outlook-extremely-bullish/ and “Israel - economic forecast summary (Nov 2014)” at http://www.oecd.org/economy/israel-economic-forecast-summary.htm.

[37] “China's leap forward: overtaking the US as world's biggest economy” at http://blogs.ft.com/ftdata/2014/10/08/chinas-leap-forward-overtaking-the-us-as-worlds-biggest-economy/.

[38] “Understanding Shinzo Abe and Japanese nationalism” at http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2014/05/26/understanding-shinzo-abe-and-japanese-nationalism/.

[39] Book: “Getting India back on track: an action agenda for reform” edited by B. Debroy, A. J. Tellis and R. Trevor.

[40] “US may not target Mullah Omar after this year" at http://www.dawn.com/news/1152382.

[41] “The rise and rise of Kaptaan” at http://tribune.com.pk/story/800722/the-rise-and-rise-of-kaptaan/.

[42] “Widodo launches reform agenda with fuel price hike” at http://www.focus-economics.com/news/indonesia/fiscal/widodo-launches-reform-agenda-fuel-price-hike.

[43] “ASEAN's elusive integration” at http://opinion.inquirer.net/74164/aseans-elusive-integration.

[46] “Russia's economics ministry downgrades 2015 oil price forecast to $80 per barrel” at http://itar-tass.com/en/economy/764662.

[47] “Hollande popularity plumbs new low in mid-term French poll” at http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/06/us-france-hollande-idUSKBN0IQ14R20141106.

          South Sudanese Chief of Education & Protection for the UNHCR, Isacco Consonni, Dives into a New Interview Series with Core of Education        

Beginning a groundbreaking South Sudan interview series, Isacco Consonni, Chief of Education & Protection in South Sudan for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, chats with Dr. Rod Berger about approaches to the development of a brand new education system inside the youngest country in the world.

(PRWeb November 11, 2013)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/11/prweb11317410.htm


          The Land Of Mysteries and Beauty Ethiopia        

Ethiopia, a landlocked country is located in the Eastern Africa region and borders five countries that include Somalia, Djibouti, South Sudan, Kenya, and Sudan. Interesting Facts about  Ethiopia: There are many interesting facts about Ethiopia as well as many mysteries. Did you know that? Coffee was discovered here in the Kaffa region after a shepherd [...Read More]

The post The Land Of Mysteries and Beauty Ethiopia appeared first on Tedy Travel.


          National Church collection on 22/23 July in aid of 25m people facing hunger crisis in east-Africa: Kenya, South Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia        

The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference has announced that a special collections at all Masses will take place across Ireland on the weekend of 22 and 23 July to fund life-saving aid for people currently affected by the devastating hunger crisis in east-Africa.  The money raised will be donated to Trócaire, the overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in Ireland, which is delivering emergency food, water and health care to the 25 million people affected.


Severe drought, driven by climate change, is currently affecting Kenya, South Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia and this has resulted in failed harvests and the widespread death of livestock.  Conflict has exacerbated the effects in South Sudan and Somalia, with areas in both countries now on the verge of famine.

Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, says the situation is critical and has urged support for the collection from parishioners, “With the failure of successive rains and a prolonged drought having taken hold of the region, just surviving has now become the main challenge facing people in large parts of east Africa.  Millions of people in the region are facing starvation.  The crops have failed and animals are dying because of a lack of grazing and water.  The large number of people affected may shock us, but we must realise that behind these stark numbers are real people: mothers and fathers unable to provide for their hungry children.

“The Catholic Church in Ireland is already responding to this crisis through Trócaire.  However, needs are so enormous that we will hold special collections across the country on the weekend of 22 July.  All money collected will go directly to Trócaire’s humanitarian relief work in east Africa.  Bishops are asking clergy and parishioners to respond to this terrible tragedy with generosity.”

Bishop William Crean, Bishop of Cloyne and chairperson of Trócaire, says the agency is already working on the ground saving lives: “Trócaire is currently running an advertising campaign to raise awareness of this crisis.  We have been providing emergency food aid, water and healthcare to affected communities – quite literally life-support for affected people.  Trócaire’s health centres in Somalia are treating approximately 19,000 people each month for malnutrition and associated illnesses.  With the support of parishioners here at home in the coming weeks, many tens of thousands more people will receive help.  For example, over 13,000 children in Kenya will receive supplementary high-energy food, new boreholes will be provided for communities, many more people will receive monthly food rations and schools will be supplied with water.

“Globally, this crisis has received very little attention.  Appeals for aid are under-funded.  For example, the UN has received just 37% of the funding it needs to respond to the crisis in Somalia.  The world is distracted by the actions of a handful of powerful politicians, while in east Africa millions suffer in silence.  It is unacceptable for so many to go hungry.”

The United Nations has described the situation in the drought-ravaged parts of Africa as the greatest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War.  Trócaire has a long-standing presence in all four affected countries and is working with local communities to deliver life-saving aid, including food, water and healthcare, to hundreds of thousands of those worst affected.

Donations to Trócaire’s east Africa hunger crisis appeal can be made at trocaire.org or by phoning 1850 408 408 (Republic of Ireland) or 0800 912 1200 (Northern Ireland).
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          South Sudan Eliminates School Fees        

South Sudan will abolish fees in all public schools, the government announced on Monday, sparking concern that the move could worsen the problems of the war-torn country’s already crippled education system. “South Sudan is working hard to build an inclusive education system in the face of huge unmet needs, and this is why we want […]

The post South Sudan Eliminates School Fees appeared first on BellaNaija.


          TPS Designation for Syria         
Today the USCIS released details on Temporary Protective Status (TPS) application procedures for eligible Syrian nationals.  In addition to Syria, other designated countries include El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, and South Sudan. TPS designation can be made by the Secretary of Homeland Security when a foreign country has conditions that temporarily prevent the...
          HUMAN RIGHTS IN 2011: THE CIRI REPORT        
The CIRI Human Rights Data Project has released its ratings of government respect for 16 internationally-recognized human rights in almost every country in the world for the year 2011.  The CIRI Project’s data stretch back, annually, to 1981 and can be freely accessed at www.humanrightsdata.org.

The CIRI data are used by governments, scholars, international organizations, businesses, think tanks, and students the world over for a variety of purposes.  The project is co-directed by Dr. David L. Cingranelli (Binghamton University), Dr. David L. Richards (University of Connecticut), and Dr. K. Chad Clay (University of Georgia). 

This data release has also been accompanied by a number of changes at the CIRI Project.  A new country was added to the data for 2011 (South Sudan), and, reflecting the addition of a new co-director (K. Chad Clay) in Fall 2012, the project’s citation has changed.  Perhaps most importantly, CIRI’s release schedule has changed.  In the future, data updates will be issued annually in January to cover the year that began two years previous.  As such, the 2012 ratings will be released in January 2014.

Below, we present four stories from the 2011 data:


THE BEST AND WORST OF 2011

All 14 of CIRI’s individual indicators of particular human rights can be summed into an overall human rights score for each country in the world.  The best score a country can receive is 30, representing high respect for all 14 human rights; the worst score is 0, representing very low respect for all 14 human rights.  The world average was 17, and the USA scored 24 (tied for the 7th highest score, but still ranking behind 37 countries).  Below are the best and worst of 2011.

Top 9 Countries – Overall Respect
Luxembourg [30]
Netherlands [29]
New Zealand [29]
San Marino [29]
Andorra [28]
Australia [28]
Denmark [28]
Iceland [28]
Norway [28]

Bottom 9 Countries – Overall Respect
Iran [1]
Eritrea [2]
Saudi Arabia [2]
Burma [3]
China [3]
Libya [3]
Yemen [3]
Democratic People's Republic of Korea [4]
Syria [4]


STABILITY & CHANGE IN RESPECT FOR PHYSICAL INTEGRITY RIGHTS

The CIRI Physical Integrity Rights Index measures government respect for the freedoms from torture, extrajudicial killing, political imprisonment, and disappearance. It varies from 0 (no respect for physical integrity rights) to 8 (full respect for physical integrity rights).  Overall, government respect for physical integrity declined in 2011, as the mean score on the physical integrity rights index fell from 5.01 in 2010 to 4.82 in 2011.  In particular, respect for physical integrity rights saw the following dramatic changes in 2010-2011:

Largest Declines in Respect for Physical Integrity Rights
Bahrain [-5]
Djibouti [-3]
Egypt [-3]
Republic of Korea [-3]
Libya [-3]
Mauritania [-3]
Oman [-3]

Largest Improvements in Respect for Physical Integrity Rights
Panama [+4]
Croatia [+3]
Belarus [+2]
Nepal [+2]
Togo [+2]

Further, as these lists suggest, it would appear that changes in government respect for physical integrity rights in 2011 were not evenly distributed across the globe.  Indeed, as demonstrated below, South Asian states experienced a net improvement in average government respect for physical integrity, while some of the largest declines in government respect for physical integrity rights were concentrated in the Near East & North Africa:

Average Change in Respect for Physical Integrity Rights by Region
Africa [-0.04]
East Asia & the Pacific [-0.12]
Europe & Eurasia [0]
Near East & North Africa [-1.37]
South Asia [+0.25]
Western Hemisphere [-0.11]






THE “ARAB SPRING” & HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE NEAR EAST & NORTH AFRICA

Beginning in Tunisia in December 2010, the wave of demonstrations, protests, and conflicts known as the “Arab Spring” swept through the Arab world in 2011.  What effect did this have on respect for human rights in the Near East and North Africa (as defined by the US State Department)?  Table 1 displays the change in the overall human rights score, as well as in the CIRI Physical Integrity Rights Index, from 2010 to 2011. 

 
As can be seen, most states in the region demonstrated reduced respect for human rights in 2011, particularly those states that experienced some of the highest levels of unrest that year, e.g. Bahrain, Libya, and Egypt.  Of course, other states, like Syria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, already had extremely low scores on our indicators and thus, had little room to move down.  On the other hand, Tunisia experienced a large increase in its overall human rights score, owing to the overthrow of its government early in the year and the elections held in October.  However, this was not enough to overcome the high level of physical integrity rights abuse that accompanied the protests early in the year, which led to a decrease in respect for physical integrity rights from an already low score of 3 in 2010 to 2 in 2011.
 
STABILITY & CHANGE IN WOMEN’S RIGHTS
 
CIRI also annually codes two measures of internationally-recognized women’s rights: women’s political rights and women’s economic rights.  The women’s political rights measure is aimed at capturing the degree to which government laws and practices ensure that women enjoy the rights to vote, to run for political office, to hold elected and appointed government positions, to join political parties, and to petition government officials.  The women’s economic rights measure captures the degree to which government laws and practices ensure that women enjoy equal pay for equal work, free choice of profession or employment, the right to gainful employment, equality in hiring and promotion, job security, freedom from discrimination by employers, freedom from sexual harassment, and the right to work in dangerous professions, including working at night and working in the military and police forces.
 
Our two measures of women’s rights moved in opposite directions in 2011.  While women’s political rights improved for the second straight year, women’s economic rights suffered a setback after two consecutive years of improvement.  Indeed, this is in keeping with these measures’ performance over time.  As shown in the graph below, respect for women’s economic rights has lagged behind respect for women’s political rights consistently since 1981.  However, that gap has widened with time, as respect for women’s political rights has consistently grown while respect for women’s economic rights has remained relatively flat.
Note: The shapefile used to construct the above map comes from Weidmann, Kuse, and Gleditsch’s cshapes, version 0.4-2.  The map was made using Pisati’s spmap package in Stata 12.1.  Another version of this post can be viewed at the The Quantitative Peace.

          A Step Forward for South Sudan but Advocacy Needed to Turn Commitment into Reality        

At the Family Planning Summit marking the five-year anniversary of the London Summit on Family Planning, South Sudan became one of three countries to make a first-time FP2020 commitment. With less than 14% of the demand for modern contraception currently being met and a contraceptive prevalence rate that lags behind its neighboring countries, the commitment […]

The post A Step Forward for South Sudan but Advocacy Needed to Turn Commitment into Reality appeared first on PAI.


          Giving Thanks, In Spite Of It All        
Poverty. Protests. Refugees. Earthquakes, typhoons and hurricanes. Terror. ISIS. Sometimes it can feel like too much. Last Wednesday evening I gave a talk to a group of adults at my church. I talked about how Lutheran World Relief is providing support for refugees from Syria and South Sudan. And I talked about our work to […]
      

          Collecting High-Frequency Data Using Mobile Phones: Do Timely Data Lead to Accountability?         
As mobile phone ownership rates have risen dramatically in Africa, there has been increased interest in using mobile telephones as a data collection platform. This note draws on two largely successful pilot projects in Tanzania and South Sudan that used mobile phones for high-frequency data collection. Data were collected on a wide range of topics and in a manner that was cost-effective, flexible, and rapid. Once households were included in the survey, they tended to stick with it: respondent fatigue has not been a major issue. While attrition and nonresponse have been challenges in the Tanzania survey, these were due to design flaws in that particular survey, challenges that can be avoided in future similar projects. Ensuring use of the data to demand better service delivery and policy decisions turned out to be as challenging as collecting the high-quality data. Experiences in Tanzania suggest that good data can be translated into public accountability, but also demonstrate that just putting data out in the public domain is not enough. This note discusses lessons learned and offers suggestions for future applications of mobile phone surveys in developing countries, such as those planned for the World Bank's "Listening to Africa" initiative.
          Media reaction - Oxfam concerns over South Sudan NGO regulation bill        
English
"We are deeply concerned that this Bill may make it more difficult for NGOs to do our work. We need clarification of a number of key provisions for us to understand its full impact."Read more
Contact information: 

In the UK - Dannielle Taaffe +44-1865-339-162 | Mobile: +44-7917-110-066 dannielle.taaffe@oxfaminternational.org
In South Sudan - Alison Martin +211 (0) 955 955 957 ...

Regions and Countries: 

          US says 'excessive use of force' against Ethiopia protesters        
US says 'excessive use of force' against Ethiopia protesters JUBA, South Sudan – The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations says her country has raised "grave concerns" about what it calls excessive use of force against protesters in Ethiopia. Ambassador…
          On the brink: as famine looms, world leaders must pay up and deliver political solutions to save lives        
English

As famine takes hold in South Sudan and threatens to spread to northeastern Nigeria, Somalia, and Yemen, world leaders must immediately step up to fully fund the United Nations’ appeal for $6.3 billion. Of this amount, $4.9 billion is urgently needed by July for critical assistance, including health, food, nutrition, and water. If lives are to be saved, humanitarian agencies must be able to rapidly scale up and access people in need.

World leaders must not walk away from key meetings, such as the Group of Seven Taormina Summit in Italy and the Group of Twenty Hamburg Summit in Germany, without taking action to increase funding, improve access, resolve conflict and insecurity, and ensure that emergency relief is coupled with long-term approaches to building resilience in affected countries.

Author: 
Shannon Scribner
Summary picture: 
This woman arrived in Nyal, in Panyijar County, South Sudan, to register for a food distribution. Emergency hunger levels hav e been  declared in the county. Photo:Bruno Bierrenbach Feder/Oxfam
Promote to Emergency: 
Famine and hunger crisis

          South Sudan: famine pushed back but more people hungry than ever before        
English
New IPC figures show that famine has been pushed back in South Sudan, but the food crisis continues to spread across the country and 6 million people are facing severe hunger and need immediate help.Read more
Contact information: 

Serena Tramonti, tel 00447825780651, stramonti@oxfam.org.uk 

For updates, please follow @Oxfam.

Please support...

Regions and Countries: 
Notes to editors: 

The IPC (Integrated Food Security Phase Classification) is a tool for improving food security analysis and decision-making. It is a standardized scale that integrates food security, nutrition and livelihood...


          Famine in South Sudan: communities at breaking point        

In South Sudan, the violent and brutal war has put millions at risk. Women, men and children that fled their homes in search of safety are now finding a new threat - hunger. With harvests still months away, the famine already declared in parts of the country will spread across the rest of the country, unless we act now.

When the rains begin in April or May, conditions will become even more difficult for the people in need and for the humanitarian groups trying to reach them. Flooding makes roads and airstrips impassable and can cause a rise in cholera and other water-borne diseases.

 Bruno Bierrenbach Feder/Oxfam George* sits on his mother’s lap as health personnel takes his measurements to determine his nutrition level. There are 208 malnutrition cases in this hospital in Nyal, Unity State. These don't include the many adults facing extreme hunger in the area.

Nearly 5 million people - 40 percent of the population - are facing extreme hunger. "We are seeing communities now at breaking point. In the swamps between the famine-affected areas and where Oxfam is working, we know that there are thousands of people going desperately hungry,” says Dorothy Sang, Oxfam's Humanitarian Campaign Manager in South Sudan.

Panyijar County, in southern Unity State, sits next to the frontline of some of the heaviest fighting we are seeing in South Sudan today. It is no coincidence that this frontline is also home to the 100,000 people who have been hit by deadly famine. Many have traveled for days on foot to reach generous host communities, who themselves are now sharing what little food they have with their neighbors waiting for that next food assistance in order to survive.

 Bruno Bierrenbach Feder/Oxfam An elderly woman at the registration site in Nyal Catholic church, South Sudan. She came from Nyandong Payam with the help of family members. Photo: Bruno Bierrenbach Feder/Oxfam

So far, Oxfam and other humanitarian organizations have been able to help to keep famine from spreading with food distributions, clean water and other vital aid. So far, we have been distributing food to more than 415,000 people as well as providing more than 140,000 people clean water and sanitation services.

 Lauren Hartnett/OxfamOxfam staff Pedro Marial Rock takes the fingerprint signatures of Nyabiey (left) and Nyakonga (right) to verify they are receiving food at a distribution in Nyal on March 20, 2017. Photo: Lauren Hartnett/Oxfam

In Nyal, Panyijar County, some of the most vulnerable people from surrounding islands arrive exhausted after hours on Oxfam canoes. They are here to register for a World Food Programme food distribution. We are using these canoes and paying canoe operators to make sure that those who are unable to pay are not left out.

Marissa and her family who fled from famine and conflict-hit Mayendit where all of their food had been burnt and their home burnt down. Dorothy Sang/Oxfam Marissa and her family fled from famine and conflict-hit Mayendit, where all of their food had been burnt and their home burnt down. They brought what they still had to Nyal, pulling their possessions along the swamps in large tarpaulins. They're now hoping to register for a food drop. Photo: Dorothy Sang/Oxfam

Besides providing clean water and toilets on some of the islands closest to Nyal, we are also helping both its island and mainland communities to set up vegetable gardens both to boost their own diets and to build up their livelihoods. “What concerns us most are the people we have yet to reach. The fighting means no one is able to work on the remote islands, and we are only able to send canoes up the river to help the people when we can ensure the safety of our staff,” says Sang.

 

You can help

The people of South Sudan are doing all they can to help themselves. Where the newly displaced have arrived, families are generously offering what little they have. But this is not enough. We need to get more food, clean water and other vital support to the most vulnerable people.

We are calling for more funding to help reach people before it’s too late. You can help. Donate now.

 
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Hunger crisis in South Sudan
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Majok au centre d’enregistrement du Programme alimentaire mondial des Nations unies (PAM), à Nyal. Aidé par ses proches, il a dû marcher une heure et demie de chez lui pour être présent à l’enregistrement. Photo : Bruno Bierrenbach Feder/Oxfam
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George (prénom modifié) sur les genoux de sa mère pendant que le personnel sanitaire évalue son état nutritionnel, au Soudan du Sud.
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          120 - Mohammed Elshamy - Photo Brigade Podcast        

On this episode Robert chats with Mohammed Elshamy, a 22-year-old Egyptian photojournalist based in NYC who covers some of the world's most dire events such as the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria, the political unrest and street violence in Egypt, the European refugee crisis, the armed rebellion in South Sudan, and much more. They discuss his career path and the physical and mental toll (PTSD) this sort of coverage has on photographers who document such issues. Sit back, relax, and enjoy this episode of The Photo Brigade Podcast!


          February 8, 2015: Photographing “Snottites,” Dodging Humpbacks With Feeding Orcas, and More        
This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they dodge humpbacks while photographing orcas, study sulfuric snot deep in caves, understand the invisible brain injuries impacting veterans, learn to tell visual stories at a photo camp in South Sudan, climb up Niagara Falls, put a magnet inside of a cow's stomach, visit Syria's refugee camps, and understand animal friends.
          Comment on Bankrupting Kleptocracies is a Dangerously Bad Idea by Khalid AlMubarak        
The Enough Project is not interested in peace and stability in South Sudan or anywhere else.Its founder was one of a group called "Wonks"by Dr Rebecca Hamilton who helped to create the current chaos in South Sudan.They contributed to the mindset that everything the SPLM/A does is correct(and everything that Khartoum does is wrong).Successive US administrations (mainly democratic)have listened only to them and shunned better informed -experts like professor Alex de Waal.John Prendergast was a regular visitor for testimony at congressional hearings and helped to misinform and mislead law-makers.
          Comment on On the Significance of the Declaration of Famine in South Sudan by Khalid AlMubarak        
Quite right that the famine in South Sudan is a direct result of the civil war.It is also the direct result of the policy of the Obama administration (and its cheerleaders of the Enough Project)that feverishly pushed for secession of South Sudan.The desire of Southern Sudanese for secession is not disputable;but the manner in which it was engineered was flawed.South Sudan deserves help and support for its own sake and for the welfare and and safety of its people;not only as an instrument to undermine the Sudan.
          Comment on Follow by Oliver Michael        
I am a South Sudan and I am so worried that this ethnic wars might only end when my generation has been incapacitated beyond repair by the ability of this primitive violence. I have so much like any other South Sudanese to give back to my society before aging my ability but, time is almost gone if this conflict is not ended today. I do not need any money, job, or favor from the government. I only need enabling environment so that I can go about with my own life freely and peacefully period. This is what every single South Sudan thinks, says, praying for at night and during day times but this straightforwardness is been well denied by the well informed parties. So Peace is what we need before further fragmentation of our Country.
          Comment on Politics of Fear in South Sudan by Francis        
Alex De Wal, is right to some extend, but I would beg to differ with him that he focused the fear on one ethnic group leaving out the rest as if they were not coerced by their members into supporting what they wanted. Internal elements and external elements plaid a great deal to break this country up. De Wal is correct in opposing this system because what was expected from these military rulers has never been achieved by the benefactors. The logic is not quite clear here. Those in the UN sites are there because that is humanitarian way of keeping their funding coming in. This is complicated!
          Comment on Politics of Fear in South Sudan by Oliver Michael        
This report talks my opinions about the realities in South Sudan. I like such an objective look at real root causes of the conflicts and how it affects actors at different levels. The International Community whether UN, IGAD, EU etc just like sugar coating realities and that is why they keep falling to find sustainable solutions to the problems. The negotiators gave so much pressure to Riek to come back to Juba in April 2016 but Riek already knew things were not going to be as the negotiators expected. It is a historical matter which each one of this warring parties understand much better. The Dinka and Nuer know very well that the conflicts over cattle raids began 150 years ago and elders from both sides keep passing on this information to their offspring till today. The Country has failed in the hands of the leaders as they see it tumbling. No external person will ever achieve peace settlement of the South Sudanese conflicts without going into history never. Yes you can deal with the politicians at the Juba level but even their youths from their villages can threaten them to change their minds. So indeed they are stagnated and can never reverse or drive forward. The most unfortunate part of this hell is the transfer of hopeless war to very peace communities and dragging them into unrelated violence. Equatorians honestly have never fought themselves since after the Azande King Gbudwe who tried to conquer Equatoria in 1890s. The aftershock of that conflict resulted to very permanent reconciliation declared by chiefs from affected Equatorian communities like Maridi, Mundri, Yei etc. The key resolution of that meeting was allowing intermarriage among the affected communities and sharing of natural resources like land. That bound people together till now. As you can all see, the major frontlines for the Dinka-Nuer conflict has shifted to Equatoria and majority of the soldiers of the rebels are Equatorians who at the end of the conflict will go home with their arms and will never hand over because of lack of trust. It is a very complicated situation but it is time for social scientists to begin thinking like engineers who upgrade technologies almost daily to fit the growing demands. We cannot always depend on old tools to address the current situations but we need to use tested tools compatible with the contemporary context in order to produce sustainable results for us.
          Comment on De-escalating the Syria conflict by Laksh        
Did south Sudan help sryia in de escalating its war of 2011 ??
          Comment on What’s Gone Wrong in South Sudan? by nakliyat        
Thanks for sharing this post. Nice project for sudan.
          Comment on Recommended: Clémence Pinaud on South Sudan by Wadiyo        
I hope create peace in Sudan and the world.. thank for this program.
          Comment on South Sudan’s corrupt elite have driven a debt-free and oil-rich country to ruin by Khalid AlMubarak        
Very well -informed and balanced as usual;but pessimistic.Prof.Alex De Waal has argued before ,quite rightly,that not all the elite are corrupt and inefficient.Is he losing hope in all the elite now? The picture is gloomy,but not hopeless.The urgent task,addressed by the AU Summit ,is (in the words of a Sudanese saying)to make sweet juice out of fish. The outcome of the summit can,if endorsed by the Security Council and coordinated with the South Sudan government,lead to a potentially bright prospect.
          Comment on What’s Gone Wrong in South Sudan? by Khalid AlMubarak        
I have just watched the video of the AlJazeera programme.I agree with what Alex de Waal has said about error of bringing two warring groups together to Juba and hoping that they would join hands to secure peace!This was based on the guarantees given by the two leaders when pressured to make peace .As Justin Lynch said,it is not about two leaders.There are men and women around them who are very influential.Some control forces and,as former rebels,have little or no commitment to professional armies' chain of command.In other words,they can start shooting without being ordered by the president or his Vice President. On the other hand,the spokesman of the president has made a valid point about corruption.It could not have taken place and continued without holes and gaps in the mechanisms of international finance and without complicity of outsiders. The way forward is to try to neutralise the most aggressive people around the two leaders,push for elections as scheduled and consolidate UN forces to keep the peace.
          Comment on South Sudan: The price of war, the price of peace by Wadiyo        
every body want to realize peace in the world. how implement peace program in south sudan? thank
          Comment on Designer Activism and Post-Democracy by Khalid AlMubarak        
Most instructive as ususal.Alex de Waal is head and shoulders above most academics who are also politically aware of the interplay between practical politics and media/NGOs / activism. What we need to consider is why designer activists are pampered and listened to.They are the only ones who are invited by Congress to testify .When their recipes cause disaster and bloodshed (as is the case in the policy visa a vis the Sudan)they are not discredited ;but asked about the way to rectify what went wrong.They are the "teflon"activists.Not even the South Sudan civil war horrors stain their profile.
          Comment on Remembering the Ones We Lost: South Sudan by Khalid Almubarak        
I have already written suggesting the erection of a sculpture to the unknown victims of the Sudanese civil wars.Such a memorial will help healing and remove bitterness in the interest of future generations.Both sides can keep their different narratives ;but attempts should be made to move on and open a new chapter between the two Sudans.Those in the diaspora are well -placed to lead in this gesture of reconciliation.
          Comment on Non-Violence and the Political Marketplace by Khalid AlMubarak        
I have not finished reading the book yet;but I fully agree with your summary,especially your closing paragraph.The coalition ruling the Sudan is dominated by moderate Islamists.This should not be a pretext for boycott or unreasonable sanctions as long as policies of concrete progressive or modernising change are pursued.These policies include the best position for women in the region(and ,in some aspects ,wider afield),a network of motorways criss-crossing the country and the extension of general and higher education to all provinces.To do this under the umbrella of neo-liberal international governance rules is not easy. If we add the far-sighted ending of the civil war and accepting a peaceful secession of South Sudan(mainly brokered by the US and allies) the tangible support that the government gets from the people will be better understood.I recently met someone returning from Khartoum.He said that people are complaining about inflation;but nobody he knew had hope in SPLM-N because they see the results of their "achievements"in South Sudan. There is also a marketplace of ideas in which the opposition has been beaten.
          Comment on South Sudan: No Money, No peace by Khalid AlMubarak        
I agree;but in practical politics ,you need to start somewhere.You need to kick off and build momentum.The US cannot make policy the way you wish because its Foreign policy-making mechanisms are very complex and cumbersome. They are also easily hijacked by interest groups that sometimes compete and are sometimes an extension of policies of other(albeit) allied countries. The AU is the best mediator and the August peace agreement needs US support to succeed.As I have written elsewhere,the West seems to have learned a lesson.No mention was made of calling in the controversial ICC,despite the heinous atrocities.This is progress of a sort and should be acknowledged. The other question is the continued insistence to see South Sudan only as a vehicle to further destabilise the Sudan.Uncritical support for the SRF group shows this policy.
          Comment on Scott Straus: Making and Unmaking Nations by James        
After I have read the above article , I could said that one of my tribe , call Nure in South Sudan they might start conducting common internal dialogue on how they can respond on what happen in South Sudan in 2013 , for their love one , as we the AU Commission report and like usual they expect nothing will happen on accountability on crimes have been committed !
          Comment on South Sudan: Why a Political Crackdown Accompanies a Peace Agreement by Khalid Almubarak        
Another relevant point is the result of sanctions on the Sudan. They have caused a great deal of suffering and disruption for ordinary citizens.They have harmed US business and pushed the Sudan East.They have increased extremist tendencies by showing that moderate government policies are not rewarded but punished.They have also reduced the credibility of the US which made firm promises then broke them.
          Comment on South Sudan: Why a Political Crackdown Accompanies a Peace Agreement by Khalid Almubarak        
The Sudan and South Sudan are now joining hands to lobby Russia and other S Council members against sanctions.Western actors seem to be listening only to the Enough Project,forgetting that the Enough Project and its co-founder,who is often invited by Congress to testify,have contributed to the creation of the current tragic conflict. The E Project has now published Plan B recommendations.They do not include measures to address the root causes of conflict or help stop it.Its 7 points do not include DDR (Demobilisation,Demilitarisation,Reintegration of combatants ).They do not include reorganising the SPLA as a national army ,not an army for a political party.They do not include resumption(by the US ,UK and Norway) of the retraining of SPLA/M for civilian roles.They do not include amendment of the basic New Sudan Vision documents to reflect the reality of 2 sovereign Sudans.Surprisingly,John Predndergast has the audacity to say according to AFP that "Conventional tools of diplomacy have so far failed".So have amateur celebrity -based tools.
          Comment on Elusive peace in South Sudan and the need to change course in the mediation by Khalid Almubarak        
Dear Mulugeta To be more specific,the Sudan declared neutrality ;but explained that as an acceptance of reality it has got the SSudan government ambassador and his staff and has got several layers of official contacts that continue as usual between governments.Simultaneously ,as a mediator ,accepted by both sides,the Sudan received Dr Machar in Khartoum as part of the IGAD-led process.There is no contradiction in the Sudanese policy and both sides seem to accept it. Since both of us have written in early September,events have progressed rather positively.There is now a road map for a new government and a defusion of tension. There will be breaches,there may even be setbacks ;but we have an African-led process that stands a chance of success (partial or total)if complemented by a political process .By a political process I mean resuming what the US,UK and Norway had already started: Demobilisation,Demilitarisation and Reintegration into civilian life of the SPLA and making it an army for a state not for a political party.The revision of the Sudan Vision documents will also be necessary;with a new emphasis on development not armament .Part of this is what President Obama called for when he asked President Kiir in New York about support for rebels in the Sudan.Kiir asked Pagan Amum to answer ,maybe because Amum is the main advocate of proxy war with the Sudan in pursuit of the Sudan Vision agenda. Regards Khalid AlMubarak
          Comment on Elusive peace in South Sudan and the need to change course in the mediation by Mulugeta Gebrehiwot        
Dear Khalid, Thank you very much for your comments on this issue. I can't agree more as to the political nature of the South Sudanese problem. It actually worries me on whether continued threat for more sanctions and additional military deployment to secure Juba and other demilitarized zones could accelerate the coming of a lasting peace in South Sudan. I am not sure if UNAMID has failed and so much because of lack of helicopters and funds if it is true. But I can't agree more for the need of an African led process. I am sure you will agree with me that the IGAD led process is not the only alternative for an African led process. I am simply questioning the effectiveness of a mediation without a solid political support of its political sponsors. The least controversial issue is that Ugandan soldiers are on the side of Kiir's forces in the name of protecting vital state infrastructure. I think you agree on the presence of this allegation on Sudan for supporting Machar's forces as you are asking me for evidence. I am only recognizing the presence of the allegation and providing evidence will be for those with proper tools and mechanisms to either refute it or substantiate it. But, if Sudan has declared and practiced a firm support to Salva Kiir, as you stated it, then it becomes difficult to consider it for a mediator, as the elementary requirement for a mediator is being neutral regarding the conflicting parties. I am only doubting whether such political disposition will enable to effectively mediate the parties through the implementation of the agreement. I will definitely be pleasantly surprised if and when the ongoing process, without significant overhaul, will help bring an effective implementation for a complex agreement. Regards Mulugeta Gebrehiwot
          Comment on Elusive peace in South Sudan and the need to change course in the mediation by Khalid Almubarak        
There is no evidence that the Sudan is providing "logistics ,weapons and bases"for Machar.The Sudan has declared support for the elected and recognised government in Juba led by President Kiir and has never wavered. An African process is best .Dr Mahmood Mamdani has shown how the AU force in Darfur was starved of funds and helicopters in order to ensure AU failure.Both warring sides have now signed the IGAD -brokered agreement.A good beginning despite the expected breaches.With patience and with an added political dimension it could succeed.The conflict is not only military.
          Comment on Review: James Copnall’s A Poisonous Thorn in Our Hearts by Khalid Almubarak        
Fair to James Copnall;but unfair to president Bashir.The writer seems to be unaware of the stages through which the regime in the Sudan passed. There was an International Project at the beginning ,during which president Bashir was only a disciple to Turabi.The confrontation that ended with a split known as Mufasalah resulted in the end of the International Project .The new stage was Bashir's.He prioritised peace and development in a modest Sudanese Project.He should be given credit for that.The CPA and a democratic interim Constitution together with ending the horrendous civil war are remarkable achievements.The South Sudan referendum and respecting the results is a remarkable feat praised by the West. Avoiding war with South Sudan and not getting involved in the current tragic turmoil is a policy that was praised by the British Government.Moreover president Bashir has said more than once that mistakes were made. Actually errors were made in dealing with him.Promises were broken ,the ICC was manipulated.
          Comment on Is South Sudan “the World’s Most Failed State?” by Catherine Dom        
Thank you for this insightful short note. It very much resonates with what I thought of the compact/New Deal process in South Sudan, and yes, in contrast, Meles wouldn't give a damn, and focus his energey and intellect in home-grown ways of trying to tackle fragility (history will say how long his solution will be able to last and/or how in future others will continue to make the model evolve - I cross fingers tight)... And yes, the New Deal framework assumes benevolent international partners, and governments that are at least (on the whole) interested in their population's welfare - and in developing the institutions that we hold necessary to deliver this. Entirely true that the self-assessment was by and large frank, but limited by what it looks and doesn't look at. Again, thanks.
          Comment on Is South Sudan “the World’s Most Failed State?” by J. J. Messner        
Alex, Thanks for the analysis. By the way, the Index was renamed earlier this year to the "Fragile States Index" - <a href="http://library.fundforpeace.org/blog-20140528-fsirenamed" rel="nofollow">here's an article about it</a>. J.J.
          Comment on Agreement to Resolve the Crisis in South Sudan by The price of fast-track peace-making: Considering May 2014 – Arctic Politics and Russias Ambitions        
[...] the Government of South Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLMiO), an Agreement to Resolve the Crisis in South Sudan. Although the two-page agreement was described as a significant step forward in the peace [...]
          Comment on Agreement to Resolve the Crisis in South Sudan by The price of fast-track peace-making: Considering May 2014 | Monitoring South Sudan        
[...] the Government of South Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLMiO), an Agreement to Resolve the Crisis in South Sudan. Although the two-page agreement was described as a significant step forward in the peace process, [...]
          Comment on Enough Foolishness by Pagan        
As long as the intention is to arrest the mass killings and force the leaders to sit at the negotiation table “coercive influence” must be used. In the wake of the suffering that we witnessed, unceasing violence, adamant warlords happy to continue the massacres, "coercive influence" must be used to bring peace to South Sudan. It was used and they signed an agreement. For me a South Sudanese it is a glimpse of hope that we are towards a positive trend to peace deal. On the need to “consult” the South Sudanese and the countries in the region on the sanctions: First of all consulting South Sudanese will take time and lead to more bloodshed. Do you think Kenya and Uganda or even Ethiopia will agree to sanctions? Those targeted by the sanctions have their families in their mansions and villas in these countries. They invested in them. Secondly, the countries in the region cannot be consulted since some of them played very negative and dubious role in the conflict. Uganda was clear, Kenya was ambiguous and Ethiopia stood for its interests. Pagan
          Comment on (1) Visualizing Sudan’s Predicament by Alex DeWaal        
Dear Michael, You are correct on both counts. The model of peacemaking that has been adopted, by Sudanese (and South Sudanese) and internationals is based on rent-sharing (allocating posts, privileges and payroll). It is inherently inflationary and is sustainable only as long as the resources available continue to expand. Alex
          Comment on Visualizing South Sudan: Rent-Seeking Rebellions by Alex DeWaal        
Dear Tim, (apologies for the late response to your comment) The concept of proportionality in armed conflict is a slippery one and I certainly don't mean to suggest that there is a certain level of fatalities that is justifiable. Rather, the intent of these posts is to provoke discussion about the logic of what is happening in South Sudan. You ask, why do followers agree to bear the costs? I suggest that it is because of the logic of ethnic mobilization. Armed groups and units are constituted on an ethnic basis, sometimes even a family basis. Once conflict has begun, it has its own cycle of fear and grievance and, for those low-level segments of ethnic groups that are most actively engaged in the conflict, it can become a fight for survival. For the leaders, who are rarely in danger themselves, fighting is largely a business proposition. But they would be foolish to make such calculations clear to their footsoldiers, who might be reluctant to risk all for the relatively meager material rewards that they stand to gain. The SPLM/A is cash-strapped: for now. But the winner in today's contest will preside over a sovereign government that sits on a considerable amount of oil, land and other resources that can be redeemed for cash.
          Comment on Enough Foolishness by Alex DeWaal        
Dear Michael, Good point. I do not object to individually-targeted financial sanctions as such. I am concerned that decisions about how and when to enact them, and whom to target and to what end, should be taken in a manner that involves South Sudanese themselves and the countries of the region (which are in the lead in the peace process), rather than on a unilateral basis, or with cosmetic consultation only, by the U.S. At present, the countries of the region do not have the capacity to design and implement such sanctions themselves, but they should at least be thinking through how they could play a leading role in this respect, rather than leaving the issue to the U.S. alone. The Enough Project makes a nod in this direction. But the entire ethos of the organization is for the U.S. to take an assertive, not to say aggressive, posture in African conflicts. Even with the contextual caveats, the sentence I quote three times is so striking that only someone with a particular mindset--the liberal Neo-con interventionist--could have written it or allowed it to pass into print. Alex
          Comment on Visualizing South Sudan: Rent-Seeking Rebellions by Steve Biko        
Hi Alex De Waal. I am a Huge admirer of your work. Interesting arguments that certainly explain the constant shift in allegiances by some of the generals. A small typo- ACLED- is Armed Conflict Location and Events Dataset not Africa Conflict Location and Events Dataset.
          Comment on Visualizing South Sudan: Rent-Seeking Rebellions by TimG (@timglawion)        
Dear Alex de Waal, I always do enjoy your work on Sudan and South Sudan. This particular article,while intriguing, I feel misses some key points: Your statement - "The level of fatalities among soldiers and civilians is completely disproportionate to the claims of the rebel leader or mutineer." - implies that there is a justified proportion between Leader demands and Follower costs. Doubting this, other questions would take center stage: Why do followers agree to bear the costs of leaders' gains? If the SPLM/A is so cash-strapped, why is it still lucrative to gain office in it? What is the international community doing to incentivize violence as a means for political and economic gains? (Especially considering the ongoing peace talks) I do realize, you touch upon many of these points in other works. I simply want to point out that kleptocracy shouldn't be taken as a given to then try and work within it. Rather it is crucial to understand what sustains a kleptocratic system. Best, Tim Glawion
          Comment on Sudan and South Sudan Full Text of Agreements by Analýza konfliktu v Jižním Súdánu | Časopis pro politiku a mezinárodní vztahy        
[...] Plný text k dispozici na adrese: http://sites.tufts.edu/…-agreements/ [...]
          Comment on Breakdown in South Sudan: What Went Wrong — and How to Fix It by Khalid AlMubarak        
One "collateral" aspect of the tragic situation in the Republic of South Sudan is the infiltration of the Justice and Equality Movement JEM and the havoc it caused. JEM's fighters were accused of looting and attacks on civilians.Yesterday a contingent crossed the border back to the Sudan where they handed themselves to the Sudanese army in Heglig(which they had helped to occupy during their coordination with SPLA-N and those who have now rebelled against President S.Kiir).JEM are now rebels without a base or "liberated areas" and without a cause because the Doha process has addressed most of Darfur's grievances.Those who surrendered seem to have realised this.
          Comment on Breakdown in South Sudan: What Went Wrong — and How to Fix It by Khalid AlMubarak        
A ceasefire has now been signed between the two fighting groups. All indicators show that -with more IGAD and AU commitment to mediation and international community support-the ceasefire will be maintained and a political solution can be negotiated.There are long term and short-term issues.The retraining of the SPLA and its transformation into an integrated National force will take some time;but it is possible and both the UK and USA have started it before the 15 December fighting.One of the main underlying source of tension between the two sides is the policy towards "The Other Sudan".Advocates of the "New Sudan" Vision see South Sudan as just a springboard for more struggle to achieve control of the whole pre-secession Sudan.They are encouraged by certain US-based activists.If they prevail(as was the case when they shut down oil production and when they pushed for the occupation of Heglig)South Sudan will embark on a very risky counter productive route.
          Comment on Breakdown in South Sudan: What Went Wrong — and How to Fix It by Kuanyin        
One of the main problem facing the new nation of South Sudan is attitude that to get your right ,you must use violence .when the country gained ,South Sudan decided to adopt decentralisation which good for service delivery , however this turned the nation along tribal line in which make it difficult for the community to socialize together as people of one Nation. The other coin is the introduction of Greaters term in regional blocks 1. Greater Bahr el Gazal 2. Greater Equatoria 3. Greater Upper Nile. Here the country is divided up in those line and with current fighting rebel have contact with LRA and if not stop now by powerful nations , then the whole country will be terrorist base since Riek Machar supported LRA with money and food a move which make Uganda unhappy with Riek Machar
          Comment on Breakdown in South Sudan: What Went Wrong — and How to Fix It by Khalid AlMubarak        
At a time in which graduate students whose main source of information seems to be the articles of Eric Reeves and John Prendergast fill the pages of the Washington Post and other main newspapers; it is refreshing to read this analysis by an academic who has lived in the Sudan and written about it for decades. I fully agree with the optimistic conclusion that the tragic fighting could provide an opportunity for a new beginning. The word "breakdown "in the title is well chosen . A broken down car can be fixed when the battery is recharged or a small spare part is fetched. I worry about the "friends"who can help the leadership . Today John Prendergast will appear before a Senate committee. If this is an indication that US policy will be "more of the same "the silver lining" hoped for in the analysis will not materialise easily.The White House has made a very firm and positive statement which builds on the tangible help already provided in training and general advice;but what the White House says is only part of the picture. There is the very influential civil society(eg The Enough Project, Save Darfur Coalition and others)Some see South Sudan only as a means to destabilise the Sudan.They have little or no interest in solving some of the problems outlined in this analysis like demobilisation and downsizing . This analysis says quite rightly that the South Sudanese have made extraordinary sacrifices. Equally correct is the fact that the two civil wars have also decimated and distorted the Sudan's economy and politics.
          Comment on Breakdown in South Sudan: What Went Wrong — and How to Fix It by ASIM FATHELRAHAM AHMED ELHAG        
Whats happening in South Sudan nowadays its ethnic struggle over power, this ethnic struggle created a political dispute within the ruling party the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and miss trust within the Sudanese People Liberation Army(SPLM)
          World News Briefs -- January 6, 2010 (Evening Edition)        


Suicide Attack On CIA Agents 'Was Planned By Bin Laden Inner Circle' -- Times Online

US intelligence officials believe that the suicide bomb attack that killed seven CIA officers in Afghanistan last month was planned with the help of Osama bin Laden’s close allies, raising fears that the al-Qaeda leader is enjoying a lethal resurgence.

They think that the attack could not have taken place without the prior knowledge and assistance of the Haqqanis, the powerful Taleban group thought to be shielding bin Laden.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Yemen for dummies.

Egyptian guard at Gaza border killed in protest over Galloway's aid convoy.

Iran shielding its nuclear efforts in maze of tunnels. At U.N., China insists it's not 'right' time for sanctions on Iran

Egyptian forces wound 2 Palestinians on Gaza border.

Jordan disputes Khost bomber status.

Dubai's decline gives way to Abu Dhabi's rise.

ASIA

Kan, a weak Yen proponent, named Japan Finance Minister.

Three killed in Pakistani-administered Kashmir bombing.

Officials: Suspected US drones kill 12 in Pakistan.

Blast kills 2 Afghans, 9 NATO troops among wounded.

Murder trial tests Philippine justice.

AFRICA

US urges Guinea to restore civilian rule.

South Sudan army-civilian clash kills 17: official.

Ailing Nigerian president phones officials from hospital bed.

US screening 'risks Nigeria ties'.

Threats lead food agency to curtail aid in Somalia. Somalia’s al-Shabaab rebels deny demanding payments from UN.

Somali pirates free hijacked Pakistani 'mother ship'.

Egypt to host conference on the return of antiquities.

EUROPE

France’s elite colleges rise up in revolt against Nicolas Sarkozy.

Discord, revolt roil Brown's Labor Party before elections in Britain.

Britain falls to 25th best place to live in the world... behind Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Hungary.

Slovakia explosives gaffe 'highlights security failings'.

Dagestan suicide bomb kills six police officers. Suicide bomb in Russia's Dagestan follows strike on Al Qaeda.

Ulster defense association says it has disarmed.

Six more days of snow forecast as cold snap continues in Britain.

AMERICAS

Honduras: De facto president objects to US request he leave.

Evo Morales: Climate power to the people.

Websites post picture of Castro in hospital-style wheeled chair.

Cold grips much of US, Fla. races to save crops.

Missing San Francisco sea lions 'off Oregon'.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

More ex-detainees resort to terror, officials say.

Man who bombed CIA post provided useful intelligence about al-Qaeda.

Angry Barack Obama vows security changes. Obama rebuke over bomb plot prompts intelligence pledge.

Yemen arrests three Qaeda militants, targets leader.

U.S. to suspend Gitmo detainee transfers to Yemen.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Pump prices on pace to top 2009 high by weekend.

Cramped on land, big oil bets at sea.

Oil hovers below $82 amid US crude inventory drop.
          Israel, American Jewry and Trump’s GOP        
Earlier this month Norway, Denmark and Switzerland did something surprising. Norway announced that it was demanding the return of its money from the Palestinian Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Secretariat, for the latter’s funding of a Palestinian women’s group that built a youth center near Nablus named for PLO mass murderer Dalal Mughrabi. Denmark followed, announcing it was cutting off…

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Copyright © CarolineGlick.com [Israel, American Jewry and Trump's GOP], All Right Reserved. 2017.

          Future Tense Newsletter: How Science Fiction Can Create a Better Future        

Greetings, Future Tensers,

Shortly after President Trump’s inauguration George Orwell’s 1984 shot to the top of Amazon’s best-seller list. The fact that so many people turned toward Orwell’s dystopian vision of the future may seem like cause for worry, but Kevin Bankston, director of New America’s Open Technology Institute, sees it as a sign of hope. He writes, “Great dystopian works like The Handmaid’s Tale and 1984 … can serve as self-defeating prophecies helping us to recognize and prevent the dark worlds they depict.”

But sometimes it seems like elements of the dystopian future have already arrived. This week Justin Lynch, a journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya, wrote about the deadly consequences of fake news in South Sudan, while Lawrence Norden, the deputy director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, discussed the leaked National Security Agency document that highlights the grave and present risk our election systems face from cyberattacks. Norden stressed, “The revelations in the leaked NSA document make it plain that Russia is likely to continue to escalate its efforts to interfere in our democracy, and this fact may embolden other foreign powers or terrorist groups like ISIS to act against us as well.” Despite this threat, just last week a Georgia judge threw out a request to use paper ballots in an upcoming special election.

Other things we read this week after introducing Alexa and Siri to each other:

  • U.S.-Cuban relations: Jorge Alberto Angulo-Valdes, a Cuban marine biologist, makes the case for more cooperation between the U.S. and Cuba to preserve our shared ocean resources.
  • Discounted Amazon Prime: Angelica Cabral explores whether Amazon’s discounted Prime membership for customers who receive a certain kind of government assistance is really a good deal for lower-income families.
  • Net neutrality survey: A survey conducted by Mozilla and Ipsos found that a majority of Americans support net neutrality. Congress and the FCC should take note.
  • The COVFEFE Act: U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley introduced the Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement Act on Monday. Jacob Brogan reports the bill would ensure that the National Archives preserve the president’s tweets along with all social media posts as it already does for other materials produced by the executive branch.
  • New Facebook features: Ian Prasad Philbrick explains the three new features Facebook launched aimed at better connecting elected officials with the constituents they represent.

Event:
Do you ever wonder what your dog really thinks of you? Bring your dog and join Future Tense at a happy hour conversation Wednesday, June 14 (yes, tonight!), in Washington. We’ll explore what we know about how dogs think, how that informs their behavior, and their roles in our lives. RSVP to attend here. While you’re at it, read up on what we’ve already published on the topic: what humans can learn from dogs with autismlike behaviors, why we need to stop stereotyping dogs based on breed, and why we might not actually want hear what our dogs think of us.

Bark to the future,
Emily Fritcke
for Future Tense

Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University.


           - Broken hearts and stifled words: July in Africa        
Suna Venter's broken heart, silencing Sudan's FIFA suspension, the unsolved case of Burundi's Jean Bigirimana, policing police in Zimbabwe and more from Somalia, Senegal, Nigeria and South Sudan.
           - Media websites blocked; South Sudanese denied access to information         
AMDISS is concerned by the blockage of some websites namely Sudan Tribune, Radio Tamazuj and others. This action comes on the heels of two incidents of attacks and harassment of journalists.
          In South Sudan Winnie Byanyima raises the voices of resilient women        

In Malakal, South Sudan, Oxfam Executive Director Winnie Byanyima saw widespread destruction, homes, schools in ruin. But she also met "with amazing women, who are holding their communities together, who are fighting to keep their families alive."


          KONY 2012        

To see real time reports on LRA activity in the D.R.Congo, Central African Republic and South Sudan visit: http://www.lracrisistracker.com/

To learn more about Invisible Children's recovery efforts in the post-conflict regions of northern Uganda AND our work with communities currently affected in D.R.Congo, Central African Republic and South Sudan visit: http://www.invisiblechildren.com/programs.html

To view our response to common critiques to the KONY 2012 film and campaign visit:
http://www.invisiblechildren.com/critiques.html

To see our worldwide youth mobilization initiatives:
http://www.invisiblechildren.com/movement.html

Learn More: http://kony2012.com
Donate to Invisible Children: https://stayclassy.org/checkout/set-donation?eid=14711

For official MEDIA and artist REPRESENTATION ONLY: PR@invisiblechildren.com

DIRECTOR: Jason Russell LEAD EDITOR: Kathryn Lang EDITORS: Kevin Trout, Jay Salbert, Jesse Eslinger LEAD ANIMATOR: Chad Clendinen ANIMATOR: Jesse Eslinger 3-D MODELING: Victor Soto VISUAL EFFECTS: Chris Hop WRITERS: Jason Russell, Jedidiah Jenkins, Kathryn Lang, Danica Russell, Ben Keesey, Azy Groth PRODUCERS: Kimmy Vandivort, Heather Longerbeam, Chad Clendinen, Noelle Jouglet ORIGINAL SCORES: Joel P. West SOUND MIX: Stephen Grubbs, Mark Friedgen, Smart Post Sound COLOR: Damian Pelphrey, Company 3 CINEMATOGRAPHY: Jason Russell, Bobby Bailey, Laren Poole, Gavin Kelly, Chad Clendinen, Kevin Trout, Jay Salbert, Shannon Lynch, Mariana Blanco, Laurence Vannicelli PRODUCTION ASSISTANT: Jaime Landsverk LEAD DESIGNER: Tyler Fordham DESIGNERS: Chadwick Gantes, Stephen Witmer

MUSIC CREDIT:

Original Instrumental Scores by Joel P. West http://www.joelpwest.com/

“02 Ghosts I” Performed by Nine Inch Nails, Written by Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor, Produced by Alan Moulder, Atticus Ross, and Trent Reznor, Nine Inch Nails appear courtesy of The Null Corporation

“Punching in a Dream”, Performed by The Naked and Famous, Written by Aaron Short, Alisa Xayalith, and Thom Powers, Produced by Thom Powers, The Naked and Famous appear courtesy of Somewhat Damaged and Universal Republic

“Arrival of the Birds”, Performed by The Cinematic Orchestra, Written by The Cinematic Orchestra, Produced by The Cinematic Orchestra, The Cinematic Orchestra appears courtesy of Disney Records

“Roll Away Your Stone”, Performed by Mumford and Sons, Written by Benjamin Lovett, Edward Dwane, Marcus Mumford, and Winston Marshall, Produced by Markus Dravs, Mumford and Sons appear courtesy of Glassnote Entertainment Group LLC

“On (Instrumental)”, Performed by Bloc Party
Written by Bloc Party, Produced by Jacknife Lee, Bloc Party appears courtesy of Vice Records

“A Dream within a Dream”, Performed by The Glitch Mob, The Glitch Mob appears courtesy of Glass Air

“I Can’t Stop”, Performed by Flux Pavilion, Flux Pavilion appears courtesy of Circus Records Limited

Cast: INVISIBLE CHILDREN, Jason Russell, Kathryn Lang, Kevin Trout, Jay Salbert, Chad Clendinen, Jesse Eslinger, Chadwick Gantes and Tyler Fordham


          Codes for making International Calls        

What is a Country Code?

      Country codes are used to make International Phone calls.Every country has a unique country code. Country codes are the prefixes you need to dial before calling to the country.This short alphabetic or numeric geographical codes (geocodes) are developed to represent countries and dependent areas.The International Dialing codes of a country is called "Country Code" or  International Area Code(IAC) or International Calling Codes.

International Calling codes of all countries



Country Codes List




CountryCountry Code
Abkhazia+995 44 +7 840, 940
Afghanistan+93
Albania+355
Algeria+213
American Samoa+1 684
Andorra+376
Angola+244
Anguilla+1 264
Antigua and Barbuda+1 268
Argentina+54
Armenia+374
Aruba+297
Ascension Island+247
Australia+61
Australian Antarctic Territory+672 1x
Austria+43
Azerbaijan+994
Bahamas+1 242
Bahrain+973
Bangladesh+880
Barbados+1 246
Belarus+375
Belgium+32
Belize+501
Benin+229
Bermuda+1 441
Bhutan+975
Bolivia+591
Bonaire+599 7
Bosnia and Herzegovina+387
Botswana+267
Brazil+55
British Indian Ocean Territory+246
British Virgin Islands+1 284
Brunei+673
Bulgaria+359
Burkina Faso+226
Burundi+257
Cambodia+855
Cameroon+237
Canada+1
Cape Verde+238
Cayman Islands+1 345
Central African Republic+236
Chad+235
Chile+56
Christmas Island+61 8 9164
Cocos Islands+61 8 9162
Colombia+57
Cook Islands+682
Costa Rica+506
Côte d'Ivoire+225
Croatia+385
Cuba+53
Curacao+599 9
Cyprus+357
Czech Republic+420
Democratic Republic of the Congo+243
Denmark+45
Djibouti+253
Dominica+1 767
Dominican Republic+1 809 / 829 / 849
East Timor+670
Ecuador+593
Egypt+20
El Salvador+503
Equatorial Guinea+240
Eritrea+291
Estonia+372
Ethiopia+251
Falkland Islands+500
Faroe Islands+298
Federated States of Micronesia+691
Fiji+679
Finland+358
France+33
French Guiana+594
French Polynesia+689
Gabon+241
Gambia+220
Georgia+995
Germany+49
Ghana+233
Gibraltar+350
Global Mobile Satellite System+881
Greece+30
Greenland+299
Grenada+1 473
Guadeloupe+590
Guam+1 671
Guatemala+502
Guernsey+44 1481
Guinea+224
Guinea-Bissau+245
Guyana+592
Haiti+509
Honduras+504
Hong Kong+852
Hungary+36
Iceland+354
India+91
Indonesia+62
International Freephone UIFN+800
International Premium Rate Service+979
Iran+98
Iraq+964
Ireland+353
Isle of Man+44 1624
Israel+972
Italy+39
Jamaica+1 876
Japan+81
Jersey+44 1534
Jordan+962
Kazakhstan+7 6xx, 7xx
Kenya+254
Kiribati+686
Kosovo+377 44 / 45 +386 43 / 49 +381 28 / 29 / 38 / 39
Kuwait+965
Kyrgyzstan+996
Laos+856
Latvia+371
Lebanon+961
Lesotho+266
Liberia+231
Libya+218
Liechtenstein+423
Lithuania+370
Luxembourg+352
Macau+853
Macedonia+389
Madagascar+261
Mainland China+86
Malawi+265
Malaysia+60
Maldives+960
Mali+223
Malta+356
Marshall Islands+692
Martinique+596
Mauritania+222
Mauritius+230
Mayotte+262 269 / 639
Mexico+52
Moldova+373
Monaco+377
Mongolia+976
Montenegro+382
Montserrat+1 664
Morocco+212
Mozambique+258
Myanmar+95
Nagorno-Karabakh+374 47 / 97
Namibia+264
Nauru+674
Nepal+977
Netherlands+31
New Caledonia+687
New Zealand+64
Nicaragua+505
Niger+227
Nigeria+234
Niue+683
Norfolk Island+672 3
North Korea+850
Northern Mariana Islands+1 670
Norway+47
Oman+968
Pakistan+92
Palau+680
Palestinian territories+970
Panama+507
Papua New Guinea+675
Paraguay+595
Peru+51
Philippines+63
Poland+48
Portugal+351
Puerto Rico+1 787 / 939
Qatar+974
Republic of China (Taiwan)+886
Republic of the Congo+242
Réunion+262
Romania+40
Russia+7
Rwanda+250
Saba+599 4
Saint Helena+290
Saint Kitts and Nevis+1 869
Saint Lucia+1 758
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines+1 784
Saint-Pierre and Miquelon+508
Samoa+685
San Marino+378
São Tomé and Príncipe+239
Saudi Arabia+966
Senegal+221
Serbia+381
Seychelles+248
Sierra Leone+232
Singapore+65
Sint Eustatius+599 3
Sint Maarten+599 5
Slovakia+421
Slovenia+386
Solomon Islands+677
Somalia+252
South Africa+27
South Korea+82
South Sudan+211
Spain+34
Sri Lanka+94
Sudan+249
Suriname+597
Swaziland+268
Sweden+46
Switzerland+41
Syria+963
Tajikistan+992
Tanzania+255
Telecommunications for Disaster Relief by OCHA+888
Thailand+66
Togo+228
Tokelau
          Ten humanitarian stories to look out for in 2017        

While 2016 taught us to expect the unexpected, IRIN’s eyes and ears on the ground have given us an idea of what to look out for in the new year. We can’t promise everyone else will be covering these stories, but here are ten we’ll be watching:

The impact of Trump

Since Donald Trump’s election, speculation has been rife about what his presidency will mean for the wider world. His many statements and tweets on the campaign trail suggest that he intends to prioritise domestic and security interests over foreign aid spending and will roll back efforts made during the Obama administration to combat climate change.

But many in the humanitarian sector have been adopting a glass half full attitude, publicly at least, by pointing out that foreign aid has bipartisan support and Republicans in Congress will oppose any major cuts to foreign assistance. Others are predicting that even if the Trump administration doesn’t significantly cut overall aid spending, it will favour channelling aid through partnerships with the private sector and results-oriented initiatives like the Millennium Challenge Corporation, rather than through traditional recipients like the UN and international NGOs.

A Trump administration seems likely to allocate less aid to reproductive health and family planning programmes, and funding for initiatives relating to climate change will almost certainly be on the chopping block too. Trump has appointed a number of climate change sceptics to his cabinet, including Rick Perry, who will head the Department of Energy and Scott Pruitt, who will lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

Venezuela undone

The oil-rich nation has been unravelling in almost every conceivable way in 2016 – from runaway inflation and empty supermarket shelves to the virtual collapse of the public health sector with the resurgence of previously eradicated diseases like malaria and diphtheria. The government closely guards data on what appear to be steep rises in maternal and infant mortality rates, poverty and malnutrition, but doctors and civil society groups have been monitoring the worrying trajectory.

With the government of President Nicolas Maduro still in complete denial about the growing humanitarian crisis (let alone accepting some responsibility for it), the downward spiral will only continue in 2017. Vatican-mediated talks between the government and the opposition that started in October have so far failed to yield an agreement to lift the country’s ban on international aid, a change that could alleviate critical medicine shortages.

Maduro successfully stalled a recall vote that would likely have unseated him in October 2016. Under Venezuela’s constitutional rules, should Maduro lose a referendum in 2017, he will still be able to hand over power to his vice president and keep the United Socialist Party in power. With a political solution virtually off the table, more social unrest seems inevitable in 2017. Increasingly, Venezuelans will be forced to cross borders in search of livelihoods, healthcare and affordable food. Look to Brazil and Colombia, who will likely bear the brunt of this growing forced migration.

Yemen’s downward spiral

A small sliver of the world is finally paying attention to Yemen. That’s in part due to activist campaigns pushing the United States and Britain to stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia, not to mention the Saudis’ grudging admission they had used British cluster bombs in the war (followed by Britain’s statement of the same).

But the war and humanitarian catastrophe marches on. Despite assurances by the Saudi-led coalition that they take great care to avoid collateral damage – to IRIN no less – there have been attacks on markets and funerals, and now more than 4,300 civilian deaths since the war began last March. And that’s only what the decimated health system can count.

family and tent
Mohammed Yaseen Ahmed Ibrahim/IRIN
3.3 million people are displaced in Yemen

Peace talks don’t offer much hope. The UN-backed peace process – already a set of negotiations between elites that didn’t take into account the reality on the ground – is going nowhere, and Houthi rebels have set up their own government.

And now, Yemen is at serious risk of sliding into famine. Before the war, the country relied on imports for 90 percent of its food. With the economy in tatters, importers are finding it hard to bring in what the country needs, and families simply don’t have the cash to buy food.

The post-Aleppo future of Syria

The final fall of the last pocket of resistance in east Aleppo, with fighters and civilians evacuated outside the city, was major victory for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. But it does not signal the end of the war or the suffering. Rebels still control the province of Idlib and much of Deraa, the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) have Afrin in the north, while Turkey appears to have territorial ambitions. Plus there’s so-called Islamic State, resurgent in Palmyra and still in control of Raqqa.

Aleppo also marks yet another failure for diplomacy. The last round of Geneva talks seems a distant memory, and while a new ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey appears to be holding in some parts of the country, the truce doesn’t include all rebel groups. If this deal doesn’t pave the way for planned peace talks in Kazakhstan and full-scale violence begins again, it’s not clear where al-Assad will take the fight next. But it seems likely that the siege tactics that have typified the war will lead to more local truces and evacuations.

Once again, this year looks bleak for Syria’s civilians – those bussed from Aleppo are headed into warzones in the middle of winter, joining the 6.3 million civilians already displaced into their own country.

Myanmar’s Rohingya – a long-running crisis and a new insurgency

There are few groups as persecuted as the Rohingya. During decades of military rule, Myanmar’s generals gradually stripped away most of their rights, including citizenship, and imposed the apartheid system they live under today.

About half a million Rohingya have fled across the border during attacks on their communities over the past decades, but Bangladesh doesn’t want them either and refuses to even register them as refugees. The last few months of 2016 saw a new wave of migration over the border as Myanmar’s military allegedly carried out widespread abuses of civilians in the wake of attacks by a new insurgent group.

Myanmar’s heavy-handed approach is unlikely to crush the group, known as Harakah al-Yakin [“Faith Movement” in Arabic]. In fact, there is a good chance that by targeting the civilian population, the military will drive more youth to join the insurgency. So far, the insurgents have targeted only Myanmar security forces and their motivation seems purely local – to push the government to grant the Rohingya citizenship. But there is a danger that international Islamist groups, including IS, could capitalise on the movement, which could threaten regional stability.

Genocide and famine warnings in South Sudan

South Sudan’s descent continues, and it’s likely to only get worse in 2017. The civil war drove 400,000 people across the border into Uganda since a peace deal broke down in July, and there are now more than 1.8 million people internally displaced.

Ongoing fighting has disrupted farming and made it impossible to provide humanitarian relief in many areas. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization warns: “All available indicators point to an unprecedented deterioration of the food security situation across South Sudan in 2017. The risk of famine is real for thousands of people.”

The war and competition for scarce resources have also led to the “extreme polarization of some ethnic groups,” warned Adama Dieng, the UN’s special advisor on the prevention of genocide, in November. If that process continues, he said, “there is a strong risk of violence escalating along ethnic lines, with the potential for genocide.”

Unfortunately, efforts to pressure the government and rebels to return to peace talks have failed. South Sudan enters 2017 under the shadow of looming famine and possible genocide, and the international community seems unable or unwilling to force leaders to stop fighting before they drive their country into an even deeper crisis.

Iraq’s displacement crisis

All eyes are on Mosul – the battle that could finally finish off IS in Iraq. Aid groups warn that as many as one million civilians are trapped inside, and more than 110,000 people have already fled the surrounding areas. But there’s another, related problem, brewing in Iraq. Overall 3 million people are displaced across the country, many from areas controlled or already liberated from IS.

For Sunnis from Anbar province – from cities like Fallujah and Ramadi – going home is far from a sure thing. Those thought to have ties to IS can’t go home, and are stuck in camps, makeshift shelters, or elsewhere. Ignoring this problem risks radicalisation of a population that already feels scapegoated and has in the past been controlled by both al-Qaeda and IS.

It’s not just Sunnis at risk here. Some Christians say they are too afraid to go home to liberated villages near Mosul. The Iraqi government can hardly keep the lights on and has focused its limited resources on the fighting. But this shortsightedness comes at the country’s future peril.

In Afghanistan, more than a million people “on the move”

It’s been a while since Afghanistan had a good year, but the last one has been especially tough – and it’s set the scene for a disastrous 2017.

After a decade and a half of “boots on the ground” style warfare, the United States withdrew almost all of its troops. This triggered a surprisingly unexpected economic collapse that the country is still struggling to bounce back from. The past year also saw the emergence a migration crisis that will further complicate any economic recovery.

Two of Afghanistan’s neighbours, Pakistan and Iran, have been pushing Afghan refugees back over the border in massive numbers, while the European Union signed a deal that made aid contingent upon the Afghan government’s agreement to accept rejected asylum seekers. The first plane carrying Afghans deported from Germany arrived in mid-December. In addition, record numbers of people were internally displaced by conflict in 2016.                  

Going into the new year, Afghanistan is struggling to support 583,174 people displaced by conflict over the past year, as well as 616,620 people who returned from other countries.

Andrew Quilty/IRIN
Outside the UN’s intake centre between the Pakistan border and the city of Jalalabad, in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province

There’s no sign that the Taliban insurgency will ease up, and efforts at convincing them to talk peace with the government have so far been spectacularly unsuccessful. Afghanistan’s military is also battling other insurgent groups, notably IS, which has emerged as a brutal force to be reckoned with in the eastern province of Nangarhar. Meanwhile, Iran continues to push Afghans back home, Europe is likely to return more, and Pakistan says it will begin forced deportations of all Afghans who have not left the country by March.

Kabila stays on in Congo

The political false dawn of 2016, Hillary Clinton apart, was the electoral concession that wasn’t by the autocrat running Gambia. The announcement turned out to be just a ploy by President Yahya Jammeh to buy himself more time to work out how he might extend his 22-and-a-half years in power. But we're also shifting our attention from Africa’s smallest mainland country to its second largest – the Democratic Republic of Congo, where President Joseph Kabila appears to be engaged in similar manoeuvring that has already cost dozens of lives and led to hundreds of arrests.

Although violent unrest in the Gambia shouldn’t be discounted, the consequences of Kabila clinging to power could be even more disastrous. At the moment, an uneasy truce of sorts seems to be holding. Opposition parties have agreed, in principle at least, to allow Kabila to remain as president until the end of next year, but discussions ahead on a transitional government and delayed elections could quickly unravel. Kabila might also try to amend the constitution again to delay elections into 2018 and beyond. With neighbouring Burundi already in extended turmoil over term limits and memories still fresh of the 1998-2003 Second Congo War that dragged in nine African nations and led to an estimated six million deaths, events in Kinshasa are worth keeping a close eye on in 2017.

The opposition is weak and, in Kinshasa at least, unarmed, so with little international pressure being brought to bear and the media spotlight elsewhere, the received wisdom is that Kabila will quietly cement his hold on power. But if 2016 taught us anything, it’s to be ready for the unexpected.

Famine in the Lake Chad Basin region

In terms of sheer numbers and need, one humanitarian crisis that could overshadow all of the above next year lies in the vast Lake Chad Basin. It has had little coverage by journalists; perhaps more under-reported than any other humanitarian emergency of a similar scale. Despite military progress against Boko Haram extremists, 2016 saw conditions deteriorate fast in this troubled region, where Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria meet.

Mausi Segun, a senior researcher for Human Rights Watch, told IRIN that such appalling scenes, including the faces of thousands of starving children, haven’t been seen here since the 1967-70 war with secessionist Biafra. Early warning network FEWS NET says 4.7 million people need emergency food assistance in northeastern Nigeria alone and warned on 13 December that a famine is already likely to have occurred and to be ongoing in remote pockets of the region. Across the border in Chad, conditions are little better – more than 130,000 people displaced by the Boko Haram conflict are scattered around camps, competing for slender resources with vulnerable host communities.

And it’s not just Boko Haram that is the problem: a combination of human water use and climate change has shrunk the lake itself to a 20th of its original size since the 1960s. The crisis is already enormous and only likely to deepen in 2017.

People at a food distribution site on Lake Chad
Ashley Hamer/IRIN
The majority of people at this food distribution site on Lake Chad hail from the Buduma ethnic group

(TOP PHOTO: Approaching the militarised “red zone” towards the border with Niger, displaced families in the Lake Chad Basin gather for another distribution of cash handouts. Ashley Hamer/IRIN)

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img_4665.jpg Analysis Aid and Policy Migration Environment and Disasters Climate change Conflict Human Rights Politics and Economics Ten humanitarian stories to look out for in 2017 IRIN Africa Burundi Congo, Republic of South Sudan Cameroon Chad Gambia Niger Nigeria Americas Venezuela Asia Afghanistan Myanmar Global Middle East and North Africa Iraq Saudi Arabia Syria Yemen
          The Grinch’s not-so-festive guide to food ration cuts        

Across much of the world, the festive season is a time of indulgence. But what if you’re too busy fleeing violence and upheaval, or stuck in a refugee camp on reduced rations?

It’s been a hard year for the most vulnerable among us. This is partly due to tightening aid budgets, but it’s also the result of there simply being so many more people in crisis who need help.

“It's not just a question of falling donor funding; most donors have continued to be generous, providing funds at relatively consistent levels for years,” World Food Programme spokeswoman Challiss McDonough told IRIN.  “But the number of [those in need] is much larger.”

A prime example is Uganda, where 602,000 South Sudanese refugees are sheltering. As a result of the conflict in neighbouring South Sudan, “we are now supporting nearly twice as many refugees as we were just six months ago”, explained McDonough.

WFP, as the global emergency food responder, is feeling the strain. “I'd say there are probably very few countries where we have not had to make some kind of adjustment to our assistance plans because of a lack of funding,” said McDonough.

The following is a not-so-festive guide to where WFP has been forced to make cuts to already minimal food rations in Africa. It includes some non-refugee national programmes, which have also been impacted by funding shortfalls.

Burkina Faso

Rations have been reduced and cash assistance suspended for the 31,000 Malian refugees in Burkina Faso. As a result, about a quarter of refugees do not have enough food to meet their basic nutritional needs.

“Most refugees in the camps depend solely on humanitarian assistance to survive,” said WFP country director Jean-Charles Dei. “When assistance is interrupted or insufficient, the food security and nutrition situation dramatically deteriorate, especially for women, children, and elderly people.”

Burundi

Lack of funding has impacted a range of activities targeting vulnerable communities. Food-for-training for Congolese refugees and Burundian migrants expelled from Tanzania and Rwanda has been suspended. The number of children reached through an anti-stunting campaign has been reduced by 70 percent, with the programme halted entirely in Ruramvya and Rutana provinces.

Cameroon

Monthly food rations for Central African Republic refugees in Cameroon was cut by 50 percent in November and December. The 150,000 refugees are entirely dependent on international aid.

In May, WFP also halted its meals programme to 16 primary schools in northern Cameroon due to a lack of funding.

Central African Republic

WFP has been unable to assist more than 500,000 people in urgent need of aid and has been forced to halve the amount of food it has provided to those it can reach. Emergency school meals have been suspended in the capital, Bangui, and rations to displaced people in the violence-hit central town of Kaga Bandoro have been slashed by 75 percent. “WFP needs to urgently mobilise flexible contributions to cover for distributions from January onwards,” the agency has warned.

Chad

For the past two years, refugees in Chad have survived on monthly rations well below the minimum requirement. For some, the cuts have been by as much as 60 percent. A joint assessment released in November by WFP and the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, found more than 40 percent of the 400,000 refugees in Chad are malnourished and the majority of children are anaemic.

Ethiopia

Since November 2015, ration cuts have affected more than 760,000 refugees, the bulk of them from South Sudan and Somalia. Although there was an improvement in general food rations from June this year, UNHCR has warned that households still face difficulties. The cuts have, in particular, affected children aged under the age of five, with global acute malnutrition above the 15 percent emergency threshold in 10 out of 22 assessed refugee camps.

Gambia

All nutrition and livelihood related activities have been suspended due to a lack of funding.

Kenya

In December, WFP cut monthly rations by half for the 400,000 refugees in Kenya’s Dadaab and Kakuma camps. It warned that unless urgent new funding is received, it will completely run out of food by February. Most refugees in Dadaab have already had their rations cut down to 70 percent of June 2015 levels, and UNHCR has warned of a likely increase in malnutrition as a result of the new squeeze.

Human Rights Watch said in a statement: “Given Kenya’s threat to deport Somalis has already triggered illegal forced refugee return, the UN ([World] Food Programme’s decision to further reduce refugee food rations could not have come at a worse time.”

Malawi

Ration cuts to 27,000 refugees meant that at the beginning of 2016 they were only receiving 40 percent of the recommended minimum number of daily kilocalories. Those shortages began six months earlier. By March, only three out of seven food items – maize, beans, and cooking oil – were being supplied. The Dzaleka camp hosts people mainly from the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa regions, with new arrivals escaping unrest across the border in Mozambique.

Mauritania

In November, WFP halved food rations to 42,500 Malian refugees. Without fresh funding, it says it will be forced to suspend general food distributions, including cash transfers, from next month. A school meals programme for vulnerable Mauritanian children has also been put on hold and will only partially resume in January.

Rwanda

A nationwide prevention of stunting programme for children aged six-23 months, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers has been discontinued due to limited funding.

Somalia

WFP will “significantly scale down” its livelihoods programmes in December 2016. If no additional resources are confirmed, it will only be able to continue with minimal programmes (mainly nutrition) from February 2017. WFP is targeting 1.4 million vulnerable Somalis in food-insecure areas.

Uganda

Rations have been cut by 50 percent for some 200,000 refugees who arrived in Uganda prior to July 2015. Low levels of funding, together with the large numbers of new arrivals fleeing fighting in South Sudan has left WFP workers “with no choice but to re-prioritise their focus on those refugees in greatest need.” The humanitarian response to South Sudanese refugees in Uganda was already severely underfunded even before the latest outbreak of violence in Juba in July.

(TOP PHOTO: Residents of an IDP camp in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo receive food rations distributed by WFP. WFP)

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Residents of an IDP camp in North Kivu receive food rations distributed by WFP News Aid and Policy Food The Grinch’s not-so-festive guide to food ration cuts Obi Anyadike IRIN NAIROBI Africa Burundi Central African Republic Ethiopia Kenya Rwanda Somalia Uganda Malawi Burkina Faso Cameroon Chad Gambia Mauritania
          The US Military's Bloody "Successes": Training Foreign Militaries to Start Coups        

Winning! It's the White House watchword when it comes to the U.S. armed forces. "We will give our military the tools you need to prevent war and, if required, to fight war and only do one thing -- you know what that is? Win! Win!" President Donald Trump exclaimed earlier this year while standing aboard the new aircraft carrier U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford.

Since World War II, however, neither preventing nor winning wars have been among America's strong suits.  The nation has instead been embroiled in serial conflicts and interventions in which victories have been remarkably scarce, a trend that has only accelerated in the post-9/11 era. From Afghanistan to Iraq, Somalia to the Philippines, Libya to Yemen, military investments -- in lives and tax dollars -- have been costly and enduring victories essentially nonexistent. 

But Amadou Sanogo is something of a rare all-American military success story, even if he isn't American and his success was fleeting.  Sanogo learned English in Texas, received instruction from U.S. Marines in Virginia, took his intelligence training in Arizona, and underwent Army infantry officer basic training in Georgia.  Back home in his native Mali, the young army officer was reportedly much admired for his sojourn, studies, and training in the United States.

In March 2012, Sanogo put his popularity and skills to use when he led a coup that overthrew Mali's elected government. "America is [a] great country with a fantastic army. I tried to put all the things I learned there into practice here," he told Der Spiegel during his tenure as Mali's military strongman. (He eventually lost his grip on power, was arrested, and in 2016 went on trial for "complicity in kidnapping and assassination.")

Since 9/11, the United States has spent more than $250 billion training foreign military and police personnel like Sanogo.  Year after year, a sprawling network of U.S. programs provides 200,000 of these soldiers and security officers with assistance and support.  In 2015, almost 80,000 of them, hailing from 154 countries, received what's formally known as Foreign Military Training (FMT). 

The stated goals of two key FMT programs -- International Military Education and Training (IMET) and the Combating Terrorism Fellowship Program (CTFP) -- include promoting "international peace and security" and increasing the awareness among foreign military personnel of "internationally recognized human rights."  In reality, these programs focus on strengthening U.S. partner and proxy forces globally, though there's scant evidence that they actually succeed in that goal. A study published in July, analyzing data from 1970 to 2009, finds that FMT programs are, however, effective at imparting skills integral to at least one specific type of armed undertaking. "We find a robust relationship between U.S. training of foreign militaries and military-backed coup attempts," wrote Jonathan Caverley of the U.S. Naval War College and Jesse Savage of Trinity College Dublin in the Journal of Peace Research.  

Bad Actors

Through nearly 200 separate programs, the State Department and the Department of Defense (DoD) engage in what's called "security cooperation," "building partner capacity," and other assistance to foreign forces.  In 2001, the DoD administered about 17% of security assistance funding. By 2015, that figure had jumped to approximately 60%. The Combating Terrorism Fellowship Program, a post-9/11 creation indicative of this growth, is mostly run through the DoD and focuses on training mid- and senior-level defense officials from allied militaries in the tenets of counterterrorism. The State Department, by contrast, is the driving force behind the older and larger IMET program, though the Defense Department implements the training.

Under IMET, foreign personnel -- like Sanogo -- travel to the U.S. to take classes and undergo instruction at military schools and bases. "IMET is designed to help foreign militaries bolster their relationships with the United States, learn about U.S. military equipment, improve military professionalism, and instill democratic values in their members," wrote Joshua Kurlantzick in a 2016 Council on Foreign Relations memorandum aimed at reforming the program.

However, in an investigation published earlier this year, Lauren Chadwick of the Center for Public Integrity found that, according to official U.S. government documents, at least 17 high-ranking foreigners -- including five generals -- trained through IMET between 1985 and 2010 were later accused and in some cases convicted of criminal and human rights abuses. An open-source study by the non-profit Center for International Policy found another 33 U.S.-trained foreign military officers who later committed human rights abuses. And experts suggest that the total number of criminal U.S. trainees is likely to be far higher, since IMET is the only one of a sprawling collection of security assistance programs that requires official reports on human rights abusers.

In their Journal of Peace Research study, Caverley and Savage kept the spotlight on IMET because the program "explicitly focuses on promoting norms of civilian control" of the military.  Indeed, it's a truism of U.S. military assistance programs that they instill democratic values and respect for international norms. Yet the list of U.S.-trained coup-makers -- from Isaac Zida of Burkina Faso, Haiti's Philippe Biamby, and Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia to Egypt's Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq of Pakistan, and the IMET-educated leaders of the 2009 coup in Honduras, not to mention Mali's Amadou Sanogo -- suggests an embrace of something other than democratic values and good governance. "We didn't spend, probably, the requisite time focusing on values, ethics, and military ethos," then chief of U.S. Africa Command, Carter Ham, said of Sanogo following his coup. "I believe that we focused exclusively on tactical and technical [training]."

In 2014, two generations of U.S.-educated officers faced off in The Gambia as a group of American-trained would-be coup-makers attempted (but failed) to overthrow the U.S.-trained coup-maker Yahya Jammeh who had seized power back in 1994. The unsuccessful rebellion claimed the life of Lamin Sanneh, the purported ringleader, who had earned a master's degree at National Defense University (NDU) in Washington, D.C. (Two other coup plotters had apparently even served in the U.S. military.) "I can't shake the feeling that his education in the United States somehow influenced his actions," wrote Sanneh's former NDU mentor Jeffrey Meiser. "I can't help but wonder if simply imprinting our foreign students with the 'American program' is counterproductive and unethical."

Caverly warns that Washington should also be cautious about exporting its own foreign and domestic policy imperatives, given that recent administrations have left the Defense Department flush with funding and the State Department's coffers so bare that generals are forced to beg on its behalf.   "Put more succinctly," he explained, "you need to build up multiple groups within civil society to complement and sometimes counterbalance an empowered military." 

Caverley and Savage identified 275 military-backed coups that occurred worldwide between 1970 and 2009.  In 165 of them, members of that country's armed forces had received some IMET or CTFP training the year before the coup. If you add up all the years of such instruction for all those countries, it tops out at 3,274 "country years."  In 165 instances, a takeover attempt was carried out the next year. "That's 5%, which is very high, since coups happen rarely," Caverley told TomDispatch. "The ratio for country-years with no U.S. training is 110 out of 4101, or 2.7%."

While U.S. training didn't carry the day in The Gambia in 2014 (as it had in 1994 when U.S. military-police-training alumnus Yahya Jammeh seized power), it is nonetheless linked with victorious juntas. "Successful coups are strongly associated with IMET training and spending," Caverley and Savage noted.  According to their findings, American trainees succeeded in overthrowing their governments in 72 of the 165 coup attempts.

Train Wreck

There is significant evidence that the sprawling patchwork of America's military training programs for foreign forces is hopelessly broken.  In 2013, a State Department advisory board found that American security aid had no coherent means of evaluation and no cohesive strategy. It compared the "baffling" array of programs to "a philanthropic grant-making process by an assemblage of different foundations with different agendas." 

A 2014 RAND analysis of U.S. security cooperation (SC) found "no statistically significant correlation between SC and change in countries' fragility in Africa or the Middle East." A 2015 report from U.S. Special Operations Command's Joint Special Operations University noted that efforts at building partner capacity have "in the past consumed vast resources for little return." That same year, an analysis by the Congressional Research Service concluded that "despite the increasing emphasis on, and centrality of, [building partner capacity] in national security strategy and military operations, the assumption that building foreign security forces will have tangible U.S. national security benefits remains a relatively untested proposition." 

"There are no standard guidelines for determining the goals of [counter-terrorism] security assistance programs, particularly partner capacity-building training programs, or for assessing how these programs fit into broader U.S. foreign policy objectives," reads a 2016 Center for a New American Security report. "And there are few metrics for measuring the effectiveness of these programs once they are being implemented." And in his 2016 report on IMET for the Council on Foreign Relations, Kurlantzick noted that the effort is deeply in need of reform. "The program," he wrote, "contains no system for tracking which foreign military officers attended IMET… [a]dditionally, the program is not effectively promoting democracy and respect for civilian command of armed forces."

Studies aside, the failures of U.S. training efforts across the Greater Middle East have been obvious for years. From the collapse of the U.S.-built Iraqi army in the face of small numbers of Islamic State militants to a stillborn effort to create a new armed force for Libya, a $500 million failed effort to train and equip Syrian rebels, and an often incompetent, ghost-soldier-filled, desertion-prone army in Afghanistan, large-scale American initiatives to build and bolster foreign forces have crashed and burned repeatedly. 

One thing stateside U.S. training does seem to do, according to Caverley and Savage, is increase "human capital" -- that is, foreign trainees' professional skills like small unit tactics and strategic planning as well as intangibles like increased prestige in their home countries. And unlike other forms of American aid that allow regimes to shuttle state resources toward insulating the government from coups by doing anything from bribing potential rivals to fostering parallel security forces (like presidential guards), FMT affords no such outlet. "If you give assets to a group with guns and a strong corporate identity within a country lacking well-developed institutions and norms, you create the potential for political imbalance," Caverley told TomDispatch. "An extreme example of that imbalance is an attempt to take over the entire government."

Strength and Numbers

The United States has a troubled past when it comes to working with foreign militaries. From Latin America to Southeast Asia, Washington has a long history of protecting, backing, and fostering forces implicated in atrocities. Within the last several months alone, reports have surfaced about U.S.-trained or -aided forces from the United Arab Emirates, Syria, Cameroon, and Iraq torturing or executing prisoners. 

Some U.S.-trained figures like Isaac Zida in Burkina Faso and Amadou Sanogo in Mali have experienced only short-term successes in overthrowing their country's governments.  Others like The Gambia's Yahya Jammeh (who went into exile in January after 22 years in power) and Egypt's president -- and former U.S. Army War College student -- Abdel Fattah el-Sisi have had far more lasting tenures as strongmen in their homelands.

Any foreign military training provided by the U.S., write Caverley and Savage, "corresponds to a doubling of the probability of a military-backed coup attempt in the recipient country." And the more money the U.S. spends or the more soldiers it trains via IMET, the higher the risk of a coup d'état.

In 2014, the U.S. resumed IMET support for Mali -- it had been suspended for a year following the insurrection -- and even increased that funding by a modest $30,000.  That West African nation has, however, never recovered from the coup crisis of 2012 and, half a decade later, remains wracked by an insurgency that Sanogo, his successors, and a French- and U.S.-backed military campaign have been unable to defeat. As the militant groups in Mali have grown and metastasized, the U.S. has continued to pour money into training local military personnel. In 2012, the year Amadou Sanogo seized power, the U.S. spent $69,000 in IMET funds on training Malian officers in the United States.  Last year, the figure reached $738,000.

For the better part of two decades from Afghanistan to Iraq, Yemen to Pakistan, Somalia to Syria, U.S. drone strikes, commando raids, large-scale occupations and other military interventions have led to small-scale tactical triumphs and long-term stalemates (not to mention death and destruction). Training efforts in and military aid to those and other nations -- from Mali to South Sudan, Libya to the Philippines -- have been plagued by setbacks, fiascos, and failures.

President Trump has promised the military "tools" necessary to "prevent" and "win" wars.  By that he means "resources, personnel training and equipment... the finest equipment in the world."  Caverley and Savage's research suggests that the Pentagon could benefit far more from analytical tools to shed light on programs that cost hundreds of billions of dollars and deliver counterproductive results -- programs, that is, where the only "wins" are achieved by the likes of Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia and Egypt's Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi. 

"Warfighters focus on training other warfighters. Full stop. Any second order effects, like coups, are not the primary consideration for the training," Caverley explains. "That's why security cooperation work by the U.S. military, like its more violent operations, needs to be put in a strategic context that is largely lacking in this current administration, but was not much in evidence in other administrations either."


          Threat of four famines in 2017 “a catastrophic betrayal of our common humanity”         
English

The world stands on the brink of an unprecedented four famines in 2017 due to a catastrophic failure of the global community to uphold its obligations to the most vulnerable of people. Oxfam today calls on donors to take immediate action to help as many as 20 million people now at risk of starvation. 

Famine was declared this week in parts of South Sudan. In northern Nigeria it is likely that some 400,000 people living in areas cut off from aid are already suffering famine. Both Yemen and Somalia stand on the brink. The primary driver of these crises is conflict, though in Somalia it is drought. 

Donor countries have failed to adequately support efforts to resolve these conflicts and, in Yemen, are actually fuelling the conflict through arms sales. They now have a moral obligation to meet the $2.1 billion needed for a humanitarian response at the required scale. They need to find political answers to the causes of the collapse of these countries into such catastrophic levels of suffering. 

Oxfam’s Humanitarian Director Nigel Timmins said: “Famine does not arrive suddenly or unexpectedly. It comes after months of procrastination and ignored warnings. It is a slow agonizing process, driven by callous national politics and international indifference. It is the ultimate betrayal of our common humanity. 

“Half-hearted responses to UN appeals have short-changed the aid effort to save people’s lives. This must not continue. Governments need to act now to fully fund the aid effort. 

"The famine already gripping parts of South Sudan will spread across the country if not more is done. Famine may be imminent in Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria but it is not yet inevitable If we act now with a massive injection of aid, backed with diplomatic clout and driven by the imperative to save lives, we can prevent a catastrophic loss of life. Without an urgent injection of cash, the humanitarian system will not be able to cope and many more people will die.” 

Money is needed now because a hunger crisis can rapidly deteriorate.  As a crisis unfolds malnutrition and mortality rates rise exponentially, rather than steadily.  After a certain tipping point, further rapid deterioration becomes likely. Assistance must be given now before people become dangerously hungry and have exhausted the last of their efforts to feed their families. 

Responding to severe malnutrition requires significant humanitarian infrastructure, such as feeding and health centers. They cannot be spirited out of nowhere. People at the sharp end of these crises cannot wait. 

Oxfam is calling for immediate humanitarian and political action including: 

  • More food and life-saving support 
  • Opening the areas that people can move safely to reach aid – and for humanitarian agencies to reach them in turn – including suspending all military operations that block this kind of access and safe movement 
  • Protection of civilians in all military action. 
  • Committing to respond earlier to warning signs of future crises before they escalate 
  • Building people’s ability to cope better with future crises. Even without conflict, these countries will remain vulnerable to future food crisis 

In Somalia, 2.9 million people face acute food security ‘crisis’ and ‘emergency’ levels. This could tip into famine if the April-June rains fail, their ability to buy food declines and people do not receive humanitarian support. 

In Nigeria, over 5 million people are in food crisis, and this is projected to reach 5.7 million by June 2017. There is a strong likelihood that at least 400,000 people could already be experiencing famine-like conditions and that this could rise to up to 800,000 over the course of 2017 if humanitarian assistance cannot be delivered.

In South Sudan, 100,000 people are facing starvation now and a further 1 million people are classified as being on the brink of famine in Unity State. 

In Yemen, 7 million people are just one step away from famine, and 10 million people are severely hungry. This is largest hunger emergency in the world. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization is reporting that wheat stocks for the country will run out in April.   

Oxfam is already helping over a million people in Yemen, more than 600,000 in South Sudan, over 200,000 in Nigeria and an assessment mission has just returned from northern Somalia where it plans to begin a response to the drought.

Notes to editors: 

Spokespeople are available for interview.

 

Contact information: 

Attila Kulcsar | attila.kulcsar@oxfaminternational.org | +44 7471 142 974

For updates, please follow @Oxfam

Space only: 
Regions and Countries: 

          Ending Gender-Based Violence in Humanitarian Settings: Let’s Make it Happen        
Women gather wood outside Bor Camp, South Sudan. Photo: Kieran Doherty/Oxfam

Blog: Ending Gender-Based Violence in Humanitarian Settings: Let’s Make it Happen

As the 16 Days of Activism get underway in 2015, Oxafm is happy to share in launching new revised Guidelines for Integrating Gender-based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Action -- a practical, field-tested tool for humanitarian actors and crisis-affected communities.


          Toward limiting the threat of violence against women in the South Sudan crisis        
Toward limiting the threat of violence against women in the South Sudan crisis

Blog: Toward limiting the threat of violence against women in the South Sudan crisis

When I touch the sensitive subject of security, all I see is discomfort and eyes wandering off to avoid mine. On Friday (21 February) I met with another young woman, a girl in fact, who is so uncomfortable speaking about the topic, in this camp for South Sudanese refugees in Arua, North Uganda.

Just 17 years old, Nyebuony escaped the violence in South Sudan, together with her three siblings. No parents, just them, as appears to be quite common in this crisis.


          Sarovar Hotels Target Religious Tourism in India        

Uganda-based Madhvani Group and India's Sarovar Hotels and Resorts plan to establish mid-segment hotels in about dozen popular pilgrimage locations across India in a bid to tap the growing opportunity in the religious tourism segment, according to top officials of the two groups.

The alliance plans to open hotels in pilgrimage locations like Bodh Gaya, Rishikesh, Shirdi and Varanasi and aims at creating an organised pilgrimage hospitality circuit. The average size of the hotels in these destinations will be between 100-120 rooms.

" India is one of the foremost locations in the world for religious tourism and Madhvani Group is quite keen to tap this potential. In pursuit of this goal, we have already purchased land in Rishikesh and Bodh Gaya and are in advanced stage of acquiring land in Shirdi. We are also keen to expand our footprint in Varanasi, Katra, Dharamshala and Puri to cater to both the Hindu and Buddhist circuits, " Roni Madhvani, Director, Madhvani Group said.

" Funding at all these locations shall be through combination of debt and equity but quantum shall be decided closer to the execution stage and shall depend on the cost of funds and availability, " he added.

The Madhvani-Sarovar partnership opened its first new hotel in Tirupati recently. Described as India's first theme hotel inspired by the 10 avatars (incarnations) of Lord Vishnu, Marasa Sarovar Premiere, a 121-room hotel, aims to provide affordable luxury accommodation visitors. The company said the existing demand-supply gap provided an opportunity for it to establish a mid-range hotel in the holy town.

" Religious tourism is very strong in India but unfortunately lacked branded facilities in these locations. We hope to fill that gap by being in most cities. Religious destinations are only meant for mid-segment hotels and we intend to stay in that market, " said Anil Madhok, Managing Director, Sarovar Hotels & Resorts .

Madhvani Group is looking at various religious destinations and Sarovar Hotels are set to be managing the properties on completion. The $500 million plus Madhvani Group is an industrial conglomerate in East Africa with diversified investments in Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and India.


Article by +https://plus.google.com/104516603036446499629?rel=author on behalf of Propertyshowrooms.com
          South Sudan and Borno State        
Médecins Sans Frontières co-ordinator Henry Bray and nurse Gillian Conroy, on the impact of the South Sudan and Borno State conflicts.
          South Sudanese Famine        
We look at what is being done to stop the conflict in South Sudan, as famine now grips parts of the country; listeners may find some of the content of this package distressing
          Yvonne Chaka Chaka - Mamaland (information, video, comments)        
Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post showcases a video of 1990s song "Mamaland" by South African singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka.

Information about Yvonne Chaka Chaka is included in the summary of this video.

Selected comments from this video's discussion thread are included in this post.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Yvonne Chaka Chaka for her musical legacy and thanks to all those who are quoted in this post. Thanks also to the publisher of this video on YouTube.

****
SHOWCASE VIDEO: Yvonne Chacka chacka – Mamaland



yaz oshea Published on Mar 10, 2011

Yvonne has been on the forefront of South African music for over 15 years and still going strong.

Yvonne Chaka Chaka is always spinning gold. In 1985, when she was only 19 years old, Phil Hollis of Dephon Records discovered her in Johannesburg. Soon after she was introduced to record producers Rick Wolfe and Attie van Wyk. Her debut album "I'm in Love With a DJ" was released. It became tremendous hit.

Songs like "I'm burning Up" |"I'm in Love With a DJ"| "I Cry for Freedom" |"Makoti" |"Motherland" and the ever-popular, "Umqombothi" immediately insured Yvonne's status as star in South Africa music scene. Continuing to release hit after hit, her subsequent award winning albums were : "Burning Up" |"Sangoma" |"Who's The Boss" "Motherland" |" Be Proud to be African"| "Thank You Mr DJ" |"Back on my Feet"|"Rhythm of Life" |"Who's got the Power" |"The Best Of Yvonne Chaka Chaka" |"Bombani ( Tiko Rahini)| "Power of Afrika"|"Yvonne and Friends" and "Kwenzenjani"..

For her artistic achievement Yvonne has won the "Ngomo Award" (the "Grand Prix Pan African de la Chanson" in Zaire), as well as the "FNB/SAMA Awards" for the best female singer. Yvonne has also worked with noted producers Sello 'Chicco' Twala and Gabi LeRoux. The African Music Encyclopedia says of Yvonne, "Chaka-Chaka's powerful alto voice, along with her finely-crafted and arranged material, account for her wide popularity."
-snip-
Statistics (as of July 27, 2017 at 8:07 AM)
total views: 1,418,900
likes: 3,420 ; dislikes: 257
total # of comments: 556

****
SELECTED COMMENTS FROM THIS VIDEO'S DISCUSSION THREAD
These selected comments document commenters' high opinions of Yvonne Chaka Chaka and this song.

These selected comments also are a small sample of the expressions of affection that commenters wrote about their own African nation as well as expressions of a desire for African unity. In addition, these selected comments demonstrate the wide reach of recorded music from a specific African nation throughout the entire African continent.

Numbers are assigned for referencing purposes only.

2013
1. Chica Delarosa
"I Love my Mamaland Congo/Afrika"

**
2. Kweku Takyi-Annan
"Africa/Ghana"

****
2014
3. lord isaac
"This song give me power when i hear it.....because i remember where i come frome, i really miss you mama Africa... for Africa forever..!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

**
4. Anna Andreas
"I am born free ,but i am great fan of old school .BIG FAN OF IVONNE CHAKA CHAKA LOVE FROM NAMIBIA."

**
5. Sydonia3 years ago
My grandma had the entire VHS of all her songs! This was all that played in our house. 1997, good times

****
2015
6. abdiaziz ahmed osman
"southafrica people dont respect othere african people they kill them naglet them they forget there fredome were give by othere african country shame to south african people i heat them"
-snip-
"Heat" here is a typo for "hate".

**
Reply
7. Solomon Modisha, 2016
"+abdiaziz ahmed osman please don't "heat" us man, not all South Africans are xenophobic.come to the Madiba land you will see."

**
Reply
8. raan chol, 2016
"+Solomon Modisha I know majority of South African people are good people who love Africa and their African brothers and sisters. When the apartheid was being practiced, all African people were supporting brothers and sister from South Africa but the incident that happened in South Africa by killing other Africa is big embarrassment and betrayal to all Africa people in this world."

**
9. Gabriel Komango
"my land.... TANGANYIKA / TANZANIA"

**
10. Shell Winchester
"mama land África, my first mama i really miss you, and i love you so much... Áfricaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa... Angolaaa!!!"

**
11. Vidakon Jemusse
"Chokwe at Gaza, South of Mozambique,.... Makweniu wa Maxangane..... Peace From Mozambique"

**
12. Ismael Botan
"My mamaland somalia africa am proud to be african where our culture teach us to respect the old and the young ones am realy proud of whom i am"

**
13. hlaloso moreri
"my mamaland-Botswana/Africa"

**
14. M.S K
"Zambia✊ Africa Mamaland"

**
15. Evans Machera
"A celebratory song by African greatest song bird."

**
16. Silver Back
"One Love mama Africa. From S.Leone Westside Africa."

**
17. thadmans
"Africa is indeed our mamaland. Travelled from Kenya to RSA in June for the first time and still felt that I was still at home."

**
18. Bint Mohammed
"Ethiopia , Africa mamaland"

**
19. Martila Omba
"I luv my mamaland Congo DRC/Zambia"

****
2016
20. Nona Ford
"This song reminds me of those turn up weddings and parties!"

**
21. Chol Akuany
"My Mamaland Africa, Yvone Chacka Chacka has said it all. Stop fighting yourselves my people. Why is this tribal division among some Africans tribes? South Sudan, Dinka and Nuer used to inter-marry and did barter trade with one another until the money came along which in turn made some individuals like Riek Machar lust for even more. The 1991 & 2013 episodes are just examples. Greed is dividing my people and blinding them from realizing the truth. And what is the truth? There is no truth when you pick up a gun and kill innocent people. To the peaceful African nations, I thank you for being there for Africa, our Mamaland"

**
Reply
22. ntege samuel, 2017
"Chol Akuany
Also i wish S. Sudan people can wake up & stop murdering Ugandans like insects. We have taken you in as refugees & no one has been killed in here by a Ugandan. I the same way you should treat us well. Stop hooliganism its not the way to go in this modern era. If Ugandans werent good to you then you wdnt have come in here. Ugandan are peaceful & hospitable....& so should be you S. Sudanese. Treat us well...we sell food to you not because there no other markets but we know you are a desert helpless country. Finally we wish you well S.Sudan no matter how you kill us in your land."

**
23. Loice Mukandi
"Oh yes my mama land lots of love from Zimbabwe"

**
24. Jossey Kibebe
"you are such amazing lady,queen of africa i like the song truely africa is our mother land,it is our home and we are home to stay,lets practice peace,love and unity to our mother land God bless africa"

**
25. GLORIA 256
"Am from Uganda and I love Africa ma mama land God bless South Africans the freedom fighters 👏👏👏👏👏"

**
26. Social Streaming
"Stop killing, stop killing, it's our motherland Africa, very iconic music!"

27. Baba Theo Chriss
"Am Tanzanian my mamaland country. proud to be African.."

**
28. Daniel Boateng
"Her songs really contributed South Africa freedom. Big up Yvonne"

**
29. Givemore Chiguvare
"YAAAH wenever i go to a NEW AFRICAN PLACE I PLAY THIS ONE."

**
30. migxgy
"Always played this song at parties"

**
31. morenikespring #apple
"these were our beyonces"

**
32. Rufus J. Kerkulah
"From Gbarnga, Bong County, Liberia to South Africa with love."

**
33. Kenny Chukwu
"In character, in manner, in style, in all the things, the supreme excellence is simplicity. Like all magnificent things, she is an epitome of beauty and class. #Naija."

**
34. Jacob Paulo
"my thanks giving from Angola, love this song so much Chaka"

**
35. thamsanqa nyathi
"I waz young by then in rural areas listening to radio 2 before it waz named radio Zimbabwe,gne are the day's"

**
36. BE8Y LUBEGA
"I miss my mama land, just thought of Chaka Chaka one of the music icons of the 90s. Missing you Africa..."

**
37. Annah Makhoshi
"I am happy to be at African. I'm coming from Ghana I love south Africa it make me happy here"

**
38. Kbc Construction
"the time wen she was young looking good that we fighting apartheid in Namibia remind me my fellow whose gone with war"

**
39. samantha gloria
"Kbc Construction She still looks good,watched her on BBC hard talk one day ago"

**
40. jimmy heguye
"♨❤ l should give huge all Mother in Village!😀&dance with them😀My heart fired to Mother land home village! l feel so much to them!"

**
41. rumbie portia
"My roots are here in Africa....nyc song"
-snip-
“nyc song” = “nice song” and not New York City song

**
42. Regina Drescher
"Those were the good old days were no internet or mobile existed,millenials will never know how good it felt. Thank you Yvonne,you have no idea how many hearts you changed during your time.I give thanks to you..Thank you princess of Africa"

**
43. Femme Fatale
"yvonne chaka chaka in ZAÏRE ♥♥"

**
44. Bertin Ngindu
"So proud to be an African...my mamaland Tanzania/DRC"

**
45. Sidiki Fofana
"I am not from sudafrika but I love it realy all afrika are brothers"

****
2017
46. Charles Lotara
"Those were more than just musicians but were iconic freedom fighters through their songs! You made us proud of our motherland, we love you, we love Africa!"

**
48. James Ndula
"Yvonne was actually asking African countries to stop fighting and unite to become one, unfortunately that didn't happen"

**
49. Gabriel Mandlenkosi Vundla
"africa start from cape town to cairo,so all countries which are in this continent must get united not fight,nigerians are my brothers,zimbabweans are my sisters,so stop fighting guys"

**
50. polycap orina
"produced at the height of Racism...I listened to this as a kid,And will still bomb to hit"

**
51. stephen mugisha
"mam land so great,am Rwanda and proud to be so, i love ur music!!!"

**
52. Chris Tifana chikafa Tifana
"Yoh! aunt you suppose to continue singing please, i like all your songs maam"

**
53. Sebongile Nkachela Baggio
"my mamaland a better land, my home town. before cell phones take over"

**
54. Julius Chacha
"I remember those days 1992 when my uncles used to play kinanda."

**
55. jiya jalaqsan
"I love my motherland in somali"

**
56. Onasis Kanika Since88
"Am from Zambia Africa is my motherland let's not kill each other Africa unite. One love brothers and sisters"

**
57. Mula chain
"I am proud to be Congolese (DRC)"

**
58. ispm quartoano
"sory abaut my inglish im Mozambican. I love this song i rember my infacnc 7 year s old mamaland from Yvone .i never forget you."

**
59. Gisele Belole
"part of the video done in Kinshasa -Zaïre (DRC)"

**
60. Vannuge Jiiko
"I remember this song when I was young back in Malawi I feel so emotional now I miss you mama land the warm heart of Africa"

**
61. Vhuramai Chimbindi
"its true this Africa is our mama land why are we fighting for. lets not divide our selves"

**
62. maikano Rabe
"You contributed a lot in saving south Africa from the apartheid ruling. Great and tremendous zulu voice. It me remembered Dabezitao un Chakra zulu movie."

**
63. james pa92
"Childhood jam!!!"

**
64. Tracy Justice
"my mama land Tanzania, proud to be Tanzanian watching from the USA"

**
65. Lucy Leopold
"i real mic my home town my mama land Tanzania...from sweden"

**
66. JDOUG757
"being a black american, I envy u guys so much. we don't know where we are from. we are so lost...MAMA AFRICA I LOVE YOU!!! I MISS U!!!"

**
67. Willy Kabuya EL GANADOR
"i love africa proud To be congolese. my land"

**
68. Vivi Cruz
"Hi, I'm Cape Verdean, I love this rhythm, how I wanted to understand the lyrics, Kisses"

**
Reply
69. Tonny Okello
"Ni we nakupenda , ni we Mamaland - It a swahili phrase that translates literally : It is you I love, it is you my motherland."

**
70. Lionel Pessi Aka El Vomito
"BURUNDI forever"

**
71. mike koechner
"my mama land Kenya. watching from Doha Qatar. I miss my home Africa..."

**
72. OMBENI MIHWELA
"i love and i proud with african mucian who was sing the song of liberazation"

****
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          Win 1 of 5 collections of Bill Bryson Books to celebrate the film’s release of A Walk in the Woods        
Bill Bryson Books collection

Best hikes in the world - A Walk in the Woods, in cinemas September 18

Bill Bryson is one of the world’s greatest travel writers, renowned for his humorous tales from around the globe. One of Bryson’s most loved books A Walk in the Woods is coming to cinemas on September 18, as we join him, played by Robert Redford and his friend, Stephen Katz (Nick Nolte) as they trek the stunning AppalachianTrail. To celebrate the film’s release we take a look at some of the world’s best hikes and give you the chance to win an amazing collection of Bill Bryson books (worth £40)!

Inca Trail: At only 26 miles long it isn’t the longest of hikes but it’s one packed full of jaw-dropping sights ranging from lush jungles to mountain ranges. Located in Peru, this is one journey that really pays off when you finish, waiting for you is the awe-inspiring mysterious lost city of the Incas, Machu Picchu.

Baker Historical Trail: This is a hike you may not have heard but one you’ll definitely want to try! The trail only opened officially in 2013 and follows the footsteps of explorer and its namesake Sir Samuel Baker. Travellers begin their trip in Gondokoro, the new capital of South Sudan journeying through wild Africa, taking in various stunning waterfalls ending in Lake Albert, Uganda,  

A Walk in the Woods

Grand Italian Trail: Covering 3,700 miles this trail takes you through drastically different landscapes from sun-drenched coastlines to snow-capped mountains. A fair bit of planning is required if doing a thru-hike (walking the entire route from start to finish) as it begins in Trieste in North East Italy and finishes in Northern Sardinia!

The South West Coast Path (UK): A little closer to home but still spectacular is this 630 mile route can that might take a fast walker 30 days but most other people several weeks. Exmoor national park marks the starting point as walkers hug the coast through Devon, Cornwall and Dorset taking incredible heritage sites and geological wonders along the Jurassic coast.

Appalachian Trail: Where better place to end than on the iconic journey that Bill Bryson wrote about in his 1998 book, A Walk in the Woods. The longest continuous footpath in the world, the Appalachian Trail stretches along the East Coast of the United States, from Georgia to Maine, through some of the most eye-catching and celebrated landscapes in America. The film brings to life the sweeping lush valleys and sweeping backdrops to a truly unforgettable hike. 

Competition closing date

Sunday, 11 October 2015 - 11:59pm

Competition prize

For your chance to win 1 of 5 collections of Bill Bryson Books (worth £40); simply just answer the question below:-

Winners

Andrea Labe, Jon Dodsley, Mark Rewhorn, Don Cuthberrt and Beverley Marsh


          News Wrap: South Sudan president, rebel leader agree to ceasefire        

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HARI SREENIVASAN:  House Democrats were divided today on whether to join Republicans in investigating the Benghazi attacks.  It will be the eighth probe of the September 2012 attack that killed four Americans in Libya.

At a briefing today, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called this latest investigation a political stunt, but she said her members are still considering what to do.

REP. NANCY PELOSI, D, Minority Leader:  Our caucus is clearly among those who say don’t have anything to do with it, it’s a kangaroo court, it’s been identified as such, don’t dignify what they are doing, others who say, just send one person, so we can see what they’re doing to the witnesses and have access to that testimony.  And the third option is, let’s see what they come back with in terms of the terms of engagement.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  Pelosi’s office is negotiating with House Speaker John Boehner’s office on just how the investigation will be run.

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir rebel leader Riek Machar agreed today on a cease-fire.  They met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in their first face-to-face session since fighting began in December.  In addition to the cease-fire, the two men agreed a transitional government offers the best chance to move towards new elections.  The United Nations has accused both sides of crimes against humanity, and the U.S. has imposed sanctions.

U.S. automakers have announced two major recalls.  Ford said today it’s calling back nearly 700,000 Escape SUV’s and C-MAX hybrids from the last two model years.  Their side-curtain air bags may not inflate in a rollover crash.  And outside door handles could bind and prevent the door from locking properly.  And Chrysler is recalling 780,000 minivans from 2010 through 2014 with window switches that may overheat.  There’ve been no reports of crashes or injuries from these problems.

Wall Street closed out the week with modest gains.  The Dow Jones industrial average added 32 points to close at a new record, 16,583.  The Nasdaq rose 20 points to close near 4,072.  And the S&P 500 was up two, at 1,878.  For the week, the Dow four-tenths of a percent.  The Nasdaq fell more than 1 percent.  And the S&P was down one-tenth.

The post News Wrap: South Sudan president, rebel leader agree to ceasefire appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


          Comment on Responding Wrongly To The Cross by Sabet Kuj        
Thank you Jacob, I can believe that story, it's crazy here in South Sudan, they are still offering animal sacrifices! Thanks for the blog
          Ethio-Eritrea | Get Rid of the Bad Boy        

By Nahusenay Belay The Horn of Africa in general and Ethiopia in particular are on the rise. The peace accord reached by the Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan the ability of Somalia to go beyond the pessimist expectations, the impressive economic achievement in Ethiopia and its promise of socio-economic transformation, the peaceful and […]

Read more Ethio-Eritrea | Get Rid of the Bad Boy at Horn Affairs


          Peace in the Sudans        
In 2011, South Sudan celebrated its independence from Sudan after decades of war, but conflict in the region continues. A panel discusses the Carter Center's efforts to strengthen peace between the two countries through a series of dialogues between leaders. Moderated by Itonde Kakoma, manager of the Center's Sudan-South Sudan Dialogue Group, panelists included two members of the dialogue group, Ambassador Nureldin Satti and Professor Jok Madut Jok.
          Donate, Fast, Pray, Advocate for Humanitarian Assistance        
Global Emergency Response Coalition Formed



Years of violent civil war, endless drought and crippling poverty across Africa and Yemen have taken too many lives. Children and families lucky enough to survive today are on the brink of starvation. Enough is enough!  

That’s why eight leading international relief organizations have joined forces to form the Global Emergency Response Coalition

Formed in April 2017, the Global Emergency Response Coalition is a lifesaving humanitarian alliance made up of eight of the world’s largest U.S.-based international aid organizations, whose unified goal is to work collectively to deliver relief to millions of children and families in need.

Follow this Link to Donate
((PepsiCo Foundation and BlackRock have each offered a $1 million matching gift to save the world's hungriest people. That means every dollar you give today will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to a total of $2 million).

Your gift will help feed a child or family in these countries: Cameroon, Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, Uganda, Yemen, South Sudan

Pray, Fast, Act
In addition to a donation to the humanitarian organizations, there are other options to become involved. The bishops of the Episcopal and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), along with Bread for the World, invite you to Pray, Fast and Act (Advocate to Congress) for Foreign Assistance and Humanitarian Aid.

Every Friday is a day for prayer, fasting and advocacy for foreign assistance and humanitarian aid.
 

PRAY for an end to extreme poverty and for an end to humanitarian crises, including ongoing famines, around the world.

Dear God, You understand the needs of our broken world. Please guide us to share our time, talent, and wealth to help end extreme poverty, that we may deeply engage in our church's mission of global reconciliation. Amen. -From Lifting Women's Voices: Prayers to Change the World

FAST to raise awareness of the need to respond to human suffering and hunger no matter where it takes place.

Share on social media using #PrayFastAct and @TheEPPN. Post a picture of a dinner place setting with the reason you are fasting this month.

Educate yourself by reading Appropriations for Foreign Assistance from the Episcopal Church's Office of Government Relations.

(The Friday fast is part of the For Such a Time as This campaign, which also includes a fast on the 21st of every month that upholds people in our country on public assistance. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry explains in this video).



          Wall Street Closes Out the Week on a Strong Note        

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HARI SREENIVASAN: Wall Street closed out the week with a big finish. Stocks took off after news that factory orders and business spending rose in August.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained more than 197 points to close at 10860. The Nasdaq rose 54 points to close at 2381. For the week, the Dow gained nearly 2.5 percent; the Nasdaq rose nearly 3 percent.

A federal judge in Takoma, Washington, has ordered the Air Force to

reinstate a former flight nurse. Major Margaret Witt was discharged under the military’s don’t ask, don’t tell policy after she revealed that she a lesbian. The judge found the dismissal violated Witt’s constitutional rights.

President Obama traded barbs with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

today in a new war of words. The Iranian leader addressed the U.N. General Assembly yesterday, and suggested that the U.S. government played a role in the 9/11 attacks.

Today, in an interview with the BBC Persian news service, Mr. Obama condemned the remarks.

U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: It was offensive. It was hateful. And particularly for him to make the statement here in Manhattan, just — just a little north of Ground Zero, for him to make a statement like that was inexcusable.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Ahmadinejad refused to back away from his claim. At a news conference in New York, he called the background to the 9/11 attacks suspicious.

MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, Iranian President (through translator): What I raised is a very clear discussion and a precise one. Don’t you feel that, if a fact-finding mission was present from the start to explore the true reason behind September 11, that we wouldn’t see the catastrophes in Afghanistan and Iraq? Why do you assume that all nations should accept what the U.S. government tells them?

HARI SREENIVASAN: Ahmadinejad also said Iran would consider a halt to enriching uranium if it receives nuclear fuel for a medical research reactor. And he said Iran is ready to resume international talks on its nuclear program.

Also at the U.N., President Obama urged Sudan to ensure a referendum on

independence will be fair and on schedule. Under a 2005 peace agreement, the people of South Sudan are due to vote in January on whether to secede from the north. The president warned that, if the vote is not credible, there could be new violence.

Parts of western Wisconsin and southern Minnesota were paralyzed today

after severe flooding. Remnants of Tropical Storm Georgette have dumped nearly a foot of rain this week. That sent rivers and streams rising out of their banks, washing out roads, and forcing hundreds of people to evacuate. The governors of both states have declared emergencies.

Comedian and satirist Stephen Colbert took his celebrity to a U.S. House hearing today to raise awareness about farm workers. Colbert recently spent a day picking beans in a United Farm Workers program called Take Our Jobs. It aims to show that few Americans will do such work, leaving low-paid illegal immigrants to do it.

STEPHEN COLBERT, host, “The Colbert Report”: I think there are way too many undocumented Mexican workers here in the United States doing jobs. And I think that we have ignored this issue for too long, and it is time to roll up our sleeves and face this issue mano a whatever the Spanish word for mano is.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Colbert stayed in character as a mock newscommentator for much of the hearing.

In India, athletes from around the world began to arrive in New Delhi for the troubled Commonwealth Games. The event has been plagued by negative publicity about unfinished venues and dirty accommodations for athletes. And the start of competition is just nine days away. Some athletes have pulled out, but New Zealand and Australia confirmed today their athletes will attend.

Rescuers in New Zealand scrambled today to save 24 stranded pilot whales. It was the second mass stranding in the last month, and the cause remained a mystery. The whales were trucked to another beach 30 miles away to be refloated. They were the only survivors from the pod of 80 whales that beached on Wednesday. Three more whales died during today’s rescue attempt.

The post Wall Street Closes Out the Week on a Strong Note appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


          Unhappy Anniversary, South Sudan        
Six years ago Sunday, South Sudan's flag was hoisted in Juba. Amid an atmosphere of optimism and hope, South Sudan became the world's newest country, breaking away from its longtime rival, Sudan. The moment marked the end of decades of fighting between rebels in the predominantly Christian south of Sudan and their northern Arab rivals in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, who was in Juba that day, reported that with the parades and children singing, there was a mood of excitement. "You know, I feel now happy, because we are finally liberated from the Arab rule. Myself, I am one of the founders. I'm one of the people who started the war," John Ngum Lang Ngum, who fought with the Sudanese People's Liberation Army, told Quist-Arcton. "But I'm happy that the flag has been hoisted today while I'm alive. And I'm seeing our flag of freedom waving in the air." The creation of South Sudan was a major foreign policy success for the U.S. South Sudanese independence had
          More People Living As Refugees Now Than Anytime Since WWII, New U.N. Reports Says        
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit KELLY MCEVERS, HOST: The U.N. says 65 million people have left their homes and are living either as refugees or as displaced people in their own countries. Sixty-five million - that's the highest number of refugees since World War II. NPR's Jason Beaubien has been covering this story, and he is with us now. Hey, Jason. JASON BEAUBIEN, BYLINE: Hey, Kelly. MCEVERS: Who are these 65 million people, and what's making them leave home? BEAUBIEN: You know, it really just comes down to conflict. When you look at the bulk of the people who are refugees and being displaced, it's the wars. It's - once again, Syria seems to have been dying down a little bit. But when you look at it, Syria continues to be the largest source of new refugees in 2016. Nearly a million Syrians fled out of the country last year in 2016. The official number was 824,000. You know, but even before this, Turkey had already been hosting 2 and a half million Syrian refugees. South Sudan
          5 Surprising Facts About The Refugee Crisis        
The number of people forcibly displaced from their homes is the highest since World War II. According to a new report from the United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR, 65.6 million people are currently living as refugees or as displaced persons inside their own countries. This includes 10.3 million people who were uprooted from their homes in 2016. Syria continues to be the largest source of refugees. According to the U.N., 12 million Syrians — more than half the country's population — have been forced from their homes. Five million have fled to neighboring countries and Europe, while the rest remain inside Syria, officially labeled as displaced persons. Syria is also the largest source of new refugees: 824,000 in 2016. It was followed by South Sudan, where 740,000 people fled the country because of the brutal civil war. There are now 1.4 million South Sudanese refugees abroad, along with 1.9 million internally displaced people. Neighboring Uganda has taken in hundreds of thousands of
          The Best And Worst Places To Be A Kid        
A recent report from Save the Children documents what many people have known for a long time — a baby is far better off being born in Europe than in sub-Saharan Africa. It's a point that has been made before. "But it's important that Save the Children and others keep bringing it up and putting it before the public because it can be forgotten, ignored or passed over amidst the news of the day," says Robert Black , the director of international programs at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. "These are important issues," says Black, who was not involved in producing the report. Best Places To Be A Kid 1. Norway, Slovenia 3. Finland 4. Netherlands 5. Sweden 6. Portugal 7. Ireland 8. Iceland 9. Italy 10. Belgium, Cyprus, Germany, South Korea Worst Places To Be A Kid 1. Niger 2. Angola 3. Mali 4. Central African Republic 5. Somalia 6. Chad 7. South Sudan 8. Burkina Faso 9. Sierra Leone, Guinea Source: Save the Children The report looks at how child labor, early marriage,
          Cholera 101: An Ancient Disease Keeps Cropping Up        
Cholera can kill a person in a matter of hours. It's a severe gastrointestinal disease that can trigger so much diarrhea and vomiting that patients can rapidly become dehydrated. They lose so much fluid that their internal organs shut down. The waterborne disease has been around for centuries, and it remains a global health risk. According to the World Health Organization, there are roughly 3 million cases a year and 90,000 deaths. The worst outbreak right now is in Haiti, linked to cholera brought by U.N. peacekeepers in 2010. Outbreaks are also flaring in South Sudan and Somalia. In countries that have long been grappling with cholera, such as Bangladesh, India and the Democratic Republic of Congo, tens of thousands of people are sickened every year. And now there's concern that cholera could sweep through war-torn Yemen. Doctors Without Borders has reported at least 570 cholera cases in Yemen in the past three weeks. "(This) is extremely alarming. We are facing a reactivation of the
          South Sudan: UN mission concerned at reports of intimidation of civil society members        
Publisher: UN News Service - Document type: Country News
          UN Security Council concludes 'very positive' three-day visit to South Sudan        
Publisher: UN News Service - Document type: Country News
          Podcast 68 Musician Emmanuel Jal on his music, his work as a peace activist, and South Sudan        
UNICEF podcast moderator Femi Oke speaks with Emmanuel Jal about his music, his work as a peace activist, South Sudan and the need for education.
          Podcast 66 Promoting youth engagement in education and peace-building        
UNICEF podcast moderator Femi Oke speaks with Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports in the Republic of South Sudan Dr. Cirino Hiteng Ofuho and youth activist and Director of the African Youth Initiative Network in Uganda Victor Ochen about youth engagement in education and peace-building.
          Podcast 42 As South Sudan looks to nationhood, education is pivotal        
UNICEF Radio moderator Amy Costello speaks with Yasmin Haque of UNICEF and Carol Francis-Rinehart of Project Educate Sudan about the challenges facing children in a newly independent South Sudan.
          Provide Genuine Refuge to World’s Displaced        

Asylum seekers behind a metal fence in the ‘Hangar 1’ detention center, in Röszke, Hungary. September 9, 2015.

© 2015 Zalmaï for Human Rights Watch

(New York) – The massive refugee crisis demands an unprecedented global response. At two summits on September 19 and 20, 2016, at the United Nations, world leaders should take bold steps to share responsibility for millions of people displaced by violence, repression, and persecution.

Leaders will gather in New York to discuss providing greater support to countries where refugees first land, just as many of those countries are at breaking point. There is a grave risk to the bedrock foundation of refugee protection, the principle of nonrefoulement – not forcibly returning refugees to places where they would face persecution and other serious threats. People are fleeing violence in Afghanistan, Burma, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Honduras, Iraq, Somalia, and Syria, among others.

“Millions of lives hang in the balance,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “This is not just about more money or greater resettlement numbers, but also about shoring up the legal principles for protecting refugees, which are under threat as never before.”

This year, Human Rights Watch has documented Turkish border guards shooting and pushing back civilians who appear to be seeking asylum; Jordan refusing entry or assistance to Syrian asylum seekers at its border; Kenya declaring that it will close the world’s largest refugee camp in November and pushing Somalis to return home despite potential danger; and Pakistan and Iran harassing and deregistering Afghan refugees and coercing them to return to a country in conflict.

The UN General Assembly has convened the September 19 summit “with the aim of bringing countries together behind a more humane and coordinated approach” to refugees. The final statement, already drafted, is a missed opportunity to widen the scope of protection and limits expectations for concrete, new commitments. However, it affirms refugee rights and calls for more equitable responsibility sharing. Given the scale of the refugee crisis and populist backlash in many parts of the world, this affirmation should be the basis for collective action, Human Rights Watch said.

On September 20, US President Barack Obama will host a “Leader’s Summit” to increase commitments for aid, refugee admissions, and opportunities for work and education for refugees. Governments are expected to make concrete pledges toward goals of doubling the number of resettlement places and other admissions, increasing aid by 30 percent, getting 1 million more refugee children in school, and granting 1 million more adult refugees the right to work. Though the participants have not been announced, 30 to 35 countries are expected to attend. Canada, Ethiopia, Germany, Sweden, and Jordan will join the United States as co-facilitators.

Boost Humanitarian Aid to Countries of First Arrival
The vast majority of the world’s 21.3 million refugees are in the global south, where they often face further harm, discrimination, and neglect. Human Rights Watch called on countries of first arrival like Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Thailand, Kenya, Iran, and Pakistan, to commit to proposals to provide refugees with better access to work and education.

The world’s richest nations have largely failed to help countries on the front lines of the displacement crisis. As of September 9, UN aid appeals were 39 percent funded, with some of the worst-funded in Africa; the appeal for refugees from South Sudan stands at 19 percent. The regional refugee response plans for Yemen and Syria are funded at 22 and 49 percent.

Increase Numbers Resettled in Other Countries
Resettlement from countries of first arrival is a key way to help refugees rebuild their lives and to relieve host countries, but international solidarity is glaringly absent. In 2015, the UN refugee agency facilitated resettlement of 81,000 of a projected 960,000 refugees globally in need of resettlement. The agency estimated that over 1.1 million refugees would need resettlement in 2016, but projected that countries would only offer 170,000 places. Representatives of 92 countries pledged only a slight increase in resettlement places for Syrian refugees at a high-level UN meeting in March.

In the European Union, the arrival by boat in 2015 of more than 1 million asylum seekers and migrants – and more than 3,700 deaths at sea – laid bare the need for safe and legal channels for refugees to move, such as resettlement.  However, many EU countries, including Austria, Bulgaria, and Hungary, are focused primarily on preventing spontaneous arrivals, outsourcing responsibility, and rolling back refugee rights.

A July 2015 European plan to resettle 22,500 refugees from other regions over two years has resettled only 8,268 refugees, according to figures from July 2016. Most EU countries underperformed, and 10 failed to resettle a single person under the plan.

End Abusive Systems, Flawed Deals
The EU struck a deal with Turkey in March to allow the return to Turkey of almost all asylum seekers on the deeply flawed grounds that Turkey is a safe country for asylum; it is on the verge of falling apart. Australia forcibly transfers all asylum seekers who arrive by boat to offshore processing centers, where they face abuse, inhumane treatment, and neglect.

The EU and Australia should renounce these abusive policies. EU countries should swiftly adopt a proposed permanent resettlement framework with more ambitious goals and a clear commitment to meet them, Human Rights Watch said. They should share fairly the responsibility for asylum seekers arriving spontaneously, and help alleviate the pressure on Greece and Italy.

Governments also undermine asylum with closed camps, as in Kenya and Thailand, and by detaining asylum seekers, as do Australia, Greece, Italy, Mexico, and the United States.

While by many measures the US leads in refugee resettlement and response to UN humanitarian aid appeals, it has been particularly slow and ungenerous in admitting Syrian refugees. And it has had notable blind spots, as with its border policies for Central American children and others fleeing gang violence and its use of Mexico as a buffer to keep them from reaching the US border.

The Obama Administration met its goal of admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees this fiscal year in the face of opposition from more than half of US governors and a lack of resettlement funds from Congress, but the US has the capacity to resettle many times that number. It should commit to meeting the Leaders’ Summit goals, which would mean doubling this year’s 85,000 total refugee admissions to 170,000.

Several other countries with capacity to admit far more refugees, including Brazil, Japan, and South Korea, have fallen woefully short. Japan admitted 19 refugees in 2015, South Korea only 42 aside from North Koreans, and Brazil only 6.

Russia resettles no refugees. The Gulf States do not respond to UN resettlement appeals, though Saudi Arabia says it has suspended deportations of hundreds of thousands of Syrians who overstay visitor visas. Most Gulf states, except Kuwait, have also fallen short in their response to Syrian-refugee-related UN appeals to fund refugee needs, according to an Oxfam analysis.

“Every country has a moral responsibility to ensure the rights and dignity of people forced to flee their homes,” Roth said. “When more than 20 million people are counting on a real international effort to address their plight, lofty pronouncements are not enough.”


          Government matching funds for famine relief still available        
South Sudan women

MCC is planning its next round of emergency assistance in Unity State, South Sudan – an area declared a famine zone by the United Nations.


          On the Significance of the Declaration of Famine in South Sudan        

Last week’s declaration of famine in South Sudan was the first such declaration by the United Nations and associated agencies for six years. It’s an important step, for several reasons. Crying ‘famine!’ is a political act, intended to impel action. This will be a test case for whether it works.

Until 2010, when the Integrated [...]

          Policy Memo: The ‘Regional Protection Force’ for South Sudan        

On 11 November 2016, the World Peace Foundation held consultations in Addis Ababa with policymakers and experts on the proposed deployment of a ‘Regional Protection Force’ (RPF) for South Sudan. A policy memo summarizing those consultations is now available on the African Peace Missions website.

You can read an excerpt from the policy memo below.

[...]
          Virtual issue of African Affairs on South Sudan        

Alex de Waal has a new essay introducing African Affairs‘ virtual issue on South Sudan. As the journal’s editors explain, the virtual issue is the journal’s contribution to making in-depth analysis available to the wider public for free: “often, journalism and advocacy on South Sudan is ill-informed and simplistic. This virtual issue of African [...]

          â€œSouth Sudan: The Road to Civil War” with Professor Mahmood Mamdani        

Should we treat mass violence in civil war situations as criminal violence or political violence? Is the individualization of criminal violence an appropriate method to deal with accountability for mass violence? Through the lens of African politics and focusing on the case of South Sudan, Professor Mahmood Mamdani led a public discussion examining [...]

          What Went Wrong [in South Sudan]        

Excerpt from “What Went Wrong”. Full article published by  The Cipher Brief, August 3, 2016.

At the heart of South Sudan’s descent into chaos is a failed effort at security sector reform. When Sudan’s long civil war ended in 2005, the U.S. – along with other donors – poured money and expertise in trying [...]

          Politics of Fear in South Sudan        

Recommended reading from Open Democracy, Daniel Akech Thiong’s essay, “The politics of fear in South Sudan,” published July 22, 2016.

The South Sudanese political landscape has become frighteningly unpredictable. It is nearly impossible to address one crisis without another more serious one cropping up.

The political risks were low while the economy boomed, but became high [...]

          South Sudan’s corrupt elite have driven a debt-free and oil-rich country to ruin        
The South Sudanese ambassador to the United Nations, Akuei Bona Malwal, described the violence as part of his country's 'learning curve.' It's his job to put a brave face on disaster. But the learning curve surely needs to be that South Sudanese citizens can no longer afford a political elite whose greed, ambition and bellicosity have driven their country to ruin. The long-suffering people of South Sudan need to have their own voices heard directly in the next peace process, so that they can find ways to bend that curve towards peace.
          The African Union can and must intervene to prevent atrocities in South Sudan        
The challenge facing the African Heads of State and Government as they meet in Kigali is not whether but how to act in South Sudan. Africa’s leaders have the authority and means to act to protect the lives of tens of thousands of South Sudanese people and prevent the nation from descending into war, atrocity and famine.
          Recommended: Clémence Pinaud on South Sudan        
Clémence Pinaud writes: "Much remains uncertain, but the future of South Sudan looks grim, and it is not just Juba. Other state capitals such as Malakal in Upper Nile and Bentiu in Unity state have seen troops movements and are incredibly tense. Just five years after independence, and less than one year after a peace agreement was signed, a phase of a third South Sudanese civil war seems to have begun."
          What’s Gone Wrong in South Sudan?        

Al Jazeera Inside Story hosts a discussion of the new fighting in South Sudan, featuring Alex de Waal with Ateny Wek Ateny, Spokesman for South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and Justin Lynch, Editorial Fellow at the New America Foundation who has worked extensively in South Sudan. Video available online. For more background on [...]

          South Sudan is entering an extremely dangerous phase        

In a WPF policy briefing of March 24, 2016, Alex de Waal warns that South Sudan is entering a dangerous new phase. Below is from the introduction to briefing.

Access pdf of the full briefing.

Introduction

This policy briefing provides an analysis of the risks that South Sudan faces given the current convergent economic, [...]

          South Sudan: Spiritual cataclysm        
South Sudanese are deeply respectful of the dead, and are always determined to ensure that their loved ones are buried with proper ceremony, and their spirits are propitiated. The site of a massacre is not just a human rights violation, but a spiritual disaster.
          South Sudan: The price of ‘peace’        
Seven journalists have been killed in South Sudan in 2015. Independent newspapers are closed down. Humanitarian agencies feed millions of South Sudanese people – even after peace is signed. Government spending on health and education remains near zero.
          South Sudan: A peace deal is signed        
The UN Security Council threatens sanctions on South Sudan’s leaders if they don’t sign a deal before the end of August 2015. The mediators draw up a ‘compromise peace agreement’ and both leaders sign, reluctantly. The agreement is a share-out of top jobs. The people must wait for democracy, justice, disarmament and development.
          South Sudan: Negotiations for peace…and democracy and human rights?        
The mediators remain stuck in a model of peacemaking that includes only the leaders of the warring parties. Between December 2013 and August 2015, there are eight summit meetings, usually in Addis Ababa, and near-continuous peace talks. But the mediators never once go to meet the South Sudanese people. Civil society’s views aren’t taken seriously.
          South Sudan: The Price of Peace…Talks        
History shows that the Sudanese and South Sudanese only reach peace agreements when the budget is increasing. Every political leader goes to the peace table expecting to depart with more than the amount he arrived with. The problem facing the mediators was that South Sudan’s budget is shrinking rapidly.
          How South Sudanese pay for their leader’s war        
Oil production is dropping…and the price of oil is falling too. The South Sudanese pound is depreciating. Inflation is rising. Foreign debts are increasing…The oil companies have refused any more loans and the government only borrow secretly at exorbitant rates.
          Government versus Rebels?…Soldiers versus Citizens        

The second cartoon of Alex de Waal and Victor Ndula’s  series on South Sudan’s war is “Government versus Rebels?…Soldiers versus Citizens.” The full series is available as pdf downloads on our website.


          South Sudan: The price of war, the price of peace        
This post begins a new eight-part cartoon series with text Alex de Waal and artwork by Victor Ndula, depicting the political marketplace in South Sudan. The series is the second in a collaboration between de Waal and Ndula, the first 8 episodes, "South Sudan: Who got What?" can be found on our website. The project was co-sponsored by the Cartoon Movement, Justice and Security Research Programme and the World Peace Foundation. We begin with Episode One
          Remembering the Ones We Lost: South Sudan        

Today is the official launch date for a website that serves both to document and display the results of efforts to name the ones who have been killed in South Sudan’s conflicts since 1955. WPF is proud to have supported the South Sudanese civil society volunteers who have spearheaded this project. The people of [...]

          South Sudan: No Money, No peace        

Excerpt from “No money, no peace” by Alex de Waal in Foreign Policy, Wednesday, December 2, 2015. Available in full here.

Currently out of the headlines, South Sudan’s war, which began in December 2013, is a brutal competition for power between President Salva Kiir and his former vice president, Riek Machar. This conflict [...]

          South Sudan: Why a Political Crackdown Accompanies a Peace Agreement        

It’s no coincidence that South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir cracked down hard on dissent at precisely the same moment that he reluctantly signed the ‘Compromise Peace Agreement’ that should, ostensibly, bring an end to the last twenty months of fighting with the SPLA-in Opposition forces. This also reveals why the tools of targeted financial sanctions, [...]

          Elusive peace in South Sudan and the need to change course in the mediation        

The conflict in the world’s newest nation, South Sudan, is approaching its second year without resolution. Seven cease fire agreements have been signed and none of them has been implemented. Since its beginning, the conflict has cost the lives of thousands of civilians and displaced nearly one in five of every South Sudanese.

The Inter-Governmental [...]

          Review of The Anyanya Movement in South Sudan        
The first theme is one that any scholar of the Anyanya Movement is aware of: that the Anyanya were a disparate group of peasant soldiers lacking a central command and a cohesive political ideology. In Western Equatoria, the picture that emerges from Magaya’s book is one of organised and dedicated guerillas, almost akin to the partisans in Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls.
          On corruption and mass atrocities        
Economic and financial sanctions rarely work: their best record is when they are short-term, have specific asks, and are targeted at friendly countries. Long-term, broad sanctions punishing hostile countries tend to compound the harm. Depriving a government of any legal way of getting the finance it needs to function, means it works criminal networks instead. Sudan is a case in point: a raft of U.S. financial and economic sanctions has contributed to the dominance of an entrenched security-commercial cartel at the top of government, whose members are personally enriched by this system. When a state is captured by such a network, regime change becomes extraordinarily difficult. There’s no way out of this trap without normalizing state finance—and that means transforming the sanctions regime. The final and most fundamental point is that we cannot escape this problem with the same tools and the same frameworks that got us collectively into it in the first place. This agenda for change is neither charity nor coercive intervention, because the problem is ours as well. In Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia and South Sudan, international interventions have made a bad situation worse. We share the same international financial and security systems: we all suffer the consequences, and all need to fix them. In western, developed countries, we experience the concentration of wealth into a tiny fraction of extremely rich people, alongside policies that have cut into the middle class, and limited the future of the next generation. We have a closed security establishment that considers itself above the rules that govern society as a whole, and permitted to crooks in the name of protecting the public. Their worldview subordinates public interest to greed and fear, and their prescriptions for global problems don’t challenge this formula.
          What happens when the money runs out?        
The eighth and final episode in the comic illustration of South Sudan's predicament, with art by Victor Ndula and text by Alex de Waal. Sponsored by the Cartoon Movement, JSRP, and World Peace Foundation.
          The rent seeking rebellion cycle        
Episode seven in the eight part comic illustration of South Sudan's predicament, with art by Victor Ndula and text by Alex de Waal. Sponsored by the Cartoon Movement, JSRP, and World Peace Foundation.
          Who gets the money?        
Episode six in the eight part comic illustration of South Sudan's predicament, with art by Victor Ndula and text by Alex de Waal. Sponsored by the Cartoon Movement, JSRP, and World Peace Foundation.
          Peace: A chance for the SPLA to grow        
Episode five in the eight part comic illustration of South Sudan's predicament, with art by Victor Ndula and text by Alex de Waal. Sponsored by the Cartoon Movement, JSRP, and World Peace Foundation.
          How the elite stole South Sudan’s riches        
Episode four in the eight part comic illustration of South Sudan's predicament, with art by Victor Ndula and text by Alex de Waal. Sponsored by the Cartoon Movement, JSRP, and World Peace Foundation.
          South Sudan gets rich quick        
Episode three in the eight part comic illustration of South Sudan's predicament, with art by Victor Ndula and text by Alex de Waal. Sponsored by the Cartoon Movement, JSRP, and World Peace Foundation. All eight are available on our website.
          Oil in South Sudan: A (re)source of war and peace        
"Oil in South Sudan: a (re)source of war and peace" is episode two in the eight part comic illustration of South Sudan's predicament, with art by Victor Ndula and text by Alex de Waal. Sponsored by the Cartoon Movement, JSRP, and World Peace Foundation.
          Fortune Of Africa Air Flight Status        
Africa is gifted by nature offering plenty of opportunities to tourists. Africa has rich cultural heritage and natural beauty as indicated below in the following country tourism profiles: Algeria Egypt Malawi Sierra Leone Angola Equatorial Guinea Mali Somalia Benin Eritrea Mauritania South Africa Botswana Ethiopia Mauritius South Sudan Burkina Faso Gabon Morocco Sudan Burundi Gambia ...
          List of African Countries by region        
List of countries of East Africa Burundi Comoros Djibouti Eritrea Ethiopia Kenya Madagascar Malawi Mozambique Rwanda Seychelles Somalia South Sudan Tanzania Uganda Zambia Zimbabwe List of countries of West Africa Benin Burkina Faso Cape Verde Gambia Ghana Nigeria Guinea Guinea Bissau Ivory Coast Liberia Mali Mauritania Niger Senegal Sierra Leone Togo List of countries of ...
          List of countries of Africa by Region        
The countries of Africa by region are as follows; Angola Cameroon Central African Republic Chad DR. Congo Equatorial Guinea Gabon Republic of Congo Sao Tome and Principe Burundi Comoros Djibouti Eritrea Ethiopia Kenya Madagascar Malawi Mozambique Rwanda seychelles Somalia South Sudan Tanzania Uganda Zambia Zimbabwe  Algeria Egypt Libya Morocco Sudan Tunisi Botswana Lesotho Maurtius NamibiaSouth ...
          Donor Roundtable Meeting on the Women's Access to Justice Flagship Initiative        
14 Jul 2017

STATEMENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LAW ORGANIZATION

Donor Roundtable Meeting on the Women's Access to Justice Flagship Initiative: "Addressing Impunity Against Women and Girls Through Effective Women's Access to Justice in Diverse Country Contexts"

July 6th, 2017

New York

Delivered by Mr. Patrizio Civili, Permanent Observer to the UN, IDLO

​Check against delivery

 

Excellencies,

Distinguished Delegates, colleagues, Ladies and gentlemen,

Thanks to the Norwegian Ambassador, UN Women and panelists.

Let me say at the outset that IDLO, the only inter-governmental organization exclusively devoted to advancing the rule of law, is proud to be part of this initiative, which addresses a cause that is both central to IDLO’s priorities and crucial to enabling progress to achieve Agenda 2030.

Throughout the world, millions of women continue to be denied justice. Women and girls suffer appalling levels of discrimination, violence and neglect, with very limited means to access effective remedies. This is so because their road to justice is often impeded by discriminatory legal frameworks, unequal social norms, and inaccessible or gender-biased justice institutions.

Women’s access to justice is especially challenging in crisis-affected States. The breakdown of law and order, weakened justice institutions, opportunistic violence and other forms of extremism, create an environment that breeds impunity. In many situations, sexual and gender-based violence is used as a weapon of war; in other cases, women and girls themselves are used as human shields with great risks to their lives and the safety of their families.

Also, despite the primacy that the international community has been giving to gender concerns in conflict resolution and peace building, women’s participation and representation in the negotiation and implementation of peace agreements remain negligible.[1]

Overall, although some significant gains have been made in improving women’s access to justice in conflict and fragile situations, the challenge remains immense.

We know from our work around the world that good laws, fair justice institutions and an empowered constituency of women are vital in dismantling discriminatory structures, enhancing accountability for violations of women’s rights, and advancing gender equality. This is why SDG 16 is not only important as a goal in its own right. It is also critically relevant to SDG 5: a robust legal and justice environment is imperative to gender equality and women’s empowerment. 

In turn, SDG 5, points to the crucial importance of gender equality in strengthening the rule of law, which is addressed in SDG 16; in combatting inequalities addressed in SDG 10; and, more generally, in achieving, across goals, the overall objective of human progress that underlie Agenda 2030. Integrating gender in laws and policies is instrumental in bringing about equitable, accountable and fair justice institutions that cater to the needs of the entire population.

Advancing synergies between law and gender is a guiding principle of much of IDLO’s work.

In Afghanistan, IDLO continues to strengthen specialized prosecution units in the Attorney-General’s Office to handle cases of violence against women; and we work with a network of women’s shelters in the country so they can offer better safety and support services, to survivors of violence.

In Liberia, IDLO works to strengthen the efficiency, transparency and accountability of a specialized Criminal Court designed to deal exclusively with sexual offenses.

In a range of countries across regions - Kenya, Myanmar, Somalia, and South Sudan – IDLO is providing technical support in handling sexual and gender violence, including through policy formulation, prosecution and investigation, as well as legal education and training, and community engagement. 

In Tanzania and Uganda, IDLO through legal empowerment and social accountability is strengthening the capacities of women and girls and their communities to hold service providers accountable and seek justice through many pathways.

In Kyrgyzstan, IDLO is focusing on community justice mechanisms and their capacity to deliver fair outcomes to women and girls.

A key lesson that we – and, I trust, all international actors engaged in advancing justice for women as an integral part of achieving Agenda 2030 – are learning from experience on the ground is that building and strengthening partnerships is critical to accelerating and sustaining change

This is for different reasons. But a key one is simply that women’s access to justice is a complex, multi-dimensional challenge that requires multi-dimensional solutions that only partnerships can bring.

It is this vision that has guided UN Women, UNODC and IDLO to jointly commit, together with UNDP, to this initiative and to seek your crucial support. The Global Programme being launched today is a partnership of experiences, expertise, and resources. It is founded on a common intolerance for injustice and impunity; a common commitment to advancing the goals of Agenda 2030 in an integrated, mutually reinforcing way; and mutual respect for the unique set of skills that each of us can bring to the table.

Together, we trust that you will join us in ensuring that injustice for women and girls no longer goes unaddressed.  And, together, we hope that this global program will serve to bring about real progress in delivering justice to women, particularly those in fragile and conflict countries, and indeed to all women across the world.

***

The International Development Law Organization (IDLO) enables governments and empowers people to reform laws and strengthen institutions to promote peace, justice, sustainable development and economic opportunity.

 

[1] Between 1992 and 2011, only four per cent of signatories to peace agreements and less than 10 per cent of negotiators at peace tables were women.  (UN Women Facts and figures: Peace and security. See at http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/peace-and-security/facts-and-figures).  


          South Sudan in Focus - August 10, 2017        
Germany’s foreign minister urges leaders in South Sudan to use peaceful means in resolving the ongoing conflict; poor harvests in Uganda’s Kiryandongo settlement dash the hopes of South Sudanese refugees who want to become self-reliant though farming; and panelists at the United States Institute of Peace discuss the role of youth-led peace initiatives in areas of conflict.
          Maintenance Manager - Global cst - Johannesburg, Gauteng        
Experience in agricultural farm·. Knowledge of agricultural tools· Willingness to stay abroad for long periods·. For agriculture project in South Sudan.... R30 000 a month
From Indeed - Tue, 27 Jun 2017 13:13:54 GMT - View all Johannesburg, Gauteng jobs
          Sleeping through genocide?        
The world needs a wake-up call to save a population at risk of meeting a violent end.

What is happening today in the Nuba mountains is exactly a carbon copy of what has been taking place in Darfur—only even worse,” said Bishop Macram Max Gassis, spiritual leader of Sudan’s Diocese of El Obeid. Gassis was speaking outside the United Nations in New York in July and worrying over what he describes as a deliberate campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Nuba people of Sudan’s South Kordofan state.

He charges that an effort to “wipe out the Nuba” is being undertaken with brutal enthusiasm by the Khartoum-based regime of Omar al-Bashir. The Comboni missionary hopes to rouse the United Nations—specifically Security Council members Great Britain and the United States—from a geopolitical coma over the matter.

The sprawling El Obeid diocese is one of the world’s largest and is certainly its most politically troubled. El Obeid includes violence-plagued Darfur; the disputed, oil-rich region of Abyei; and South Kordofan, where a liberation movement seeks either autonomy from Khartoum in the north, independence altogether, or union with the new Republic of South Sudan just across the newly established border.

South Kordofan’s Nuba people are culturally and ethnically distinct from the Arab tribes of northern Sudan. Many Nuba are Christians, making them double minorities in Sudan. They have become the targets of both Khartoum politicians looking for scapegoats for Sudan’s flagging political and economic fortunes and of Muslim radicals intent on the complete Islamization of Sudan. Since June 2011 South Kordofan has suffered a relentless series of attacks, primarily aerial bombardment, from Sudanese military in an ongoing campaign to dislodge the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM)-North.

The persistent bombing raids have driven the Nuba from their villages and farms to caves in the Nuba mountains. They are subject not only to these indiscriminate aerial attacks but also to hunger and the region’s brutal conditions. Human Rights Watch reports that the attacks may amount to crimes against humanity. The U.N. estimates that 205,000 people have fled to refugee camps in Ethiopia and South Sudan and that an additional 700,000 have been internally displaced or severely affected by the fighting with little or no access to aid.

“The victims as usual are the children, the women, and the elderly,” says Gassis, “because the men, they are carrying their guns and they are going to fight their battle, but it is the victims who are paying the price to maintain [the Nuba] identity.”

The SPLM-North finds itself alone in a continuing fight for greater autonomy, if not outright independence. The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that for the most part brought Sudan’s civil war to an end included a political blueprint that led to independence for South Sudan. Unfortunately a similar process was not detailed for the people of South Kordofan and other disputed territories.

As a result there is no clear political path ahead for the Nuba and villagers in other conflicted regions. Worse, the diplomatic community seems to be experiencing Sudan fatigue just as the crisis has dangerously accelerated. Gassis fears the Nuba face eradication if Bashir’s campaign is allowed to continue. He implores a more forthright international effort to contain this most recent cycle of orchestrated state violence.

Unraveling this complex web of ethnicity, religion, politics, and resource competition—the southern region is “cursed” with oil reserves—will require creative and persistent diplomacy. The international community, with a large contribution by the United States, achieved a significant success in midwifing last year’s birth of South Sudan as an independent state. That success, however, should not offer an opportunity to declare victory and walk away from this troubled region. That would represent a “sin against humanity,” says Gassis, and a death sentence for the Nuba.­

This article appeared in the October 2012 issue of U.S. Catholic (Vol. 77, No. 10, page 47).

Image: Photo courtesy of the Diocese of El Obeid

Image: 

          The Commonwealth Of Nations!!        

In less than a fortnight’s time Glasgow welcomes the Commonwealth Games. They were formally called the ‘British Empire Games’, then the British Empire and Commonwealth Games and then the British Commonwealth Games but it dropped the British bit in 1978 to become just The Commonwealth Games.
I hope you followed that!

71 teams are participating. Six countries have been at every games - Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Scotland, and Wales. Australia have the best record so far.

Reading Wikipedia about the games and their history is well… history. Here are some highlights -
“Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe competed from 1958–1962 as part of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.  Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore federated as Malaysia in 1963, then Singapore left in 1965. Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949. Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha were dependencies of Saint Helena, so the territory was officially called "Saint Helena and Dependencies" until 2009. Saint Helena, Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha became equal parts of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha in 2009. Western Samoa was renamed Samoa in 1997. Zanzibar and Tanganyika federated to form Tanzania in 1964. Zimbabwe withdrew from the Commonwealth in 2003.”
I hope you got that.

Others eligible include Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands (territories of Australia), Nevis (a federal entity of the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis), Rodrigues (outer islands of Mauritius), and Zanzibar (a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania).

And Cornwall are now arguing that they should have separate representation.  The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and south Sudan have now made applications to send teams. The Pitcairn Islands' are discriminated against due to their tiny population- about 54. Lack of permanent population seems to prevent South Georgia, South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory, the New Zealand territory of Ross Dependency and the Australian external territories of Australian Antarctic Territory, Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Coral Sea Islands and Heard Island and McDonald Islands from competing.
                                      
                                                            Nauru

But then Nauruan weightlifter Marcus Stephen who won twelve medals between 1990 and 2002 ( 7 golds) ended up being elected President of Nauru in 2007. Nauru is the smallest independent state in the Commonwealth, 21 sq k yet it is 19th on the all-time Commonwealth Games medal table.
                                      
                                                         I had to look it up

This week, the outfit to be worn by the Scottish athletes was unveiled. They shouldn’t have bothered. The first medal to be awarded is for the worst outfit. Scotland and Australia are battling it out – we are winning.
It is awful.
This is Australia's and ours is much worse..
                                 

The blue shirt has white speckles on it which looks as though a pigeon with a bowel issue has flown overhead. The tartan is supposed to represent heather at dusk, I presume this is a woman called heather, not the plant, and that heather is suffering from  homeochromocytosis.
 And the colour of the socks? Wit?
 Scottish sports presenter Dougie Donnelly said: “Team_Scotland Seriously ? The team are going OUT like that ? !!”
Others have commented the miracle of inventing a colour that clashes with itself.
Others speculate that Chris Hoy got wind of it and retired.
“Somewhere in Aucherader a tea room is missing its curtains," wrote Stephen Daisley at STV. "The shirts and dresses are not blue, not quite lapis lazuli, but the psycho-cerulean hue of a particularly vivid Smurfs doll. The kilts and shawls carry an amber, fuchsia, and aquamarine tartan, a curious mixture of the psychedelic and the twee. This is what the Sixties must have looked like in Ecclefechan."
People have described it as  "humiliating", "embarrassing" and "truly horrific "wrong on so many levels" and "the worst kit ever".
I liked the comment that ‘those Scotland uniforms look like something from the Eurovision Song Contest-1980.’
 Simon Ricketts said ‘They look like they're in a fancy dress episode of a Spanish soap opera.’
                                 
We say that Irn Bru is made from girders.
The new uniform, is made from curtains.

All getting a bit plaid out!  So I had better show you, don't say you were not warned...

                               

It is officially described as a  vibrant blue shirt  with a  pink, caramel and blue tartan kilt for men. The women  are just as bad- a blue wraparound dress with a tartan shawl. The uniform for women was made complete with a stone-coloured leather bag.  The bag might serve the same purpose as the wee bag you find in the netted compartment of the seat in front of you on a long and bumpy flight. Rugby 7s player Lee Jones described the outfit as “very comfortable and eye-catching”.
Is that the rugby seven’s for the visually impaired…
 The designer Jilli Blackwood , a  graduate of Glasgow School of Art said: “There will be no mistaking that this is the Scottish Team as they proudly step out at the opening ceremony.”
Indeed.


However the games have given us great moments
                                       

The 'Miracle Mile' in Vancouver 1954  England’s Roger Bannister and Australia’s John Landy.  The only two sub-four-minute milers in history at the time. They were under the four minute barrier again, Bannister won by a narrow margin. He said that last lap was ‘one of most intense and exciting moments of my life.’

                               
                                 
And that famous piece of film of Jim Peters collapsing in the marathon, same year. He had lead by three miles earlier in the race, pushing himself to heat exhaustion and then collapsed time and again. Eventually his masseur  managed to hold onto him and stop him mid stagger 200 yards short of the finish.
He had actually covered the marathon distance, the course was later measured at 27 miles!

                         

                           
                              
And in Christchurch 1974, that famous 1,500m. maybe the greatest  ever at that distance.  Filbert Bayi  ran three minutes, 32.16 seconds. He was 12 metres clear at the halfway stage, however on the last lap local stars Rod Dixon and John Walker – the two black shadows   closed down forcing him to kick away.  Nearly everybody who crossed the line that day broke a record of some sort, it was so fast.

 


In Edmonton 1978, the  17 year old Clones Cyclone ‘Barry McGuigan boxed to victory in the bantamweight class, aged just 17. He  could not stop crying as he received his medal.


                            

Edmonton 1978 I have no idea why my granddad was a fan of ‘Precious McKenzie’ but he was.   The queen was too!
She was late for an official function because she wanted  to witness him get his third gold medal for weight lifting. He was only 4' 9".




                      

And the dead heat? Allan Wells and Mike McFarlane tying in the 200m, Brisbane 1982. Not an inch between them, it remains the only time a dead-heat for a gold medal has been ratified in a major championship.


                             

In Kuala Lumpur 1998 a 15 year old swimmer called Ian Thorpe won four gold medals! The Australian coach famously said  â€œYou can't believe he's 15. It's genetics gone bloody crazy!”

I am not too chuffed at the games, the road race cycling coincides with my book launch. Crime writers in lyrca? Anybody?
Caro      

          EURAMES Info Service 26/2017        
CONFERENCES
 
1. Exhibition and Symposium: "Imaging a ‘Middle East’", Institute for Cultural
Inquiry, Berlin, 6-7 July 2017
 
2. Expert Workshop: “From Neoliberal to Socially-Just Reconstruction – The Role of
Civil Society in Shaping Post-Conflict Reconstruction Policies in Iraq, Syria,
Yemen, and Libya”, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Beirut, 19-20 September 2017
 
3. Conference: "Defending the Faith: Religious and Secularist: Apologetics in
Twentieth‐Century Politics", The British Academy, London, 21-22 September 2017
 
4. Workshop: “Dialogues in Late Medieval Mediterranean: Between East and West”,
ArtMedGis Project, Granada, 13-14 November 2017
 
5. Conference:  “Pluralism in Emergenc(i)es: Movement, Space, and Religious
Difference“, Amman, 6-7 December 2017

6. Global Migrations Conference, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, 20-22
February 2018
 
7. Conference: "Interactions between Twelver Shiites and Christians: History,
Theology, Literature”, Institut Dominicain d’Études Orientales (IDEO), 11-13 April
2018
 
8. 5th Mediterranean Maritime History Network International Conference, University
of Constanta, 9-11 May 2018
 
 
POSITIONS
 
9. Lecturer in Arabic, University of Exeter (UK)
 
10. PhD Fellowship, Faculty of Theology (Qur’anic Studies), University of Copenhagen
 
11. Chair in the Early Modern History of the Mediterranean (c. 1450-1700), European
University Institute, San Domenico di Fiesole, Italy
 
12. Lecturer in Arabic, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
 
13. Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern Politics, Claremont McKenna College, CA
 
14. Assistant Professor in Political Theory in Areas of non-Western (Middle East)
Political and Legal Thought, University of California, Santa Cruz
 
 
OTHER INFORMATION
 
15. 2018/19 Civil Society Leaderships Awards, Durham University and Open Society
Foundation 
 
16. Articles « Images et imaginaires urbains : villes de la péninsule Arabique à
l’épreuve de leurs representations Â» pour dossier thématique d’Arabian Humanities
n°11
 
17. Articles on "Hospitality and Hostility towards Migrants: Global Perspectives"
for New Journal "Migration and Society"
 
18. Articles for Journal "Hamsa. Journal of Judaic and Islamic Studies"
 
If you want to distribute an announcement via DAVO-Info-Service (about 1500
recipients) and EURAMES Info Service (more than 6000 recipients, only English and
French announcements), please apply the usual format of the text with no more than
50 words and no attachment. Please send only the most important information to
and refer to further details with a link to the respective
website or an email address.
 
Best regards,
 
Guenter Meyer, Centre for Research on the Arab World (CERAW), University of Mainz
 
 
____________________
 
 
CONFERENCES
 
1. Exhibition and Symposium: "Imaging a ‘Middle East’", Institute for Cultural
Inquiry, Berlin, 6-7 July 2017
 
This symposium examines the continued seductiveness that Orientalism seems to hold
over the production of images of the contemporary ‘Middle East’, both inside and
outside of the region.
 
Information: http://www.ici-berlin.org/events/imaging-a-middle-east/
 
 
_____________
 
 
2. Expert Workshop: “From Neoliberal to Socially-Just Reconstruction – The Role of
Civil Society in Shaping Post-Conflict Reconstruction Policies in Iraq, Syria,
Yemen, and Libya”, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Beirut, 19-20 September 2017

Interested academics, researchers and civil society representatives from Iraq,
Syria, Yemen, and Libya (or with significant research/ professional experience on
these countries) are invited to submit abstracts.

Deadline for abstracts: 2 July 2017. Information:
http://www.fes-syria.org/index.php?id=61
 
 
_____________
 
 
3. Conference: "Defending the Faith: Religious and Secularist: Apologetics in
Twentieth‐Century Politics", The British Academy, London, 21-22 September 2017

This conference brings together scholars of Europe, North America and Asia for a
comparative exploration of the struggles between secularist ideologies and religious
faiths over the past century.

Information:
http://www.britac.ac.uk/sites/default/files/Defending%20the%20Faith%20PROGRAMME_10.pdf
 
 
_____________
 
 
4. Workshop: “Dialogues in Late Medieval Mediterranean: Between East and West”,
ArtMedGis Project, Granada, 13-14 November 2017
 
The aim of the International Workshop is to establish an exchange opportunity to
analyze the cultural legacy of Western Islamic societies and their interactions with
the Oriental, Christian and Jewish ones from different and complementary
perspectives.
 
Deadline for abstracts: 25 July 2017. Information:
http://mailchi.mp/mediterraneanseminar/dialogues-in-late-medieval-mediterranean-between-east-and-west-granada-13-14-november?e=82aeb6c61d

 
 
____________
 
 
5. Conference:  “Pluralism in Emergenc(i)es: Movement, Space, and Religious
Difference“, Amman, 6-7 December 2017

The conference is organized by the Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life
(IRCPL) at Columbia University. It seeks to examine the historical, social, and
religious underpinnings of the so-called migrant and refugee crisis in the MENA
region in order to position this moment as a state of emergence, rather than a state
of emergency.

Deadline for abstracts: 16 July 2017. Information:
http://ircpl.org/call-for-papers-pluralism-in-emergencies-movement-space-and-religious-difference/
 
 
_____________
 
 
6. Global Migrations Conference, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, 20-22
February 2018
 
For our inaugural major conference, we welcome proposals on these aspects from
academics, students, and other researchers. Both individual and panel proposals are
welcome.
 
Deadline for abstracts: 1 November 2017. Information:
http://www.otago.ac.nz/global-migrations/events/conferences/otago653111.html
 
 
_____________
 
 
7. Conference: "Interactions between Twelver Shiites and Christians: History,
Theology, Literature”, Institut Dominicain d’Études Orientales (IDEO), 11-13 April
2018
 
The purpose of the conference is to study the different representations of the
‘other’ and to identify mutual influences, possible ruptures, and the cultural
dynamics that appeared during these encounters between ‘East’ and ‘West’.
 
Deadline for abstracts: 1 November 2017.
Information: http://www.ideo-cairo.org/en/2017/06/interactions-between-twelver-shiites-and-christians-history-theology-literature/
 
 
_____________
 
 
8. 5th Mediterranean Maritime History Network International Conference, University
of Constanta, 9-11 May 2018
 
MMHN welcomes proposals from scholars working on Mediterranean and Black Sea
maritime history since the thirteenth century CE on the use of the sea as a
resource, for transport, power projection, scientific purposes, leisure activities,
and as an inspiration in culture and ideology.
 
Deadline for abstracts: 16 July 2017. Information:
http://mailchi.mp/mediterraneanseminar/cfp-mediterranean-maritime-history-constanta-9-11-may-2018?e=82aeb6c61d

 
 
_____________
 
 
POSITIONS
 
9. Lecturer in Arabic, University of Exeter (UK)

This post is available from 1 September 2017 or 1 January 2018 and is a permanent
appointment. The successful applicant will possess sufficient breadth and depth of
specialist and core knowledge in Arabic pedagogy.

Deadline for application: 20 July 2017.
Information: https://jobs.exeter.ac.uk/hrpr_webrecruitment/wrd/run/ETREC107GF.open?VACANCY_ID=771924IwPT&WVID=3817591jNg&LANG=USA
 
 
_____________
 
 
10. PhD Fellowship, Faculty of Theology (Qur’anic Studies), University of Copenhagen

 
A three-year PhD scholarship will be available from October 1st 2017. To be
considered, applicants must have a Master’s degree in Islamic studies or any other
relevant Master’s degree or similar qualifications. Experience in or knowledge about
digital humanities is considered an asset.
 
Deadline for application: 1 September 2017. Information:
http://jobportal.ku.dk/phd/?show=145413
 
 
_____________
 
 
11. Chair in the Early Modern History of the Mediterranean (c. 1450-1700), European
University Institute, San Domenico di Fiesole, Italy

Candidates should have a distinguished record of scholarly publications and
experience in postgraduate teaching and doctoral supervision.
 
Deadline for application: 28 July 2017. Information:
http://www.eui.eu/Documents/ServicesAdmin/AcademicService/JobOpportunities/2017/HEC2-2017.pdf
 
 
_____________
 
 
12. Lecturer in Arabic, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
 
Selection Criteria: Postgraduate qualification in one or more of: Second Language
Acquisition, Arabic Linguistics, Teaching Arabic as a Second Language; Native
proficiency in written and spoken Arabic; Experience and demonstrated excellence in
teaching Arabic preferably at tertiary level; etc.
 
Deadline for application: 31 July 2017. Information:
http://cml.soh.ntu.edu.sg/aboutUs/Pages/Job-Openings.aspx
 
 
_____________
 
 
13. Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern Politics, Claremont McKenna College, CA
 
The Department of Government invites applications for a tenure-track position
beginning July 1, 2018. A qualified candidate, with PhD in hand or a nearly
completed doctoral dissertation, would have research experience on the domestic
politics or policy of one or more Middle Eastern countries, as well as expertise on
the international issues that these countries face. The candidate would have
sufficient mastery of one or more Middle Eastern languages to engage in the
research.
 
Deadline for application: 1 August 2017. Information:
https://webapps.cmc.edu/jobs/faculty/faculty_opening_detail.php?PostingID=16021
 
 
_____________
 
 
14. Assistant Professor in Political Theory in Areas of non-Western (Middle East)
Political and Legal Thought, University of California, Santa Cruz

We seek scholarship that contributes both to political theory and to legal studies
through critical interpretive work with texts, archives, and/or ethnographic
sources, drawing out the origins, diverse interpretations, and manifestations of
legal thinking.

Deadline for application: 29 September 2017. Information:
https://recruit.ucsc.edu/apply/JPF00458
 
 
_____________
 
 
OTHER INFORMATION
 
15. 2018/19 Civil Society Leaderships Awards, Durham University and Open Society
Foundation 

The awards provide fully funded Master’s level scholarships for individuals who
demonstrate both academic and professional excellence and have the potential to
become civil society leaders in their home communities.  Applicants from
Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, etc. are eligible to apply for
these awards.

Deadline for application: 15 July 2017. Information:
http://www.dur.ac.uk/postgraduate/finance/scholarships/csla/
  
_____________
 
 
16. Articles « Images et imaginaires urbains : villes de la péninsule Arabique à
l’épreuve de leurs representations Â» pour dossier thématique d’Arabian Humanities
n°11

Les propositions d’article, en anglais ou en français, doivent être envoyées avant
le 15 juin 2017. Information: http://cy.revues.org/3345
 
 
_____________
 
 
17. Articles on "Hospitality and Hostility towards Migrants: Global Perspectives"
for New Journal "Migration and Society"

We welcome articles that examine the applicability of the concepts of hospitality
and hostility in different settings; and that explore the relationship between these
and other concepts, including cosmopolitanism, welcome, conviviality,
neighbourliness, and solidarity, from the perspective of the global South as well as
the North.

Deadline for articles: 30 September 2017. Information:
http://journals.berghahnbooks.com/migration-and-society/
 
 
_____________
 
 
18. Articles for Journal "Hamsa. Journal of Judaic and Islamic Studies"
 
For this volume, we particularly welcome proposals offering original analysis on the
broad subject of Judaic and Islamic studies.

Deadline for proposals: 15 October 2017. Information:
http://www.hamsa.cidehus.uevora.pt/callforpapers.html

          NBA Hawks cancel meeting with civil rights leaders        



ATLANTA — The Atlanta Hawks cancelled a scheduled meeting between their CEO and city civil rights leaders Wednesday, prompting one of the group's leaders to say his community was greatly offended.

The Rev. Markel Hutchins said the meeting with CEO Steve Koonin was called off "at the last minute." He later said he received a call from Hawks spokesman Garin Narain on Tuesday night asking the appointment be postponed.

Hutchins said he needed to hear that request from Koonin, and because Koonin didn't personally cancel the meeting, the group of 12 civil rights leaders showed up as planned.

When they entered Philips Arena and were told there would be no meeting, Hutchins and the other leaders said they were insulted.

"The entire civil rights community, locally and nationally, have been offended, the likes of which we have not seen in this community in decades," Hutchins said.

The group asked for the meeting to discuss what Hutchins said was the Hawks' "disrespect for people of color." The request followed racially charged comments by Hawks co-owner Bruce Levenson and general manager Danny Ferry.

In a statement Wednesday, the Hawks asked for patience from the community and said they want to reschedule the meeting.

"Koonin postponed today's meeting last night," the Hawks' statement said. "This conversation is a priority for us. We are committed to having this meeting and will work with community leaders to reschedule as soon as possible. We ask our community to work with us, be patient with us, and help us heal."

The Hawks did not say why the meeting was cancelled.

Levenson said Sunday he will sell his majority share of the team. Koonin said Tuesday Ferry has been punished but won't be fired.

Hutchins said when he arranged the meeting with Koonin on Monday night, he made it clear the group wanted Ferry to lose his job.

"Perhaps one of the reasons why they cancelled the meeting is we made it very clear we were going to demand in our conversations that Danny Ferry be fired or resign," Hutchins said. "There is no way that a man who uses the kind of language and holds the kind of sentiments that he does should be the general manager of the basketball team in the home of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the cradle of the civil rights movement."

Others also have called for Ferry to be fired. Former NBA great Magic Johnson said late Tuesday on his Twitter feed "Atlanta Hawks GM Danny Ferry should step down after making racist statements about NBA player Luol Deng."

Deng and Ferry are former Duke players under Mike Krzyzewski, who is coaching the U.S. team at the World Cup. Krzyzewski said he couldn't comment on the controversy involving his former players because he hasn't followed the news.

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, serving as an assistant on the U.S. team, defended Deng on Wednesday.

"I've never been around a better person," Thibodeau said. "He's not only a great basketball player, he's an even better person. I'll stand by Luol any day. He's good. He's done a lot of great things in the community. He's a great human being. He's a very humble guy. He has a lot of integrity. I can't say enough good things about him. ... It was a privilege for me to be his coach."

Thibodeau said he "can't imagine" why Ferry made the statements.

Ferry made inflammatory comments about Deng in a conference call with the Hawks' ownership group in June when the team pursued Deng as a free agent. Ferry described Deng as someone who "has a little African in him."

Deng, who was born in what is now South Sudan, now plays for the Miami Heat. He responded to Ferry's comment on Tuesday by saying, "I'm proud to say I actually have a lot of African in me, not just 'a little.'"

A letter from co-owner Michael Gearon Jr. to Levenson recommended that Ferry resign or be fired. Gearon said Ferry made that description of Deng to the team's ownership group.

Gearon's June 12 letter to Levenson said Ferry went on to say, "Not in a bad way, but he's like a guy who would have a nice store out front and sell you counterfeit stuff out of the back."

Added Gearon: "Ferry completed the racial slur by describing the player (and impliedly all persons of African descent) as a two-faced liar and cheat."

___

                  

          Africa Rule of Law Conference for Sustainable Development Report        
Date of Publication: 
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
About This Publication: 
IDLO and the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania co-hosted a Pan-African conference in Dar es Salaam on June 1, 2016, which focused on the theme ‘Achieving the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063: The Rule of Law as a Driver of Africa’s Sustainable Development’. The two-day conference, which was made possible with the support of the Government of Italy, gathered more than 100 mainly African participants from over 18 countries and aimed to provide a platform to exchange knowledge, experience and good practice to further advance the rule of law and access to justice in Africa as integral elements in achieving sustainable development. Participants addressed Africa-specific rule of law challenges relevant to development within five thematic areas, which have been highlighted in this report. The conference then concluded with consensus that an Africa-wide collaboration on strengthening the rule of law will play a key role in realizing global and regional development goals, and an agreement was reached on several core areas for concrete action to take forward in collaboration with IDLO and its larger Africa Initiative.

          John Dau Foundation Holds Walk for South Sudan in Skaneateles NY June 22        

Proceeds raised from this event will help restore recent damage to the Duk Lost Boys Clinic, which serves as a vital resource to more than 80,000 people in South Sudan.

(PRWeb May 30, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/06/prweb11900091.htm


          International Law and New Wars [Video]        
Speaker(s): Professor Christine Chinkin, Professor Mary Kaldor, Dr Javier Solana | By failing to address 'new wars' international law has added to insecurity. Is it time for a second generation human security resting upon the laws of humanity? This event launches Christine Chinkin and Mary Kaldor's new book International Law and New Wars, which examines how international law fails to address the contemporary experience of what are known as 'new wars' - instances of armed conflict and violence in places such as Syria, Ukraine, Libya, Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan. International law, largely constructed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, rests to a great extent on the outmoded concept of war drawn from European experience - inter-state clashes involving battles between regular and identifiable armed forces. The book shows how different approaches are associated with different interpretations of international law, and, in some cases, this has dangerously weakened the legal restraints on war established after 1945. It puts forward a practical case for what it defines as second generation human security and the implications this carries for international law. Christine Chinkin is Director of the Centre for Women, Peace and Security. Mary Kaldor is Director of the Civil Society and Human Security Research Unit. Javier Solana is President at ESADE Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics and Distinguished Fellow at The Brookings Institution. Professor Toby Dodge is Director of the LSE Middle East Centre, a Professor in the International Relations Department at LSE, and a Senior Consulting Fellow for the Middle East, International Institute for Strategic Studies, London. The Centre for Women, Peace and Security (@LSE_WPS) is a leading academic space for scholars, practitioners, activists, policy-makers and students to develop strategies to promote justice, human rights and participation for women in conflict-affected situations around the world.
          South Sudan: Widespread Atrocities in Government Offensive        
South Sudan: Widespread Atrocities in Government Offensive
          Weekly wire: The global forum        

These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.

World Water Day 2017
Los Angeles Times
More than 5 million people in South Sudan do not have access to safe, clean water, compounding the country’s problems of famine and civil war, according to UNICEF. Even those South Sudanese who can find water spend much of their day hiking, fetching and carrying the containers of the precious fluid that is essential to life. As World Water Day approaches on March 22, nearly 27 million people do not have access to clean water in Somalia, South Sudan, northeastern Nigeria and Yemen. About 12% of the world population lacks clean drinking water, and water-related diseases account for 3.5 million deaths each year, more than car accidents and AIDS combined, according to the World Water Council.

World Happiness Report
Sustainable Development Solutions Network
The first World Happiness Report was published in April, 2012, in support of the UN High Level Meeting on happiness and well-being. Since then the world has come a long way. Increasingly, happiness is considered to be the proper measure of social progress and the goal of public policy. In June 2016 the OECD committed itself “to redefine the growth narrative to put people’s well-being at the center of governments’ efforts”. In February 2017, the United Arab Emirates held a full-day World Happiness meeting, as part of the World Government Summit. Now on World Happiness Day, March 20th, we launch the World Happiness Report 2017, once again back at the United Nations, again published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and now supported by a generous three-year grant from the Ernesto Illy Foundation.


          Please take time to sign this petition before July 4th and pass this link on!        

we petition the obama administration to:
STOP the BOMBING on the Mother of Mercy Hospital in Nuba Mountains, Sudan!

A large hospital where I used to serve in Gidel, Nuba Mountains is being directly targeted by the Khartoum Government. It is the only hospital within several hundreds of miles and we used to even get Arab patients coming for help from Khartoum.

http://www.cmmb.org/supporting-mother-mercy-hospital

Despite bombing around the hospital, the foreign and local staff, many who are Americans and European nuns, have never had bombing on their compound.

This week, the tables have turned. We beseech President Obama to stop the Antenov planes that are barraging the hospital grounds daily. They are under constant attack unknown to the world. Limbs are being cut off from the shrapnel, patients are staff are at risk but persevering to still treat people amidst this hellish attack.

PLEASE HELP THEM!

To sign please go to:

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/stop-bombing-mother-mercy-hospital-nuba-mountains-sudan/2xHQ3pHd

Here's a picture of our Easter Celebration just before the hospital was built:



PRAYER POINTS:
1. Diving protection over every hospital stafff both physically and emotionally and supernatural sleep and rest amidst the tension and hard work of caring for over 300 patients.
2. Supernatural stopping of the bombing and violence in the Nuba and partiularly on the hospital.
3. Peace in both Sudan and South Sudan and for men to humble themselves before God and promote peace.

Thank you and God bless you!

          Rookie!        

I started this blog talking about different ways to learning English, and I'm going to come back to the same topic, because my list of creative ways to learn English have been enriched by a new item few days ago, and I'm raring to tell you about it.

But let's start from the beginning. Few days ago I was coming back from a business trip in Rome, where I attended a meeting on a very difficult issue: combined heat and power generation. We had such a technical discussion, and I understood only half of the words the other participants said.

On the plane to Milan, I wondered if physics could be considered like a foreign language: you need to learn the rules, the words, and then you can speak physics properly. I think I probably speak a better English than physics! Then I started reading favourite italian magazine, a magazine that put together the best articles in international magazine translating it into Italian.

I found an interesting article on what's happening now in South Sudan, (another topic you know I'm interested in) and after that, I found a really inspiring article on the new frontier of education.

I read the story of Sebastian Thrun, formerly professor at Stanford, and the guy who developed the Street view project at Google. He realized that teaching to a small group of students, most of them paying high tuition fees, most of them from USA, meant a waste of the opportunity of teaching students from all over the world. Nowadays, technology give us the possibility to change the education system, so he founded Udacity, a free online non profit university with the purpose of providing free high level education that overcome all the boundaries: time, money, language, geography, age, gender.

He is a very famous guy in the internet, so when he announced he intended to put his whole course on how to build a search engine on the internet, open to everyone, he received something like one hundred thousand answers!

So he quitted his job at Stanford and is currently running this free university, offering a small group of courses, hosted by very skilled professors.

In the meanwhile, many other projects started, with the same purpose, so I did a quick research and I found out a really bright chest of wonder.

What I love the most of BBC LE and of this blog is that every reader, every comment comes from a different country, a different culture. It's one of the most challenging and most exciting sides of writing here, and I got excited at the idea of learning many other things in the same way.That's the reason why, eventually, I enrolled in a course of computer science in this new university, to learn a computer programming language called Python, together with students from all over the world. I think that this revolution in the education system is a dream that is going to be realized for poor people, less developed countries, and for everyone deserving a chance to improve his life.

And I hope this also could help me learning two new languages, English and computer science!


          A very belated welcome        

First of all, apologies to Omar and everyone for not being around for the last week. I've been away for a few days in Cornwall

Cornwall

but now I'm back and raring to go!

Omar: even though I've been on holiday I've been reading and enjoying your blogs very much. They've generated a lot of discussion, which is fantastic! I thought your suggestions for ways to improve your English were great - although you're a brave man to tackle calling a call centre! Your English is actually very good and as many of our online friends have said, you tell a great story. Your blog about South Sudan made me cry. It was a bit embarrassing as I was sitting in the office at the time!

Before I pick holes (only joking) in your blogs, I thought I'd tell you about my own experience of the Olympics. This week I feel my Olympic journey has come a full circle. Let me explain. In 2005 London was one of the cities shortlisted to host the 2012 Olympics. On 6 July I was sitting in the BBC office in the centre of London, just before lunch, when it was announced that the choice was between Paris and London. I quickly left the office and rushed down to Trafalgar Square to await the result of the vote. Thousands of us were squashed into the Square. At the front there was a huge stage, a giant screen and loudspeakers. On the screen we could see Jacques Rogge. He said "The International Olympic Committee has the honour of announcing that the games of the thirtieth Olympiad in 2012 are awarded to the city of......." And then there was a long pause. All of a sudden the people right at the front of the crowd starting cheering - then he said ".....London!" and the whole of Trafalgar Square erupted. You can see the BBC news report here

Minutes after the announcement was made there was a roaring overhead and the Red Arrows flew over the Square, trailing red, white and blue smoke.

This Sunday marked the end of the Olympics and Paralympics. On Monday there was a huge parade through the streets of London. The GB athletes were carried through the streets on 21 giant trailers pulled by lorries. I, along with thousands and thousands of other people (some newspapers say there were 1 million people), waited for hours to see the athletes pass by.

Olympic parade

As the parade reached Buckingham Palace, I found myself once again standing in Trafalgar Square. And once again, there was a roaring overhead....and there were the Red Arrows again, trailing red, white and blue smoke. So you see: a full circle!

Red Arrows

Now then, back to your blogs. I'm not going to say anything about your first blog, as I think it was such a great way to get people talking. Actually, I am going to say something: well done to everyone who commented and joined in the discussion: this is another way to improve your English. Don't be afraid to have a go at writing something: whether it's a single line or a whole essay.

Let's start with a few vocabulary bits from your other two blogs. Nothing major!


  • Play and games "And what kind of plays do they play?" To play as a verb is used in sport (to play football); but as a noun (a play or plays) it's theatre! For sport, the noun is a game. So, "And what kind of games do they play?"



  • Make a party: "They make a very big party" - here you need to use 'throw a party' or simply 'have a party'.



  • Skinned: "They were so skinned, lightweight..." I think you mean skinny (very thin)? Do you know that if you go in to a coffee shop and ask for a "Skinny latte" you will get an espresso coffee with nonfat milk?


The other thing I want to look at briefly is the Simple past tense vs present perfect. You said
"During the war, more than 2.5 milion people have been killed, and 5 milions people have become displaced in other countries, becoming refugees."
The war is over - it's finished, so you need to us the simple past:
During the war more than 2.5 million people were killed (not have been killed)
and
5 million (note singular when you have a figure) became (not have become) displaced

Now then, here's some homework:
You wrote:
"I recollect it from the ground". Recollect is a formal way of saying 'remember' e.g. "Do you recollect when we used to go to the seaside for our holidays?" I think you were thinking of the word 'collect', but what you should have said was "I picked it up from the ground". Pick + up = verb + preposition. However, sometimes the second word (in this case 'up') gives a special meaning to the verb. This is called a 'phrasal verb'. So, "I picked up my cup of coffee" = verb + preposition. "I went home after work to pick up my car" - meaning I went home to collect my car, not literally pick it up - is a phrasal verb. Take a look at the eight sentences and decide whether they contain a verb + preposition or a phrasal verb:

1. Have you had your interview? How did you get on?
2. He failed his exams, so he dropped out of college.
3. She dropped her keys and had to pick them up from the floor.
4. I was very angry, so I shouted at him.
5. She fell asleep in the car and crashed into a tree.
6. I go to the gym every day to work out.
7. They saw their friends in the street and ran out to say hello.
8. We couldn't have a cup of tea this morning because we had run out of milk.

Raring to...: to be eager to do something
To pick holes in something: to find weak points in something
Erupt: in this case, to suddenly start shouting and cheering
The Red Arrows: the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team


          U.N. urges action to avert famine threatening 20 million people worldwide        
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday called on warring parties in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and northeastern Nigeria to allow humanitarian aid access and urged countries to donate more money to avert famines threatening 20 million people.

          George And Amal Clooney Welcomes Twins, Ella And Alexander        

Oscar winning actor, George and his beautiful, human-right lawyer, Amal Clooney announced on Tuesday that they are now parents to Twins, Ella and Alexander. 

               

The news of tone of the Hollywood biggest stars was revealed by their spokesperson, Stan Rosenfeld. In a statement released Stan said;

This morning Amal and George welcomed Ella and Alexander Clooney into their lives,Ella, Alexander and Amal are all healthy, happy and doing fine.

The new parents in February told reporters about their preparation for their kids. Mr Clooney said that they zeroed in on places he would not be visiting for the safety of their kids. Clooney while speaking to E!Online said;

We decided to be much more responsible, to avoid the danger. I will not go to South Sudan anymore and in the Congo, Amal will no longer go to Iraq and she will avoid places where she knows she is not welcome.

Geroge, 56, over the years has said he was not looking forward to having kids, but after getting married to Amal in 2014, it seems that is just the start of his fatherhood journey.

The couple married on September 27, 2014 in Italy, and was only opened to close people, though star-studded in a luxury hotel in Italy.


          Comment on South Sudan: War Crimes? by mukul chand        
thanks for posting the video. sad.
          Annual IBMGlobal Candidate Conference        
This week I have been participating in an annual training conference for cross-cultural missionaries.  I serve as the Africa Director for a mission agency, IBMGlobal. This year we have missionary candidates heading to South Sudan, Costa Rica, the jungles of Peru, … Continue reading
          Malaysia, Cuba Taken Off U.S. Human Trafficking Blacklist        
The U.S. State Department has taken Malaysia and Cuba off its list of worst human trafficking offenders — which many human rights advocates and U.S. lawmakers say has more to do with politics than facts on the ground.

The department's latest annual Trafficking in Persons Report also upgraded Uzbekistan and Angola, while Belize, Belarus and South Sudan were among 18 nations downgraded this year.

          Unhappy Anniversary, South Sudan        
Six years ago Sunday, South Sudan's flag was hoisted in Juba. Amid an atmosphere of optimism and hope, South Sudan became the world's newest country, breaking away from its longtime rival, Sudan. The moment marked the end of decades of fighting between rebels in the predominantly Christian south of Sudan and their northern Arab rivals in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, who was in Juba that day, reported that with the parades and children singing, there was a mood of excitement. "You know, I feel now happy, because we are finally liberated from the Arab rule. Myself, I am one of the founders. I'm one of the people who started the war," John Ngum Lang Ngum, who fought with the Sudanese People's Liberation Army, told Quist-Arcton. "But I'm happy that the flag has been hoisted today while I'm alive. And I'm seeing our flag of freedom waving in the air." The creation of South Sudan was a major foreign policy success for the U.S. South Sudanese independence had
          More People Living As Refugees Now Than Anytime Since WWII, New U.N. Reports Says        
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit KELLY MCEVERS, HOST: The U.N. says 65 million people have left their homes and are living either as refugees or as displaced people in their own countries. Sixty-five million - that's the highest number of refugees since World War II. NPR's Jason Beaubien has been covering this story, and he is with us now. Hey, Jason. JASON BEAUBIEN, BYLINE: Hey, Kelly. MCEVERS: Who are these 65 million people, and what's making them leave home? BEAUBIEN: You know, it really just comes down to conflict. When you look at the bulk of the people who are refugees and being displaced, it's the wars. It's - once again, Syria seems to have been dying down a little bit. But when you look at it, Syria continues to be the largest source of new refugees in 2016. Nearly a million Syrians fled out of the country last year in 2016. The official number was 824,000. You know, but even before this, Turkey had already been hosting 2 and a half million Syrian refugees. South Sudan
          5 Surprising Facts About The Refugee Crisis        
The number of people forcibly displaced from their homes is the highest since World War II. According to a new report from the United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR, 65.6 million people are currently living as refugees or as displaced persons inside their own countries. This includes 10.3 million people who were uprooted from their homes in 2016. Syria continues to be the largest source of refugees. According to the U.N., 12 million Syrians — more than half the country's population — have been forced from their homes. Five million have fled to neighboring countries and Europe, while the rest remain inside Syria, officially labeled as displaced persons. Syria is also the largest source of new refugees: 824,000 in 2016. It was followed by South Sudan, where 740,000 people fled the country because of the brutal civil war. There are now 1.4 million South Sudanese refugees abroad, along with 1.9 million internally displaced people. Neighboring Uganda has taken in hundreds of thousands of
          The Best And Worst Places To Be A Kid        
A recent report from Save the Children documents what many people have known for a long time — a baby is far better off being born in Europe than in sub-Saharan Africa. It's a point that has been made before. "But it's important that Save the Children and others keep bringing it up and putting it before the public because it can be forgotten, ignored or passed over amidst the news of the day," says Robert Black , the director of international programs at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. "These are important issues," says Black, who was not involved in producing the report. Best Places To Be A Kid 1. Norway, Slovenia 3. Finland 4. Netherlands 5. Sweden 6. Portugal 7. Ireland 8. Iceland 9. Italy 10. Belgium, Cyprus, Germany, South Korea Worst Places To Be A Kid 1. Niger 2. Angola 3. Mali 4. Central African Republic 5. Somalia 6. Chad 7. South Sudan 8. Burkina Faso 9. Sierra Leone, Guinea Source: Save the Children The report looks at how child labor, early marriage,
          Cholera 101: An Ancient Disease Keeps Cropping Up        
Cholera can kill a person in a matter of hours. It's a severe gastrointestinal disease that can trigger so much diarrhea and vomiting that patients can rapidly become dehydrated. They lose so much fluid that their internal organs shut down. The waterborne disease has been around for centuries, and it remains a global health risk. According to the World Health Organization, there are roughly 3 million cases a year and 90,000 deaths. The worst outbreak right now is in Haiti, linked to cholera brought by U.N. peacekeepers in 2010. Outbreaks are also flaring in South Sudan and Somalia. In countries that have long been grappling with cholera, such as Bangladesh, India and the Democratic Republic of Congo, tens of thousands of people are sickened every year. And now there's concern that cholera could sweep through war-torn Yemen. Doctors Without Borders has reported at least 570 cholera cases in Yemen in the past three weeks. "(This) is extremely alarming. We are facing a reactivation of the
          TWiP 78: Eau de rodent        

Vincent and Dickson discuss how malaria parasites induce odors in their rodent hosts that attract mosquitoes.

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Dickson Despommier

Links for this episode:

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Send your questions and comments (email or mp3 file) to twip@twiv.tv

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          Helping South Sudanese refugees in Uganda find their families        
Video | The ICRC has been working with the Uganda Red Cross Society to restore family links and reunite South Sudanese refugees with their loved ones.
          ICRC evacuates 22 patients as fighting continues in South Sudan        
Photo gallery | Intensified fighting near Maiwut forced the ICRC to evacuate all staff and patients from Maiwut town and hospital.
          Clean water to stave off cholera in South Sudan        
Article | The ICRC together with the South Sudan Red Cross has provided food, seeds and tools, and improving access to health-care for thousands affected by conflict.
          Food, seeds bring smiles to South Sudan’s children        
Photo gallery | Fighting has forced hundreds of thousands in South Sudan to leave their homes. The ICRC has distributed seeds, tools and food to 13,000 people to enable them to plant and cultivate crops.
          German Foreign Minister Urges Peaceful End to Conflict in Juba Visit        
German Foreign Affairs Minister Sigmar Gabriel met Thursday with South Sudan President Salva Kiir and other government officials during a one-day visit to Juba, a day after meeting dozens of South Sudanese refugees in neighboring Uganda, which hosts the largest refugee camp on the continent. Gabriel urged the country's leaders to use peaceful means to resolve South Sudan's ongoing conflict, saying both sides should be included in efforts to restore peace and stability across the nation.                    He said he was happy that Kiir had pardoned rebel prisoners, adding it was "an important sign for the political reconciliation process of the country." Germany has contributed $90 million in humanitarian aid to South Sudan to protect civilians and help build a durable peace in the war-ravaged country. The humanitarian situation in the country is dire, with 4 million people displaced by the conflict, severe levels of food insecurity, extreme poverty and disease, including an ongoing cholera outbreak with 18,000 cases resulting in 328 deaths in the past year. Gabriel said there was no alternative to a peaceful solution for ending the violence in South Sudan, saying the warring parties could not win the conflict militarily. South Sudan Minister for Foreign Affairs Deng Alor said the president and his ministers discussed a number of issues with Gabriel, including "the issue of war and peace," as well as humanitarian efforts and revitalization of the peace process. Homegrown solutions Gabriel stressed the importance of finding homegrown solutions to South Sudan's conflict to complement regional efforts aimed at achieving peace in the country.    "It is a good thing that the international community and also the neighboring countries like Uganda support the peace process. However, the peace process can only be successful when it comes from South Sudan itself," Gabriel said. The German foreign minister's Juba visit came amid reports of recent fighting between government and opposition forces in Pagak, a rebel stronghold. Over the past week, both sides have claimed to be in control of Pagak. Those reports have not been independently verified on the ground, as the fighting continued off and on this week. Earlier this week, when Gabriel traveled to the Ugandan district of Arua, he met South Sudanese refugees who told him about the horrors of war they witnessed before fleeing to Uganda. "Yesterday, in Uganda, we saw how many people fled from South Sudan to Uganda, because they don't see any other opportunity to secure their survival and that of their children," Gabriel said. Nearly 1 million refugees from South Sudan have crossed into Uganda since the conflict began in late 2013.
          Terror in Britain: What did the Prime Minister Know? - John Pilger        
Terror in Britain: What Did the Prime Minister Know?
By JOHN PILGER
Counterpunch, MAY 31, 2017.


"The unsayable in Britain’s general election campaign is this. The causes of the Manchester atrocity, in which 22 mostly young people were murdered by a jihadist, are being suppressed to protect the secrets of British foreign policy.

Critical questions – such as why the security service MI5 maintained terrorist “assets” in Manchester and why the government did not warn the public of the threat in their midst – remain unanswered, deflected by the promise of an internal “review”.

The alleged suicide bomber, Salman Abedi, was part of an extremist group, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, that thrived in Manchester and was cultivated and used by MI5 for more than 20 years.

The LIFG is proscribed by Britain as a terrorist organisation which seeks a “hardline Islamic state” in Libya and “is part of the wider global Islamist extremist movement, as inspired by al-Qaida”.

The “smoking gun” is that when Theresa May was Home Secretary, LIFG jihadists were allowed to travel unhindered across Europe and encouraged to engage in “battle”: first to remove Mu’ammar Gadaffi in Libya, then to join al-Qaida affiliated groups in Syria.

Last year, the FBI reportedly placed Abedi on a “terrorist watch list” and warned MI5 that his group was looking for a “political target” in Britain. Why wasn’t he apprehended and the network around him prevented from planning and executing the atrocity on 22 May?

These questions arise because of an FBI leak that demolished the “lone wolf” spin in the wake of the 22 May attack – thus, the panicky, uncharacteristic outrage directed at Washington from London and Donald Trump’s apology.

The Manchester atrocity lifts the rock of British foreign policy to reveal its Faustian alliance with extreme Islam, especially the sect known as Wahhabism or Salafism, whose principal custodian and banker is the oil kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Britain’s biggest weapons customer.

This imperial marriage reaches back to the Second World War and the early days of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. The aim of British policy was to stop pan-Arabism: Arab states developing a modern secularism, asserting their independence from the imperial west and controlling their resources. The creation of a rapacious Israel was meant to expedite this. Pan-Arabism has since been crushed; the goal now is division and conquest.

In 2011, according to Middle East Eye, the LIFG in Manchester were known as the “Manchester boys”. Implacably opposed to Mu’ammar Gadaffi, they were considered high risk and a number were under Home Office control orders – house arrest – when anti-Gadaffi demonstrations broke out in Libya, a country forged from myriad tribal enmities.

Suddenly the control orders were lifted. “I was allowed to go, no questions asked,” said one LIFG member. MI5 returned their passports and counter-terrorism police at Heathrow airport were told to let them board their flights.

The overthrow of Gaddafi, who controlled Africa’s largest oil reserves, had been long been planned in Washington and London. According to French intelligence, the LIFG made several assassination attempts on Gadaffi in the 1990s – bank-rolled by British intelligence. In March 2011, France, Britain and the US seized the opportunity of a “humanitarian intervention” and attacked Libya. They were joined by Nato under cover of a UN resolution to “protect civilians”.

Last September, a House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee inquiry concluded that then Prime Minister David Cameron had taken the country to war against Gaddafi on a series of “erroneous assumptions” and that the attack “had led to the rise of Islamic State in North Africa”. The Commons committee quoted what it called Barack Obama’s “pithy” description of Cameron’s role in Libya as a “shit show”.

In fact, Obama was a leading actor in the “shit show”, urged on by his warmongering Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and a media accusing Gaddafi of planning “genocide” against his own people. “We knew… that if we waited one more day,” said Obama, “Benghazi, a city the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.”

The massacre story was fabricated by Salafist militias facing defeat by Libyan government forces. They told Reuters there would be “a real bloodbath, a massacre like we saw in Rwanda”. The Commons committee reported, “The proposition that Mu’ammarGaddafi would have ordered the massacre of civilians in Benghazi was not supported by the available evidence”.

Britain, France and the United States effectively destroyed Libya as a modern state. According to its own records, Nato launched 9,700 “strike sorties”, of which more than a third hit civilian targets. They included fragmentation bombs and missiles with uranium warheads. The cities of Misurata and Sirte were carpet-bombed. Unicef, the UN children’s organisation, reported a high proportion of the children killed “were under the age of ten”.

More than “giving rise” to Islamic State — ISIS had already taken root in the ruins of Iraq following the Blair and Bush invasion in 2003 — these ultimate medievalists now had all of north Africa as a base. The attack also triggered a stampede of refugees fleeing to Europe.

Cameron was celebrated in Tripoli as a “liberator”, or imagined he was. The crowds cheering him included those secretly supplied and trained by Britain’s SAS and inspired by Islamic State, such as the “Manchester boys”.

To the Americans and British, Gadaffi’s true crime was his iconoclastic independence and his plan to abandon the petrodollar, a pillar of American imperial power. He had audaciously planned to underwrite a common African currency backed by gold, establish an all-Africa bank and promote economic union among poor countries with prized resources. Whether or not this would have happened, the very notion was intolerable to the US as it prepared to “enter” Africa and bribe African governments with military “partnerships”.

The fallen dictator fled for his life. A Royal Air Force plane spotted his convoy, and in the rubble of Sirte, he was sodomised with a knife by a fanatic described in the news as “a rebel”.

Having plundered Libya’s $30 billion arsenal, the “rebels” advanced south, terrorising towns and villages. Crossing into sub-Saharan Mali, they destroyed that country’s fragile stability. The ever-eager French sent planes and troops to their former colony “to fight al-Qaida”, or the menace they had helped create.

On 14 October, 2011, President Obama announced he was sending special forces troops to Uganda to join the civil war there. In the next few months, US combat troops were sent to South Sudan, Congo and the Central African Republic. With Libya secured, an American invasion of the African continent was under way, largely unreported.

In London, one of the world’s biggest arms fairs was staged by the British government. The buzz in the stands was the “demonstration effect in Libya”. The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry held a preview entitled “Middle East: A vast market for UK defence and security companies”. The host was the Royal Bank of Scotland, a major investor in cluster bombs, which were used extensively against civilian targets in Libya. The blurb for the bank’s arms party lauded the “unprecedented opportunities for UK defence and security companies.”

Last month, Prime Minister Theresa May was in Saudi Arabia, selling more of the £3 billion worth of British arms which the Saudis have used against Yemen. Based in control rooms in Riyadh, British military advisers assist the Saudi bombing raids, which have killed more than 10,000 civilians. There are now clear signs of famine. A Yemeni child dies every 10 minutes from preventable disease, says Unicef.

The Manchester atrocity on 22 May was the product of such unrelenting state violence in faraway places, much of it British sponsored. The lives and names of the victims are almost never known to us.

This truth struggles to be heard, just as it struggled to be heard when the London Underground was bombed on July 7, 2005. Occasionally, a member of the public would break the silence, such as the east Londoner who walked in front of a CNN camera crew and reporter in mid-platitude. “Iraq!” he said. “We invaded Iraq. What did we expect? Go on, say it.”

At a large media gathering I attended, many of the important guests uttered “Iraq” and “Blair” as a kind of catharsis for that which they dared not say professionally and publicly.

Yet, before he invaded Iraq, Blair was warned by the Joint Intelligence Committee that “the threat from al-Qaida will increase at the onset of any military action against Iraq … The worldwide threat from other Islamist terrorist groups and individuals will increase significantly”.

Just as Blair brought home to Britain the violence of his and George W Bush’s blood-soaked “shit show”, so David Cameron, supported by Theresa May, compounded his crime in Libya and its horrific aftermath, including those killed and maimed in Manchester Arena on 22 May.

The spin is back, not surprisingly. Salman Abedi acted alone. He was a petty criminal, no more. The extensive network revealed last week by the American leak has vanished. But the questions have not.

Why was Abedi able to travel freely through Europe to Libya and back to Manchester only days before he committed his terrible crime? Was Theresa May told by MI5 that the FBI had tracked him as part of an Islamic cell planning to attack a “political target” in Britain?

In the current election campaign, the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has made a guarded reference to a “war on terror that has failed”. As he knows, it was never a war on terror but a war of conquest and subjugation. Palestine. Afghanistan. Iraq. Libya. Syria. Iran is said to be next. Before there is another Manchester, who will have the courage to say that?"  SOURCE

..............................................................................................................................


A Note From The Gull

Thank you, John Pilger.

"Fair is foul and foul is fair: Hover through the fog and filthy air."
---Macbeth (I.1.12-13)

Everywhere there is brazen subterfuge. Witness this latest gem from the mainstream media. Which is why I no longer take anything for granted and whatever I do take, is accompanied by not just a grain but a huge sack of salt. I still allow myself to be very grateful for small mercies like the rare times when politicians express their objections to the unchecked arrogance, greed, disrespect, rapaciousness, hypocrisy, fake humanitarianism that some nations display in their dealings with the sovereign territories and homelands of other peoples. Not many of the citizens of these aggressor nations appear to be comprehending the full import of the Armageddons that their "leaders" have arranged in the past and are plotting even now to bring down on other nations. Not many of the citizens of these aggressor nations see any equivalence between the grief and rage and despair and destruction caused by a terrorist attack and the grief and rage and despair and destruction caused by foreign aggression. Even fewer of these citizens have the courage to make or express the connection between their countries' actions abroad and terrorism.

On a related matter, our Prime Minister recently registered his discomfort with the ability of the current secretary general of the Organisation of American States to function without bias in that organisation's dealings with the sovereign state of Venezuela. Apart from registering his concern and displaying the dignity that speaking the truth requires, he had nothing to gain from making this stand. In fact, there might have been a worried pause in the snuffling and chomping at the feeding trough as diners wondered how this defiance might adversely affect their meals down the line. But it had to be said and in this matter he proved that, according to Mighty Sniper, although we are small we often prove that we are indeed overwhelming in worth.
OAS head must step down, says Rowley.
Published on Jun 1, 2017, 1:49 pm AST
By Kim Boodram Multimedia Desk

PRIME Minister Dr Keith Rowley on Wednesday revealed that during his official visit to Chile he called for the removal of Luis Almagro as secretary general of the Organisation of American States (OAS), over Almagro's engagement of Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, in a “derogatory” manner.

Almagro in March accused Maduro's government of carrying out a “self-coup” after that country's Supreme Court took over the functions of the opposition-led Congress.

Speaking at a press conference at Piarco International Airport on Wednesday on his return from a three-day visit to Chile, Rowley said the Trinidad and Tobago Government registered it “strong objection” to the actions of the OAS with regard to Venezuela in discussions with Chilean president, Michelle Bachelet,

Rowley said Almagro must step down if the OAS is to reclaim its reputation, which has been compromised.

“TT made its position clear to Chile as a leader in South America, that it is our view as a long-standing member of the OAS, that the leadership of the OAS at this point in time, needs to change,” he said.

The PM said T&T does not interfere in the affairs of its neighbours and will not be encouraged to do so now.

He said it is now the position of this government that the OAS has been compromised and cannot play a significant role in treating with Venezuela's present difficulties.

Rowley said he has stated to Bachelet that, “The OAS has now removed itself from any meaningful participation and has deteriorated now into partisan attacks and it's threatening to have the same effect on Caricom.”

He also remarked on Caricom's role in the issue, saying, “If we are not careful Caricom too could destroy itself as an honest broker with respect to any involvement in assistance in Venezuela and their internal problems.”

He added: “If Caricom wants to be taken seriously and to speak with a louder voice, then matters of this nature should be Caricom initiatives rather than individual countries going off and taking individual positions, sometimes influenced by interests that may not be our interests.”

Asked if T&T will from now on abstain from OAS votes, Rowley said, “Yes, we are not supporting the initiatives that are not in our view, helpful in treating with the difficulties in front of us.”  SOURCE

"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.

Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.

Mweh ka allay!
Guanaguanare
          Another Sudan Famine        
On 20 February 2017, the United Nations declared a famine in parts of former Unity State of South Sudan and warned that it could spread rapidly without further action. The World Food Programme reported that 40% of the South Sudanese population (4.9 million people) needed food urgently, and at least 100,000, according to the UN, […]
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          Part 4: Why we were there        

1. Teaching the young people of South Sudan biblical truths and to inspire them to minister in their own churches. The youth conference had around 50 delegates and they were all so eager to learn more about their faith- once we managed to get a translator!



2. Engaging with the young people through sport and craft, building relationships and getting to know one another. It was exciting to build relationships with brothers and sisters across the world!



3. Going to the working prison, the barracks, the police and fire service to teach them about the love of God. I was so worried that we would be unwelcome, as we would be if we had taught about Jesus in British police stations or barracks but they genuinely wanted us there, many of them asking for bibles and prayer!


4. Using drama to make the young people smile but also to get across serious fundamental messages. They absolutely loved seeing us look stupid, so they particularly loved one where we all got soaked! The picture of me in the wedding veil was a drama illustrating sexual purity :)


5. Showing love to the street children who wandered onto our site whenever anything interesting was going on! They were in various states of undress and had no english whatsoever but they loved learning basketball and painting rainbows and cars (arrabia in their local language!)


6. Ok, so this one isn't strictly why we were there, but I thought it deserved a mention! In the middle of the compound there was this huge cosco container which apparently had been left there after shipping medicines and is now used as a storage unit because it is waterproof. One day after some of us leading an evening bible session, we came back to the central "eating" area and Matt was standing on top of it! So of course we all climbed up! Later, when this picture was taken, we went up one evening and ate a random bag of dried apricots- kind of random! It was just a cool place to chill :)


7. This last picture is one of my favourites from the trip. It is of one of the ladies who attended the conference, Florence, doing prayer ministry with someone whilst we were on outreach at the local churches! Putting into practice what she learnt! It was pretty awesome.

So yeah... just one last post about mission I promise! But tomorrow I'm linking up with Frills 4 Thrills for CopyCat Friday so you'll have to wait until Saturday!

Not that anyone reads them anyway :(

On that positive note,
Say x

          Part 3: South Sudan        






This is definitely not the only post on South Sudan, but I just had to have a post to try and show you guys exactly how beautiful the country is! Seriously! I have never seen such awesome sky. There is zero light pollution so the stars are absolutely breathtaking, I could stare at the lightning displays for hours and the sunrises were a perfect daily reminder of God's power and creation.

The natural beauty, God's glory displayed for all to see, really just kept us going.

Even at our lowest, when we were struggling with tiredness or illness, we could look up and see just how big our God is. He put the stars in the sky but still knows us by name. And if he is for us, then who can stand against us?

Just a thought,
Say x

          Part 2: Uganda        







Uganda was our halfway house between the UK and South Sudan; both physically and mentally. We flew into Entebbe and stayed there for two days, sorting out visas and filling the time by swimming in one of the posh expensive hotel's pools for $4! It is an odd, hybrid country, half full of rich African culture, and half westernised. There are shops which could be on the high street back in England alongside tiny market stalls set up in disused corrugated iron containers. People wear anything from the traditional patterned dress to smart suits to jeans and scrappy tshirts. It is different from anything I have ever experienced before!

Everyone seems to think that because we were white that we had money. The child beggars on the street harassed us every time we went to buy water, the budha-budha (motorbike taxi) owners harassed us every time we so much as looked at them and even the hotel staff came into our rooms, pleading money off us for medicine, with a well-rehearsed (or maybe real, I couldn't work out) list of ailments.

It is a beautiful country, even if we only got to see the main road from Entebbe to Kampala and the inside of our horrible, cheap motel! The weather, too, was lovely, though we did get caught in a rain storm on the first day!

Personally I preferred South Sudan- you'll see why tomorrow! But it was great to experience another culture :) Plus, I got several cool stamps in my passport ;P

Love,
Say x

          Part 1: The Team        
THE MISSION TRIP WAS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!! (just had to put that out there!)

I'm afraid I am going to bombard you guys with many different posts about my mission trip to South Sudan! And this one is just to introduce the amazing team! One of my prayers for the trip was for team unity and God definitely answered it- there were no real conflicts or problems, we just worked together for the glory of God :)


So this was my beautiful room mate and fellow female, Beth. She is seriously so lovely! Together we coordinated the crafts for the youth conference and braved the long-drops! I was so glad to become friends with someone so on fire for God :) She has an amazing testimony and went on the craziest gap year last year to an extreme adventure bible school in New Zealand.


On the left Dan is surrounded by a bunch of South Sudanese village children who absolutely loved having their picture taken! He is an awesome guy who went with me to preach in a church in Kimu. He is so gifted at preaching and he really helped me work through some of my own problems too. He has a great heart and I was so blessed to work alongside him!

On the right Josh is dressed up in his church outfit- looking like he is about to go door knocking! Not only does he have the craziest eyes, but he is so lovely! He is really gentle at heart and was so good with the children, especially this one boy who had special needs called Bosco.


Then this is Mark deep in thought at one of the outreach events. It kind of sums him up really! He is such a deep thinker and has such a passion and thirst for Jesus. He only became a Christian in February and is so eager to fall deeper in love with God! It was awesome to have him on the team because he is really enthusiastic :)


And last but not least we have Matt, wearing Beth's grandma's sun hat to stop his scalp burning! He has an awesome sense of humour and a million different stories- each one more unbelievable than the next, though all true!

So yeah... that is all the young people I worked with over the last two weeks. We also had a team leader called Val, but she wasn't quite so keen on having her picture taken!

Next up, all about Uganda and South Sudan :)

Tune in tomorrow, y'all!

Say x

          Last minute heat wave!        
Everyone else in the blogging world is preparing for cooler temperatures, tights and the beautiful colours Autumn brings. I on the other hand am setting off for Uganda later this evening (in fact I'll be at the airport when this is scheduled to post!) two spend two weeks there and in South Sudan. It is crazy that it has come around so quickly! It seems only yesterday I was on the train finding out that I had been accepted for the trip. And to be fair, it was only 6 weeks ago so it has been kind of crazy!

I have managed to raise over £2000 to cover flights, injections, malaria tablets and all the craft supplies needed to make these gorgeous finger puppet sets with the young people in South Sudan!


So whilst everyone else is adding layers, my wardrobe consists solely of t shirts with high necklines and skirts to the knee or below to be respectful to the people of South Sudan. Here is a glimpse of some of my outfits.


You didn't honestly think I'd give up and look completely hideous for two weeks, did you? :P

Though with no mirror, no shower I doubt I will look my best! Luckily God doesn't care, looking not at my outward appearance but instead at my heart :P

It's going to be an awesome and hopefully life changing and inspirational two weeks and I will tell you all about it when I get back- hopefully free of cholera, yellow fever and the ebola virus!

Ta-ta for now,

Say x

ps. If you wanted to check out the organisation I am going with, the website can be found here :)

          It's an (actual) date!        
Seeing as I haven't done an outfit post for ages, I thought I'd show you guys what I was wearing on my date tonight! It's pretty low key, just eating out and then perhaps going on to this comedy club, but I'm kind of excited. I get a chance to wear this Taylor Swift-style dress that I got for a late birthday present! It has a petticoat and sticks out a bit so I can't really wear it in normal life!


And I'm not actually wearing the hat or the cowboy boots, more likely these pumps:


It's nice to be able to go out and have a relaxed evening in the midst of all this crazy planning and preparation for South Sudan. Only two days now!

Love,
Say x


          Lifted.        

You know when you get to that stage where everything is wrong. Where you hate your entire wardrobe and your skin. Where you forget one arrangement and double book yourself and just want to cry. Where you compare yourself to everyone and nothing you do seems good enough. Where you just don't see how there are enough hours in the week to get everything done.

We've all been there.

In fact, I was there last night. (sincere apologies to a certain someone who had to put up with me)

And I just couldn't see how any of the pictures I had taken in the day (from the couple shoot with a close friend of mine and her boyfriend before he goes to university) were good enough. In comparison to the other pictures that Oliver took, mine are awful.

So I got stressed and upset and suddenly everything seemed to be awful.

I cried to God for a bit then went straight to bed.

And then this morning I turned on my phone, still feeling slightly sorry for myself, and checked my emails and I had one from justgiving. Someone had donated £150 to my South Sudan page when I only needed £50 to reach my goal. I started smiling, started feeling a little bit better. Then I went downstairs and on the kitchen table there was an envelope which read 'for your South Sudan trip'. I picked it up and opened it to find another £90!

I was so worried when I started to fundraise for my trip that I wouldn't be able to raise enough money, that I would end up having to pay for it all. To be fair, I even considered just paying for it all myself a better alternative to asking people for money. I really hate bugging people to give me money. And yet... God has provided. In fact, he has given me everything I need and more. Enough money so that the organisation I am going with can cover a couple more of there costs, enough money so that I can buy the materials I need to make puppets with the young people of South Sudan.

And suddenly I don't feel so bad.

God knows exactly what we need.

Love,

Say x

ps. Well done to anyone who actually read my rambling!

          Taking pictures in my new skirt :)        





Today I thought I'd whack out the old camera and go for a proper photography trek. I cycled to all the places that I used to take photos before I moved house, hung my camera precariously on my bike handlebars as a make-shift tripod and took a billion self portraits. I took off my shoes as soon as I reached the woods and, as you can tell from the last picture, I completely wrecked my feet. But I don't really mind!

The very last place I wound up was the aqueduct as I knew I would. I always end up there, even if I don't intend to go. I fell in love with it the very first time I biked through the woods, watching the sunset over the speckled concrete and iron beams had some sort of 21st century romance about it and I have been attracted to it ever since. Seriously, don't ask me why.

When I go to South Sudan (in less than three weeks! AAAHH!), I have to wear skirts which go below my knee every. single. day. So when I saw this awesome stripy maxi skirt in Primark (I shop in classy shops :P) I knew that it would be perfect. Even my mother loved it!

And... that's all.

Oh and I'm pretty excited to go on a photoshoot tomorrow where I get to model for someone else :P This whole self-portrait thing isn't quite as fun as when you are shooting with other people!

Love,
Say x

ps. I would still love it if any of you guys would donate to my trip to South Sudan! My justgiving page is here and I'm nearly half way!
          A creative flurry :)        

When I first got my sewing machine I set to work on a few projects that I had wanted to do for a long time, like this one. However, when I tried to take in this massive shirt, I managed to break my sewing machine. I had had it for all of what, four weeks? So my projects were put on hold and any hope I had of finishing the Kite Project kind of went.

But at the weekend I took it to the shop I bought it from and FIXED IT! Out of celebration I made this tshirt that very same afternoon :) I love it. I used this tutorial and I thought it turned out rather well :) The material was a remnant I found in C&H fabrics a while back and it was just the right size!


I was in such a creative mood that when I asked if anyone wanted a CD of photos from Cornwall, I decided to make CD cases (I found a tutorial on youtube) and decorate them with different things. I haven't put up the pictures of the other side because the people I have sent them to haven't received them yet and I want it to be a surprise but believe me, they are awesome. I also spent ages on one of the guys from PFM's birthday card- I knew I wouldn't have time when it is actually his birthday because I am in Sudan. 

It was good to feel like I did something productive with my time!

Oh and if anyone would like to donate to my trip to South Sudan, I have a justgiving page here :) Even £5 would be greatly appreciated!

Love,
Say x


          Called.        

I was first called to mission when I was around 8 years old. We got to write to children at a partner church in India and I knew, then and there, that one day I would be the one delivering the letters. I knew that one day I would be a missionary. Every time after that when someone in my church came back from serving abroad, I would feel the pull again, and God would tell me once again that I should do mission work. So when I gave up my law degree to go on a gap year, mission work was my first thought. But I got depressed really quickly when I realised that most of the "amazing" gap years were full and that I should have applied for the months ago.

And then God gave me Sudan.

A man came to talk at my church about Flame International, an organisation which gives not only physical aid, but spiritual aid. They hold healing conferences in war-stricken Africa and teach forgiveness. Something in his talk spoke to me and I approached him afterwards. He told me that there was a "youth" trip in September to South Sudan but that they don't really accept people under 20 and as I was only 18 I probably wouldn't be able to handle it. It wasn't a cookie-cutter mission project, a trip to do some aid work and some tourist sights; this was going to be unbelievably tough.

So I forgot about it and got on with my exams. But God didn't. Through friends and people at church, I was prompted over and over to go back to Flame and look into the trip further. I met with the man who had spoken in the service again and spoke to the lady who was running the Sudan trip (Jan) to try and ascertain whether I was really being called to go. But I was busy, crazy busy, and I didn't hear from the organisation for a week until I text Jan to explain that I was going to Cornwall the next day and that she wouldn't be able to get hold of me whilst I was there due to poor signal, I explained that I really needed to know whether I was going to Sudan. On the train down to Polzeath, she phoned me and told me that she'd love for me to join the team.

Cut to shot of me frantically trying to sort out jabs with my mother, money transfers with both my dad and Jan, trying to arrange some sort of fundraising, all from beach mission. Everyone there was great, so enthusiastic about the trip, praying for me and generally supporting me when I thought was going to go mad (mainly when I broke my phone by going into the sea and couldn't access my emails or contact either my parents or Jan).

On Monday this week I got the first two of eight jabs.

On Saturday I have a training day and I get to meet the team.

On Sunday I get to speak to my church about the trip and pray that people sponsor me.

It is all happening really fast and is kind of scary. How am I going to raise £750 by September 8th? - just one of the many questions wizzing round my head. But at the same time I know that God is at the centre of this trip and has placed me here very carefully. I can see it in the little things, like the fact that the travel nurse only had slots free when I needed them, every other time was fully booked, and the fact that our holiday is perfectly timed to be the one week when I don't need any jabs.

I can't wait. It is going to push me to my limits and change my life.

I want to serve and to see people's lives change. I want to find a new identity solely as the child of God, founded in love. I want to put aside my own needs and comforts and just get stuck into the work of the Lord.

God has called me and I have listened. I wonder what else he has in store.

Say x
          Comment on Madi Community Centre by simon obulejo        
good move , thanks, however it should be moved closer madi in south sudan too.
          What Vision Will Guide This Important Chapter In South Sudan's History?        
As in the past, the international community can help, but in the end, the decision is up to the people and leaders of South Sudan.
          First batch of regional troops arrive in South Sudan        
Juba (AFP) Aug 8, 2017
The head of South Sudan's UN mission announced on Tuesday the long-awaited arrival of troops from a regional force meant to patrol roads and quell violence in the war-ravaged country. The UN Security Council decided a year ago to deploy a 4,000-strong regional force, two months after fighting in the capital Juba killed hundreds of people and led to the collapse of a peace agreement between P
          Department Press Briefings : Department Press Briefing - August 3, 2017        
Heather Nauert
Spokesperson
Department Press Briefing
Washington, DC
August 3, 2017



Index for Today's Briefing
  • KENYA/ETHIOPIA/REGION/DEPARTMENT
  • VENEZUELA
  • NORTH KOREA/SOUTH KOREA/REGION
  • AFGHANISTAN
  • JAPAN
  • RUSSIA/UKRAINE/DEPARTMENT
  • IRAQ/REGION
  • INDIA/PAKISTAN/REGION
  • TURKEY/REGION

    TRANSCRIPT:

    2:45 p.m. EDT

    MS NAUERT: Hi, everybody.

    QUESTION: Good afternoon.

    QUESTION: Hello.

    MS NAUERT: Hi, welcome. So this is your first briefing at the State Department, right? I hope you enjoy it.

    QUESTION: I’m sure I will.

    MS NAUERT: We will miss Nicolas, but welcome you here.

    QUESTION: I will, too.

    MS NAUERT: All right. Hi, everybody. How are you doing today?

    QUESTION: Thank you.

    MS NAUERT: A couple pieces of news I want to bring you first, and that is an announcement that’s come out of USAID today, and that is that the United States has now announced $169 million in humanitarian assistance to support the people of Ethiopia and Kenya, two countries that are now experiencing a severe and prolonged drought. With the new funding, we’re providing vital emergency food assistance, safe drinking water, and health services to millions of Ethiopians and Kenyans in the worst drought-affected areas.

    The additional aid comes at a critical moment for Ethiopia and Kenya as the threat of hunger, malnutrition, and dehydration are reaching alarming levels right now. The drought is especially severe in Ethiopia, where an estimated 7.8 million people now require urgent humanitarian assistance. We’re also closely monitoring food and security in Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen, where conflict – and in Somalia, drought – have created near-famine conditions that require large humanitarian responses.

    This fiscal year, the United States has provided nearly $2 billion in response to these crises. The United States is the world’s largest humanitarian donor and we remain committed to saving lives and supporting the most vulnerable people. We also strongly encourage additional contributions from governments of Ethiopia and Kenya and other humanitarian donors to address the growing needs of people who are affected by that drought.

    And then a related piece of news – and we are very, very happy to tell you about this today, hopefully I’m bringing this to you for the first time – hi, Elise – that for USAID Andrew Green was confirmed today by the Senate. We would like to welcome today’s Senate confirmation of Mark Andrew Green as the new administrator for the USAID, the U.S. Agency for International Development. We look forward to his accomplishments as he assumes leadership of USAID and working closely with him to achieve the President’s national security and development goals.

    Now, I know many of you know Ambassador Green from his previous work as having served as ambassador to Tanzania, as the president of the International Republican Institute – they do a lot of good work around the globe in promoting free and fair elections. Perhaps most importantly, I’d say, he’s a Wisconsin Badger. So we’d like to welcome Mark Green to the State Department and USAID and look forward to working with him.

    And with that, I’ll take your questions. Who would like to start today?

    QUESTION: Can I?

    MS NAUERT: All right. Hi.

    QUESTION: Thanks, Heather. Can we start with Venezuela?

    MS NAUERT: Sure.

    QUESTION: So the company that provided the software for this election that you urged Maduro’s government not to hold says that the votes were manipulated to try to make it look like more people had participated. Does the U.S. share that assessment that the vote was not a legitimate, straightforward vote?

    MS NAUERT: So you may recall here on Tuesday we talked about this and we called it an illegitimate election. That’s something also that Steve Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary, had called it an illegitimate election as well. That remains a concern of ours. We stand in support with the Venezuelan people who support democracy, who are tremendously concerned about what President Maduro has done to his country. Much of the devastation and the terrible situation there is a result of his regime and from the greed that they have shown.

    QUESTION: But are you calling it illegitimate because the fact that they were holding the vote in the first place was illegitimate, as you had said prior, or that the actual veracity of the tabulation is in question?

    MS NAUERT: So we have not been able to take a look at the actual tabulation of the vote. So if we get anything for you on that, if there’s something that I’m perhaps not aware of, I’ll get you an answer on that. But the election itself is something that we view as illegitimate. We recognize the national assembly as being the free and fair party and not the constituent assembly.

    QUESTION: And Maduro’s government is accusing this company – it’s called, I think, Smartmatic – of bowing to U.S. pressure by issuing these doubts about the veracity of the vote. Can you say whether the State Department or other parts of the U.S. Government was in contact with Smartmatic, whether there was any pressure put on them to question the outcome of this vote?

    MS NAUERT: I’m not aware of any calls or correspondence between the United States and the company that you just mentioned. We have, for a very long period of time, expressed our severe concerns about the situation in Venezuela – not just the humanitarian situation, but also what we see as an eroding of the democracy in that country. And that’s why I continue to say we stand with the people of Venezuela. We view that as an illegitimate election and we stand by the national assembly.

    QUESTION: And just lastly on this one, the swift and strong economic steps that you had threatened if this took place, should we assume that for the time being, that the sanctions that were announced on Maduro himself are that response? Or should we be seeing potentially additional economic steps specifically in retaliation for that election?

    MS NAUERT: We have long said that, first, we’re not going to sort of preview what steps the United States Government may take. That may be an area that we are looking at right now. We saw some strong sanctions go down earlier this week and last week as a result on Maduro himself and others in his – in his so-called party. But in terms of what we might do in the future, I’m not going to look ahead at that. But all – those types of options are certainly on the table.

    QUESTION: Thanks.

    MS NAUERT: Okay?

    QUESTION: May I take a follow-up to that?

    MS NAUERT: Yeah, sure.

    QUESTION: So the Secretary said on Tuesday that he or the U.S. wanted to create the conditions that would convince Maduro it was a good idea to leave. I mean, I’m paraphrasing. Is that what he’s talking about – sanctions, or is there something else he’s talking about?

    MS NAUERT: Well, we wouldn’t forecast the sanctions, so those would most likely be coming out of the Department of the Treasury, so I would refer all that to the Treasury when they are ready to talk about it, if there are additional sanctions coming into play. But the Secretary is paying very close attention to it. You know this is an area of the world that we care about very deeply. We promote democracy here. We support democracies here. And what President Maduro has done has been a disaster for democracy, so the United States will continue to take a look at that and express our concerns.

    QUESTION: Heather?

    MS NAUERT: Okay. Anything else on Venezuela? Venezuela?

    QUESTION: When you’re finished, North Korea?

    MS NAUERT: Okay, let’s move on. Okay, hi. North Korea. How are you?

    QUESTION: Heather, yeah.

    MS NAUERT: Good to see you.

    QUESTION: One in South Korea and another one for North Korea, two questions.

    MS NAUERT: Sorry? You want to start where?

    QUESTION: One is South Korean issues.

    MS NAUERT: Okay.

    QUESTION: One is the North Korean issues. The United States ambassador to South Korea has not – has not yet been appointed. Reason why so delay?

    MS NAUERT: I’m not aware of who the nominee is on South Korea, so I’m sorry, apologies to that person if there is one. If I have something for you, I’ll get back to you on that. Okay?

    QUESTION: North Korea. The dialogue with North Korea that United – U.S. wants is a preconditions, but the dialogue with North Korea that South Korea wants is the unconditionals. What is different? Why? How does it looks different?

    MS NAUERT: Well, we have long said that North Korea has a long way to go before the United States would consider having talks with them, negotiations with them. The Secretary addressed this the other day where – and I’ll paraphrase here, and then I’d like to read you a quote of his just to make sure that we are very clear on this. They have a long way to go. They need to take steps to show us, show the United States – and the world for that matter – that they are serious about their attempts to denuclearize. We have not seen that. We just saw two ICBM tests within a period of less than a month. They’re not showing signs that they are committed to doing that at this point.

    So let me just read for you a couple things that the Secretary has said, because I’ve seen a lot of misreporting in the news about some of the Secretary’s comments and what we will or would not be willing to do. The Secretary said this here from this podium. He said, “We want to first seek peaceful pressure on the regime in North Korea to have them develop a willingness to sit and talk with us and others but with an understanding that a condition of those talks there is no future where North Korea holds nuclear weapons or the ability to deliver those nuclear weapons to anyone in the region much less in the homeland.”

    He goes on then to say, and let me just finish this, “We don’t think having a dialogue where North Koreans come to the table assuming that they are going to maintain their nuclear weapons is productive.” That’s what the Secretary said.

    Susan Thornton – and many of you joined us on that call with the acting assistant secretary for near – for East Asia Pacific – said, “We are seeking to exert pressure on the North Korean regime in order to change their calculus…the abandonment of their nuclear and ballistic missile programs.” She then went on to say, “Bringing the regime in Pyongyang to the realization that they are not worth keeping and they would enter into a serious discussion with the international community about how to abandon and what the process would be for giving up those weapons, and what could they expect to gain from that decision.” She went on to say, “But it is, as I mentioned, it’s in the future. As of right now, we don’t see any indication that the North Koreans are willing to enter into such a serious discussion with us.”

    QUESTION: So yes, without the North Korea to give up – without to give up their nuclear weapons, no way to talk with North Korea?

    MS NAUERT: They have to start taking some serious steps, showing us some steps. Susan referred to that, the Secretary referred to that, and others have as well. I think they’ve been --

    QUESTION: So yesterday --

    MS NAUERT: They have been very clear.

    QUESTION: Yeah. Yesterday, Vice President Pence said that there will be no direct talk with North Korea.

    MS NAUERT: The Vice President said – among other things, he said this, “I think President Trump is taking a different approach. He really believes that leveraging our allies in the region and China to economically and diplomatically isolate North Korea will ultimately be more productive.” We are all on the same page here. North Korea has a long way to go. They know what they need to do. We’ve been clear on our expectations of that government. The world, in fact, has been clear about what we expect North Korea to do, what we will encourage them to do. The pressure campaign – still in its early stages, where we are asking countries around the world to do more to put leverage – to use their leverage on North Korea.

    Okay.

    QUESTION: Thank you very much.

    MS NAUERT: Yeah. Hey, Elise.

    QUESTION: On Susan – what Susan Thornton said.

    MS NAUERT: Yeah.

    QUESTION: She also talked about a diplomatic isolation of North Korea, not just – Secretary Tillerson has talked about that before and what you’re looking for countries to do around the world, but specifically at ASEAN, is there an effort to marginalize him? I know he’ll be there and you can’t do anything about that. But is there an effort to marginalize him from specific meetings at ASEAN? Will he be invited to all of the meetings that other members --

    MS NAUERT: So I’m not aware of the entire meeting schedule and who’s invited to what meetings or included in certain meetings. Susan Thornton, our acting assistant secretary, spoke to this just yesterday.

    QUESTION: Yeah, I know.

    MS NAUERT: She talked about that pressure campaign.

    QUESTION: Right.

    MS NAUERT: And this is perhaps another version of a pressure campaign, and that is talking with the ASEAN and the Regional Forum members about whether or not North Korea is in compliance. ASEAN is a program that focuses on security, and perhaps North Korea is out of sync with the principles of that organization and entity. She said something along the lines of it’s too late to do something about it this year, but that’s something that’s a conversation that she expects to be underway next year.

    QUESTION: So are you looking to suspend North Korea’s membership from ASEAN?

    MS NAUERT: I don't know that that would be the United States decision to begin with. I just --

    QUESTION: Well, I think as a member that you can propose.

    MS NAUERT: I just can’t speak to that, exactly what the plan will be. I know that we’ll be talking with other countries while we’re there about what to do about the North Korea problem. Of course, that’s not just a regional problem; it’s a worldwide problem.

    Okay.

    QUESTION: Can I ask a quick follow-up to that?

    MS NAUERT: Okay. Yeah. Hi.

    QUESTION: So you just said the pressure campaign is in its early days, and the Secretary has also talked about it needing a lot of work, but he also said there isn’t that much time. So how do you square that circle, if you’ve got a strategy that takes time when there isn’t time? And also, off the back of the two --

    MS NAUERT: This is – hold on. This isn’t just our strategy. It’s a strategy that many countries around the world have agreed to. We’ve been activity at the United Nations as well. So this isn’t just the United States campaign of concern about North Korea and all the destabilizing activities that it’s engaged with. We recognize that this cannot be achieved overnight. It took years and years to get to this point. But when I say it’s in the early stages that means we’re six months into this new administration, six months into this new campaign, and we’re driving it. We’re working this one hard, and a lot of other countries care about it just as much as we do.

    QUESTION: Can we stay in the region?

    QUESTION: Afghan --

    MS NAUERT: Yeah. Hey, James.

    QUESTION: Hi. The idea that the U.S. would seek to enlist regional partners in the effort to constrain North Korea’s nuclear ambitions is hardly new, as you know. The whole premise of the Six-Party Talks was the idea that there would be regional buy-in, and it wouldn’t just be the U.S. that was making demands with North Korea in some bilateral way. And so what’s really new here?

    MS NAUERT: What is new here is a lot. One, the pace of this campaign – increasingly putting pressure on many of these nations to – and I’ve talked about this here with this group before – when countries have North Korean guest workers, for example, and this is just one example, have North Korean guest workers working in that nation, we know that those guest workers do not take home 100 percent of the money they earn. Much of that money, in some instances I understand all of that money, will not go to that individual doing the hard work, but rather goes back to the North Korean regime. What we are saying is, “Countries, cut your guest worker programs.” We have seen some success with that in the past and in recent months as well.

    Another initiative is asking countries that are looking to open up North Korean diplomatic missions in their countries to not do that. There are some specific countries – I cannot name them for security reasons right now, but there are some specific countries that have chosen not to open embassies or consulates for North Korea because of this very reason and because of this campaign. So just two quick examples of some of the things that we are doing, ways that we believe the pressure campaign is working, because we are seeing success. We are seeing some of these countries adhere to what we’re asking them to do. And these are countries all around the world, in places that you would not expect would have North Korean workers. The Washington Post wrote about North Korean workers in some African nations not long ago. And that’s the same type of thing. And cutting the number of those workers to help keep that money from going into North Korea’s illegal weapons program.

    QUESTION: The one move over the last 10 or so years that seemed to have the greatest impact in affecting the calculus of the North Koreans was what we sort of referred to generically as Banco Delta Asia, right, which was an effort to cut off the North Korean Government from the international financial system. And that’s what is generally seen as having provoked them or prodded them to make whatever measure – take whatever measures they have to date to fall in line with international expectations and their own commitments. Where do you see – how would you characterize the state of North Korea’s current engagement with the international financial system, and is that a pressure point that is still open to this administration to pursue?

    MS NAUERT: I think this is something I get to punt to Treasury. (Laughter.) I’m not aware of what exactly we are doing with regard to the banking system in North Korea. I can see if I can get an answer for you on that; I’m not sure that that would fall under the purview of the State Department, but I’ll look into it for you, okay?

    QUESTION: But when you’re looking at sanctioning, whether it’s China or other countries, is the effort to punish those countries – is the measure to punish those countries, or is it directed at trying to stop the illicit flow of money to North Korea?

    MS NAUERT: Oh, you say it’s “countries.” When you’re talking --

    QUESTION: Secondary sanctions.

    MS NAUERT: -- yeah – when you’re talking about secondary sanctions, third-party – that type of thing, as a general matter, it’s not necessarily focused on a country. Sometimes it could be an entity or an individual. So part of that is to take a look at the people who are doing the things that we’re asking them not to do. In some instances, it’s an individual; for some – in some situations, it’s saying to that country, “Hey, we’re aware of what’s going on, and we’re not – this is not okay.”

    QUESTION: Follow on that?

    QUESTION: (Off-mike.)

    MS NAUERT: Okay. Okay.

    QUESTION: Wait --

    MS NAUERT: Hold on. Sorry.

    QUESTION: Where have you had success? Who’s kicked out guest worker programs?

    MS NAUERT: Those I cannot say.

    QUESTION: Why?

    MS NAUERT: Well, for a couple – for a few reasons here. One, because it can discourage other countries from doing it. And I’ve seen it, and this has been a subject of some bilateral conversations – a lot of this information is classified – where there have been countries that have kicked out guest workers, who have shrunk the number of guest workers who are there. We want to keep giving other countries the flexibility to be able to work with us in stalling these types of programs. So I can’t – I’m afraid I just can’t say too much about that.

    QUESTION: See, that just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, because if you’re up there praising these countries for helping in this international effort, why would that discourage other countries from doing it?

    MS NAUERT: Because other countries may have better relationships with North Korea, and they don’t want to lose out altogether. Look, I’ve been in these – I’ve sat in these meetings; I’ve heard some of these conversations as they have taken place that this is a project that is underway. It’s a big part of our campaign, and we see it working. I’m sorry I just can’t give you all the information.

    QUESTION: Can you characterize the basic numbers? A few hundreds, a few thousands?

    MS NAUERT: No, I can’t. Sorry.

    QUESTION: Afghanistan?

    MS NAUERT: Okay.

    QUESTION: On North Korea? One more.

    MS NAUERT: Okay. Hi.

    QUESTION: One of the President’s advisors, Sebastian Gorka, said today that, when asked whether – what more the United States could do to encourage China to apply leverage to North Korea, he said, “We have the President’s Twitter” account. Do – does Secretary Tillerson agree that presidential tweets going after China for not doing enough are helpful here?

    MS NAUERT: I think the Secretary has talked about the use of social media, and one of the things he’s said is that the President’s an effective communicator, and that’s a tool that the President certainly is welcome to continue using. He’s the President of the United States. He knows how to effectively communicate with people around the world, including Americans. And if he wants to send out messages about any particular topic, he can certainly do so. Anything beyond that, I’d refer you to the White House.

    Okay? Should we move on?

    QUESTION: (Off-mike.)

    MS NAUERT: Hey, Nazil – let’s talk about Afghanistan.

    QUESTION: Nazira Azim Karimi, independent Afghan journalist. Heather, as you know, NBC News had a report regarding recent President Trump’s meeting, that he was a little mad, and he proposed to General Mattis to fire General John Nicholson, high official general in Afghanistan, because of the newest strategies of U.S. in Afghanistan. That’s why it’s not announced yet. Do you think that that based off – full of experience of General Nicholson, is it fair to propose to President Trump? And what do you think generally about Afghanistan?

    MS NAUERT: Yeah, so --

    QUESTION: Any update about new U.S. strategy toward Afghanistan?

    MS NAUERT: Well, a lot going on, certainly, in Afghanistan. And as you know, our administration’s policy review is still underway at this point. That review has not been finalized. It is an important region of the world to the United States and many other places. Our NATO partners certainly serve there in addition to the 9,000 or so U.S. forces who serve in Afghanistan. In terms of what you just mentioned, that report, I’m not going to comment on that report because it’s an alleged report with anonymous leaked conversations. So I’m just not going to get into that. General Nicholson is a good man, he’s certainly served his country well, and we care a lot about Afghanistan and what happens there, and that will continue to be a focus of ours. Okay?

    QUESTION: Thank you.

    MS NAUERT: Thanks.

    QUESTION: Japan?

    MS NAUERT: Hi. What do you want to – sorry.

    QUESTION: Japan.

    MS NAUERT: Japan. Okay.

    QUESTION: So Japan has announced in a cabinet reshuffle that Taro Kono will replace Fumio Kishida as foreign minister, and Itsunori Onodera will replace Tomomi Inada as defense minister. How will this affect ongoing conversations on issues such as North Korea with Japan? And also, will this affect plans to schedule a 2+2 meeting with Japan later this month?

    MS NAUERT: Well, first let me say, as you know and many of you know, we have an ironclad relationship with Japan. That will not change. We are certainly aware of the cabinet reshuffling or changes, if you will. Whoever is in that cabinet will continue to work with the United States. We will continue looking forward to working with those individuals. Our relationship will not change.

    As for the meetings that you mentioned, I don’t believe we have a date that’s scheduled for those meetings to be held just yet. But when those do happen, we certainly look forward to it.

    QUESTION: And do you have an idea of when the Secretary will be reaching out to the new foreign minister in Japan?

    MS NAUERT: I do not, no. Thank you.

    QUESTION: Turkey?

    QUESTION: Will they touch base in Manila perhaps?

    MS NAUERT: If I have anything for you, I’ll certainly give it to you. Okay?

    QUESTION: Turkey?

    QUESTION: Iraq? Iraq?

    MS NAUERT: Okay. Okay. Are we – wait, wait, hold on a second. Are we done with Afghanistan and Japan?

    QUESTION: South Asia? South Asia?

    QUESTION: (Off-mike.)

    QUESTION: (Off-mike.)

    MS NAUERT: We’re done with Afghanistan and Japan? Okay.

    QUESTION: Thanks.

    MS NAUERT: Hey, James.

    QUESTION: U.S.-Russian relations, if you would. And I’m sure you had an opportunity to see the rather lengthy and blistering Facebook post from Prime Minister Medvedev, and there are several aspects of it I wanted to pursue with you if I could. One is that he announces the end of any hope for improvement between the two countries under the present U.S. administration. Is it?

    MS NAUERT: Is it what?

    QUESTION: The end?

    MS NAUERT: Is it the end? Look, we are two nuclear superpowers.

    QUESTION: (Off-mike.)

    MS NAUERT: I think many folks around the world agree that the United States and Russia should be able to work together in areas of mutual cooperation. If you look at the ceasefire in southwest Syria, that has now taken hold and, for the most part, succeeded for nearly a month now. So that is an --

    QUESTION: But to be clear --

    MS NAUERT: That is an example of good U.S.-Russian cooperation. Certainly our relationship is at a low point, but we have to find areas of mutual cooperation.

    QUESTION: So he didn’t say that it is the end of cooperation; he said it is the end of any hope for improvement. Is it the end of any hope for improvement?

    MS NAUERT: Look, there’s always hope for improvement. We know that people say extreme things, especially at heated times. I’m just not going to get into the specifics of that, but we have areas where we can work together and will work together.

    QUESTION: He stated that the sanctions measure that the President signed is an economic declaration of war against the Russian Federation. Is it?

    MS NAUERT: Is it an economic declaration of – again, I’m not going to get into characterizing what he said. We have seen – we --

    QUESTION: If we had declared war, I think you’d be prepared to tell us so.

    MS NAUERT: Yeah. I – we have seen a lot of leaders, a lot of countries say provocative things, and we may just need to settle things down a little bit.

    QUESTION: I’m just trying to establish the record. Was it an economic declaration of war on the Russian Federation?

    MS NAUERT: I – if that is what Russia is saying, Russia is certainly entitled to say that, and that’s as far as I’m going to go. I’m not going to – I’m not going to take the bait on that.

    QUESTION: Lastly – last question about it. The statement seemed, at numerous times, calculated to try to --

    MS NAUERT: Whose statement?

    QUESTION: The Medvedev Facebook post, at various times, seemed to be calculated to play on what the Russians perceive to be President Trump’s own vanity or sensitivity to insult. So at various points, the statement described his dealings with the Congress on this issue, the sanctions measure, as a humiliation for him and telegraphing weakness and so forth. Is it the assessment of this building that this was an intent of the Medvedev statement?

    MS NAUERT: I’m not going to assume what Medvedev said about anything. So if you want to ask for greater clarification on that, I would refer you to him. I’m not going to characterize what he said, okay?

    QUESTION: On the sanctions, Heather.

    QUESTION: (Off-mike.)

    MS NAUERT: Anything else? Anything else on Russia?

    QUESTION: Yeah, on Russia.

    QUESTION: South Asia?

    QUESTION: Yeah, on Russia.

    QUESTION: Russia.

    QUESTION: (Off-mike.)

    MS NAUERT: Whoa, whoa. Okay, all right.

    QUESTION: South Asia.

    MS NAUERT: Hold on, everybody. Let’s take it down a notch. Go right ahead.

    QUESTION: So along those lines, I had a few questions on the funding of the Global Engagement Center.

    MS NAUERT: Yeah, okay.

    QUESTION: So far the State Department has not requested any of the $80 million that was allocated last December by Congress specifically for the funding of the center. Is there a reason why they haven’t made that request, and can you respond to some of the reporting that it’s because of a desire not to upset Moscow or to --

    MS NAUERT: So I have seen that report. I want you to know I was just over at the Global Engagement Center a short while ago, and the place is busy. It’s buzzing, people packed in their cubicles working on anti-ISIS propaganda – to counter ISIS propaganda, that is. Russia is also an area of interest to them as well. So their work is well underway; their people are busy. I met with the head of their program a couple weeks ago to talk about these two very issues. That has not changed. They are still operating, hard at work. Our Deputy Secretary John Sullivan has talked about the GEC and talked about how that is an important part of the State Department’s mission.

    Now, when the Secretary comes in and we have a bunch of money that we can look at spending, the Secretary as a businessman is going to come in and look at how is this money being spent, is this money being spent effectively, which programs is this money going to. So the Secretary is merely doing what he was brought in to do, and that is take a look at our priorities and our budgeting priorities. The program is staying. The program’s not going away. Those folks are hard at work, and it’s something that we care about and that’s not going to change.

    QUESTION: So following up on that, there’s $250 million that was set aside in the recent Russia sanctions bill specifically citing the Global Engagement Center and efforts, again, to counter propaganda by state actors such as Russia. Will the State Department be utilizing the $250 million with funds set aside in that bill?

    MS NAUERT: So – a bill was just signed into law by the President. Exactly how that money will be spent and where it will go, we’re not certain about that just yet. We want to thank the Congress for providing that money. They are clearly recognizing the importance of the work that our people at the GEC do and we don’t see that changing. We welcome that support. When I have something more for you, I’ll bring it to you, okay?

    Okay, anything more on the Global Engagement Center?

    QUESTION: Can I get one on the bill itself?

    QUESTION: On Ukraine. On Ukraine.

    MS NAUERT: Okay.

    QUESTION: Russia.

    MS NAUERT: Go right ahead.

    QUESTION: The President’s signing statement – he said that parts of the legislation were clearly unconstitutional. Is it the department’s intent to carry out the bill in its full effect despite the fact that parts of it are, quote-unquote, “unconstitutional?”

    MS NAUERT: I think we have to follow the law, and the President signing in – into law is something that we certainly will follow. The President and the Secretary had both expressed concerns, as have past administrations – both Republican and Democrat administrations have expressed concern about Congress getting involved in certain sanctioning activities because it can hamstring the Secretary, the President from being able to dial up and dial back sanctions activity as they need to do it. So the belief is that administrations – again, Democrats supported this too – need to have that flexibility to tighten things down on a country and then also be able to pull back a little bit when a country starts to cooperate.

    QUESTION: Well, but if I might, one of the reasons that lawmakers on both sides obviously said that they felt compelled to do that is because they were concerned that this White House would too precipitously lift sanctions on Russia in an effort to improve the relationship as opposed to as a result of increased cooperation or improved behavior. So, I mean, I think it was more an indictment – it was less an indictment on giving the Executive – but more of an indictment on this particular president and his attitude towards Russia.

    MS NAUERT: Well, then that is something I could refer you to Congress on. I know the Secretary --

    QUESTION: Well, I mean, they’ve said it out loud, yeah.

    MS NAUERT: That’s fine. That’s fine. That’s fine. If they want to say that in our country – the right to free speech and to believe and promote whatever kind of legislative activity that they want to. We know that the American public is concerned about Russian meddling in our election and that’s reflected in that vote in Congress. Nobody’s trying to hide that or skirt that in any kind of way. Congress’s vote in favor of the legislation was an expression of the will of the American public, and the Secretary talked about that over the weekend in his statement.

    QUESTION: Heather --

    MS NAUERT: Okay.

    QUESTION: But Heather, on that point --

    MS NAUERT: Yeah.

    QUESTION: -- I mean, the flipside of that is you say in response to James’ question that we’re trying to communicate to the Russians that we want to have a collaborative relationship with them. The Russians hate these sanctions. The President has – says he doesn’t like --

    MS NAUERT: Well, of course they do.

    QUESTION: This President agrees with them that this is bad piece of legislation. The Secretary also --

    MS NAUERT: Well, hold on one second. Hold on one second. And I’ll refer to the White House on this one. However, the President’s concerns were about his constitutional authority and the ability to dial up and dial back pressure on Russia. There are other – I mean, the President signed the bill, after all. The President signed the legislation.

    QUESTION: Precisely. So how does the President and Secretary Tillerson then go about trying to tell the Russians, including Foreign Minister Lavrov this – this coming days, we want to work with you in good faith, when the administration is moving forward with a sanctions package that even the administration says is misguided.

    MS NAUERT: Let’s remember what got us to this point, and what got us to this point was a whole host of issues. And I – let me just start to go through them. Ukraine, a very serious issue. We will continue to hold Russia accountable to that. We just appointed Kurt Volker to go out and deal with part of that issue. You know how important that is to us to try to maintain or try to get back Ukraine’s integrity and territorial sovereignty. That is something that we are passionate about. That is a direct effect because of Russian activities and some of the things that they have done. Just because we want to find areas of cooperation and to improve the relationship in – with Russia where we can because they are also a nuclear superpower does not mean that we will turn a blind eye to some of the bad acts that they are involved with, such as Ukraine.

    QUESTION: Well, while we’re on Ukraine since you brought it up --

    MS NAUERT: Yeah.

    QUESTION: I know --

    QUESTION: Can I – can I just jump in on that very quickly, though?

    MS NAUERT: What --

    QUESTION: Just a quick question because --

    MS NAUERT: Yeah.

    QUESTION: So are you saying that Russia is to blame for the lull in relations right now?

    MS NAUERT: Look, Russia has been involved in a lot of activities; a lot of activities that are very concerning, I know, to many of you and to many Americans, whether it is election-related activities or their activities in Ukraine. They’ve also harassed U.S. diplomats. I mean, there – a whole host of things.

    QUESTION: So why did the President say you can thank Congress in a tweet?

    MS NAUERT: I would have to refer you to the President on that. He authored that. I was not sitting there by him asking him what he meant when he put that together.

    QUESTION: Okay.

    MS NAUERT: Okay.

    QUESTION: But you’re open to that if he’s --

    MS NAUERT: If – you know what, if the President wants to call me and chat about it, I would love to hear the backstory. Josh, go ahead.

    QUESTION: So on the Ukraine thing, I realize there hasn’t been a final decision on this question of whether we’re going to provide lethal weaponry described as defensive weapons to Ukraine, but can you at least say that a plan to entertain doing so has at this point gone from this building and the Pentagon to the White House?

    MS NAUERT: Yeah, so I can’t confirm that. I can certainly say, though, that we have not provided defensive weapons nor have we ruled out the option to do so. So that’s an option that remains on the table, and that’s as far as I can go with that. Okay.

    QUESTION: On the diplomats being expelled --

    MS NAUERT: Yes.

    QUESTION: -- are we in the midst of formulating some proportionate response to that?

    MS NAUERT: I know – proportionate is a key word, okay. So that would be the way you would describe it. We are looking at our options, what we want to do from here on out. As you all know – perhaps you know, many of the people who work in our missions, in our embassies overseas, are locally-employed staff, so what Russia intends to do is kick out some of our workers, some of our employees, some of our diplomats. However, let me be clear and point out that Russians will suffer as a result of this, because many of the people who currently work there are Russian citizens. The economy is already hurting there in Russia. This will hurt more of their citizens. That is a decision that Russia has chosen to make. We’re sorry to see them make that decision, but they’re hurting their own people.

    QUESTION: So you’re studying the response, correct?

    MS NAUERT: Of course.

    QUESTION: From this current period with Russia, this new low in relations that everyone seems to agree really is a new low, is it the view of this department that the United States needs an exit plan or are we content to stay with this as the status quo because it suits our interest to do so?

    MS NAUERT: An exit plan from what?

    QUESTION: From this new nadir in our relations with the – with Russia.

    MS NAUERT: We – when this administration first came in, we knew that our relationship was at a low point. Various U.S. officials have talked about that extensively, about just how strained that relationship is right now. We’re not giving up on it, we certainly are going to look for areas of mutual cooperation, but it is at a tense point right now. Okay?

    QUESTION: Can I just confirm that there will be a response? There – the U.S. will take a response --

    MS NAUERT: Look, I know we are talking about various options and what our plan will be, and we’re just not ready to go there yet. Okay?

    QUESTION: Well, is it --

    QUESTION: Can we go to Iraq?

    QUESTION: Do you see this as a response to the Obama administration? You know what I mean, like, can you really see this in a --

    QUESTION: Tillerson called it symmetrical, didn’t he?

    MS NAUERT: I – I --

    QUESTION: Yeah.

    QUESTION: (Inaudible) symmetrical.

    MS NAUERT: I can’t get into anything with the previous administration and how they characterized things.

    QUESTION: No, but what I’m saying is you say you’re – you say you’re kind of considering a response, but --

    MS NAUERT: Well, the administration is considering a response, yeah.

    QUESTION: No, I understand, but what this was was a response to a previous administration’s actions that actually President Trump had said – had thanked and praised President Putin for holding off and delaying. So this is – this is more like a kind of tit for tat. Do you think that if you initiate a response to their response, that this is just going to continue to cycle and spiral downwards?

    MS NAUERT: It’s a hypothetical. I’m just not going to get into that and predicting what could or might not happen in the future. Sorry.

    Okay. Just – let’s just get a couple – a couple more regions, okay? Hey.

    QUESTION: South Asia?

    QUESTION: On Iraq?

    MS NAUERT: Yeah.

    QUESTION: Today is the third anniversary of the Yezidi genocide. I don’t know if you have a statement on that. But also a question on the minorities, that they are concerned about their future, even after ISIS, what’s going to happen to them – the Yezidis themselves and also the Christians. So what is the United States plan to protect the Yezidis and also the other minorities in Iraq as we are going through the stabilizing phase of Iraq? So what are your plan to protect them from further genocide or aggressions in the future?

    MS NAUERT: And remind me, you’re from Iraq, right?

    QUESTION: Yeah. I’m from NRT from Kurdistan, yes.

    MS NAUERT: Okay. Good. And thank you for being here. I always love it when our foreign journalists come in, and you all have such – some – in some cases difficult stories, in other cases very rich stories, and so I thank you for being here. It’s a good representative of what your country represents, and I’m sorry for everything you’ve been through. (Inaudible) certainly been through a lot.

    Today is the third anniversary of the – what happened to the Yezidis, Christians, and some Shia Muslims in Iraq. We honor and mourn those who lost their lives, who died at the hands of ISIS. It was brutal. So many of us remember the coverage of that, the video of that, the pictures, and the absolutely horrific stories of what those people were put through. We want to offer our respect for those who survived those horrors, our sympathy and prayers to those who lost their lives. Many people, as we’ve read about in the stories, still struggle with the scars of what happened to Yezidis. So I just want to say on behalf of the U.S. Government how deeply sorry we are about that and how we have not forgotten what happened to those individuals there.

    We’ve talked about this, I think it was last week. We talked about the Secretary of State’s position. And his judgment is that ISIS is responsible for genocide taking place against those groups in Iraq. That includes the Yezidis. That includes Christians. That also includes Shia Muslims. Secretary Tillerson spoke about this a little bit in his confirmation hearing. I know that it is his personal opinion and is deeply regretful and sorry for what happened to those people.

    There have been more than 40 mass graves that have been found in the areas around Sinjar. Just try to imagine that. We know that children, young people, old people, were massacred as a result. There were 550,000 who lived in the region pre-ISIS, and now about 360,000 or so have been displaced.

    You asked me the question about what the United States Government is doing about that. We are providing some money to the Iraqi Government. Let me see if I can find the specifics on the dollar amount of that. But we’ve provided $1.4 billion in humanitarian assistance for vulnerable, displaced, and conflict-affected Iraqis in Iraq and in the region. We’ve provided funding to the Iraqi Government to help document those atrocities for future prosecution. I know the United Nations is involved in a certain part of this. For more specifics, I’d have to get that from the United Nations. The UK is also involved in this as well. They have a proposed investigative mechanism. They see that as one way to expand Iraq’s capacity for accountability.

    So it’s something that we care about. It’s something that we have certainly funded. That and the loss of the Iraqi people is not something that we’ll forget.

    QUESTION: Sorry. The money was 1.4 billion?

    MS NAUERT: Yeah, 1.4 billion in humanitarian assistance since Fiscal Year 2014. And USAID and State have provided more than 100 million in assistance for Iraq’s religious and ethnic minority communities, and then we’ve also led an international initiative to highlight the plight of these minority communities.

    QUESTION: Okay. Thank you.

    MS NAUERT: So thank you for asking about that.

    QUESTION: Thank you.

    QUESTION: Madam? Madam, I have –

    MS NAUERT: Okay. Do we have anything else on Iraq?

    QUESTION: On India?

    MS NAUERT: Sir, we’ll go with India. How are you?

    QUESTION: Okay. Thank you very much. Two questions on South --

    MS NAUERT: And then we have to wrap it up and go.

    QUESTION: Yes, madam.

    MS NAUERT: Okay.

    QUESTION: Two questions on South Asia, please. As far as U.S.-India relations are concerned after Prime Minister Modi’s visit, as far as diplomacy is concerned, one issue he raised in the White House and also here that India should get, the United States, Security Council membership. So our ambassador there, Nikki Haley, she is doing a great job, of course. Is she going to raise the issue at the United Nations?

    MS NAUERT: I believe she is. I would have to double-check with her office. I can certainly do that and get back with you. I know we had a lovely visit with Mr. Modi. It was certainly wonderful to have him here in the United States. I know the President enjoyed hosting him, as did the Secretary as well. So --

    QUESTION: And, madam, second question on Pakistan, quickly. Opposition leader Imran Khan had a nationwide campaign against corruption against Nawaz Sharif. Now the Pakistan supreme court dismissed him already, of course. But my question is that now Pakistan has a new prime minister, and of course from the same party, so where do we stand as far as U.S.-Pakistan relations are concerned? And finally, after his dismissal, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif --

    MS NAUERT: Oh, sorry, I’m not going to be able to keep track of all of these.

    QUESTION: Yes, madam. Nawaz Sharif – he was addressing his parliamentary party, where he said that President Clinton offered him $5 billion during Kargil War with India, and at the same time he said that China’s President Xiaoping offered him $3 billion as a gift. So where do we stand?

    MS NAUERT: Okay. I’m not aware of any of that money and what you’re referring to from quite a few administrations ago. I can say that we’re certainly aware of the elections that India[i] will hold in 2018. We want to congratulate Prime Minister Shahid Abbasi on his election by the national assembly. We will certainly look forward to working with him on areas of mutual cooperation. As you all know, we have very strong people-to-people ties with the Government of India.[ii] We’ll look forward to working with – excuse me, with Pakistan, and we’ll look forward to working with him as well.

    QUESTION: Turkey.

    MS NAUERT: Okay. Okay. Final question on Turkey, okay?

    QUESTION: Turkey.

    QUESTION: Thank you, madam.

    QUESTION: So the Turkish Government has arrested a few individuals who worked for the YPG, the Kurdish militia group in – the Kurdish rebel group in Syria, which is part – a main part of SDF and you’re supporting that group. So what’s your --

    MS NAUERT: I don’t have any information on that, on those arrests.

    QUESTION: One of them is a French journalist. He was --

    MS NAUERT: Yeah. Sir, without any information on that report you’re referencing, I’m not going to answer any questions about that, okay?

    QUESTION: Can you see if you have a statement on that? Because one of them is a journalist.

    MS NAUERT: You can give us more information about it and I’ll see what I can get for you, if we can get anything. Again, I’m not aware of that report at all. Thanks, everybody.

    (The briefing was concluded at 3:27 p.m.)


    [i] Pakistan

    [ii] Pakistan


          Justice in South Sudan        
The Africa Center for Strategic Studies published on 1 July 2017 an analysis titled "A Path to Justice in South Sudan" by Kate Almquist Knopf.

The author argues that chapter V institutions on transitional justice, accountability, and reconciliation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) have a firm legal grounding outside the ARCSS should the African Union wish to pursue them.


          Ugly beauty: Ethnicity and politics in Kenya        

31 December 2016 is remembered as the day Wycliffe Musalia Mudavadi, now a principal of the oppostion National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition, was enthroned the leader of the Luhya community in Western Kenya. This was a deliberate attempt to fortify the much-desired Luhya unity ahead of the 8 August 2017 general election. It was a move to fill the blank in community leadership left by the late Christopher ‘Kijana” Wamalwa, galvanize the Luhya vote into one basket and give them the bargaining power for a larger chunk of the national cake. While it is easy to condemn the “Mulembe” nation, this is the norm rather than the exception in Kenya. Their neighbors from the Lake region to begin with understand well the concept of ethnic mobilization. The Luo have been a political flock shepherded by Raila Odinga for about two-and-half decades now. The Luo-Nyanza ethnic constituency seems to have hereditarily passed from father to son.

This story is replicated in the lower eastern region with Kalonzo Musyoka as the benefactor of the Kamba vote. Things are not different in the Rift Valley as the Kalenjin community -once the force behind President Moi - today gravitates around the Deputy President William Ruto. Lastly, a copy-and-paste scenario can be said of the Mt. Kenya region firmly behind their son, President Uhuru Kenyatta. As the 2017 general election draws near, the battle lines are drawn as one merger of communities forming NASA goes up against another merger of other communities in Jubilee. Why this? Why are political contests in Kenya centered on ethnic groups and not issues that affect the people? This article attempts to give answers to these questions.

Centrality of ethnicity as a social-economic construct in Kenya

In order to understand the reasons for and effects of ethnic mobilization in Kenya, there is a need to conceptualize ethnicity and to synthesis its origins as a political idea in Kenya. Ethnicity is loosely defined as the state of belonging to a social group usually characterized by common national or cultural traditions. In Kenya, ethnicity defines life. Tribal cultures define nutrition, architectural choices, families, marriages, religion and therefore it is not strange that ethnicity is at the center of politics. The different ethnic groups also practice different economic activities mostly determined by the area of residence within the country. 21st century Kenya, however, presents a situation that calls for a delicate balance on issues of tribalism. While on one hand community and culture are part and parcel of Africans, ethnic-based discrimination, segregation and nepotism are largely frowned upon.

The Constitution of Kenya 2010, which is the ultimate social contract document, illustrates this delicate balance. Starting with the preamble, Kenyans are very proud of their ethnic, cultural and religious diversity as they strive to live in peace as one indivisible sovereign nation. Article 7 defines both the national and official languages in Kenya, which are unifying factors by design, as it also protects the diversity of languages. Article 11 highlights culture as the foundation of the nation. It calls upon Kenyans to promote all forms of cultural expression. Article 10 on the other hand insists on national unity and inclusivity. The supreme law frowns upon discrimination on the basis of tribe, language and ethnicity while Article 44 promotes the right to language and participation in cultural life. Thesw articles are compounded by Articles 32, 33 and Article 36 which allow citizens to form associations of any kind.

Article 45 on marriage and family also recognizes African marriage, another aspect of culture and diversity. Article 159(3) proposes traditional dispute resolution mechanisms where they are not in contravention with the Bill of Rights. This, in a way, acknowledges the role elders play using customary law which is ethnic-based.

Article 91 of the constitution demands that political parties should embrace a national character. This is intended to build a united nation as opposed to an ethnically scattered one. Article 63 is, however, centered on community land, which is purely an aspect of ethnicity. Article 100 insists on affirmative action to ensure inclusivity. Article 94 (2) brings out parliament as a body that represents national diversity. The same requirement is made of the president when making appointments in accordance with his/her functions in Chapter 9 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010. Lastly, the issue of devolution in Chapter 11 adds to this running theme with finality. The idea of the people of Kenya seeking devolved units of governance must be due to realization that, although they are a sovereign nation, they are made up of smaller units with different needs and by extension ethnic backgrounds.

Having discussed these, the idea is quite clear that while Kenyans embrace cultural and ethnic diversity, national unity should not be compromised, hence the need for a delicate balance. How does all this play out in politics and elections in Kenya?

Sins of the fathers…

Kenya’s pre-colonial history is the place to start to get a proper grounding on this issue. Records paint a picture of communities with different leadership structures, ways of life, economic activities, languages and aspirations. There were communities in Kenya with kings, famously the Wanga; others had chiefs, while there were those who used the council of elders in running community affairs. Politics was all about keeping the customs and protecting the interests of people in these communities. The colonial masters came with a formal institutionalized government that was meant to help them colonize the people. They came with a new religion meant to change African culture, new laws and a system of marriage. The introduction of Western culture into Kenya still plays a big part in our social-cultural dynamics.

The point of this historical journey, however, becomes clear when the natives wanted independence from the colonial masters. British colonialists were clever enough to ban any national political organization, hence forcing the people to come up with ethnic and regional political parties to push the independence agenda. After independence, President Jomo Kenyatta and the independence-era leadership came together in the name of national unity, dissolved Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU) and formed a national mass party, KANU. However, the national unity government was not to last long as political and personal interests among the leaders became greater than the love for country.

Historians points to the 1992 general elections as a victory for Kenya with regards to democracy because Kenya went back to a multi-party system, which had been banned by KANU. As much as that may be true, it is also the point at which the ethnically characterized politics truly came to the fore. The contestants were basically tribal lords who mobilized their people so as to get to power. The 2002 general elections brought a new element into elections in Kenya, which is formation of coalitions of tribes against others. Much as 2002 election was ethnic-based, the country generally felt that it was time for the people to break with the past. After getting to power, President Mwai Kibaki and his government tried to bring the people of Kenya together but it was not to be. Once again, political differences, betrayal and desire for ethnic supremacy were viewed as being more important than the unity of Kenya

The 2007 general election remains a big dent in Kenya’s political narrative. The highly contentious presidential election pitting President Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga showed the ugly side of ethnic-based politics. It was tribe against tribe, with people killing one another on the streets, properties being burn and the police and other security forces unleashing hell on innocent civilians. Complete breakdown of law and order brought Kenya teetering on the brink of a civil war. One may argue that the 2007 conflict was just part of the turbulent growth towards democracy and political maturity but there is a view that the ethnic-based politics to date arises from Kenyans carrying forward the mistakes of the founding fathers.

Why ethnic mobilization characterizes Kenya’s politics

As stated above, politics of ethnicity seems to be part of Kenya from the pre-colonial period. Neither the colonial nor the post-independence governments have worked on bringing the country together as one nation. As a result there is very little of a national bond and whenever citizens have to make a choice, they often resort to their strong ethnic ties. Ethnic mobilization appears to be the only known and proven way to go. When politicians in Kenya consult with their councils of elders as is the tradition, they are never concerned about the competence of these leaders, they never seek their visions and dreams. For them (elders), what is important is that the politician understands the customs and is willing to protect the community. This view is held by a huge chunk of the electorate hence the need to use ethni-based politics to win elections.

There is also a need to maintain power and control over resources especially where the resources are scarce. Unfortunately, there are communities within Kenya that have always felt more entitled than others. They, therefore, seek to control resources and are paranoid over lose of control. This naturally creates politics of conflict, hence the need for ethnic mobilization

Low levels of civic education among many voters in Kenya is another reason why ethnicity flourishes. Kenya still has fairly high illiteracy levels and a worse record of civic education. It actually looks like civic education is often left to politicians who are always happy to play the tune of tribe and divisive politics rather than issue-based politics. It is hard to expect issue- based politics when the voters do not understand their true power and what their political representatives owe them. The flip side of the argument is also true, when the politicians are illiterate - and Kenya has witnessed quite a number - there is very little in terms of issues that can be expected from them.

Ethnicity flourishes because over the years there are a lot of Kenyans who have lost faith in political solutions. They feel disillusioned and therefore make their decisions purely on ethnic grounds because they do not care. Unfortunately for Kenya, these people are the middle class, the ones expected to set the political agenda for the country by pushing for issue-based politics.

Are Kenyans patriotic? Is there evidence to show that they hold to national ideas? What is it that holds the people together? It is true that Kenyans are an amazing people. They often come together in times of crisis; but it is also true that as a people, they lack a true national identity. Most Kenyans today do not find pride in the colors of our flag; they are too busy to be in solidarity with the aspirations of our founding fathers and mothers. The fallback position remains the ethnic cocoons.

Ethnic mobilization works best for the political class. When one gets to power primarily as a tribal leader, they perceive their responsibilities are limited to the needs of their community, not the nation. It is, therefore, much easier for them to form ethnic alliances or work for the interest of few ethnic than for the rest of the country.

Corruption in Kenya is often described as a cancer. It is a problem that appears to have no solution, morphing into different forms in successive government. What many people might not know is that corruption isn’t just an issue of personal greed. If one campaigns on an ethnic basis, it behooves them to reward members of the ethnic groups that put them in government. If Kenyans want to deal with corruption, they have to think of how they vote and try to kick out ethnicity as a major factor in elections.

The other effect of ethnically mobilized politics is the danger of civil wars. It is vital for Kenyans to remember that they are not any different from the citizens of Rwanda, South Sudan or even DR Congo, nations that have witnessed atrocious civil wars. Political games based on ethnic considerations have the capacity to burn down a country and leave it in ashes. Institutions and commissions are in place to ensure peace, but there is need to always remember that real peace, just like honesty, and patriotism, are not borne of legislation. They are built into people culturally.

Related to this are ethnic intolerance, hatred and segregation. On the surface it appears absurd that Kenyans can hate one another on tribal basis but one glance at the social media sphere paints a gloomy and worrying picture. Hate speech flourishes because of ethnic intolerance often manifest in crowds at political rallies leading to violence and even deaths.

How do we solve this? Kenyans can’t obviously do away with ethnicity. However, there is a need for the electorate to keep the debate away from tribe. The electoral wars need to be fought on other issues that affect Kenya and there are plenty of those to go round. There is also need for Kenyans to insist on fair representation as well as an accountable leadership.

* OUMA KIZITO AJUONG is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya and a person living with physical disability.

* THE VIEWS OF THE ABOVE ARTICLE ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF THE PAMBAZUKA NEWS EDITORIAL TEAM

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          Keep some Ugali: Regional stakes in Kenya’s 2017 elections        

Introduction

It is almost an understatement to say there is a lot at stake in Kenya’s elections scheduled for 8 August 2017. The country is literary painted blue (for the opposition party National Super Alliance—NASA) and red (for the ruling Jubilee Party). A political carnival is going on in one of Africa’s most prosperous middle-income countries.

The stakes are high and all eyes (national, regional and international) are fixed on the great land of hakuna matata (no problems) and nyama (roast meat). The 2017 elections are like no other in the political history of Kenya for several reasons. First, these elections come after two hotly contested ones amidst claims and counter claims of rigging (some call it stealing of votes or electoral fraud)—particularly the 2007/2008 when the country almost collapsed due to post-election violence.  Second, the main protagonists—President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga--have been at it for quite some time, and many observers consider this a “do or die” scenario.  For the incumbent the big issue is the fear of doing one term; while the chief opponent Raila is concerned about his political destiny, this likely being his last chance attempt to occupy State House. What makes the political battle between these two heavyweights very exciting, but also arousing anxiety if not fear, is the elephant in the room. Kenya’s politics has over the years become inextricably linked to ethnicity with a dynastic flavor.

Third, there is a general concern that while the country’s economy is the strongest in the region, majority of citizens affectionately referred to as Wananchi, have limited access to the national cake. It is not surprising that as the election momentum picked up doctors, nurses, teachers and lecturers were out on the streets clamoring for a pay rise and better working conditions, and there was a severe shortage of maize meal—the chief ingredient of the famous Ugali.  The politics of food has finally caught up with the voters and political contenders.

Fourth, there is the regional dimension of Kenya’s elections.  Kenya enjoys some regional hegemony, especially economically - partially ceding political and military hegemony to Uganda.  Indeed when Kenya sneezes, the region catches the cold.  After Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya’s KQ comes next as a regional carrier.  Kenyan manufactured goods flood the regional market.  Kenya’s financial sector is also unrivalled in the region, boasting of the most well-qualified and highly motivated skilled labour force. Kenya’s telecommunications, internet connectivity and media have no rival in the region. Here we are talking of a mini-superpower in the Eastern Africa region or in the Horn of Africa (to use a more fancy concept). Still on the regional front, stakes are high in terms of security.  Kenya has been battling with Al Shabab militants both in Somalia and at home. So, one of the election issues is clearly national security in the context of the Al Shabab threats. Besides, there is South Sudan, where Kenya has played some part, even as the peace protocol collapsed and the country has gone back to the Hobbesian state of nature, where “life is nasty, brutish and short.”

Kenya in regional geopolitics and political economy

To appreciate fully the need to watch closely Kenya’s 2017 elections, it is important to first situate Kenya in regional geopolitics and political economy.  The lens with which to look at Kenya in the region is that of world systems theory. Arguably Kenya enjoys the status of a semi-periphery and easily serves as the entry point of global capitalist penetration in the Eastern Africa and Great Lakes region. No country in the region, except Ethiopia, has as many international agencies as Kenya. The number of multinational corporations with bases in Nairobi is staggering. Most of the countries in the region have experimented with some version of socialism—Uganda’s Move to the Left under Milton Obote, Ujamaa under Julius Nyerere in Tanzania and Ethiopia’s socialist system under Mengistu Hailemariam.  All three have since abandoned the socialist experiment and embraced some form of mixed economy model. Kenya has all along followed a free market economy.  As a result Kenya has attracted a lot of foreign direct investment from rich capitalist countries for a long time.

Among the major foreign conglomerates with their Africa headquarters in Kenya are: Bharti Airtel, General Electric, Mitsubish Motors, Reckefeller Foundation, Standard Chartered  Bank, World Bank, Toyota, Google and IBM. With the seventh largest African population and a liberal market economic model, Kenya easily attracts foreign investment. The key income earners are: tourism (Kenya is rated third in Africa in tourism competitiveness), coffee, tea and horticulture. Kenya is the home of M-pesa, the number one mobile money system in the world, used by close to 17 million citizens. Kenya also has a great brand name thanks to its global stature in sports.  When you mention Kenya, everyone thinks of long-distance athletics and gold medals.

But at the same time, Kenya is a land of great inequality.  Amidst the property boom of real estate, there are sprawling slums such as Kibera and Mathare Valley.  These could be hot spots for electoral violence.  The poor cannot afford to rent the very costly flats dotting Nairobi’s skyline. Unemployment is estimated at 40 per cent. Food is a serious issue. The price of maize flour, the staple food, has short up by more than 50 per cent this year. The recently introduced subsidies on the price of maize and the controversial maize importation from Mexico have not considerably alleviated the food shortage. The cost of all other basic commodities is beyond the reach of the majority of wananchi. Voters might look at the ballot through their stomach!

Kenya enjoys a strategic location in the region. It is well located on the Mombasa-Kigali route. Most of the imported goods for the region pass through Kenya on their way to Uganda, South Sudan, DRC, Burundi and Rwanda. This means that Kenya fetches quite a bit of revenue from customs fees. Some countries such as Uganda that have taken advantage of proximity to Kenya have increased regional trade, and it is estimated that Kenya earns about $800 million from trade with Uganda. 

But being a regional superpower can also attract some resentment and jealousy. There are whispers that Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania are finding an alternative route for transporting goods to avoid Kenya. While it can be argued that such alternatives are purely based on economic calculations, regional politics can not be ruled out entirely.  After all, one cannot separate economics from politics.

South Sudan is also keenly watching what unfolds in Kenya come August 8.  Anecdotal evidence suggests that some of the heavily loaded Southern Sudanese political elites keep their investments in Nairobi.  Some of the big businesses in Juba are linked to Kenya especially the financial sector. Do not forget some ethnic affinities between the two countries.

At the level of political chemistry among the regional leaders, the grapevine has it that one of the key contenders for Kenya’s State House, Raila Odinga, has an ally in Tanzania’s President Mugufuli. Whether this bit of relationship has some political ramifications, we are yet to discover.  Just to show how this relationship may have something in, during the solo presidential debate last week Raila was asked if he had set up a tallying center in Tanzania. He was philosophical and dodged the question by arguing that where tallying centers were situated was not the issue. He astutely, and with humour, concluded that the tallying center will be anywhere in Kenya and in the clouds.  What the moderator did not ask Mr Raila was whether he had any strong political links with President Magufuli. Still, Magufuli’s name came up when, in response to a question about dealing with powerful corrupt individuals, Raila quipped that upon coming to power he would “Magufuli” them.

What of the other regional leaders? The two strongmen of the Northern Corridor—President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and President Paul Kagame of Rwanda—must be watching intently the developments in Kenya. Kagame has elections this Friday that he will predictably win with a big margin, while Museveni is well settled in. The talk in Kampala is now about age-limit and whether it should be removed so as to allow Yoweri Museveni to have a few more years after he has turned 75.  What do these small details imply for geopoltiics? The future of the East African Community with its grand vision of political federation, free trade and other ambitious plans for infrastructural projects is in the balance if the electoral question in Kenya is not fairly, freely and democratically settled.

Mention should also be made of the regional hot spots that help to situate Kenya’s elections in a broader regional political context. South Sudan is still at it. An influx of refugees has once again engulfed the region with close to a million in Northern Uganda alone.  Nobody wishes to add another headache for the region.  DRC is also boiling with ethnic violence in Kasai amidst President Joseph Kabila’s lack of readiness for elections this year. Burundi (a member of the East African Community) remains under serious political stress.  If elections do not go well in Kenya and a replay of the 2007/2008 violence happens, the economic gains attained so far in this promising region will be squandered.  All the key actors in the current political drama—presidential aspirants, the electoral commission (IEBC), regional leaders, international observers, etc.—should do all in their power to ensure that the electoral process is free, fair, democratic and credible.

The personal is political and the political is personal

A closer look at the manifestos of the two major parties—Jubilee and NASA - reveals that the policy differences between the two are minimal. They both speak of raising income and the standard of living of citizens, state support for the poor and elderly, etc. So if there is no major substantive policy differences between the two main political rivals, what is at stake? Many observers would agree that the majority of voters look at personality and ethnicity.  As the saying goes, in African politics, blood is thicker than the waters of democracy. This should not be the case in 21st century knowledge-based society, but unfortunately this is the tragic reality.

The personal is indeed political and the political is personal. In politics the subjective takes centerstage, as post-modernism has reminded us. This is why Kenya has ended up with the main political archrivals representing the two most politically motivated families in Kenya’s history—the Kenyattas and the Odingas.  If the two can be a rallying point for resolving the country’s political contradictions right from independence, so be it.  But then can this kind of deeply entrenched ethnicized politics be labeled a democratic?

There is another subtext along the personalist politics of Kenya that has deep historical roots.  It should be recalled that way back in the late 1960s when Jaramogi Oginga Odinga resigned as Vice-President, President Jomo Kenyatta handpicked Daniel Arap Moi as his Vice-president.  This was clearly interpreted as anointing an heir apparent. And sure enough when Jomo Kenyatta passed away in 1978, it is Moi who succeeded him.  Talk has it that the two leaders struck an unwritten deal that their respective sons would continue their respective political dynasties.  It is difficult to establish the veracity of such claims but anecdotal evidence suggests that former President Moi’s son Gideon Moi is slowly rising in his political ambitions, while Uhuru Kenyatta was brought to the political limelight in 2002 when Moi picked him as his successor.  Uhuru lost his presidential bid to Mwai Kibaki, with Raila Odinga widely believed to be the kingmaker in what was then dubbed the NARC coalition.  This raises the question of whether current Deputy President William Ruto is a potential threat to the Moi dynastic scheme. Only time will tell.

Over into the region of the Great Lakes, the personal is still political and the political is personal.  Apart from Tanzania, the rest of the countries still rely heavily on the personal charisma of the leaders.  Think of President Museveni of Uganda who has dominated the political landscape for over 30 years. Then over to President Paul Kagame of Rwanda who has done 17 years, and President Joseph Kabila who has done two terms and wants a few more.  The region has its own brand of politics that gravitates around the person of the president and not a political system that can outlive him.                 

Electoral trouble shooting

Even as we try to discern the regional implications of Kenya’s elections, we should not loose sight of the big question of whether the August 8 elections will be free, fair and credible.  The tension and fear seems to gravitate around the electoral process.  As soon as the campaigns commenced, the first issue to surface was about tendering for the ballot papers.  Recourse was taken to the courts of law.  Finally the Court of Appeal ruled that the ballot printing could proceed. The opposition NASA coalition had won the case and the tendering process was to be redone, at least for the presidential ballot papers.  Regardless of what the details of this issue are, one thing is clear: there are fears of rigging. The battle is essentially around the ballot box and the tallying process.  Recall that another issue settled by the courts was on how to announce the election results. This too was settled in favour of the opposition that the results declared at the poling station are final.

As the saying goes, the devil is in the detail. What other details are likely to cause trouble? In the past the national tallying center at Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi announced results as they came in, showing on a big screen how each candidate was fairing. Now IEBC has given a new directive that only the final tally will be announced at Bomas. There will be no presidential results. One can guess that this new strategy is to avoid suspense and tension in case a candidate who was seen leading all of a sudden begins to drop drastically – as has happened to Raila in past elections.  IEBC could have other reasons for this change of procedure, but it would be useful to give some clear explanation on this change to remove any room for suspicion.  There is also the question of party agents, election monitors and officials.  The number of those guarding the ballot boxes and the tallying process is also crucial. While the tallying center should not be overcrowded, the various interested parties should have enough personnel to be able to monitor well what is going on.

The other detail to look out for is the voters register and the actual votes cast.  If at any polling station the votes cast go beyond the registered voters, the obvious conclusion is that someone tampered with the voting.  If the voters register is not updated or closely checked, you will end up with “ghost voters.”  If the dead come back to cast their votes, the ghosts of democracy will haunt the nation.    

Voter-turn out is also a clue.  Who manages to vote who does not is key.  Circumstances of each situation should be well studied.  If in some polling stations voter turn out gets suspiciously too high or too low, be worried. A point of regional interest is the phenomenon of voters near border areas geting help from their kin to come over and vote—cross-border electoral fraud.  This kind of regional integration from below is very tricky and yet it is common. 

Conclusion

Kenya is set for its landmark elections and a lot is at stake both for the country and for the region. All eyes are set on Kenya.  Some few of the regional indicators and implications have been briefly outlined.  Regional leaders have some role to play be it implicit or explicit.  The East African Community, of which Kenya is a regional power broker, is undergoing some serious political stress.  What will happen in Kenya come August 8 will have a huge impact in the region.

It is too early to tell what exactly will unfold as Kenya goes to the polls, but a lot will depend on how the elections will be conducted up to the last act of announcing the presidential winner. At the international level, investors are all on “wait and see” mode.  This is normal for an election that has attracted so much attention but also given the anatomy of past elections.

Some mention should be made on the media’s role.  Kenya has some of the most vibrant and independent media outlets in Africa.  It is hoped that the media will play a constructive role of giving objective and balanced reporting of events as they unfold and, above all, offer sound and critical analysis that will inform all interested parties to make informed choices.  The media should not be seen as adding fuel to inflammatory political tempers, but should rather serve as a voice of sobriety guiding the perplexed and ignorant, to make informed choices.

One last piece of advice: Trust in God but keep some Ugali, in case the post-election period turns out to be a long one before things are clear or sorted out.  Politics is also a game of the unpredictable—a reminder for all those contesting.

* ODOMARO MUBANGIZI (PhD) is Dean of the Philosophy Department at the Institute of Philosophy and Theology in Addis Ababa, where he teaches Social and Political Philosophy and is also Editor of the Justice, Peace and Environment Bulletin.

* THE VIEWS OF THE ABOVE ARTICLE ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF THE PAMBAZUKA NEWS EDITORIAL TEAM

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The Star

          For farmers facing hunger in South Sudan, food is the only currency         

Helena lives in Wau town, Western Bahr El Ghazal State, South Sudan. She’s not been to her village since last year, when she was forced to leave in the midst of violence. Although she left with some of her family, others sought shelter in the bush with no means of communication, so Helena hasn’t seen or spoken to them since.

This is not the first time this has happened. “I built the house I lived in with my own hands and now, for the second time, I have been forced to leave it,” she says. “The first time was in 2012, when there was conflict and we ran to Wau, where we stayed with my relatives for four months.”

"We left quickly and carried nothing"

Decades-old tensions between local famers in Wau and pastoralists from neighboring areas in search of grazing land ignited in late 2012. Many civilians from both communities were killed and thousands displaced. The conflict that engulfed South Sudan in 2013 further polarized communities, leading to more clashes and loss of life.

“The first time this happened, we were warned about the fighting. We had time to prepare ourselves and carry what we needed. They did not burn our homes,” says Helena. “This time, there was no warning. We left quickly and carried nothing. No money, food or clothes. Our homes were looted and burnt, and the crops we were ready to harvest destroyed. Last time we had a home to go back to, this time we have nothing.”

Asunta, a mother of two and IDP from Ndisa, South Sudan. Photo Stella MadeteAsunta, a mother of two and IDP from Ndisa, South Sudan, stand outside her new home.

Helena is one of at least 38,000 South Sudanese who, according to Human Rights Watch, have been displaced by fighting in Wau town and surrounding villages. Many of those forced from their homes are farmers who relied heavily on their land for income and from whom the people of Wau relied for food. In Western Bahr el Ghazal alone, at least 45 percent of the population are now unsure where their next meal will come from, an indication of just how detrimental an effect the conflict has had in the area.

“I came here with my children. We had nowhere to sleep, no money – we left everything behind when we ran,” says Asunta, a mother of four who fled from Ndisa, a farming village about 30 kilometers from Wau. “When we can find mangoes, we peel the skin, boil it, mix it in flour, and then eat. If not, we look for leaves and grass. Everyday, the cost of goods goes up. Everyday, there is one more thing we can’t afford.”

"The last time I saw my land, it was burnt down"

Augustino is a father of 12 who has farmed since he can remember, growing cassava, sorghum, potatoes and other crops. In times of peace, his harvest was enough to feed his family and take his children to school. Although his first home was in the village, he decided to build a house in Wau for his children to stay in while attending school in Wau town. Those were the good days. In 2015, he was forced to leave his farm because of violence. Left with no choice, he came to Wau town to keep his family safe.

But he is no longer self-sufficient. He struggles to find food for his family and his children no longer go to school. “Living in Wau is difficult, you need money for everything. At least I know how to survive in the village - I can find food in the forest or bush to feed my family. Now I don’t have a farm and cannot support anyone with anything. The last time I saw my land was November 12th 2015, burnt down.”

A farmer whose land was burned down in 2015 as a result of the conflict in South SudanAugustino used to be a self-sufficient farmer but he now struggles to find enough food to eat after his land was burned to the ground in 2015.

“In our communities, none of us are soldiers. All we want to do is cultivate our land, like we have been doing for years. Whoever is responsible for this war needs to stop so that we can return to that. War should be between soldiers, but they’re not killing soldiers, or rebels, they are killing us, farmers. It needs to stop.”

Helena, Asunta and Augustino are some of the thousands displaced from farming communities supported by Oxfam with tools, seeds and complementary training on efficient farming methods. But the recent fighting means these communities can no longer access their land and some of those registered for assistance cannot be traced. Oxfam is re-establishing the project in new locations but the fact remains - two planting seasons have now been lost.

An urgent need for more support

The journey to recovery will be long and arduous. While many have faced a tough year, some still hold on to the hope that things will change for the better in the coming months. Many want to go back home to rebuild what was lost.  

The ability of the people of South Sudan to recover will remain tenuous until they can fully resume and rebuild their livelihoods. To do this, parties to the August 2015 peace agreement must respect the ceasefire, protect civilians, create an enabling environment for and facilitate the safe passage of humanitarian aid, and ensure the freedom and safety of those accessing it. Humanitarian assistance has helped avert catastrophic conditions, but there’s an urgent need for more support, and safe access for aid actors to reach people in the worst conflict affected areas.

Photos: Stella Madete/Oxfam

English
Parent page: 
Hunger crisis in South Sudan
Picture: 
A South Sudanese IDP in Wau town, Western Bahr El Ghazal State, South Sudan
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A South Sudanese IDP in Wau town, Western Bahr El Ghazal State, South Sudan
Pull quotes: 
“I want to go home but there are still rumours of attacks. It’s still not safe. We need the leaders, our government to stop the violence and make sure it is safe for us to go back home.”
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Keleila, a farmer from Ndisa
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          Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying Review: South Sudan make history, Liberia shock Tunisia        
South Sudan earned their first ever competitive victory with a 1-0 win over Equatorial Guinea in their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Saturday. The minnows joined the ranks of international football in 2012 and had not found the net since a 3-1 defeat to Kenya in November 2013, but Atak Lual's 52nd-minute strike was enough to seal a 1-0 win in Juba. The momentous result lifts Lee Sung-Je's side to second place in Group C ahead of Benin’s clash with Mali on Sunday. There was similar joy for Liberia, who shocked Group A rivals Tunisia with a 1-0 victory despite being without first-choice goalkeeper Nathaniel Sherman, who reportedly suffered a serious eye injury after inadvertently barging into a glass door at the team's hotel. But a Francis Forkey Doe strike in the 11th minute proved decisive, in the first international match to be held in Monrovia since the lifting of the Ebola ban. Ghana, runners-up to the Ivory Coast in 2015, look well-placed for another finals berth after preserving their 100 per cent record in Group H by edging to a 1-0 win over Rwanda thanks to Mubarak Wakaso's superb 88th-minute free-kick. Morocco were more emphatic in securing their second win in Group F, brushing aside Sao Tome and Principe 3-0. In Group K, Senegal took advantage of Burundi's 2-0 win over Niger with 2-0 win away to Namibia, courtesy of goals from Premier League stars Cheikhou Kouyate and Sadio Mane – a win that leaves them three points clear at the top. Meanwhile, three-time champions Nigeria were held to a disappointing 0-0 draw at Tanzania and could be knocked off the top of Group G should Egypt beat Chad on Sunday, while South Africa's difficulties in Group M continued with a 3-1 defeat to Mauritania. A solitary 25th-minute strike from Tonny Mawejje saw Uganda rise to the top of group D with a 1-0 win away to Comoros, overtaking Burkina Faso, who slumped to a 1-0 defeat at Botswana. Elsewhere, 10-man Seychelles lifted themselves off the bottom of Group J with a 1-1 draw to Ethiopia, while Group E remains wide open after Congo's 1-1 draw with Guinea Bissau.
          Africa Cup of Nations Qualification Preview: Egypt, Nigeria target AFCON return        
Hector Cuper's first key assignment as Egypt coach begins on Sunday as the seven-time continental champions begin qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations. Egypt were absent from the most recent AFCON after bowing out in qualification, with the former Inter boss appointed in March. Cuper's men are at home to Tanzania, while the other fixture in Group G sees 2013 champions Nigeria host Chad. Stephen Keshi's men also failed to qualify for this year's competition and the Super Eagles' qualification build-up has been marred by reports of a bust-up between the coach and midfielder John Obi Mikel. "I don't have a problem with Mikel," Keshi responded this week. "I spoke with him before I invited his fellow players for this game. We don't need him at this moment. In September we might need his services if he is available." Ghana will be heavy favourites to move into the next round from Group H as this year's beaten finalists welcome Mauritius while group rivals Mozambique and Rwanda meet in Maputo. Holders Ivory Coast travel to hosts and automatic qualifiers Gabon for a friendly without influential midfielder Yaya Toure with Sierra Leone and Sudan looking to get some early momentum in the only three-team group. George Weah junior - son of the legendary Liberia striker - could make his international debut for James Debbah's men when they face Togo in Lome. Elsewhere in Group A, Africa's lowest-ranked side Djibouti will hope to pull off a surprise result against Tunisia while Aliou Cisse takes charge of his first competitive Senegal match against Burundi in Dakar. The former Senegal international has been keen to play down his side's favourites tag, but will nonetheless be confident following March's friendly win over Ghana. Group K's other fixture sees COSAFA Cup winners Namibia travel to Niger, while there are also away trips for Libya, Swaziland and Zimbabwe, who travel to Morocco, Guinea and Malawi. Group M favourites Cameroon and South Africa face Mauritania and Gambia, with Cape Verde Islands hosting Sao Tome e Principe and Guinea-Bissau taking on Zambia. Elsewhere, Uganda and Burkina Faso entertain Botswana and Comoros, and Congo and Congo DR take on Kenya and Madagascar. In Group C, Equatorial Guinea - hosts of 2015's competition - welcome Benin as Mali face South Sudan. Guinea-Bissau meet Zambia in Ndola with Algeria taking on Seychelles and Lesotho travelling to Ethiopia.
          Comment on Bankrupting Kleptocracies is a Dangerously Bad Idea by Khalid AlMubarak        
The Enough Project is not interested in peace and stability in South Sudan or anywhere else.Its founder was one of a group called "Wonks"by Dr Rebecca Hamilton who helped to create the current chaos in South Sudan.They contributed to the mindset that everything the SPLM/A does is correct(and everything that Khartoum does is wrong).Successive US administrations (mainly democratic)have listened only to them and shunned better informed -experts like professor Alex de Waal.John Prendergast was a regular visitor for testimony at congressional hearings and helped to misinform and mislead law-makers.
          Comment on On the Significance of the Declaration of Famine in South Sudan by Khalid AlMubarak        
Quite right that the famine in South Sudan is a direct result of the civil war.It is also the direct result of the policy of the Obama administration (and its cheerleaders of the Enough Project)that feverishly pushed for secession of South Sudan.The desire of Southern Sudanese for secession is not disputable;but the manner in which it was engineered was flawed.South Sudan deserves help and support for its own sake and for the welfare and and safety of its people;not only as an instrument to undermine the Sudan.
          Comment on Follow by Oliver Michael        
I am a South Sudan and I am so worried that this ethnic wars might only end when my generation has been incapacitated beyond repair by the ability of this primitive violence. I have so much like any other South Sudanese to give back to my society before aging my ability but, time is almost gone if this conflict is not ended today. I do not need any money, job, or favor from the government. I only need enabling environment so that I can go about with my own life freely and peacefully period. This is what every single South Sudan thinks, says, praying for at night and during day times but this straightforwardness is been well denied by the well informed parties. So Peace is what we need before further fragmentation of our Country.
          Comment on Politics of Fear in South Sudan by Francis        
Alex De Wal, is right to some extend, but I would beg to differ with him that he focused the fear on one ethnic group leaving out the rest as if they were not coerced by their members into supporting what they wanted. Internal elements and external elements plaid a great deal to break this country up. De Wal is correct in opposing this system because what was expected from these military rulers has never been achieved by the benefactors. The logic is not quite clear here. Those in the UN sites are there because that is humanitarian way of keeping their funding coming in. This is complicated!
          Comment on Politics of Fear in South Sudan by Oliver Michael        
This report talks my opinions about the realities in South Sudan. I like such an objective look at real root causes of the conflicts and how it affects actors at different levels. The International Community whether UN, IGAD, EU etc just like sugar coating realities and that is why they keep falling to find sustainable solutions to the problems. The negotiators gave so much pressure to Riek to come back to Juba in April 2016 but Riek already knew things were not going to be as the negotiators expected. It is a historical matter which each one of this warring parties understand much better. The Dinka and Nuer know very well that the conflicts over cattle raids began 150 years ago and elders from both sides keep passing on this information to their offspring till today. The Country has failed in the hands of the leaders as they see it tumbling. No external person will ever achieve peace settlement of the South Sudanese conflicts without going into history never. Yes you can deal with the politicians at the Juba level but even their youths from their villages can threaten them to change their minds. So indeed they are stagnated and can never reverse or drive forward. The most unfortunate part of this hell is the transfer of hopeless war to very peace communities and dragging them into unrelated violence. Equatorians honestly have never fought themselves since after the Azande King Gbudwe who tried to conquer Equatoria in 1890s. The aftershock of that conflict resulted to very permanent reconciliation declared by chiefs from affected Equatorian communities like Maridi, Mundri, Yei etc. The key resolution of that meeting was allowing intermarriage among the affected communities and sharing of natural resources like land. That bound people together till now. As you can all see, the major frontlines for the Dinka-Nuer conflict has shifted to Equatoria and majority of the soldiers of the rebels are Equatorians who at the end of the conflict will go home with their arms and will never hand over because of lack of trust. It is a very complicated situation but it is time for social scientists to begin thinking like engineers who upgrade technologies almost daily to fit the growing demands. We cannot always depend on old tools to address the current situations but we need to use tested tools compatible with the contemporary context in order to produce sustainable results for us.
          Comment on De-escalating the Syria conflict by Laksh        
Did south Sudan help sryia in de escalating its war of 2011 ??
          Comment on What’s Gone Wrong in South Sudan? by nakliyat        
Thanks for sharing this post. Nice project for sudan.
          Comment on Recommended: Clémence Pinaud on South Sudan by Wadiyo        
I hope create peace in Sudan and the world.. thank for this program.
          Comment on South Sudan’s corrupt elite have driven a debt-free and oil-rich country to ruin by Khalid AlMubarak        
Very well -informed and balanced as usual;but pessimistic.Prof.Alex De Waal has argued before ,quite rightly,that not all the elite are corrupt and inefficient.Is he losing hope in all the elite now? The picture is gloomy,but not hopeless.The urgent task,addressed by the AU Summit ,is (in the words of a Sudanese saying)to make sweet juice out of fish. The outcome of the summit can,if endorsed by the Security Council and coordinated with the South Sudan government,lead to a potentially bright prospect.
          Comment on What’s Gone Wrong in South Sudan? by Khalid AlMubarak        
I have just watched the video of the AlJazeera programme.I agree with what Alex de Waal has said about error of bringing two warring groups together to Juba and hoping that they would join hands to secure peace!This was based on the guarantees given by the two leaders when pressured to make peace .As Justin Lynch said,it is not about two leaders.There are men and women around them who are very influential.Some control forces and,as former rebels,have little or no commitment to professional armies' chain of command.In other words,they can start shooting without being ordered by the president or his Vice President. On the other hand,the spokesman of the president has made a valid point about corruption.It could not have taken place and continued without holes and gaps in the mechanisms of international finance and without complicity of outsiders. The way forward is to try to neutralise the most aggressive people around the two leaders,push for elections as scheduled and consolidate UN forces to keep the peace.
          Comment on South Sudan: The price of war, the price of peace by Wadiyo        
every body want to realize peace in the world. how implement peace program in south sudan? thank
          Comment on Designer Activism and Post-Democracy by Khalid AlMubarak        
Most instructive as ususal.Alex de Waal is head and shoulders above most academics who are also politically aware of the interplay between practical politics and media/NGOs / activism. What we need to consider is why designer activists are pampered and listened to.They are the only ones who are invited by Congress to testify .When their recipes cause disaster and bloodshed (as is the case in the policy visa a vis the Sudan)they are not discredited ;but asked about the way to rectify what went wrong.They are the "teflon"activists.Not even the South Sudan civil war horrors stain their profile.
          Comment on Remembering the Ones We Lost: South Sudan by Khalid Almubarak        
I have already written suggesting the erection of a sculpture to the unknown victims of the Sudanese civil wars.Such a memorial will help healing and remove bitterness in the interest of future generations.Both sides can keep their different narratives ;but attempts should be made to move on and open a new chapter between the two Sudans.Those in the diaspora are well -placed to lead in this gesture of reconciliation.
          Comment on Non-Violence and the Political Marketplace by Khalid AlMubarak        
I have not finished reading the book yet;but I fully agree with your summary,especially your closing paragraph.The coalition ruling the Sudan is dominated by moderate Islamists.This should not be a pretext for boycott or unreasonable sanctions as long as policies of concrete progressive or modernising change are pursued.These policies include the best position for women in the region(and ,in some aspects ,wider afield),a network of motorways criss-crossing the country and the extension of general and higher education to all provinces.To do this under the umbrella of neo-liberal international governance rules is not easy. If we add the far-sighted ending of the civil war and accepting a peaceful secession of South Sudan(mainly brokered by the US and allies) the tangible support that the government gets from the people will be better understood.I recently met someone returning from Khartoum.He said that people are complaining about inflation;but nobody he knew had hope in SPLM-N because they see the results of their "achievements"in South Sudan. There is also a marketplace of ideas in which the opposition has been beaten.
          Comment on South Sudan: No Money, No peace by Khalid AlMubarak        
I agree;but in practical politics ,you need to start somewhere.You need to kick off and build momentum.The US cannot make policy the way you wish because its Foreign policy-making mechanisms are very complex and cumbersome. They are also easily hijacked by interest groups that sometimes compete and are sometimes an extension of policies of other(albeit) allied countries. The AU is the best mediator and the August peace agreement needs US support to succeed.As I have written elsewhere,the West seems to have learned a lesson.No mention was made of calling in the controversial ICC,despite the heinous atrocities.This is progress of a sort and should be acknowledged. The other question is the continued insistence to see South Sudan only as a vehicle to further destabilise the Sudan.Uncritical support for the SRF group shows this policy.
          Comment on Scott Straus: Making and Unmaking Nations by James        
After I have read the above article , I could said that one of my tribe , call Nure in South Sudan they might start conducting common internal dialogue on how they can respond on what happen in South Sudan in 2013 , for their love one , as we the AU Commission report and like usual they expect nothing will happen on accountability on crimes have been committed !
          Comment on South Sudan: Why a Political Crackdown Accompanies a Peace Agreement by Khalid Almubarak        
Another relevant point is the result of sanctions on the Sudan. They have caused a great deal of suffering and disruption for ordinary citizens.They have harmed US business and pushed the Sudan East.They have increased extremist tendencies by showing that moderate government policies are not rewarded but punished.They have also reduced the credibility of the US which made firm promises then broke them.
          Comment on South Sudan: Why a Political Crackdown Accompanies a Peace Agreement by Khalid Almubarak        
The Sudan and South Sudan are now joining hands to lobby Russia and other S Council members against sanctions.Western actors seem to be listening only to the Enough Project,forgetting that the Enough Project and its co-founder,who is often invited by Congress to testify,have contributed to the creation of the current tragic conflict. The E Project has now published Plan B recommendations.They do not include measures to address the root causes of conflict or help stop it.Its 7 points do not include DDR (Demobilisation,Demilitarisation,Reintegration of combatants ).They do not include reorganising the SPLA as a national army ,not an army for a political party.They do not include resumption(by the US ,UK and Norway) of the retraining of SPLA/M for civilian roles.They do not include amendment of the basic New Sudan Vision documents to reflect the reality of 2 sovereign Sudans.Surprisingly,John Predndergast has the audacity to say according to AFP that "Conventional tools of diplomacy have so far failed".So have amateur celebrity -based tools.
          Comment on Elusive peace in South Sudan and the need to change course in the mediation by Khalid Almubarak        
Dear Mulugeta To be more specific,the Sudan declared neutrality ;but explained that as an acceptance of reality it has got the SSudan government ambassador and his staff and has got several layers of official contacts that continue as usual between governments.Simultaneously ,as a mediator ,accepted by both sides,the Sudan received Dr Machar in Khartoum as part of the IGAD-led process.There is no contradiction in the Sudanese policy and both sides seem to accept it. Since both of us have written in early September,events have progressed rather positively.There is now a road map for a new government and a defusion of tension. There will be breaches,there may even be setbacks ;but we have an African-led process that stands a chance of success (partial or total)if complemented by a political process .By a political process I mean resuming what the US,UK and Norway had already started: Demobilisation,Demilitarisation and Reintegration into civilian life of the SPLA and making it an army for a state not for a political party.The revision of the Sudan Vision documents will also be necessary;with a new emphasis on development not armament .Part of this is what President Obama called for when he asked President Kiir in New York about support for rebels in the Sudan.Kiir asked Pagan Amum to answer ,maybe because Amum is the main advocate of proxy war with the Sudan in pursuit of the Sudan Vision agenda. Regards Khalid AlMubarak
          Comment on Elusive peace in South Sudan and the need to change course in the mediation by Mulugeta Gebrehiwot        
Dear Khalid, Thank you very much for your comments on this issue. I can't agree more as to the political nature of the South Sudanese problem. It actually worries me on whether continued threat for more sanctions and additional military deployment to secure Juba and other demilitarized zones could accelerate the coming of a lasting peace in South Sudan. I am not sure if UNAMID has failed and so much because of lack of helicopters and funds if it is true. But I can't agree more for the need of an African led process. I am sure you will agree with me that the IGAD led process is not the only alternative for an African led process. I am simply questioning the effectiveness of a mediation without a solid political support of its political sponsors. The least controversial issue is that Ugandan soldiers are on the side of Kiir's forces in the name of protecting vital state infrastructure. I think you agree on the presence of this allegation on Sudan for supporting Machar's forces as you are asking me for evidence. I am only recognizing the presence of the allegation and providing evidence will be for those with proper tools and mechanisms to either refute it or substantiate it. But, if Sudan has declared and practiced a firm support to Salva Kiir, as you stated it, then it becomes difficult to consider it for a mediator, as the elementary requirement for a mediator is being neutral regarding the conflicting parties. I am only doubting whether such political disposition will enable to effectively mediate the parties through the implementation of the agreement. I will definitely be pleasantly surprised if and when the ongoing process, without significant overhaul, will help bring an effective implementation for a complex agreement. Regards Mulugeta Gebrehiwot
          Comment on Elusive peace in South Sudan and the need to change course in the mediation by Khalid Almubarak        
There is no evidence that the Sudan is providing "logistics ,weapons and bases"for Machar.The Sudan has declared support for the elected and recognised government in Juba led by President Kiir and has never wavered. An African process is best .Dr Mahmood Mamdani has shown how the AU force in Darfur was starved of funds and helicopters in order to ensure AU failure.Both warring sides have now signed the IGAD -brokered agreement.A good beginning despite the expected breaches.With patience and with an added political dimension it could succeed.The conflict is not only military.
          Comment on Review: James Copnall’s A Poisonous Thorn in Our Hearts by Khalid Almubarak        
Fair to James Copnall;but unfair to president Bashir.The writer seems to be unaware of the stages through which the regime in the Sudan passed. There was an International Project at the beginning ,during which president Bashir was only a disciple to Turabi.The confrontation that ended with a split known as Mufasalah resulted in the end of the International Project .The new stage was Bashir's.He prioritised peace and development in a modest Sudanese Project.He should be given credit for that.The CPA and a democratic interim Constitution together with ending the horrendous civil war are remarkable achievements.The South Sudan referendum and respecting the results is a remarkable feat praised by the West. Avoiding war with South Sudan and not getting involved in the current tragic turmoil is a policy that was praised by the British Government.Moreover president Bashir has said more than once that mistakes were made. Actually errors were made in dealing with him.Promises were broken ,the ICC was manipulated.
          Comment on Is South Sudan “the World’s Most Failed State?” by Catherine Dom        
Thank you for this insightful short note. It very much resonates with what I thought of the compact/New Deal process in South Sudan, and yes, in contrast, Meles wouldn't give a damn, and focus his energey and intellect in home-grown ways of trying to tackle fragility (history will say how long his solution will be able to last and/or how in future others will continue to make the model evolve - I cross fingers tight)... And yes, the New Deal framework assumes benevolent international partners, and governments that are at least (on the whole) interested in their population's welfare - and in developing the institutions that we hold necessary to deliver this. Entirely true that the self-assessment was by and large frank, but limited by what it looks and doesn't look at. Again, thanks.
          Comment on Is South Sudan “the World’s Most Failed State?” by J. J. Messner        
Alex, Thanks for the analysis. By the way, the Index was renamed earlier this year to the "Fragile States Index" - <a href="http://library.fundforpeace.org/blog-20140528-fsirenamed" rel="nofollow">here's an article about it</a>. J.J.
          Comment on Agreement to Resolve the Crisis in South Sudan by The price of fast-track peace-making: Considering May 2014 – Arctic Politics and Russias Ambitions        
[...] the Government of South Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLMiO), an Agreement to Resolve the Crisis in South Sudan. Although the two-page agreement was described as a significant step forward in the peace [...]
          Comment on Agreement to Resolve the Crisis in South Sudan by The price of fast-track peace-making: Considering May 2014 | Monitoring South Sudan        
[...] the Government of South Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLMiO), an Agreement to Resolve the Crisis in South Sudan. Although the two-page agreement was described as a significant step forward in the peace process, [...]
          Comment on Enough Foolishness by Pagan        
As long as the intention is to arrest the mass killings and force the leaders to sit at the negotiation table “coercive influence” must be used. In the wake of the suffering that we witnessed, unceasing violence, adamant warlords happy to continue the massacres, "coercive influence" must be used to bring peace to South Sudan. It was used and they signed an agreement. For me a South Sudanese it is a glimpse of hope that we are towards a positive trend to peace deal. On the need to “consult” the South Sudanese and the countries in the region on the sanctions: First of all consulting South Sudanese will take time and lead to more bloodshed. Do you think Kenya and Uganda or even Ethiopia will agree to sanctions? Those targeted by the sanctions have their families in their mansions and villas in these countries. They invested in them. Secondly, the countries in the region cannot be consulted since some of them played very negative and dubious role in the conflict. Uganda was clear, Kenya was ambiguous and Ethiopia stood for its interests. Pagan
          Comment on (1) Visualizing Sudan’s Predicament by Alex DeWaal        
Dear Michael, You are correct on both counts. The model of peacemaking that has been adopted, by Sudanese (and South Sudanese) and internationals is based on rent-sharing (allocating posts, privileges and payroll). It is inherently inflationary and is sustainable only as long as the resources available continue to expand. Alex
          Comment on Visualizing South Sudan: Rent-Seeking Rebellions by Alex DeWaal        
Dear Tim, (apologies for the late response to your comment) The concept of proportionality in armed conflict is a slippery one and I certainly don't mean to suggest that there is a certain level of fatalities that is justifiable. Rather, the intent of these posts is to provoke discussion about the logic of what is happening in South Sudan. You ask, why do followers agree to bear the costs? I suggest that it is because of the logic of ethnic mobilization. Armed groups and units are constituted on an ethnic basis, sometimes even a family basis. Once conflict has begun, it has its own cycle of fear and grievance and, for those low-level segments of ethnic groups that are most actively engaged in the conflict, it can become a fight for survival. For the leaders, who are rarely in danger themselves, fighting is largely a business proposition. But they would be foolish to make such calculations clear to their footsoldiers, who might be reluctant to risk all for the relatively meager material rewards that they stand to gain. The SPLM/A is cash-strapped: for now. But the winner in today's contest will preside over a sovereign government that sits on a considerable amount of oil, land and other resources that can be redeemed for cash.
          Comment on Enough Foolishness by Alex DeWaal        
Dear Michael, Good point. I do not object to individually-targeted financial sanctions as such. I am concerned that decisions about how and when to enact them, and whom to target and to what end, should be taken in a manner that involves South Sudanese themselves and the countries of the region (which are in the lead in the peace process), rather than on a unilateral basis, or with cosmetic consultation only, by the U.S. At present, the countries of the region do not have the capacity to design and implement such sanctions themselves, but they should at least be thinking through how they could play a leading role in this respect, rather than leaving the issue to the U.S. alone. The Enough Project makes a nod in this direction. But the entire ethos of the organization is for the U.S. to take an assertive, not to say aggressive, posture in African conflicts. Even with the contextual caveats, the sentence I quote three times is so striking that only someone with a particular mindset--the liberal Neo-con interventionist--could have written it or allowed it to pass into print. Alex
          Comment on Visualizing South Sudan: Rent-Seeking Rebellions by Steve Biko        
Hi Alex De Waal. I am a Huge admirer of your work. Interesting arguments that certainly explain the constant shift in allegiances by some of the generals. A small typo- ACLED- is Armed Conflict Location and Events Dataset not Africa Conflict Location and Events Dataset.
          Comment on Visualizing South Sudan: Rent-Seeking Rebellions by TimG (@timglawion)        
Dear Alex de Waal, I always do enjoy your work on Sudan and South Sudan. This particular article,while intriguing, I feel misses some key points: Your statement - "The level of fatalities among soldiers and civilians is completely disproportionate to the claims of the rebel leader or mutineer." - implies that there is a justified proportion between Leader demands and Follower costs. Doubting this, other questions would take center stage: Why do followers agree to bear the costs of leaders' gains? If the SPLM/A is so cash-strapped, why is it still lucrative to gain office in it? What is the international community doing to incentivize violence as a means for political and economic gains? (Especially considering the ongoing peace talks) I do realize, you touch upon many of these points in other works. I simply want to point out that kleptocracy shouldn't be taken as a given to then try and work within it. Rather it is crucial to understand what sustains a kleptocratic system. Best, Tim Glawion
          Comment on Sudan and South Sudan Full Text of Agreements by Analýza konfliktu v Jižním Súdánu | Časopis pro politiku a mezinárodní vztahy        
[...] Plný text k dispozici na adrese: http://sites.tufts.edu/…-agreements/ [...]
          Comment on Breakdown in South Sudan: What Went Wrong — and How to Fix It by Khalid AlMubarak        
One "collateral" aspect of the tragic situation in the Republic of South Sudan is the infiltration of the Justice and Equality Movement JEM and the havoc it caused. JEM's fighters were accused of looting and attacks on civilians.Yesterday a contingent crossed the border back to the Sudan where they handed themselves to the Sudanese army in Heglig(which they had helped to occupy during their coordination with SPLA-N and those who have now rebelled against President S.Kiir).JEM are now rebels without a base or "liberated areas" and without a cause because the Doha process has addressed most of Darfur's grievances.Those who surrendered seem to have realised this.
          Comment on Breakdown in South Sudan: What Went Wrong — and How to Fix It by Khalid AlMubarak        
A ceasefire has now been signed between the two fighting groups. All indicators show that -with more IGAD and AU commitment to mediation and international community support-the ceasefire will be maintained and a political solution can be negotiated.There are long term and short-term issues.The retraining of the SPLA and its transformation into an integrated National force will take some time;but it is possible and both the UK and USA have started it before the 15 December fighting.One of the main underlying source of tension between the two sides is the policy towards "The Other Sudan".Advocates of the "New Sudan" Vision see South Sudan as just a springboard for more struggle to achieve control of the whole pre-secession Sudan.They are encouraged by certain US-based activists.If they prevail(as was the case when they shut down oil production and when they pushed for the occupation of Heglig)South Sudan will embark on a very risky counter productive route.
          Comment on Breakdown in South Sudan: What Went Wrong — and How to Fix It by Kuanyin        
One of the main problem facing the new nation of South Sudan is attitude that to get your right ,you must use violence .when the country gained ,South Sudan decided to adopt decentralisation which good for service delivery , however this turned the nation along tribal line in which make it difficult for the community to socialize together as people of one Nation. The other coin is the introduction of Greaters term in regional blocks 1. Greater Bahr el Gazal 2. Greater Equatoria 3. Greater Upper Nile. Here the country is divided up in those line and with current fighting rebel have contact with LRA and if not stop now by powerful nations , then the whole country will be terrorist base since Riek Machar supported LRA with money and food a move which make Uganda unhappy with Riek Machar
          Comment on Breakdown in South Sudan: What Went Wrong — and How to Fix It by Khalid AlMubarak        
At a time in which graduate students whose main source of information seems to be the articles of Eric Reeves and John Prendergast fill the pages of the Washington Post and other main newspapers; it is refreshing to read this analysis by an academic who has lived in the Sudan and written about it for decades. I fully agree with the optimistic conclusion that the tragic fighting could provide an opportunity for a new beginning. The word "breakdown "in the title is well chosen . A broken down car can be fixed when the battery is recharged or a small spare part is fetched. I worry about the "friends"who can help the leadership . Today John Prendergast will appear before a Senate committee. If this is an indication that US policy will be "more of the same "the silver lining" hoped for in the analysis will not materialise easily.The White House has made a very firm and positive statement which builds on the tangible help already provided in training and general advice;but what the White House says is only part of the picture. There is the very influential civil society(eg The Enough Project, Save Darfur Coalition and others)Some see South Sudan only as a means to destabilise the Sudan.They have little or no interest in solving some of the problems outlined in this analysis like demobilisation and downsizing . This analysis says quite rightly that the South Sudanese have made extraordinary sacrifices. Equally correct is the fact that the two civil wars have also decimated and distorted the Sudan's economy and politics.
          Comment on Breakdown in South Sudan: What Went Wrong — and How to Fix It by ASIM FATHELRAHAM AHMED ELHAG        
Whats happening in South Sudan nowadays its ethnic struggle over power, this ethnic struggle created a political dispute within the ruling party the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and miss trust within the Sudanese People Liberation Army(SPLM)
          UN in South Sudan concerned about civilians fleeing clashes in Upper Nile        
Publisher: UN News Service - Document type: Country News
          UN migration agency transports hundreds of South Sudanese refugees from border into Ethiopia        
Publisher: UN News Service - Document type: Country News
          More than one million children have fled escalating violence in South Sudan        
Publisher: UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) - Document type: Country News
          Lecture: Photojournalist Lynsey Addario        
Lynsey Addario is an American photojournalist and MacArthur Fellowship recipient who has covered conflicts and humanitarian crises in Iraq, Lebanon, Darfur, South Sudan, Congo, and Libya.
          Celebrating Global Stability        
My topic on WKYB this morning.

The Fund for Peace calculates a stability measure for almost every country in the world, every year.

This year, South Sudan is the least stable country.  This is not surprising, as they are in the midst of a civil war.

Finland is the most stable country, as it has been several times before in this ranking.

We tend to focus on the scary instability arising here and there in the world.

But the big picture is actually that the world is pretty stable - especially in NATO territories.  On this D-Day, that is something to celebrate.
          Facilitating access to justice        
12 Apr 2017

Although South Sudan attained independence from Sudan in 2011, the country has since witnessed violent conflict and military infighting following subsequent political crises. The fragile political situation and ongoing conflict in the country has made it difficult for ordinary citizens to seek and access justice. Almost 90% of disputes are resolved in informal justice systems, and the uneven legal training in both Sudanese Sharia law and English common law have resulted in a weak legal and judicial system that has failed to provide effective legal remedies to South Sudanese citizens. Additionally, a lack of capacity in civil society has hindered their ability to fill the critical gaps in the current justice system.

IDLO is implementing a project aimed at improving access to justice services for rural and marginalized citizens in South Sudan by supporting legal aid and through building the capacity of rule of law and justice actors. The project includes training for police, judges and other legal professionals to ensure they can effectively carry out their duties of justice service delivery. The project will also raise awareness of legal and human rights issues through a public information campaign using creative arts and the mass media. Finally, IDLO will support the development of informal national level coordination forums for rule of law actors and develop a Lessons Learned Brief on access to justice in South Sudan.


          Collection of papers on human rights in South Sudan        
12 Jan 2017

IDLO and the University of Juba’s College of Law (COL) have published a collection of papers titled ‘Towards a People Centered Human Rights State in South Sudan’, initially presented by African academics and experts at a symposium held in May 2016 in Juba, South Sudan.

Key topics discussed in the papers include the roles of and overlap between formal and informal law, the role of the constitution, the role of civil society, the benefits of paralegalism to enhance access to justice, ensuring equal protection of genders and minorities, and the challenges of transitioning legal and justice systems in post-conflict situations.

The papers are organized in three parts. The first two papers focus on a people-centered approach to human rights in South Sudan and what implementing such an approach means in practice. The second part of the collection consists of three papers that focus on transitioning justice systems after conflict and investigate topics that characterize the context of justice and human rights in South Sudan. The last part, comprising three further papers, focuses on the role of civil society and human rights promotion.

Although diverse in subject and approach and sometimes presenting opposing viewpoints, there are a number of connections between the papers. In order to progress in human rights promotion and transitional justice continued attention and debate on these topics is crucial. This collection of papers aims to further stimulate this debate, and readers are invited to actively participate and contribute.

Collection of papers available for download below.

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          Focusing on human rights issues in South Sudan        
20 Jun 2016

More than 120 participants attended a three-day symposium in South Sudan, organised by the College of Law (COL) and supported by IDLO, to promote awareness of and dialogue on contemporary human rights issues. Discussions focused on the process of reconstructing legal and justice systems in post-conflict societies, including international human rights and national constitutions, government adherence to human rights commitments, and judicial activism in advancing citizens’ rights.

In his opening remarks, Romualdo Mavedzenge, IDLO’s Country Director for South Sudan, presented the goals of the symposium as ensuring that “peace continues and that there is development in South Sudan”.

The symposium was seen as significant for the COL as it re-establishes itself as an institution since its relocation from Khartoum to Juba in 2011. The COL is responsible for educating future justice actors on the new common law, English language system adopted by South Sudan. 

Papers presented at the event will be compiled and published for wider circulation and continued debate. Press Release from symposium available here.

Interview with IDLO’s Country Director for South Sudan, Romualdo Mavedzenge (Radio Miraya)​

Symposium photo gallery:

Human Rights Symposium - Juba, May 25, 2016

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          Symposium on Human Rights in South Sudan        
Tuesday, May 24, 2016

To promote greater awareness and dialogue on contemporary human rights issues in South Sudan, the College of Law (COL) at the University of Juba in South Sudan, supported by IDLO, will host a three-day Symposium, providing a platform for academic discussion on important legal, political and human rights topics.

The Symposium is significant for the COL as it seeks to re-establish itself as an institution since the 2011 relocation to Juba. The COL is responsible for educating future justice actors in terms of the common law, English-language system adopted by South Sudan. IDLO partners with the COL to build capacity to provide relevant legal education at the COL.

 

The Symposium will bring together key subject matter experts from the region together with national policy makers and leading legal practitioners in South Sudan. A series of discussion papers will be presented and discussed addressing the following topics:

  • Enshrining human rights in the constitution
  • Empowering citizenry and enhancing human rights awareness
  • Developing institutions to administer justice consistently, transparently

Documents related to the symposium are available below for download below. 


The College of Law (COL) at the University of Juba in South Sudan plays a key role in ensuring that the next generation of justice sector professionals are adequately prepared to enter the legal profession in South Sudan. Since its relocation from Khartoum to Juba in 2011, the College of Law has graduated four classes of law graduates (2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015) and currently has 250 law students registered in first and third year LL.B. programs. 

 

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          Evaluation of the Project “Enhancing the Capacity of the Judiciary of South Sudan"        
4 Feb 2016

As part of IDLO’s continuous commitment to accountability and results-based management, IDLO is pleased to share this Evaluation Brief (summarised evaluation report):  “Enhancing the Capacity of the Judiciary of South Sudan”. The evaluation has been conducted by independent evaluation experts, supervised by IDLO’s Evaluation Unit. This exercise utilized a theory-driven, mixed-method approach, in line with the IDLO Evaluation Guidelines and OECD DAC standards.

The purpose of this evaluation was to provide an independent assessment of the project and to measure the extent to which the expected results were achieved; and to identify relevant lessons learned with a view to informing the design and implementation of future projects and programs in South Sudan and beyond. 

Full brief available for download below.

Related Download(s): 

          South Sudan: Legal Skills for Civil Society        
15 Jun 2015

IDLO’s first legal course for representatives of civil society organizations (CSO), working to promote the rule of law, improve access to justice and support peace initiatives, has launched in South Sudan this week.

Thirty-five participants joined the two-week course, which covers South Sudanese law, general principles of the Constitution and international human rights law, as well as more practical skills like advocacy, report writing, monitoring and interviewing skills.

Civil society organizations play a key role in the promotion of justice, human rights and social cohesion in South Sudan. In some cases they work to educate and inform citizens of their rights and responsibilities, in others they provide paralegal and alternative dispute resolution services.

Nevertheless, the technical capacity of civil society in South Sudan is limited; organizations often need support understanding the legal framework of the country and developing practical skills in English language, advocacy, drafting and interviewing.

The new state’s decision to move from an Arabic-based Shari’a and civil law system to a common law system, with English as the official language, has created capacity gaps for many actors in the justice sector.

IDLO is working with the South Sudan Human Rights Commission and the Human Rights Division of UNMISS to deliver this current round of training. Sponsored by the EU, this latest course is part of IDLO’s ongoing work in South Sudan to improve the rule of law and administration of justice, which has included training public prosecutors, judges, advocates, trainee advocates, judicial assistants and support staff.

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          South Sudan: My Modest Contribution to Justice and Peace        
21 May 2015

by Stephen Mubiru, IDLO Lead Trainer, Juba

I first travelled from Uganda to Juba in 2009, as part of the IDLO team conducting justice sector training there. South Sudan itself did not yet exist as an independent country, there was an interim constitution and peace negotiations were ongoing.

Our first one-month course focussed on criminal and civil proceedings – how to conduct a trial –bringing together judges from across what would become the world’s newest nation.

Having been in touch with some of the local judges before the training, I had an idea of their ability and professional capacity, but other factors took me by surprise on my arrival.

First and foremost was the environment, particularly the infrastructure; the training facilities were often just temporary structures.  

In contrast, though, the logistics and organization of the training far exceeded my expectations for a country that had been at war for many years.

Initially, I had also, perhaps, not fully appreciated the differences of their judicial system; it was something of a hybrid between the continental civil law and a common law system. This raised some challenges for us during the first round of training, but became less of an issue for subsequent courses.

Most of the lawyers in South Sudan were trained in Sudan, where a Shari’a and civil law system operates in Arabic. The legal system in South Sudan has shifted to a common law system, with English as the official language. This shift has created capacity gaps; many judges and lawyers have needed training.  

But probably the greatest surprise for me arose from the heated debates with local judges on some of the course topics, in particular areas like human rights or rights of children.  

The huge influence of traditional legal systems and of cultural values on South Sudan’s justice system became increasingly apparent to us. Local judges explained that if the law didn’t take into account the cultural context, then it would most likely be misunderstood and mistrusted by the communities they worked with, who tended to resort to traditional mechanisms to resolve their disputes.  They weren’t convinced that international law or human rights had a place in South Sudan.

But through these discussions, we also came to realise that, at this time, the statute books were not provided to all judges in South Sudan, and were only available in Juba.  We brought these to the attention of the judges from other parts of the country, showing them that their laws did, in fact, reflect these concepts.

Since 2009, I have returned to South Sudan to lead several courses; the most recent being the 2014 course for judicial assistants on Criminal Procedure and the current training of public prosecution lawyers in the Administration of Criminal Justice and English Language.

Whatever the course, whoever the participants, towards the end of their training, they often tell me how much they have appreciated its practical nature; but what is most valued, time and again, is the sense that the material has been shaped to reflect their roles, their legal system and the laws of South Sudan.

In a new state with a long history of conflict and with ongoing sporadic fighting in some parts of the country, the process of establishing the rule of law firmly is bound to take time. This type of training is a small contribution to that process. Hopefully it will have a bigger, long-term impact as peace and security are fully restored in South Sudan.

 

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          South Sudan: Grappling with a New Legal System        
25 Feb 2015

Two years after becoming the world’s newest nation in 2011, South Sudan was plunged into fresh fighting. The conflict between government and rebel forces has displaced at least one-and-half million people. Some two-and-a-half million are facing severe food shortages.

Hopes are now pinned on both sides signing a final peace agreement by 5th March and abiding by the commitments made in January to end the conflict. Many subjects, like transitional security, governance, economic reform and justice, have still to be agreed. If a deal is reached, then a new, transitional government could be formed later this year.

But if the rule of law is to prove itself a cornerstone upon which lasting peace and security in South Sudan can be built, much work remains to be done.

This is not least because the new state had adopted English as its official language, and common law as its new legal system. Many of those practising law and working in the judiciary in South Sudan today were trained in Arabic under old Sudan's shari’a-based, civil law system. They lack the language skills to practise in English. This has caused bottlenecks in the courts, impeding the delivery of justice.

IDLO has been working in the country to retrain legal and justice sector professionals, allowing them to operate effectively within the newly-adopted legal system. Following on from our work with South Sudan's trial judges, we have trained almost a third of the country's judicial assistants, and have just begun building the capacity of more than 100 entry-level lawyers, from both the government and private sector. The five-week training will equip them with the specific legal knowledge, practical skills and English language competency to improve their legal practice. 

Adut Daniel Choel, a female trainee advocate on the General Orientation and Legal Practice course, said it was ‘really helping us understand the procedures to apply as an advocate’.  Fellow student David Jerome Kumbo described the training as crucial to efforts to improve the rule of law in South Sudan.

At a ceremony to mark the start of the course, Jeremiah Swaka Wani Moses, the Undersecretary for the Ministry of Justice, thanked IDLO for collaborating not only with the governmental rule of law institutions, but also for building the capacity of professional bodies such as the South Sudan Bar Association.

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          Strengthening Justice Institutions in South Sudan        
28 Jul 2014

The conflict that erupted in South Sudan at the end of last year triggered sudden and massive changes throughout the fabric of South Sudanese society. It has inflamed the political and ethnic fracture lines that already existed across the country, resulting in gross human rights violations and adding pressure to an already challenged justice delivery system.

Nevertheless, IDLO believes that justice sector institutions, particularly the Judiciary of South Sudan, have a vital role to play in upholding and strengthening the rule of law, and ensuring accountability and reconciliation despite the immense challenges facing them.

With support from the European Union, IDLO is working to build a fairer, more robust and more transparent justice system in South Sudan by delivering a series of context-specific training courses to 150 newly-appointed judges and judicial support staff. Judges and support staff from all over the country are being trained in substantive areas of the justice system. These trainings also place a great emphasis on English language skills and judicial vocabulary.

Language is a barrier to the administration of justice in South Sudan. Most litigants who appear in South Sudan’s courts do not speak English, though South Sudan’s Transitional Constitution, laws, and appellate decisions are all issued in English, the official language of the new country since 2011. By ensuring that legal professionals have the necessary skills to work in the new English-language common law system, IDLO is increasing the capacity of the judiciary to interpret and administer justice, benefiting the citizens of South Sudan.

IDLO believes that if justice services are delivered in a fair, efficient and equitable manner, the Judiciary of South Sudan can build confidence in the rule of law and contribute to bringing lasting peace and stability to South Sudan.

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          South Sudan's Independence Day should have been a celebration        
Work Mallas, 50, and his family live in Paduel, an area affected by recurring droughts and floods, which receives a big influx of South Sudanese people fleeing the conflict from neighboring areas.Photo: Gabriel Pecot/Oxfam

Blog: South Sudan's Independence Day should have been a celebration

Sunday, July 9 was Independence Day in South Sudan and should have seen celebrations and smiles. But yet again, it was a time of somber reflection. 


          Why is there famine in South Sudan and what can be done        
Martha Nyandit waits for an Oxfam/WFP food delivery, Mingkaman camp, South Sudan. Photo: Pablo Tosco/Oxfam, April 2014

Blog: Why is there famine in South Sudan and what can be done

South Sudan's famine is a man-made tragedy, and we are running out of time to avoid it getting worse.


          International Internship - Spring 2018 - Samaritan's Purse - Remote        
Haiti, Bolivia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, Nepal, Niger, Liberia, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, N....
From Samaritan's Purse - Tue, 08 Aug 2017 19:02:25 GMT - View all Remote jobs
          2012: A year in pictures        

Oxfam continues to fight poverty and deep rooted injustice.

In 2012, we responded to emergencies in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sahel region of West Africa, East Africa and other regions where vulnerable people were affected by disaster and conflict.

We continued our global development programs in more than 90 countries with disaster risk reduction, income generation and cash-for-work programs among many others.

We stepped up the campaign against land grabs, and we launched the GROW Method, five practical ways to ensure we all have enough to eat, always.

Although the UN members failed to reach an agreement on a global Arms Trade Treaty, we, together with thousands of people around the world will push to make sure this treaty becomes a reality in 2013.

English
Summary picture: 
Food distribution in Chad. Photo: Abbie Trayler-Smith/Oxfam

          S. Suda president rejects new talks with holdout opposition        

August 10, 2017 (JUBA)- South Sudan president, Salva Kiir has vowed not to accept any new peace talks with holdout opposition, accusing his opponents of putting personal ambitions above common interests. President Salva Kiir attends a session during the 25th Extraordinary Summit of the (IGAD) on South Sudan in Addis Ababa March 13, 2014 (Reuters Photo) […]

The post S. Suda president rejects new talks with holdout opposition appeared first on Times of News.


          Police arrest 33 people found ‘stealing’ relief food in Tonj state        

About 33 people in Ngap-Agok County in South Sudan’s Tonj State has been arrested for allegedly stealing relief food meant to be distributed to hungry villagers. The deputy governor of Tonj state Manim Bol told Radio Tamazuj yesterday that three ring leaders were arrested by police authorities in July for stealing relief food belonging to […]

The post Police arrest 33 people found ‘stealing’ relief food in Tonj state appeared first on Times of News.


          Maiwut governor says he had a ‘cross-border meeting’ with Ethiopian officials        

The governor of South Sudan’s Maiwut state, Bol Ruach Rom, said he held a cross-border meeting with Ethiopian authorities on Wednesday. The meeting between the two sides was reportedly held in Pagak. The governor said he was accompanied by military officers leading operations that captured the opposition stronghold of Pagak on Sunday. Governor Bol told […]

The post Maiwut governor says he had a ‘cross-border meeting’ with Ethiopian officials appeared first on Times of News.


          German foreign minister arrives in Juba, meets Kiir over peace        

The Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany, Sigmar Gabriel, has arrived in the South Sudanese capital Juba today. The visiting minister was received by South Sudan’s Foreign Minister Deng Alor Kuol at Juba International Airport. This afternoon he met President Salva Kiir and a number of ministers in Juba. In a statement after […]

The post German foreign minister arrives in Juba, meets Kiir over peace appeared first on Times of News.


          UN urges zero tolerance to militarization in S. Sudan camps        

August 9, 2017 (JUBA) – The Head of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has insisted that the mission maintains a “zero tolerance approach” to the militarization of camps for people displaced by conflict and that the camps remain civilian in nature. David Shearer, who is also the Special Representative of the UN […]

The post UN urges zero tolerance to militarization in S. Sudan camps appeared first on Times of News.


          38 killed in tribal clashes in S. Sudan, UN orders probe        

August 9, 2017 (JUBA) – At least 38 people were killed when the Apuk and Aguok clans clashed in the north-west of the country, an official has disclosed. Map of South Sudan showing Warrap state in red The deputy governor of South Sudan’s Gogrial state, Agoth Mel said over 30 people were injured during clashes […]

The post 38 killed in tribal clashes in S. Sudan, UN orders probe appeared first on Times of News.


          Jonglei state is free cholera infection, says official        

Health authorities in South Sudan’s Jonglei state say no single cholera case has been reported in the state since June. Speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Wednesday, Jonglei state health minister, Dr. Angok Gordon Kuol said, “The last report we have by June the 30th this year, we did not have any new case reported.” Gordon further […]

The post Jonglei state is free cholera infection, says official appeared first on Times of News.


          Inégalités : nous pouvons toutes et tous contribuer à les réduire        
Nyabuay tending her family&#039;s vegetable patch, Bor area, South Sudan. Photo: Kieran Doherty/ Oxfam, May 2014

Blog: Inégalités : nous pouvons toutes et tous contribuer à les réduire

Pourquoi les inégalités persistent et s’accroissent, comment faire pour ajuster ces déséquilibres, s'interroge Geneviève Morency, l'une des trois gagnantes de notre concours organisé dans le cadre du Blog Action Day 2014.


           Sudan Referendum        

During decades of civil war in Sudan, says John Ashworth of Catholic Relief Services, the church was the only institution on the ground with the people, and because of that it gained huge moral authority. Now South Sudan is voting in a referendum for independence from the Muslim-majority national government in Khartoum. More

The post Sudan Referendum appeared first on Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly.


          Map of Pajok in South Sudan        

The four neighborhoods of Pajok town, in Ayaci county (formerly Magwi county), in the state formerly known as Eastern Equatoria. The town was attacked by government troops on April 3, 2017.  


          Map of Kajo Keji in South Sudan        

Key locations in Kajo Keji county where government forces’ attacks since June 2016 have involved serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. 


          Map of Kajo Keji and Magwi Areas in South Sudan        

In the neighboring regions of Kajo Keji and Magwi government counterinsurgency operations have displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians since July 2016.  


          Map of South Sudan        

The regions of South Sudan formerly known as Western Bahr el-Ghazal, Western Equatoria, Central Equatoria and Eastern Equatoria states have been the most severely impacted by government counterinsurgency operations since late 2015.  


          Comment on What has the US already tried in Mali? by Africa Blog Roundup: M23, South Sudan, Mali, al Shabab, and More | Sahel Blog        
[...] Peter Tinti: “What Has the US Already Tried in Mali?” [...]
          Rwandan Soldiers Arrive in South Sudan Ahead of Thousands More Extra UN Troops        
“About 120 Rwandan peacekeepers have arrived in South Sudan, United Nations said on Tuesday, the first detachment of 4,000 extra troops approved by the U.N. last year to help protect the capital of Africa’s newest country.” Source: Rwandan Soldiers Arrive in South Sudan Ahead of Thousands More Extra UN Troops
          Complete.Atlas.of.the.World-P2P        

DDLValley | DDLValley - Rapidgator , Uploaded , Go4up & Openload links

Complete Atlas of the World


Complete Atlas of the World, 3rd Edition is now fully revised and updated to reflect the latest changes in world geography, including the annexation of Crimea and the new nation of South Sudan. Bringing each featured landscape to life with detailed terrain models and color schemes and offering maps of unsurpassed quality, this atlas features four sections: a world overview, the main atlas, fact files on all the countries of the world, and an easy-to-reference index of all 100,000 place names. All maps enjoy a full double-page spread, with continents broken down into 330 carefully selected maps, including 100 city plans. You will also find a stimulating series of global thematic maps that explore Earth’s place in the universe, its physical forms and processes, the living world, and the human condition. From Antarctica to Zambia, discover the Earth continent-by-continent with Complete Atlas of the World, 3rd Edition.

The post originally appeared on Complete.Atlas.of.the.World-P2P | DDLValley - Rapidgator , Uploaded , Go4up & Openload links .


          Caring Causes: Global Emergency Response Coalitiong        
Eight of the world’s leading U.S.-based international relief organizations are coming together for the first time to launch a joint fundraising appeal, the Hunger Relief Fund, to the American public to respond to an unprecedented hunger crisis and to save millions of lives. The Global Emergency Response Coalition was formed in response to starvation threatening more than 20 million people in Nigeria, Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and neighboring countries.

The Global Emergency Response Coalition is comprised of CARE, International Medical Corps, International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, Oxfam, Plan International, Save the Children and World Vision. Companies including PepsiCo and PepsiCo Foundation, Google and Twitter are participating to amplify and support the appeal.

More than 20 million people are facing the threat of starvation in the coming months and nearly 1.4 million children are severely malnourished and at risk of death without immediate help. In 2011, during a similar multi-country food shortage crisis, the international community failed to act in time and 258,000 people died in Somalia alone. More than half were children. We cannot let this happen again. Although there has been some media coverage, public awareness of this global crisis is low and there is simply not enough funding to meet the level of urgent need our organizations are facing on the ground. We are counting on the American public to take action and respond with urgency.

I was able to do an interview to learn more.

What led to this coalition?
The current hunger crisis is worse than any we have seen before due to multiple conflicts, drought, and disease outbreaks happening at the same time in several countries. Without immediate help, 1.4 million severely malnourished children will die.
In 2011, during a multi-country food shortage crisis, the international community failed to act in time and 258,000 people died in Somalia alone. More than half were children. We cannot let this happen again.
Unfortunately, public awareness of the current crisis is low and there is simply not enough funding to meet the level of urgent need our organizations are facing on the ground.
A crisis of this magnitude demands coordinated and urgent action. Eight of the largest U.S.-based international relief organizations joined forces for the first time in the US to try to raise greater awareness and funds for the crisis.

What are the advantages of these organizations working together?
The coalition is comprised of organizations positioned to fight hunger in the most impacted areas. By combining our resources, we can raise more awareness and funds for a greater impact.
Together, our organizations are working in 106 countries to reach millions of the world’s most vulnerable people with urgent assistance such as food, water, shelter, education and medical care, as well as resources to build resilience to future food crises.
Our private sector partners - including PepsiCo, Google, Twitter, and BlackRock – are also raising awareness. PepsiCo Foundation and BlackRock are each matching donations up to $1 million.

Why is extreme hunger such a big issue?
In Yemen, a child under five dies every 10 minutes because of the lack of food and basic resources. In South Sudan, families have been forced to flee their homes and are surviving on water lilies alone while hiding in swamps. In Somalia, teenagers walk for hours just to get enough water to last their families one day. In Nigeria, there have been reports of people eating sand to ward off starvation. Families are dying not only from hunger, but also from diseases such as cholera and measles because they lack clean water and sanitation.

How can people get involved?
The appeal lasts through July 28, 2017 and donations to the Hunger Relief Fund can be made at www.globalemergencyresponse.org. Every dollar you give today will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to a total of $2 million.
We also encourage people to share the appeal with their friends, families, colleagues and through their social media networks. Follow the coalition on the following media channels for the latest updates:
Twitter: @GlobalResponse

          Comment on Indian police can’t unlock phone of Nigerian marijuana smuggler by His Royal Highness1        
And who wants to be a Nigerian, who is actually a Nigerian, who were your ancestors? Were they Nigerians? A mare geographical expression you call a country. I rather be a South Sudanese than to be a Nigerian. God forbid.
          The Killing Fields of Africa        
Why do Africans kill each other so easily? Atrocities abound, whether in Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, South Sudan or Zimbabwe. Even South Africans, in fits of xenophobia, attack outsiders. Some of these episodes of murderous mayhem rise to the scale of genocide, as defined and prohibited … Continue reading
          Africa’s Famine Should be Canada’s Moment to Lead        
At the very moment when acute hunger has made hardscrabble South Sudanese, Somalis and Yemenis the world’s most vulnerable people – in their millions – so the rise of xenophobic populism in Europe and the United States has made the provision of meaningful assistance much less likely. President Donald Trump’s ham-fisted retreat from soft power … Continue reading
          High Frequency Survey 2016, Wave 2        
High Frequency Survey 2016 Wave 2 HFS-W2 2016 SSD_2016_HFS-W2_v01_M, ["Utz J. Pape - The World Bank"] - South Sudan
           AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN - Auxiliary Bishop of Juba: "There is no need to tell lies: people suffer. There is no peace without justice"        
Juba - "There is no need to tell lies. They do not help us. This country is sinking. We need to get up and stand strong and say God help ...
          Kony 2012 in Context        

By now, anyone reading this would have seen Kony 2012, a thirty minute video posted on YouTube by Invisible Children chronicling the terrorism of Joseph Kony. The video has garnered tens of millions of views thus far. It calls for the U.S. to maintain military advisers in the northern Uganda region to fight Kony's Lord Resistance Army (LRA).

The video is having a positive effect in one important regard. It is giving global attention to a local African problem, something that rarely happens. Americans should know about the world and if a simplistic, emotional video on YouTube sparks intellectual curiosity, that is an extremely good development.

But to even begin to understand the problem in northern Uganda, we must moved past Kony 2012 and learn about the region. The LRA poses numerous contradictions.The LRA purports to protect the Acholi people, the very people they abduct. The security threat posed by the LRA de-legitimizes the government while their presence fuels enormous funding of the military, the very institution that gives the government its legitimacy. For all its evil, the LRA has been willing to negotiate for peace.

The president of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, took over power in a coup in 1986. Alice Lakwena led a rebellion based on mystical beliefs against Museveni. Lakwena, an Acholi, motivated many people from her tribe to fight against the new regime. In Uganda, politics have been tribal, and the tribe in power enjoys the spoils while the  tribes not in power must fall in line or suffer the consequences. The Acholi, who were protected and privileged under the regime of Idi Amin, suffered under Museveni. The rebellion was brutally put down by the military, a political wing of the government, in 1987.

Kony's LRA movement was a decedent of Lakwena's rebellion. The movement abducted Acholi of all ages, including children, in order to build a force large enough to protect its people. The LRA have committed heinous acts of violence. But so have the Ugandan military.

While those soldiers on the frontlines want the war to end, the military elite profit from the war. In fact, there were reports that the Ugandan budget overestimated the number of troops by 50,000. The money directed to these phantom troops supposedly fighting the LRA went into the pockets of military elites. It also must be noted that in addition to the LRA, numerous other rebel groups have taken up arms against the regime.

For the U.S. to keep military advisers, or possibly send in more American troops, to fight the LRA, we would need to work with the Ugandan government. We've seen that the military is corrupt and has violated human rights in the most horrific fashion. Scholar Aili Mari Tripp argues that Museveni's government is semi-authoritarian. Museveni gains his legitimacy from two areas: economic growth (which is dependent on foreign aid) and the fiction that his military is able to keep the peace. Any help in squashing the LRA would give Museveni more legitimacy. This would come at the expense of the Acholi.

The Acholi live in refugee camps. The government's official line is that these people have been taken out of their homes for their own safety against the LRA. But most observers believe the government has done this in order to prevent further rebellion from the Acholi.

Beginning in 2007, the LRA was willing to negotiate for peace with the Ugandan government. High level figures from both sides met in Sudan and had reached an agreement. But Kony never emerged out of the jungle to sign the agreement, likely for fear of arrest. He had been indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2005. Ironically, the ICC's indictment prevented a peace deal.

Any hope of a peace agreement ended with the military operation Lightening Thunder in 2008. The U.S. financially and technologically supported this attack. In fact, Riek Machar, Vice President of South Sudan, said that the U.S. instigated this attack and pressured the Ugandans, South Sudanese, and Congolese to go after the LRA at this point. Why? Oil. The LRA's attacks in southern Sudan were preventing the U.S. from profiting from the regions oil. In fact, oil had been discovered in Uganda as well.

Machar said that the attack against the LRA was like "disturbing a bee hive. Once you destroy the bee hive, the bees hit indiscriminately." That is what happened. The LRA redoubled its attacks in the wake of Operation Lightening Thunder and any chance for peace dissolved.

The LRA have been a murderous menace in the Congo and Uganda. But U.S. military action, as we have seen in the past, will only make things worse. Legitimizing the Ugandans government should not be a principle of U.S. policy. We must trust the Ugandan, Congolese, and South Sudanese to find a peaceful solution on their own.
          THE INTERVIEW - Princeton Lyman, Former US Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan         
Thousands of people have fled the ongoing fighting in South Sudan and the death toll is now believed to be approaching 10,000. France 24s ... tags: affairsculturecurrentdiplomacyeconomicsEthnic_conflictexclusiveTHE INTERVIEW - Princeton Lyman, Former US Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan
France 24 English
          Giving Thanks, In Spite Of It All        
Poverty. Protests. Refugees. Earthquakes, typhoons and hurricanes. Terror. ISIS. Sometimes it can feel like too much. Last Wednesday evening I gave a talk to a group of adults at my church. I talked about how Lutheran World Relief is providing support for refugees from Syria and South Sudan. And I talked about our work to […]
      

          Rwandan Soldiers Arrive in South Sudan Ahead of Thousands More Extra UN Troops        
“About 120 Rwandan peacekeepers have arrived in South Sudan, United Nations said on Tuesday, the first detachment of 4,000 extra troops approved by the U.N. last year to help protect the capital of Africa’s newest country.” Source: Rwandan Soldiers Arrive in South Sudan Ahead of Thousands More Extra UN Troops

          rjsigmund: Environmental and Climate News, week of June 9, 2017        
Baby teeth link autism and heavy metals, NIH study suggests – Baby teeth from children with autism contain more toxic lead and less of the essential nutrients zinc and manganese, compared to teeth from children without autism, according to an innovative study funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health. The researchers studied twins to control genetic influences and focus on possible environmental contributors to the disease. The findings, published June 1 in the journal Nature Communications, suggest that differences in early-life exposure to metals, or more importantly how a child’s body processes them, may affect the risk of autism. The differences in metal uptake between children with and without autism were especially notable during the months just before and after the children were born. The scientists determined this by using lasers to map the growth rings in baby teeth generated during different developmental periods.The researchers observed higher levels of lead in children with autism throughout development, with the greatest disparity observed during the period following birth. They also observed lower uptake of manganese in children with autism, both before and after birth. The pattern was more complex for zinc. Children with autism had lower zinc levels earlier in the womb, but these levels then increased after birth, compared to children without autism. The researchers note that replication in larger studies is needed to confirm the connection between metal uptake and autism.

No unborn baby is safe from toxic pollutants – The womb is no longer a safe place for babies, as the placenta, amniotic fluid, and umbilical cord are unable to filter out contaminants. Babies are born pre-infected and pre-polluted by chemicals that we adults have created and dispersed. According to Frederica Perrera, a professor and director of the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health, there has been a notable increase in development problems in children worldwide that parallels the increase in toxic contaminants in water, air, soil, and consumer goods, as well as the mounting effects of global warming. She writes in the New York Times: â€œThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds dozens of toxic chemicals, pollutants and metals in pregnant women, many of which are also found in cord blood of newborns. These include pesticides sprayed in inner-city buildings and on crops, flame retardants used in furniture, combustion-related air pollutants from fossil-fuel-burning power plants and vehicles, lead, mercury and plasticizers. All have been shown in epidemiologic studies in the United States and elsewhere to be capable of damaging developing brains, especially while babies are exposed in utero or in their early life.” Research shows that climate change is increasing the incidence of infectious diseases, malnutrition, heat-related sicknesses, and mental trauma from catastrophic natural disasters. All of these factors, Perrera writes, “can directly or indirectly affect early brain development, the cognitive and behavioral functioning of children and their ability to learn.”

Meat packer blames ABC's 'pink slime' for nearly killing company | Reuters: ABC News' characterization of a South Dakota meat processor's ground-beef product as "pink slime" almost put Beef Products Inc out of business, BPI's lawyer said on Monday in the opening salvo of a closely watched trial. The $5.7 billion lawsuit pitting big agriculture against big media is the first major court challenge against a media company since accusations of “fake news” by U.S. President Donald Trump and his supporters have become part of the American vernacular. The trial is expected to run eight weeks. BPI claims ABC, a unit of Walt Disney Co, and its reporter Jim Avila defamed the company by using the term “pink slime” and making errors and omissions in its 2012 reporting. But ABC lawyer Dane Butswinkas said "pink slime" was a common term, used more than 3,800 times in the media prior to ABC's reports. In the aftermath of ABC's broadcasts, BPI closed three of its four processing plants and said its revenue dropped 80% to $130 million. "That success took about 30 years to succeed and it took ABC less than 30 days to severely damage the company," a lawyer for BPI, Dan Webb, said in court. Butswinkas countered that BPI had already lost multiple customers for LFTB, including major fast food chains, prior to the ABC reports, due to unhappiness with the product. ABC has said its coverage was accurate and deserved protection under the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment which guarantees freedom of religion, speech and the right to a free press. ABC denies any wrongdoing and is confident its reporting will be "fully vindicated," a lawyer for ABC and Avila, Kevin Baine of Williams & Connolly, has said.

Food poisoning warning: Hepatitis E found in European pig products – Cases of hepatitis E virus – which attacks the liver and in extreme cases can paralyse and kill – are rising, Dr Harry Dalton told a conference in Liverpool. The gastroenterologist at Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust said the vast majority of cases can be tracked to European pig products such as hams and salamis. HEV is particularly dangerous for the elderly, the pregnant and people with suppressed immune systems. Public Health England said that confirmed or reported cases rose from 368 in 2010 to 1,244 last year. Its scientists added there was “a trend towards more severe and prolonged illness.” A joint Food Standards Agency and European Food Safety Authority workshop has found that there are up to 100,000 foodborne HEV infections a year in England alone – most of which are not recognised. It said Public Health England had found that infection was associated with eating processed pork. Though up to 90 per cent of British pigs may carry the virus Dr Dalton said the human health problem is caused by European meat. He said the origin of the virus in patients can be traced at a molecular level. And 80 per cent of cases now can be traced back to European pig products. He said: “I call it the Brexit virus. It attacks the liver and nerves, with a peak in May. It is particularly dangerous for people with suppressed immune systems such as those who have had organ transplants and possibly cancer.” 

Roundup Revealed: Glyphosate in Our Food System – Rising use of glyphosate, the world's most heavily applied herbicide, is putting people at risk of significant health problems, according to a report released Tuesday by As You Sow .  Glyphosate is applied frequently to the most popular crops in the U.S., including corn, soybeans and wheat, and has been found in many common food products including "all-natural" Quaker Oats . The report, "Roundup Revealed: Glyphosate in Our Food System," raises concerns about the health and environmental impacts of current glyphosate use, gaps in the regulation of pesticides and how large chemical companies are promoting the use of glyphosate.  The report consolidates years of research, cutting through to the heart of the controversy over glyphosate. One key finding showed that glyphosate is increasingly being sprayed on crops just before harvest to dry out ("desiccate") the plants to speed up harvest operations. This practice results in greater residues of glyphosate in foods. The report's analysis finds that in 2015, nearly a third of U.S. wheat was treated with glyphosate, likely through pre-harvest use in most cases. A recent biomonitoring study revealed that 93% of Americans tested had glyphosate in their bodies. In 2015, glyphosate was classified as a probable carcinogen by the world's leading cancer authority, the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer. Recent research suggests that glyphosate is likely to cause other chronic health impacts, including disruption of the body's endocrine system.  American regulators are dismissing key scientific data and continuing to raise the allowable limits for glyphosate residue in food, leaving the population at risk of health harms. The widespread use of glyphosate is also creating environmental problems, including herbicide-resistant weeds and reduced biodiversity. For too long, pesticides have been the foundation of agriculture, with glyphosate as the cornerstone; the cracks in this system run deep.

Herbicide-tolerant sugarbeets accounted for 98% of sugarbeet acreage by 2013 (with graph) | USDA – The United States produced about 8 million metric tons of sugar in 2013. Over half of that sugar came from sugarbeets. However, weed infestations can reduce yields, lower forage quality, and increase the severity of insect infestations. Compared to conventional sugarbeets, planting genetically engineered, herbicide-tolerant (GE HT) sugarbeets simplifies weed management. Specific herbicide (such as glysophate) applications kill weeds but then leave the GE HT sugarbeets growing. Studies suggest that farmers who plant GE HT sugarbeets can increase yields, while reducing the costs of weed management. Once introduced commercially in 2008, U.S. farmers adopted GE HT sugarbeets quickly. That year, farmers planted GE HT sugarbeets on about 60 of all sugarbeet acreage; by 2009, that number had grown to 95 percent. As of 2013, approximately 1.1 million acres of GE HT sugarbeets (98% of all sugarbeet acreage), with a production value of over $1.5 billion, were harvested in the United States. Minnesota, North Dakota, Idaho, and Michigan accounted for over 80% of sugarbeet production that year. This chart is based on the ERS report The Adoption of Genetically Engineered Alfalfa, Canola, and Sugarbeets in the United States, released November 2016.

7,000 Kansas Farmers vs. Syngenta Over GMO Corn Dispute – Thousands of Kansas farmers claimed in district court in Kansas City on Monday that Swiss agribusiness giant Syngenta rushed its genetically modified (GMO) corn seed to the U.S. market in 2010 before getting China's approval for imports, which rejected shipments of the corn over GMO contamination and caused turmoil in commodity markets. As Bloomberg explains, the plaintiffs claim that "this move, coupled with U.S. corn farmers' inability to regain a foothold in China once other countries filled the void, almost wiped out the U.S. corn market for several years and continues to depress corn prices even today."  The plaintiffs are seeking $200 million in lost sales, plus punitive damages. "Every bushel of corn grown in this country is worth less today than it would have been had Syngenta" waited for China to approve the product, plaintiffs lawyer Scott Powell told jurors.  According to court filings cited by the Associated Press, Syngenta knew Chinese approval was going to be a problem but aggressively marketed its MIR162 corn anyway. Per the AP: "Court papers show that Syngenta initially assured stakeholders that China would approve MIR162 in time for the 2011 crop. But the date kept slipping. Some exporters sent shipments containing the trait to China anyway. After two years of accepting them, China began rejecting them in late 2013." Syngenta's MIR162 corn, aka Agrisure Viptera, is genetically engineered to resist pests such as earworms, cutworms, armyworms and corn borers. China did not approve the trait until 2014. The Basel-based company denies wrongdoing over its product, contending that it was a 2013 corn glut, not China's rejection, that impacted U.S. corn prices. "Syngenta acted responsibly when it began selling Viptera in 2010," company attorney Michael Brock said in his opening statement. "It was a product that farmers wanted and needed."  A slew of related trials are pending, with around 350,000 U.S. corn growers claiming up to $13 billion in losses, Bloomberg noted.

Slugging It Out With a New Contender in the GMOs Debate –  I had never met the entomologist John Tooker before he opened his door at Penn State, where I was giving a lecture this April, and invited me into his office.  “I thought it might be worth meeting,” he said, “because I read the piece where you said GMOs had decreased the amount of insecticide used.”  As long-time Grist readers know, I’ve explored this topic in depth. Over the last few decades, farmers have been using more of a type of insecticide called neonicotinoids, or neonics for short.  Neonics are mostly used as seed coatings. They’re one part in a cocktail of fungicides, insecticides, and beneficial microbes swaddling nearly every seed that modern farmers stick in the ground — GMO seeds and non-GMO alike. But, Tooker argues that the increase in genetically modified crops is what’s really causing the use of neonics to skyrocket, to the point that just about every kernel of field corn planted in the United States is coated with this class of insecticides. The reaction to the widespread use of neonics, like so much in agriculture today, has been polarized and divisive. Farmers love them.  Those ground treatments and sprays kill beneficial insects along with the pests. But a tiny drop of neonics applied right to the seed casing gets sucked into the plant as it grows. Bugs that chomp down on the neonic-infused leaves get a killer dose of the chemical. What’s not to love? Environmentalists, by contrast, see neonics as a catastrophe that is wiping out valuable pollinators and other beneficial insects along with their target pets. Greens point to studies that suggest farmers gain little to no economic benefit from seed treatments. There’s some evidence â€” in Europe, at least — of a marked decline in many insect populations, although data on what’s causing this remains scant. (I go deeper here, if you want more background on the bee crisis and its possible causes.)  Farmers can’t see any downside to neonic seed treatments. Environmentalists can’t see any upside. When people can’t see the other side of any debate, they become vulnerable to a form of blindness. Which is what made me wonder: Has everyone become so blinkered that we’re unable to see what Tooker sees, and there really is a massive, under-the-radar increase in insecticide use?

7 States Challenge Trump EPA Over Toxic Pesticide – The fight to ban chlorpyrifos has been heating up this week. Natural Resources Defense Council, together with a coalition of advocacy groups—and now seven state attorneys general â€”are ramping up the pressure on Trump's U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban a pesticide linked to learning disabilities in children. It is widely used on food crops in the U.S., including kid favorites like apples, oranges and strawberries. Most recently, the attorneys general of New York, California, Washington, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts and Vermont formally requested that EPA take immediate action to ban chlorpyrifos in a filing made public today. The states argued that Trump EPA's refusal to ban this pesticide from food crops—despite the agency's own analysis finding it too dangerous for children—must be overturned.  Chlorpyrifos residues widely found on fruits and vegetables, according to the state AGs, put the residents of their states at risk and represent a source of exposure difficult for states to address due to national, and international, markets for food. They call on EPA to fulfill its "legal responsibility to protect Americans from unsafe residues on food, and particularly to protect infants and children against potential neuro-developmental and other adverse effects." In filing formal objections, the state AGs join forces with public health, farmworker and environmental advocates—including NRDC—that also filed a formal administrative appeal with the EPA yesterday, urging the agency to ban the chemical and challenging the agency on its continued use after EPA scientists have determined it to be unsafe. After close to a decade of extensive scientific review, EPA experts found widespread risk to children from contaminated air, water and residues on food.

Georgia peach crop faces nearly 80% loss this year (AP) — Georgia's peach crop is suffering much worse than expected after an overly warm winter and a hard freeze in early spring. Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (http://bit.ly/2se5RVK ) Tuesday that nearly 80% of the state's peach crop has been wiped out because of the weather. Black says the lack of peaches could mean a shorter season for Georgia consumers. He says farmers probably won't ship out of state. Initially, farmers hoped to salvage about 70% of the crop. The newspaper reports that the loss, combined with a blow to this year's blueberry crop, could mean a $300 million hit to farmers. The peach crop issue has been worse in neighboring South Carolina, where Black says he's told more than 85% of the crop was lost.

Brave Police Save Town From Man Selling Veggies â€“ It is the simplest, most basic aspect of life: you need food, so you grow some vegetables. If you have extra you sell them on a street corner to your neighbors, and if you live in California you get arrested for it.  Licensing is when the government takes a right from you, and sells it back. This California man failed to purchase his rights back from the state. But the poor police had pictures taken of them while arresting the man, and now they are hearing from the public about their unjust actions. The Sheriff’s Department of Alameda County, Florida, responded on Facebook to the public outrage, including thousands of criticisms posted to their Facebook page. Selling food on street corners violates county ordinances and public health codes. Persistent street vending harms local businesses, especially small, start-up food vendors… There you have it, from the horse’s mouth in plain black and white: the point of licenses is protection. You pay to play, if you don’t pay off the city and county, they will send their hired thugs to rough you up and demand the protection money.  It harms local businesses: apparently it is the government’s job to make sure there is no competition for certain businesses. God forbid the consumer has a choice. And why isn’t this guy’s produce selling operation considered a small, start-up street vendor? Simple because he didn’t pay for his rights.

7 Years of Work on Food Forest Destroyed Over Permit â€“ Imagine working for seven years to build a community food forest. It would be a very fulfilling project to take a neighborhood and transform it into a living food source full of fruit trees, luscious vines, and edible ground cover. And imagine all your hard work being torn away in an instant by the city council. Literally torn away; what would you be thinking and feeling as they sent landscaping crews to tear out the trees, some with fruit still one them, and grind them into wood chips. Unfortunately, what could only be a feeling of utter exasperation and crushing disbelief was forced upon residents of Sunshine Coast, Australia. The people of a section of the city banded together to transform 11 city blocks into a food forest of which at least 200 people enjoyed the fruits. The city council felled an entire stretch of this Urban Food Street, even preventing residents from collecting the fruit before the destruction. Counselor Ted Hungerford said the felling of the trees was disappointing, but the council was left with no option after a resident had not applied for a permit, nor opted to relocate the trees to private property. He said the requirement for a free permit and public liability insurance applied throughout the region, and so far 23 residents had fulfilled those requirements. Some residents said they didn’t even know about the requirements, but that hardly matters. What matters is that some bullies in the local government care more about pieces of paper than human beings. They care more about protecting their worthless pathetic City Council jobs, and probably imagine themselves quite the adept local governors. Clearly, they are out of touch with reality. Because the city claims ownership over the property in front of people’s homes where a sidewalk would go, they were required to get permits to have fruit trees in that space — and most everyone did. However, because one resident didn’t apply for a permit, the entire area was leveled.

U.S. Pays Farmers Billions To Save The Soil. But It’s Blowing Away – Soil has been blowing away from the Great Plains ever since farmers first plowed up the prairie. It reached crisis levels during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, when windblown soil turned day into night. In recent years, dust storms have returned, driven mainly by drought. But Shook — and others — say farmers are making the problem worse by taking land where grass used to grow and plowing it up, exposing vulnerable soil. "The first soil storm that I saw was in 2013. That was about the height of all the grassland conversion that was happening in this area," he says. This is where federal policy enters the picture. Most of that grassland was there in the first place because of a taxpayer-funded program. The U.S. Department of Agriculture rents land from farmers across the country and pays them to grow grass, trees and wildflowers in order to protect the soil and also provide habitat for wildlife. It's called the Conservation Reserve Program, or CRP. Ten years ago, there was more land in the CRP than in the entire state of New York. In North Dakota, CRP land covered 5,000 square miles. But CRP agreements only last 10 years, and when farming got more profitable about a decade ago, farmers in North Dakota pulled more than half of that land out of the CRP to grow crops like corn and soybeans. Across the country, farmers decided not to re-enroll 15.8 million acres of farmland in the CRP when those contracts expired between 2007 and 2014. Environmentalist Craig Cox wants this on-again, off-again cycle of land protection to end. Cox is in charge of advocacy and research on agricultural policy at the Environmental Working Group. The EWG just released a report calling for big changes in how the Department of Agriculture spends billions of dollars in conservation money. According to Cox, when farmers decide to take land out of the CRP, it means that most of the money spent on environmental improvements on that land is wasted. He says that instead of renting land for 10 years, the government should buy more easements — legal restrictions ensuring, for instance, that a farmer cannot plow a piece of land for the next 30 years ... or forever.

Photos: Here's what climate change looks like to Uganda's coffee farmers – If you've ever bought coffee labeled "Uganda" and wondered what life is like in that faraway place where the beans were grown, now's your chance to see how climate change has affected the lives of Ugandan coffee farmers — through their own eyes. Rising temperatures and prolonged drought can make coffee trees less productive and increase their exposure to pests and diseases. This is especially a problem in Uganda, where nearly all of the coffee is produced by small farmers who have little access to irrigation or other modern farming conveniences. Coffee is by far the country's most valuable industry: It accounts for one-fifth of export revenue, and about 1 in 5 Ugandans rely on it for part or all of their income. Yet climate change could slash the country's coffee production in half by 2050 —a loss worth $1.2 billion, according to a 2015 economic analysis commissioned by the Ugandan government. Because Uganda is a relatively small player in the global coffee market, disruptions there won't necessarily affect the price of your morning joe in the U.S. But within the country, a disturbing new reality is taking root. To find out exactly how Uganda's coffee farmers view their experience of climate change, I recently equipped a dozen of them with disposable cameras.

Environmental Protection and Africa's Cities – Africa's cities are growing rapidly, which presents both an environmental problem and a policy opportunity. The problem is that many of these cities already have severe environmental issues. The opportunity is that because these cities are much smaller than they will be in a few decades, there are opportunities now to guide and shape their growth in ways that can be much more cost-effective than trying to clean up the mess after it has already happened. Roland White et al. explore these issues in a World Bank report, Greening Africa's Cities : Enhancing the Relationship between Urbanization, Environmental Assets, and Ecosystem Services (May 2017). On the patterns of urbanization in Africa, they write:"Urbanization in Africa began later than in any other global region and, at a level of about approximately 40%, Africa remains the least urbanized region in the world. However, as indicated in Figure 3, this is rapidly changing: SSA’s cities have grown at an average rate of close to 4.0% per year over the past twenty years, and are projected to grow between 2.5% and 3.5% annually from 2015 to 2055 (Figure 3). By contrast, globally the average annual urban population growth rate is projected to be between 1.44% and 1.84% from 2015 to 2030 (WHO 2015). From an environmental perspective, this has two important implications. On the one hand, most of Africa’s urban space has yet to emerge. Much of the area which will eventually be covered by the built environment has not yet been constructed and populated. Crucial natural assets – and significant biodiversity – thus remain intact in areas to which cities will eventually spread. On the other hand, this is changing quickly: pressures on the natural environment in and around cities are escalating steadily and these assets are increasingly under serious threat."  "For the entire region the proportion of urban residents with access to sanitation was estimated to be only 37% in 2010. Solid waste coverage also remains very limited with collection rates for many African cities at below 50% ..." Here's a figure showing particulate concentrations in a range of cities. You think some cities in China have problems with air pollution? On this measure, a number of cities in Africa are considerably worse.

Brazil's environment risks political capsize  – Brazil faces an unpredictable political crisis as the country's president fights demands for him to leave office. And as the price of his survival, he is making damaging concessions on Brazil's environment. President Michel Temer is facing calls to resign after the owners of Brazil’s biggest meat-packing industry, JBS, alleged he had been involved in bribery and the obstruction of justice.  To retain support in congress, he is now working with the powerful farmers’ lobby, the bancada ruralista, which wants to reduce conservation areas and weaken environmental licensing laws. He hopes to cling to power by making concessions to the bancada. In exchange for support from the Parliamentary Agriculture Front (FPA), the bancada’s formal name, he tore up the government’s project for modernising the environmental licensing law, telling lobby members they could present whatever amendments to it they liked. So a congressional committee is now about to approve a radically different version of the government’s original proposal for a new General Licensing Law. Dubbed “flex licensing,” it dispenses with the need for licences in some of the areas where they are most needed – large–scale cattle ranching, mining in protected areas, and even roadbuilding in the Amazon, one of the biggest causes of deforestation. Once past the committee stage, it will be voted into law in a plenary session. This is a serious blow to the environment minister, José Sarney Filho, who spent a year negotiating a more reasonable version of the bill with environmentalists, farmers, and industry. Nevertheless, he has chosen to remain in the government, although his party, the Greens, together with several other small parties, has decided to abandon the ruling coalition in protest at President Temer’s alleged involvement in corrupt practices. The minister says he has decided to stay in order to defend the “cause of sustainability and the green economy" and his achievements.  The political turmoil has left Sarney Filho powerless to stop the tide of anti-conservation legislation being tabled by the farmers’ lobby in their desire to open up to economic exploration previously protected land like indigenous areas and national parks.

20 million starving to death: inside the worst famine since World War – In February, the United Nations estimated that 100,000 South Sudanese were starving, and that 5 million more — 42% of the country’s population — have such limited access to proper food that they don’t know where their next meal is coming from. More recent figures are not available yet, but aid agencies fear the situation could be much worse now. There are two things you need to understand about the famine decimating South Sudan, the world’s newest country and one that came into existence largely because of enormous assistance from the US. First, South Sudan isn’t the only country in the region facing mass starvation. A potentially historic famine is also threatening Nigeria, Somalia, and Yemen. Far from Western eyes and far from the headlines, an estimated 20 million people in those four countries are at risk of dying due to a lack of food. The UN has already officially declared a full-fledged famine in parts of South Sudan and warned that the other three countries will suffer mass death from food and water shortages if “prompt and sustained humanitarian intervention” doesn’t happen soon. Second, these famines weren’t caused by natural disasters like crop failures or droughts. They were man-made — the direct result of the bloody wars and insurgencies raging in all four countries.  The upshot is that the current famines, unlike others in recent history, could have potentially been prevented.

New Report Investigates Failures, Costs and Dangers of Biofuels | Global Justice Ecology Project – First-generation biofuels from corn, sugar, palm oil and soya are linked to deforestation and land conversion, competition with food, loss of biodiversity, land grabs and human rights abuses; along with reliance upon genetically engineered crops. But we are told that the “next generation” of ligno-cellulosic and algal fuels, made from “non food” biomass, will be better. Researchers are engineering trees and crops to produce massive amounts of biomass designed for refinery processes, and are manipulating the genome of microbes, including micro-algae to secrete oils, enzymes and other chemicals of commercial and industrial interest. This is a primary focus of biotechnology, with a massive wave of new patent applications and the lure of large profits. But these engineered organisms are largely unregulated and poorly understood. They pose a serious threat to ecosystems and human health if they are released or escape into nature, which is inevitable. After at least a century of unsuccessful attempts to turn solid biomass into liquid biofuels through the use of heat and pressure, researchers and companies are focusing on biotechnology as key to cellulosic biofuel production and to a wider bioeconomy. This includes the use of potent new biotechnology tools, i.e., synthetic biology (aka “new breeding technologies”). Even after decades of research, there is no commercial production of ligno-cellulosic and algal biofuels. Companies are turning instead to using their genetically engineered organisms to production small quantities of high end consumer goods – expensive cosmetics, flavorings, nutraceuticals, and various coproducts to maintain their profit margins. Some genetically engineered microorganisms are also being used to make conventional corn ethanol production more efficient. Taxpayers are footing the bill, strung along by grossly hyped up claims about new technological breakthroughs just over the horizon – breakthroughs that will finally provide a clean, green and sustainable path to “consumerism as usual.” However, there is little basis for assuming that ligno-cellulosic and algal biofuels, if they were to ever be produced on a commercial scale, would in fact represent any improvement over first generation biofuels, since they too require land, water and agrochemicals as well as genetically engineered microbes. 

–How climate change helped Lyme disease invade America - Yale epidemiology researcher Katharine Walter studies Lyme disease, the tick-borne illness that’s spreading frighteningly quickly in the Eastern and Midwestern US, due in part to climate change. Lyme cases have more than doubled since the 1990s, and the number of counties that are now deemed high-risk for Lyme has increased by more than 320% in the same period. 2017 is also shaping up to be a particularly bad year for Lyme. “These effects of climate change will be felt globally, but also here in the US,” Walter said, “and here in New York, in Trump’s backyard.” New York state is an epicenter for Lyme. More than 90% of cases in the Northeast, upper Midwest, and mid-Atlantic. And it’s why New York Sen. Chuck Schumer has been calling on the federal government to more aggressively tackle Lyme. But Trump’s policies on climate change, Walter said, will likely do the opposite, and make climate-sensitive infectious diseases like Lyme even more common. Here are four things to know as we enter the season for the disease.
  • 1) Lyme disease spreads to people through tick bites — but the disease can be really hard to diagnose.  Lyme is the most common vector-borne disease in the US, more common West Nile or the Zika virus. But unlike Zika, which is transmitted from mosquitoes to humans, Lyme reaches people through tick bites after circulating through a chain of other species. The bacteria typically live in mice, chipmunks, birds, and deer in wooded areas. And these are all animals that ticks feast on.
  • 2) Lyme disease has become increasingly common
  • 3) A major reason for the uptick in Lyme incidence: global warming The Environmental Protection Agency tracks the number of Lyme cases, along with heat-related deaths and severe weather events, as an indicator of global warming.  That’s because researchers think climate change is another major driver of the trend — and they expect the situation to get much worse during the 21st century.
  • 4) 2017 is expected to be a very bad year for Lyme. There are other factors that influence how far Lyme can spread: plentiful acorn seasons. It may sound weird, but it’s another fascinating aspect of the ecology that helps Lyme proliferate — and why 2017 is shaping up to be a very bad year for the disease.
There's an Algae Bloom The Size of Mexico in The Arabian Sea Right Now, And It's Not Good – An algae bloom the size of Mexico has appeared in the Arabian Sea, thanks to a growing 'dead zone' in the Gulf of Oman. It's not the first time the build-up of green slime has appeared during the winter months, but the bloom now stretches all the way from the shores of Oman on the west, to India and Pakistan on the east, turning the waves "almost guacamole-like," according to a NASA biologist. And it's not a good sign for the local ecosystem. While these algae blooms might look pretty from space or at night – they're the same 'sea sparkles' that are responsible for bioluminescence – up close, they can have serious consequences.  Not only do they smell and look terrible, putting tourists off visiting local beaches, but these blooms can trigger the release of ammonia that poisons nearby marine life. This Mexico-sized bloom is now forming twice a year in the Arabian Sea, and NASA satellite images show that it's growing. The algae bloom is caused by Noctiluca scintillans – often called sea sparkles – which are microscopic dinoflagellates. These dinoflagellates are strange, tiny creatures that feed on plankton and suck up energy from the Sun via microscopic algae living within their cells. In a typical marine ecosystem, they make up just a small part of the food chain. But when there's a build-up of plankton, they can form massive blooms that begin to dominate the local area. And that's not great for the environment. "When the [sea sparkles'] cell breaks down, ammonia is released, and the massive bloom could become a deadly cloud," "It can change the flavour of the water and it's noxious to fish ... As creatures go, it's more of the unwanted kind. In extreme cases it can cause fish kills; it does it all over the world,"  That's a massive threat for local industry, seeing as fishing sustains around 120 million people living on the edge of the Arabian Sea. But what's really concerning is the fact that these dinoflagellate blooms weren't regularly seen until the past decade or so, and now are becoming increasingly common around the planet – particularly in the Arabian Sea.

Climate change raises new risk: Are inland bridges too low? (AP) – Climate change is often seen as posing the greatest risk to coastal areas. But the nation's inland cities face perils of their own, including more intense storms and more frequent flooding. Even as President Donald Trump has announced his intention for the U.S. to withdraw from a global climate agreement, many of the nation's river communities are responding to climate change by raising or replacing bridges that suddenly seem too low to stay safely above water. The reconstructed bridges range from multi-lane structures that handle heavy traffic loads to small rural spans traversed by country school buses and farmers shuttling between their fields. The bridges are being raised even in states such as Texas, where political leaders have long questioned whether climate change is real. In Milwaukee, bridges have been raised as part of $400 million in flood-management projects across a metro area with 28 communities. In Reno, Nevada, officials spent about $18 million to replace a bridge over the Truckee River last year and plan to replace three more after flood-danger projections were increased by up to 15 percent. No one tracks how many communities are raising bridges or replacing them with higher ones, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency says it's now routinely providing money for this purpose, although no dollar total is available. Typically, more than 1,500 bridges are reconstructed each year for an assortment of reasons. Schwab said he's sure hundreds and possibly thousands of bridge-raising projects have been completed recently or are planned. A cursory check by the AP in a handful of states found at least 20 locations where bridges have been raised or construction will begin soon. FEMA is now finalizing a rule that states that floods "are expected to be more frequent and more severe over the next century due in part to the projected effects of climate change." That could mean higher costs for a country that sustained more than $260 billion in flood damage between 1980 and 2013. 

 â€˜A once in a lifetime opportunity.’ Who made money off the Oroville Dam crisis? – The helicopters alone cost more than $100,000 a day at one point. Weeks of dredging debris ran to more than $22 million. And on the day after the massive evacuation, as the crisis was peaking, the state spent $3,902 on breakfasts and lunches for emergency workers. The fracture of Oroville Dam’s main flood-control spillway created a near-catastrophe, spawned multiple investigations and left lawmakers and locals grumbling about the state’s stewardship of the structure. One group isn’t complaining, though: the dozens of concrete and gravel contractors, trucking firms, engineering consultants and others that have been paid millions to help the state clean up the mess. “It was a tremendous opportunity for us … a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Jeff Lund of Lund Construction Co. in North Highlands, which helped excavate debris from the river channel beneath the crumpled spillway. Lund said his firm was paid about $5 million for its work at Oroville. Well over $400 million will have been spent by the time Oroville’s facilities are restored. The single biggest jackpot belongs to Kiewit Corp. of Omaha, Neb., the construction colossus that won the $275 million contract to repair the battered spillway over the next two years.  Kiewit’s big payout represents only a fraction of the financial windfall created by the Oroville crisis. Thousands of pages of invoices and receipts su
          The (Mis)application of the Western Concept of “Resilience” to Non-Western Crises: South Sudanese Women as Case Study        
This thesis involves an analysis of how the term “resilience” is mobilized and operationalized by groups and organizations that tout human rights as a main concern; I look to the relaying of South Sudanese women’s experiences to social justice workers as a case study, aiming to gain perspective from the women’s narratives of resilience. The purpose of this research is largely to critically engage with and question the resilience framework often referenced and taken for granted within modern human rights discourse. Qualitative research was conducted via interviews with eight individuals who have experience working with the South Sudanese population. Findings included five major themes: (1) the emphasis on social support and religiosity in South Sudanese culture, (2) a glaring lack of psychosocial services for traumatized refugees, (3) a trend toward pushing education for impact, (4) a leaning toward self-identifying as “survivor” among South Sudanese women, and (5) the futility of the resilience framework in non-Western contexts such as within South Sudan and the diaspora. I conclude that the resilience framework not only misses the mark when applied to non-Western contexts, such as humanitarian and human rights efforts have erroneously applied it to South Sudanese women and their experiences of conflict-related gender-based violence, but that the application of this framework in this way may even be considered to be a dangerous application.
          Hand-Over of DDR Projects in South Sudan        
The National Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) Commission of South Sudan and the UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) handed over DDR “reinsertion projects” to the Government of Eastern Equatoria State in Tirrangore.

Dancers during the hand-over ceremony.
          Hand-Over of DDR Projects in South Sudan        
The National Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) Commission of South Sudan and the UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) handed over so-called DDR “reinsertion projects” to the Government of Eastern Equatoria State in Tirrangore.

Close-up of a performer during the hand-over ceremony.
          Hand-Over of DDR Projects in South Sudan        
The National Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) Commission of South Sudan and the UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) handed over so-called DDR “reinsertion projects” to the Government of Eastern Equatoria State in Tirrangore.

Louis Lobong Lojore (centre left), Governor of Eastern Equatoria State, and William Deng Deng (centre right), Chairperson of the National DDR Commission, during the hand-over ceremony.
          Former Child Soldiers Received by South Sudan DDR Commission, Juba        
The South Sudanese army (SPLA) handed over two former child soldiers to the South Sudan Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR), in Juba, on 27 March. The two children were captured by the SPLA in Raja County on16 March from the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (SPLM-IO).
          While the World Watches        
News, day after day, of countless refugees coursing through Europe in search of succour and shelter, and of the millions more on Europe’s doorstep in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon needs no elaboration. Syria alone is reportedly responsible for up to 4 million refugees, with Iraq and Somalia accounting for a further 3 million. Hundreds of thousands more are coming from Afghanistan,Libya, Eritrea, Nigeria and so on. Alarming numbers, but no longer surprising because the media have rendered them familiar.

What is less documented and less widely-known, ignored perhaps because the repercussions have largely failed to reach the First World, is that the number of people who have lost or fled their homes is much larger. UNHCR (the United Nations High Commission for Refugees) estimates the current number of displaced people at a staggering 59.5 million, of whom ‘only’ 19.3 million are classified as refugees or asylum-seekers.[1] In official parlance, displaced people who are not refugees are known as IDPs (Internally Displaced People).

Refugees and IDPs

A refugee is someone who has left their home country because they have a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, adherence to a particular social group or political opinion and cannot obtain sanctuary in that country.[2] Drafted in the aftermath of World War II and formally adopted in 1951 at the United Nations Convention on the Status of Refugees, this definition looked back on the recent history of war and restricted the term to that experience. The idea probably did not occur to those who drafted the Geneva Convention that it might also apply to people who have been driven from their homes but lack resources to effect an escape, or have no alternative countries willing to accept them, or even know that such countries exist. If you are fleeing for your life in Darfur, no matter the distance you have traveled, or the reason for your flight, you are a refugee only after you have crossed an international border; until then you are merely an IDP.

Almost 80 per cent of the 13.9 million people displaced in 2014 as a consequence of conflict or persecution were and remain IDPs. Refugees are the concern and merit the protection of the international community - in theory if not in practice. IDPs, though they may be recognised and supported by the UNHCR, occupy a much smaller place in the conscience of the world. And as we shall see, even the UNHCR’s perspective suffers from serious limitations.

The two most widely recognised drivers of Internal Human Displacement are violence and persecution, and natural disasters.

IDPs - from Violence and Persecution

It will come as no surprise that Syria is currently reported to have the highest number of violence-related IDPs - with estimates of the number varying between 6.5 million and 7.6 million - the large numerical differences reflecting both the momentum of continuing human movement and the difficulty of collecting accurate data in conflict zones. Nor will any consumer of Western media be startled to learn that IDPs in Iraq are believed to have grown to over 3.5 million, or even that up to 1.5 million South Sudanese and one million Afghans are displaced in their own country.

What may be less well-known is that the country with the second largest number of violence-related IDPs is not in the Middle East, or North Africa, but in South America. Colombia has an estimated 6 million IDPs - victims of internal violence perpetrated both by guerilla armies and by official and unofficial government forces and militia. We hear little about them, perhaps because Colombia has never functioned as an ideological battleground between East and West or between competing religions, and is of more interest to drug traffickers and coffee traders than to oil executives.

IDPs - from Natural Disasters

According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre in Geneva, between 2008 and mid 2015, the number of people displaced by natural disasters was just under 185 million. No, that is not a misprint. These are people forced out of their homes and way of life by earthquakes, mudslides, floods, fires and drought. In 2014, the number displaced by disaster was a relatively modest 19.3 million(below the annual average), the most severely affected countries being The Philippines with 5.8 million, and China and India with roughly 3.5 million each. Major disasters tend to hit the world’s headlines, though most are also quickly forgotten. But how many of us know that nearly a million Chileans and Indonesians, 250,000 Malaysians, 200,000 Bolivians, 150,000 Brazilians and Sri Lankans, 130,000 Sudanese, and 80,000 Paraguayans were displaced last year?

Are natural disasters merely random occurrences unrelated to what humans do to the Earth? Not according to the World Bank which appears to have accepted the scientific consensus. Moreover, the number of severe events is showing a clear upward trend - notably in the frequency of severe storms and floods. If that trend continues and, despite the best efforts of environmental scientists and prominent campaigners like Al Gore and Naomi Klein, there is little reason to think it will not, then we can expect more natural disasters, and many more people left homeless and bereft by them.

IDPs - from economic development

Largely ignored both by the international media, and the international agencies, including UNHCR, economic development projects are a third and almost certainly the largest cause of human displacement and unmitigated misery on the planet. Dr Michael Cernea, former senior policy advisor to the World Bank, has probably done as much as anyone to raise the alarm. Speaking at an Oxford University conference back in 1995, Cernea told his audience that “…world-wide about ten million people annually enter the cycle of forced displacement and relocation in two "sectors" alone — namely, dam construction , and urban/transportation... Development-caused displacements….have turned out to be a much larger process than all the world 's refugee flows taken together each year.” This 10 million figure, Cernea noted, was partial because it did not include displacements from forests and reserve parks; mining and thermal power plant displacements; and many others. His catalogue of the most common ravages of development-induced displacement include landlessness, unemployment, homelessness, marginalisation, food insecurity, increased morbidity and mortality, and social disintegration; and, as he makes clear in a Brookings Institute paper published in 2014, the process has continued unabated.

Victims of large economic development projects are seldom adequately compensated or resettled. Given the environmental degradation and human misery associated with projects like tar sands exploitation in Alberta, Canada, or the Cerrejón mining operation in northern Colombia, it is hard to see how any compensation could truly be described as restitutive. In Everybody loves a good drought, journalist P. Sainath’s masterly account of the lives of India’s poor, the author writes of IDPs that have spent 45 years waiting for compensation. Even the World Bank is curiously lack-lustre when it comes to safeguarding the interests of people marginalised by Bank-financed projects, regardless of its formal commitment to do so.

Among the most damaging development projects - damaging that is to the people directly affected - are large-scale dams. Arundhati Roy, in The Greater Common Good, an essay fired by anger and indignation, offers a heartbreaking picture of how the lives of villagers in India and - notably Tribals - have been shattered by the construction of large dams. Hundreds of villages have been lost to dam-associated flooding, agricultural land as well as valuable forest areas now lie under water, social structures have fractured, villagers have sunk into poverty and despair. Roy refers in her essay to a study of 54 large dams by the Indian Institute of Public Administration which estimates the average number of people displaced by large dams at just under 45,000. India’s Central Water Commission maintains a national register of large dams, from which we learn that the country currently has 4,858 completed dams with another 313 under construction, making a total of 5,171. Using a round figure of 5,000 dams multiplied by a cautious average of 20,000 displacements per dam (rather than the IIPA estimate), we get a total of 100 million people uprooted by dam construction in India alone. “Big dams,” Roy writes, “are to a nation’s development what nuclear bombs are to its military arsenal. They are both weapons of mass destruction… emblems that mark a point in time when human intelligence has outstripped its own instinct for survival… malignant indications of civilisation turning upon itself.”

Dams are far from being the only large-scale development projects dependent on forced evictions. Mining, cattle-ranching, agro-industry, pulp and paper plants, even military firing ranges also figure in the mix of activities requiring - if not demanding - human sacrifice.

We are in an uncontrolled universe in which the wealthy, the powerful and the aggressive use the weapons most suited to the circumstance - be they bombs and tanks, or dams, mines and polluting industries - to further their objectives and thereby shatter the lives of the weak and vulnerable. We rightly deplore the plight of refugees on our doorstep; but to the wretched of the earth, those who live and die miserably elsewhere, we are generally blind or indifferent. In our efforts to impose our religion, our politics, our consumerist way of life, even our development fantasies on others, we end up ruining both them and the environment of which they are the custodians. Military imperatives and economic development are big business; and nothing, it seems, is allowed to get in their way.

[1] An asylum seeker is someone who has applied for but not yet been granted refugee status.

[2] The formal definition is slightly more elaborate.

          Pirelli’s all-black calendar: ‘Any girl should be able to have their own fairytale’        
Diversity takes centre stage as Naomi Campbell, Lupita Nyong’o, Whoopi Goldberg and Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs feature in Tim Walker and Edward Enninful’s twisted version of Alice in Wonderland

‘I chop off people’s heads – and I like it.” Naomi Campbell looks up f