Oxfam warns that modern day land rush is forcing thousands into greater poverty   

Oxfam calls for British company to investigate the forced eviction of more than 20,000 Ugandans to make way for its plantations

Oxfam today launches a major new report highlighting the growing pace of land deals brokered around the world, often to the peril of poor communities who lose their homes and livelihoods – sometimes violently – with no prior consultation, compensation or means of appeal.

In the report Land and Power, the international agency reveals preliminary research indicating as many as 227 million hectares have been sold, leased or licensed in large-scale land deals since 2001, mostly by international investors. Lack of transparency and the secrecy that surrounds land deals makes it difficult to get exact figures but to date up to 1,100 of these deals amounting to 67 million hectares have been cross checked. Half of these deals are in Africa, and cover an area nearly the size of Germany. (1)

Oxfam warns this modern day land rush follows a drive to produce enough food for people overseas, meet damaging biofuels targets or speculate on land to make an easy profit. However, many of the deals are in fact ‘land grabs’ where the rights and needs of the people living on the land are ignored, leaving them homeless and without land to grow enough food to eat and make a living.

This is likely to get worse as the increasing demand for food, the gathering pace of climate change, water scarcity and non-food crops like biofuels compete for land. Already, nearly three billion people live in areas where demand for water outstrips supply.

Land grabs: devastating vulnerable communities

Oxfam International’s Executive Director Jeremy Hobbs said: “The unprecedented pace of land deals and the increased competition for land is leaving many of the world’s poorest people worse off. In the scramble for more land, investors are ignoring the people who currently live on the land and depend on it to survive.”

Oxfam’s report profiles the devastating effect land grabs in Uganda, South Sudan, Indonesia, Honduras and Guatemala are having on vulnerable communities. The report is part of Oxfam’s GROW campaign which aims to secure a future where everyone has enough to eat. Women, who produce up to 80 per cent of food in some poor countries, are usually most vulnerable as they have weaker land rights.

In Uganda, Oxfam’s research indicates that at least 22,500 people have lost their homes and land to make way for a British timber company, the New Forests Company. Many evictees told Oxfam how they were forcibly removed and have been left destitute, without enough food or money to send their children to school. There were court orders in force which named the company but eye-witnesses say that company workers took part in some of the evictions anyway. NFC denies that it was involved in any evictions. (2)

Evicted without consultation or compensation

Christine, a farmer in her mid 40s, who lived in Kiboga district before the Uganda land grab said: “All our plantations were cut down – we lost the banana and cassava. We lost everything we had. The company’s casual laborers would attack us – they beat and threatened people. Even now they won’t let us back in to look for the things we left behind. I was threatened – they told me they were going to beat me if we didn’t leave.”

Hobbs said: “The Uganda case clearly shows how land grabs are slipping through the net of existing safeguards which are intended to ensure the protection of vulnerable people. Thousands of people are suffering because they have been evicted without meaningful consultation or compensation.

“The New Forests Company describes itself as an ethical company, adhering to international standards. It needs to investigate these claims urgently. It’s not acceptable for companies to blame governments. They must respect the needs and rights of poor communities affected by their investment.”

Prioritize existing land use rights

Oxfam is calling for investors, governments and international organizations to prioritize putting a stop to land grabbing by fixing the current policies and regulations which all too often fail to ensure that, when investors negotiate deals, local people are consulted, treated fairly, and that all relevant international standards are respected. These include the World Bank's International Finance Corporation Performance Standards and the Forest Stewardship Council’s standards.

Governments should avoid pandering to investors’ wishes, and prioritize existing land use rights – not just where legal land title or formal ownership rights are held. Governments should recognize that women have equal rights over land and ensure that all agricultural investments benefit local communities who rely on the land to survive. While governments and companies get their house in order to stop future land grabbing, there is an urgent need to remedy the damage done by existing land grabs, including in the case of the Uganda international investment.

Flawed biofuels policies

Perverse incentives such as the flawed biofuels targets, like the EU’s target of obtaining 10 per cent of transport fuels from renewable sources by 2020, should be scrapped to curb the rush on land to meet biofuel demand.

Meanwhile, the UN’s Committee on Food Security in Rome could take an important first step when it meets in Rome next month, by adopting credible pro-poor, pro-women guidelines on land tenure.

Hobbs said: “Land investment should be good news for people in poverty but the frenetic scramble for land risks putting development in reverse. We need urgent global action so that local people with relatively little do not lose everything for the benefit of a few, and to secure a future where everyone has enough to eat.”

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English
Pull quotes: 
I was threatened – they told me they were going to beat me if we didn’t leave.
Quotee's organisation: 
Farmer from Kiboga district, Uganda
Notes to editors: 
  1. This data is compiled by the Land Matrix Partnership, a coalition of academic, research and non-governmental organisations. The 227 million figure is based on information on land deals over 200 hectares from a whole range of different sources including government reports, academic research, company websites, media reports and the few contracts that are available. The coalition is currently cross checking the records of land deals it has identified.  It is calling for increased transparency among companies and governments so that the true scale of the problem can be accurately understood.
    The Land Matrix Partnership includes the International Land Coalition, the universities of Bern and Hamburg, the French research institute CIRAD, the German agency for technical cooperation, GIZ and Oxfam.
  2. The evictions took place between 2006 and 2010. One High Court order was granted on 24 August 2009 and remained valid until 18 March 2010. The other was granted on 19 June 2009 and remained in force until 2 October 2009. Both were to restrain evictions by the company.
    The New Forests Company stated that the majority of local residents had no legal right to the land, that they had left peacefully and that the process was the sole responsibility of the Ugandan National Forestry Authority.  It told Oxfam that it had brought jobs and amenities to local communities and that its activities had been approved by the Forestry Stewardship Council and International Finance Corporation.

Useful figures:

  • The global economy, which is expected to triple in size by 2050, will demand ever more scarce natural and agricultural resources
  • Palm oil has become the world’s most consumed edible oil and can be found in up to half of all packaged food and hygiene products. Production is expected to double by 2050, increasing the land area under cultivation worldwide by 24 million hectares – six times the size of the Netherlands
  • In Guatemala, eight per cent of farmers account for 78 per cent of the land in production. Of the smallholders who control the remaining land, just eight per cent are women.

Oxfam’s GROW campaign is calling for global action to fix a broken food system where 925 million people already go hungry every day. This could get worse in the face of dwindling natural resources, like land, the gathering pace of climate change and increasing food price volatility. Find out how we can help prevent this from getting worse at www.oxfam.org/grow

Contact information: 

Tricia O'Rourke, tricia.orourke@oxfaminternational.org, +44 1865 339157 or +44 7876 397915

Space: 
Space only: 
Quotee: 
Christine

          Kony 2012 Campaign Catches Eyes Of Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga   

Campaign aims to bring African militia leader Joseph Kony to justice for war crimes and for enlisting children as soldiers.
By Gil Kaufman

<P>A campaign to stop the nearly 30-year, brutal rule of African militia leader Joseph Kony became a viral sensation this week. <a href="http://kony2012.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com" target="_blank">"Kony 2012,"</a> started by the group Invisible Children, aims to make Kony's face so famous that authorities will finally be able to arrest him and try him for his crimes. </P><P> </P><P>A 30-minute <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4MnpzG5Sqc" target="_blank">documentary</a> released on Monday is one of the keys to the campaign, and as of Thursday it had gotten more than 26 million views. The video details the atrocities carried out by Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army. The campaign appears to be working, as at one point on Wednesday, Invisible Children and #stopkony were trending higher on Twitter than Peyton Manning or the new iPad. </P><P> </P><P>Since 1987, human rights officials say Kony has forcefully abducted more than 60,000 children to be soldiers in his army and reportedly raped, mutilated and killed civilians in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan and displaced more than 2 million people. The leader is wanted for committing atrocities by the International Criminal Court and is being hunted down by 100 U.S. Special Forces advisers and local troops in four Central African nations, according to the <a href="http://bit.ly/AyrDyz"><I>Associated Press.</I></a> </P><P> </P><P>Kony 2012 is an effort to capture Kony and disarm the LRA before a reported window of opportunity closes. One way it plans to do that is by encouraging users to directly message a variety of stars to make use of their Twitter ubiquity to get the word out. Among those listed on the site are: Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Angelina Jolie, Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney, Jay-Z, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Ryan Seacrest and Ellen DeGeneres, along with a number of major policymakers. </P><P> </P><P>When users click on the celebs' photos, a tweet pops up that reads: Help us end #LRA violence. Visit kony2012.com to find out why and how. @timtebow Join us for #KONY2012. </P><P> </P><P><a href="http://act.mtv.com/posts/invisible-children-video-joseph-kony/">Get More on Invisible Children at ACT.MTV.com.</a></p>

Related Artists

Source:
http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1680708/kony-campaign-justin-bieber-lady-gaga.jhtml

Hilary Swank Isla Fisher Ivana Bozilovic Ivanka Trump


          World: General Assembly Approves Appropriation of $6.8 Billion for 14 Peacekeeping Operations in 2017/18   
Source: UN General Assembly
Country: Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Lebanon, Liberia, Mali, Serbia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Western Sahara, World

GENERAL ASSEMBLY PLENARY
SEVENTY-FIRST, 89TH MEETING (AM)
GA/11927 30 JUNE 2017

Approving the appropriation of $6.80 billion for 14 peacekeeping operations for the 2017/18 fiscal period, the General Assembly today adopted 21 resolutions and one decision contained in reports from its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary). (See Press Release GA/AB/4239.)

Appropriating funds for peacekeeping operations from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018, the Assembly adopted resolutions on missions in Abyei, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Darfur, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Golan, Haiti, Kosovo, Lebanon, Liberia, Mali, South Sudan and Western Sahara.

All texts were adopted without a vote, with the exception of the resolution setting out budgetary arrangements for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which it adopted by a recorded vote of 137 in favour to 3 against (Canada, Israel, United States) with no abstentions.

The Assembly also adopted related drafts on the support account for peacekeeping operations, and financing for the account; on the triennial review of the rates and standards for reimbursement to Member States for contingent-owned equipment; and on the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy, and Regional Service Centre in Entebbe, Uganda.

As well, it adopted a resolution on special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and abuse, by which it requested the Secretary-General to immediately inform Member States concerned of allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse, and called upon Member States — including those deploying non-United Nations forces authorized by a Security Council mandate — to investigate such cases, hold perpetrators accountable and repatriate units where there was credible evidence of widespread or systemic sexual exploitation and abuse.

Also adopted was a text on the United Nations financial reports and audited financial statements on peacekeeping missions, as well as the Board of Auditors’ reports on them.

Finally, the Assembly adopted a draft decision by which it deferred, until the second part of its resumed seventy-second session, consideration of reports from the Secretary-General, and related reports from the Advisory Committee, regarding closed peacekeeping missions.

Action on Draft Resolutions

The Assembly took action on the draft resolutions contained in reports from its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), which were introduced by Committee Rapporteur Diana Lee (Singapore).

First, it adopted a resolution contained in the budget Committee’s report on financial reports and audited financial statements, and reports of the Board of Auditors (document A/71/702/Add.1), accepting the financial report and audited financial statements of United Nations peacekeeping operations for the period ending 30 June 2016. It endorsed the recommendations in the corresponding reports of the Board and the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), and asked the Secretary-General to ensure their full implementation. It went on to ask the Secretary-General to indicate an expected time frame for implementation, and to give, in his next report, a full explanation for delays in implementation of the Board’s outstanding recommendations, the root causes of recurring issues and measures to be taken.

It then turned to the report on administrative and budgetary aspects of financing peacekeeping operations (document A/71/708/Add.1), adopting five resolutions contained therein.

First, it adopted resolution I on the financing of the Regional Service Centre in Entebbe, Uganda, by which it approved the amount of $33 million for the maintenance of the Centre for the period 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018.

Then it adopted resolution II on the financing of the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy, by which the Assembly would approve the cost estimates for the Base in the amount of $81 million for the period 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018.

Next, it adopted resolution III on the support account for peacekeeping operations. By its terms, the Assembly decided to approve the support account requirements of $325.80 million for the period 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018, including $25.04 million for the enterprise resource planning project, $821,500 for information and systems security and $868,500 for the global service delivery model. It also approved the requirement of 1,357 continuing and 3 new temporary posts, as well as the abolishment, redeployment, reassignment and reclassification of posts, as set out in annex I of the text; and 77 continuing and 3 new general temporary assistance positions and 59 person-months, as set out in annex II, as well as related post and non-post requirements.

The Assembly went on to adopt resolution IV on the triennial review of the rates and standards for reimbursement to Member States for contingent-owned equipment. By doing so, it took note of the report of the 2017 Working Group on Contingent-Owned Equipment and the report of the Secretary-General. It also endorsed the conclusions and recommendations contained in the report of the ACABQ.

Finally, it adopted resolution V on special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. By its terms, the Assembly welcomed the Secretary-General’s determination to fully implement the United Nations policy of zero tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse, as well as his determination to fully enforce the newly promulgated policy of whistle-blower protection. It requested that he immediately inform Member States concerned of allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse, and called upon Member States — including those deploying non-United Nations forces authorized by a Security Council mandate — to investigate such cases, hold perpetrators accountable and repatriate units where there was credible evidence of widespread or systemic sexual exploitation and abuse.

Turning to reports on peacekeeping missions, the Assembly first adopted a text on financing of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) (document A/71/945), by which it decided to appropriate to the Special Account for UNISFA the amount of $285.12 million for the period 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018, including $266.70 million for the maintenance of the Force, $13.49 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations, $3.38 million for the United Nations Logistics Base and $1.56 million for the Regional Service Centre.

Turning to a report on financing of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) (document A/71/946), the Assembly decided to appropriate to the Special Account for the Mission $943.77 million from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018, including $882.80 million for the maintenance of the Mission, $44.65 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations, $11.16 million for the United Nations Logistics Base and $5.16 million for the Regional Service Centre.

The Assembly then adopted a text on financing of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) (document A/71/715/Add.1). By its terms, the Assembly, recalling Security Council resolution 2284 (2016) extending the mission mandate for a final period until 30 June 2017, decided that, for Member States that had fulfilled their financial obligations to the Operation, shall be credited with their respective share of $65.22 million, comprising the unencumbered balance of $48.68 million and $16.54 million of other revenue in respect of the financial period ending 30 June 2016.

It then adopted a resolution on financing of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) (document A/71/947). By its terms, it decided to appropriate to the Special Account for UNFICYP $57.41 million for the period 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018, inclusive of $54.00 million for the maintenance of the Force, $2.73 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $682,900 for the United Nations Logistics Base.

Next, it adopted a report on financing of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) (document A/71/948), appropriating to the Special Account for MONUSCO $1.22 billion for the period 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018, inclusive of $1.14 billion for the maintenance of the Mission, $57.74 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations, $14.44 million for the United Nations Logistics Base and $6.67 million for the Regional Service Centre.

The Assembly then adopted a resolution contained in the Committee’s report on financing of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) (document A/71/933) by which it decided to appropriate to the Special Account for that Mission $5.69 million for the period 1 July 2017 to 31 December 2017, including $4.55 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $1.14 million for the United Nations Logistics Base.

Next, the Assembly adopted a resolution on financing of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) (document A/71/950), by which it decided to appropriate to the Special Account for UNMIK $40.29 million for the period 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018, including $37.90 million for the maintenance of the Mission, $1.92 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $479,200 for the United Nations Logistics Base.

It then adopted a resolution on financing of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) (document A/71/951). By its terms, it appropriated to the Special Account for UNMIL $116.95 million for the period 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018, including $110.00 million for the maintenance of the Mission, $5.56 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $1.91 million for the United Nations Logistics Base.

The Assembly also adopted a resolution on financing of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) (document A/71/952), by which it decided to appropriate to the Special Account for MINUSMA $1.12 billion for the period 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018, including $1.05 billion for the maintenance of the Mission, $53.00 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations, $13.25 million for the United Nations Logistics Base and $6.12 million for the Regional Service Centre.

Under its agenda item on financing of the United Nations peacekeeping forces in the Middle East, the Assembly took action on resolutions contained in two reports.

It first adopted a draft on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) (document A/71/953), by which it decided to appropriate to the Special Account for the Force the amount of $61.30 million for the period 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018, including $57.65 million for the maintenance of UNDOF, $2.92 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $729,100 for the United Nations Logistics Base.

The representative of Syria said his delegation had joined consensus on the resolutions on United Nations peacekeeping forces in the Middle East. However, it believed that it was Israel’s responsibility to pay for those Missions.

The Assembly then turned to a resolution contained in the report on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) (document A/71/954).

By a recorded vote of 85 in favour to 3 against (Canada, Israel, United States) with 53 abstentions, the Assembly adopted preambular paragraph 4 and operative paragraphs 4, 5 and 13.

Taking action on the draft resolution as a whole, the Assembly adopted it by a recorded vote of 137 in favour to 3 against (Canada, Israel, United States) with no abstentions.

By its terms, the Assembly decided to appropriate to the Special Account for UNIFIL the amount of $513.53 million, for the period from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018, inclusive of $483.00 million for the maintenance of the Force, $24.43 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $6.11 million for the United Nations Logistics Base.

Also by the draft, the Assembly expressed deep concern that Israel had not complied with previous resolutions on UNIFIL, and requested that the Secretary-General take the measures necessary to ensure the full implementation of their relevant paragraphs.

The Assembly then adopted a resolution on financing of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) (document A/71/955), by which it decided to appropriate to the Special Account for UNMISS $1.14 billion for the period from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018, including $1.07 billion for the maintenance of the Mission, $54.16 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $13.54 million for the United Nations Logistics Base and $6.26 million for the Regional Service Centre.

The Assembly then adopted the resolution in the report on financing of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) (document A/71/956), by which it decided to appropriate to the Special Account for MINURSO $55.59 million for the period 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018, including $52.00 million for the maintenance of the Mission, $2.63 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations, $657,600 for the United Nations Logistics Base and $303,800 for the Regional Service Centre.

It then adopted a resolution on financing of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) (document A/71/957), by which it appropriated to the Special Account for UNAMID $33.56 million for the period of 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018, including $24.58 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations and $6.15 million for the United Nations Logistics Base and $2.84 million for the Regional Service Centre.

Taking up the report on financing of the activities arising from Security Council resolution 1863 (2009) (document A/71/958), the Assembly decided to appropriate to the Special Account for the United Nations Support Office for the African Union Mission in Somalia (UNSOA) $622.19 million for the period 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018, including $582.00 million for the maintenance of the Office, $29.43 million for the support account for peacekeeping operations, $7.36 million for the United Nations Logistics Base and $3.40 million for the Regional Service Centre.

Finally, acting on the Committee’s report on review of the efficiency of the administration and financial functioning of the United Nations (document A/71/717/Add.2), the Assembly deferred until the second part of its resumed seventy-second session consideration of the reports of the Secretary-General and the ACABQ on closed peacekeeping missions.


          Kenya: WFP Kenya — Refugee Resource Update June 2017   
Source: World Food Programme
Country: Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan

Highlights

Since April, WFP has been providing full food assistance to refugees in Dadaab, Kakuma and Kalobeyei. This return to 100 percent food assistance was gratefully received by refugees.

However, available funding will only allow WFP to continue to provide full food assistance until the end of August. From September, if new resources are not made available by donors, WFP will be compelled to stop its cash transfers to refugees. This will have a dramatic impact, particularly on refugees in Kalobeyei as their food assistance is provided in the form of cash transfers.

New funds are also required to continue to assist refugees in Kakuma and Dadaab with in-kind food from November onwards.

Overall, WFP requires US$9.4 million to ensure full food assistance to refugees, of which US$6.6 million is required for cash transfers.

New contributions for both food and cash transfers will need to be received during July for assistance to be continued beyond September.

WFP gratefully thanks European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) for the US$8.6 million donation to fund cash transfers.

Nutrition activities to prevent moderate acute malnutrition in refugees currently reach 48,000 children and pregnant and breastfeeding women monthly. Treatment of moderate acute malnutrition in refugees covers 9,000 women and children per month. These activities are fully funded until the end of October.


          World: Global Weather Hazards Summary, June 30 - July 6, 2017   
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
Country: Belize, Benin, Burkina Faso, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, India, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Senegal, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tajikistan, Togo, Uganda, World

Heavy rainfall continues over Central America

Africa Weather Hazards

  1. Below-average rainfall since mid-May has led to abnormal dryness across eastern Uganda and southwestern Kenya. Moisture deficits are likely to negatively impact cropping and Pastoral activities.

          As South Sudan's civil war rages, cholera takes deadly toll   

Clasping frail arms around his stomach, Machar Weituor doubles over in pain as he slowly positions himself over the hole in his bed. Too feeble to make it to the toilet, the 40-year-old groans faintly as he defecates into a bucket.


          World: Missing Out on Small is Beautiful: The EU’s failure to deliver on policy commitments to support smallholder agriculture in developing countries (Briefing paper)   
Source: Oxfam
Country: Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, World, Yemen

With the world on the brink of an unprecedented four famines, donor countries must urgently step up efforts to tackle the structural causes of hunger and poverty. Food security and sustainable agriculture are among the European Union’s key priorities for development cooperation. The EU is committed to longterm solutions, including empowering smallholders, in particular women, and supporting environmentally sustainable approaches in agriculture. In practice, however, its development aid to the agricultural sector does not live up to its commitments. An Oxfam analysis of more than 7,500 EU-funded projects reveals a significant lack of transparency in reporting, casting doubt on the accountability of the EU’s aid. Based on the reported data, only a small portion of the EU’s agricultural development aid complies with the aim of targeting small-scale producers and women. Funding is also biased towards industrial and export crops and countries of strategic interest, at the expense of smallholders and countries most in need.

1 INTRODUCTION

In 2017, less than 10 years after the 2007–08 food price crisis, the world stands on the brink of an unprecedented four famines. Famine has already been declared in South Sudan, while Nigeria, Yemen and Somalia are also facing the risk of mass starvation.

These are just four of the dozens of countries confronting acute and widespread food insecurity.1 Globally, an estimated 795 million people – one in nine worldwide – are still going hungry.2 The reasons for this are many, including high food prices, low agricultural productivity, abnormal weather patterns and conflict. Yet the scale of food insecurity points to deeper problems in the global food system that have never been adequately tackled. Social and economic exclusion, structural poverty, lack of access to productive resources such as land, and imbalances in power are consigning millions of people to hunger.

There is significant agreement on the need for greater commitment to address the longterm structural causes of food insecurity – and solutions are known. Empowering smallholders and supporting their efficient and environmentally sustainable approaches to agriculture is a proven long-term solution to reducing hunger and poverty and tackling power imbalances and inequalities. At least 475 million small-scale farms worldwide support around two billion people, and investing in the sector is known to have immense potential for reducing poverty. Women play a potentially transformative role in agricultural development, but they continue to face social, cultural and economic constraints that limit their potential in the sector.

European Union policy makers are aware of both the challenges and the solutions. The role of agriculture was recognized as being crucial for poverty reduction in the 2005 European Consensus on Development. Responding to some of the most severe global food price crises from 2007 onwards, the EU launched the €1bn Food Facility, with a specific focus on small-scale producers, in 2009 and the Food Security Policy Framework (FSPF) in 2010. Through the FSPF, the EU committed to a rights-based approach to support small-scale food producers, gender mainstreaming and ecologically sustainable approaches. Since then, it has made further policy commitments to reinforce priorities established in 2010; an Implementation Plan has been produced, and the European Commission has compiled consolidated EU-wide biennial progress reports since 2014. The new European Consensus on Development, adopted in May 2017, reiterates the central importance of smallholder farmers.

However, Oxfam’s analysis of the EU’s official development assistance (ODA) for agriculture reveals that its investments do not match its policy priorities. On average, the EU’s financial support for the three priority areas of smallholders, gender equality in agriculture and ecological sustainability is strikingly low. An analysis of preimplementation project data shows that less than one-quarter of EU aid for agriculture explicitly targets small-scale producers. Only 2–3 percent of EU funding promotes gender equality in agriculture, while ecological sustainability is largely missed out in planning documents altogether. Furthermore, with the exception of just one year, EU ODA has consistently supported industrial and export crops with significantly higher budgets than food crops.

Finally, Oxfam’s analysis of EU development funding for agriculture suggests that ODA is being instrumentalized to support EU foreign policy goals instead of responding to the actual needs of the most marginalized people. There is a clear bias towards supporting potential candidates for EU membership and the European neighbourhood regions, to the detriment of poorer regions elsewhere. For instance, the EU spends 3.6 times as much agricultural development aid in Europe as in sub-Sahara Africa.


          Somalia: WFP VAM Food Security Analysis - East Africa: The 2017 Season - A Humanitarian Crisis Looms   
Source: World Food Programme
Country: Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Horn of Africa region is again under drier than average conditions after experiencing a severe drought during the last growing season of Oct-Dec 2016.

  • Severe rainfall deficits are observed across Somalia, Kenya and SE Ethiopia, leading to delayed starts to the growing season, poor vegetation cover and low water resources. Significant impacts on crop production and pasture development are now very likely.

  • The situation looks increasingly similar to the record droughts of 2010-2011 and potentially worse in coastal Kenya. Somalia, currently at risk of famine, will continue to experience further deterioration.

  • Drier than average conditions in place since mid-2016 are continuing to affect large areas across East Africa including NE Uganda (Karamoja), SW Ethiopia and eastern South Sudan.

  • The region as a whole badly needs widespread above average rains throughout May and beyond to avoid significant negative impacts at an even greater scale.


          Somalia: WFP VAM Food Security Analysis - East Africa: The 2017 Season - Crisis Rather Than Disaster   
Source: World Food Programme
Country: Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Despite improved rains since late April, the delayed start of the season and severe early dryness will result in poor crop production, degraded pasture and low water availability for human and livestock consumption.

  • The food security situation of the extremely vulnerable households is expected to further deteriorate. Pastoralists in central Somalia, SE Ethiopia and western Kenya are of particular concern.

  • Somalia, Kenya and SE Ethiopia have now endured three consecutive droughts, including one of the most severe on record in Oct-Dec 2016.

  • Central South Sudan, Sudan, NW Ethiopia and Eritrea have experienced abundant rainfall resulting in robust early vegetation growth and early start of the growing season.


          The Counties: South Sudan boy kills Kenyan bishop over loud prayers   
Bishop Mwendwa leaves behind a widow and two children.
          Mausi Segun Appointed Africa Division Executive Director   

(New York) – Human Rights Watch announced today the appointment of Mausi Segun as executive director of the Africa division, effective July 1, 2017.

Segun has worked at Human Rights Watch since 2013 as the senior researcher for Nigeria. During that time, she conducted many field investigations and wrote numerous reports and articles. The topics include violence in north-central Nigeria, killings by state security forces, muzzling of the news media, Boko Haram's abduction of girls and women, and abuses by both sides in the Boko Haram conflict.

Segun has also been a global representative for Human Rights Watch, presenting, analyzing, and advocating for compliance with international human rights and humanitarian law. She has written opinion articles for the New York Times, CNN, Al Jazeera, and other media outlets on conflict-related abuses, religious freedom, women’s and children’s rights, and freedom of expression, among other topics. Prior to Human Rights Watch, Segun worked with the Nigerian government in several capacities, most recently as assistant director and zonal coordinator at the National Human Rights Commission.

“Mausi Segun brings a rich and varied background to the position of Africa division executive director,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “Mausi’s expertise and understanding of the complexity of human rights issues in Africa comes at a time of considerable turmoil on the continent.”

The Africa division at Human Rights Watch works to advance human rights throughout the African sub-region and carries out work that includes investigations, reporting, advocacy, and media outreach. The division’s 18 staff members cover over 30 countries on a wide range of human rights abuses, most recently conflict related-abuses in the Sahel, the recruitment and use of child soldiers in South Sudan, police killings and enforced disappearances in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the impact of climate change on the livelihoods of indigenous people in Ethiopia and Kenya.

Human Rights Watch is a nongovernmental organization, established in 1978, that monitors, reports, and advocates on human rights issues in more than 90 countries around the world.


          The Canadian who helped conquer 150,000 sq. km for King Léopold II   
Sub-Title: 
Reflections on Canada’s 150th anniversary are incomplete without this dark chapter of their history

Canada’s 150th anniversary offers a unique opportunity to shed light on some darker corners of the country’s history. One of the dustier chapters is our contribution to one of the most barbarous regimes of the last century and half.

In a bid to extract rubber and other commodities from his personal colony, Belgian King Léopold II instituted a brutal system of forced labour in the late 1800s. Individuals and communities were given rubber collection quotas that were both hard to fulfill and punishable by death. To prove they killed someone who failed to fulfill a quota soldiers from the Force Publique, the colonial police, were required to provide a severed hand. With Force Publique officers paid partly based on the number collected, severed hands became a sort of currency in the colony and baskets of hands the symbol of the Congo Free State.

Between 1891 and 1908 millions died from direct violence, as well as the starvation and disease, caused by Leopold II’s terror. A quarter of the population may have died during Leopold’s reign, which sparked a significant international solidarity movement that forced the Belgian government to intervene and buy the colony.

Halifax’s William Grant Stairs played an important part in two expeditions that expanded Leopold II’s immensely profitable Congolese venture. The Royal Military College of Canada trained soldier was one of 10 white officers in the first-ever European expedition to cross the interior of the continent and subsequently Stairs led an expedition that added 150,000 square kilometres to Leopold’s colony.

In 1887 Stairs joined the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition, which was ostensibly designed to “rescue” the British-backed governor of Equatoria, the southern part of today’s South Sudan. Scottish merchant William MacKinnon asked famed American ‘explorer’ Henry Morton Stanley to lead a relief effort. At the time of the expedition Léopold II employed Stanley, who had been helping the king carve out the ‘Congo Free State’. Seeing an opportunity to add to his colony, Leopold wanted Stanley to take a circuitous route all the way around South Africa, up the Congo River and across the interior of the continent.

One of ten whites, Stairs quickly became second-in-command of the three-year expedition. Read from a humanistic or internationalist perspective, the RMC graduate’s diary of the disastrous expedition is incredibly damning. Or, as Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate George Elliott Clarke put it, “Stairs’ account of his atrocities establishes that even Canadians, blinded by racism, can become swashbuckling mass murderers.”

Stairs’ extensive diary, which he asked to be published upon his and Stanley’s death, makes it clear that locals regularly opposed the mission. One passage notes, “the natives made a tremendous noise all night and canoes came close to us, the natives yelling frantically for us to go away” while another entry explains, “the natives destroyed their food rather than let it fall into the hands of the invaders.”

Stairs repeatedly admits to “ransacking the place”. A December 11, 1887 diary entry notes: “Out again at the natives, burned more houses and cut down more bananas; this time we went further up the valley and devastated the country there. In the afternoon [white officer, A. J. Mounteney] Jephson and I went up to some high hills at the back of the camp and burnt all we could see, driving off a lot of natives like so much game. I managed to capture some six goats and yesterday I also got six, which we gave to the men. The natives now must be pretty sick of having their property destroyed in the way we are doing, but it serves them right as they were the aggressors and after taking our cloth, fired on us.”

On a number of occasions the expedition displayed mutilated bodies or severed heads as a “warning” to the locals. Stairs notes, “I often wonder what English people would say if they knew of the way in which we go for these natives; friendship we don’t want as then we should get very little meat and probably have to pay for the bananas. Every male native capable of using the bow is shot. This, of course, we must do. All the children and women are taken as slaves by our men to do work in the camps.”

Stairs led numerous raiding parties to gather “carriers”, which were slaves in all but name. According to The Last Expedition, “[the mission] routinely captured natives, either to be ransomed for food, to get information, or simply to be used as guides for a few days.”

To cross the continent the expedition relied on its superior firepower, which included the newly created 600-bullet-per-minute Maxim gun. Stairs describes one battle, stating that his men were “ready to land and my Maxim ready to murder them if they should dare to attack us.” On another day the firearm aficionado explained, “I cleaned the Maxim gun up thoroughly and fired some 20 or 30 rounds at some howling natives on the opposite bank.” Twenty months into the mission Stairs coyly admits “by what means have we traveled over 730 miles of country from the Congo to the lake? Why by rifle alone, by shooting and pillaging.”

Beyond the immediate death and destruction, the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition opened new areas of the African interior to Arab slave traders and it is thought to be the source of a sleeping sickness epidemic that ravaged the region. The expedition was also devastating for its participants. With little food and much abuse from the white officers, only 253 of the 695 African porters and soldiers who started the mission survived. Additionally, hundreds of other Africans who became part of the expedition at later stages died as well.

There are disturbing claims that some white officers took sex slaves and in one alarming instance even paid to have an 11-year-old girl cooked and eaten. This story scandalized the British public.

For his part, Stairs became almost pathologically inhumane. His September 28, 1887 diary entry notes: “It was most interesting, lying in the bush and watching the natives quietly at their days work; some women were pounding the bark of trees preparatory to making the coarse native cloth used all along this part of the river, others were making banana flower by pounding up dried bananas, men we could see building huts and engaged at other such work, boys and girls running about, singing, crying, others playing on a small instrument common all over Africa, a series of wooden strips, bent over a bridge and twanged with the thumb and forefinger. All was as it was every day until our discharge of bullets, when the usual uproar of screaming of women took place.”

Even with some criticizing the expedition in Britain, Stairs’ efforts were celebrated in Canada. An honouring committee established by the mayor of Halifax decided to give him a sword made in London of Nova Scotia steel and the city organized a reception attended by the Lieutenant-Governor with a military band playing “Here the Conquering Hero Comes.”

Within two years of the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition Stairs helped King Leopold II conquer the resource-rich Katanga region of the Congo. Suggested to Leopold by British investors and having already impressed Stanley with his brutality, Stairs headed up a heavily armed mission that swelled to 2,000.

The goal of the expedition was to extend Leopold’s authority over the Katanga region and to get a piece of the copper, ivory and gold trade. Stairs’ specific objective was to get Msiri, the ruler of the region, “to submit to the authorities of the Congo Free State, either by persuasion or by force.” In his diary Stairs says more or less as much, writing that his goals were “above all, to be successful with regard to Msiri ... to discover mines in Katanga that can be exploited ... to make some useful geographic discoveries.” Investigating the area’s suitability for European settlement and for raising domestic animals were other aims of the mission.

As leader of the mission Stairs prepared a daily journal for the Compagnie du Katanga. It details the terrain, resources and inhabitants along the way as well as other information that could assist in exploiting the region. It also explains his personal motivations for taking on the task despite spotty health. “I wasn’t happy [garrisoned with the Royal Engineers in England] in the real sense of the word. I felt my life passing without my doing anything worthwhile. Now I am freely making my way over the coastal plain with more than 300 men under my orders. My least word is law and I am truly the master.” Later, he describes his growing force and power. “I have thus, under my orders, 1350 men — quite a little army.”

Stairs admitted to using slaves even though Leopold’s mission to the Congo was justified as a humanistic endeavour to stop the Arab slave trade. He wrote about how “the anti-slavery society will try and jump upon me for employing slaves as they seem to think I am doing… however, I don’t fancy these will disturb me to a great extent.” The RMC graduate also regularly severed hands and reportedly collected the head of an enemy.

The expedition accomplished its principal objective. Stairs had Msiri killed and threatened Msiri’s brothers with the same fate unless they accepted Leopold as sovereign. After securing their submission Stairs divided the kingdom between Msiri’s adopted son and brothers.

Stairs used a series of racist rationalizations to justify conquering Katanga. He describes the population as “unfortunate blacks who, very often, are incapable of managing their own affairs” and asked in the introduction of his diary: “Have we the right to take possession of this vast country, take it out of the hands of its local chiefs and to make it serve the realization of our goals? … To this question, I shall reply positively, yes. What value would it have [the land he was trying to conquer] in the hands of blacks, who, in their natural state, are far more cruel to one another than the worst Arabs or the wickedest whites.”

At another point Stairs cites another standard colonial justification: “Only rarely do the natives think of improving their lot — that’s the great weakness among the Africans. Their fathers’ ways are theirs and their own customs will be those of their sons and grandsons.”

While Stairs died in the Congo his exploits were lauded in Ottawa when Senator W.J. Macdonald sought to move “a parliamentary resolution expressing satisfaction for Stairs’ manly conduct.” There’s a Stairs Street in Halifax and two brass plaques honour him at the RMC (one for Stairs alone and another dedicated to him and two others). The main plaque reads: “William Grant Stairs, Captain the Welsh Regiment. Born at Halifax Nova Scotia 1 July 1863. Lieutenant Royal Engineers 1885-91. Served on the staff of the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition 1887 under the leadership of H.M. Stanley and exhibited great courage and devotion to duty. Died of fever on the 9 June 1892 at Chinde on the Zambesi whilst in command of the Katanga Expedition sent out by the King of the Belgians.” Another plaque was erected for Stairs (and two others) at St. George Cathedral in Kingston, Ontario. And a few hundred kilometers to the southwest “Stair’s Island” was named in his honour in Parry Sound.

Stairs was one of hundreds of Canadians who helped conquer different parts of Africa in the late 1800s. Accounts of Canada’s first 150 years are incomplete without this chapter in our history.

* YVES ENGLER author of, Canada in Africa: 300 years of aid and exploitation.

* 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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Issue Number: 
Article Image Caption | Source: 
Wiki

          Africa: AU Summit 29 - Why Are Some Crises Not On the Agenda?   
[ISS] While the situations in South Sudan, Somalia and the Lake Chad Basin dominate the agenda of the African Union (AU), other crises seem to have been forgotten by the AU. In fact, no one seems willing to label them as such.
          By 2100, Refugees Would Be the Most Populous Country on Earth   
Poverty and deadly wars are the major drivers of displacement.

The UN Refugee Agency has announced the new figures for the world’s displaced: 65.9 million. That means that 65.9 million human beings live as refugees, asylum seekers or as internally displaced people. If the refugees formed a country, it would be the 21st largest state in the world, just after Thailand (68.2 million) and just ahead of the United Kingdom (65.5 million). But unlike these other states, refugees have few political rights and no real representation in the institutions of the world.

The head of the UN Refugee Agency, Filippo Grandi, recently said that most of the displacement comes as a result of war. "The world seems to have become unable to make peace," Grandi said. "So you see old conflicts that continue to linger, and new conflicts erupting, and both produce displacement. Forced displacement is a symbol of wars that never end."

Few continents are immune from the harsh reality of war. But the epicenter of war and displacement is along the axis of the Western-driven global war on terror and resource wars. The line of displacement runs from Afghanistan to South Sudan with Syria in between. Eyes are on Syria, where the war remains hot and the tensions over escalation intensify daily. But there is as deadly a civil war in South Sudan, driven in large part by a ferocious desire to control the country’s oil. Last year, 340,000 people fled South Sudan for refugee camps in neighboring Uganda. This is a larger displacement than from Syria.

Poverty is a major driver of displacement. It is what moves hundreds of thousands of people to try and cross the Sahara Desert and then the Mediterranean Sea for European pastures. But most who try this journey meet a deadly fate. Both the Sahara and the Mediterranean are dangerous. This week, the UN’s International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Niger rescued 600 migrants from the Sahara, although 52 did not survive.

A 22-year-old woman from Nigeria was among those rescued. She was on a pick-up truck with 50 people. They left Agadez for Libya. ‘We were in the desert for ten days,’ she says. "After five days, the driver abandoned us. He left us with all of our belongings, saying he was going to pick us up in a couple of hours. But he never did." Forty-four of the migrants died. The six who remained struggled to safety. ‘We had to drink our own pee to survive,’ she said.

Getting to Libya is hard enough. But being in Libya is perilous. Violence against vulnerable migrants inside Libya continues to occur. The IOM reports the presence in Libya of ‘slave markets.’ Migrants who make it across the Sahara into Libya have told investigators that they find themselves in these slave markets where they are bought to be taken to private prisons and put to work or else sold back to their families if they can raise the high ransom payments. UNICEF reports incidents of rape and violence against women and children in these private prisons. One 15-year-old boy said of his time in a private prison, "Here they treat us like chickens. They beat us, they do not give us good water and good food. They harass us. So many people are dying here, dying from disease, freezing to death."

Danger lurks on the sea as well. This year already IOM reports least 2,108 deaths in the sea between Libya and Italy. This is the fourth year in a row that IOM has counted over 2,000 deaths by mid-year. Over the past five years, this averages out to about 10 deaths a day. Libya, broken by NATO’s war in 2011, remains a gateway for the vulnerable from various parts of Africa, countries damaged by IMF policies and by warfare. There is no expectation that the numbers of those on the march will decrease.

In a recent paper in The Lancet (June 2017), Paul Spiegel, formerly of the UN Refugee Agency suggests that the "humanitarian system was not designed to address the types of conflicts that are happening at present." With over 65 million people displaced, the various institutions of the UN and of the NGO world are simply not capable of managing the crisis.

"It is not simply overstretched," Spiegel wrote of the humanitarian system, "it is no longer fit for purpose."

These are shattering words. One problem Spiegel identifies is the assumption that refugee flows are temporary, since wars will end at some point. What happens when wars and occupations are permanent? People either have to live for generations in refugee camps or they will seek, through dangerous passages, flight to the West. He gives the example of Iran, which absorbed over a million Afghan refugees without using the camp strategy. They simply allowed the Afghans into Iranian society and absorbed them by putting money into their various social schemes (such as education and health). Spiegel also points out that refugees must be part of the designing the process for humanitarian aid. These are good suggestions, but they are not going to be possible with the limited funds available for refugees and with the crisis level of activity that detains the humanitarian agencies.

Spiegel does not deal with one of the great problems for humanitarianism: the persistence of war and the theory that more war—or the current euphemism, security—is the answer to humanitarian crises. This January, over 1,000 people tried to scale the large barrier that divides Morocco from the Spanish enclave of Ceuta. Looking at that barrier, one is reminded of the idea that walls will somehow prevent migration, a view driven by President Donald Trump. Violence met the migrants, a mirror of the violence that was visited among migrants along the spinal cord of Eastern Europe last year. Walls, police forces and military interventions are all seductive to an imagination that forgets why people migrate and that they are human beings on the run with few other options. There is a view that security barriers and security forces will raise the price of migrant and deter future migrants. This is a silly illusion. Migration is dangerous already. That has not stopped anyone. More humane thinking is necessary.

It is important therefore that the UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed told a meeting on the Sahel on June 28 that the world leaders need to "avoid a disproportionate emphasis on security" when dealing with the multiple crises in the Sahara region and north of it. "No purely military solution" can work against transnational organized crime, violent extremism and terrorism, nor against poverty and hopelessness. Underlying causes are not being addressed, and indeed the surface reactions—to bomb more—only create more problems, not less.

In the July issue of Land Use Policy, professors Charles Geisler and Ben Currens estimate that by 2100 there will be 2 billion refugees as a result of climate change. These numbers are staggering. They are an inevitable future. By then, refugees will be the largest country on earth—nomads, seeking shelter from destruction of climate and capitalism, from rising seas and wars of greed.

 

Related Stories


          Does the aid industry have a sexual violence problem?   

In July, Megan Nobert publicly told her story of being drugged and raped by a fellow aid worker on a UN base in South Sudan.

Her case ignited discussion about the extent of sexual violence experienced by aid workers in the field, prompting conferences within the sector, online support platforms for those affected, and new research on the subject. 


          South Sudan in Focus - June 30, 2017   
Fighting breaks out in Morobo County despite the signing of a controversial peace agreement between Yei River State authorities and a breakaway faction of the SPLA-IO; South Sudan’s government may withhold permission for aid workers to deliver assistance to areas controlled by rebels; and the European Union donates twenty million euros to encourage South Sudanese teachers to continue their work during the country’s economic crisis.
          BREAKING: As Nwankwo bows out, FG appoints Oniha as DMO chief   

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday approved the appointment of Mrs. Patience Oniha as the new Director-General of Debt Management Office (DMO). The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun announced the appointment in Abuja.

Oniha, from Edo State, takes over from the former Director General, Dr. Abraham Nwankwo who retired after serving for two terms of five years each. The handover formalities took place in a brief ceremony at the DMO office in Abuja.

Oniha retired as a director in the agency, served in the Efficiency Unit of the Ministry of Finance before her recent appointment as DMO Chief Executive.

The new DG contributed greatly to the success DMO achieved in the last 10 years.

During that period, DMO scored a number of firsts in its operational efforts to manage the country’s debt profile. These include the establishment of 37 sub-national Debt Management Departments for the 36 states and the FCT, culminating in the construction of the first-ever comprehensive and areliable Domestic Debt Database for all the states and the FCT in 2012; putting in place Primary Dealing-Market Making (PDMM) system for the FGN Bonds, enabling two-way quotes in the trading of FGN Bonds and, therefore, the introduction of a vibrant and liquid Secondary Market for FGN Bonds; listing of FGN Bonds on the Nigerian Stock Exchange; inclusion of Nigeria's Sovereign Bond in Global Market Indices, the JP Morgan Index and the Barclays Capital Index; issuing of Nigeria's Eurobond in the International Capital Market and its listing and trading on the London Stock Exchange; issuing of Nigeria's Sovereign Retail Bonds, the FGN Savings Bond and its listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and on the FMDQ OTC Exchange.

Others are issuing of Nigeria's Diaspora Bond and the first-ever registration of Nigeria to access the Unites States financial market under the stringent U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rules and regulations; designing and implementing Nigeria's National Debt Management Framework; Introducing the soon to be launched first-ever Nigeria's Sovereign Non-Interest Bearing Bond: the Sukuk as well as exporting of Public Debt Management services through capacity-building support to other African countries, including the Sudan, Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Kenya and Uganda.

Mrs Oniha is expected to consolidate on these achievements.

The post BREAKING: As Nwankwo bows out, FG appoints Oniha as DMO chief appeared first on TheIcon.


          Financial Advisor at Britam   
Britam is a leading diversified financial services group, listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange. The group has interests across the Eastern and Southern Africa region, with operations in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan, Mozambique and Malawi. The group offers a wide range of financial products and services in Insurance, Asset management, Banking and Property. Our Mission is to provide outstanding financial services to our customers. Our Vision is to be the most trusted financial service partner. We aim to provide our clients, with an unmatched offering, ensuring first class solutions that help secure the future.
          Improved Neonatal Mortality at a District Hospital in Aweil, South Sudan   
Abstract
Neonatal deaths comprise a growing proportion of global under-five mortality. However, data from the highest-burden areas is sparse. This descriptive retrospective study analyses the outcomes of all infants exiting the Médecins sans Frontières-managed neonatal unit in Aweil Hospital, rural South Sudan from 2011 to 2014. A total of 4268 patients were treated over 4 years, with annual admissions increasing from 687 to 1494. Overall mortality was 13.5% (n = 576), declining from 18.7% to 11.1% (p for trend <0.001). Newborns weighing <2500 g were at significantly increased mortality risk compared with babies ≥2500 g (odds ratio = 2.27, 95% confidence interval = 1.9–2.71, p < 0.001). Leading causes of death included sepsis (49.7%), tetanus (15.8%), respiratory distress (12.8%) and asphyxia (9.2%). Tetanus had the highest case fatality rate (49.7%), followed by perinatal asphyxia (26.5%), respiratory distress (20.4%) and neonatal sepsis (10.5%). Despite increasing admissions, overall mortality declined, indicating that survival of these especially vulnerable infants can be improved even in a basic-level district hospital programme.

          As South Sudan's civil war rages, cholera takes deadly toll   

Clasping frail arms around his stomach, Machar Weituor doubles over in pain as he slowly positions himself over the hole in his bed. Too feeble to make it to the toilet, the 40-year-old groans faintly as he defecates into a bucket.


             
Pan-African Journal: Special Worldwide Radio Broadcast for Sun. June 25, 2017--Hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe
Listen to the Sun. June 25, 2017 edition of the Pan-African Journal: Special Worldwide Radio Broadcast hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire.

To hear the podcast of this episode just click on the following URL:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/panafricanjournal/2017/06/25/pan-african-journal-special-worldwide-radio-broadcast

The program features our regular PANW report with dispatches on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government which stated that Qatar must comply with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) demands or a permanent severing of relations will occur; Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi says he has ratified the transfer of two islands to Saudi Arabia; Kenyan military forces have detained several United States soldiers for attempting to enter South Sudan illegally; and the Republic of Namibia has been assessed as a success on the African continent.

In the second hour we look back at the 57th anniversary of the independence of the former Belgian Congo which resulted a coup against Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba and his subsequent assassination. Finally we continue our monthlong tribute to Black Music Month with a focus on the life, times and contributions of Etta James.

             
DRC, Migration, Jihadis - Flashpoints at African Union Addis Summit
By Matthew Kay
30-06-2017 to 11:41

Photo: Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairman of the African Union Commission

Conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and mass migration are likely to dominate discussions as foreign ministers from the 55 African nations gather in Addis Ababa on Friday for two days of talks, ahead of the 29th summit of African leaders next week.

The official theme of this African Union (AU) summit is ‘investment in youth’, but other pressing matters on the continent from the DRC to mass migration are also likely to dominate discussions.

When commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahmat from Chad opens discussions on Friday morning, he was expected to congratulate members of the Union who are sticking to commitments of Agenda 2063, a continental development plan set out by the AU four years ago.

On paper the trends are encouraging – more children in full time education, fewer deaths from preventable diseases and accelerating economic growth.

Conflict in several countries

But flashpoints that often dog discussions at AU summits are likely to do so once again.

They include the ongoing fight against the jihadist group Boko Haram in the lake Chad region, an uptick in violence in South Sudan, Libya, Mali and Darfur.

The alarming numbers of Africans making the perilous trip across the Mediterranean is also of immediate concern.

On top of that, major reforms of the Union itself are on the table – including changes to how the AU is funded that are being pushed by several leaders, including current chairman and Guinean president Alpha Condé.

He wants all nations to implement a 0.2 percent levy on imports to fund the club that has for years been overly reliant on Western handouts.

          Canada’s Dark History in Africa: Killing Natives and Seizing Their Land for Leopold II in Congo   

Canada’s Dark History in Africa: Killing Natives and Seizing Their Land for Leopold II in Congo

A Brutal Part of Canada's Dark History in Africa. The Role of Canada's William Grant Stairs

Global Research, June 30, 2017
Dissident Voice 28 June 2017

Featured image: Aged and Women had to die of starvation under the rule of King Leopold II in Congo. (Source: Annoyz View)

Canada’s 150th anniversary offers a unique opportunity to shed light on some darker corners of Canadian history. One of the dustier chapters is our contribution to one of the most barbarous regimes of the last century and a half.

In a bid to extract rubber and other commodities from his personal colony, Belgian King Léopold II instituted a brutal system of forced labour in the late 1800s. Individuals and communities were given rubber collection quotas that were both hard to fulfill and punishable by death. To prove they killed someone who failed to fulfill a quota soldiers from the Force Publique, the colonial police, were required to provide a severed hand. With Force Publique officers paid partly based on the number collected, severed hands became a sort of currency in the colony and baskets of hands the symbol of the Congo Free State.

King Leopold II (Source: Annoyz View)

Between 1891 and 1908 millions died from direct violence, as well as the starvation and disease, caused by Leopold II’s terror. A quarter of the population may have died during Leopold’s reign, which sparked a significant international solidarity movement that forced the Belgian government to intervene and buy the colony.

Halifax’s William Grant Stairs played an important part in two expeditions that expanded Leopold II’s immensely profitable Congolese venture. The Royal Military College of Canada trained soldier was one of 10 white officers in the first-ever European expedition to cross the interior of the continent and subsequently Stairs led an expedition that added 150,000 square kilometres to Leopold’s colony.

In 1887 Stairs joined the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition, which was ostensibly designed to “rescue” the British-backed governor of Equatoria, the southern part of today’s South Sudan. Scottish merchant William MacKinnon asked famed American ‘explorer’ Henry Morton Stanley to lead a relief effort. At the time of the expedition Léopold II employed Stanley, who had been helping the king carve out the ‘Congo Free State’. Seeing an opportunity to add to his colony, Leopold wanted Stanley to take a circuitous route all the way around South Africa, up the Congo River and across the interior of the continent.

One of ten whites, Stairs quickly became second-in-command of the three-year expedition. Read from a humanistic or internationalist perspective, the RMC graduate’s diary of the disastrous expedition is incredibly damning. Or, as Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate George Elliott Clarke put it,

“Stairs’ account of his atrocities establishes that even Canadians, blinded by racism, can become swashbuckling mass murderers.”

Stairs’ extensive diary, which he asked to be published upon his and Stanley’s death, makes it clear that locals regularly opposed the mission. One passage notes,

“the natives made a tremendous noise all night and canoes came close to us, the natives yelling frantically for us to go away” while another entry explains,

“the natives destroyed their food rather than let it fall into the hands of the invaders.”

read more:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/canadas-dark-history-in-africa-killing-natives-and-seizing-their-land-for-leopold-ii-in-congo/5596825




          People Are Losing Their Sh*t Over This Picture of IRL Barbie Doll Duckie Thot   

If you take a quick sweep of her Instagram, you'll see that Australian and South Sudanese model Duckie Thot is no stranger to looking pretty much perfect on a daily basis. As an alumna of Australia's Next Top Model (she competed in 2013), Thot knows a thing or two about flashing a killer "smize." But one picture in particular has the internet on its knees, and for good reason. No big deal or anything, but in a picture she posted on Tuesday night, Thot looks exactly like a Barbie doll.

Ducks after dark.

A post shared by Duckie Thot (@duckieofficial) on

Thot looks so Barbie-esque; she better get at least a walk-on role in the upcoming Life Size 2 (although with those looks, she could star in the damn thing). Just about everyone on Instagram agreed, with one user commenting, "Real life Barbie." One added, "I showed this picture to my baby girl & she wanted that doll." Another proclaimed, "MY LIFE HAS BEEN OFFICIALLY SLAYED," and I agree.

But the best response to the frenzy was Thot's own.

While it's so heartening to see a mega-talented model like Thot be appreciated for her work, unfortunately that hasn't always been the case. Last year, fellow model Winnie Harlow made an offensive comment about Thot's natural hair, which she later rescinded via an Instagram apology. Thot clapped back, writing, "It's not fun being bullied for something you can't control and to have a top model woman of colour who I thought encouraged acceptance and self love call me out for rocking my natural hair."

Despite this feud, Thot keeps slaying like the beautiful Barbie she is.

that sundress tho...

A post shared by Duckie Thot (@duckieofficial) on

Hands on 🤘🏿

A post shared by Duckie Thot (@duckieofficial) on



          Comment on Why South Africa returns to its darkest moment?? by Gatchak Tut Jock Jek   
of course, happened now to South Sudan opposition leader Dr Riek Machar has detained without trial in south Africa why? any wrong ideals must be reappears what is the uses of world? like Nelson Mandela was poisoned without guilty lastly he was became South Africa president WHO termed as criminal. sorry I know very well South Sudanese will be suffered a lot in absent of Dr Machar while worldwide and even the SPLA regime of jce will call for him to rose South Sudan again.
          12 Jobs at The East African Community, Apply Before 21 July 2017   
The East African Community is a regional intergovernmental organization comprising the
Republic of Burundi, the Republic of Kenya, the Republic of Rwanda, , Republic of South Sudan, the United Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of Uganda with its Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

The EAC mission is to widen and deepen economic, political, social and cultural integration to improve the quality of life of the people of East Africa through increased competitiveness, value added production, trade and investments.

This is an exciting opportunity for highly motivated and result-driven professionals who are citizens of East African Community Partner States (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda) to apply for the following position tenable at East African Community-Secretariat.

Trade Officer – Internal Trade Information
(EAC/HR/2016-17/20)
Job Purpose:
To compile, analyse and disseminate EAC trade data through preparation of EAC Annual Trade reports plus uploading and managing trade data in the EAC Trade Help Desk.

Human Resources Officer
(EAC/HR/2016-17/19)
Job Purpose:
To implement EAC’s HR policies that select, develop and retain the right staff needed to meet EAC’s Objectives.

EAC Integrated Health Programme – Monitoring and Evaluation Officer
(EAC/HR/2016-17/24)
Job Purpose:
To oversee implementation of monitoring, evaluation and learning activities under the EIHP and build the capacity for health sector monitoring and evaluation at the EAC Secretariat.

EAC Integrated Health Programme – Linkages and Partnerships Officer
(EAC/HR/2016-17/24)
Job Purpose:
The Partnership Officer will help weave collaborative relations that enable EIHP to effectively fulfil its mission and specific objectives. He/she will identify and nurture such relations focusing primarily on funding, program development and communications.

Senior Standards Officer – Metrology
(EAC/HR/2016-17/18)
Job Purpose:
Ensure accuracy of measurements in the region to promote fair trade practices

Senior Customs Officer – Legal and Compliance
(EAC/HR/2016-17/17)
Job Purpose:
To support and assist the development and implementation of EAC Customs compliance programmes and review of customs laws to strengthen enforcement.

Senior Customs Officer – Information Management Officer
(EAC/HR/2016-17/16)
Job Purpose:
To support the development and implementation of customs IT systems and solutions to facilitate the EAC Single Customs Territory.

Principal Human Resource Officer
(EAC/HR/2016-17/15)
Job Purpose:
To initiate, formulate and manage Human Resource Management and Development policies and strategies that will enable the Community to attract, develop and retain high quality human resources.

Deputy Registrar Finance and Administration
(EAC/HR/2016-17/21)
Job Purpose:
To provide strategic leadership in the process of coordinating and facilitating utilization of the Court’s human and financial resources in accordance with the provisions in the Staff Rules and Regulations and the financial rules and regulations and other decisions and directives issued from time to time.

Deputy Clerk Finance and Administration
(EAC/HR/2016-17/22)
Job Purpose:
To be responsible for the coordination and facilitation of the processes that promote better utilization of the Assembly’s human and financial resources in accordance with the provisions of the relevant Staff and Financial Rules and Regulations and other decisions and directives issued from time to time by the Assembly, the EALA Commission, the Council and the Clerk.

Director Customs
(EAC/HR/2016-17/14)
Job Purpose:
To coordinate and manage the development, implementation and monitoring of regional customs programmes and projects in the EAC for the effective realization of a functioning Customs Union

Registrar – EAC Competition Authority
(EAC/HR/2016-17/23)
Job Purpose:
The Registrar, EAC Competition Authority shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the EAC Competition Authority and be responsible for the day to day management of the EAC Competition Authority subject to the directives of the Commissioners.

Eligibility:
EAC Staff Rules and Regulations preclude considerations of applicants above 55 years of age.

Terms and Conditions of Service:
The above position is tenable for a contract of five (5) years renewable once .

Fringe Benefits:
The established posts offer attractive fringe benefits including housing allowance, transport allowance, education allowance, a medical scheme, and insurance cover.
Equal Opportunity:
The EAC is an equal opportunity employer; therefore, female candidates are particularly encouraged to apply. EAC will only respond to those candidates who strictly meet the set requirements.

How to Apply:
Interested candidates who meet the qualification and experience requirements for the above mentioned positions are advised to send their applications, detailed curriculum vitae, photocopies of academic certificates, names and contact details of three referees, and copy of National Identity Card, or Birth Certificate or Passport showing date of birth. Please quote the respective reference number on both the application letter and envelope. For electronic submission, please quote the respective reference number on the subject of the email and send to the address given below.
Applications should be submitted to the address below not later than Friday, 21 July 2017.

Please note:
You may submit your application either electronically or in hard copy but not both.
Applications which do not: indicate nationality and age; the reference number; or have an application letter attached; have certified copies of their academic degrees and other professional Certificates; or fail to provide three referees will be disqualified.
Only qualified candidates will be contacted
EAC Staff Rules and Regulations preclude considerations of applicants above 55 years of age.
Please note that EAC does not require candidates to pay money for the recruitment process. All invitations for interviews will be done in writing

APPLY ONLINE THROUGH
E-mail: vacancies@eachq.org

OR
The Secretary General
East African Community
P. o Box 1096
Arusha – Tanzania.
Tel: +255 27 2162100
Fax: +255 27 2162190
Website : www.eac.int
Application Deadline:
Friday, 21 July 2017 – 5:00pm
          7/1/2017: Sport: I want to do it all, says new recruit   
AS the oldest of seven children, South Sudan-born Cairns Taipans recruit Kuany Kuany knows a thing or two about helping people out. And, that is exactly what he has promised to do with the Snakes for the next two years, help the NBL club win in any...
          7/1/2017: Sport: NAME GAME NO DOUBLE TROUBLE   

NEW Cairns Taipan Kuany Kuany signing for the next two years got us thinking about dual names. Kuany was born in South Sudan and moved to Melbourne when he was nine years old and went to St. Kevin’s College. He is one of many athletes who have the same...
          Zionism’s Quest for a Purely Jewish State is why Zionism is Inherently Racist   

According to Netanyahu Non-Jewish Refugees threaten the 'National Identity' of Israel i.e. they aren't Jews


Most Jews are in Britain and the United States today because, from 1882 to the first

world war, Jews fled from the Czarist pogroms and sought refuge from anti-semitism.  Because there were no immigration controls until 1905 and even later in the United States, some 2.5 million Jews emigrated.  Less than 2% went to the alleged historical homeland of Jews, Palestine.

It is one of the quaint aspects of Zionism's achievements that Jews too can now be pogromists.  As David Sheen reported on May 29 2013: 
'Last Thursday, May 23, 2013, marked exactly one year to the day when a thousand Jewish Israelis ran rampant through the streets of Tel Aviv, smashing and looting African-operated businesses and physically assaulting any dark-skinned person they came across. Sadly, the Israeli economic, political and religious establishment – who were in large measure responsible for the pogrom – did not respond by working to quash the racism, but rather ramped up their efforts to expel all non-Jewish African people from the country.' 
Miri Regev, who is now Israel's 'Culture Minister' told the crowd that:  "the Sudanese are a cancer in our body". 
In 1905 the Aliens Act was introduced under Prime Minister Arthur James Balfour.  Balfour was quite explicit.  He didn't much like the East European Jews.  He was however a good Zionist because he believed that they should go to Palestine.  Thus it ever was that anti-Semites and Zionists got on like a house on fire.  As you will no doubt know, in 1917 Balfour, now Foreign Secretary, penned a famous letter to Walter Rothschild promising the land of a 3rd party to the Zionists.

What Netanyahu says aloud, Isaac Herzog of the Israeli Labour Party mutters in coded language.  Netanyahu’s reasons as to why the 60,000 African refugees – from Sudan, Eritrea and other hotspots – had to be deported, demonstrate why Zionism is and always will remain a racist movement.
Netanyahu explainedwhy the refugees had to be deported thus:

"If we don't stop their entry, the problem that currently stands at 60,000 could grow to 600,000, and that threatens our existence as a Jewish and democratic state," Binyamin Netanyahu said at Sunday's cabinet meeting. "This phenomenon is very grave and threatens the social fabric of society, our national security and our national identity."

The reason wasn’t that they weren’t genuine refugees, the problem was that they weren't Jewish. David Sheen has drawn up the top 9 Israeli racist politicians who have demonised asylum seekers.  Herzog is at number 5 on the list.  (see below)

Thus Israel refuses to admit any non-Jewish refugee.  Not because their home country is safe or they are not genuine, the excuses of Western opponents of asylum seekers, but because they ‘threaten our national security and our national identity’.  And what is this national identity?  Why being Jewish of course.  Therefore one cannot accept Arabs or non-Jews within the confines of the holy tent.  Racist?  How could it be otherwise?

Tony Greenstein
Another one of the ways that Israeli society becomes increasingly racist is when centrist parties like Labor adopt right-wing rhetoric in order to chase after right-wing votes.

In recent years, Labor has not played the foil to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but instead acceded to almost all of his hawkish proposals. Instead of standing firm against Israel’s lurch to the right, Labor has attempted to ply votes away from Likud with right-wing proposals.

That tendency has increased ever since Isaac Herzogwas elected to lead the party in November 2013. It has been especially evident in Herzog’s solid support for Netanyahu’s military campaigns in Gaza and the West Bank, but also in his support for expelling Africans from Israel.

It was not always so. When the Knesset first voted to amend the country’s “anti-infiltration” law in January 2012 to sanction the roundup, detention and expulsion of African refugees, Herzog opposed the measure.

When the Knesset voted to amend the law a second time in December 2013, Herzog didn’t show up for the vote. And by the time the Knesset voted to toughen it a third time in December 2014, he voted in favor of the amendment, along with several other Labor lawmakers.

In May 2012, Herzog wrote an opinion piece, challengingarguments by human rights groups that Eritreans in Israel deserved protection as refugees.

In March 2015, Herzog repeatedthis refrainin an attempt to peel anti-African votes away from Netanyahu on the eve of the Israeli national elections, saying, “We need to negotiate with Eritrea on the return of the Eritreans back to Eritrea.”

This year, Labor led a successful effort to abolish the Knesset’s committee on foreign workers, one of the few forums in which the concerns of refugees could receive a hearing in parliament.
In September 2015, Labor publicly complained that Netanyahu’s government has not done nearly enough to expel Africans from the country. In a public statement, Herzog’s Labor Party wholeheartedly adopted the far-right’s propaganda points, insistingwithout any basis that most refugees in Israel have no valid claim to refugee status.

“The crisis of the refugees from Syria is not similar to the issue of the infiltrators from Africa who are mostly migrant workers,” the statement read. “If only Bibi’s government had created immigration laws, it would be possible to send back to their country those who are in Israel for their welfare and for work. But the Likud government is only good at talking, and it is responsible for the troubles of the residents of south Tel Aviv.”

They were promised asylum somewhere closer to home. Then they were discarded — often in a war zone.
Andrew Green
Foreign Policy
June 27, 2017

KIGALI, Rwanda — The man picked Afie Semene and the 11 other Eritreans on the flight from Tel Aviv out of the stream of disembarking passengers as if he already had their faces memorized. He welcomed them to the Rwandan capital, Kigali, and introduced himself as John. He was a Rwandan immigration officer, he explained, there to help smooth their arrival. He collected the travel documents each of them had been issued in Israel and led them past the immigration counter where the rest of the passengers from their flight queued. Nobody stopped them. Nothing was stamped.
They paused briefly at the luggage carousel to scoop up their bags. In the nearly seven years Semene had lived in Israel, he filled an apartment with furniture and kitchen supplies. But when officials there summoned him to a detention facility for asylum-seekers, he had distributed much of what he owned among his friends, unsure if he would ever return. Now his suitcase contained little besides clothes.
The group exited the airport into the humid Rwandan night and crowded into a waiting pickup. The luggage followed in a second truck. The small convoy wound its way through lush, hilly Kigali, past the fenced campus of the regional polytechnic, and into a quiet neighborhood several miles south of the airport. They came to a stop in front of a house the color of a pistachio nut, its second story ringed with white-trimmed porches. Dawn was already breaking as the new arrivals were shown to bedrooms inside. As he fell asleep, Semene still remembers the feeling of relief wash over him. John would return the next day to help them begin their asylum applications, he thought. Maybe he would arrive with the papers granting them refugee status already in hand.

There would be no visas. No work permits. No asylum. None of the things Israeli authorities had promised the 12 Eritreans when they had agreed to relocate to Rwanda a few weeks prior.

Instead, the next day brought new despair: There would be no visas. No work permits. No asylum. None of the things Israeli authorities had promised the 12 Eritreans when they had agreed to relocate to Rwanda a few weeks prior. Instead, John offered to smuggle them into neighboring Uganda, which he told them was a “free nation.” “If you live here, you can’t leave,” Semene recalled John saying of Rwanda. “It’s a tight country. Let me advise you, as your brother, you need to go to Uganda.”

They would need to sneak across the border, since they had no proof of legal entry into Rwanda. (The Israeli laissez-passers had gone unstamped at the Kigali airport the night before, an oversight that now felt suspicious.) But John told them not to worry; he could easily get them into Uganda for a fee of $250. “I have everything,” he said. “Contacts with the government over there. Contacts with the Israeli government. If something happens, I call the Israeli government and they do something for you.”

The alternative, John said, was to remain in the Kigali house, where they would be under constant surveillance. They would have to pay rent, but without documentation, they would not be allowed to work. Semene and the others understood that John was not really giving them a choice. Everyone agreed to the plan.

A few hours later, a van pulled up outside the house and the Eritreans piled in. Several miles from the border with Uganda, the vehicle came to a stop and John urged them out onto the side of the road. It was the last they would see of him.

Semene had made an even more treacherous crossing once before, paying smugglers to ferry him across the Sinai Desert from Egypt into Israel. Under fire from Egyptian border guards, he sprinted the final yards to safety. He had hoped it would be the last time he would ever have to cross a border illegally. But seven years later, feeling betrayed by an Israeli government he had once turned to for safety, he slipped quietly and unofficially into Uganda.
AdHundreds of African asylum-seekers stage a protest along the sea front in Tel Aviv on Jan. 15, 2014. (Photo credit: JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)d caption
For decades after its founding in 1948, Israel welcomed refugees from outside the Jewish faith. The country was an early signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention. In his first official act as prime minister in 1977, Menachem Begin granted refuge to 66 Vietnamese who had been rescued at sea by an Israeli ship. During a visit to the United States later that year, he recalled the St. Louis — a ship loaded with more than 900 European Jews who attempted to flee Germany in 1939 — to explain his decision. The St. Louis’s passengers were denied permission to disembark in Cuba, the United States, and Canada and ultimately returned to Europe. A quarter of the passengers are thought to have died in the Holocaust.

“They were nine months at sea, traveling from harbor to harbor, from country to country, crying out for refuge. They were refused,” Begin said. “We have never forgotten the lot of our people … And therefore it was natural that my first act as prime minister was to give those people a haven in the land of Israel.”

In 2007, then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert echoed Begin’s act when he granted temporary residency permits to nearly 500 Sudanese asylum-seekers. But as the number of African migrants swelled in subsequent years, Israel’s receptiveness began to flag. The vast majority of the new arrivals were fleeing long-standing authoritarian regimes in Eritrea and Sudan. They chose Israel for many reasons: because it was a democracy, because it was easier to reach than Europe or — for many Sudanese — because it was an adversary of their own government. They hoped that the enemy of their enemy would look kindly on them.

But Israeli authorities soon became overwhelmed. According to the Ministry of Interior, nearly 65,000 foreign nationals — the vast majority from Africa — reached Israel between 2006 and 2013. As the government struggled to accommodate the newcomers, many languished in poor and overcrowded neighborhoods in southern Tel Aviv. Dozens squatted in a park across the street from the city’s main bus station for weeks on end. A handful of high-profile incidents — including the alleged rape of an 83-year-old woman by an Eritrean asylum-seeker in 2012 — dominated media coverage and fueled unease among Israelis, many of whom already fretted that refugees were taking their jobs.

African asylum-seekers sleep in Tel Aviv's Levinski Park during a protest against Israel's immigration policies on Feb. 5, 2014. (Photo credit: JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
By the time Benjamin Netanyahu secured a third term as prime minister in 2013, the tensions had hardened into outright hostility. That year, Israel sealed off its border with Egypt and implemented a raft of policies aimed at making life more difficult for asylum-seekers already in Israel. Then it began secretly pressuring Eritreans and Sudanese to leave for unnamed third countries, a shadowy relocation effort in which Semene and thousands like him are now ensnared.

Israeli officials have kept nearly everything else about this effort secret, even deflecting requests for more information from UNHCR, the U.N. refugee agency. But a year-long investigation by Foreign Policy that included interviews with multiple Eritrean and Sudanese asylum-seekers as well as people involved at various stages of the relocation process — including one person who admitted to helping coordinate illegal border crossings — reveals an opaque system of shuffling asylum-seekers from Israel, via Rwanda or Uganda, into third countries, where they are no longer anyone’s responsibility.
It begins with furtive promises by Israeli authorities of asylum and work opportunities in Rwanda and Uganda. Once the Sudanese and Eritrean asylum-seekers reach Kigali or Entebbe, where Uganda’s international airport is located, they describe a remarkably similar ordeal: They meet someone who presents himself as a government agent at the airport, bypass immigration, move to a house or hotel that quickly feels like a prison, and are eventually pressured to leave the country. For the Eritreans, it is from Rwanda to Uganda. For Sudanese, it is from Uganda to South Sudan or Sudan. The process appears designed not just to discard unwanted refugees, but to shield the Israeli, Rwandan, and Ugandan governments from any political or legal accountability.

While a handful of the Eritreans and Sudanese have managed to maneuver or mislead their way into asylum in Rwanda or Uganda, and dozens more live in a stateless limbo in the Ugandan capital of Kampala, most have given in to the pressure to leave those countries, making dangerous illegal border crossings that leave them vulnerable to blackmail and physical abuse at the hands of smugglers and security forces. Some have continued north to Sudan or Libya in an effort to reach Europe. A few have been captured and killed by Islamic State fighters or drowned on the treacherous Mediterranean crossing.

Officials across several relevant ministries in Israel, Rwanda, and Uganda all issued denials or refused repeated requests for comment. But the nearly identical experiences of asylum-seekers arriving in Rwanda and Uganda, as well as their ability to bypass standard immigration channels and occasionally procure official documents from their handlers, suggests a level of government knowledge, if not direct involvement, in all three capitals.

Semene fled Eritrea in 2007, after four years in the country’s military. Service there is compulsory and it can stretch on indefinitely. Instead of training, conscripts are often forced to work on their commanders’ private farms or for state-owned businesses. The conditions are so restrictive and the compensation so negligible that in 2016 a U.N. Human Rights Council report on the country determined that “Eritrean officials have committed the crime of enslavement … in a persistent, widespread and systematic manner.” During his four years of service, Semene, a small, slight man with an easy smile, was allowed to visit his family only once.

Semene is a pseudonym. Life under military dictatorship instilled in him a deep sense of caution, and he is hesitant to share too many details about his past in case security forces target his family members who still live in Eritrea. Risking imprisonment and possible execution there, he ran — first to a refugee camp in Sudan, where he faced constant shortages of food and water, and then to Egypt. Finding the environment for refugees there only marginally better, he paid smugglers $2,800 to take him across Sinai into Israel. He knew little about the country, except that it was a democracy. “Simply, I try my luck,” he said.

And finally, luck seemed to be on his side. In 2008, Israeli authorities issued him a visa that was renewable every six months. He found a job stocking groceries at a Tel Aviv shop, and applied for official refugee status. “I adopt the place,” he told me, including learning Hebrew. “I adopt their food. I know the language. I see Israel as my country.”

Thousands more asylum-seekers like Semene continued to arrive — mostly from Eritrea, but also from Sudan, including hundreds fleeing a government-perpetrated genocide in the country’s Darfur region. By 2012, a leading Israeli politician was denouncing the asylum-seekers as “a cancer in our body” and residents of south Tel Aviv were organizing protests against them. That same year, the minister of interior suggested making “their lives miserable” in order to dissuade even more from coming.

One way the Israeli government did just that was by erecting a sprawling detention center for asylum-seekers in the middle of the Negev Desert. Operated by the Israel Prison Service (IPS), Holot — which means “sand” in Hebrew — now holds more than 3,000 male asylum-seekers, who had previously been allowed to live and (unofficially) work while they awaited a decision on their refugee applications. Most detainees said they learned they had been randomly chosen to relocate to Holot only when they attempted to renew their visas. They were given days to report to the facility, where they can legally be held for up to a year. Some politicians are pushing to make the sentence indefinite.
Asylum-seekers take part in a day of protest at the Holot detention center in the southern Negev desert on Feb. 17, 2014. (Photo credit: ILIA YEFIMOVICH /Getty Images)
Semene was summoned to Holot in early 2014. “It’s really a prison,” is how he described what appears on the outside to be a beleaguered tent city. I made two visits to the facility, though I was not allowed to enter. Instead, I sat with detainees outside the chain-link fence topped with razor wire, as they described conditions inside. They live 10 to a room and though they can come and go from the facility, they are required to check in with authorities once per day. Failure to do so earns a short stint in a nearby maximum-security prison. Residents are not allowed to work or even to bring food brought by friends or family members into Holot. With the nearest town hours away, they spend most of their time sitting at the makeshift restaurants they have constructed near the entrance to the camp. IPS authorities regularly tear them down, but the detainees keep rebuilding them.

To Semene, the restrictions of Holot, combined with the monotony of life there, seemed designed to break the occupants — men who had previously survived murderous raids, the deprivations of refugee camps, and, in some cases, torture. There is limited assistance for people managing chronic health conditions or in obvious need of mental healthcare. Instead, they are left to wander the desert, overseen only by their fellow inmates. (IPS did not respond to multiple requests for comment.) Semene remembers becoming so distressed by the treatment one day that he began pleading with a guard: “We are human. Treat us as a human,” he said.

Then, after he had been locked away for seven months, the authorities seemed to offer him a lifeline: Leaflets from the Israeli Population and Immigration Authority started to appear within the facility, saying that Israel had secured an arrangement with other countries willing to accept asylum-seekers. Anyone who agreed to a transfer would receive travel documents, a free one-way plane ticket to a yet-unnamed country, and $3,500. “On the first day of arrival in the country, you will be placed in a hotel. Everything that you need — work and living permit — will be given to you,” the flyer read, according to a translation provided by the UNHCR office in Tel Aviv.

Soon, the guards at Holot began whispering to the asylum-seekers that the third countries were Rwanda for Eritreans and Uganda for the Sudanese. There was no explanation for the division. The Israeli government has never officially confirmed the two countries involved, explaining in various legal settings that the agreements prevent them from doing so. “We do not comment in the media on those issues or on our relations with third countries,” a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in an email.

Semene was among those who jumped at the opportunity. “You close your eyes and choose,” was how he explained it to me. In the weeks leading up to his departure in late 2014, he was summoned to meet with an Israeli immigration officer, who presented him with an Israeli travel document filled out with his name, date of birth, and — though he had no passport — a passport number. The laissez-passer was valid for two weeks, from Dec. 14 to Dec. 28, 2014. The official also showed him a letter, allegedly from the Rwandan government, guaranteeing that he would be granted a one-month tourist visa when he arrived in the country. The official handed over the promised $3,500 in U.S. dollars.
Semene wondered why he was getting a one-month tourist visa when he had been told he would be receiving asylum. He also wondered why the laissez-passer was valid for only two weeks. He said he quizzed the official about both apparent discrepancies, but was assured any issues would be sorted out when he arrived in Kigali. Not quite convinced, he took photos of the documents with his cell phone, which he later showed me. A few days later, he received a call telling him to get ready. He would be leaving on Dec. 22. Despite his growing skepticism of everything the Israeli authorities were telling him, he decided to approach the trip with guarded optimism. It had been more than seven years since he fled a life of endless military service in Eritrea and more than half a year since he’d been incarcerated in Israel. He wanted desperately to believe that Rwanda would be the place where he would finally be free.

A group of Eritrean asylum-seekers inside Israel's Holot detention facility on Feb. 17, 2014. (Photo credit: ILIA YEFIMOVICH /Getty Images) 
The pistachio-colored house where Semene and dozens of other Eritreans were held in Kigali sits at the end of a deeply gashed dirt road. About 50 yards away, down a steep embankment, there is a small kiosk painted Coca-Cola red, where men from the neighborhood often gather to drink sodas and chat. One day last spring, I stopped by to see if they had ever noticed any unusual activity at the house atop the hill. Through a translator, they explained that groups of “foreigners” regularly stayed there. Sometimes they could be spotted pacing on the white-trimmed balconies. None ever seemed to venture outside the house’s heavy black gate and they were always gone after a few days.

Later, I trudged up the hill and knocked on that gate. It swung open to reveal two young Rwandan men lazily sweeping the driveway. I asked if I could speak to the owner. They indicated that he wasn’t home, but passed along a phone number. When I dialed it, a man who identified himself only as Robert acknowledged that the house was indeed his. Yes, he intermittently hosted visitors from Eritrea. In fact, a group had just left a few days earlier.

He explained that he had begun renting out the house to unknown groups of foreigners more than a year earlier after a friend of his — a driver who works at the airport — called to see if he could host some people who would be spending a few days in the country. Robert agreed, he said, because the house was vacant at the time. Since then he has accommodated a handful of groups, he told me. The process is always the same: The driver friend calls him a few days before a new party is set to arrive and Robert sends workers to prepare the house for them. The foreigners stay for a few days — never more than three — and then leave. He didn’t know to where. He had never met any of them.
When I started to press Robert for more details — How much was he paid? Did the driver work for the government? — he grew cagey and insisted we meet in person. We set a time for the following day. When I called back to confirm the location, he hung up on me and declined each of my subsequent calls.

It is unclear whether the driver friend is John, the man who picked Semene and the other Eritreans up from the airport, or someone working for him. It is also unclear whether John is actually an immigration official or just posing as one. But in a country as notoriously repressive as Rwanda it is almost inconceivable that anyone regularly bypassing immigration isn’t operating with the blessing of senior government officials. (My calls from different lines to a number allegedly belonging to John have gone unanswered for months.)

What happens to those asylum-seekers who refuse John’s offer to be smuggled into Uganda is yet another mystery. Kabtom Bereket, an Eritrean who arrived separately from Semene in July 2014, told me that several members of his six-person group asked to visit the UNHCR offices in Kigali immediately after they arrived at the house from the airport. John refused their request, Bereket said, telling them, “We are immigration. There is the security on the gate. You stay here.” No one in the group was allowed out of the house, according to Bereket, which is also a pseudonym, until they all left to cross illegally into Uganda.

Of the at least 1,400 other asylum-seekers who have arrived in Kigali from Tel Aviv over the last three years — the figure Israeli officials provided in court — Semene is certain that the vast majority have been smuggled out of the country.

Some Eritreans have managed to escape the house. According to documents from the UNHCR office in Tel Aviv, Rwandan authorities have arrested at least four of the asylum-seekers who attempted to stay in Kigali on charges of lacking documentation. Others, though UNHCR won’t say how many, have approached UNHCR staff in Kigali for support, claiming to have relocated from Israel. Of the at least 1,400 other asylum-seekers who have arrived in Kigali from Tel Aviv over the last three years — the figure Israeli officials provided in court — Semene is certain that the vast majority have been smuggled out of the country.

Across the border in Uganda, UNHCR officials haven’t heard of even a single successful asylum applicant among the Sudanese arriving directly from Tel Aviv or the Eritreans arriving from Rwanda, though they are aware of multiple rejections from among this pool. This is strange because Uganda has one of the most progressive refugee policies in the region. Nearly 3,300 Sudanese are currently registered as refugees in Uganda, according to the UNCHR office in Kampala. The problem seems to be exclusive to those being resettled from Israel. Sudanese I spoke to in Kampala said they have now learned not to mention Israel anywhere in their asylum applications.

Officials in the office of Uganda’s prime minister, which oversees the country’s immigration procedures, offered no explanation for the rejected asylum claims of migrants arriving via Israel. Rwandan officials do admit having discussed a deal with Israel to accept asylum-seekers, but say that no agreement was ever reached. It may be that the Ugandan and Rwandan governments do not want to answer questions about what they are receiving in exchange for accepting refugees. (Speculation among Israeli activists centers on weapons and cash.)

Unable to get asylum in Uganda, many Eritreans and Sudanese live in constant fear of the authorities. Within hours of his illegal scramble across the Rwandan border, in fact, Semene nearly landed behind bars. He and the other Eritreans in his group emerged from the borderlands thicket to find a van waiting on the Ugandan side that carried them the remaining 10 hours to Kampala. They arrived at a cheap hotel in the crowded, dusty area of downtown known as Old Kampala at 4 a.m. Five hours later, Ugandan security officials raided the hotel and arrested several of the asylum-seekers. By that point, however, Semene had already split off from the group and melted into the neighborhood, his doubts having turned into outright distrust over the course of the journey.

More than a year later, he spends most of his evenings in a local bar watching football matches or playing pool. It is a short walk from the apartment he shares with a rotating group of Eritrean refugees. Sometimes up to a dozen people cram into the one-room space. His world is now just a few blocks of Old Kampala, but he figures limiting his movement is the best way to avoid running into police officers or other security officials who might ask for his papers and then arrest him or demand a bribe when he is unable to produce them.

He is depressed, and also eaten up with resentment toward the Israeli government. This was not the life they promised him. “I am not safe here,” he said. “I am not safe anywhere.”
Ugandan police officers cordon off a crime scene in Kampala on March 17, 2017. (Photo credit: ISAAC KASAMANI/AFP/Getty Images)
The linchpins of this system of human smuggling — and key to establishing whether the Israeli, Ugandan, and Rwandan governments are officially involved in it — are the men who pressure new arrivals from Tel Aviv to forget the promise of asylum and to cross illegally into third countries. Hassan Ali is one such man. He agreed to meet me on the condition that I not reveal his real identity. A squat 32-year-old Darfuri refugee, he steered me off a crowded Kampala street into a fried chicken restaurant with low ceilings and a greasy, tiled floor. He chose a side table and spoke in a quiet, quivering voice lost easily in the lunchtime bustle. He was among the very first asylum-seekers in Israel to accept the proposed transfer to Uganda, he said. He had been in Israel since 2008 and sensed the mood toward asylum-seekers was growing increasingly hostile. He happened to have friends and family in Uganda, so when the offer came to relocate to Kampala in early 2014, he eagerly accepted.
But within weeks of his arrival, just as he was beginning to feel settled in his new life in the city, he started getting phone calls from a man he would identify only as Ismail. Ismail was also Sudanese and he needed Ali’s help. Would he be willing to meet with groups of new arrivals — mostly people Ali knew from his own time in Israel — and talk to them about resettling elsewhere? Ali is not sure how Ismail got his number or why he wanted Ali to be involved, but — for reasons he chose to keep vague — he decided he was willing to try. The requests from Ismail are relatively sporadic, but they have become more frequent. Ali estimates that he has now met with at least a dozen groups of asylum-seekers.

He usually joins them on their second day at an upscale hotel called Forest Cottages, where the Sudanese flown from Tel Aviv are brought from the airport. Unlike their Eritrean counterparts in Rwanda, they are offered a brief respite before the pressure to relocate begins. But when the time comes, Ali is the one who applies that pressure.

He starts by talking about how much the men must be missing their families after years — and in some cases decades — away from Sudan. Except now, in Uganda, they are so much closer to home than they were in Israel. Using Ismail’s connections, Ali says he can get them the rest of the way. For $200, he will arrange the paperwork and logistics to transport them safely to South Sudan, the buffer between Uganda and Sudan. For $100 more, he can get them to the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.
The reasons other refugees chose to return to Sudan, despite the risk of arrest and torture, are much more straightforward: They believe their options are exhausted. They miss their homes. They want to see their families.

Both countries harbor significant dangers. Sudan remains a police state, and killing continues in Darfur, though at a lower level than before. South Sudan is mired in a bloody civil war that has killed tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people and forced 1.7 million to flee the country. But the new arrivals in Kampala are discombobulated and often poorly informed. Ali fuels their confusion by telling them that Ugandan officials will hound them, blackmail them, and potentially deport them. South Sudan, because of the chaos there, actually seems to some refugees like a much easier place to disappear or to begin another journey toward a country that might actually grant them asylum. The reasons other refugees chose to return to Sudan, despite the risk of arrest and torture, are much more straightforward: They believe their options are exhausted. They miss their homes. They want to see their families.

Ali has learned to manipulate these fears and emotions. “I say, ‘Welcome to Africa. If you tell me you’re going to pass to Sudan, you come here, you will pass.’ They’re very happy,” he said. Dozens of people have taken Ali up on his offer, he says, at which point Ismail collects their information and money and hands it over to a man named George, the Ugandan minder who picked the new arrivals up at the airport — essentially the Ugandan version of John. Within hours of securing their agreement, George returns with individualized Ugandan travel documents stamped with South Sudanese entry visas.

I asked Ali about the level of government involvement in this scheme. After some prevarication, he conceded that Ugandan officials are not only aware of what is happening, but actively involved in pushing asylum-seekers from Israel into South Sudan. “This is the secret they don’t want to tell,” he said. But aside from the Ugandan travel documents he claims to have seen handed over to the asylum-seekers, he had little evidence to support his claims. That is, except for one additional piece of paper: a permit granting him temporary residence in Uganda.

At the beginning of our conversation, he had showed me a photo of the one-year legal residency permit George had secured for him from Uganda’s Ministry of Internal Affairs. None of the other Sudanese asylum-seekers I met had received anything similar from George, although several said they had asked for one. Ali only received the document, he acknowledged, in exchange for helping Ismail.

Before we parted ways, Ali offered to take me with him when the next group of Sudanese transfers arrived at Forest Cottages. But less than 10 minutes after we left the restaurant, he called to tell me the deal was off. Apparently, he had phoned Ismail immediately after our meeting and had been lamba
          S. Sudan national dialogue officials in S. Africa for talks with rebel leader   

June 29, 2017 (JUBA) – The National Dialogue Committee Co-Chairman Angelo Beda, flanked by several senior officials, Wednesday arrived in South Africa to consult with the exiled former First Vice President turned rebel leader, Riek Machar. South Sudan’s rebel leader Riek Machar addresses a press conference in his private residence in Addis Ababa, Saturday, Feb. […]

The post S. Sudan national dialogue officials in S. Africa for talks with rebel leader appeared first on Times of News.


          South Sudan and Uganda journalists form network   

June 29, 2017 (KAMPALA) – Journalists from Uganda and South Sudan have formed a network whose main objective is to address the information needs of South Sudanese refugees in Uganda, their host communities and the internally displaced persons in South Sudan. Journalists attend a briefing on new media laws approved by South Sudan’s president, Salva […]

The post South Sudan and Uganda journalists form network appeared first on Times of News.


          Wau citizens report insecurity at night   

Citizens in Wau town in South Sudan’s Wau state are still complaining about insecurity in residential areas. Several local residents told Radio Tamazuj yesterday that the security situation is deteriorating in the town, accusing SPLA soldiers of looting civilians’ properties at night. Residents of Al-Jazira and Lokoloko neighbourhoods said the deteriorating security situation started after […]

The post Wau citizens report insecurity at night appeared first on Times of News.


          When disaster strikes, should China do more?   

Sixty-two Chinese rescuers and six sniffer dogs were the first global team on the ground in Nepal the day after a massive earthquake devastated the country just over a year ago.

The quick deployment was a sign of China’s growing role in emergencies, but critics say its humanitarian contributions are still paltry compared to its economic and diplomatic clout. With the world's second-largest economy and largest standing army, China's contributions do not match official pronouncements about its growing international role.

“We are trying to play a bigger role in the existing international order,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a press conference in March. 

“The world is so big and faces so many problems; the international community wishes to hear China's voices and see China's solutions, and China cannot be absent,” he told reporters.

But the figures belie such statements.

China contributed only $54 million in humanitarian aid in 2014, according to Development Initiatives, which analysed data from sources including the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the UN, and the International Monetary Fund. In contrast, the United States contributed $5.9 billion, while Britain gave $2.3 billion, and Saudi Arabia $755 million. 

The UN’s Financial Tracking Service, which documents global humanitarian aid flows, shows that China’s contribution fell in 2015 to a mere $37 million.

(The above figures are for humanitarian aid only, and do not include grants and loans aimed at development goals.)

Even China’s own statistics underscore the relatively low importance it places on foreign aid.

According to a 2014 white paper on foreign aid – including development as well as humanitarian funding – China’s average ratio of aid budget to gross national income was about 0.07 percent in the period from 2010 to 2012. 

That's much lower than the average 0.3 percent given annually by the 29 countries making up the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee, which include the Group of 7 advanced economies as well as smaller countries including Slovenia, Greece, and the Czech Republic.

In a recent commentary, the UK-based Overseas Development Institute said: “With greater power comes greater responsibility and China should step up its contributions to international humanitarian assistance to an amount at least remotely worthy of its GDP.”

The Ministry of Commerce, which administers Beijing’s humanitarian aid, has not responded to IRIN’s requests for comment and further information.

Politically motivated?

Observers have also noted that China’s aid often seems motivated at least in part by political goals.

“In terms of commitments overseas, it seems highly tactical,” said Kerry Brown, professor of Chinese studies and director of the Lau China Institute at King's College, London.

He cited South Sudan, which gained independence in 2011 from Sudan, a long-time Chinese ally. China suddenly found itself in the awkward position of having invested heavily in oilfields that were now part of an independent South Sudan, while having provided support to the Khartoum government throughout the war, including supplying weapons.

China sent peacekeepers to join the UN mission in South Sudan, and contributed other humanitarian aid.

“We also saw this in Costa Rica in 2007 when China agreed to buy $300 million in bonds and give $130 million in aid to secure Costa Rica’s diplomatic recognition of Beijing instead of Taipei,” Brown said.

Learning curve

Some experts say it will take time for China to build up its humanitarian activities overseas. But as one of the most natural disaster-stricken countries in the world, China has the potential to contribute its considerable experience to disaster relief. 

For example, when the worst earthquake in 30 years struck southwestern Sichuan Province in 2008, international agencies played only a small role and China’s response was widely praised. The government immediately launched a massive effort, which included deploying troops to rescue people buried in rubble, deliver aid and organise evacuations.

But critics also point out that China’s “draconian laws” stymie independent humanitarian efforts from Chinese NGOs.

SEE: Activist arrest puts foreign NGOs in China on edge

“China might be a great power now, but it has to learn how to behave like one, especially in the area of humanitarian aid,” said Xu Guoqi, professor of Chinese history and international relations at the University of Hong Kong.

 

 

Xu said China has very few NGOs relative to its population, and they are still figuring out how to function within China as well as abroad.

A former Chinese NGO worker, who requested anonymity and whose organisation recently shut down after losing access to international donors, told IRIN: “Many Chinese NGOs have relied on foreign funding, as local philanthropy is still underdeveloped. Now that the government is clamping down harder on civil society, NGOs are thinking about how to survive, not how to expand overseas.”

Inequality undermines charity

Despite rapid economic growth, private donations have not yet taken off.

“Even with so many newly rich people, charity-giving is still not widely spread as in many Western countries,” said Xu.

On Weibo, a popular Chinese website similar to Twitter, most discussions of China’s humanitarian aid are critical of the leadership for giving money to other countries when commenters felt the funds should be used assisting its own citizens.

China's income inequality is among the world's worst. The country's Gini coefficient for income was 0.49 in 2012, according to a recent Peking University report, where a number above 0.40 represents severe income inequality.

“Some members of the public will think, 'there are so many poor areas of China – why should [Chinese] give foreign aid?' But this is changing,” a staff member of the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation told IRIN. 

Since 2003, this Beijing-based NGO, which enjoys government support, has carried out disaster relief operations in countries including Indonesia, Haiti, the US, Myanmar, Nepal, and Ecuador with expenditure totaling around $13.7 million.

The CFPA staffer said the idea of charity could be catching on, judging by recent fundraising efforts.

“For example, many individuals gave contributions of more than 1,000 yuan ($150) for Nepal earthquake relief, and within 24 hours of fundraising to fight against the Ebola virus we raised 1.21 million yuan ($182,747) from the public,” she said.

(With additional reporting by Jennifer Rigby in Nepal)

jc/jf/bp/ag

Workers and residents watch as a bulldozer demolishes an earthquake-damaged building in the city center in Chautara, Nepal, on 8 July 2015 Analysis Aid and Policy Environment and Disasters Politics and Economics When disaster strikes, should China do more? Joanna Chiu IRIN BEIJING South Sudan Asia China Nepal Costa Rica
          South Sudan government won’t allow aid workers into rebel-held areas   
South Sudan's government says it may withhold permission for aid workers to go to some rebel-held areas on security grounds, the president's spokesman said on Thursday, after the U.N. complained aid convoys were being blocked.
          As South Sudan's civil war rages, cholera takes deadly toll   

Clasping frail arms around his stomach, Machar Weituor doubles over in pain as he slowly positions himself over the hole in his bed. Too feeble to make it to the toilet, the 40-year-old groans faintly as he defecates into a bucket.


          Bangalow snack-food firm ordered to pay $10,000 to worker   

A Bangalow-based snack-food manufacturer is considering whether to appeal a decision by the Fair Work Commission ordering it pay $10,000 compensation to a South Sudanese refugee over an unfair dismissal case against it.

The post Bangalow snack-food firm ordered to pay $10,000 to worker appeared first on Echonetdaily.


          South Sudan Deports Three US Citizens Who Served in Military   
Our eNewspaper network was founded in 2002 to provide stand-alone digital news sites tailored for the most searched-for locations for news. With a traditional newspaper format, more than 100 sites were established each with a newspaper-type name to cover the highest-ranked regions, countries, cities and states.
          Children worst affected by the S Sudan conflict   
According to the United Nations Refugee agency (UNHCR), more than one million children have now fled the conflict in South Sudan including some 160,000 refugee children in the Bidibidi refugee settlement in northern Uganda. More than 5,000 are believed to have crossed South Sudan’s borders alone, or were separated from their families along the way. […]
          Changing The Lives Of Disabled People In South Sudan: The Real Impact Of The Humanitarian Disability Charter   
Aleema Shivji in South Sudan

Nine years since I was last here, I'm back in South Sudan, the world's newest nation. Part of the work I am doing here, with our team, is to implement the Charter on Inclusion of People with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action in our emergency response in the country.

May 2017 marked the first anniversary of the Charter. This anniversary was the occasion to increase UK mainstream NGOs support for the Charter and to show how vital it is for organisations and states to endorse it.

Handicap International plays an important role in urging organisations to endorse the Charter. For this first anniversary, with CBM UK, we organised a special event attended by 45 humanitarian actors at Westminster, in partnership with the UK Department for International Development. Five organisations endorsed the Charter during the event.

The Director of DFID's Conflict, Humanitarian and Security Department (CHASE), Beverley Warmington, chaired the event and reiterated the UK Government's commitment to push the rights of disabled people and make sure no one is left behind in areas of armed conflict or disasters.

As a charity uniquely specialised in supporting people with disability living in crises, Handicap International also has to ensure the commitments made are turned into concrete action. This is why we are also helping the endorsing organisations on the ground to implement the Charter. And this is part of what we are doing here, in South Sudan.

I know that the Charter on Inclusion of People with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action may seem a little bit abstract in the eyes of many living far away from crises. This is why I want to take the opportunity of my mission in South Sudan to share my experience and show why it is so important for organisations to sign the Charter and the vital change it is making in the lives of people with disability living in crises.

South Sudan is a nation affected by conflict and a food crisis. Over 3.7 million people are displaced either inside South Sudan or to neighbouring countries due to conflict, starvation or a combination of the two. 5.5 million people are food insecure. At the same time, the government is working hard to build this nation.

So while Handicap International's teams are responding to the immense needs caused by the conflict and the food crisis, we are also working alongside the government and local civil society to ensure people with disabilities can achieve their rights and have access to sustainable services when peace returns to South Sudan.

I spent one of my mornings with our outreach team working in camps across Juba, the capital city. These camps house tens of thousands of people that have fled their homes due to hunger, conflict or in search for services that are only available in the capital city.

Chang, in Juba, South SUdan

Meet Chang. He was severely beaten by a group of youths last year, and was paralysed from the waist down. He spent a year in the hospital in the camp we visited this morning, and it was there that our local outreach team met him. John, our rehabilitation worker, initially provided Chang with rehabilitation while in hospital. Today, our team continues to support Chang in the tent he calls home, with psychosocial support to overcome the trauma he has faced, and rehabilitation to make him stronger.

Mary, South Sudan



This is Mary, she can barely see due to severe visual impairment. During the day, Mary is able to get around the camp with the white cane our local team has given her, but at night, due to the uneven and narrow pathways, she is reliant on a caregiver to help her do even basic things like go to the toilet in the communal latrines on the other side of the camp. This dependency on others is very isolating, so our local psychosocial worker visits her regularly to help break the cycle of loneliness and ensure she has access to essential services like referrals to the local health centre when she recently had some health problems.

Vulnerable people face many challenges in South Sudan.

I heard horror stories about disabled people being left behind when their families fled the fighting. John, a man with polio, told me he told his family to flee without him, as he was worried the whole family would be targeted by the fighters if they had to slow down for him to keep up.

In the camps and in the community - the threat of gender-based violence is constant, uneven and narrow pathways make it difficult for people with mobility or visual problems to move around, latrines are inaccessible. Information about services isn't always communicated in such a way for people who can't hear to get the messages, families are separated and many people are traumatised by their experiences.

In addition to our work in Juba, our flying team of specialists travels far and wide across South Sudan to respond to urgent needs of the most vulnerable people.

Handicap International, through a network of local community mobilisers, rehabilitation specialists and counsellors, identifies vulnerable people, provides direct services such as rehabilitation and psychosocial support, refers people to other actors for other services such as support to survivors of rape, access to food rations and health services, and works with other actors to make their services and facilities more inclusive and accessible. We've started to make progress, but there is so much more to be done!

The Charter on Inclusion of People with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action has the potential to end a great injustice for disabled people. People with disabilities need to be included in planning and delivering humanitarian aid.

We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure the Charter is put into practice and that no one is left behind in humanitarian crises.

(Some names in this article have been changed)
All images © Handicap International

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          06/30 Links Pt1: Abbas's Lies and Palestinian Child Victims; UN hosts hatefest comparing Israelis to ISIS   
From Ian:

Major (res.) Eyal Harel, don’t blame the system
[This was NOT translated from the Hebrew edition to the English one at Haaretz (Which is fake news by omission) - Guess why. (h/t Yenta Press)]
An IDF officer answers claims by a fellow (Breaking The Silence) officer: My name is Eran Ben Yaakov, and I am a major in reserve duty. Eyal Harel has served under my command in most of the incidents he describes ("What Really Happens in the World's Most Moral Army", Haaretz,June 19). He was a platoon commander in the engineering company in which I served as deputy commander. In the absence of the company’s commander, I was also the de facto commander of Girit outpost during a large part of the period in question. Later I was appointed commander of the company, and Harel was my deputy during the Second Lebanon War in 2006. Overall, we served together in reserve duty for nearly a decade. I read Harel’s words with sorrow, not only because he distorts the truth, but also because he does so in order to portray himself as a victim, full of regret and yet not responsible for his own actions. But this is not the case. I know him to be a good, virtuous and disciplined person.
But, in my opinion, his decisions as a commander weren’t always the best, and it angers me that he blames the system.
Regarding the incident in which a body appeared at Gaza’s shore near Rafah (an Egyptian soldier murdered [in Egypt] drifted to the shore), I was next to Harel when he fired into the air in order to drive the crowd away. I didn’t give him the order. He
did it of his own volition, and I scolded him for it was unnecessary. I wasn’t present at the second incident, but according to soldiers who were there, that was an unneeded shooting as well. No one pushed him into this. (h/t Yenta Press)
Abbas's Lies and Palestinian Child Victims
Hamas and human rights groups hold Abbas personally responsible for the deaths of the children and the possible deaths of other patients in need of urgent medical treatment not available in Gaza Strip hospitals. One human rights group went so far as to call for the International Criminal Court in The Hague to launch an investigation against Abbas.
In a move of mind-bending irony, we are witnessing a Palestinian president waging war not only against Hamas, but also against the two million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip -- while Israel continues to provide the Palestinians living under Hamas with humanitarian aid.
That is the standard operating procedure of the man who lied straight to the face of President Donald Trump, by claiming that he had stopped incitement against Israel and was promoting a "culture of peace" among his people. Will the last sick Palestinian child please stand up?
PA to again allow Gazan patients to be treated in Israeli hospitals
The Palestinian Authority will reportedly once again allow patients from the Gaza Strip to be treated in Israel after three babies died on Tuesday in the enclave controlled by the Hamas terror group.
Following an international outcry over the deaths, the Palestinian Health Ministry will on Sunday increase the number of permits it issues for Gaza residents to receive medical care in Israel, the Haaretz newspaper reported on Friday.
The Palestinian Authority has severely cut back on medical aid to the Gaza Strip as part of a series of tough measures aimed at forcing Hamas to cede control of the coastal enclave, including reducing the amount of electricity it provides the Strip and slashing PA salaries to Gaza residents.
The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry blamed the Palestinian Authority for the deaths of the three babies, all less than a year old, saying Ramallah has refused to grant permits for them to be treated in Israel.
To leave Gaza and travel to Israel for medical treatment, or to receive treatment in the West Bank or abroad, Gazans must first get confirmation from the PA that it will pay for the treatments.



The UNRWA Problem
UNRWA, created in the aftermath of Israel's existential victory in the 1948 war, was formed with modest and sensible goals - to provide emergency aid to all needy refugees of that war with an eye to gradually decreasing the need for aid through job creation, resettlement and regional cooperation. In the early days of UNRWA, it operated inside Israel, and aid recipients included Jewish refugees of the war who had previously lived in areas conquered by Jordan and Egypt. Israel quickly absorbed its internally displaced Arab and Jewish refugees, taking them off UNRWA's rolls.
Then UNRWA became an advocacy organization for the political goals of Palestinian Arabs and expanded its definition of Palestinian refugee identity to include all the descendants of the original refugees. UNRWA's mandate to resettle these refugees was removed in 1965, formalizing a perpetual state of Palestinian dependency on the organization.
UNRWA's institutionalized perpetuation of Palestinian refugee camps and culture makes peacemaking more difficult and deprives generations of Palestinians who were not refugees themselves the right to choose their own destiny. It does so at an unsustainable level for the mostly Western countries that financially support the organization.
JCPA: Lessons from Israel's Response to Terrorism
Amb. Dore Gold: Is the Terror against Europe Different from the Terror against Israel?
Effective solidarity among states has become a prerequisite for ultimately succeeding in the war of the West against jihadist terrorism. Yet, in the aftermath of the Islamic State’s brutal attacks in Paris during 2015 that left 129 dead, there began a discussion in the international media of whether the terrorist attacks against Israelis could be compared with the newest jihadist assault on European capitals. Recent events have challenged this European distinction. A cohesive military strategy is needed for the West, the Arab states that are threatened, and Israel. It stands to reason that, just as all three face similar threats, the models developed in Israel for dealing with terror merit attention in Europe and beyond.
Fiamma Nirenstein: Resilience, the Israeli People’s Weapon against Terror
An important component of Israel’s struggle against terrorism is its population’s psychology, resilience, and capacity to counter what has unfortunately been one of the characteristics of this state from its very origins: the constant attacks against civilians in the streets, public structures, cafes, and buses. How do the Israeli people overcome being on the front line against terror? The answer lies in Israel’s history, sociology, education, and social values, from which today’s vulnerable Europe can learn much.
Brig-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser: The National Security Aspect of Fighting Terror – The Israeli Experience
Israel’s overall strategy of fighting terror is a comprehensive approach that was developed out of ongoing learning efforts. Understanding the goals and strategy of the enemy and the context in which it operates, and being agile enough to rapidly adopt adequate responses that build on former solutions, enabled Israel to become a world leader in the fight against terror.
Lessons from Israel's Response to Terrorism



Democratic lawmakers urge Tillerson to stop Israeli trial
Thirty-two Democratic members of Congress have urged the secretary of state to help an Arab activist who is going on trial in Israel.
In a letter sent Wednesday, the lawmakers asked Rex Tillerson to utilize his influence in the case of Issa Amro, who is facing charges connected to protests he organized in Hevron.
US Reps. Keith Ellison and Betty McCollum, both of Minnesota, Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, and Mark Pocan of Wisconsin circulated the letter organized by the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, CODEPINK, Jewish Voice for Peace and American Muslims for Palestine.
Amro will appear July 9 in a military court to face 18 charges, most dating back to 2013, that include “spitting at a settler, obstructing soldiers and insulting them, and entering closed military zones,” Haaretz reported. An Israeli military spokesman described his actions as “disturbances,” but did not claim his protests are violent.
“After evidence of these offenses was collected, the indictment was served,” the spokesman said.
According to the congressional letter, Amro has been recognized by the United Nations and the European Union as a human rights defender for his organization, Youth Against Settlements. The UN and Amnesty International have condemned the case against him.
The letter questioned whether Amro would be judged fairly in the Israeli judicial system. (h/t Jewess)
UN trumpets Palestinian revisionist fraud: all of Israel is Palestinian, no to a Jewish state.
His remarks were made at a forum organized by the U.N.'s Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, which was created to implement the 1975 General Assembly "Zionism is racism" resolution.
Said Palestinian representative Erekat: "I'm the son of Jericho. I'm 10,000 years a son of the Natufians. We were there 5,500 years before Isho ben Nun came to my home town, Jericho. That's the truth. This is my narrative....So when Mr. Netanyahu says you must recognize Israel as a Jewish state, he is telling me hey, change your narrative. That's what he's doing. He's turning this conflict into a religious conflict...Call it Islamic state, Jewish state, that should be a forbidden zone..."
Erekat's hate-filled UN-sponsored diatribe also included classic antisemitism, blaming money-grubbing Jews for the regions' ills.
In his words: "So I think a question that I would like to see answered or a general opinion is, is the Jewish religion being exploited for economic gains by a key elite segment within Israeli society? And are they the ones that are driving this conflict..."
All of the proceedings were webcast around the world - courtesy of taxpayers everywhere, including Americans.
Man blinded in terror attack to speak at UN against PA terrorist stipends
Oren Almog, who lost five members of his family along with his eyesight in a terrorist attack at the Maxim restaurant in Haifa in 2003, where 21 died and 51 were wounded, will speak at the UN Security Council next month as part of the Israeli government's struggle against the Palestinian Authority's payments to convicted terrorists.
Almog will travel to the UN Security Council at the initiative of Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, and in cooperation with the pro-Israel advocacy organization StandWithUs.
"Those responsible for the murder of my family receive a monthly payment from the PA," Almog told Yedioth Ahronoth. "The Palestinian leadership speaks to the world about peace, but pays the terrorists and their families. This is explicit support for the murder of innocents. I will come to the UN and call upon the international community to act to stop this funding and to prevent future terror attacks."
The Maxim restaurant suicide bombing was perpetrated by Hanadi Jaradat, who blew herself up in as an act of revenge after Israel Defense Forces undercover operatives in Jenin killed her cousin and her younger brother, both of whom were members of Islamic Jihad, with her cousin being a senior member of the Al-Quds Brigades group.
Report: Palestinian Authority has ceased paying 500 terrorists
Researcher Bushara al-Tawil, who specializes in the subject of Palestinian Arab prisoners, told Hamas newspaper Palestin that the Palestinian Authority had ceased paying salaries to 500 prisoners.
"We need a real intifada, of all the freed prisoners. They need their salaries," al-Tawil said.
According to her, the Palestinian Authority has a large budget intended for its prisoners, but decided to slash the budget in accordance with its new and changing guidelines.
According to Abdullah Abu Shalbak, spokesman for the demonstrating ex-prisoners who claims to have spent 21 years in Israeli jails,, the Palestinian Authority ceased paying monthly salaries to 277 prisoners, including 23 who are currently in Judea, Samaria, or abroad, and 48 who were released in the "Shalit deal" and later recaptured by Israel.
Freed terrorists who no longer receive their monthly salaries protested this week in the center of Ramallah, setting up a protest tent in the city's "Hasha'on Square." One of the claims is that Fatah convicts continued to receive payments, with only Hamas and Islamic Jihad members losing their stipends.
UN hosts hatefest comparing Israelis to ISIS
At an anti-Israel U.N. "Forum to Mark 50 Years of Occupation" on June 29, 2017, an invited Palestinian official equated the "Jewish State", with ISIS, the "Islamic State." Saeb Erekat, a Palestinian representative and top negotiator, made the remarks during the opening of an extraordinary two-day UN-sponsored Israel-bashing event.
In Erekat's words:
"There are two ways combined to defeat ISIS. One is ending the Israeli occupation that began in 1967...Ending the Israeli occupation is a must, is a responsibility for the international community. And the logic of some of those who argue that why should Israel make peace, it has 5,000 tanks, it has 3,000 fighting planes and nuclear weapons, Congress, Senate, and Nikki Haley to defend them justly or unjustly. And then these people stand to speak about defeating ISIS. Enough. Enough."
Hamas and PFLP Are ‘Not Terrorist Organizations,’ Top Palestinian Official Claims at UN Anti-Israel Forum
A senior PLO official and former negotiator with Israel went before a UN forum on Thursday to emphatically deny that Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) were terror groups.
“Hamas and the PFLP are not terrorist organizations,” Saeb Erekat — the PLO’s secretary-general and a principal negotiator of the 1993 Oslo Accords with Israel — declared.
“We are a people who strive to achieve our independence — and our choice in the PLO, the Palestine Liberation Organization, is to achieve peace peacefully,” Erekat went on to say in a speech given on the opening day of a two-day UN conference “to mark 50 years of occupation.”
Indicating that Palestinian enthusiasm for US President Donald Trump’s bid to revive direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) was quickly diminishing, Erekat — who spoke to the forum as a representative of the “State of Palestine” — asserted, “We do not have a partner in Israel today. ”
“The Israeli government, headed by Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, is trying to replace the two-state solution with ‘one state, two systems’ apartheid,” Erekat said, invoking one of the most persistent themes of anti-Israel propaganda: that the Jewish state legally discriminates against Palestinians in the same manner as the former white supremacist regime in South Africa.
Other speakers at the first day of the conference — titled “Ending the Occupation: The Path to Independence, Justice and Peace for Palestine” — included Nabil Elaraby, a former secretary-general of the Arab League, Aida Touma-Sliman, a member of the Knesset from the anti-Zionist “Joint List,” and Nasser al-Kidwa, a former PLO foreign minister.
Israel’s Opposition Aids Delegitimizers
The very fact that the left-wing opposition can continuously castigate the current coalition with impunity without any real fear of retribution arguably most resoundingly repudiates the repeated accusations of “fascism.”
What self-respecting fascist regime would tolerate such recalcitrant behavior? The perpetrators would have long been dispatched, post haste, to either prison or the hereafter.
Surely the time has come for the left-wing opposition to realize that their reckless rhetoric inflicts tremendous and unwarranted harm on their country; surely the time has come for them to desist from this egregious tactic for electoral advantage, especially as it has proven so hopelessly ineffectual.
In this regard, perhaps the Left would do well to recall that is has always prided itself on its acceptance of the “The Other.”
So, in its quest for greater success in the democratic process, perhaps it’s time for the representatives of the Israeli Left to come to terms with the existence of “The Other” and reconcile itself with the idea that people who think differently to them are just as legitimate as those who look different to them.
Indian prime minister to meet massacre survivor Moshe Holtzberg
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Israel next week for an historical visit, during which he will meet Moshe Holtzberg, the young boy who miraculously survived a terror attack and massacre in 2008.
Modi's 3-day trip will mark the first time an Indian prime minister visits Israel.
Moshe's parents were killed in the attack, and his nanny Sandra miraculously managed to escape the besieged building holding Moshe in her arms. After the attack, Sandra brought Moshe to Israel and was granted Israeli citizenship.
Four other Jews were killed in the attack.
According to Yediot Aharonot, Modi is expected to meet Holtzberg, his grandparents, and Sandra in the Tel Aviv Convention Center.
Israel awarded highest ranking for combating human trafficking
For the sixth year in a row, the U.S. State Department has named Israel a Tier 1 country in combatting human trafficking for its efforts to identify and rescue trafficking victims and punish traffickers.
Since 2001, the State Department has assigned countries to one of four tiers in its annual report, based on their government efforts to put a stop to trafficking in persons. Until 2012, the State Department ranked Israel a Tier 2 nation in its annual report on the fight against human trafficking. A Tier 2 ranking indicates a country that does not meet the minimum standards of combating human trafficking but is making efforts to do so. Israel became a Tier 1 country in June 2012.
In a statement, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said that "the Justice Ministry is leading the government's activity on the issue. We will continue to act so that the phenomenon of modern-day slavery disappears from our region."
In a step that could aggravate tensions between Washington and Beijing, which have eased under U.S. President Donald Trump, China was downgraded to the State Department's global list of the worst offenders in human trafficking and forced labor.
State Dept. Sanctions 4 of 6 Nations in Trump Travel Ban for Child Soldiers, Child Sex Slaves
The U.S. Department of State’s 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report singles out eight nations for specifically trafficking children for purposes ranging from training and arming them as soldiers to servants and sex slaves. This designation brings sanctions to those countries on certain security assistance and commercial licensing of military equipment.
The list and sanctions, congressionally mandated by the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008, apply on Oct. 1, 2016, and for fiscal year 2018 for the following countries: Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
Four of these nations – Somalia, Syria, Sudan, and Yemen – are on the list of nations in President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration seeking to limit and closely screen individuals coming into the United States from these countries. Their governments are either unwilling or unable to properly vet individuals for ties to terrorism before leaving the country. The other two countries on Trump’s travel list are Libya and Iran.
“The term ‘child soldier’ includes any person… who is serving in any capacity, including in a support role, such as a ‘cook, porter, messenger, medic, guard, or sex slave,’” the trafficking report states.
This applies to individuals under 18 for all trafficking of children and children under 15 used as child soldiers.
GOOD TRUMP: Administration Cuts Funds For U.N. Peacekeeping
The Trump administration is making good on a promise to hold the increasingly corrupt United Nations accountable. Early Thursday, U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley put to rest any suggestions that the White House was bluffing when it said it would cut funds to the international body.
“Just 5 months into our time here, we've cut over half a billion [dollars] from the UN peacekeeping budget and we’re only getting started,” she tweeted.
The post “left many on social media bewildered,” according to The Hill.
As The Daily Wire reported, Trump has long promised a day of reckoning for the despots, theocrats, and charlatans at the U.N.
After the Obama administration’s shameful encouragement of the international body’s staunchly anti-Israel agenda, Trump called for a more serious review of the U.N.’s so-called “peacekeeping” work.
In his first month in office, Trump signed an executive order asking for “at least a 40% overall decrease” in U.S. funding for the U.N. organizations that violate certain criteria. One such criterion was whether a given U.N. body recognizes full membership to the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, Islamist-inspired political projects accused of promoting terrorism and violence against Jews.
JPost Editorial: Keep your promise
According to NGO Monitor, Al-Haq is not the only Palestinian nonprofit that has ties to the PFLP. Others include Addameer, the Alternative Information Center, Defense for Children International – Palestine, the Health Work Committee, Stop the Wall, the Palestine Center for Human Rights, and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees.
Jewish Voice for Peace, another group that took part together with Al-Haq in the UN forum, organized a 2017 National Member Meeting in April that featured Rasmea Odeh, a PFLP operative convicted of US immigration fraud after concealing her role in two terrorist bombings in Israel.
Slightly more surprising was the participation of former foreign minister Shlomo Ben-Ami, Joint List MK Aida Touma- Sliman and executive director of B’Tselem Hagai El-Ad.
How can we take these individuals’ calls for justice seriously when their ideological bedfellows are members of an organization that is willing to use suicide bombings and coldblooded attacks on civilians – including stabbing to death babies and little children as they sleep – to further their goals? The same question must be asked of NGOs that collaborate with Hamas, which like PFLP is considered a terrorist organization by the US, Canada, the EU and Israel.
In April, during a speech to delegates at the World Jewish Congress’s plenary assembly while Israel marked Holocaust Remembrance Day, the UN secretary-general said that he would be “on the front lines in the fight against antisemitism,” and promised to “make sure the UN is able to conduct all possible actions for antisemitism to be... eradicated from the face of the earth.” Guterres added that “a modern form of antisemitism is the denial of the right of the State of Israel to exist.”
It is time for Guterres to keep his promise.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to Visit Israel in August
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will visit Israel in August for his first trip to the Jewish state since assuming the leadership of the world body at the start of this year.
Guterres will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin, receive briefings from senior security officials, and visit Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust remembrance center.
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon, who will accompany Guterres during the visit, said he was “looking forward to showing [Guterres] the true Israel, which is an island of prosperity and stability in the tumultuous Middle East.”
“Particularly because of the UN’s discriminating treatment of Israel, it’s important for the secretary-general to see the complex challenges Israel is dealing with up close, along with its great contribution to the world as an innovative and groundbreaking country in many fields,” Danon added, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.
U.S. Aircraft Carrier to Visit Israel for First Time in 17 Years
A United States aircraft carrier is slated to dock in an Israeli port for the first time in 17 years on Saturday.
The USS George H. W. Bush, named for the World War II naval aviator and 41st U.S. president, is scheduled to arrive in Haifa for a four day stopover with a crew of about 5,700 sailors and pilots and some 90 planes, Haaretz reported. The crew will spend the Fourth of July in Israel.
Because of its massive size, the George H. W. Bush will be unable to dock at Haifa’s port, but will remain offshore. Ferries will transport the crew to land.
The carrier, a Nimitz class nuclear-powered vessel, was deployed to the Persian Gulf to serve as a base for air strikes against the Islamic State in Syria.
On a visit to Israel in April, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said that Washington “maintains absolute and unwavering commitment to Israel’s security.”
Israeli plane hits Syrian army after shell lands in Golan
An Israeli warplane struck a Syrian army post on Friday, hours after stray fire from Syria’s civil war hit the Israeli Golan Heights, in the 16th such spillover just this week, the IDF said.
“In response to the projectile launched earlier today at Israel from Syria, an Israel Air Force aircraft targeted the Syrian army position that fired the mortar,” the English-language Israeli statement said.
“The errant projectile was a result of internal fighting in Syria.”
No one was hurt and no damage was reported in the incident. IDF forces located the shell casing near the border fence not far from Quneitra.
Rebels recently launched an offensive against government forces in Quneitra on the Syrian side of the armistice line.
Syrian rebels near Golan ask world for support against 'Assad’s terrorist regime'
Syrian rebels who have been fighting against the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad near Quneitra on the Golan claim to have killed 108 Syrian army soldiers in recent clashes, including high ranking officers.
In an exclusive interview with The Jerusalem Post, the spokesman Abo Omar Algolany said Syrian rebel factions were still trying to liberate Quneitra province.
Over the weekend of June 24th fighting between Syrian rebels and Assad’s forces led to projectiles falling on the Israeli side of the border and Israel struck Syrian regime tanks in response. According to Algolany a number of “revolutionary factions” that are active near the Golan border formed a unified “operations room” under the name “Operations of the Army of Muhammed” and launched an attack dubbed “there is no God but you, O God” to push Assad’s forces out of the Quneitra area. “The regime forces shell civilian homes, villages and towns adjacent to the Golan heights,” said Algolany. His statements correspond with other information online that says five different rebel groups cooperated in the attacks last week against an area called “Ba’ath city” which is around one kilometer from the Israeli border and near the ruins of the old town of Quneitra. This area can be easily seen from the Israeli side.
The Syrian rebels are facing reinforcements from Hezbollah as well as “Iranian Shi’ite militias” that prop-up Assad’s forces in the area, according to the source. “The rebels managed to control the first defensive lines of the Assad militia in Ba’ath City and eastern Samadaniyah, which is located near the city. They killed 108 members of the Assad regime, including high ranking officers. They destroyed three tanks.” Video posted on twitter claims to show the successes of the battle.
UN tells Syrian forces to leave buffer zone on border with Israel
The UN Security Council on Thursday strongly condemned fighting in the buffer zone between Syria and Israel and urged the Syrian government and opposition groups to withdraw from the area which is patrolled by UN peacekeepers.
A resolution sponsored by Russia and the United States and adopted unanimously Thursday by the UN Security Council extends the mandate of the peacekeeping mission known as UNDOF until Dececember 31.
Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Mideast war and later extended civil law over the strategic plateau overlooking northern Israel, in a move that is not internationally recognized.
The United Nations Disengagement Observer Force has patrolled the buffer zone between Syria and Israel since 1974, a year after the 1973 Yom Kippur War. For nearly four decades UNDOF helped enforce a stable truce between the two countries but the Syrian war spilled into the zone.
The six-year conflict has not only seen some intense fighting in the buffer zone but the abduction of peacekeepers by al-Qaeda-linked anti-Syrian government militants, and other attacks that prompted several countries to withdraw their soldiers.
Sarin nerve gas used in deadly Syria attack, says chemical weapons watchdog
An investigation by the international chemical weapons watchdog confirmed Friday that sarin nerve gas was used in a deadly April 4 attack on a Syrian town, the latest confirmation of chemical weapons use in Syria’s civil war.
The attack on Khan Sheikhoun in Syria’s Idlib province left more than 90 people dead, including women and children, and sparked outrage around the world as photos and video of the aftermath, including quivering children dying on camera, were widely broadcast.
“I strongly condemn this atrocity, which wholly contradicts the norms enshrined in the Chemical Weapons Convention,” Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu said in a statement. “The perpetrators of this horrific attack must be held accountable for their crimes.”
The investigation did not apportion blame. Its findings will be used by a joint United Nations-OPCW investigation team to assess who was responsible.
The OPCW scheduled a meeting of its Executive Council July 5 to discuss the findings.
The US State Department said in a statement issued Thursday night after the report was circulated to OPCW member states that “The facts reflect a despicable and highly dangerous record of chemical weapons use by the Assad regime.”
Hamas Official: Trump Administration Seeking to Establish ‘Palestinian Entity,’ Not an ‘Independent State’
The US is seeking to establish a “Palestinian entity,” not an “independent state,” a top Hamas official claimed this week, the Hebrew news site nrg reported.
Furthermore, Moussa Abu Marzouk — the deputy chairman of the Hamas political bureau — asserted that the Trump administration’s nascent Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative was meant to “serve Jewish interests.”
“American policy is pushing for the implementation of a confederation plan with Jordan and Egypt,” Marzouk tweeted.
Marzouk’s statements came a week after top Trump administration officials Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt met with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.
That meeting, nrg said, left PA officials pessimistic, feeling that the Trump administration was biased in favor of Israel.
Abbas — according to PA officials quoted by nrg — tried to raise issues such as borders and refugees, while the American officials were focused on the PA’s payments to terrorists and their families and its incitement against Israel.
No understandings were reached and the discussion reached a dead end, nrg reported.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Palestinian Teachers Fear Students’ Murderous Hate For Jews Will Atrophy Over Summer (satire)
Educators in the Palestinian Authority school system and in the parallel institutions run by the United nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees voiced concern this week over the impending two-month summer break from formal studies, during which the hard work they invested inculcating in the children vengeful animosity toward Jews might dissipate.
With the school year reaching its formal completion this Friday, teachers and other staff members at schools across the Palestinian Territories expressed anxiety over how successful they had been at instilling lasting Jew-hate in their students during the last ten months. Summer camps will provide some of the same treatment to the children during July and August in informal settings, but the educators can only hope the hard work they have put into growing the next generation of stabbers, bombers, vehicular homicide perpetrators, hijackers, and inciters to murder does not go to waste once their young charges leave behind the school walls for the summer.
“I know summer camp can provide some of that content, but I still worry,” admitted Jenin sixth-grade teacher Sobbi Bor. “When the kids move up to seventh grade in September, will they retain the same level of murderous ill will, or will their new teachers have to go over some of the ground I was supposed to cover, just to get them up to speed? It’s a real worry of mine – basically, was I good enough? Am I good enough?”
For veteran Palestinian educators, the feelings are all too familiar. “Man, not a year goes by that I don’t dread the summer for this reason,” concurred Mustafa Massikr, who teaches fourth grade in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah. “It doesn’t get any easier. My mind fills up with visions of the children losing what I’ve tried to teach them, and actually starting to see Jews as human, or at least deserving of compassion or respect. Only through mindfulness training have I managed to overcome those nightmares and push forward.”
Five suicide bombers attack Lebanese army during raids
Five suicide bombers attacked Lebanese soldiers as they raided two Syrian refugee camps in the Arsal area at the border with Syria on Friday and a sixth militant threw a hand grenade at a patrol, the army said.
The army said seven soldiers were wounded and a girl was killed after one of the suicide bombers blew himself up in the midst of a family of refugees. It did not elaborate.
The raids were part of a major security sweep by the army in an area that has been a flashpoint for violent spillover from the Syria crisis, and several Islamic State officials were among some 350 people detained, a security source said.
The defense minister was quoted as saying the incident showed the importance of tackling the refugee crisis - Lebanon is hosting over 1 million refugees - and vindicated a policy of "pre-emptive strikes" against militant sleeper cells.
US accuses UN of failing to address Iran’s ‘repeated’ flouting of nuclear deal
The United States on Thursday accused Iran of “repeatedly and deliberately” violating a UN resolution that endorsed the landmark 2015 nuclear deal and said the Security Council had failed to respond.
US Ambassador Nikki Haley pointed to “repeated ballistic missile launches, proven arms smuggling,” purchases of missile technology and a violations of a travel ban on Iranian military officials as proof that Iran was not upholding its international obligations.
“The Security Council has failed to take even minimal steps to respond to these violations,” Haley told a council meeting called to discuss Iran.
“These measures are here for a reason. This council should be here to enforce them,” she said.
The Security Council adopted resolution 2231 two years ago to endorse the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, lifting economic sanctions in exchange for curbs to Tehran’s nuclear program.
The resolution called on Iran not to test ballistic missiles capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and an arms embargo remained in place.
US set to seize NYC skyscraper whose owner violated Iran sanctions
The US government said it’s ready to seize a Manhattan skyscraper from an Iranian-American charity after a jury found Thursday that the charity’s majority ownership was derived from financial dealings that violated sanctions against Iran.
Acting US Attorney Joon H. Kim said the owners of the office tower near Rockefeller Center “gave the Iranian government a critical foothold in the very heart of Manhattan through which Iran successfully circumvented US economic sanctions.”
“For over a decade, hiding in plain sight, this 36-story Manhattan office tower secretly served as a front for the Iranian government and as a gateway for millions of dollars to be funneled to Iran in clear violation of US sanctions laws,” Kim said in a statement. “In this trial, 650 Fifth Avenue’s secret was laid bare for all to see, and today’s jury verdict affirms what we have been alleging since 2008.”




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          South Sudan: National Consultancy: Behavioural Study on Determinants of Use/ Non-use of Family Planning (via Reliefweb)   
UNFPA: South Sudan: National Consultancy: Behavioural Study on Determinants of Use/ Non-use of Family Planning (via Reliefweb) in UN Population Fund Country: South Sudan. Closing date: 1970-01-01
          South Sudan: International Consultancy: Behavioural Study on Determinants of Use/ Non-use of Family Planning (via Reliefweb)   
UNFPA: South Sudan: International Consultancy: Behavioural Study on Determinants of Use/ Non-use of Family Planning (via Reliefweb) in UN Population Fund Country: South Sudan. Closing date: 1970-01-01
          Consultancy ? Developer of a Website and Digital Communications Strategy   
UNDP: Consultancy ? Developer of a Website and Digital Communications Strategy in Home-based/Juba, SOUTH SUDAN. Closing date: 2017-06-30
          QIPS   
Recent Uploads tagged government QIPS UNMISS MEDIA posted a photo: A young woman looks on while attending s a gathering between local villagers with David Shearer, special representative to the United Nations mission in South Sudan, during a tour of the weapons free zone on the permitter of the UN-House, Protection of Civilians (PoC) site […]
          Crowded hospitals and mothers in need: A male midwife on delivering babies in South Sudan   
Joseph Deng is one of the people helping thanks to a UN program for which Canada is the largest donor
          SLAF sends first replacement aviation unit under UN mission to South Sudan   
The first replacement group of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) Aviation Unit under the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) left the country on Tuesday (27th June), Air Force media said. The group of 56 SLAF personnel departed the country from the Bandaranaike International Airport for the annual changing of first group personnel left June… Read More
          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...
          Director of Trade and Logistics Center - Global cst - Johannesburg, Gauteng   
Advantage of experience in agricultural products and consumer goods. For trade center in South Sudan.... R25 000 a month
From Indeed - Wed, 28 Jun 2017 08:43:42 GMT - View all Johannesburg, Gauteng jobs
          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
          South Sudan says aid workers can not go to 'insecure' rebel-held areas   
NAIROBI: South Sudan's government says it may withhold permission for aid workers to go to some rebel-held areas on security grounds, the president's spokesman said on Thursday, after the U.N. complained aid convoys were being blocked. "We cannot allow them (aid workers) to go and then be hit by ...
          Director of Trade and Logistics Center - Global cst - Johannesburg, Gauteng   
Advantage of experience in agricultural products and consumer goods. For trade center in South Sudan.... R25 000 a month
From Indeed - Wed, 28 Jun 2017 08:43:42 GMT - View all Johannesburg, Gauteng jobs
          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
          Reporting on the conflict in Sudan   
More than a year has passed since South Sudan voted to secede from Sudan and become an independent country. But after months of escalating tension, the two Sudans are once again on the brink of an all-out war.
          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: 

          National Consultant to Support to Public Administration Project ? IGAD Regional Initiative for Capacity Enhancement in South Sudan - Phase II - Juba   
Application Deadline: 14 July 2017
          Using ICTs to Map the Future of Humanitarian Aid (part 1)   
Haiti map after the 2010 earthquake. Over 450 OpenStreetMap volunteers from an estimated 29 countries digitized roads, landmarks and buildings to assist with disaster response and reconstruction. OpenStreetMap/ITO World

The word “disruption” is frequently used to describe technology’s impact on every facet of human existence, including how people travel, learn, and even speak.

Now a growing cadre of digital humanitarians and technology enthusiasts are applying this disruption to the way humanitarian aid and disaster response are administered and monitored.

Humanitarian, or crisis, mapping refers to the real-time gathering and analysis of data during a crisis. Mapping projects allows people directly affected by humanitarian crises or physically located on the other side of the world to contribute information utilizing ICTs as diverse as mobile and web-based applications, aggregated data from social media, aerial and satellite imagery, and geospatial platforms such as geographic information systems (GIS).

Enter the Mappers

When a crisis strikes, it can be difficult for aid teams to coordinate their response if the affected area has been insufficiently mapped.

Enter the humanitarian mappers – thousands of mostly unpaid volunteers that provide vital information to aid agencies and responders by: monitoring social media in the affected area to see how or where the crisis is spreading; keeping tabs on news reports to gauge any impact on communication networks; and downloading satellite imagery of poorly mapped regions to ensure critical infrastructure – such as hospitals, roads and communications networks – have been properly identified.

Utilizing maps and satellite imagery from Google, the U.S. Department of State’s Humanitarian Information Unit and other providers, mapping can be of a single hazard or several hazard maps  can be combined in a single map to provide a composite picture.

One of the first major crisis mapping events was the 2010 Haiti earthquake which left hundreds of thousands dead and damaged infrastructure. Hundreds of mappers tracked Tweets from affected Haitians and used satellite imagery from the World Bank to carefully trace the road network in-country. According to leading digital humanitarian Dr. Patrick Meier, this crowdsourced map became “the most detailed roadmap of Haiti ever produced” and was done in a matter of days.

Mapping tools

A few well-known mapping tools are Ushahidi, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT), MapAction, and the International Network of CrisisMappers. Ushahidi, out of Kenya, tracks election monitoring and citizen engagement as well as crisis mapping, and is considered a leader in the field. Over 3,500 volunteers have collectively made 12 million edits to OpenStreetMap according to its web site, while CrisisMappers engages more than 8,900 members in over 160 countries. MapAction trains volunteers on its individual mapping service and deploys them to crisis areas with the United Nations’ rapid response Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team.

HOT was the mapping platform used in the 2010 Haitian earthquake. Tyler Radford, HOT’s Executive Director, said that the group works with a range of partners to stay on the cutting edge of the mapping field.

“We work to serve the needs of humanitarian partners active on the ground such as American Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), and many more, “he said. “We have operations in Northern Uganda to assist in providing better information on the South Sudan [refugee] crisis, and in Turkey to support Syrian refugees.”

Although HOT, along with partners at Missing Maps, has put more than thirty million people on the world map, many places in the world are still largely invisible. And HOT plans to do something about it.

“Over the next 3 to 5 years, HOT will be working on making mapping even more widely accessible to more people than at any time in history. …We are researching things like artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically detect and extract features like buildings and roads from satellite imagery,” said Radford. “We are helping more local OpenStreetMap enthusiasts run projects that contribute to real-world challenges in their communities by providing small grants, [and we are] training… more volunteers and local governments to… map the places they live and work and fill critical data gaps.”

I took HOT’s mapping platform for a spin a few months ago. After inadvertently locking a high priority mapping project underway so that I could play around – my apologies, guys – I picked a lower priority project and attempted to highlight a few buildings and roads in Zimbabwe. The process was actually fun; it was amazing to see what I highlighted become easily identifiable sections of the map. Too nervous to save my changes, it was nonetheless easy to understand why mapping is so appealing and an increasingly important piece of the ‘digital humanitarian’ movement.
          John Kerry was behind the deal to put Dr. Riak Machar’s house arrest   
July 1, 2017 Posted by GERARD PRUNIER in International Affairs Last August , after Riak Machar had nearly been assassinated the previous month in Juba while trying to implement the South Sudanese “Peace Agreement” and had walked to the Congo , he had been exfiltrated from Goma by a Sudanese plane , together with his wife , son and a...
          Comment on Qatar: Al Jazeera in the Middle by Thomas   
Hi Berhe, Thank you for responding. One thing to mention, all gebar has limits (this could be from the environment they are exposed to, education and culture) and all tegadelti's were never the same (some would give value to the gebars & others might have belittled and made jokes on the gebars). I like to see Eritreans talk about Eritrea. Gedli's task was completed in the year of 1991 and concluded with the Eritrean people participation of the referendum (result: 99.98). It really never matters if someone likes to joke about gedli, tegadelti or anything that happened 26 years ago. We have a sovereign nation just like every nation the world, PEOPLE MUST WEAK-UP FOR GOD'S SEEK!! I will never get "the protecting the gedli" thing, ever!! Even the South Sudanese with all the difference among them cannot reverse their independence and unify their country with the North Sudan/former Sudan. Somethings just cannot be reversed!!
          Lifting of famine in South Sudan a “precarious victory”   
The lifting of the famine classification for parts of South Sudan should be welcomed but must not obscure the “humanitarian catastrophe” that has enveloped the entire country, says a senior Red Cross official. “This announcement is testament to what can be achieved when resources are available and access is possible,” said Dr Michael Charles, the […]
          South Sudan Council of Churches heads send message of hope, plea for peace   
The heads of churches in the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC) in Addis Ababa have expressed gratitude to Ethiopia’s government, churches and its people for sheltering their South Sudanese neighbours fleeing conflict in their homeland. “In a world where migrants are becoming increasingly unwelcome almost everywhere, Ethiopia shines out as a beacon of hope […]
          Regional, National, and Sub-national Stakeholders Discuss Practical Actions to Address Climate Change, Food Insecurity and Resilient Livelihoods in South Sudan   
A wide-ranging coalition of policy makers, political leaders, and development partners held a two-day interactive conference in Juba, South Sudan designed to generate ideas and concrete action points to protect and help vulnerable communities to adapt against the negative effects of climate change. “South Sudan should approach climate change as an opportunity to move towards […]
          Children continue to bear the brunt of multiple emergencies in Sudan   
Over the last few months, Sudan has faced multiple emergencies with the rapid spread of suspected cases of acute watery diarrhea across 12 of its 18 states, a significant influx of South Sudanese refugees, and high rates of malnutrition, especially in the Jebel Marra Area of Central Darfur. Over 16,600 cases of acute watery diarrhea […]
          Germany donates 16 million euros to UNHCR for S. Sudanese refugees in Uganda   
The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany announced yesterday a grant of Euro 16 million to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to assist South Sudanese refugees in Uganda. The contribution will help UNHCR provide nearly 1 million South Sudanese refugees with improved access to education, better housing and increased access to drinking […]
          Director of Trade and Logistics Center - Global cst - Johannesburg, Gauteng   
Advantage of experience in agricultural products and consumer goods. For trade center in South Sudan.... R25 000 a month
From Indeed - Wed, 28 Jun 2017 08:43:42 GMT - View all Johannesburg, Gauteng jobs
          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
          By 2100, Refugees Would Be the Most Populous Country on Earth   
Poverty and deadly wars are the major drivers of displacement.

The UN Refugee Agency has announced the new figures for the world’s displaced: 65.9 million. That means that 65.9 million human beings live as refugees, asylum seekers or as internally displaced people. If the refugees formed a country, it would be the 21st largest state in the world, just after Thailand (68.2 million) and just ahead of the United Kingdom (65.5 million). But unlike these other states, refugees have few political rights and no real representation in the institutions of the world.

The head of the UN Refugee Agency, Filippo Grandi, recently said that most of the displacement comes as a result of war. "The world seems to have become unable to make peace," Grandi said. "So you see old conflicts that continue to linger, and new conflicts erupting, and both produce displacement. Forced displacement is a symbol of wars that never end."

Few continents are immune from the harsh reality of war. But the epicenter of war and displacement is along the axis of the Western-driven global war on terror and resource wars. The line of displacement runs from Afghanistan to South Sudan with Syria in between. Eyes are on Syria, where the war remains hot and the tensions over escalation intensify daily. But there is as deadly a civil war in South Sudan, driven in large part by a ferocious desire to control the country’s oil. Last year, 340,000 people fled South Sudan for refugee camps in neighboring Uganda. This is a larger displacement than from Syria.

Poverty is a major driver of displacement. It is what moves hundreds of thousands of people to try and cross the Sahara Desert and then the Mediterranean Sea for European pastures. But most who try this journey meet a deadly fate. Both the Sahara and the Mediterranean are dangerous. This week, the UN’s International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Niger rescued 600 migrants from the Sahara, although 52 did not survive.

A 22-year-old woman from Nigeria was among those rescued. She was on a pick-up truck with 50 people. They left Agadez for Libya. ‘We were in the desert for ten days,’ she says. "After five days, the driver abandoned us. He left us with all of our belongings, saying he was going to pick us up in a couple of hours. But he never did." Forty-four of the migrants died. The six who remained struggled to safety. ‘We had to drink our own pee to survive,’ she said.

Getting to Libya is hard enough. But being in Libya is perilous. Violence against vulnerable migrants inside Libya continues to occur. The IOM reports the presence in Libya of ‘slave markets.’ Migrants who make it across the Sahara into Libya have told investigators that they find themselves in these slave markets where they are bought to be taken to private prisons and put to work or else sold back to their families if they can raise the high ransom payments. UNICEF reports incidents of rape and violence against women and children in these private prisons. One 15-year-old boy said of his time in a private prison, "Here they treat us like chickens. They beat us, they do not give us good water and good food. They harass us. So many people are dying here, dying from disease, freezing to death."

Danger lurks on the sea as well. This year already IOM reports least 2,108 deaths in the sea between Libya and Italy. This is the fourth year in a row that IOM has counted over 2,000 deaths by mid-year. Over the past five years, this averages out to about 10 deaths a day. Libya, broken by NATO’s war in 2011, remains a gateway for the vulnerable from various parts of Africa, countries damaged by IMF policies and by warfare. There is no expectation that the numbers of those on the march will decrease.

In a recent paper in The Lancet (June 2017), Paul Spiegel, formerly of the UN Refugee Agency suggests that the "humanitarian system was not designed to address the types of conflicts that are happening at present." With over 65 million people displaced, the various institutions of the UN and of the NGO world are simply not capable of managing the crisis.

"It is not simply overstretched," Spiegel wrote of the humanitarian system, "it is no longer fit for purpose."

These are shattering words. One problem Spiegel identifies is the assumption that refugee flows are temporary, since wars will end at some point. What happens when wars and occupations are permanent? People either have to live for generations in refugee camps or they will seek, through dangerous passages, flight to the West. He gives the example of Iran, which absorbed over a million Afghan refugees without using the camp strategy. They simply allowed the Afghans into Iranian society and absorbed them by putting money into their various social schemes (such as education and health). Spiegel also points out that refugees must be part of the designing the process for humanitarian aid. These are good suggestions, but they are not going to be possible with the limited funds available for refugees and with the crisis level of activity that detains the humanitarian agencies.

Spiegel does not deal with one of the great problems for humanitarianism: the persistence of war and the theory that more war—or the current euphemism, security—is the answer to humanitarian crises. This January, over 1,000 people tried to scale the large barrier that divides Morocco from the Spanish enclave of Ceuta. Looking at that barrier, one is reminded of the idea that walls will somehow prevent migration, a view driven by President Donald Trump. Violence met the migrants, a mirror of the violence that was visited among migrants along the spinal cord of Eastern Europe last year. Walls, police forces and military interventions are all seductive to an imagination that forgets why people migrate and that they are human beings on the run with few other options. There is a view that security barriers and security forces will raise the price of migrant and deter future migrants. This is a silly illusion. Migration is dangerous already. That has not stopped anyone. More humane thinking is necessary.

It is important therefore that the UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed told a meeting on the Sahel on June 28 that the world leaders need to "avoid a disproportionate emphasis on security" when dealing with the multiple crises in the Sahara region and north of it. "No purely military solution" can work against transnational organized crime, violent extremism and terrorism, nor against poverty and hopelessness. Underlying causes are not being addressed, and indeed the surface reactions—to bomb more—only create more problems, not less.

In the July issue of Land Use Policy, professors Charles Geisler and Ben Currens estimate that by 2100 there will be 2 billion refugees as a result of climate change. These numbers are staggering. They are an inevitable future. By then, refugees will be the largest country on earth—nomads, seeking shelter from destruction of climate and capitalism, from rising seas and wars of greed.

 

Related Stories


          East Tennessee State's Jurkin gets 6th year of eligibility   
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) — East Tennessee State center Peter Jurkin has been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA. Jurkin, a 7-footer from South Sudan, played a total of 11 games during his two seasons at Indiana because of lingering injuries. He also sat out the entire 2014-15 season due
          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
          AU chief tells South Sudan to silence guns   
The African Union Commission Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat says he is haunted by what he saw on a recent visit to war torn South Sudan. On the back of his experience in Africa’s youngest nation, he made a strong case for the continent to vigorously pursue the initiative to silence guns and bring an end […]
          Famine Alert in South Sudan Lifted, But Catastrophe Continues   

GENEVA � The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies warns that the humanitarian situation in South Sudan remains catastrophic, even though the country is no longer classified …


          By 2100, Refugees Would Be the Most Populous Country on Earth   
Poverty and deadly wars are the major drivers of displacement.

The UN Refugee Agency has announced the new figures for the world’s displaced: 65.9 million. That means that 65.9 million human beings live as refugees, asylum seekers or as internally displaced people. If the refugees formed a country, it would be the 21st largest state in the world, just after Thailand (68.2 million) and just ahead of the United Kingdom (65.5 million). But unlike these other states, refugees have few political rights and no real representation in the institutions of the world.

The head of the UN Refugee Agency, Filippo Grandi, recently said that most of the displacement comes as a result of war. "The world seems to have become unable to make peace," Grandi said. "So you see old conflicts that continue to linger, and new conflicts erupting, and both produce displacement. Forced displacement is a symbol of wars that never end."

Few continents are immune from the harsh reality of war. But the epicenter of war and displacement is along the axis of the Western-driven global war on terror and resource wars. The line of displacement runs from Afghanistan to South Sudan with Syria in between. Eyes are on Syria, where the war remains hot and the tensions over escalation intensify daily. But there is as deadly a civil war in South Sudan, driven in large part by a ferocious desire to control the country’s oil. Last year, 340,000 people fled South Sudan for refugee camps in neighboring Uganda. This is a larger displacement than from Syria.

Poverty is a major driver of displacement. It is what moves hundreds of thousands of people to try and cross the Sahara Desert and then the Mediterranean Sea for European pastures. But most who try this journey meet a deadly fate. Both the Sahara and the Mediterranean are dangerous. This week, the UN’s International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Niger rescued 600 migrants from the Sahara, although 52 did not survive.

A 22-year-old woman from Nigeria was among those rescued. She was on a pick-up truck with 50 people. They left Agadez for Libya. ‘We were in the desert for ten days,’ she says. "After five days, the driver abandoned us. He left us with all of our belongings, saying he was going to pick us up in a couple of hours. But he never did." Forty-four of the migrants died. The six who remained struggled to safety. ‘We had to drink our own pee to survive,’ she said.

Getting to Libya is hard enough. But being in Libya is perilous. Violence against vulnerable migrants inside Libya continues to occur. The IOM reports the presence in Libya of ‘slave markets.’ Migrants who make it across the Sahara into Libya have told investigators that they find themselves in these slave markets where they are bought to be taken to private prisons and put to work or else sold back to their families if they can raise the high ransom payments. UNICEF reports incidents of rape and violence against women and children in these private prisons. One 15-year-old boy said of his time in a private prison, "Here they treat us like chickens. They beat us, they do not give us good water and good food. They harass us. So many people are dying here, dying from disease, freezing to death."

Danger lurks on the sea as well. This year already IOM reports least 2,108 deaths in the sea between Libya and Italy. This is the fourth year in a row that IOM has counted over 2,000 deaths by mid-year. Over the past five years, this averages out to about 10 deaths a day. Libya, broken by NATO’s war in 2011, remains a gateway for the vulnerable from various parts of Africa, countries damaged by IMF policies and by warfare. There is no expectation that the numbers of those on the march will decrease.

In a recent paper in The Lancet (June 2017), Paul Spiegel, formerly of the UN Refugee Agency suggests that the "humanitarian system was not designed to address the types of conflicts that are happening at present." With over 65 million people displaced, the various institutions of the UN and of the NGO world are simply not capable of managing the crisis.

"It is not simply overstretched," Spiegel wrote of the humanitarian system, "it is no longer fit for purpose."

These are shattering words. One problem Spiegel identifies is the assumption that refugee flows are temporary, since wars will end at some point. What happens when wars and occupations are permanent? People either have to live for generations in refugee camps or they will seek, through dangerous passages, flight to the West. He gives the example of Iran, which absorbed over a million Afghan refugees without using the camp strategy. They simply allowed the Afghans into Iranian society and absorbed them by putting money into their various social schemes (such as education and health). Spiegel also points out that refugees must be part of the designing the process for humanitarian aid. These are good suggestions, but they are not going to be possible with the limited funds available for refugees and with the crisis level of activity that detains the humanitarian agencies.

Spiegel does not deal with one of the great problems for humanitarianism: the persistence of war and the theory that more war—or the current euphemism, security—is the answer to humanitarian crises. This January, over 1,000 people tried to scale the large barrier that divides Morocco from the Spanish enclave of Ceuta. Looking at that barrier, one is reminded of the idea that walls will somehow prevent migration, a view driven by President Donald Trump. Violence met the migrants, a mirror of the violence that was visited among migrants along the spinal cord of Eastern Europe last year. Walls, police forces and military interventions are all seductive to an imagination that forgets why people migrate and that they are human beings on the run with few other options. There is a view that security barriers and security forces will raise the price of migrant and deter future migrants. This is a silly illusion. Migration is dangerous already. That has not stopped anyone. More humane thinking is necessary.

It is important therefore that the UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed told a meeting on the Sahel on June 28 that the world leaders need to "avoid a disproportionate emphasis on security" when dealing with the multiple crises in the Sahara region and north of it. "No purely military solution" can work against transnational organized crime, violent extremism and terrorism, nor against poverty and hopelessness. Underlying causes are not being addressed, and indeed the surface reactions—to bomb more—only create more problems, not less.

In the July issue of Land Use Policy, professors Charles Geisler and Ben Currens estimate that by 2100 there will be 2 billion refugees as a result of climate change. These numbers are staggering. They are an inevitable future. By then, refugees will be the largest country on earth—nomads, seeking shelter from destruction of climate and capitalism, from rising seas and wars of greed.

 

Related Stories


          Famine Alert in South Sudan Lifted, But Catastrophe Continues   
By Lisa Schlein June 30, 2017. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies warns that the humanitarian situation in South Sudan remains catastrophic, even though the country is no longer classified as being in a state of famine.
          South Sudan: Famine Alert in South Sudan Lifted, But Catastrophe Continues   
GENEVA — The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies warns that the humanitarian situation in South Sudan remains catastrophic, even though the country is no longer classified as being in a state of famine. The government and the United Nations declared on June 21 an end to the famine that had struck parts of Unity State.
          Famine Alert in South Sudan Lifted, But Catastrophe Continues   
GENEVA — The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies warns that the humanitarian situation in South Sudan remains catastrophic, even though the country is no longer classified as being in a state of famine. The government and the United Nations declared on June 21 an end to the famine that had struck parts of Unity State.
          S. Sudan declares outbreak of armyworms in Imatong and Jubek   
By Julius Gale JUBA, (Xinhua) -- An outbreak of armyworms was on Friday declared in the southeastern region of South Sudan, which is already struggling with a severe food insecurity for an estimated 6 million people. Government Spokesman Michael Makuei told reporters that the deadly crop-eating pest has been reported in Imatong and Jubek states.
          Despite lifting of famine, food insecurity still dire in South Sudan: IFRC   
JUBA, June 30 (Xinhua) -- The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) on Friday called for more efforts to tackle food insecurity in South Sudan, saying the situation in the conflict-torn country remains dire despite ease of famine.
          International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)   
Across the country, six million people are food insecure. The lifting of the famine classification for parts of South Sudan should be welcomed but must not obscure the “humanitarian catastrophe” that has enveloped the entire country, says a senior Red Cross official.
          Lifting of famine in South Sudan a “precarious victory”   
GENEVA, Switzerland, June 30, 2017/APO/ -- The lifting of the famine classification for parts of South Sudan should be welcomed but must not obscure the “humanitarian catastrophe” that has enveloped the entire country, says a senior Red Cross official.
          South Sudan says aid workers can not go to 'insecure' rebel-held areas   
NAIROBI (Reuters) - South Sudan's government says it may withhold permission for aid workers to go to some rebel-held areas on security grounds, the president's spokesman said on Thursday, after the U.N. complained aid convoys were being blocked. "We cannot allow them (aid workers) to go and then be....
          Canada's 'Independence Day' And Teaching At Wells In South Sudan   
On today's show:  As Canada celebrates the 150th anniversary of its confederation, we look at how our neighbor to the north and U.S....

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          Mapper of the Month : Jorieke Vyncke (Belgium)   

Jorieke, a 28 years old Belgian, has spend a lot of time the past few years to support local OpenStreetMap communities all over the world. She worked on several projects in Africa, Europe and Asia to train people and to promote OpenStreetMap by local and international players.

Jorieke at the  Mapfugees in Duinkerke

Where and when did you discover OpenStreetMap?

I discovered OpenStreetMap at the end of 2010, "you will enjoy it", and YES ! I showed OpenStreetMap to my two brothers and together with them I mapped our village Wechelderzande Thanks to my student job as mailman, it was very easy, I knew half of the house numbers in the village by heart! Some time later, I discovered HOT, the Humanitarian OpenStreetmap Team, and Map Kibera. As social agoge, who had the ambition to work internationally and who was enormously interested in participation and spatiality, it simply had to interest me. My studies in 'Conflict and Development' gave me the opportunity to delve deeper in this type of mapping. I even got the chance to work for 6 weeks in Bangladesh for my master thesis. It gave me the possibility to talk with students and professors in architecture and spatial planning, the local OpenStreetMap community and a lot of people living in slums. And yes, it was them who really convinced me to use OpenStreetMap as a tool in humanitarian and development contexts. Precisely because they can put their neighborhood on the map themselves. After this project, everything went fast, a few months later I flew for the first time to Africa for the Eurosha project, in which HOT was one of the partners. And it never really stopped since then...

Do you use OpenStreetMap yourself?

Of course ! The apps OsmAnd and Maps.ME have "saved" me several times when I am abroad. You should see the faces of the taxi drivers in Bamako or Abidjan, when I can navigate them without problems to my destination. And when you show them the apps, their surprise is complete. "OpenStreetMap for taxi drivers", would make a nice little project :-) Those apps also give me confidence when I walk around in an unknown neighborhood, because now you know where you are and where you want to go.

Besides this personal use, I also often use OpenStreetMap for my work. For example, during my last project in Côte d'Ivoire, the complete logistic planning was based on OpenStreetMap. Check out one of the maps I made with Umap for this purpose.

I was very gratefull for HOT's Ebola activation! The western part of the Côte d'Ivoire is about perfect! With a few corrections by people that knew the region very well, we got the logistics running smoothly. Other parts of the country were harder, driving around for 40 kilometers to get in that particular village, was not uncommon.

GisDay 2015 met OpenStreetMap Mali

How and where do you map?

Most of the time I map were I am or were I have been. This means a lot in Belgium, but also in places where I had worked or had spend a vacation. Most of the time, I map the basics: roads, buildings, residential areas or points of interests. I leave more complex stuff such as relations or boundaries to other mappers. [JOSM](josm.openstreetmap.de) is indispensable for me. The main reason is that this editor does not require a constant internet connection! One can download data and aerial images, work for a few hours without network and electricity, and upload the data afterwards. This comes in handy when you are somewhere remotely in Africa! I am also a fan of less popular projects on the Tasking Manager. During a sudden natural disaster, a lot of attention goes to that one area at that particular moment, but there are a lot of countries with a forgotten crisis, such as Tchad, Mali or [South Sudan(http://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/1656678). There is a gigantic need for maps in those countries as well.

What is your largest accomplishment as a mapper?

Bangui! I lived and worked there for 3 months, participating in the Eurosha project at the end of 2012. Bangui is the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR). Before my stay, Bangui was hardly noticeable on the map. When I had to leave the country, it was there, and the data could be used by humanitarian organisations in times of crisis. The adrenaline was pumping through my body when we got a phone call in Cameroon from UN OCHA on the day of the coup when the whole city was looted, to ask whether we could help them. Of course we could!!!

At this moment there is a map of Bangui, which includes all health facilities and also in other parts of the country the map is improving via HOT remote mapping projects.

I am also very proud of the week I spend in Lubumbashi with Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF): https://hotosm.org/updates/2014-04-01_a_week_in_lubumbashi_drc . Although I did not map a lot myself during that period, I instructed people to map for me :-) At the end of the week, around 15 students were walking around to collect data and we got tremendous help from remote mappers. After 4 days more than 60 people from around the world helped us. This synergy with Ivan Gayton of MSF, myself and the students in the field and the remote mappers, was the first seed from which the Missing Maps projects was born a few months later.

Data collection in Bangui

What is your motivation to map?

The community and the enormous passion of the people, which shows in small things. Some examples: Someone visiting a meetup with a bus that takes him 30 minutes more, simply because he had not mapped that particular route yet. The sparkle in someone's eye when her first edit appears on the map. The fire in the email discussions on the mailing lists, ...

But also how all this chaos, somehow coordinates to the result we see today on OpenStreetMap. A database build by ordinary people, but feeding economic development, and a key stone in some humanitarian projects.

OpenStreetMap is for me a great example of the inspiring "commons based economy" of Michel Bauwens.

Besides mapping, do you do other OpenStreetMap related tasks?

Since the spring of 2015, I am in the board of HOT. Besides that, I spend quite some time to answer all kinds of emails and to bring the right people in contact with one another. From time to time I do some translations, update the wiki and make a post on osm.be . I also speak on conferences, co-organise meetups and mapathons. At this moment I am busy with the organisation of the HOTsummit and the State of the Map conference.

To conclude, is there anything else you want to mention?

Do not be afraid, just make that first edit. Everybody can participate in OpenStreetMap, I am the living proof of that!


          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.

          No Justice in South Sudan    
The United Nations rebuked South Sudan for failing to pursue justice after grave human rights abuses -- including killings and gang rapes -- were committed during an explosion of violence in the capital Juba.
          Survivors of War-Rape Break the Silence   
"I was 12 years old when I was raped. I did not understand what was happening." Nelle is now 36 years old. But in 1993 when war broke out in Burundi, armed men came to her village near the capital, Bujumbura. They killed her mother and father and six siblings. She was raped, but she survived. “I saw people were killing each other. They were running away and killing each other. I hid myself under dead bodies for five days,” she said. Nelle’s story of survival was long and difficult to tell.  After living through years of instability, she told VOA that she left for South Africa in 2004 when a new government came to power in Burundi. “I was scared,” she said. “I was afraid war was coming and I did not want to go through the same thing as in 1993. I did not want to be raped again. So, I quit the country and became a refugee in South Africa.” Nelle is one of 25 rape survivors from South Sudan, Mali, Colombia and 12 other conflict-affected countries around the world who attended a four-day retreat this week in Geneva. They came to share their experiences and to devise strategies for the creation of a global movement to end rape as a weapon on war. “These 25 women have suffered unthinkable things and developed remarkable powers,” said Esther Dingemans, director of the Mukwege Foundation. “They have experienced the cruelest violence. But the perpetrators did not succeed in breaking them,” she said. The foundation is headed by Denis Mukwege, a renowned surgeon from the Democratic Republic of Congo, who has treated thousands of survivors of sexual violence in Congo.   “We hope that this week will be the beginning of a large long-term movement that leads to a global platform of survivors,” said Dingemans, “and that their voices will finally be heard.” In 1992, after the atrocities committed in the Bosnian war, especially against Muslim women, rape, for the first time was recognized as a weapon of war by the United Nations Security Council. In 2000, the Security Council adopted resolution 1325, which was the first formal and legal document that required parties to a conflict to “protect women and girls from sexual and gender-based violence in armed conflict.” It also was the first U.N. resolution to specifically mention women. Ulrike Lunasek, vice president of the European Parliament, who spoke at the ceremony honoring the 25 women survivors, said it is "important to break the vicious circle of shame and silence" that women usually feel when they are raped. She said women raped in war must be supported, helped to heal and then “be encouraged to speak up, but also to tell the truth about what military conflict and war means for women.” Women did speak up at this conference. Several survivors presented searing testimony about their ordeals. Solange Bigiramana, who survived the horrors of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, now lives as a stateless person in South Africa. “My situation of being a survivor, that comes from a situation of war. It happened for me to face rape. I know what rape means." “And I am here with a story of hope,” she said. "I once was under a shadow. I want every survivor to be out of the shadow and to be into the light." Another survivor, Farida Abbas-Khalaf, a Yazidi girl from the Iraqi village of Kocho, described the torment to which she and other members of her community were subjected by the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, in her book The Girl Who Beat ISIS. She spoke movingly and in agonizing detail about being raped, beaten, insulted, and forced to pray and read the Koran. "Young boys were brainwashed and sent to ISIS training camps to become ISIS fighters while women and young girls were taken as sex slaves and sold at slave markets," said Abbas-Khalaf. She said that she was able to heal because of support from her family, her community and her spiritual leader who she said made a statement "that the surviving girls are an important part of the Yazidi community and that what happened to them was against their will." She added, “It is time that survivors break the silence. But mostly it is time for the world to hear their voices."    
          South Sudan army contains internal rift over deserting units   

June 30, 2017 (JUBA) – The command of Sudan Sudanese army (SPLA) has contained a rift among soldiers deployed on the front line in the northern part of the country, after fears that a split could undermine the capability of the government army in that troubled area. A high-ranking military officer told Sudan Tribune on […]

The post South Sudan army contains internal rift over deserting units appeared first on Times of News.


          SPLM-IO Juba faction launches count to determine military size   

June 30, 2017 (ADDIS ABABA) – South Sudan’s armed opposition group (SPLM-IO) under the leadership of First Vice-President, Taban Deng Gai, on Thursday officially began registering its forces on the ground to determine the size. SPLM-In Opposition (IO) forces gather outside capital Juba, April 7, 2016 (Photo Reuters/Jok Solomun) The exercise will be conducted in […]

The post SPLM-IO Juba faction launches count to determine military size appeared first on Times of News.


          Gymnastics helps girls from South Sudan heal from war-related trauma   
Schoolgirls from South Sudan are learning gymnastics to help them release stress and heal from war-related trauma, according to the UN Mission in the country, UNMISS. The Mission's Civil Affairs Division has teamed up with a local non-governmental organisation, Spring of Peace, to use sport to promote peace and unity among various ethnicities in Yei [...]
          UN Security Council rejects arms embargo on South Sudan   

United Nations: The UN Security Council has defeated a US-sponsored resolution that would have imposed an arms embargo on South Sudan and three key figures in the conflict in the world's newest nation.

Seven council members voted today in favour of the resolution and eight abstained.

To be adopted by the UN's most powerful body a resolution needs nine "yes" votes and no veto by a permanent member.

US Ambassador Samantha Power told the council after the vote that the resolution "would not have been a panacea ... but the arms embargo would have had some significant effects" in stemming the flow of weapons.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has repeatedly called for an arms embargo, warning that "If no action is taken, South Sudan will be on a trajectory towards mass atrocities." 

Section: 
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          Comment on Debate on reconciliation Bill deferred by vusumuzi   
All this just to defend Mgabe and his killing m,achine which butchered civillians, and people are toying around such an event which will be properly written and recorded in History , but only when the culprits are all dead, as they are buying time for that . What must then follow is to denude all beneficiaries of this ugly Govt action , and Empower the victims and the region by giving it back what its own, to its own . Preferntial treatment , as in Indigenization or Black empowerment-like line for locals as they were deliberately discriminated agains't , slain to silence them and deserving of a soverign state of their own , according to UN , as South Sudan, Check Republic , etc
          International community not doing enough in South Sudan, specialists say   
As millions face worsening hunger and a humanitarian threat in South Sudan, international aid workers warned Friday that governments have not taken leadership or sufficient responsibility to resolve the crisis
Submitted by jess b to World  |   Note-it!  |   Add a Comment

          S. Sudanese official dismisses succession talk in ruling party   
July 1, 2017 (JUBA) – A senior official from South Sudan’s ruling party (SPLM) has dismissed reports alleging that underground talks aimed at persuading President Salva Kiir to step down from the helm were currently ongoing. Daniel Awet Akot (ST) Daniel Awet Akot, a presidential adviser on military....
          By: Aguer   
The office of Advisor SPLM/A- IO Juba -South Sudan. 10th February 2016 Subject: Nomination candidates for federal ministerial positions and three commissions for Warrap and LOL states members of SPLM IO. Dr Riek Machar Teny Chairman and Commander in chief of SPLM/A –IO It is sincerity of fortitude and utmost regard that we thank you and we wish you to accept the above-mentioned subject. We humble believe that the choice of Hon. Aguer Rual for the position of Federal minister of federal affairs or interior minister and humanitarian for SPLM IO Lady representing Bhar El Ghazal Region from Warrap is well founded and their appointment deserved based on their highest profiles, personalities and unlimited contributions they have made during the resistance time. We also appreciated and deserved the nominations and the appointment of not yet named members to the positions of Commission for Humanitarian affairs, commission for human rights and anti-corruption commission. The nomination and their appointment are seen as popular and are of the majority support in greater Warrap and the entire South Sudan community and the world at large. We urge the leadership of the IO to extremely take into consideration the work done by the great leaders from Dinka /Jieng during the resistance period. Also the IO should have considered the times they discarded particularly in the areas of diplomatic relations, political mobilisations and their interactive with many politics and the western government representatives, UN and other African leaders during the peace negotiation time in Addis Ababa, Khartoum and Australia. We in greater Warrap observe nomination and appointment as positive development for all SPLM/A IO and the people of greater Warrap in particular. The people of greater Warrap protest the nomination of two members out of five to federal parliament. Regarding their nomination and take away of our three members without consultation, has alarmed the general public and supporters from Warrap state. The giving or taking away three members to Unity state (Nuer) were not encouraging as many critics in the views that there were no any support reasons for such solely and unilateral decision to be made, this a clear violation SPLM/A norms and constitution. Thus by undermining leaders who are representing SPLM IO in the state this indicate that there is no respect of other’s people rights. The undermining and marginalising of the leaders within the rank of IO has strapped many views toward the decision maker in the IO. This unilateral decision would affect IO future policy, if such a system and policy were not revises. This dividing and rule policy is also damaging, it damaging because there was unclear and proper principles of nomination had been made and adopt so far. This is lack of rightly practicing democratic principle that is respected and honoured by all. For that purposes and because of such remiss, the matter in question were seen as the core causes of the current senseless war in the new nation. We wish the chairman should take a positive role by considering the nomination and appointment of the said SPLM/A IO leaders to the above-nominated respective positions. Best regards Signed: Aguer Rual Advisor in the office of the chairman and commander in chief SPLM/A –IO. Member of National Liberal Council (NLC) Juba South Sudan
          World: Price Watch: May 2017 Prices (June 30, 2017)   
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
Country: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Chad, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Key Messages

In West Africa, regional staple food production during the 2016/17 marketing year was well above average. International rice and wheat imports continue to support regional market supplies. Prices continued to increase seasonally in many areas in May with the onset of the lean season. Current market anomalies remain largely concentrated in the eastern marketing basin, including but not limited to: conflict-related market disruptions in the Lake Chad basin, localized above-average grain deficits in Niger, and the impacts of the continued depreciation of the Naira. In East Africa, staple food supplies remain tight and prices well above-average in South Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen. Markets remain severely disrupted by insecurity in Yemen and South Sudan. Import capacity in Yemen is uncertain, and food availability will likely remain constrained in the coming months. Uganda and Kenya are also facing below-average staple food supply and above-average and increasing prices following poor harvests. In Southern Africa, regional maize availability continued to improve in May with the progression of harvests from the 2016/17 production season. Regional maize production prospects for the current season are good with record-high harvests anticipated in South Africa. Maize prices declined sharply in most areas in May, and were below their respective 2016 levels in many areas. The exceptions to these trends are in Zambia, where prices remain above average. Low regional maize prices encouraged exports to East Africa and beyond. In Central America, staple food availability continued to decline following the end of the recent Postrera harvest and Apante harvest. Maize and bean prices were seasonally stable or decreasing across the region, with varied trends compared to average levels. In Haiti, local maize prices were firm while local black beans prices saw a modest increase from their April levels. Imported rice prices were stable as the Haitian gourde appreciated marginally against the U.S. dollar. Higher transportation costs will continue to place upward pressures on staple food prices in the coming months. Central Asia sustained adequate supplies. Wheat prices remained stable in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan, but started to decline in Pakistan with the arrival of the new harvest. Rice prices in Pakistan increased following larger export demand, affecting also rice prices in Afghanistan. Intraregional trade is expected to fill staples’ deficits on importing countries. International staple food markets remain well supplied. Maize prices fell, soybean prices rose while rice and wheat prices were mixed. Crude oil prices fell and remain well below average.


          By 2100, Refugees Would Be the Most Populous Country on Earth   
Poverty and deadly wars are the major drivers of displacement.

The UN Refugee Agency has announced the new figures for the world’s displaced: 65.9 million. That means that 65.9 million human beings live as refugees, asylum seekers or as internally displaced people. If the refugees formed a country, it would be the 21st largest state in the world, just after Thailand (68.2 million) and just ahead of the United Kingdom (65.5 million). But unlike these other states, refugees have few political rights and no real representation in the institutions of the world.

The head of the UN Refugee Agency, Filippo Grandi, recently said that most of the displacement comes as a result of war. "The world seems to have become unable to make peace," Grandi said. "So you see old conflicts that continue to linger, and new conflicts erupting, and both produce displacement. Forced displacement is a symbol of wars that never end."

Few continents are immune from the harsh reality of war. But the epicenter of war and displacement is along the axis of the Western-driven global war on terror and resource wars. The line of displacement runs from Afghanistan to South Sudan with Syria in between. Eyes are on Syria, where the war remains hot and the tensions over escalation intensify daily. But there is as deadly a civil war in South Sudan, driven in large part by a ferocious desire to control the country’s oil. Last year, 340,000 people fled South Sudan for refugee camps in neighboring Uganda. This is a larger displacement than from Syria.

Poverty is a major driver of displacement. It is what moves hundreds of thousands of people to try and cross the Sahara Desert and then the Mediterranean Sea for European pastures. But most who try this journey meet a deadly fate. Both the Sahara and the Mediterranean are dangerous. This week, the UN’s International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Niger rescued 600 migrants from the Sahara, although 52 did not survive.

A 22-year-old woman from Nigeria was among those rescued. She was on a pick-up truck with 50 people. They left Agadez for Libya. ‘We were in the desert for ten days,’ she says. "After five days, the driver abandoned us. He left us with all of our belongings, saying he was going to pick us up in a couple of hours. But he never did." Forty-four of the migrants died. The six who remained struggled to safety. ‘We had to drink our own pee to survive,’ she said.

Getting to Libya is hard enough. But being in Libya is perilous. Violence against vulnerable migrants inside Libya continues to occur. The IOM reports the presence in Libya of ‘slave markets.’ Migrants who make it across the Sahara into Libya have told investigators that they find themselves in these slave markets where they are bought to be taken to private prisons and put to work or else sold back to their families if they can raise the high ransom payments. UNICEF reports incidents of rape and violence against women and children in these private prisons. One 15-year-old boy said of his time in a private prison, "Here they treat us like chickens. They beat us, they do not give us good water and good food. They harass us. So many people are dying here, dying from disease, freezing to death."

Danger lurks on the sea as well. This year already IOM reports least 2,108 deaths in the sea between Libya and Italy. This is the fourth year in a row that IOM has counted over 2,000 deaths by mid-year. Over the past five years, this averages out to about 10 deaths a day. Libya, broken by NATO’s war in 2011, remains a gateway for the vulnerable from various parts of Africa, countries damaged by IMF policies and by warfare. There is no expectation that the numbers of those on the march will decrease.

In a recent paper in The Lancet (June 2017), Paul Spiegel, formerly of the UN Refugee Agency suggests that the "humanitarian system was not designed to address the types of conflicts that are happening at present." With over 65 million people displaced, the various institutions of the UN and of the NGO world are simply not capable of managing the crisis.

"It is not simply overstretched," Spiegel wrote of the humanitarian system, "it is no longer fit for purpose."

These are shattering words. One problem Spiegel identifies is the assumption that refugee flows are temporary, since wars will end at some point. What happens when wars and occupations are permanent? People either have to live for generations in refugee camps or they will seek, through dangerous passages, flight to the West. He gives the example of Iran, which absorbed over a million Afghan refugees without using the camp strategy. They simply allowed the Afghans into Iranian society and absorbed them by putting money into their various social schemes (such as education and health). Spiegel also points out that refugees must be part of the designing the process for humanitarian aid. These are good suggestions, but they are not going to be possible with the limited funds available for refugees and with the crisis level of activity that detains the humanitarian agencies.

Spiegel does not deal with one of the great problems for humanitarianism: the persistence of war and the theory that more war—or the current euphemism, security—is the answer to humanitarian crises. This January, over 1,000 people tried to scale the large barrier that divides Morocco from the Spanish enclave of Ceuta. Looking at that barrier, one is reminded of the idea that walls will somehow prevent migration, a view driven by President Donald Trump. Violence met the migrants, a mirror of the violence that was visited among migrants along the spinal cord of Eastern Europe last year. Walls, police forces and military interventions are all seductive to an imagination that forgets why people migrate and that they are human beings on the run with few other options. There is a view that security barriers and security forces will raise the price of migrant and deter future migrants. This is a silly illusion. Migration is dangerous already. That has not stopped anyone. More humane thinking is necessary.

It is important therefore that the UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed told a meeting on the Sahel on June 28 that the world leaders need to "avoid a disproportionate emphasis on security" when dealing with the multiple crises in the Sahara region and north of it. "No purely military solution" can work against transnational organized crime, violent extremism and terrorism, nor against poverty and hopelessness. Underlying causes are not being addressed, and indeed the surface reactions—to bomb more—only create more problems, not less.

In the July issue of Land Use Policy, professors Charles Geisler and Ben Currens estimate that by 2100 there will be 2 billion refugees as a result of climate change. These numbers are staggering. They are an inevitable future. By then, refugees will be the largest country on earth—nomads, seeking shelter from destruction of climate and capitalism, from rising seas and wars of greed.

 

Related Stories


          Human Resources Assistant [Temporary]   
Level : F-5
Job ID : 81628
Job Network : Management and Administration
Job Family : Human Resources
Department/Office : United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan
Duty Station : JUBA
Staffing Exercise : N/A
Posted Date : 6/30/2017
Deadline : 7/6/2017
          RULE OF LAW OFFICER    
Level : P-4
Job ID : 81711
Job Network : Political, Peace and Humanitarian
Job Family : Rule of Law
Department/Office : United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan
Duty Station : JUBA
Staffing Exercise : N/A
Posted Date : 6/30/2017
Deadline : 7/14/2017
          AIR OPERATIONS ASSISTANT    
Level : F-5
Job ID : 81747
Job Network : Logistics, Transportation and Supply Chain
Job Family : Transportation
Department/Office : United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan
Duty Station : WAU
Staffing Exercise : N/A
Posted Date : 6/30/2017
Deadline : 7/14/2017
          ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT    
Level : F-5
Job ID : 81631
Job Network : Management and Administration
Job Family : Administration
Department/Office : United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan
Duty Station : MULTIPLE DUTY STATIONS
Staffing Exercise : N/A
Posted Date : 6/29/2017
Deadline : 7/5/2017
          SENIOR PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER [Temporary]   
Level : P-5
Job ID : 81713
Job Network : Public Information and Conference Management
Job Family : Public Information
Department/Office : United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan
Duty Station : Juba
Staffing Exercise : N/A
Posted Date : 6/29/2017
Deadline : 7/5/2017
          ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT    
Level : F-5
Job ID : 81717
Job Network : Management and Administration
Job Family : Administration
Department/Office : United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan
Duty Station : JUBA
Staffing Exercise : N/A
Posted Date : 6/29/2017
Deadline : 7/5/2017
          PROPERTY CONTROL AND INVENTORY ASSISTANT    
Level : F-5
Job ID : 81721
Job Network : Logistics, Transportation and Supply Chain
Job Family : Property and Asset Management
Department/Office : United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan
Duty Station : JUBA
Staffing Exercise : N/A
Posted Date : 6/29/2017
Deadline : 7/5/2017
          The Comics Reporter Video Parade   
Trailer For Small Press Book East Of Aleppo Profile Of South Sudanese Cartoonist Thomas Dai A Live Event With Lucy Bellwood Star Wars Celebration 2016 Comic Book Panel Brian Walker Talking Comic Strips At The Billy Ireland Museum, A Few Years Back
          Why is the maternal mortality rate going up in US?   
It's hard to comprehend how the United States, one of the wealthiest nations in the world, is now one of only eight countries -- including Afghanistan and South Sudan -- where the number of women dying as a result of pregnancy and childbirth is going up.

          The Monitor: Refugee strikes gold in farming   
When one is watching news on TV or reading news on print media about the plight of refugees from South Sudan, the common thing you will see is families leading a difficult life
          Director of Trade and Logistics Center - Global cst - Johannesburg, Gauteng   
Advantage of experience in agricultural products and consumer goods. For trade center in South Sudan.... R25 000 a month
From Indeed - Wed, 28 Jun 2017 08:43:42 GMT - View all Johannesburg, Gauteng jobs
          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
          ONE launches one-stop data tracking tool to reveal needs of world’s refugees    


The MOVEMENT platform brings together the latest data on displaced people to highlight countries with the greatest need and the largest funding gaps

To help donors and governments make informed decisions about how to effectively support the world’s 65 million displaced people and their host countries, anti-poverty group The ONE Campaign today launches a unique data tool - MOVEMENT.

The initiative, launched on World Refugee Day, shines a light on one of the biggest barriers to addressing humanitarian needs - a crisis of data.   

MOVEMENT weaves together the most reliable, up-to-date official data-sets from humanitarian organisations and records them into a standardised interface to best show where displaced people are today, what the greatest humanitarian needs are globally, and where humanitarian funding flows align—or do not—with those places of greatest need.

ONE’s Policy Director for Development Finance, Sara Harcourt, said: “MOVEMENT is the first tool that joins best available data on humanitarian needs, humanitarian funding and displaced people in one place, searchable by country.  It also exposes the massive data gaps that need to be filled in order accurately follow resources to results.”

The current humanitarian data system is struggling to offer an accurate picture of the impact of displacement on those forced from their homes and the countries that host them, ONE’s research revealed. In its new report ‘Movement: Minding the data gaps around displacement, funding, and humanitarian needs’, ONE shows that information is siloed and incomplete, and is dispersed across dozens of organisations in different platforms and in different formats.

Critically, it is not able to show the real price being paid when humanitarian appeals are not being met.

MOVEMENT uses latest data and can incorporate new datasets rapidly,  from official humanitarian organisations’ statistics such as UNHCRIOM and UNOCHA. It presents the statistics in an open-source format that can be used by anyone in the humanitarian sector.

While the challenges will not be overcome immediately, the collective data hub will allow campaigners, donor countries and others to better see where funding flows are misaligned with populations in need, or where they are hugely underfunded.

Added Harcourt: “European countries mainly focus on how to support the refugees coming into their borders. ButMOVEMENT shows how it is the world’s most fragile countries who are hosting the majority of the world’s displaced people.

“For example, out data shows the EU accounts for around 24% of global GDP -  but hosts only 5% of forcibly displaced people globally. World leaders should be stepping up to support those countries most in need - yet global UN appeals are less than one-third funded, making it impossible to adequately provide support. 

ONE’s Africa interim Executive Director Nachilala Nkombo, said: “Developing countries host most of the world’s refugees and the challenges they face impact development and policymaking. This interactive tool will assist those working with and for refugees to have updated information from a click of a button and change the way we have read data before.”

As the world is encouraged to focus on the plight of the displaced millions during World Refugee Week, ONE is calling on governments and donor organisations to increase transparency of their funding, and support data initiatives to help ensure that refugees and their host countries receive the support they need.

Viewers can explore and assess the current refugee crisis through an interactive map which displays current needs, where displaced people are, and how much aid is flowing to those countries. Anyone can view the data, and use the tool by clicking here: https://www.one.org/movement.

Among the highlights, MOVEMENT shows that:
·         Globally there at least 152 million people in need of humanitarian aid across 64+ countries - that’s larger than the population of Russia. Due to available data, there is no way to distinguish the needs of refugees and other displaced populations from the millions of other people in humanitarian need - these figures are all grouped together at the country level.
·         115 million people lack basic health services, 93 million lack water and sanitation services, and 34 million lack access to education - addressing these needs will require at least $23.1 billion, but currently, humanitarian appeals are only 30.9% funded.
·         The 36 most fragile countries in the world account for just 2.6% of global GDP but host 62% of all forcibly displaced people, including 71% of all IDPs. These fragile countries also are the origin point for 83% of refugees & asylum seekers who flee abroad.
·         European Union member states account for around 24% of global GDP, but host only 5% of forcibly displaced people globally, and around 15% of all refugees and asylum-seekers.
·         South Sudan, the world’s most fragile country in 2017, hosts 219 displaced people for every 1,000 inhabitants. The United Kingdom, on the other hand, hosts only three displaced people for every 1,000 of its inhabitants.

‘Movement: Minding the data gaps around displacement, funding, and humanitarian needs’ is available by clicking here:https://www.one.org/movement.


          People Are Losing Their Sh*t Over This Picture of IRL Barbie Doll Duckie Thot   

If you take a quick sweep of her Instagram, you'll see that Australian and South Sudanese model Duckie Thot is no stranger to looking pretty much perfect on a daily basis. As an alumna of Australia's Next Top Model (she competed in 2013), Thot knows a thing or two about flashing a killer "smize." But one picture in particular has the internet on its knees, and for good reason. No big deal or anything, but in a picture she posted on Tuesday night, Thot looks exactly like a Barbie doll.

Ducks after dark.

A post shared by Duckie Thot (@duckieofficial) on

Thot looks so Barbie-esque; she better get at least a walk-on role in the upcoming Life Size 2 (although with those looks, she could star in the damn thing). Just about everyone on Instagram agreed, with one user commenting, "Real life Barbie." One added, "I showed this picture to my baby girl & she wanted that doll." Another proclaimed, "MY LIFE HAS BEEN OFFICIALLY SLAYED," and I agree.

But the best response to the frenzy was Thot's own.

While it's so heartening to see a mega-talented model like Thot be appreciated for her work, unfortunately that hasn't always been the case. Last year, fellow model Winnie Harlow made an offensive comment about Thot's natural hair, which she later rescinded via an Instagram apology. Thot clapped back, writing, "It's not fun being bullied for something you can't control and to have a top model woman of colour who I thought encouraged acceptance and self love call me out for rocking my natural hair."

Despite this feud, Thot keeps slaying like the beautiful Barbie she is.

that sundress tho...

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Hands on 🤘🏿

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          Sudan defends human rights record against US criticism   
The UN refugee agency says about 400,000 South Sudanese refugees have taken refuge in Sudan since a brutal civil war...
          Business and Private Diplomacy: A Potential Catalyst for Sustainable Peace   

30 Jun 2017

By Misha Nagelmackers-Voinov for Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP)

The UN has frequently acknowledged that the private sector can function as a powerful agent of change. However, the world body’s preferred partners to resolve conflicts and build peace remain civil society and armed actors. Additionally, the leaders of UN peace operations have never been expressly mandated to consult with business communities or use their influence to build peace. Well, these practices have to change, argues Misha Nagelmackers-Voinov, both at the multinational and micro-national levels.

This article was originally published by the Geneva Centre for Security Policy in June 2017.

Introduction

A general overview of what the term “private sector” entails will help define the scope of this paper. The private sector can be defined as the part of the economy that is not run by a state, but by individuals and companies for profit. It comprises a large diversity of organisations such as publicly or privately owned companies, including multinational companies (MNCs); organisations owned and operated by a group of individuals for their mutual benefit such as cooperatives; or organisations that raise funds to operate and are financed by government or intergovernmental organisations or through hybrid business models, such as non-governmental organisations (NGOs), but excluding non-profit organisations (NPOs).1 When referring to the private sector, this paper will include publicly or privately owned companies, including MNCs, but exclude private military companies. All private sector organisations’ main driving forces can be summed up as a quest for profits, security and reputation.

Because it is multidimensional, the private sector can be classified in many ways. In addition to a classification by sector, businesses can be ranked by size, number of employees, geographical presence, if they are a local business or the subsidiary of an MNC, or are tailored to serve domestic needs or export markets (or both). In a violence-or conflict-affected context each category of business will evolve differently, reinvent itself or disappear.

Key Points

Small businesses/micro-companies serve as a good starting point for a conflict resolution process because they often constitute the only form of economic activity in a conflict zone.MNCs have a range of options to respond to conflict, but cannot openly take part in conflict resolution and peacebuilding initiatives, and rarely become involved officially. Track Two diplomacy is their more likely area of involvement.The United Nations has frequently supported the view that the private sector can be a powerful agent of change. However, the UN still engages only two players in conflict resolution and peacebuilding: civil society/NGOs and armed actors. UN peace operations have never been expressly mandated to consult with business or use its influence to build peace.Combining the resources, expertise and leverage of all possible actors would produce a more formidable force for peace. World affairs would benefit from integrating the private sector into a new UN system of governance; new routes are possible for a truly inclusive approach, recognising the business sector’s positive contribution to sustainable peace through informal mediation and collaborative engagement.

A converging definition and shared approach

Size is the most convenient and easily available criterion of classification for private sector companies. In emerging market economies affected by violence or conflict there would be five main categories of private businesses: formal businesses (big companies that are registered with local authorities and pay taxes); semi-formal medium-sized companies (which pay taxes, but are not systematically registered with authorities); small companies (which represent the vast majority of businesses, operate in a dedicated area or office, and are registered with local authorities); micro-companies (which operate from a variety of places such as markets or in the street and pay some form of tax on the temporary location from which they conduct business, such as a market place or handcart); and home workshops (which are mainly to be found in larger cities). Small companies operating from a dedicated or informal area provide more than half of the world’s formal jobs. They are key drivers of economic growth and development, as well as the backbone of a local economy. Among the medium-sized or small private companies mentioned above, government employees might run such small businesses in some countries in order to diversify sources of income or risk, and allow close or even remote family members to make a living.

As violence increases or conflict breaks out, micro-companies and MNCs will be impacted, but never in the same ways or at the same pace. Generally, the private sector will shift from traded to non-traded goods (i.e. goods provided by donors), cut investment, and shift its capital to foreign currency assets and away from its production tools. Commerce and tourism will be the first sectors to contract, followed by manufacturing and construction. This shift will create conditions for an informal economy (which employs 80% of the population of the Democratic Republic of the Congo/DRC2) as households’ incomes deteriorate and inflation affects official and parallel markets alike. Falls in employment will create falls in domestic savings and greater reliance on external aid. In such environments, agriculture and public administration will often remain the only source of official employment and income. Violence and conflict also change the prosperity equilibrium as individual roles evolve. When men die in conflict, women become responsible for ensuring the community’s survival by starting informal businesses or taking up farming.3

Small players, such as micro-companies, become important: in chaotic times grassroots, local entrepreneurs provide the only goods, services and jobs available in a given conflict zone. They can also make an important contribution to conflict transformation because they maintain their economic influence and local political contacts during the conflict, and thus serve as a good starting point for a conflict resolution process. So do business associations, because they often also have close links to governments and represent all sides of the conflict.

The Guatemalan experience illustrates the role of business associations. The 36-year civil war in that country was caused by interlinked social, economic and political factors, “specifically ideological differences embedded in the global political struggle of the Cold War”.Initially, the Guatemalan private sector was not a fervent supporter of the peace negotiations. The overall intensity of the war was low and geographically contained in mountainous areas, and the sectors that were most affected by the conflict were limited to tourism and the coffee industry. Negotiations with all stakeholders, including business, started on a very positive note. However, because of tensions between factions within the association representing the private sector, Comité Coordinador de Asociaciones Agricolas, Comerciales, Industriales y Financieras (CACIF), it refused to meet rebel groups, demanding instead an immediate ceasefire. Interestingly, the coffee industry did not embrace peace talks, because the peace process was associated with economic reform, while the tourism sector, too weak to lobby, was absent from the process. This tends to support the idea that different groups within the business sector are more or less willing or able to support mediation or a peace process.

At the other end of the size spectrum lie MNCs. They account for two-thirds of world trade and can be defined as large corporations incorporated in one country, implementing a consistent multinational response among their various subsidiaries. Their global number is estimated at 80,000, with 840,000 subsidiaries across the world, representing 75,000,000 employees. During the 1950s and 1960s host governments rarely intervened in the affairs of MNCs. Nowadays, these large companies are more flexible and more responsive to their host governments’ demands. But not all MNCs follow the same strategy, and some will sacrifice market participation to preserve strategic autonomy. “There can be no growth in an environment where there is no peace”, says Unilever boss Paul Polman, insisting that business “can and must be a force for good5”. The “corporate coalition” backing Peace One Day – including Skype, McKinsey, Ocado, Innocent, Coca-Cola and Burger King – is a start, but certainly not what corporations do best.6 Instead, they could engage in discussions on good governance and obstacles to peace.

An MNC subsidiary faces complex governance challenges in the wake of violence or conflict. It is controlled by its parent company, which is often based outside the region or country; this company bears the ultimate responsibility for the group’s worldwide strategic direction. The affiliate or subsidiary is expected to support the overall objectives of its group, contributing to its brand and matters of corporate priority such as Western-led concepts like corporate social responsibility (CSR). This is a first possible gap between the subsidiary of a MNC and its host country. Understanding often diminishes and misunderstandings widen as violence increases in the country hosting the subsidiary, due to the distance between the centre of power (company headquarters) and the local affiliate.

Going Beyond CSR; or, the limitations of policies

Recent literature7 has explored how MNCs are expected to contribute to peace and security in the absence of public or government capacity to fulfil this role. Most of those who participated in this research (through individual phone interviews or plenary sessions) were communications directors, CSR managers, and line and business managers from MNCs’ subsidiaries. Many respondents seemed to ignore the role their employer could or did play in peace and security. This might be because CSR involves voluntary self-commitments focusing mainly on the environment, health care, education or security. The role of business in conflict is rarely addressed in this context, either because the CSR agenda needs to be broadened or because businesses are indeed active in issues related to the conflict, but it is not considered part of CSR. This constitutes a second gap in the corporate governance of MNCs: local CSR is part of a more global CSR strategy and is often managed as an extension of local public affairs, public relations or marketing efforts. In order to offer any sense of how MNCs’ subsidiaries can have an impact on peace and security, further research is needed from the business point of view involving risk managers, chief financial officers, and members of the executive board in charge of audit and control committees.

Research by swisspeace focused on Swiss MNCs and how they engage in peace efforts.8 The paper in question is based on interviews with CSR managers from the MNCs’ head offices and focuses on their knowledge of their companies’ contribution to peacebuilding. The data covers eight to ten Swiss companies from various sectors. Most CSR managers appear to be unaware of the ways in which they could engage in peace processes or what role they could play. As the authors suggest, this might be because peacemaking or conflict transformation “is not linked to the business case”.9 Other explanations also come to mind. Firstly, involvement in a political process can only result from an informal individual initiative, not as part of a formal representation of the company, and strictly on a confidential basis, which means no public relations communications – in fact, no communication whatsoever. Secondly, the lack of institutional trust between civil society or advocacy NGOs and the private sector is so heightened that such high-level strategic information will be considered only on a need-to-know basis. The CSR manager will deal with philanthropic initiatives to improve the environment or help local communities, as well as manage advocacy NGOs or research foundations. CSR or security managers might not be involved in all formal or informal contacts between a local business manager and strategic stakeholders.

The review of existing grey research covering CSR managers in MNC subsidiaries and MNC headquarters demonstrates that there is an obvious need for more research in the area of violence and conflict resolution in terms of risk management. As a result, the issue of the relationship between business and peace might be more one of board policy or operational strategy, and therefore falls beyond CSR.

Take a positive peace perspective

When an MNC considers suspending its activities due to violence or conflict, the result is an important depletion of local knowledge – and an increase in risk for the local population and local business alike, because of outsourced goods and services. The immediate consequence of an MNC’s withdrawal or shutdown is undesirable from a local employment perspective: selling a subsidiary to a competitor might appear more desirable, but not if the new owner recognises fewer rights for employees and local communities (human rights, labour rights, development rights, social and economic rights).

Acting truly locally is a strategic challenge for global MNCs. Some are able to act like local businesses.10They employ local people, thus contributing to social mixing, and support those who wish to start their own businesses. This strategy maintains a certain level of economic normality in times of violence or conflict – and prepares for future peace. This can also be achieved by an MNC subsidiary maintaining local infrastructure such as transport, or temporarily covering basic health and social services. In all these examples the private sector can compensate for temporary state shortcomings or the total collapse of state-supplied services.

But in the absence of a mandate to participate in peace settlements, the private sector might resolve to consider its bottom line rather than its humanitarian impact, and shut down or sell its operations, despite adverse local consequences. In Nepal, for instance, the economic stagnation that marked the period following the end of civil war in 2006 was caused by the withdrawal of Indian MNCs that supported the Nepalese economy, and clearly hindered political and social stability.

It might be of interest to consider what strategies the private sector – MNCs and local businesses alike – can chose in a context of violence or conflict. Firstly, it can decide to take advantage of the economics of war and grow its business. Secondly, it can conduct business as usual, under local regulation or the absence of it, either because it cannot withdraw (e.g. a local business), or because violence is not affecting its operations. Thirdly, it can withdraw from the conflict zone and disengage. Fourthly, it can decide to engage proactively and contribute to public security.

From a positive peace perspective, business can foster economic development, support an emerging or existing legal system, and nourish a sense of community. It does not, however, consider the provision of assistance to local communities as a political act, but as tangible ways of reducing its operational costs. In matters of general strategy or corporate policy, CSR is considered as part of operations, while supporting peace or conflict resolution is the exclusive prerogative of the local or international political domain. In practice, the difference between CSR and working for peace and stability follows a very fine line, and is more of a corporate philosophy than an entrenched position. Businesses are committed to avoiding conflict as best they can. But as outsiders in a host country they must remain neutral: actively negotiating between warring parties cannot be part of their licence to operate. Business therefore cannot openly take part in conflict resolution and peacebuilding activities.

Because of the reputational and security risks involved in participating in peace mediation processes, companies rarely become involved officially, and if they do, it is with the utmost confidentiality and discretion. If the private sector contributes to conflict transformation efforts – for instance, through good offices or by supporting higher national interests – it is often on condition that its non-core contribution remains secret. If its contribution is publicised, its licence to operate and the safety of its staff, operations or infrastructure on the ground might be at risk. This need for discretion – for security or competitive advantage – is certainly one of the reasons why business’s engagement in peacebuilding or conflict mediation as a facilitator or information intermediary is rarely properly investigated or publicised. Short-term political ambitions only contribute to business’s caution when publicising any involvement in conflict prevention or resolution.

In terms of ‘economic’ peacebuilding, the private sector is encouraged to use its direct economic influence to promote peace. In terms of so-called ‘political’ peacebuilding, the private sector participates in initiatives such as ‘policy dialogues’ with local stakeholders. According to International Alert,11 this more political form of engagement includes participating in truth and reconciliation commissions; supporting weapons hand-ins; providing capacity-building support for local government, including judicial and police forces; supporting initiatives to attract foreign investment; and helping the local private sector build capacity and governance systems.

In a number of cases the private sector has decided to act as an agent of prevention in order to mitigate violence. One example is the campaign led by the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) and its 100,000 members following the 2008 electoral violence in that country. This violence caused major disruptions to the Kenyan tourism, tea and flower industries: exports fell by up to 40% in some areas of the country, while tourist inflows decreased by more than a third and job losses increased dramatically. The private sector decided to embark on a five-year corporate campaign to prevent possible violence ahead of the 2013 elections. Many initiatives were conducted, including a communication and training campaign in cooperation with civil society organisations, interfaith groups, developmental partners and the media. KEPSA is also reported to have supported legislative advocacy to tackle the causes of poverty in Kenyan society, lobbied key politicians to commit to peaceful elections, and pressured members of the media to avoid inflammatory content in their publications. Mobile operators also took steps to prevent their networks from being used to disseminate political hate speech. This local perspective on conflict transformation remains an important avenue for further research.

Business’s motivations to remain in violence- or conflict-affected zones

Assuming it has the possibility to leave a violent or conflict area, a company might still decide to remain in an unstable environment for four main reasons. Firstly, it might still be able to make a profit: costs related to the conflict do not outweigh the income the business can generate. While ensuring income for both the company and its local staff, the company thus contributes to preserving some kind of economic normality for local communities. Heineken, the Dutch brewer founded in 1864, imported its first beer into Africa in 1900. It is now present in 23 African countries. The current CEO, Jean-François van Boxmeer, worked in Rwanda in the early 1990s. He then moved to the DRC, where he helped to deal with the refugee crisis that followed the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.

Among the refugees were many of Heineken’s Rwandan employees and their families. As general manager of Bralima, Heineken’s DRC subsidiary, Van Boxmeer decided the company would help his former Rwandan employees, offering shelter and basic income. This meant that the company’s resources would go to humanitarian aid rather than running the company. But it was the only possible decision, Van Boxmeer says: “The larger the company, the larger the stakes. But you have a social contract. It’s one of the crucial elements for a leader to remember and live by.”12

Secondly, if the company represents the interests of a foreign state, it might need to balance the evolution of the relationship between its home country and its host government with regard to the conflict; this relationship will have an impact on its dealings with local authorities and its host government. It might not be in a position to balance the risk/opportunity equation, but the company will remain in the country for the purposes of its home government’s national interest. Total is one of the major world oil companies, and the French government has a 15% stake in it (down from 34% in 1992). Active in Burma/Myanmar since 1992, the company’s investments in the country are guaranteed by the French government through Coface (Compagnie française d’assurance pour le commerce extérieur). Over time, Total expanded its direct investments to become the largest foreign investor in Burma after all the major MNCs left the country following boycotts. In 2002 a case was filed against Total in Brussels by four Myanmar refugees for alleged complicity in violations of human rights in the course of the construction and operation of the Yadana Gas Pipeline. Belgian authorities dropped the case in 2008.13

Thirdly, the business might simply ‘hold the market’ and secure future resources or interests, as part of a long-term business strategy in the sector or region, and as mandated by its shareholders. And, finally, the company might decide to keep its operation active in a conflict zone to gain critical learning experience and ultimately improve the way in which it operates. When he sent the French army into Mali in 2013 to deal with an insurrection in the north of the country, President Hollande recommended that French citizens should leave the country, but hardly any left. In 2010, 60 French-owned subsidiaries and companies were in Mali, mainly in Bamako. These companies were active in mining (Vinci and Bouygues via subsidiaries), banks (BNP Paribas), telecoms (Alcatel-Lucent), transport (Air France), etc. Most of them considered that if security measures were put in place early, it was possible to continue working in near-normality; for instance, to limit travel and risk, employees could move into and live in the work site. Security procedures were submitted to the local French embassy for its future evacuation plans.

Some businesses are considered better peacebuilders than others, partly because of their exit options or the amount of capital invested. Extractive industries have few options in conflict-affected areas and require high investments over decades, but they also have powerful incentives to contribute to peace. Despite this economic stimulus, the extractive industry is often criticised for continuing to work in conflict-affected areas, while industries like tourism or telecoms are regarded as better suited to peacebuilding activities.

Engaging Business in Private Diplomacy

Would world affairs benefit from integrating the private sector into a clear UN mandate or as part of a new system of governance engaging traditional and new parties to multilateral diplomacy? First and foremost, business needs to recognise that conflicts provoke many emotions, “which in turn play a crucial role in the evolution of conflict”.14 If greed and grievance are the main sources of conflict, then government and business might very well share responsibility for a conflict. Poverty, social inequality, unemployment or divided identity politics fuel conflict, particularly when accompanied by illegal behaviour on the part of governments – through corruption or illegitimate private wealth accumulation, or when divisive political leaders plant the seeds of ethnic conflict. But this can also be the case when companies indulge in illegal or irresponsible behaviour.

Governments’ interests have always gone beyond their national borders, leading to foreign conquests and in many cases causing massacres and atrocities. These conquests were mostly conducted through either direct or indirect engagement. The private sector also contributed to these conquests, with the blessing of states, for better or worse, working with governments to export alleged liberalisation and democratisation. An example of direct military engagement is the 2003 invasion of Iraq. A more recent example of indirect engagement is when Nasdaq-listed companies were sent as emissaries to Iran in 201315.

Because of the perceived shortcomings of governments and their political agendas, as well as business’s considered failure to act responsibly, new actors have entered conflict-resolution or mediation efforts: the Crisis Management Initiative, the Carter Center’s Conflict Resolution Programme, the United States Institute of Peace and the Geneva-based Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue. These private organisations actively participate on behalf of governments in Track Two diplomacy (as part of unofficial government diplomacy), but also increasingly in Track One (official government) diplomacy initiatives, exploring new channels or contacts when the official lines of communication and negotiation have broken down. Their lack of a political mandate is recognised by all parties to mediation processes and is a welcome development in a peace market that has suffered from the presence of actors who promote peace, democracy and human rights, but do not strictly abide by the principles of impartiality, neutrality and independence. Mediators themselves mention the relevance of business actors in the two diplomacy tracks and the increasing importance of business actors as economic actors and facilitators in fragile states: “local business actors may have more leverage within track 2 processes than as part of a large internationally peace mediation process.”16 From the mediator’s point of view, “it is of little relevance whether (the business) becomes engaged in a peace process for personal business interests or for more altruistic interests in peace”.17

The United Nations has frequently supported the view that the private sector can be a powerful agent of change. However, in real life the UN still considers two actors to be relevant in conflict resolution and peacebuilding processes: civil society/NGOs and armed actors. Peace operations have never been expressly mandated to consult with business or to help regulate their impact on peace, including in countries where the UN Security Council (UNSC) has imposed trade sanctions. This (voluntary?) decision by the UN and UNSC not to work with pro-peace businesses indicates a wider institutional pattern: “It is irresponsible of UN practice to ... overlook the way in which these actors might help – or hinder – near and long-term conflict transformation.”18 Combining the resources, expertise and leverage of all possible actors would probably produce a more formidable force for peace.

The only reference to business being consulted can be found in the December 2005 founding mandate of the UN Peace Building Commission (PBC); since then, neither the PBC annual session reports nor working papers for 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 mention encouraging the possibility of engaging with business in any peace process – with the exception of local business, which is merely reminded of its duty to pay taxes ...! One might consider that this is because business is publicity shy on topics it considers to be of political relevance. Or it might be because business has simply not wished to be actively involved in any PBC activities. The truth lies certainly somewhere between the PBC not knowing how to engage business and business not wishing to be seen as active in what it perceives to be part of the political arena. However, since perceptions effectively constitute reality, the PBC seems to be missing out on the engagement of an important stakeholder, while business is guilty of not supporting the peace efforts of intergovernmental organisations.

The feeling is that economic transformation might exclusively be the responsibility of policymakers. The absence of the private sector in the so-called inclusive approach to peacebuilding and the absence of engagement with businesses to generate improvements represent at best an omission and at worse ignorance on what important stakeholders can potentially contribute to building peace. As things stand today, except in communication and fund-raising events, the private sector is not considered as a sound partner in peace processes. There is hardly any formal record either in UNSC mandates or UN peace operations (MONUSCO, UNOCI, UNMISS, etc.) of consulting with commercial entities such as trade professionals, purchasers, suppliers or commercial agents. UN entities only address regulatory issues through civil society monitoring. The UNSC engages states to take the necessary measures to deal with natural resources-related conflicts and invites international financial institutions to contribute to establishing regulatory governance: it does not consult on, engage with or regulate this process, and does not deal with the issue directly.

Should the UNSC adopt a wider mandate, no doubt responsible companies active in natural resources would support conflict transformation efforts in post-conflict areas, but without an “exceptional transitional business regulatory role”.19 Business could also proactively initiate networks and engage actors or trade associations in the post-conflict business sector to adopt responsible peace-related business self-regulation.

Responsible leadership

A case can be made for a new kind of responsible leadership to support integrated and comprehensive peace processes through mediation. Through a collective, cooperative approach, the underlying causes of conflict could be addressed; such an approach would include companies, NGOs, labour organisations, and local and national governments. This approach might take time to set up and implement, but it would bring hope to and positive developments for all parties involved:

It will be argued that the factors affecting the issue are not within the control of companies – it is a matter for government. Or it will be claimed that the issue is not as widespread as suggested and that things are not really so bad. Or that it would require industry-wide effort to have an impact. Companies, like NGOs, are human organisations and they suffer from the natural conservatism of all human organisations – they like to carry on doing what they have been doing successfully for years and tend to resist any change to a smoothly running system.20

Understanding possible informal engagements among political actors, mediators and business, as well as the role of each industry within the economy, must be explored in order to influence the overall process. One of the most successful ways in which business can support peace has been through trade associations, including businesspeople from both sides of the conflict. Mediators praise their direct or indirect, pragmatic, economics-focused, bridge-builder approach21 and consider that it is relevant to include business actors, depending on the context or the stage of the mediation process: early in the process as part of formal Track One initiatives or on their own initiative in a Track Two or Track Three process; during the negotiation phase, using their knowledge of economic development, trade or employment; and/or during the implementation phase, for instance by providing suitable jobs to former combatants, thus providing them with gainful options other than armed violence, or hiring people from all sides of the conflict, thus contributing to breaking down stereotypes and biases.22

Facilitating informal, off-the-record talks between mediators and businesses is also a route that needs to be systematically explored. The inspiration for these informal/briefing talks between business and mediators is as much about rebuilding trust as building knowledge and understanding on both sides. For instance, the private sector was successfully involved at the Track One level in the recent successful negotiation process between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), playing an important informal role throughout these negotiations. Some businesspeople were even members of the negotiation team. The government, the FARC and the business sector themselves welcomed the private sector’s engagement: “Business leaders held off-the-record meetings of multi-sectorial groups in order to generate space for developing personal relationships.”23 Members of the business sector sponsored and were involved in public demonstrations and activities to protest against the conflict and lobbied on numerous public occasions for a peaceful settlement. Business representatives also established contact with an imprisoned leader of the other main Colombian armed opposition group, the National Liberation Army, “leading to the signing of a goodwill accord pledging the parties to seek a solution to the Colombian crisis”.24

The first major work on business-based conflict transformation is less than 20 years old.25 The World Bank has found that the first thing that must be dealt with after the restoration of peace and the examination of various fundamental social issues is the question of establishing a framework for restoring business.26 The past decade has seen an increase in initiatives to address a possible multi-stakeholder approach to conflict transformation, including MNCs and local businesses.27 On the basis of these principles, further initiatives have been launched such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development principles on MNCs and the International Bill of Human Rights of the International Finance Corporation, which is the World Bank’s lending arm.

But the debate is still largely dominated by policy built on examples of businesses sustaining and fuelling violent conflict – largely reported by civil society and raised as banners to condemn all businesses indiscriminately. Corporate-bashing (or brand-bashing) - as NGO-bashing - are probably not the most promising strategies to achieve inclusive dialogue. A new type of engagement is needed to avoid the institutionalisation of business models such as Greenpeace’s28, which replicate bipolar models of good versus evil. The misinterpretation of how companies perceive a peace process has, for instance, led to the publication of some negatively oriented guidance for corporate engagement in conflict transformation, i.e. “good corporate practice is about negative peace and what companies should not do”.29 There is nevertheless a growing interest in constructive ways of including companies in conflict management and peace support, recognising what business has achieved as well as understanding business’s perspectives on the potential and limits of corporate engagement.

In “Money Makers as Peace Makers? Business Actors in Mediation Process”,30 swisspeace identifies 14 case studies where private sector efforts complemented those of the public and civil society sectors. These were in Colombia, Cyprus, the DRC, El Salvador, Guatemala, Aceh/Indonesia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nepal, Northern Ireland, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Sudan. There is an obvious need for more research from the business perspective, and particularly on the governance of MNCs and the role that MNCs’ local subsidiaries can play in violence prevention and conflict resolution.

Conclusion

This paper has focused on cases where the private sector supported private and/or multilateral diplomacy. Such cases indicate that building trust and engaging both traditional and new parties to peace talks might allow a better understanding of a conflict resolution and peacebuilding process and improve cooperation. The paper also explored ways in which world affairs would benefit from integrating the private sector into peacebuilding and suggested routes for a truly inclusive approach to advance peace processes.

A successful peace agreement often brings peace dividends. Liberia’s economy grew at an annual rate of 11% after peace was achieved, South Africa is still one of Africa’s most advanced economies, Aceh has become a source of economic and political innovation for its region, Mozambique has experienced an average growth of 7% (except for 2013 and 2014), and Northern Ireland experienced economic growth of 3.2% in 2005, almost twice as much as the United Kingdom as a whole. But the international community has also engaged in a number of unsuccessful attempts to build sustainable peace in war-stricken areas/ countries such as Bougainville (2001), Liberia (2003), and Sudan and South Sudan (2005). Despite comprehensive peace agreements and going through the same path of security building, governance building and transitional justice as successful peacemaking efforts, all these areas/ countries experienced outbreaks of instability and violence, in particular during elections.

Less than half of the peace agreements referred to above included an economic dimension in their settlement:31 there was no mention of reinvigorating post-war economies, no ways of supporting the reconstruction of a local private sector, no plans to revive a war-torn society, and no reference to economic reforms. If state‐building must rightly remain an internally driven process, economic recovery remains a turning point between success and failure in peacebuilding, because failure retards development and holds back foreign investment. Surely it is time for comprehensive peace agreements to become truly comprehensive and include the private sector as one of the most important sources of the widespread economic empowerment that is needed to mitigate the effects of conflict and violence?

Notes

1 An NGO, also known as a civil society organisation, is a non-governmental organisation even though its funding might be provided by a government. An NPO uses its extra funds for the purposes of the organisation, rather than dividing it among the shareholders and owners of the organisation. Examples of NPOs are universities, trade unions or charitable organisations. However, an NPO might operate in conjunction with a government.  

2 TDRP (Transitional Demobilization and Reintegration Program), “5 Democratic Republic of Congo”, in Assessing the Reintegration of Ex-combatants in the Context of Instability and Informal Economies, December 2011, p.31, http://www.tdrp.net/ PDFs/Informal_Economies_Dec2011-5.pdf

3 C. Samba-Panza, interim president of the Central African Republic, “The Central African Republic: ‘Land of Wealth and Opportunity’”, transcript of her speech during the handover ceremony to President-elect Faustin-Archange Touadéra, 30 March 2016, http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/ speech/2016/03/30/the-central-african-republic-is-a-land-of-wealth-and-opportunity

4 E. Jonas, “The Role of the Private Business Sector in Peace Negotiations: Lessons from Guatemala”, Sicherheit und Frieden/ Security and Peace, Vol.4, 2007.  

5 O. Balch, “Businesses have a role promoting peace in conflict zones”, The Guardian, 23 September 2014, https://www. theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2014/sep/22/businesses-role-promoting-peace-conflict-zones-drc-palestine  

6 J. Hatcher, “Goma Peace Concert Criticised for Overshadowing DR Congo’s Grim Reality”, The Guardian, 23 September 2014, https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/sep/23/goma-peace-concert-dr-congo-jude-law  

7 See D. Jamali, R, Mirshak, “Business-Conflict Linkages: Revisiting MNCs, CSR, and Conflict”, Journal of Business Ethics (2010) 93:443–464; A. Graf & A. Iff, “Conflict-Sensitive Business; Review of Instruments and Guidelines”, swisspeace, January 2013  

8 A. Iff, R. Alluri and S. Hellmüller, “The Positive Contributions of Businesses in Transformations from War to Peace”, swisspeace Working Paper 2/2012, http://www.swisspeace.ch/fileadmin/ user_upload/Media/Publications/WP2_2012.pdf

9 Ibid., p.15, quoting L. Zandvliet, “Conflict Transformation and the Corporate Agenda – Opportunities for Synergy”, in B. Austin, M. Fischer and H.J. Giessmann (eds), Advancing Conflict Transformation. The Berghof Handbook II, Opladen/Framington Hills, Barbara Budrich, p.360.  

10 What managers can do strategically depends on where they are located. National influences limit corporate behaviour in important ways.  

11 J. Banfield, C. Gündüz and N. Killik (eds), Local Business, Local Peace: The Peacebuilding Potential of the Domestic Private Sector, London, International Alert, 2006.

12 P. Vanham, “How Heineken’s CEO Went from Congo to the Company’s Top Spot”, LinkedIn, 22 July 2015, https://www. linkedin.com/pulse/how-did-heinekens-ceo-go-from-congo-global-peter-vanham

13 Business and Human Rights Resource Center, “Total Lawsuit in Belgium (re Myanmar)”, 2014, https://business-humanrights. org/en/total-lawsuit-in-belgium-re-myanmar  

14 G. Carbonnier, Humanitarian Economics: War, Disaster and the Global Aid Market, London, Hirst, pp.30-32.

15 General Motors traveled to Iran on this occasion, drafting contracts for the resumption of GM’s activities In Iran. To ensure US success, President Obama signed the Executive Order Act 13645 on 3 June. This presidential decree sanctioned any foreign entity that sold or supplied parts or services to the Iranian automobile sector but did not prohibit the supply of vehicles. Renault being the main foreign operator with 90,000 cars produced in 2012, the US decree clearly targeted France. Furthermore, United Against Nuclear Iran summoned Carlos Ghosn, the boss of Renault, to withdraw from Iran under penalty of American sanctions (G. Malbrunot, “En Iran, l’offensive discrète des entreprises américaines”, Le Figaro, 4 October 2013)  

16 A. Iff et al., “Money Makers as Peace Makers? Business Actors in Mediation Processes”, swisspeace Working Paper No. 2/2010, p.24, http://www.swisspeace.ch/fileadmin/user_upload/ Media/Publications/WP2_2010.pdf

17 swisspeace/CS ETH Zurich, “Peace Mediation Essentials: Business Actors in Mediation Processes”, December 2010, p. 2, http://www.swisspeace.ch/fileadmin/user_upload/Media/Topics/ Mediation/Resources/Peace_Mediation_Essentials_Business_ Actors.pdf  

18 J. Ford, Regulating Business for Peace: The United Nations, the Private Sector, and Post-conflict Recovery, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2015.  

20 M. Moody-Stuart, Responsible Leadership: Lessons from the Front Line of Sustainability and Ethics, Oxford, Greenleaf, 2014, p.36.

21 swisspeace/CS ETH, Peace Mediation Essentials, p.8.

22 Ibid., p.12.  

23 A. Rettberg, “Local Business’ Role in Formal Peace Negotiations”, in Banfield, Gündüz and Killik (eds), Local Business, Local Peace, p.51.

24 A. Rettberg, 2007, p. 486 in A. Iff et al., “Money Makers as Peace Makers? Business Actors in Mediation Processes”, swisspeace Working Paper No. 2/2010, p.16, http://www. swisspeace.ch/fileadmin/user_upload/Media/Publications/ WP2_2010.pdf

25 J. Nelson, The Business of Peace: The Private Sector as a Partner in Conflict Prevention and Resolution, London, Prince of Wales Business Leaders Forum, International Alert and Council on Economic Priorities, 2000.

26 J.-D. Wolfensohn, Statement during a special session on the role of business in conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, UN Security Council, 15 April 2004, http://siteresources.worldbank. org/INTCPR/214578-1112884026494/20482671/Role+of+WB+in+Conflict+and+Development.pdf

27 J. Ruggie and T. Nelson, Human Rights and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises: Normative Innovations and Implementation Challenges, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative, Working Paper No. 66, May 2015, p.5. https://www.hks.harvard.edu/ index.php/content/download/76202/1711396/version/1/file/ workingpaper66.pdf

28 See the Greenpeace campaign against Timberland in J. Swartz, “Standing up to 65,000 Angry Activists”, Harvard Business Review, September 2010; and W.M. Hoffman, R.E. Frederick and M. Schwartz (eds), Business Ethics: Readings and Cases in Corporate Morality, Chichester, John Wiley, 2014).

29 A. Iff, “What Guides Businesses in Transformations from War to Peace?” in A. Pigrau and M. Prandi (eds), Companies in Conflict Situations, Barcelona, International Catalan Institute for Peace, pp.153-78.

30 Iff et al., “Money Makers as Peace Makers?”, pp.16-19.  

31 UN Development Programme and Crisis Management Initiative, “Peace Processes and Statebuilding”, in J.-K. Westendorf (ed.), Why Peace Processes Fail: Negotiating Insecurity after Civil War, Boulder, Lynne Rienner, 2015, p.17.  

About the Author

Misha Nagelmackers-Voïnov is a member of Woodz Public Affairs and an Executive-Fellow-in-Residence with Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP


          Scientists May Have Solved The Mystery Of Nodding Syndrome   
Scientists may have solved the mystery of nodding syndrome , a rare form of epilepsy that has disabled thousands of children in East Africa. The syndrome seems to be caused by the immune system's response to a parasitic worm, an international team reports in the journal Science Translational Medicine . And they think it's the same worm responsible for river blindness, an eye infection that's also found in East Africa. The finding means that current efforts to eliminate river blindness should also reduce nodding syndrome, says Avi Nath , an author of the study and chief of the section of infections of the nervous system at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. "We can prevent new infections even if we can't treat the ones who already have nodding syndrome," Nath says. Drugs can kill the parasite in its early stages. Nodding syndrome usually strikes children between 5 and 16 who live in rural areas of northern Uganda and South Sudan. Their bodies and brains stop
          South Sudan: Consultancy: Sexual & Reproductive Health and Family Planning Budget and Expenditure Analysis (via Reliefweb)   
UNFPA: South Sudan: Consultancy: Sexual & Reproductive Health and Family Planning Budget and Expenditure Analysis (via Reliefweb) in UN Population Fund Country: South Sudan. Closing date: 1970-01-01
          Director of Trade and Logistics Center - Global cst - Johannesburg, Gauteng   
Advantage of experience in agricultural products and consumer goods. For trade center in South Sudan.... R25 000 a month
From Indeed - Wed, 28 Jun 2017 08:43:42 GMT - View all Johannesburg, Gauteng jobs
          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
          Job at The East African Community (EAC)   



DEPUTY CLERK FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION (EAC/HR/2016-17/22)

The East African Community is a regional intergovernmental organization comprising the Republic of Burundi, the Republic of Kenya, the Republic of Rwanda, the Republic of South Sudan, the United Republic of Tanzania, and the Republic of Uganda with its Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

The EAC mission is to widen and deepen economic, political, social and cultural integration to improve the quality of life of the people of East Africa through increased competitiveness, value added production, trade and investments.

This is an exciting opportunity for highly motivated and result-driven professionals who are citizens of East African Community Partner States of Burundi and South Sudan to apply for the following position tenable at the East African Legislative Assembly.

Organ / Institution: The East African Legislative Assembly

Duty Station: Arusha, Tanzania

Job Grade: P4

Job reports to: Clerk

Job Purpose:
To be responsible for the coordination and facilitation of the processes that promote better utilization of the Assembly’s human and financial resources in accordance with the provisions of the relevant Staff and Financial Rules and Regulations and other decisions and directives issued from time to time by the Assembly, the EALA Commission, the Council and the Clerk.

Duties and Responsibilities:
Coordinate implementation of policies and programmes related to finance, human resources, information management and administrative support;
Prepare draft budget estimates in respect of each Financial Year in accordance with budgetary guidelines and decisions of the Assembly for consideration of the Assembly’s top management;
Plan, organize, execute and control the day-to-day financial management function of the Assembly, overseeing the cash flow and cash position of the Assembly and making appropriate recommendations to the top management and advising on appropriate investments;
Enforce compliance to the relevant Staff and Financial Rules and Regulations and the established policies and procedures relating to staff and financial matters;
Provide managerial support and technical advice related to the sectors and staff under your supervision;
Liaise with Staff to develop specific, measureable, accurate, realistic and time bound (SMART) performance indicators, monitor and evaluate individual Staff performance and ensure that the Assembly’s performance evaluation/appraisal and feedback process is applied to all staff of the Assembly;
Identify policy gaps, initiate and facilitate research and studies in priority programme areas for the sectors under your supervision;
Coordinate Implementation of the relevant Assembly/Council decisions and consolidate progress and annual reports on status of implementation of the said Assembly/Council decisions/directives;
Coordinate preparation of monthly, quarterly, annual and other periodic reports such as budget performance status reports, advances and monthly accounts;
Participate in the meetings of the F&A and other relevant Committees of Council as well as the Assembly’s committees on General Purpose and Accounts;
Facilitate the meetings of the EALA Commission whenever required;
Monitor the Assembly’s budget performance and make appropriate recommendations to the top management;
Perform any other duties as may be assigned by the management from time to time.
Qualifications and Experience:
Master’s Degree in Finance, Business/Public Administration/Management or related discipline from a recognized University.

Minimum of ten (10) years working experience in Public Management particularly in Finance and Human Resource and administration sector of which 5 years’ must have been at a level not less than that of a Principal Officer . Knowledge and experience of the workings of Parliament will be an added advantage.

Skills and Competencies:
Excellent organizational skills, ability to work under pressure to meet tight deadlines, ability to multi-task and work in teams, excellent oral and written communication skills, confident and able to work with the highest level of decorum and own initiative, ability to anticipate needs of the Assembly with utmost priority in mind, and excellent computer and management skills.

Eligibility:
Considering the current status of quota points per Partner State under
East African Legislative Assembly, only Applicants from the Republic of Burundi, and Republic of South Sudan are eligible to apply for the Position of Deputy Registrar Finance & Administration under EALA .

Terms and Conditions of Service:
The position of Deputy Clerk Finance and Administration is tenable for a contract of five (5) years renewable once.

Fringe Benefits:
The established posts offer attractive fringe benefits including housing allowance, transport allowance, education allowance, a medical scheme, and insurance cover.

Equal Opportunity:
The EAC is an equal opportunity employer; therefore, female candidates are particularly encouraged to apply. EAC will only respond to those candidates who strictly meet the set requirements.

How to Apply:
Interested candidates who meet the qualification and experience requirements for the above mentioned positions are advised to send their applications, detailed curriculum vitae, photocopies of academic certificates, names and contact details of three referees, and copy of National Identity Card, or Birth Certificate or Passport showing date of birth. Please quote the respective reference number on both the application letter and envelope. For electronic submission, please quote the respective reference number on the subject of the email and send to the address given below.

Applications should be submitted to the address below not later than Friday, 21 July 2017.

Please note:

You may submit your application either electronically or in hard copy but not both.
Applications which do not: indicate nationality and age; the reference number; or have an application letter attached; have certified copies of their academic degrees and other professional Certificates; or fail to provide three referees will be disqualified.
Only qualified candidates will be contacted
EAC Staff Rules and Regulations preclude considerations of applicants above 55 years of age.
Please note that EAC does not require candidates to pay money for the recruitment process. All invitations for interviews will be done in writing

The Secretary General
East African Community
P. o Box 1096
Arusha – Tanzania.
Tel: +255 27 2162100
Fax: +255 27 2162190
Website : www.eac.int

Application Deadline:
Friday, 21 July 2017 – 5:00pm
          South Sudan renews oil contracts with China, Malaysia companies   

South Sudan has renewed oil mining contracts with China’s National Petroleum Corporation and Malaysia’s Petronas for five more years, Petroleum Minister Ezekiel Lul Gatkuoth said Friday.


          East Tennessee State's Jurkin gets 6th year of eligibility   
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) — East Tennessee State center Peter Jurkin has been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA. Jurkin, a 7-footer from South Sudan, played a total of 11 games during his two seasons at Indiana because of lingering injuries. He also sat out the entire 2014-15 season due
          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

          South Sudan's million-strong refugee crisis is a test for the World Bank   

It’s time for the bank and the Global Partnership for Education to spend money they have set aside for these emergencies

Imagine, if you will, a city the size of Birmingham with a population of a million or so. Now imagine that a disaster has befallen that metropolis, a brutal war that has caused its citizens to flee with little more than the clothes on their backs. Picture the lines of refugees heading west to find a place of safety, which they eventually find across the border in Wales. There, despite severe financial constraints, the million displaced people are met with warmth and generosity.

This is not a science-fiction story. Substitute South Sudan for Birmingham and Wales for Uganda and you get an inkling of what is happening in one of the poorest parts of the world’s poorest continent.

Continue reading...
          Nigeria assumes chairmanship, AU Peace and Security Council   



Nigeria has officially assumed the one-month rotational chairmanship of the African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC).


Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the AU, Bankole Adeoye, took over from Susan Sikaneta, the Permanent Representative of Zambia, who held the Presidency for the month of June.

Adeyemo, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Addis Asaba said under Nigeria’s leadership, the council would focus on the implementation of AU’s Master Road Map of Practical Steps to Silence the Guns in Africa by 2020.

“Equally, the Council will build on the substantial progress being recorded by the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) in the fight against terrorism and seek to gain better understanding of the root causes of the conflict.

“Also to be considered by the Council during this period are the political and security situations in Guinea Bissau, Somalia, South Sudan, Mali/Sahel and Libya.

“Essentially, Nigeria as chairperson of the Council will prioritise the open debate by the AU Member States on Child soldiers / out of school children in armed conflict situations.”

He said with the support of other members of the Council, Nigeria would use its month-long presidency to actively promote sub-regional and continental peace and security in line with the principles of the AU Peace and Security Council Protocol and the mandate of the Council.

NAN reports that in view of Nigeria’s leadership role at the sub-regional and continental levels, the country has sustained its membership of this most vital mechanism since its founding in 2002.


The Peace and Security Council is the primary organ of the African Union, which is patterned along the UN Security Council to enforce Union decisions, particularly in matters relating to maintenance of peace and security.

Members of the Council are elected by the Assembly of the AU so as to reflect regional balance within Africa, as well as a variety of other criteria, including capacity to contribute militarily and financially to the Union.

The Council is composed of 15 countries, of which five are elected to three-year term, and 10 to two-year term.

The current members of the PSC are Nigeria, Algeria, Botswana, Burundi, Chad, Congo, Egypt, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Togo, Uganda and Zambia.


          Hoop Dreams: Wheelchair Basketball Is Changing Lives In Afghanistan    
When he was 10, a war injury put him in a wheelchair. His spine was permanently damaged. He was so depressed there were days he refused to get out of bed. Now Mohammadullah Amiri can't wait to get up in the morning. It's all because of wheelchair basketball. Since the 36-year-old from Afghanistan discovered it, he has become a changed man, says Jess Markt , his coach. "He has this full life. All that has come since he played basketball," says Markt, an American who trains wheelchair basketball teams for the International Committee of the Red Cross in countries like Afghanistan, South Sudan and India. Like Amiri, he has paraplegia. Since 2011, Markt has been working with Alberto Cairo, head of the Red Cross orthopedic program in Afghanistan, to get people who have been physically injured from war or illness to play sports. Cairo, a physical therapist from Italy, has helped over 100,000 people learn to use prosthetics or re-learn to use their limbs through physical therapy. Wheelchair
          Hoop Dreams: Wheelchair Basketball Is Changing Lives In Afghanistan    
When he was 10, a war injury put him in a wheelchair. His spine was permanently damaged. He was so depressed there were days he refused to get out of bed. Now Mohammadullah Amiri can't wait to get up in the morning. It's all because of wheelchair basketball. Since the 36-year-old from Afghanistan discovered it, he has become a changed man, says Jess Markt , his coach. "He has this full life. All that has come since he played basketball," says Markt, an American who trains wheelchair basketball teams for the International Committee of the Red Cross in countries like Afghanistan, South Sudan and India. Like Amiri, he has paraplegia. Since 2011, Markt has been working with Alberto Cairo, head of the Red Cross orthopedic program in Afghanistan, to get people who have been physically injured from war or illness to play sports. Cairo, a physical therapist from Italy, has helped over 100,000 people learn to use prosthetics or re-learn to use their limbs through physical therapy. Wheelchair