Archive for January 2nd, 2015

02/01/2015

2014 No Good. 2015 Any Better?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Johan Galtung*, January 2015 – TRANSCEND Media Service

Johan Galtung

Johan Galtung

Here is a list of 15 current conflicts-violence relations, avoiding identifying conflicts with violent conflict arenas:

– USA-Japan-South Korea vs North Korea vs China

– USA-ASEAN vs China-Taiwan and Japan vs Korea over China Sea islands

– USA-NATO-Japan vs China-Russia-SCO over encircling

– USA-EU vs Russia over Ukraine-Georgia membership in NATO-EU

– USA-led coalition/NATO vs Many, diverse parties in Afghanistan

– USA-led coalition/NATO vs Many, diverse parties in Iraq

– USA-Shia-Iran(?) vs Arabia-Sunni-caliphate/ISIS-Turkey(?)

– Kurds vs Turkey-Syria-Iraq-Iran over autonomy

– Israel vs Palestine over The Holy Land/Cana’an

– USA-Israel vs Arab-Muslim countries over Israel vs Palestine

– USA vs 134 states over terrorism using state torture-sniping-droning

– USA-UK-Canada-Australia-New Zealand (“Five eyes”) vs the World, spying

– USA vs China (USA-EU vs Eurasia) over the shape of geopolitics

– USA-UK-France-Italy-Norway vs Libya-Mali-Sudan-Somalia etc. in Africa

– USA vs Latin America/Caribbean over equality of the Americas

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02/01/2015

Generation after Generation, Families in South Sudan Face a Recurring Tragedy – Fleeing Conflict and Returning Home, Only to Flee Again

Human Wrongs Watch

By Mike Pflanz*

In what is now South Sudan, families have been fleeing conflict for generations, repeating a tragic cycle that began nearly 60 years ago. The first Sudanese civil war dragged on from 1955 to 1972. The second raged even longer – from 1983 until the 2005 peace deal that led to South Sudan’s independence in 2011.

Escaping War, Time and Again |  Generation after generation, families in South Sudan face a recurring tragedy – fleeing conflict and returning home, only to flee again. | Source: UNHCR Their stories

Escaping War, Time and Again | Generation after generation, families in South Sudan face a recurring tragedy – fleeing conflict and returning home, only to flee again. | Source: UNHCR

But the respite was short-lived. In the past year, fresh conflict between supporters of rival politicians in the world’s newest country has forced nearly one in every five of this nation’s 11 million people from their homes. Almost half a million of the displaced have become refugees in neighbouring countries. Many more – 1.4 million – have fled to other areas within South Sudan’s borders.

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02/01/2015

My Glorious Brothers

Human Wrongs Watch

By Uri Avnery*, 1 January 2015, TRANSCEND Media Service

When I was 15-year-old and a member of the Irgun underground (by today’s criteria, an honest-to-goodness terrorist organization), we sang “(In the past) we had the heroes / Bar Kochba and the Maccabees / Now we have the new ones / The national youth…” The melody was a German military marching song.

Uri Avnery

Uri Avnery

Why did we look for heroes in the remote past?

We were in desperate need of national heroes to emulate. For 18 centuries, Jews had not fought.

Dispersed throughout the world, they saw no reason to fight for emperors and kings who mostly persecuted them. (Though some of them did. The first authentic hero of the new Zionist entity in Palestine was Josef Trumpeldor, one of the few Jewish officers in the Czar’s army, who lost an arm in the 1905 Russian-Japanese war and was killed in a skirmish with Arabs in Palestine.)

So we found the Maccabees, the Zealots and Bar Kochba.

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02/01/2015

Palestine Moves to Join International Criminal Court, Numerous Global Treaties

Human Wrongs Watch

Palestinian Authority officials on 2 January 2015 presented to the United Nations documents for accession to 16 international conventions and treaties, including the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the world body has confirmed.

Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the UN Riyad Mansour (right) speaks to the press. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

The documents – for accession to conventions and treaties for which the UN Secretary-General performs depositary functions – are being reviewed with a view to determining the appropriate next steps, according to a note issued to the media by a UN spokesperson.*

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02/01/2015

'Urgent European Action' Needed to Protect Migrants at Sea'

Human Wrongs Watch

A senior United Nations refugee official on 2 January 2015 stressed the need for urgent action by European nations to protect migrants at sea following recent incidents involving hundreds of people stranded in the Mediterranean while attempting to reach the continent.

This Italian Navy landing craft is carrying 186 people who have been rescued at sea. Photo: UNHCR/A. D’Amato (file)

Vincent Cochetel, Europe Bureau Director for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said in a statement that the arrival in Italy today of a cargo ship carrying some 450 migrants is part of “an ongoing and worrying situation” that European Governments can no longer ignore.

According to media reports, nearly 800 migrants were rescued from another ship found abandoned without any crew earlier in the week.

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02/01/2015

International Year of Soils 2015: World Soils Are in Danger, Food Security Is Compromised

Human Wrongs Watch

Our soils are in danger because of expanding cities, deforestation, unsustainable land use and management practices, pollution, overgrazing and climate change. The current rate of soil degradation threatens the capacity to meet the needs of future generations, according to UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Source: FAO

Source: FAO

As long as soils are at risk, sustainable agriculture, food security and the provision of ecosystem services are compromised.*

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