Archive for March 13th, 2016

13/03/2016

‘Plan B’ – Not an Enigma: Why the West Is Keen on Dividing the Arabs

Human Wrongs Watch

By Ramzy Baroud*

March 2016 (Politics for the People) – When Arab streets exploded with fury, from Tunis to Sanaa, pan-Arabism seemed, then, like a nominal notion. Neither did the so-called ‘Jasmine Revolution’ use slogans that affirmed its Arab identity, nor did angry Egyptian youth raise the banner proclaiming Arab unity atop the high buildings adjacent to Tahrir Square.

A 1916 map of the Middle East showing French (“A”) and British (“B”) areas of control, according to the secret Sykes-Picot agreement.

A 1916 map of the Middle East showing French (“A”) and British (“B”) areas of control, according to the secret Sykes-Picot agreement.

Oddly, the Arabism of the ‘Arab Spring’ was almost as if a result of convenience.

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13/03/2016

Spies Sans Frontières?

How CIA-linked Palantir is gaining ground in the aid industry (and why some humanitarians are worried)

Analysis by Obi Anyadike*

NAIROBI, 7 March 2016 (IRIN) – A months-long investigation by IRIN into the secretive intelligence-linked firm Palantir, reveals a cosying up to aid organizations large and small, including a bargain-basement contract with a sensitive UN agency, and a flirtation with the international response to the Ebola outbreak. But how close is too close? 

13/03/2016

Can Europe Survive?

Human Wrongs Watch 

By Roberto Savio*

ROME, 13 March 2016 (IPS) – The last formal act of European disintegration was the last negotiation between 28 European leaders and the Prime Minister of Turkey. The deal, against all international treaties, is a total capitulation to European values.

Savio-small1

Roberto Savio

Europe will give Turkey 6 billion dollars, and in exchange Turkey will keep refugees from coming to Europe.

Or better, will screen everybody, and send to Europe only the Syrians who are eligible for political asylum.

This is just a way to avoid a common position on the refugees. In fact, besides keeping people out, as the President of the EU, Donald Tusk, has explicitly warned “ keep out, you are not welcome”, there is no European policy on this issue at all.

The 28 did approve by majority a plan of resettlement for 60 000 refugees (a drop in the more than a million stranded in Europe).

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13/03/2016

Turkey Can Always Resort to ‘Weapon of Mass Migration’ against Europe

Human Wrongs Watch

Germany is preparing for key local elections which will take place this Sunday. And the results are expected to be challenging for the Chancellor, Angela Merkel who has lost significant popularity of late over her open-door migrant policy.

Meanwhile right-wing parties are gaining support with the populist Alternative for Germany party currently doing well in the polls.

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13/03/2016

Displaced Iraqis Seeking Shelter in Camps, ‘Caged’

Human Wrongs Watch

Concerned about hampering the rights of displaced Iraqis seeking shelter in camps, the United Nations refugee agency on 11 March 2016 urged the Government to set up clear procedures and special facilities for screening people that are separate from camps established to provide shelter and humanitarian aid.

Displaced families in Kirkuk, Iraq, complete paperwork before picking up Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) kits, provided by the UNICEF and WFP-led Consortium. Photo: UNICEF/Lindsay Mackenzie

“There is a rising trend of newly-displaced Iraqis being forcibly transferred to camps where restrictions on their freedom of movement were being imposed in a manner disproportionate to any legitimate concern, including those related to security,” Ariane Rummery, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told journalists in Geneva.

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13/03/2016

‘Searing’ Account of Killings, Rapes by South Sudanese Forces

Human Wrongs Watch

A new United Nations report on the human rights situation in South Sudan published on 11 March 2016 describes a multitude of horrendous violations in “searing detail,” in particular by Government forces, including cases of civilians burned alive or cut to pieces and a teenage girl being raped by ten soldiers.

Women and children have suffered devastating attacks in South Sudan’s Unity State. Photo: UNICEF/South Sudan/Sebastian Rich

Although all parties to the conflict have committed patterns of serious and systematic violence against civilians since fighting broke out in December 2013, the report says State actors bore the greatest responsibility during 2015, given the weakening of opposition forces.

The scale of sexual violence is particularly shocking, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) notes in a news release.

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13/03/2016

‘Voices of “Comfort Women” Victims and Survivors Must Be Heard’

Human Wrongs Watch

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 11 March 2016 stressed the need to put the victims who were drafted by Japan as so-called “comfort women” during the Second World War at the centre of any resolution of the issue, following a meeting at United Nations Headquarters with one of the victims.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon meets with Ms. Gil Won-ok, one of the victims who were drafted by Japan as so-called “comfort women” during the Second World War. At right is Yoo Soon-taek, wife of Mr. Ban. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

“I share my sympathy with Ms. Gil Won-ok about the suffering and pain that she and other victims have experienced. It is crucial that the voices of victims and survivors are heard,” Ban said.

The term ‘comfort women’ refers to hundreds of thousands of girls and women from several Asian countries abducted and forced into sexual slavery prior to and during the Second World War by the Japanese military.

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