By Sara Perria*
The northwest region bordering Bangladesh has been under close scrutiny from western governments and some U.N. agencies since clashes erupted in 2012 between the Buddhist Arakan community and the mostly stateless Muslim minority.
By Baher Kamal & The Like
28 August 2016 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is deeply concerned over the tense situation that has developed in the narrow buffer strip in south-western Western Sahara between the Moroccan berm and the Mauritanian border as a result of changes in the status quo and the introduction of armed units from Morocco and the Polisario Front in close proximity to each other.
In a statement issued this evening by his spokesperson, Ban called on both parties to suspend any action that alters that status quo and to withdraw all armed elements so as to prevent any further escalation and permit the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) to hold discussions with both parties on the situation.
26 August 2016 – Marking the second anniversary of the 2014 ceasefire which ended the most devastating round of hostilities in Gaza, heads of United Nations agencies there have called for a greater flow of material and funding to address humanitarian needs and boost economic prospects for Gaza’s 1.9 million residents.
“We must reverse Gaza’s de-development trajectory and address the needs of a population that has gone through three rounds of conflict, nine years of an Israeli blockade and the consequences of the Palestinian internal divide which, combined, have affected every aspect of their daily lives,” Robert Piper, the UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory said in a news release.
Years of violence by Boko Haram in Africa’s Lake Chad basin, which includes Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger, have led to a worsening humanitarian crisis that has displaced 1.4 million children and left at least one million still trapped in hard-to-reach areas, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said in a report released on 25 August 2016.
“The Lake Chad crisis is a children’s crisis that should rank high on the global migration and displacement agenda,” said Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa, in a news release.
“Humanitarian needs are outpacing the response, especially now that new areas previously unreachable in northeast Nigeria become accessible,” he added.
The impact on children of the collective failure to prevent and end conflict is severe, with regions in turmoil and violations against children intensifying in a number of conflicts, the senior UN envoy on the subject on 24 August 2016 said, stressing that this situation stems directly from an erosion of respect for international humanitarian and human rights law by conflict parties.
In her annual report to the UN General Assembly, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, highlighted the devastating impact on children of increasingly complex conflicts, despite concerted efforts and significant progress achieved over the past year.
By Robert J. Burrowes*
DAYLESFORD, Australia, 25 August, 2016 – I sometimes wonder whether one of the ways in which ‘Amercian exceptionalism’ manifests is that many US scholars and others are unable to consider the contributions of those who are not from the USA.
For example, I routinely read about studies of Martin Luther King Jr. and his associates (such as strategist James Lawson) in relation to nonviolence while the much more insightful and vastly greater contributions of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on the same subject are largely ignored by US scholars (although not, for example, by Professor Mary E. King, one of the best in the field).
I have just read another book that falls into this trap: ‘This is an Uprising: How Nonviolent Revolt is Shaping the Twenty-first Century‘ written by Mark Engler and Paul Engler.
In this book, the authors try too hard to make nonviolent action fit into a model they have created by combining thoughts from a few (US) authors – essentially Saul Alinsky, Frances Fox Piven and Gene Sharp – to describe an approach to change based on structure-based organizing, momentum-driven revolt and the creation of prefigurative community.
23 August 2016 – The number of people in need of food assistance in north-eastern Nigeria has nearly doubled to 4.5 million from March, according to a mid-August analysis by various agencies including the World Food Programme (WFP).
“All indications point to an extremely grave situation,” said Abdou Dieng, the UN agency’s Regional Director for West Africa, in a news release.
“As the rains set in and the lean season deepens, and more areas are opened up to access humanitarian aid, the full scale of hunger and devastation is likely to come to light,” he added.
Reporting that 650 children have been recruited into armed groups in South Sudan since January, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNCEF) on 19 August 2016 called for an immediate end to recruitment and an unconditional release of all children by armed actors.
The heart breaking photograph of Omran Daqneesh, the little boy sitting alone in an ambulance with his face and body covered in blood and dirt after being pulled from a destroyed building has reminded the world, yet again, of the unimaginable horrors that Syrian children face every day, a spokesperson for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on 19 August 2016 said.