Posts tagged: conflict
The rise of genocidal Buddhist racism against the Rohingya
The rise of genocidal Buddhist racism against the Rohingya, a minority community of nearly one million people in the western Burmese province of Rakhine (also known as Arakan), is an international humanitarian crisis. The military-ruled state has been relentless in its attempts to erase Rohingya ethnic identity, which was officially recognized as a distinct ethnic group in 1954 by the democratic government of Prime Minister U Nu. Indeed, in the past months of violent conflict, beginning in June 2012, the Rohingya have suffered over 90 percent of the total death toll and property destruction, including the devastation of entire villages and city neighborhoods. Following the initial eruption of violence in western Burma, several waves of killing, arson, and rampage have been directed at the Rohingya, backed by Burma’s security forces.
— Dr. Maung Zarni, Buddhist Nationalism in Burma
Food for thought: “See that guy over there with an almost identical religion? I wanna kill him because my God is all about love.”
from 10 Conflicts to Watch in 2013 | Foreign Policy
by Louise Arbour
Unsurprisingly, the “Sudan Problem” did not go away with the South’s secession in 2011. Civil war, driven by concentration of power and resources in the hands of a small elite, continues to plague the country, and threatens to lead to further disintegration. Divisions within the ruling National Congress Party (NCP), growing popular unrest, and a steady national economic meltdown also could send this country off the rails.
Sadly, 10 years ago, the situation was almost identical — only then Khartoum was fighting against the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), representing the entire South, whereas now government coffers are drained by ongoing fighting against the Sudan Revolutionary Front, an alliance of major rebel groups from Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile states. The victims, as always, are the civilians caught in the middle. As it did in the South, the government has sought to use access to humanitarian aid as a bargaining chip, essentially using mass starvation as part of its military strategy.
The only lasting solution is a comprehensive one, bringing all of Sudan’s stakeholders together to reform how power is wielded in a large and diverse country. Over the long term, the status quo — incessant warfare, millions displaced, billions spent on aid — is intolerable for all parties. If it is to be resolved for good, the NCP and international players will need to offer much more than at any time in the past — the former a process of genuine all-inclusive dialogue, the latter economic and political incentives.
Photo: United Nations Photo/Flickr
COMMENT | Why Mali is falling apart | CNN World
By COMFORT ERO
Over the last 20 years, Mali has mostly been a model of stability in a fragile region. Now it’s falling apart. Rebels control the north of the country and are depriving local people of their freedom. They’ve destroyed religious monuments, and many fear the region could become a new haven for terrorists, some of whom have abducted Western hostages in recent years. Mali’s neighbors and some in the international community, including France, are leaning toward the use of force as the right solution. But an immediate military intervention would be shortsighted, almost certainly drive the wedge even deeper between the northern and southern communities and further destabilize West Africa and the Sahel.
Comfort Ero is Africa Program Director at the International Crisis Group. The views expressed are the author’s own.
Photo: Anne Look/Wikimedia Commons
This innocent-looking house is believed to be the only Chinese home to survive the Rock Springs Massacre in 1885. At that time, more than 300 Chinese miners were living in 80 houses in Rock Springs, Wyoming, when a white mob went on a rampage, murdering and mutilating an unknown number of Chinese people (at least dozens, probably hundreds), torching 79 homes, throwing corpses into the fires and burning some people who could not escape alive.
This photo comes from a new online project called No Place For Your Kind (via Angry Asian Man), which aims to photograph and document contemporary locations where anti-Chinese violence took place in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as part of a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Chinese in America. According to the site:
From 1870 to 1910 a violent anti-Chinese movement in this country instigated forced removals of entire Chinese communities, major riots against Chinese residents and even horrific massacres of Chinese immigrants. Some of these actions, such the riot in Rock Springs, Wyoming, were among the most violent events in American history, yet few people are aware of this part of our American culture.
Photographer Tim Greyhavens has spent more than five years researching and documenting the exact locations of many of these events, tracing the history of the past to the landscapes of today. Unlike many historical sites, there has been little recognition of the specific places where these events took place. For most sites there are no plaques or markers, no guidebook references – nothing at all to indicate what happened. Greyhavens has recorded these seemingly commonplace scenes and combined them with written descriptions of what took place there. The photographs and the text together are integral parts of the documentation for this project.
Medical Needs Increasing Among Syrian Refugees in Lebanon
On July 20 and July 21, there was a new surge as thousands of Syrians entered Lebanon. MSF teams were dispatched to the areas along the border and to the Bekaa valley, where many refugees are seeking sanctuary.
As the crisis in Syria continues to intensify, the humanitarian needs—both in Syria and in surrounding countries—are increasing significantly. Many people have been killed and wounded and tens of thousands have fled their homes, leaving behind everything they own. Medical and humanitarian assistance within Syria is extremely limited, and aid from international organizations, including MSF, has been severely restricted. In neighboring countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq, MSF has therefore augmented its work with the growing numbers of Syrian refugees flowing across the borders.
Photo:An MSF nurse gives a vaccine to a young Syrian boy in northern Lebanon.
Lebanon 2012 © Nagham Awada/MSF
The women of the Mexican 1910 revolution. Badass.
U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a message to the people of Sudan and South Sudan, April 21, 2012.
Libya: A Precarious Situation for Vulnerable Populations
As Libya grapples with consolidating state authority and restoring normality after the revolution, groups of migrants, refugees, and internally displaced people remain in a vulnerable and precarious situation. MSF is continuing to provide basic medical and psychological assistance to these groups in Tripoli. In parallel, MSF will also end its remaining activities in Misrata at the beginning of April to refocus on other areas of intervention.
There are concerns that camps in Tripoli are being shut down by authorities without any clear strategy that the people will be appropriately cared for afterwards, leaving former residents in an even more vulnerable situation. Already on February 14, a camp where hundreds of primarily sub-Saharan African migrants had taken refuge was closed and evacuated. On March 20, another camp housing approximately 300 Somali refugees was evacuated, with residents now being spread out over Tripoli. As MSF had been running mobile clinics in these two camps, it is now trying to trace patients to be able to ensure the provision of follow-up care if needed.
Currently, MSF is running mobile clinics in two camps for internally displaced people in the city, providing basic health care and psychological support. When necessary, MSF also assists in referring residents to secondary health structures. The camps, containing a total of approximately 4,000 people, are primarily made up of people from the Tawargha city. Members of this community were forcibly displaced at the end of the conflict, and are unable to return home. On average, MSF performs 50 consultations in these two camps every week.
Libya 2011 © Niklas Bergstrand
Nearly all buildings in Tripoli street in downtown Misrata were completely destroyed during the war.