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Archive for the tag “Conflict”

Press Statement: Unprecedented level of food insecurity in South Sudan, UN agencies warn (29.06.2016)

South Sudan Food Crisis

More than a third of the population in urgent need of food, agriculture and nutrition assistance amid risk of catastrophe in some parts of the country.

NEW YORK, United States of America, June 29, 2016Up to 4.8 million people in South Sudan – well over one-third of the population – will be facing severe food shortages over the coming months, and the risk of a hunger catastrophe continues to threaten parts of the country, three UN agencies warned today.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) stressed that while the deteriorating situation coincides with an unusually long and harsh annual lean season, when families have depleted their food stocks and new harvests are not expected until August, the level of food insecurity this year is unprecedented.

According to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) update released today by the government, the three agencies and other humanitarian partners, 4.8 million people are projected to be in need of urgent food, agriculture and nutrition assistance through July, up from 4.3 million in April. This is the highest level of hunger since the conflict in South Sudan began two-and-a-half years ago. This number does not include 350,000 residents of the UN Protection of Civilians areas or other camps for displaced people, who currently are entirely dependent on humanitarian assistance.

“We are very worried to see that food insecurity is spreading beyond conflict areas as rising prices, impassable roads and dysfunctional markets are preventing many families, even those in towns and cities, from accessing food,” said FAO Country Representative Serge Tissot.

Food insecurity and conflict are also forcing many families to leave South Sudan for neighbouring countries. In the last few months alone, an estimated 100,000 South Sudanese people have crossed into Sudan, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, and this number is expected to increase to more than 150,000 by the end of June.

“The levels of malnutrition among children continue to be truly alarming,” said Mahimbo Mdoe, UNICEF’s Representative in South Sudan. “Since the beginning of the year more than

100,000 children have been treated for severe malnutrition. That’s a 40 per cent increase compared to the same period last year, and a 150 percent increase since 2014.”

Working with a large number of international and local non-governmental organizations, FAO, UNICEF and WFP will continue to deliver life- and livelihood- saving support under these difficult circumstances.

“We are now seeing sharp spikes of need in new areas, such as Eastern Equatoria or Western Bahr el-Ghazal, where malnutrition rates in some places are reaching dangerous levels. We have started ramping up food and nutrition support, but much more is needed to keep things from deteriorating even further during the lean season,” said WFP Country Director Joyce Luma.

In 2016, FAO is planning to provide emergency livelihood support to 3.1 million people in South Sudan. It is currently distributing over half a million crop and fishing kits and is assisting livestock production through the vaccination of some 11 million animals.

The dramatic rise in malnutrition rates, means that in the first four months of the year UNICEF has already treated 45 per cent of its planned 2016 caseload of 166,000 children.

WFP plans to assist  3.3 million people in South Sudan this year through a combination of emergency food assistance, lifesaving nutrition support for mothers and young children, community-based asset-creation projects where possible, and safety net programmes such as school meals.

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Joint Statement on Aerial Bombardment in South Kordofan and De Facto Expulsion of OCHA Head (27.05.2016)

Unbroken Conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile

The following statement was issued jointly by the governments of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and Norway:

The members of the Troika (Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States) are appalled by the Sudanese government’s aerial bombardment of civilians in Kauda and the Heiban area of South Kordofan, including the bombing of St Vincent Elementary School on 25 May. The Sudanese government has a responsibility to protect all its citizens. We urge all parties to end the violence and allow immediate humanitarian access to those in need. We believe that the Roadmap presented by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel represents the way forward.

The Troika countries are also deeply concerned by the government of Sudan’s de facto expulsion of Ivo Freijsen, the Head of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan. The government of Sudan’s action contributes to the increasingly difficult environment to address humanitarian needs in Sudan. The humanitarian situation remains critical, with over 5.4 million people in need of humanitarian aid. We fully support OCHA’s mandate in Sudan and call on the government to review this latest decision, and lift restrictions on the timely delivery of humanitarian assistance to all Sudanese affected by crisis and conflict.

Re: Complain & Demand for an Investigation Against William Ruto, Minster for Higher Education (17.06.2010)

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A look into the fear-mongering in modern day politics; while showing politicians who believed in building inclusive and unified nations; as a counter to the fear-mongering politicians!

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This here is not easy write as it is such a fearful debate; I will discuss the matter of fear in politics. I have taken it in pieces here and there because the militarization is a distinguished part of politics these days as they have always been. Military and armies have always been influential of how the political movement has been and how the structure of power has been established. But today I will not discuss the militarization of politics that I can do another day. Certainly I will discuss it more closely as it is ever present in politics. While today the main topic is the other part of politics who is the rhetoric of spreading fear about foreign influence, immigrations or the foreign people in the country! While I will counter them with leaders who wanted to build countries, and this in countries with many tribes and creeds as they have to work together to build the nations; these are the men I look up to, not the ones who spread fear, as that is the simplest and easiest tool to get the masses behind without showing a proper political policies or framework that can define a parties groundwork or ideology as the one goal is to do something fruitful as a politician.

History Immigration

FEAR and fear is a tool that many politicians use all over the globe. Usefully to gain political advantage and create a platform for their framework or even just cease the power the politicians wish to achieve. This piece will not be about Donald Trump even if he thrives on racial hatred and fear of the non-American value without being able to say what that is, which is from an outsider laughable, as it usually is the once spreading the fear use one Markie technic. He will still have a space as he is so visible by doing it and how he uses that technic.  

The first Markie technic from the politicians is finding the enemy, or if has to create the enemy. Usually a foreign forces, foreign people or foreign investments, as all of them will create a unstable environment and that these people, investors will take away the freedom and liberty, even steal the jobs that are there. This technic is used because the politician initially doesn’t have a political framework or policy on how to create the space of economic sense to find other solutions to make the laws, policies or the country’s budget to make a difference.

This will be most often by the biggest group of the people, neither the elite nor the educated; instead the majorities who have less education and more blue-collar work or industrial workers and the men and woman from both smaller towns and rural areas; as the capitals and central regions usually are more open and have more open approached to people and are more liberal in general. As the rural and smaller towns are further away therefore the people usually doesn’t get the same level of information as the central regions. Even in the digital age and watching TV and tabloid news gives the masses quick-feeding news instead of the deep diving information. This leads the masses and population into the levels of not checking the information or questioning the forces who spread certain information to the people.

UKIP Poster

Farage of UKIP has unemployment of British people because of immigration, and Romanians are the greatest criminals in the UK:

The fear they spread is like that East-European people are stealing the jobs in the United Kingdom as the party of United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage fears portrayed in his owns words: “I would rather we had communities that were rather more united and we had a situation where young unemployed British people had a realistic chance of getting a job, so yes I do think the social side of this matters more than the pure market economics” (Wintour, 2014). He also said this in 2013: “There have been an astounding 28,000 arrests in the Metropolitan Police area of Romanians in the last five years alone…92 per cent of ATM crime in the capital is already being committed by Romanian gangs” (Worral, 2013). This here is just typical living on fear as the place will only stay united if the British people is employed and chance of getting a job. That is not because of the market economics, but because of other reasons, that is typical rhetoric of men who thrive on fear, as he did the year before. As he then blamed Romanians for thieving as the Police had not the statics or proof of this number. It is as this is simply a matter that cannot be pure market economics. This proves the levels of fear that UKIP spreads with their words. Let me show you other people doing the same.

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Wilders of the PVV believes the Western hemisphere will not survive with the influence of Islam:

As in Netherlands the level of fear spreading and finding the once creating issues there in words of Geert Wilders of his Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV) who has built a career on thriving the fear of foreign faiths and beliefs as his own exclusive piece he stated this: “Islam is an existential threat to our Western freedoms and our Judeo-Christian civilization. It also threatens the Atlantic partnership between America and Western Europe. It is our duty to limit this threat. It is our mission as patriots to protect our nations. The first measure we must take to stop Islam, reduce the risk of terrorism and save our civilization, is to stop all immigration from Islamic countries. It is a matter of survival” (Wilders, 2016). He proves his fear here that the level of problems coming to Europe through the Islamic faith is survival and if we don’t succumb to it we will be killed. This is demonetization of something else they yourself as it easier then unifying the countries and citizens. As the faiths are dangerous in his opinion as he does not have a framework or structure to regenerate or rejuvenate anything. Therefore he uses Islamic faith as a tool to spread fear for it as the immigration and immigrants from the countries of this faith is dangerous. That is rhetoric suited in the fear based policies.

Front National France

Le Pen’s National Front fears a barbaric invasion of France:

In France you have Marine Le Pen of the National Front who has as her father lived on the fear in the French population and thriving on it as well. She has said this: “Migrants are now wandering in our neighborhoods, around the train stations or in the slums, the cause for France of immense security and public hygiene problems” (…)“In the coming years, we could be in the presence of the invasions that were lived through in the Fourth Century,” said Ms. Le Pen, referring to the Barbarian invasions of Western Europe” (Nossiter, 2015). She proves the level of fear as the immigrants even invading the country and create hygiene problems. This sound more like of a past parties that nobody really want to be associated with. Let me give you an example: “In 1935, Dr. J. Goebbels, Nazi Minister of Propaganda, made the unconsciously sardonic statement, “National Socialism has simplified thinking for the German nation and brought it back to its earlier and primitive form” (Krzesinski, 1945). It is nearly the same the fear level of Le Pen as the fear of the nation back to the primitive aggression of the barbarian invasion will come back, if they don’t take care of the society.

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Siv Jensen of Norway does not want to the state of Malmø to Norway:

There leaders like this in Norway as well, take for example Siv Jensen of Fremskrittspartiet (The Progressive Party) who said this in 2013: ”If we permit this, Oslo and other Norwegian cities may approach the state of Malmö [Sweden], where emergency service personnel do not dare to enter certain parts of the city, and where Sharia law has entirely taken over. That is the reality in Sweden; we are not attempting to scaremonger” (Alm, 2013). She proves that ability as the counterparts in Europe to put Islamic people and their faith in one basket and expect everybody to be the same. It’s ironic that she is saying she is not scaremonger, while portraying a bleak picture if we let them come and we will create Malmø in Norway as well. That just proves to what an extent she goes to establish an enemy to generate votes.

Trump Quote

Donald Trump having issues with Mexicans:

Let me take Donald Trump as well, the American who also uses them versus us rhetoric to gain votes. See here: ““When Mexico (meaning the Mexican Government) sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you (pointing to the audience). They’re not sending you (pointing again). They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems to us. They’re bringing drugs.They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people! But I speak to border guards and they tell us what we’re getting. And it only makes common sense. They’re sending us not the right people. It’s coming from more than Mexico. It’s coming from all over South and Latin America, and it’s coming probably from the Middle East. But we don’t know. Because we have no protection and we have no competence, we don’t know what’s happening. And it’s got to stop and it’s got to stop fast.” (…)”The Mexican Government wants an open border as long as it’s a ONE WAY open border into the United States. Not only are they killing us at the border, but they are killing us on trade … and the country of Mexico is making billions of dollars in doing so” (Walker, 2015). This here proves the fear mongering technic of Trump as he has nothing else, as the Mexicans are the issue, they creates the bad business and trade, they bring the wrong people to the United States and so on. This here is just like the right-wing politician who uses this level of fear to generate votes. He thrive on it and get the afraid white votes in United States, as they can’t check if this is true or not.

Now I want to go to something positive as the ones above has just spread the words of fear and that the world we are living is going to hell if we let our neighbors and refugees get a place to stay our whole system will collapse and Armageddon will come quicker than a Mel Gibson racist rant. This here is one part of the politicians that are out there and they are gaining and getting crowds; people are following it and respecting them. As fearful it is. But let me prove the different men and woman who creates unity and implement proper politics and framework, not FEAR as the only tool to build support. The healthy political venue and also show how to respect and create peace In between people and tribes.

Tanzania Nyerere

As one of greatest statesmen ever (in my opinon) wrote about unity for his fellow countrymen in Tanzania in 1967:

“A truly. socialist state is one in which all people are workers and in which neither capitalism nor feudalism exists. It does not have two classes of people, a lower class composed of people who work for their living, and an upper class of people who live on the work of others. In a really socialist country no person exploits another; everyone who is physically able to work does so; every worker obtains a just return for the labour he performs; and the incomes derived from different types of work are not grossly divergent. In a socialist country, the only people who live on the work of others, and who have the right to be dependent upon their fellows, are small children, people who are too old to support themselves, the crippled, and those whom the state at any one time cannot provide with an opportunity to work for their living” (…)”The development of a country is brought about by people, not by money. Money, and the wealth it represents, is the result and not the basis of development. The four prerequisites of development are different; they are (i) People; (ii) Land; (iii) Good Policies; (iv) Good Leadership. Our country has more than ten million people1 and is are; is more than 362,000 square miles” (Nyerere, 1967).  This man shows the real material and values of somebody uniting the people even if he does not even want the nation into classes, some people might see it socialism and Marxism. And the maxim does not need be in that way to become peaceful or uniting. Let me take a man who speaks peace between people and not having socialist feeling, still proving the possibility of unification between people.

Kaunda Book

How Dr. Kenneth Kaunda united the tribes of Zambia:

“Interviewer: United 72 tribes together was a major challenge. How did you manage, as the First President of Zambia, to overcome such thing?” His answer: It was very important and a difficult situation for us as a country. We still had our small tribes and we still did not know what was coming ahead of us. We had to build all this up into ‘One Zambia, One Nation’.  Living this slogan is not just something that was talked about, but something that Zambians believed in, and they began living and behaving in the spirit of unity as quoted in the slogan” (Winne, 2015). His other important question: “As the First President, you have implemented humanism and nationalisation of the economy. What were the main reasons for doing so?” His answer to the question: “Humanism formed a basis to guide everything that was done or implemented in the country. Moreover, the economy has to be nationalised to help raise the standards of living for the poverty stricken people” (…)”At the time, there was racial segregation and the challenge was to tackle this situation. It was important for people to understand that it was not their colour that mattered, but rather the behaviour of the person. As such, humanism became important and it helped us overcome racial segregation.  The concept of humanism meant that all human being lived united according to how God wants them to live” (Winne, 2015). Dr. Kenneth Kaunda does something important and says that the value is the people of all the tribes belongs to the country and pride in the idea of one Zambia. Not segregating, that was the matter with humanism and let the people be united. It proves the greatness in believing in that if people unify they will be stronger.

Tradeau Poster

Let me take the new Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau who speaks totally different on cultural differences than other in western hemisphere:

“Canadians have proven that a nation can be strong not in spite of our differences but because of them, and we all have a responsibility to be custodians of this country’s character. Canada’s success is rooted in its unique approach to liberty through inclusive diversity. While we have built vital institutions like the Charter, sustaining this liberty requires continued political leadership” (Liberal, 2015). He believes that the diversity through liberty is a reason for success for Canada, while his counterparts in Europe fear the diversity and sure the world will fall into abyss, he differ; as he continues on his victory speech: “To her I say this: you and your fellow citizens have chosen a new government, a government that believes deeply in the diversity of our country. We know in our bones that Canada was built by people from all corners of the world who worship every faith, who belong to every culture, who speak every language” (…)”We believe in our hearts that this country’s unique diversity is a blessing bestowed upon us by previous generations of Canadians, Canadians who stared down prejudice and fought discrimination in all its forms. We know that our enviable, inclusive society didn’t happen by accident and won’t continue without effort. I have always known this; Canadians know it too. If not, I might have spoken earlier this evening and given a very different speech” (Trudeau, 2015). He proves his faith in the diversity and how that built the country and an inclusive society. The positive belief that people of all kinds can build a society together; as the Canadians can and that all of them can build the country no matter creed, language or faith that is telling that nobody is enemies of the idea of Canada. That is a strong unifying message!

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Another hero with a unifying message to his people was first ANC President in South Africa, Nelson Mandela on his inauguration on the 10th May 1994:

“That spiritual and physical oneness we all share with this common homeland explains the depth of the pain we all carried in our hearts as we saw our country tear itself apart in a terrible conflict, and as we saw it spurned, outlawed and isolated by the peoples of the world, precisely because it has become the universal base of the pernicious ideology and practice of racism and racial oppression” (…)”We trust that you will continue to stand by us as we tackle the challenges of building peace, prosperity, non-sexism, non-racialism and democracy” (…)”We deeply appreciate the role that the masses of our people and their political mass democratic, religious, women, youth, business, traditional and other leaders have played to bring about this conclusion. Not least among them is my Second Deputy President, the Honourable F.W. de Klerk” (…)”We have, at last, achieved our political emancipation. We pledge ourselves to liberate all our people from the continuing bondage of poverty, deprivation, suffering, gender and other discrimination” (…)”We have triumphed in the effort to implant hope in the breasts of the million of our people. We enter into a covenant that we shall build the society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without any fear in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human dignity – a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world” (…)”We are both humbled and elevated by the honour and privilege that you, the people of South Africa, have bestowed on us, as the first President of a united, democratic, non-racial and non-sexist government” (…)”We understand it still that there is no easy road to freedom” (…)”We know it well that none of us acting alone can achieve success” (…)”We must therefore act together as a united people, for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world” (Mandela, 1994). He has faith that the white and blacks could build a country on a road to freedom, as a united people, not that it would be easy, still wanted the country to be a rainbow nation and let everybody walk with dignity. Mandela does not make anybody enemies, but says the people and the government must be united for a reconciliation and building the nation, as a united people. That gives not only a certain people the responsibility, but both people and government. Also that he earlier says that not only the former ethnic difference has to be changed, but also the economic bondage and other discrimination, therefore he sees the whole society.

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Afterthought:

I wanted to show the difference between those who spreads fear and the ones who see multiculturalism as the fear levels certain politicians are sending is just horrific. They disrespect the intelligence of the audience and society. Not to talk about the long living history of different people living in the same area, different religions in the same dominion and so on.

I hate the way the fear of other people being used and the way it supposed to destroy the nations and governments, the reason for unemployment and so on. The fear is just a given from this men and woman because they don’t have a political framework or political policy worth listening to. The people don’t need to look at the basic parts of their plans. They can see that the ideal that they carry is a fairytale story, instead of building nations and a legacy that they really will be remembered by.

While the once had a faith the people of the country and their support too actually to address the way ahead, instead of finding an enemy and creating a problem to fight together. That proves certainty of leadership, instead of making up and saying that people are coming to steal, invades or take the jobs; because the men who say that the people could unite and become one has tried to generate positive development and made history by doing so. Even though the Canadian Prime Minister has just recent one the campaign in 2015, so he needs some time. While Nelson Mandela, Julius Nyerere and Dr. Kenneth Kaunda did their countries, good, still Nyerere and Kaunda also made wrong decisions, but their initial try and their vision has created peace between the tribes and made the country envisioned in the idea of Zambia and United Republic of Tanzania. That shows the great work of these men and their level of starting to build a state. That does not come easy.

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I will another day look into the way certain government uses militarism to generate fear in the population, as this is the fear of an invisible enemy or an enemy amongst the citizens. That the citizens should be aware and that the unity will be gone if they get to be a part of the people and united together. As differs from the people who tries to build their nations, or even believe that the multiculturalism is a reason why the country is succeeding as the Canadian PM says. I am sure if we had an discussion between Trudeau and the Wilders it would be heated, even with Le Pen and Trudeau would make a general fight of ethics and how to make society great. As Le Pen and Wilders has another view and uses the fear to generate votes in their countries. While Trudeau salutes multiculturalism. Donald Trump even massively lives and thrives on throwing immigrants under the bridge, while he marries immigrants (that is a side-note check that fact yourself).

That is enough for today. Remember we are as strong as our friendships, as we united against hatred and those who create fear. We the rest who really see through their shenanigans and racist behavior, even pro-nationalism men and woman who address fellow human beings as lesser people, should think more through their words. As we all have the same needs and needs the same kind of childhood, livelihood, education and life. The difference is the staple-food, the environment and so on. So that they establish the other people as significant different is just ignorance and also wrong. As the thing you can learn from other cultures can enrichen your life and your thoughts as the world really get smaller and at the same time more complex. But the men and woman who speaks fear and thrive on it does not have the interest for that. I would doubt that.

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Last thought, a reason why the fear-mongers get a big space in society:

I am one of them who stand by the men and woman who believes in multiculturalism and also in the possibility of unity and unifying the countries. Not that is easy, but the constant dialogue and the continuation to listen, and come to a consensus can bring hope between all groups of society instead of looking for enemies or blaming other people in society. As the other people looks for and can’t find a way to build or rebuild society, they find immigrants and Islamic faithful as the men and woman that creates the social issues, not the basic wrongs in government or free-market thinking, even in post-modern Europe, but that is not a question for now. This here is something that should be considered; as there might be a vacuum of power and levels of from central government and the citizens, and that is why this politicians who spreads fear get a the giant microphone and place in society, instead of the people who has certainty thoughts and ideals to build peace together and not creating fear of each other in society! Peace.

Reference:

Alm, Christina – ‘Siv Jensen of the Norwegian Progress Party – embattled and popular’ (06.06.2013) link: http://www.d-intl.com/2013/06/06/siv-jensen-of-the-norwegian-progress-party-embattled-and-popular/

Krzesinski, Andrew J. – ‘NATIONAL CULTURES, NAZISM AND THE CHURCH’ (1945) – . Rare Books and Manuscripts. Book 17 link: http://digital.kenyon.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1016&context=rarebooks

Liberal – ‘Statement by Liberal Party of Canada Leader Justin Trudeau on the anniversary of multiculturalism’ (07.10.2015) link: https://www.liberal.ca/statement-by-liberal-party-of-canada-leader-justin-trudeau-on-the-anniversary-of-multiculturalism/

Mandela, Nelson – ‘Nelson Mandela at his inauguration as President of South Africa, Pretoria’ (10.05.1994) link: http://mandela.gov.za/mandela_speeches/1994/940510_inauguration.htm

Nossiter, Adam – ‘For Marine Le Pen, Migration Is a Ready-Made Issue’ (05.10.2015) link: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/06/world/europe/for-marine-le-pen-migration-is-a-ready-made-issue.html?_r=0

Nyerere, Julius – ‘The Arusha Declaration’ (05.02.1967) link: https://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/nyerere/1967/arusha-declaration.htm

Trudea, Justin – ‘Victory Speech’ (20.10.2015) link: http://www.macleans.ca/politics/ottawa/justin-trudeau-for-the-record-we-beat-fear-with-hope/

Walker, Hunter – ‘Donald Trump just released an epic statement raging against Mexican immigrants and ‘disease’ (06.07.2015) link: http://uk.businessinsider.com/donald-trumps-epic-statement-on-mexico-2015-7?r=US&IR=T

Wintour, Patrick – ‘Nigel Farage: Ukip wants five-year ban on immigrants settling in UK’ (07.01.2014) link:  http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jan/07/ukip-ban-immigrants-nigel-farage

Winne – ‘Zambia: Interview with Dr. Kenneth Kaunda’  (14.04.2015) link: http://www.winne.com/zm/interviews/dr-kenneth-kaunda

Wilders, Geert – ‘EXCLUSIVE – Geert Wilders: Stopping Islamic Immigration Is a Matter of Survival’ (09.02.2016) link: http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2016/02/09/stopping-islamic-immigration-is-a-matter-of-survival/

Worrall, Patrick – ‘FactCheck: Nigel Farage’s Ukip conference speech’ (20.09.2013) link: http://blogs.channel4.com/factcheck/factcheck-nigel-farages-ukip-conference-speech/15888

“Carine Kaneza on the Burundi crisis” (Youtube-Clip)

The African Union will send 100 human rights monitors and 100 military monitors to Burundi as the tiny nation faces its worst political crisis since a civil war ended a decade ago. Vincent Makori talks to Carine Kaneza a member of the Burundi Women and Girl’s Movement for Peace and Security and a transitional justice practitioner” (TV2 Africa, 2016)

Press Release: Social accountability vital for building trust in post-election Uganda (01.03.2016)

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Development projects that pay greater attention to social accountability can improve citizen-state relations and trust in Uganda and other fragile countries, according to new research by International Alert.

The report, titled Making social accountability work: Promoting peaceful development in Uganda, evaluates  two large-scale development projects undertaken in Uganda and has been published following the recent elections in the country that have been undermined by widespread unrest and allegations of corruption.

The report states that development projects which build in transparency and accountability components can nurture more constructive government-community relations – vital for closing historical divides between citizens and state that fuelled the civil war in Uganda, and helping people feel they can influence change.

Richard Businge, Country Manager for International Alert in Uganda, said:

“Uganda is not alone in the region in experiencing tensions around presidential elections. It is vital that we avoid post-election violence of the kind seen in Burundi at present and in Kenya in 2008, which points to the urgent need to help more people participate in decision-making and ensure the government and development agencies respond to their concerns.”

An informant of one of the report’s case studies commented that people in northern Uganda had previously felt neglected and humiliated by the government, but relationships improved “quite tremendously” after the project integrated a social accountability component. Teaching communities conflict-management skills also empowered them to resolve more local disputes among themselves.

It was also found that accountability initiatives can help make communities more cohesive. For example, forming local groups to interact with the district government and give voice to local concerns is an effective way of improving citizen-state relations, laying stronger foundations for building mutual trust and understanding.

As well as being a critical component of development projects, the report reveals that technology can also amplify citizen voices and enable better information sharing, therefore strengthening social accountability.

Jo Robinson, Programme Officer on International Institutions at International Alert, author of Making social accountability worklead author of Making social accountability work, said:

“Online spaces can sometimes represent more open forums for discussion on state behaviour than those offline, allowing people to engage frankly in democratic debate not just during election time, but whenever decisions are being made which may affect their lives”.

The report findings will be presented at the World Bank Group Fragility, Conflict and Violence Forum in Washington DC on 1-3 March 2016 (website).

The research was based on two projects: Lakes Edward and Albert Fisheries Pilot Project (LEAF I), funded by the African Development Bank; and the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund Project (NUSAF II), funded by the World Bank.

UN To Build The Resilience Of Communities In Karamoja (05.02.2016)

FAO Uganda Information Bulletin January 2014

FAO, UNICEF and WFP launch joint resilience strategy to improve well-being of Karimojong

KAMPALA Three United Nations agencies in Uganda are implementing a new multi-year resilience strategy to help transform the lives of vulnerable people in the Karamoja region of North Eastern Uganda.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) are combining their efforts to empower households and communities and to strengthen government capacities. Together, they will work to enable the people of Karamoja to recover, reorganize themselves and move forward after experiencing external stresses and disturbances, including droughts or floods.

The Joint Resilience Strategy for Karamoja Region will focus on four areas: diversifying livelihood strategies and intensifying production in order to increase household income and improve food security; improving basic social services to strengthen vulnerable households’ human capital; establishing predictable safety nets; and strengthening disaster risk management support.

The FAO Country Representative, Mr. Alhaji Jallow, said, “This is an extremely significant development. It is a commitment to collaboration, efficiency and demonstration of results in Karamoja.”  Working collectively, he said, the agencies will multiply the impact of their work, reduce transaction costs for communities and the government, and allow individual organizations to more powerfully use their experience in strengthening service delivery systems.

Karamoja is vulnerable to multiple stresses and shocks, including climatic, economic, conflict and health-related challenges. According to the regional Resilience Analysis Unit, the main shocks and stresses for Karamoja include erratic and uneven rainfall, livestock disease outbreaks, crop pests, high food prices, food insecurity, livestock losses, inadequate access to education and health services, and inadequate access to water and sanitation.

The Country Representative of UNICEF, Ms. Aida Girma, said, “This collaboration will strengthen basic services for children and women that will increase their resilience to shocks and help to keep them alive, healthy, in school and protected.” She also said that building household resilience cannot be sustained unless the overall system to deliver the services is strengthened.

The acting WFP Country Director, Mr Michael Dunford, said, “While Karamoja continues to face significant socio-economic challenges, partly due to climate change, opportunities for development have never been more ripe. With increased security, reduced poverty levels and a renewed commitment by the government, partners can achieve more through enhanced collaboration.”

Each of the three agencies has more than 20 years’ experience working with communities in Karamoja. Together, they represent 90 percent of the United Nations’ activities in the region.

About FAO

FAO leads international efforts to defeat hunger. It helps countries to modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition for all. FAO focuses special attention on developing rural areas, home to 70 percent of the world’s poor and hungry people. For more information visit: www.fao.orgor follow FAO on Twitter @FAOnews

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org or follow UNICEF on Facebook and Twitter.

About WFP

WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries. Follow WFP on Twitter @wfp_media @wfp_africa

Press Release: CCEDU – Preventing Electoral Violence A Civic Responsibility for All (06.01.2015)

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The Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) applauds the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda for adding his voice on the campaign for a peaceful, free and fair 2016 general election through his Press Statement dated 5th January 2016 (titled, “Maintaining peace, unity and security during and after elections”).
CCEDU has noted with concern that electoral violence remains a serious threat to the February 18th 2016 elections as evidenced by some of the incidents that have so far happened during the on-going political campaigns (recent clashes between candidates’ supporters in Ntungamo and Gulu). These cases of election-related violence continue to create a sense of terror and uncertainly among voters. And should such incidents of violence increase, questions on whether Uganda is capable of holding free, fair, peaceful and representative elections will inevitably emerge.
There is also worry that millions of nervous Ugandan voters could stay away from voting due to fear of violent attacks, threats or politically motivated intimidation.
CCEDU therefore calls upon parties and candidates to desist from acts that could orchestrate unnecessary anxiety and violence during the campaigning and voting period. Election stakeholders including the Uganda Police Force must demonstrate professionalism and impartiality in maintaining electoral security during this period. The Electoral Commission must dispense its mandate in a balanced and professional manner, calling each of the candidates and stakeholders to fully account for their actions/inactions.
CCEDU urges all political parties and candidates to desist from mobilising youth groups and militias to fuel fears or actualities of electoral violence. In the same breath, CCEDU calls upon government to seriously rethink its decision to utilise informal outfits including: ‘crime preventers’, ‘polling detectives’ for the purpose of providing election related security as this could further raise anxiety and possibly invite conflict, violence and chaos in the country. Ugandans have the right to vote in peace and all stakeholders are duty bound to take all necessary measures as provided in our laws to defend and protect that right.
Electoral violence and partisanship of institutions that should otherwise be guarantors of a free electoral environment are an obvious disincentive to participation in elections for both voters and those who wish to offer leadership. Ultimately, this undermines every effort at building a truly democratic country based on the supremacy of the people choosing their leaders. It also weakens state and non-state institutions that scrutinize elections, and hurt the legitimacy of the government of the day.
It is therefore, important that as the Prime Minister rightly points to opposition players in the election, government should equally urge its institutions to ensure utmost impartiality by working strictly within the ambits of the law. Local, regional and international institutions should therefore intensify working towards (timely) prevention of electoral violence ahead of the February 2016 general election in Uganda.

Lack of facilitation hampering Uganda’s mediation role in Burundi (Youtube-Clip)

“Lack of Finances to facilitate the mediation process in the Burundi conflict has crippled the Uganda-led Mediation Talks” (…)”A source who preferred anonymity told NTV that the African Union, which is meant to finance the operation of the mediation team is yet to disburse money to Uganda” (…)”The African Peace Facility which was set up to support peace and security on the African Continent in the Framework of the EU-Africa Partnership is meant to finance the process. And so it appears that with this hiccup, the violence between the Opposition and Government in Bujumbura could be far from over” (NTV Uganda, 2015)

Press Release: Burundi Shuts Down Civil Society (23.11.2015)

Burundi 24.11

In response to the suspension of 10local human rights organizations on November 23 by the Burundian government, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“It is ludicrous that the government of Burundi would suspend many of the last remaining entities, including APRODH, working to promote peace and protect the fundamental rights of its citizens,” said Vukasin Petrovic, director of Africa programs. “Burundi is at a severe disadvantage without an active civil society, and any remaining legitimacy is slipping away with these oppressive tactics. The government of Burundi should immediately reverse these illegal suspensions and participate in, not just commit to, peace negotiations, which have the great potential to prevent a broader widespread conflict and reverse the country’s downward trajectory.”

Background:

Last week, the government of Burundi froze the bank accounts of some of the most prominent local human rights organizations, including FORSC, FOCODE and APRODH. Since April 2015 – when President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to pursue a third mandate violating the Arusha Accords – most civil society leaders have been forced into exile and all local independent radio stations have been shut down.

Burundi is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2015, and is rated Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2015.

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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