KW 31: Hunger crisis in Tigray comes to a head, Arbitrary shooting by Congolese army soldier claims another victim, Famine in Madagascar endangers hundreds of thousands of people

– NEWS –

Hunger crisis in Tigray comes to a head: The United Nations is warning of a worsening humanitarian catastrophe in Ethiopia. UNICEF has said more than 100,000 children could face extreme starvation in the next year as a result of major fighting in the country’s northern Tigray region. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has called for free access for aid convoys. There is a high risk of disease outbreaks, especially in overcrowded refugee camps without adequate sanitation, the agency said. To make matters worse, fighting has flared up again in the neighboring administrative regions of Afar and Amhara, where nearly 1.5 million people are already facing acute hunger.
cbsnews.com, dw.com

Arbitrary shooting by Congolese army soldier claims another victim: On Friday, a soldier shot a schoolgirl at a roadblock in a village in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. On Friday afternoon, angry classmates marched with her body to the district capital of Masisi, five kilometers away, to lay the dead body in front of the administration building and demand accountability. Four protesters were injured in clashes with police, local media reported. On July 24, police at the University of Kinshasa had already shot and killed a student for not wearing a mask during a video recording at a theater seminar.
taz.de

Famine in Madagascar endangers hundreds of thousands of people: The aid organization Save the Children warned on Monday that the worst drought in 40 years is endangering the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in Madagascar, with children particularly affected. Of about 1.1 million people with acute food shortages, 28,000 face starvation by the end of the year. The World Food Program has cited several consecutive years of drought and sandstorms that have made fields uninhabitable.
nzz.ch

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Tunisian presidency fires head of national television channel: The Tunisian presidency fired the head of the national television channel Wataniya on Wednesday after two guests were briefly banned from entering its studios to take part in a programme. The dismissal of Wataniya’s CEO Lassaad Dahech comes after president Kais Saied suspended parliament and sacked the prime minister on Sunday, in what opponents have labelled a coup. Saied has said his suspension of parliament and subsequent actions are justified under the constitution, which allows the head of state to take unspecified exceptional measures in the event of an „imminent threat“. On Wednesday, he also issued decrees sacking a long list of senior government officials, including the army’s chief prosecutor. Late on Wednesday the presidency published a video showing Saied telling the head of a business union that „wrong economic choices“ had caused major financial problems. Saied targeted business figure accused of corruption, saying that 460 people had stolen 13.5 billion dinars ($4.8 billion) of public money.
france24.com, cnn.com

South Africa sends troops to Mozambique to fight jihadists: South Africa is sending 1,495 troops to Mozambique to help its neighbor battle jihadists wreaking havoc in the gas-rich Cabo Delgado province north of the country. Soldiers will be a part of a growing multinational force there. In a statement Wednesday, the parliament said President Cyril Ramaphosa had authorized the deployment to support Mozambique in its fight against „acts of terrorism and violent extremists“. Attacks have escalated in northern Mozambique over the past year, fueling fears the violence could spill over into neighboring countries. The three-month mission for South Africa’s force – from July 15 to October 15 – is part of a deal agreed in June by the 16 nations of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
africanews.com

Rhino killings on the rise in South Africa: As South Africa marked World Ranger Day on Saturday, the country’s environmental authorities announced a setback in efforts to conserve the country’s rhinos. „From January to the end of June 2021, 249 rhino have been poached for their horn in South Africa,“ said Barbara Creecy, the minister of environment, forestry and fisheries in a statement. This figure is higher than the amount poached during the same period in 2020. A large proportion of the slaughter took place in the Kruger National Park, where 132 rhinos were killed.
dw.com

More than a dozen soldiers killed, several missing in Niger attack france24.com
Germany drops South Africa and others from ‚virus variant‘ list reuters.com
Tunisian security forces arrest MP critical of President Saied’s ‘military coup’ france24.com
NGO ships rescue over 400 people from Mediterranean euractiv.com
Several people died in boat accident on Lake Tanganyika rnd.de

– BACKGROUND –

70 years Geneva Refugee Convention: July 28th marked the 70th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention, a key international treaty establishing the rights of people forced to flee. Speaking 70 years to the day after the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees was presented to states for signing, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said the treaty was a crucial component of international human rights law and remained as relevant now as it was when it was drafted and agreed. 70 years after the signing of the Geneva Refugee Convention, there are more refugees worldwide than ever before, but they are often taken in by the poorest countries. Uganda, for example, is the largest receiving country in Africa and has several crisis countries in its neighborhood: refugees come from Congo, South Sudan, Sudan or Burundi. In addition to the Ugandan government, the United Nations Refugee Agency is also taking care of many people seeking protection. The refugees are allocated about 600 square meters, on which they can create a shelter. The land comes from the government, the basic equipment from the UNHCR. The refugees are given the chance to build a life in Uganda and are allowed to earn money. They do not have to stay in a camp for an indefinite period of time. For many, however, the new start is still difficult.
unhcr.org, tagesschau.de

UNESCO World Heritage: Africa not a part: UNESCO, a United Nations body, has since 1978 listed and honoured the world’s cultural and natural heritage of “outstanding universal value”. More than 1,100 sites now adorn the list, from the Taj Mahal to Stonehenge and the Great Barrier Reef. Nearly half of the sites are in Europe and about a quarter are in Asia and the Pacific. But sub-Saharan Africa is home to just 96 such sites—a miserly 9% of the total—despite accounting for 15% of the world’s population, 18% of its land mass and an immense amount of its heritage and history. Archaeologist and former director of Kenya’s National Museum George Abungu has a simple explanation: „The process is too Eurocentric.“ Christoph Brumann of the Max Planck Institute for Ethnological Research in Halle, Germany, has a similar view: „Initially, World Heritage was more or less tacitly conceived around the elite and monumental heritage of Europe. Cathedrals, palaces, temples, historic old towns.“ Abungu adds: „The main reason why African governments have not been pushing for the listing of their sites lately is the fear that they will not be able to pursue development projects afterwards.“ Take national parks, for example: communities were displaced there in colonial times, he said, and now they want their land back, but often there are valuable minerals or other resources there. In the Tanzanian nature reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site Selous, for example, the construction of a mega-dam is planned despite fierce criticism.
economist.com, dw.com

– NUMBER –

The women’s 100 meters round-one heats exploded into life on Friday on day one of the track and field events, after the Ivorian Marie-Josée Ta Lou roared across the finish line with a blistering 10.78 seconds at the spectator-less Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.
reuters.com

– QUOTE –

„When I was a refugee, I was not aware of the Geneva Refugee Convention. In the global south, it’s not addressed; people there have little information on it.““

Hamado Dipama, human rights activist from Burkina Faso.
dw.com

– AT LAST –

African churches help flood victims in Germany: Churches in Rwanda and some neighboring African countries have collected money for German flood victims. „No one is too poor to help,“ said one bishop. Reports of the floods and the many deaths in western Germany have reached Africa and caused consternation there as well.
stuttgarter-zeitung.de

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