- 4 August 2011
- Human Rights Watch
- If done right, this trial also can reassure international observers concerned about how quickly heavy sentences were imposed on former ministers in corruption trials. It needs to take the time to establish a compelling case, detailing the evidence against Mubarak and providing him with ample opportunity to challenge it.
- By Heba Morayef, researcher for Human Rights Watch
Egyptia deposed President Hosnins were glued to their TV screens yesterday as the trial of the Mubarak opened…
Mubarak’s appearance in court calmed, for the moment, broader concerns about the slow and unsteady pace of the transition and the abuses by the military. The first session of the trial perhaps gives us new optimism that maybe, this time, Egypt would get it right. There could be no better ending to the story of Tahrir Square than a trial that shows that in the new Egypt, no one, not even a former president, is above the law. This trial could set a high bar for judicial proceedings, re-establish the credibility of the Egyptian judiciary and do full justice to the victims by ensuring a public accounting of the truth.
MOGADISHU – The former al-Shabaab foot soldiers assigned to a drab cement housing bloc are young – too young. One is only 9, yet they were enforcers of harsh edicts from Islamist militants who are preventing thousands of Somalis from escaping famine.
The Associated Press obtained rare access to the former fighters at a government rehabilitation facility in Mogadishu last week, providing a unique view into the workings of the al-Qaeda-linked group whose presence in much of Somalia is stymieing international efforts to provide emergency aid.
Millions risk starvation amid Somalia’s worst drought in 60 years.
The UN declared three new regions in Somalia famine zones on Wednesday and said the crisis is likely to spread across all of southern Somalia in coming weeks.
- 5 August 2011
- Sydney Morning Herald
Famine has spread to three new regions of Somalia, including the capital Mogadishu and the world’s largest camp for displaced people, the United Nations says.
In Washington, a US senator warned the catastrophe could be worse than Ethiopia’s 1980s famine that claimed nearly 1 million lives, and criticised the international community for its inadequate response.
- 4 August 2011
- Amnesty International
The UN Security Council’s response to the recent bloodshed in Syria is deeply inadequate, Amnesty International said today, after the council released a statement condemning the Syrian government’s deadly crackdown on protesters.
The UN statement called for an end to violence and said it “condemned the widespread violation of human rights by the Syrian authorities”, but fell short of taking decisive action. The call was issued as a presidential statement, which is not legally binding.
“The UN’s response is completely inadequate. After more than four months of violent crackdown on predominantly peaceful dissent in Syria, it is deeply disappointing that the best the Security Council can come up with, is a limp statement that is not legally binding and does not refer the situation to the International Criminal Court”, said Jose Luis Diaz, Amnesty International’s representative to the UN.
- 4 August 2011
- Sydney Morning Herald
- By Borzou Daragahi, Paul Richter
BEIRUT: The UN Security Council has condemned the crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in Syria as authorities intensified the assault on a city that symbolises resistance to the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.
The Security Council, which has been deadlocked over Syria for three months, expressed ”grave concern at the deteriorating situation” and called on authorities ”to fully respect human rights and to comply with their obligations under applicable international law. Those responsible for the violence should be held accountable”.
Mr Assad issued a decree yesterday authorising a multi-party political system, the official SANA news agency reported. The decree allows political parties to be established and to function alongside the Baath Party – in power since 1963 with the constitutional status of ”the leader of state and society”.
- 4 August 2011
- Al Arabiya
- By Nadia Idriss Mayen-Joanna De Boer
On August 3, in its first substantive action on Syria’s five-month-long uprising, the U.N. Security Council condemned human rights violations and the use of force against civilians by Syrian authorities.
Lebanon, where Damascus’ influence is strong, disassociated itself from the formal statement, agreed by the other 14 members of the council. As statements are meant to be unanimous, Lebanon could have blocked it, but by simply disassociating itself, Beirut allowed the statement to pass.
- 4 August 2011
- International Crisis Group
- Asia Report N°210
After a decade of major security, development and humanitarian assistance, the international community has failed to achieve a politically stable and economically viable Afghanistan. Despite billions of dollars in aid, state institutions remain fragile and unable to provide good governance, deliver basic services to the majority of the population or guarantee human security. As the insurgency spreads to areas regarded as relatively safe till now, and policymakers in Washington and other Western capitals seek a way out of an unpopular war, the international community still lacks a coherent policy to strengthen the state ahead of the withdrawal of most foreign forces by December 2014. The impact of international assistance will remain limited unless donors, particularly the largest, the U.S., stop subordinating programming to counter-insurgency objectives, devise better mechanisms to monitor implementation, adequately address corruption and wastage of aid funds, and ensure that recipient communities identify needs and shape assistance policies.
- 4 August 2011
- The Foreigner
- By Gareth Corfield
Director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) Kristian Berg Harpviken has strongly condemned the Libyan conflict, claiming that lives are being lost for no good reason.
- 3 August 2011
- All Africa
- By UN News Service
A senior United Nations official today appealed to all Somalis, both inside and outside the country, to work together to support the ongoing peace process and alleviate the plight of those suffering from famine, while pledging the world body’s continued support in the coming days.
“This is a time of great crisis, but also of rare opportunity. It is a time for everyone to pull together to help those suffering and to work towards a better future for all,” Augustine Mahiga, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, said in a letter addressed to the Somali diaspora.
Tuesday, 26 July 2011 to Sunday, 18 September 2011
The Singing Revolution film shares how, between 1987 and 1991, hundreds of thousands of Estonians gathered publicly to sing forbidden patriotic songs and share protest speeches, risking their lives to proclaim their desire for independence.
Public Broadcasting Stations around the U.S. have begun to announce their schedules, and starting July 26th through September airdates have been scheduled. Check the list of stations for dates/times in your area on the TSR website, you can search by STATION or CITY: http://www.singingrevolution.com/cgi-local/screenings.cgi
First occupied by the Soviets in 1939, then by the Nazis, and then by the Soviets again, Estonia lived through decades of terror. By the end of World War II, more than one-quarter of the population had been deported to Siberia, been executed, or had fled the country. Music sustained the Estonian people during those years, helping to maintain the Estonian language and sense of culture. It was such a crucial part of their struggle for freedom that their successful bid to re-establish their independence is known as the Singing Revolution.
The Singing Revolution tells the moving and dramatic story of how the Estonian people strategically, willfully, sung their way to freedom–and helped topple an empire along the way.
Friday, 8 July 2011 to Friday, 26 August 2011
Monday, 26 September 2011
The Transcend Peace University TPU is an all-online university, currently headed by Prof. Dr. Johan Galtung, widely recognized as the core founding-figure of the academic discipline of peace-studies. Our inter-disciplinary courses are designed to cover issues pertaining to peace and development studies.
As specialists in this domain, we emphasize solution-oriented approaches. Our faculty members are leading peace scholars and internationally recognized mediators. The purpose of TPU, the educational institute of TRANSCEND, is to impart to our students the knowledge and skills required for professional peace and development work.
TPU equips students with analytical and practical competence in conflict-transformation and -resolution. Our methodology draws from more than fifty years of knowledge provided by distinguished researchers and practitioners from all over the world.
1st term 2011: March 7th – May 27th (12 weeks)
Summer Sessions – July 18th – August 26th (6 weeks)
2nd term 2011: September 26th – December 16th (12 weeks)
Our 12-week and 6-week (Summer Sessions) online courses are addressed to government and non-government practitioners – including students – in need of high level analytical peace & conflict competence. The Galtung-Institut offers additional on-site tutorials in southern Germany – for further information please visit the homepage of the institute: www.galtung-institut.de.
E-mail: tpu [at] transcend.org
Contact person: Karoline Weber, Executive Secretary, weber [at] transcend.org
Friday, 1 July 2011 to Wednesday, 31 August 2011
This July and August, there will be a contest on the Peace Portal: The Stories of Peace Challenge! The 25 best stories will win a publication in “People Building Peace 2.0″ and receive ten copies of the book. One of these winners will be offered customized features and professional services on the Peace Portal, worth € 500,- for free! Please go here for more information: www.peaceportal.org/web/stories-contest