September 2017 Newsletter

Welcome to this issue of the Peace / Justice newsletter!.

This newsletter is short – focused primarily on a couple of urgent actions regarding the Rohingya.  There is a window for movement on this ongoing tragedy and thus the need to take action which will bolster support for those wanting to show global desire for action.  A second time-sensitive action is related to our longitudinal issue of Darfur.

 


BURMA / MYANMAR: END ETHNIC CLEANSING OF ROHINGYA

In 2012 and again in 2014 this newsletter highlighted actions and concerns related to the plight of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Burma.  While most people in Burma are Buddhist, and there are other groups and conflicts, the Rohingya have been marginalized for decades, officially deemed immigrants from Bangladesh.

Being stateless means diminished rights in an impoverished area.  It also means voiceless and thus open to increasing conflict and violence.  From our longitudinal study of Darfur, when people who want a nonviolent resolution, find all such avenues fruitless, eventually a few may take up arms both for protection and to highlight their case to the world.  Thus fast forward and we find again this is the case.

But the government disproportionately cracked down not simply on the insurgents but the entire Rohingya population, resulting in a UN official indicating the government’s response appears to be a “textbook example” of ethnic cleansing.  There have been over 400,000 displaced, with many villages burned, and an unknown number of people killed or raped.

The violence must be stopped, a path to full inclusiveness for all provided, and human rights violations on all sides must be investigated.  The following petitions address two audiences.  Avaaz {the site we sometimes use to explore the influence of massive petitions, in this case now over one million signatures} is targeting those governments supporting Burma’s military.  The Amnesty International petition is aimed directly at Burma’s military Commander in Chief.  Please consider signing both.

Nobel Peace Prize Laurate Aung San Suu Kyi: While previous newsletters gave her silence the benefit of the doubt, it is time to side with Desmond Tutu’s response where he pleaded with her to speak out for justice and unity and cautioned that “If the political price of your ascension to the highest office in Myanmar is your silence, the price is surely too steep.”

Take Action [Open to all; Consider signing both]:
Tell Governments To Stop Supporting Burma’s Military  [Avaaz]
Tell Burma’s Commander in Chief to Stop Ethnic Cleansing  [Amnesty International]

Background:
Summary of Current Crisis  [International Crisis Group]
How Years of Strife Grew Into a Crisis  [NYT]
How New Muslim Insurgency Arose [ICG, Dec, 2016]
Final Report on Fair Future [Chaired by Kofi Annan; very in-depth]

 


THE U.S. AND SUDAN SANCTIONS

The action on this issue from the last newsletter was part of efforts that may have helped dissuade the Trump Administration from lifting sanction on Sudan.  However that had a three month timeframe which is almost up now.  So new efforts are needed to help maintain the sanctions until Sudan changes its action and addresses the marginalization of all its peripheries, most especially Darfur and South Kordofan / Nuba mountains.  As noted before, the lifting of sanctions was shocking to many Sudan watchers, including myself, who feel it was based on murky logic (see Current Status, June 25, [UntilAll.org] or the Background links below).

Thus there is urgent need to tell President Trump not to permanently lift the sanctions.  Even if one felt progress was being made, six months is far too short, as Human Rights Watch argues, below.

Take Action:
Don’t Lift Sudan Sanctions  [Act For Sudan]

Background:
Sudan Sanction Review Fails 8 Benchmark Tests [HRW]
{Counter View} Repeal Sanctions, There are Still Others in Place [Crisis Group]

 

____________________________________________________________

=== FOLLOW-UP TO PREVIOUS ACTIONS AND ARTICLES ===
____________________________________________________________

 

At Least 200 Environmental Activists Slain In 2016:

This newsletter has taken action to safeguard environmental activists throughout the world, and for good reason.  This year saw the most deaths ever.  While India had a three-fold increase, Latin America remained the deadliest region.   Mining, oil, agriculture and logging were the industries most associated with the deaths.
Most environmental activist killed in 2016 [Globe and Mail]

 

________________________________

=== ARTICLES OF INTEREST ===
________________________________

 

Chinese Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Liu  Xiaobo, Died

In a sad note over the summer, Liu Xiaobo died.  He helped lead the 1989 Tiananmen Square democracy uprising for which he was imprisoned.  Upon release he continued to lecture about democracy and human rights, including helping to draft Charter 08 which laid out the comprehensive changes needed, such as a new constitution, for legislative democracy.  He was imprisoned again where his health deteriorated.

http://time.com/4848696/liu-xiaobo-dies-china-nobel-prisoner/

February 2013 newsletter

Welcome to the Thursday February 28, 2013 issue of this Peace&Justice action email

This issue provides a single brief focus – the disheartening tenth anniversary of the Darfur crisis.  It had to wait until today for the related actions on Darfur.  Due to this tight timing the issue of Mental Health will become the focus of next month’s edition.

 

_______________________________________

TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF DARFUR CRISIS

The start of the Darfur crisis is usually either associated with February 26 when rebel forces made their first public appearance, in an attack on a Golu garrison.  or it is anchored to April 25, when the rebels achieved a victory never seen before, even during the unrelated 20year plus 20 year North-South war – they overran the El Fasher airport, destroying several aircraft and capturing the Air Force commander.  The latter event is what caused Sudan’s President Bashir to unleash the Janjaweed in combination with government ground and air forces. That said, the build-up to this eruption was years and even decades of neglect and also targeted campaigns against the people of Darfur.

Darfur has been the longitudinal study of this newsletter for several years, although at the time it was an utterly disheartening thought that the crisis not only would last this long, but would remain in such an unresolved state.  All of my Darfuri contacts that I have recently talked to, remain quite pessimistic about Darfur’s near-term future.  Readers who have been following this newsletter will know that while Darfur has slipped off the news radar screen, that within Darfur things have changed in many ways but almost none for the better.  Bombing and attacks have continued; at least two million people remain displaced in camps of which many are getting restricted aid in attempts to force them back home where often homes no longer exist or are occupied by foreigners sympathetic to the government.  And much more: see Darfur Current Status (UntilAll).

Today, February 28, 2013, was the start of a push to reignite diplomatic efforts on Darfur which also means on Sudan as a whole.  The U.S., U.K and Australia have called for renewed focus and action (see: Letter to Foreign Secretaries).  The demands are nothing new, but as with most human dynamics it is a question of timing.  While at the moment I can’t see much that may play a positive role, who can say what might come?  Thus consider taking the following actions.

Take Action:
Petition to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

Petition to US Secretary of State Kerry

 

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Missed an action email? An archive is kept at: www.UntilAll.org/archives.htm.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

UWAA: This endeavour is being placed under the overall rubric of “Until Well-being is Achieved for All.”