DIRN: Arrest of Gen. Karake Is a Major Step Toward Justice in Rwanda

– Charges Highlight Rwanda’s Culture of Impunity, Lack of Human Rights LONDON, June 26, 2015 / PRNewswire – Members of Democracy in Rwanda Now (DIRN), a Rwandan diaspora organization, on Friday praised the recent arrest of Rwanda’s intelligence chief General Karenzi Karake, saying they hope justice will finally be served. Gen. Karake, arrested at the United […]

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Happy 70th, UN Charter

The treaty that created the United Nations turns 70 years old today. On June 26, 1945 leaders from 50 of the original member states gathered in San Francisco to sign the United Nations Charter. Ban Ki Moon is back in the Bay Area today for celebrations to commemorate the event. Mark speaks with historian Stephen Schlesinger who discusses the fascinating–and legitimately entertaining —  historiography of the UN Charter. A naked Winston Churchill is central to this story. UN Nerds, international affairs enthusiasts and history buffs will enjoy this conversation.  (Global Dispatches Podcast  http://bit.ly/1LsdWek)

More Trouble in Burundi. The USA and Belgium are in the Thick of It…”One of Burundi’s vice presidents has fled to Belgium, saying he had been threatened after denouncing President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term in office, an allegation denied by Burundi’s government…Rallies have petered out but the mood remains tense. Three grenade attacks in the capital on Thursday injured several people, the latest in a series of similar assaults in the past week that have killed four people and injured dozens in Bujumbura and other towns. The U.S. embassy said students camped out in a nearby construction site had fled after police entered the area on Thursday, and about 100 had taken refuge in an embassy parking area. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1SNst6C)

Pledges total $3bn for Nepal Recovery…”International donors and multilateral agencies have pledged about $3 billion in aid to help rebuild Nepal as it struggles to recover from a devastating earthquake.  The Himalayan nation got the largest pledges from its two giant neighbors, India and China.” (VOA http://bit.ly/1SNrFia)

And the most peaceful country in the world is…According to the nonprofit Institute for Economics and Peace, Iceland, the thinly populated island in the midst of the North Atlantic has retained its place as the most peaceful country in the world. (CNN http://cnn.it/1GtAbuW)

Should I stay, or should I go? South Africa said it may withdraw from the International Criminal Court after controversy rose last week over its refusal to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on genocide charges. (VOA http://bit.ly/1Jlyi9E)

Quote of the Day: “We must face hard truths — if the current rate of new HIV infections continues, merely sustaining the major efforts we already have in place will not be enough to stop deaths from AIDS increasing within five years in many countries,” said Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1QRLcAr)

Africa

Authorities in Sierra Leone quarantined three doctors and 28 nurses in the capital Freetown when a mother tested positive for Ebola after giving birth, the health ministry said on Thursday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1GKkyS1)

Guinea will put four villages under a 21-day quarantine as part of a robust strategy to stamp out a lingering Ebola epidemic after new cases of the disease were discovered there. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1Jlzda9)

The United Nations said it has started an emergency program to distribute planting seeds and medical aid as a food and health crisis looms in northern Cameroon. The region is hosting thousands of refugees and people internally displaced by Boko Haram fighting. (VOA http://bit.ly/1GKkxha)

Warring forces in South Sudan have abducted as many as a thousand more child soldiers in the latest abuses in the 18-month long civil war, monitors said Thursday, amid fresh efforts to bring rivals back to talks. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1Lxr42W)

Africa can create jobs, improve social services and cut poverty if its governments can stem the $50 billion a year lost in illicit outflows, mainly through multinationals, campaigners said on Thursday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1LxqYIK)

A Tanzanian court ordered an Islamist rebel leader on Thursday to be extradited to Uganda to face murder charges, though he said he would appeal against the decision. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1Lxrian)

The British government told Ethiopia on Thursday its treatment of an imprisoned opposition figure, who is also a British national, was unacceptable and that the case risked hurting ties between the two countries. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1Lxr6bb)

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, joint operations by the Congolese army and the United Nations mission MONUSCO have weakened one of the most active rebel groups in the country.  The mission chief said that about a quarter of the combatants with the FRPI rebel group have been taken out of action in the past four weeks. (VOA http://bit.ly/1GKkzFJ)

China’s Defence Ministry on Thursday declined to confirm a report that it was in talks for a military base in Horn of Africa country Djibouti, though it said all countries had an interest in regional peace and stability. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1Jlz5aA)

MENA

Show me the money…United Nations aid agencies said on Thursday that a $4.5 billion appeal to tackle the Syrian refugee crisis in 2015 was less than a quarter funded, putting millions of vulnerable people at risk, and had already led to cuts in vital assistance. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1Lxr5DZ)

Eight international NGOs delivering desperately needed food, blankets and medical aid to war-torn Syria have finally been granted legal status in Turkey after years of deadlocked applications. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1Jlyt4Z)

Journalists face unprecedented threats in President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s Egypt, a watchdog group said Thursday, with the highest number behind bars since it began keeping records in 1990. (AP http://yhoo.it/1GKkthp)

Asia

The worst heat wave to hit Pakistan’s southern city of Karachi for nearly 35 years has killed more than 1,000 people, a charity said on Thursday, as morgues ran out of space and public hospitals struggled to cope. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1Lxr3Mj)

South Korea on Thursday announced a $14 billion stimulus package to boost its troubled economy, hammered by the deadly MERS outbreak which has dented consumer spending and business sentiment. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1GKkrGb)

The Americas

A US House of Representatives Homeland Security subcommittee held a hearing Wednesday on the possible security risks involved with resettling some of the estimated 4 million refugees from the brutal civil war in Syria in the United States.  (VOA http://bit.ly/1Lxrgiy)

President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced a reform of U.S. policies for dealing with kidnappers. Mr. Obama said the U.S. will use “all instruments of national power” to recover Americans held by terrorists in other countries. (VOA http://bit.ly/1LxriHd)

As spotlight returns to decades-long violence against native women and girls in Canada, calls for national inquiry have been rebuffed but groups refuse to give up. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1QRL4kz)

…and the rest

Britain’s Foreign Office has launched an inquiry into its foreign aid spending after a tabloid newspaper reported that it had spent thousands of pounds on initiatives such as Hamlet workshops in Ecuador and a television game show in Ethiopia. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1SNs4kv)

Faced with increasing chaos at its borders, the EU Commission is urging member states to take a tougher stance on migrant returns. Draft conclusions from Thursday’s EU summit in Brussels note that “all tools shall be mobilised to promote readmission of illegal migrants to countries of origin and transit,” and that an increased budget will be made available to support more effective returns. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1QRKRO6)

Opinion/Blogs

The Perfect Package for Reducing Poverty Is Made Up of Different Parts (The Conversation http://bit.ly/1QRL5Vr)

Health sector first casualty of Myanmar aid cuts (DevPolicy http://bit.ly/1LFQbxx)

When foreign companies want local land (WhyDev http://bit.ly/1KcNp41)

Internet in Africa – Empowerment or Exploitation? (DW http://bit.ly/1LxriqV)

Ten reasons why European governments should back a global tax body (Reuters http://bit.ly/1Jly4zz)

Development finance’s $83bn question: who will pay for gender equality?(Guardian http://bit.ly/1SNs1oO)

Just when I despair that decades of intellectual work on development have fallen on deaf ears, comes stuff like this (Chris Blattman http://bit.ly/1BM8O2R)

Tackling Grand Corruption: Guatemala’s Successful Experiment (Global Anticorruption Blog http://bit.ly/1KcOXuQ)

Who is the richest man in history? (From Poverty to Power http://bit.ly/1KcOd8X)

Term limits in central Africa: utility or artifact? (Eyes Wide Open http://bit.ly/1KcOkBm)
This giant mural in downtown Oakland Commemorates the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations Charter. (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/1Lx3R0X)

Discussion

comments…

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Africa: Opening Remarks – Regional Conference on Countering Violent Extremism

Opening Remarks – Regional Conference on Countering Violent Extremism

Remarks

Sarah Sewall
Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights 

Nairobi, Kenya
June 25, 2015


Thank you and good morning, Deputy President Ruto, Cabinet Secretary Nkaisserry, Ambassador Juma, distinguished guests.

I am honored to lead the U.S. delegation to the East African regional CVE Summit and am happy to see so many partners gathered here in support of our shared struggle against violent extremism.

I applaud the GOK for its leadership in hosting this regional summit. It is very important and showcases an very impressive commitment to strengthening CVE efforts.

Kenya, like its neighbors, has faced difficult terrorism challenges, and I know I speak for everyone in offering my condolences to the citizens of Kenya and other East African nations that have experienced loss and trauma at the hands of violent extremists.

Only yesterday, terrorists exploded a car bomb in Somalia, and of course the recent Garissa attacks in Kenya remain fresh in our minds.

No region, country or community is immune to the threat of violent extremism.

We stand together in support of one another and vow to strengthen our collective efforts, not only to defeat Al Shabab militarily but also to eradicate the roots of violent extremism throughout the region and prevent the next generation of extremist threat from emerging.

In this effort, we are learning from a clear lesson of the past decade: while our military, intelligence, and law enforcement tools are vital to defeating violent extremism in its current forms, only a truly comprehensive strategy, mobilizing a broad range of stakeholders, can address its underlying drivers.

This is why President Obama convened a White House summit last February.

As many of you know personally, this meeting included more than 300 participants from national and local governments, civil society, multilateral bodies, and the global business and faith communities.

It was a new, and different, type of global conversation about terrorism because it emphasized the need to 1) work preventively to tackle the underlying drivers of VE, 2) include all of civil society in this work, 3) promote the role of good governance to protect and include all citizens and 4) maximize impact by integrating national and local, and government and non-governmental approaches.

At the White House Summit, President Obama described how violent extremism breeds by exploiting a range of economic, social, and political grievances.

When people “feel entirely trapped in impoverished communities,” he argued, “where there is no order and no path for advancement, where there are no educational opportunities, where there are no ways to support families, and no escape from the injustice and the humiliation of corruption – that feeds instability and disorder and makes those communities ripe for extremist recruitment.”

He explained that social marginalization “feeds a cycle of fear and resentment and a sense of injustice upon which extremists prey.”

Political grievances matter, he said because “when people are oppressed, and human rights are denied – particularly along sectarian or ethnic lines – when dissent is silenced, it feeds violent extremism.”

With these words, President Obama described some of the push factors that make people more vulnerable to radicalization by violent extremists, who then wield their narratives, messages and ideologies to pull individuals, and even whole communities, into their orbit.

Disrupting both these push and pull factors demands a ‘whole-of-society’ approach.

While we rely upon government security and law enforcement services to defeat the active terrorists, becoming more proactive, working to prevent the NEXT generation of violent extremism, requires everyone to become part of the solution.

And the preventive CVE agenda is fundamentally constructive and positive.

It seeks to address tangible human needs and empower communities to physically, psychologically and intellectually resist the falsehoods and distortions of extremism.

I’ve attended several regional CVE summits, and each reflects the dominant concerns within the hosting region.

This is why Kenya’s regional CVE summit is so important.

While summits in Oslo and Tirana focused largely on individual FTF recruitment, this summit usefully expands the agenda to examine community mobilization by terror networks.

The agenda will seek to integrate lessons from the emergence of – and responses to – insurgencies, which can emerge from push factors similar to those that create vulnerabilities to violent extremism.

Yet the key new insight we bring to this discussion of addressing push factors is the value of non-governmental action.

For example, civil society can give at-risk populations like youth a new sense of purpose and community by engaging them through educational, service or mentoring programs.

Similarly, the private sector can expand opportunities in vulnerable communities to enable greater economic security.

Religious and cultural leaders can lend their voices to challenge extremist narratives and propaganda.

And governments have complex roles.

To enable civil society to contribute to the prevention effort, governments need to protect space for those groups to act.

To be frank, this is why the United States is disappointed that some of the Kenyan civil society groups so central to the discussion about security and terrorism such as Muhuri and Haki Africa, which President Obama welcomed at the February White House summit – are not able to participate in our discussion today.

Governments are stronger in their fight against extremism when they make all citizens feel included, protected and respected.

At a minimum, governments should not create grievances by tolerating incompetence, corruption, or the abuse of human rights.

As Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon remarked at the Summit in February, “governments should not use the fight against terrorism and extremism as a pretext to attack one’s critics.

Extremists deliberately seek to incite such overreactions, and we must not fall into those traps.”

The Term “government” does not just mean national authorities, of course.

Local government is at the front-line in both identifying early signs of radicalization and partnering with communities to counter it.

Cities and other sub-national actors are vital to this effort, and their contributions to CVE are growing every month.

To support their efforts, we anticipate launching a ‘Strong Cities Network’ at the September CVE Leaders’ event in New York, which will connect municipal policymakers and practitioners from around the world to identify and exchange best CVE practices.

We strongly encourage cities from across this region to become members of this new platform.

As participants work on their national action plans and anticipate the next high-level summit on the margins of the UNGA this September, let me briefly remind us of the agenda that states and civil society crafted in February:

��������������������������������������������������������������������������������� First, we must better understand the threat of violent extremism at the local and regional levels.

That means strengthening our research and information-sharing on the key drivers of radicalization and the most effective strategies for building community resilience to prevent this.

To build momentum for this effort, we are sponsoring an International CVE Research Conference this September in New York, which will culminate in the launch of a global network of local researchers to conduct community-based analysis on the drivers of violent extremism and facilitate the design, funding and dissemination of CVE-related research.

I encourage participants at this Summit to contribute by supporting and sharing similar research to better identify the key drivers of violent extremism in East Africa and highlight promising efforts to address it.

��������������������������������������������������������������������������������� Second, we must empower civil society as core partners in the struggle against violent extremism, with a particular emphasis on youth, religious leaders, women, and the victims of violent extremism.

Local groups are best positioned to lead efforts to counter violent extremism, as they often have the greatest knowledge and credibility to address its underlying drivers.

Because civil society plays such a critical role in countering violent extremism, they must have a meaningful seat at the table and safe space to operate.

That is why the U.S. is supporting efforts by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development to work with countries around the world to develop inclusive CVE strategies that draw on a range of stakeholders both in and out of government.

In developing our own U.S. domestic National Action Plan, painstaking and patient relationship building and consultation with civil society made all the difference.

My colleague Dr. Ronald Clark from our Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is here today and would be happy to share the US experience with those who are interested.

When I visited the region earlier this year, promising community-driven CVE initiatives in Mombasa and in Zanzibar showed me how communities were improving cooperation with security forces and how local government was beginning to test innovative efforts of community service and religious scholarship to help at risk youth, former VE recruits, come back into society.

Supporting youth in this manner is critical to countering violent extremism in the long run.

Last month at the European regional CVE summit in Oslo, Norway, participants launched a regional youth network against violent extremism.

This network will serve as a platform for young people to share their challenges in pushing back against radical recruiters and propaganda, and to exchange youth-driven approaches and technologies for countering violent extremism.

I hope civil society representatives at today’s summit consider adopting a similar model for East Africa.

I would be remiss to not also mention the importance of women and girls, who as victims, potential recruits and perpetrators of violent extremism, are also on the frontline in this struggle.

��������������������������������������������������������������������������������� Third, we must strengthen human rights protections for members of all of our communities, with a renewed focus on including ethnic and religious minorities.

When all communities feel protected and respected by the law, violent extremists struggle to exploit feelings of marginalization.

Too often, however, there is deep mistrust between marginalized communities and security and police forces.

The mistrust is exploited by violent extremists to infiltrate members of marginalized communities, who are in turn less likely to cooperate with police and security forces to drive extremists out.

We can avoid this trap by working now to build mutual trust and respect between police and security force and at-risk communities, and by improving accountability and respect for human rights within these forces.

Government and law enforcement can show their commitment to the communities they are meant to serve and help ease the tensions that violent extremists exploit.

��������������������������������������������������������������������������������� Fourth, we must counter the narratives of violent extremists by amplifying authentic voices from at-risk communities.

That means harnessing the power and reach of traditional and social media to discredit the messages of violent extremists with credible voices, while offering positive and empowering alternatives.

It is clear that there will be a long-term need to maintain this messaging effort, and I encourage governments and civil society participants gathered here to think about developing a platform that could coordinate and sustain this effort.

Such a platform could support new initiatives, such as providing social media training to mainstream religious scholars to better disseminate their message to at-risk audiences, or by developing public messaging campaigns with popular voices from arts, sports and entertainment to challenge extremist propaganda.

��������������������������������������������������������������������������������� And finally, we must address the social and economic grievances that violent extremists exploit by working with at-risk communities to better understand those grievances and design effective responses, whether they are in the areas of social services, education, employment opportunities, or security and justice.

I’d like to highlight these areas as key opportunities for large institutional financial actors such as the World Bank or the African Development Bank as well as bilateral foreign donors.

But we must be realistic as we seek to take on “root causes” – recognizing that we cannot address every area or cause in the short term.

Governments in their NAPs should think deeply about the areas or communities that are MOST vulnerable to the lure of extremism.

Prioritizing and focusing prevention efforts in these communities is absolutely critical in creating a NAP that can actually be implemented and yield results.

Furthermore, the NAPs can then become useful tools for dialogue with outside actors who wish to use mainstream economic and development tools to support governments and communities in our shared fight against violent extremism.

We will leave this Summit with not only new ideas, but a renewed sense of partnership and determination to tackle the threat of violent extremism.

And in September at the 70th UNGA, we will learn how each of your governments or organizations is stepping up to meet this generational challenge.

There is no single way forward, and as Ambassador Juma said, no silver bullet, no one government or organization has a monopoly on good ideas.

I am confident that with the energy and talent gathered in this room, we can move forward together, and have even more to share in the global discussion in New York this September.


The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department.
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Africa: Mozambican National Day

Mozambican National Day

Press Statement

John Kerry
Secretary of State

Washington, DC
June 25, 2015


On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I send best wishes to all Mozambicans as you celebrate the 40th anniversary of your independence on June 25.

Your country is truly special to me, as it is the birthplace of my wife, Teresa. Our house resonates with the sound of Portuguese, as well as Teresa’s fond recollections of heading into the bush with her father, a doctor, to tag along as he cared for patients. A map of Mozambique hangs in our home.

This year represents a milestone in the history of U.S.–Mozambique relations. For the past 40 years, our relationship has grown to reflect our shared commitment to achieving lasting peace, progress, and shared prosperity for all people.

Together, we are partnering to strengthen democracy, promote trade and investment, improve health, expand educational opportunities, conserve the environment, and combat transnational crime.

On this day of celebration, Teresa joins me in wishing her fellow Mozambican people peace, joy, and prosperity in the year ahead.


The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department.
External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.

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