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Today is World Refugee Day, a day set apart to remind us of those with no place to call home — the internally displaced persons, asylum seekers and refugees who have fled violence in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Myanmar and more, fleeing genocides and mass atrocities.The number of refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people around the world now tops 65 million, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

You can offer hope. 

Since Jewish World Watch was founded by Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis and Janice Kamenir-Reznik in 2004, JWW has been speaking out on behalf of the world’s most vulnerable people — survivors of injustices inflicted against whole ethnic groups and nations, and especially against women and children.

Through the generosity of thousands of donors like you, we are helping Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh prepare for the monsoon season, and offering aid to those in need of basic health care. Your donations have made it possible for us to send hospital supplies to doctors working in war-torn Syria, saving lives and sustaining the wounded. Your gifts help rehabilitate survivors of rape in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, teaching women new skills so they can build businesses to support their families. Together we are supporting essential preschools in the Darfuri refugee camps in Chad, which also provide a daily meal to children who otherwise don’t get enough food.

The 65 million displaced persons worldwide need to be remembered as individuals in need of essential, life-saving support and care. They need your help. Join us in offering essential aid to some of the world’s most vulnerable people. Please donate to Jewish World Watch today.

The post Stand with Refugees on #WorldRefugeeDay appeared first on Jewish World Watch.

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When monsoon rains began over the weekend (June 9-10), torrential rains and wind immediately began wreaking havoc in parts of the Cox’s Bazar refugee camps, which houses 1 million Rohingya refugees who have fled genocide in Myanmar since late August of 2017.

You can help Jewish World Watch save Rohingya refugees’ lives by supporting fast and safe construction of housing away from flooding. We are also supporting medical aid and helping Rohingya in the camps to teach families who’ve just arrived about emergency escape plans.  The destructive monsoons will last months, and more help is needed: “Within 24 hours of the rains starting, humanitarian agencies reported some 59 incidents, including landslides, water logging, extreme wind and lightning strikes,” according to a report from the International Organization for Migration in Bangladesh, the United Nations Migration Agency. These incidents are being mapped and shared on a communal incident overview platform. Some 9,000 people already have been affected, according to the report, and many more remain vulnerable.

Your donation to Jewish World Watch emergency relief efforts for the Rohingya will save lives. 

The post Rohingya Relief: You Can Help appeared first on Jewish World Watch.

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Jewish World Watch by Amy Friedman Cecil - 1M ago

Jewish World Watch was founded in 2004 as a response to the genocide taking place in Darfur, Sudan. Today, we continue to mobilize against genocide and mass atrocities through education, advocacy and projects serving survivors of acts of inhumanity around the globe. This blog post is part of a series of monthly updates on news related to a number of current conflicts, including in Myanmar (Burma) and Sudan, as well as South Sudan, Syria, Iraq, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

SUDAN

Lawyers for Noura Hussein, the 19-year-old Sudanese girl sentenced to death by hanging for killing her “husband” in self-defense,” have filed an appeal, thereby delaying the deadline for her to be put to death. Noura’s marriage was against her will, and when she refused to consummate it, her in-laws held her down while her husband raped her. Then the next day, when he tried to rape her again, she stabbed him. According to CNN, Noura has found support from fellow inmates in prison. Her plight also spurred a petition on Change.org that drew more than 1.1 million signatures worldwide. Jewish World Watch advocates have been contacting their representatives in Congress to advocate for Noura. If you have not already done so, please take this action by clicking here

Read more about Noura’s story in the Guardian and CNN.com

REFUGEES

U.S. News & World Report, May 24, 2018

Opinions about whether the U.S. should accept refugees are becoming increasingly politically polarized at a time when the U.S. is admitting the smallest number of refugees in decades, according to a new survey conducted conducted in April and May by the Pew Research Center. The poll found roughly half of Americans, at 51 percent, say the U.S. has a responsibility to accept refugees into the country, while 43 percent say it does not, a slight decrease in support from February 2017. The survey results comes amid a sharp decline in the number of refugees entering the United States. State Department data indicates that refugee admissions so far this fiscal year fell to nearly 1,800 compared with the 22,900 refugees admitted in all of 2017. The Trump administration has limited the number of refugees who may enter the U.S. at 45,000, the lowest since Congress created the refugee program in 1980.

SYRIA

Lawfare? Syrian development plan alarms refugees and host nations

WORLD NEWS, May 25, 2018

A new law allowing the Syrian government to redevelop areas devastated by war has alarmed refugees and the countries that host them, prompting fears that people will lose their property and be less likely to return home. The law allows people to prove they own property in the areas chosen for redevelopment, and to claim compensation. But aid groups say the chaos of war means few will be able to do so in the time specified. “If it is applied to areas once held by the opposition from which the residents have been displaced, or where land registries have been destroyed, it will in effect prevent the return of refugees,” said a briefing note circulated to EU states at a recent high-level meeting. The law has yet to be applied.

SOUTH SUDAN

Al Jazeera America, May 25, 2018

South Sudan: Aid agencies struggle to reach those in need

Aid agencies are struggling to deal with the latest humanitarian crisis in South Sudan. Fighting between government and opposition forces is making it hard to reach millions of hungry people. With the approach of the rainy season, the situation is likely to get worse. Drought and war have decimated the young country’s industries. It now has to import almost everything, but rising customs fees are making even the most basic products unaffordable.

The post Global Update – 5/25/18 appeared first on Jewish World Watch.

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Jewish World Watch by Amy Friedman Cecil - 1M ago

Can jumping rope help survivors of genocide and mass atrocities?  It can when the Hirschhorn sisters get involved! Following in the footsteps of her older sister Michelle, Ariella Hirschhorn is reviving the fundraiser that Michelle started in 2006 as a “Jump for Darfur.” Ariella’s jump-a thon, called “Jump-4-Syrian-Children”, takes place on June 10, 2018, as a fundraiser preceding Ariella’s Bat Mitzvah.

Ariella’s message is simple and direct:

My name is Ariella Hirschhorn and I am 12 years old. I found out about a terrible war going on in Syria that is hurting kids our age. A lot of kids need medical help, but hospitals can’t get supplies. It made me really sad and I wanted to do something about it.

So how can we kids help? I am trying to get a lot of kids together to raise money while having fun. So, I created Jump-4-Syrian-Children, where boys and girls of all ages will jump rope together. And we will ask our family and friends to sponsor our jumping.”

Ariella reached out to both Jewish World Watch, and its partner, Save the Syrian Children, to take advantage of the “guerilla humanitarian aid” techniques to deliver life-saving medical aid to the hardest hit areas of the Syrian conflict, where most larger aid organizations cannot go.

These large organizations, such as Doctors Without Borders, Save the Children and the Red Crescent, have been denied permission to operate officially within Syria by its President Assad who is preventing aid from reaching areas where he is proactively bombing. Save the Syrian Children is more nimble, using shipping routes and networks of doctors working on the ground in Idlib and Aleppo to deliver medical supplies and equipment from the port of Mersin, Turkey, to hospital where the need is the greatest.

How many jumps can change the world? We don’t know for sure, but the first Hirschhorn jump-a-thon raised more than $30, 000 over its multi-year existence.  Ariella’s event is open to the public, but registration is required.  To register or for more information: www.jump4syrianchildren.org.

Jump-4-Syrian-Children  will be held at Temple Beth Am, 1039 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, on Sunday June 10th from 10am to Noon.

The post Jump-4-Syrian-Children appeared first on Jewish World Watch.

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Jewish World Watch by Rachael Sonntag-bloom - 2M ago

On Tuesday, May 8, Jewish World Watch (JWW) celebrated its 14th year by honoring Ben Reznik as the 2018 Global Soul award recipient, recognizing his incredible commitment to and service on behalf of our organization. Held in the outdoor courtyard of the Annenberg Space for Photography in Century City, Global Soul helped raised critical funds for JWW’s work in fighting genocide and mass atrocities and mobilizing awareness.

Over 400 guests – friends, family and colleagues of Ben’s, in addition to local officials, community members, and JWW supporters – joined us under the stars for a festive evening of theater, music and a gourmet buffet. The program opened with traditional African music, followed by excerpts from the play “Sister Africa”, which included testimonies from Congolese survivors of rape and mass atrocities. The event also showcased JWW’s work with our on-the-ground partners in Syria, Myanmar, Chad, Sudan, and Iraq in developing high-impact projects that improve the lives of survivors and help build the foundation for a safer world.

The evening continued with a video message from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti praising Ben and JWW for their commitment to activism, as well as remarks by former Los Angeles County Supervisor and JWW Board Member Zev Yaroslavsky, before presenting Ben with the 2018 Global Soul award.

With the help of our sponsors and all who contributed, Global Soul has almost broken a JWW fundraising record; another $18,000 and we will have set a new bar for the organization. During his acceptance, Ben spoke eloquently about his commitment to JWW, remarking: “This is why an honor from this organization means so much to me. I can think of no more deserving cause to support with my heart, my soul and my wallet.” If you would like to help JWW reach a new record, we ask you to kindly donate here.

As the son of Holocaust survivors, Ben has long been driven to memorialize the Holocaust by combating genocides and mass atrocities perpetrated in our generation. When his wife Janice Kamenir-Reznik co-founded JWW with Rabbi Harold Schulweisz”l in 2004, Ben helped play a critical role in the early years. He served as an adviser in helping to grow the organization and continues to be a staunch supporter and advocate of our work. As an attorney, philanthropist and activist, Ben has worked tirelessly over the past 15 years to ensure the financial health and viability of JWW. Through his diverse connections, his humility, his commitment to justice, and his optimism in working towards a future free from genocide and mass atrocities, Ben has helped raise significant funds and awareness for the organization over the years.

On behalf of Jewish World Watch, we are eternally grateful to our committed Honorary Chairs and Committee, the incredible Global Soul Sponsors, and all who contributed to make the evening such a success. We could not do the work that we do without your unwavering support and commitment to Jewish World Watch.

Global Soul Digital Tribute Journal

The post Words Cannot Do Justice appeared first on Jewish World Watch.

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Jewish World Watch by Amy Friedman Cecil - 2M ago

Jewish World Watch was founded in 2004 as a response to the genocide taking place in Darfur, Sudan. Today, we continue to mobilize against genocide and mass atrocities through education, advocacy and projects serving survivors of acts of inhumanity around the globe. Every week, we update you on news related to a number of current conflicts, including in Myanmar (Burma) and Sudan, as well as South Sudan, Syria, Iraq, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

ROHINGYA

U.S. team in refugee camps investigating atrocities against Rohingya
Reuters, April 25, 2018

The U.S. government is conducting an intensive examination of alleged atrocities against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims, documenting accusations of murder, rape, beatings and other possible offenses in an investigation that could be used to prosecute Myanmar’s military for crimes against humanity, U.S. officials told Reuters. The undertaking, led by the State Department, has involved more than a thousand interviews of Rohingya men and women in refugee camps in neighboring Bangladesh, where almost 700,000 Rohingya have fled after a military crackdown last year in Myanmar’s northwestern Rakhine State, two U.S. officials said. The work is modeled on a U.S. forensic investigation of mass atrocities in Sudan’s Darfur region in 2004, which led to a U.S. declaration of genocide that culminated in economic sanctions against the Sudanese government.

UN security council overwhelmed by suffering at Rohingya camps   
The Guardian, April 29, 2018

The UN security council delegation arrived in Bangladesh on Friday as part of a trip to hear first-hand the experiences of 700,000 Rohingya refugees subjected to a campaign of violence, rape and arson at the hands of Myanmar’s military since August 2017. Karen Pierce, the UK ambassador to the UN, who was among the 15 members on the trip, was confronted by dozens of Rohingya refugees making emotional pleas for the UN to hear their stories and make sure justice was done. Women wept in her arms as they recounted their experiences. “It shows the scale of the challenge as we try as a security council to find some way through that enables these poor people to go home,” Pierce said. “The sad thing is there’s nothing we can do right today that will make their distress any less.”

U.N. envoys meet with Myanmar leader over refugee crisis 
Reuters, April 30, 2018

Myanmar’s government leader Aung San Suu Kyi met with United Nations Security Council envoys on Monday over the plight of nearly 700,000 mainly Rohingya Muslims who fled to Bangladesh amid a military crackdown, pledging to investigate any credible accusations of abuse, said diplomats who attended the meeting. Buddhist-majority Myanmar has for years denied Rohingya citizenship, freedom of movement and access to basic services such as healthcare. Many in Myanmar regard Rohingya as illegal immigrants from mostly Muslim Bangladesh. Earlier this month, Suu Kyi – marking two years since her party swept to power in a historic vote – said in a televised speech that Myanmar was “struggling to develop politics, society and economy.” Suu Kyi’s civilian government has no control over the military.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

Five likely mass graves found in Congo borderlands: U.N.
Reuters, April 26, 2018

United Nations investigators have discovered five probable mass grave sites in eastern Congo’s Ituri province where an outbreak of ethnic violence has killed at least 263 people, a U.N. peacekeeping mission said.

The report from the mission provides the most comprehensive portrait to date of the human cost of months of violence between Lendu pastoralists and Hema herders since December that has caused one of Africa’s most serious refugee crises. Violence across eastern Congo’s borderlands with Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi has spiked since President Joseph Kabila refused to step aside at the end of his mandate in 2016, eroding state authority and emboldening armed groups. The mostly Lendu-led attacks have forced more than 60,000 people to flee across Lake Albert into Uganda, and the U.N. refugee agency expects 200,000 refugees to reach Uganda this year. Tens of thousands of others have fled to other towns inside Congo.

SOUTH SUDAN

U.N. official in South Sudan says concerned about surge in violence
Reuters, April 27, 2018

The United Nations is concerned about a surge in violence in three states in South Sudan. “Innocent civilians are being caught in the crossfire, including many women, children and elderly people,” [Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General, David] Shearer said in a statement. “Our teams on the ground are reporting incidents of killing, sexual violence, homes being burnt to the ground, cattle raiding, and the looting of hospitals and schools.” Tens of thousands of people have been killed in a conflict that has often taken ethnic lines, and much of the nation has suffered dire food shortages. Both rebels and government forces stand accused of targeting humanitarian workers and sometimes blocking access to relief and hijacking food and other aid. Shearer said over 30 humanitarian workers have been relocated in the past two weeks as it had become too dangerous for them to work in an environment of increase violence that had forced thousands of people to flee into swamps and bushes, depriving them of food, clean water and medical care.

SYRIA

Syria is death trap for civilians, U.N. refugee chief warns
Reuters, April 24, 2018

Civilians can no longer flee fighting and bombing raids in Syria because borders are so tightly controlled and neighboring countries are overwhelmed by refugees, creating some of the worst suffering in modern times, a top U.N. agency chief said. “The country is becoming a trap, in some places a death trap for civilians,” [U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo] Grandi told Reuters during a donor conference for Syria.

“There is an entire population out there that cannot bear its refugees anymore, that is suffering from one of the worse ordeals in modern history.” Some aid agencies are predicting suffering on an even greater scale than during the siege of Aleppo last year if the Syrian army and its Russian and Iranian backers turn their full fire on Idlib. “I think we are going to lose not only a generation but a population,” Grandi said.

WALK TO END GENOCIDE

Take a stand against what’s going on in all of these conflict areas and support survivors of mass atrocities at Jewish World Watch’s Conejo Valley Walk to End Genocide. One location of what has become the largest anti-genocide rally in the nation, it will take place on Sunday, May 6 at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza from 11AM to 2PM. Sign up now and make your voice be heard!

The post Global Update – 5/3/18 appeared first on Jewish World Watch.

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Jewish World Watch by Amy Friedman Cecil - 2M ago

“Just as my dreams have come true in coming [to the Iridimi refugee camp in Chad] to see this [Solar Cooker] project to fruition, here’s hoping the refugees’ dream of going back to their homes in a safe and secure Darfur happens soon… or at least within our lifetime.” – Rachel Andres, Director, Solar Cooker Project, 2007

With a great deal of joy, tempered by a degree of sadness, we can report that Rachel’s dream is coming true as of this week.

Two months ago, we commemorated the 15th anniversary of the start of conflict in Darfur, the first genocide of the 21st century. Jewish World Watch was founded as a direct response to the Darfur genocide. The Darfur genocide has caused the deaths of approximately 400,000 Darfuris, and displaced more than three million people.

This week, the first group of 53 Sudanese refugees from the Iridimi camp left Chad for Darfur on a “go-and-see visit” to assess on-the-ground conditions prior to a larger scale homecoming. UNHCR spokesman Andrei Mahecic stated that amid a “significant” reduction in inter-ethnic tensions in the region, “there is growing interest in returns” and that thousands may return to Darfur through the rest of 2018. The returnees are provided transportation and a “return package” which includes a three-month supply of food rations from the World Food Program.

Approximately 300,000 Darfuri refugees still live in camps in eastern Chad, with more than 1.5 million displaced within Sudan or in neighboring countries. Our dedication to the survivors of genocide has never wavered. We remain committed to the Darfuris and to supporting education and reducing food insecurity through Little Ripples and perma-gardening in Chad.

So yes, I rejoice in what I hope to be a growing trend toward normalcy for some Darfuri families. Yet, the Yazidis, Syrians and Rohingya are currently experiencing the same horrors that our Darfuri brothers and sisters have lived with, the Nuba Mountains region and South Sudan are still in turmoil and the DRC is still struggling under the yoke of Joseph Kabila.  Much more remains to be done to achieve our aspiration of a just and genocide free world.

As we prepare for the final Walk to End Genocide of the 2018 season, I am grateful to those who have stayed the course, who view JWW’s mission as their own, and who will never stand idly by so long as genocide and mass atrocities continue to plague our world.

You Can Help - Donate Now
Your generous gift supports this project and others like it, as well as JWW's efforts to fight genocide and mass atrocities by educating and mobilizing individuals and advocating for policy changes. Your generosity can change lives. Please donate now.

The post (Some) Darfuris Return Home appeared first on Jewish World Watch.

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Jewish World Watch by Amy Friedman Cecil - 2M ago

“Just as my dreams have come true in coming [to the Iridimi refugee camp in Chad] to see this [Solar Cooker] project to fruition, here’s hoping the refugees’ dream of going back to their homes in a safe and secure Darfur happens soon… or at least within our lifetime.” – Rachel Andres, Director, Solar Cooker Project, 2007

With a great deal of joy, tempered by a degree of sadness, we can report that Rachel’s dream is coming true as of this week.

Two months ago, we commemorated the 15th anniversary of the start of conflict in Darfur, the first genocide of the 21st century. Jewish World Watch was founded as a direct response to the Darfur genocide. The Darfur genocide has caused the deaths of approximately 400,000 Darfuris, and displaced more than three million people.

This week, the first group of 53 Sudanese refugees from the Iridimi camp left Chad for Darfur on a “go-and-see visit” to assess on-the-ground conditions prior to a larger scale homecoming. UNHCR spokesman Andrei Mahecic stated that amid a “significant” reduction in inter-ethnic tensions in the region, “there is growing interest in returns” and that thousands may return to Darfur through the rest of 2018. The returnees are provided transportation and a “return package” which includes a three-month supply of food rations from the World Food Program.

Approximately 300,000 Darfuri refugees still live in camps in eastern Chad, with more than 1.5 million displaced within Sudan or in neighboring countries. Our dedication to the survivors of genocide has never wavered. We remain committed to the Darfuris and to supporting education and reducing food insecurity through Little Ripples and perma-gardening in Chad.

So yes, I rejoice in what I hope to be a growing trend toward normalcy for some Darfuri families. Yet, the Yazidis, Syrians and Rohingya are currently experiencing the same horrors that our Darfuri brothers and sisters have lived with, the Nuba Mountains region and South Sudan are still in turmoil and the DRC is still struggling under the yoke of Joseph Kabila.  Much more remains to be done to achieve our aspiration of a just and genocide free world.

As we prepare for the final Walk to End Genocide of the 2018 season, I am grateful to those who have stayed the course, who view JWW’s mission as their own, and who will never stand idly by so long as genocide and mass atrocities continue to plague our world.

The post (Some) Darfuris Return Home appeared first on Jewish World Watch.

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Today, on Yom HaShoah, we remember the 6 million Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust – simply because they were Jews. It was then that the mantra “Never again” was born.

And yet it did happen again … in Cambodia and in Bosnia, in Rwanda and in Darfur. And it’s still happening today. Just look at the savageries perpetrated against the Rohingya ethnic minority living in Myanmar (Burma).

Despite all this, we must continue to pursue justice and work to make a difference in the lives of survivors of genocide and mass atrocities.

At Jewish World Watch, that difference comes in the form of new water wells that we’re digging in Uganda for South Sudanese refugees fleeing an ethnically charged civil war. It comes in the form of perma-gardening, an ultra-efficient farming technique we’re teaching Darfuri refugees in Chad to reduce their reliance on reduced rations.

On this day, as we remember the 6 million Jews, we commemorate as well all the others who have perished in the years since. Together, we must double our resolve to take action in their memory.

To learn more about what you can do, join us April 22 at the Los Angeles Walk to End Genocide, the largest anti-genocide rally in the nation. We look forward to seeing you there.

The post On Yom HaShoah, we remember with resolve appeared first on Jewish World Watch.

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Jewish World Watch was founded in 2004 as a response to the genocide taking place in Darfur, Sudan. Today, we continue to mobilize against genocide and mass atrocities through education, advocacy and projects serving survivors of acts of inhumanity around the globe. Every week, we update you on news related to a number of current conflicts, including in Myanmar (Burma) and Sudan, as well as South Sudan, Syria, Iraq, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

As the world considers how to respond to yet another reported chemical weapons attack carried out by the Assad regime in Syria, the people of South Sudan had to deal this week with the news that one more armed group has entered the fray of the young nation’s ongoing civil war. Meanwhile, in Bangladesh, a new assessment of the Rohingya refugees living there after fleeing ethnic cleansing in their native Myanmar reveals they face huge struggles with mental health issues and suicidal thoughts.

ROHINGYA

Seven Myanmar soldiers sentenced to 10 years for Rohingya massacre
Reuters, April 10, 2018

Seven Myanmar soldiers have been sentenced to “10 years in prison with hard labor in a remote area” for participating in a massacre of 10 Rohingya Muslim men in a village in northwestern Rakhine state last September, the army said on April 10. The massacre was being investigated by two Reuters journalists who were subsequently arrested in December and are still behind bars facing charges of violating the country’s Official Secrets Act.

Aid groups seek greater support for Rohingya refugees facing trauma, hunger
Reuters, April 10, 2018

Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are struggling from mental health issues, including suicidal thoughts, while almost half of the children are malnourished, according to aid agencies racing to boost services. Focus groups involving 300 people living in the densely populated “mega-camp” in Cox’s Bazar District found that 38 percent of children and 74 percent of adults “felt sad always.”

War crimes prosecutor seeks jurisdiction over Rohingya deportations
Reuters, April 9, 2018

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has asked it to rule on whether it has jurisdiction over the deportations of Rohingya people from Myanmar to Bangladesh, a possible crime against humanity, according to a filing published on April 9. A ruling affirming jurisdiction could pave the way for Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to investigate the deportation of many thousands of Rohingya, though Myanmar is unlikely to cooperate.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

‘Silent, invisible’ malnutrition seen as threat to generations in Congo
Reuters, April 12, 2018

Starving children are the glaring face of Congo’s humanitarian crisis, but millions more people are suffering slow onset malnutrition which could have harmful effects for generations, the United Nations said on April 12. About 13 million of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s 80 million people are in need of humanitarian aid – 50 percent more than last year – since fighting in the central Kasai region and other areas forced millions to flee their homes.

New Congo voting system risks election’s credibility, groups say
Bloomberg, April 10, 2018

The Democratic Republic of Congo began testing voting machines as part of a new system that civil-society groups said will undermine the credibility of long-awaited elections that seek to end the central African nation’s political crisis. The new technology will be used in the vote scheduled Dec. 23 to pick a successor to President Joseph Kabila. His decision to remain in office beyond the end of his final term in December 2016 has spurred protests in which dozens of people have been killed and may have further fueled rebellions in Congo’s mineral-rich east, where more than 100 armed groups operate.

Gunmen kill parish priest in eastern Congo after Sunday Mass
Associated Press, April 8, 2018

A Catholic leader in Congo says gunmen have killed a parish priest after a Mass in Congo’s eastern region. The killing comes a week after another priest was kidnapped after celebrating Easter Sunday Mass. He was released April 5. Roman Catholic churches and activists have led nationwide demonstrations this year against Congolese President Joseph Kabila’s extended rule.

SOUTH SUDAN

Ex-army chief’s rebellion adds fuel to fire in South Sudan’s war
Bloomberg, April 10, 2018

A rebellion by South Sudan’s former army chief signals a further escalation in the more than four-year civil war, complicating peace talks just as Africa’s youngest nation faces a looming famine. The announcement by Paul Malong, who led President Salva Kiir’s forces before being fired last year, adds yet another armed group to a conflict that’s claimed tens of thousands of lives, has been marked by widespread atrocities and caused Africa’s largest refugee crisis since it erupted in December 2013.

UN says 2 local humanitarian workers killed in South Sudan
Associated Press, April 10, 2018

Two aid workers have been killed in separate attacks over the weekend in civil war-torn South Sudan, the United Nations said April 10. They are the first two aid workers to be killed this year in South Sudan, which is one of the world’s most dangerous places for aid workers. At least 98 have been killed since the fighting began in December 2013, most of them local workers.

SUDAN           

Sudan’s president orders release of political prisoners
The New York Times, April 10, 2018

The president of Sudan has ordered the release of dozens of political prisoners, the state-run news agency Suna reported on April 10, an action that appeared intended to mollify human-rights critics. The decision seemed to be a concession by the president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who came to power in 1989 in an Islamist and military-backed coup, and is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Darfur.

SYRIA

Trump says Syria attack ‘could be very soon or not so soon’
Reuters, April 12, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump cast doubt on April 12 over the timing of his threatened strike on Syria in response to a reported poison gas attack, while France said it had proof of Syria’s guilt but needed to gather more information. Fears of confrontation between Russia and the West have been running high since Trump said on April 11 that missiles “will be coming” after the suspected chemical weapons assault in the Syrian town of Douma on April 7, which aid groups said killed dozens of people, and lambasted Moscow for standing by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Turkey, once a haven for Syrian refugees, grows weary of their presence
The Washington Post, April 10, 2018

As a horrific war escalated next door, Turkey opened its doors to Syrian refugees, granting them access to free health care and promising citizenship to thousands. More than 3 million Syrians accepted that welcome and put down roots. They started businesses and sent their children to school. Now, Turkish officials want them gone. The Turkish public has soured on their presence, citing cultural differences and competition for jobs, and so in recent weeks, officials have started urging refugees to go home.

YAZIDIS

Iraq’s Yazidis still suffering and afraid
Voice of America, April 9, 2018

Thousands of displaced Yazidis in the Sinjar mountains in Northern Iraq are still suffering and afraid, almost four years after Islamic State attacked Yazidi villages. “The situation of the Yazidis in Iraq is of great concern. It is an ongoing humanitarian catastrophe with still close to 400,000 internally displaced scattered throughout the provinces of northern Iraq,” Lisa Miara, founder of Springs of Hope Foundation, said.

WALK TO END GENOCIDE

Take a stand against what’s going on in all of these conflict areas and support survivors of mass atrocities at Jewish World Watch’s Los Angeles Walk to End Genocide. The largest anti-genocide rally in the nation, it will take place April 22 in Pan Pacific Park from 9 a.m. to noon. Sign up now and make your voice be heard!

The post Global Update – 4/12/18 appeared first on Jewish World Watch.

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