Updates from January, 2014 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • #AceNewsGroup 12:30 on January 18, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , Barnaul, , , , , , , , ,   

    Russia: Ayshat’s Story: “One Woman’s Fight to Help Other’s to Fight Abuse” 


    #AceNewsServices says this story is about one woman who was kidnapped and forced into an abusive relationship, forced into marriage and is now trying to help others with their problems, even though she has had a brain tumour! 

    This story really moved me when it was sent to my news desk and l first read it!  

    Ingush (Ingushetia, Eastern part of Prigorodny...

    Ingush (Ingushetia, Eastern part of Prigorodny District, Chechnya and Turkey) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Soon after the fall of communism, Ayshat (not her real name) was kidnapped by a stranger who wanted to marry her. Such kidnaps are not unusual in ultra-conservative Ingushetia, or in any of the North Caucasus republics. What is rare is Ayshat’s courage in speaking out. She tells the story of her violent marriage, breaking silence in the hope of persuading other women to resist abuse.

    Ayshat sits in the small basement office of a women’s NGO in Ingushetia. Pale, determined, articulate, she looks older than her 40 years. With no relatives to support her, she is raising her son alone, on her small income, which is extremely unusual in Ingushetia. Her thick hair is cut fashionably short – also a rarity in Ingushetia, where women pride themselves on their long locks. It had to be cut when she was first treated for a brain tumour. Now she has learned at the hospital that the cancer has returned, and she needs an operation in Moscow which she cannot afford. When she broke down, a kind nurse referred her to this NGO. Ayshat is clear that her tumour is the result of her ex-husband’s violence.

     I’d better start with how I met my – now ex – husband. I was a nurse, working in the resuscitation department. One day a colleague said to me ‘this man’s just back from Barnaul. He’s a great guy, I’d like to introduce you’. I agreed. Next day he turned up, when I was on my shift. We talked. I didn’t like him at all, didn’t like the way he talked or behaved.  I was quite clear – this was not my kind of man. I refused him, politely.  I was about to take my entrance exam for medical school and I had a lot of revising to do. I wanted to study gynaecology.  We only had that one conversation. He seemed to have got the point.

    align=left

    Next morning, I was on my way home after the night shift when he came up and asked if he could walk with me. I said I’d rather he did not, I thought I’d made my position clear – I was not looking for a husband. Suddenly this car drives up, two men leap out, drag me in, drive me off to Nazran and lock me into this fifth floor flat!

    I resisted, of course. Said I’d never agree to marry him. But he took no notice. I did try to escape. I found there was a balcony – the adjoining apartment had one too. I asked my kidnappers, who were keeping guard in the next room, if I could close the door for five minutes. Then I climbed onto the neighbour’s balcony. I thought ‘I’ve done it, got away!’ Imagine – you realise you’re going to have to live with a man you don’t even like! I was in such a state, shaking from head to foot. I banged on the neighbours’ window. But there was no one there.

    That was when I understood – no one was going to rescue me. I was going to have to go back. For a moment, standing on that fifth floor balcony, I thought ‘why not just throw myself off?’ I was distraught. I lay down again quickly in case they came to check up on me. When they did, I pretended I was alright. I lay there thinking how to escape. I’d got to, somehow. But I never managed it.

    Then the men took me off into the depths of Chechnya, as my relations were all saying ‘Give us back our girl’. They told the elders I was fine with it. The elders said ‘Bring her here, so we can ask her ourselves’. So they thought up this wheeze. They took some other girl – none of my close relations were there, and our clan elders are so distantly connected to me that they wouldn’t have known what I looked like. The elders asked the girl ‘Have you agreed to this?’ She said yes.  And the elders gave their blessing. So they – well, they married me off in my absence.

    But the old men suspected something wasn’t right. They demanded the men produce the real bride. My kidnappers were very cunning. They decided to keep me overnight, in the hope they’d be able to win me round. That night they piled on the pressure; stood over me, going on and on in this monotone: ‘Come on, come on. It’ll be fine. He’s a great fellow..’

    align=right

    In the end, next morning, I gave in. I guess I was just worn out. I felt I was offering myself as a sacrifice. I do that. I’ve been like that since I was a child. It’s done me so much harm. This wanting to please everyone, whatever it costs me.

    So that’s how it started, my married life, if that’s what you can call it.

    Right away I knew he had problems. For a start, he drank a lot. After they stole me they sat in the next room and drank. The next day there they were again, getting drunk, and the day after. I hated it. But I thought maybe it would pass, that he was drinking because he was so happy.

    We were married a week later. This woman from Barnaul came to the wedding. They said she and my husband were old friends. I never suspected a thing. I was very trusting. I believed, still believe, that men and women can be friends. So I welcomed her. I was so young, so inexperienced! But the way she talked, the things she said, breathed jealousy. She hated me. She’d say to my husband, sarcastically: ’Look what a beauty you’ve chosen!’ She even tried undressing me! ‘Let me see your breasts, your legs – my, what a girl!’ If I’d been more experienced I’d have realised she was his lover. I was surprised. But I didn’t suspect a thing. …

    A few days later we all went to Barnaul, this lover, my husband. Me. That’s where my married life began. Awful it was. His lover wouldn’t leave him alone. She was always picking fights – even when I was there. I was so naive – even then I didn’t realise they were lovers. And because she was always on at him, he’d lash out at me.

    She’d be there every day, asking me these questions, about how things were in bed. I was so naive I’d tell her. She was forever bringing me presents, cakes. When I ate them I’d feel terrible. Yes, it sounds weird, but it’s true. After eating anything she brought me I’d feel bad. I couldn’t understand it. Nor could he – I was so healthy. Maybe it was something to do with her jealousy. I lost 10 kilos in three months. I got so weak, though usually I was full of energy, racing round the house, cooking, never sitting down, trying to please my husband. That’s how I was brought up. I wanted to be a perfect wife.

    Today, I wonder how I could have behaved like that.  It goes back to my childhood, I suppose. I grew up in a very conservative family. Our father was very strict. Maybe – even despotic. Sometimes he was nice, of course, but he was always criticising us. Never praised us, however much we tried to please him. So my sisters and I grew up believing we had to please everyone.

    My husband soon clocked that, and made use of it. I was afraid of him right from the start. He’d get this terrible look in his eyes, start shouting, throwing things at me. For no reason! Saucepans, ashtrays, watches, anything that was around. Once he threw a pan of hot fat. He’d grab these big knives.  I’d burst into tears, I could see he was sick. I was scared. When the rage had died down he’d be sorry: ‘I’m a fool, I don’t know why I do these things. I love you more than anything in the world.’ Then I’d forgive him. I pitied him – poor man, what must they have done to you to make you like this!

    Pity. My capacity for pity – it’s a bad joke. It’s played a fatal role in my life. I should have looked after myself better.

    I was a long way away from my parents. If they been there, maybe I’d just have run away when he started beating me up. But I didn’t know how to. For a start, he never gave me money. Maybe he was afraid I’d… It wasn’t that he was mean. But he never left money at home. And considering how he lived – the lovers, the restaurants – he must have felt he needed it, just in case. He’d never let slip an opportunity. After spending the whole evening with one woman, on the way home he’d manage one more bit of skirt. By the time he got home at two o’clock in the morning I’d be worn out. Then he’d start on me. That’s what he was like.  Relentless. A compulsive womanizer.  

    When he beat me I would not say a word. Then he’d beat me because I did not say anything. He didn’t know why he was doing it. He just beat me. Then he’d be sorry. At other times he’d yell: ‘You’re a nobody!’ He didn’t mean it – he’d say anything to make sure I didn’t leave. He wanted me to feel dependent, vulnerable. As time when on, I got bolder – I’d yell at him, try to stand up for myself. We’d have huge rows. I had a temper too.

    After five or six years I got pregnant. Then he left. Made some excuse about having to earn money. Was gone for months, with his lover.  I didn’t hear a word from him. Then he turned up, when I was eight months gone. That same day he beat me up so badly I had to escape. I scrambled out of the window, barefoot. It was August. We were living in Alma-Ata [ed: now Almaty] then. It’s a very big city. I kept walking and walking. I had no idea where I was going. Then I reached this wood. I never wanted to see that man again. I wanted to die. I’d come to this wood to put an end to my life.  I was furious. How could he beat me up, knowing that I was with child?

    align=left

    I didn’t do it, obviously.  I sat there for twenty minutes or so, thinking it through. And realised I was wrong – I didn’t have the right to kill another life. I pulled myself together and set off in the direction of home. Barefoot. Finally a car stopped and gave me a lift. I had this neighbour, Aunt Katya. Russian. A very good woman. I went to her. She knew about my life. She was always telling me to leave. She put me to bed, prayed over me and went to bawl out my husband. He was all smiles, denied we’d had a row, though it was obvious he’d been really worried – I’d been gone all day, it  was dark. I refused to talk to him. I was hurting all over.

    A month later, when I was about to give birth, he left again. He had this very young lover in Barnaul. He went to her, left me without a ruble. Throughout my pregnancy I hadn’t had enough money to feed myself properly, to buy nappies, pay the doctor. I’d had to turn to his brothers for help.

    After the birth I came home. I had no milk. I spent these sleepless nights alone with the crying baby, who was very weak. I cried too. I was afraid for the baby. He was having convulsions – we were always calling the ambulance. The brothers would bring food. But then they’d expect me to cook for them. They’d be there every day with their friends and I’d be cooking with one hand, holding the baby with the other. Round midnight Aunt Katya’d come and take the child. And I’d run out to the bathhouse and wash the nappies.  The child was having diarrhoea. So I had to keep changing him. I was like a robot. I will forever be grateful to that woman.

    My husband turned up again when the child was two months old. To be honest I was very happy to see him. I took him into the child’s room ‘Here he is – our son!’  He’d told me more than once that if I gave him a son he’d cover me in gold. But now he took one look and said: ‘He’s not very like me!’ I was hurt. That he could say that, after everything I’d been through during the pregnancy and after, when he was away! How ashamed I’d been to have to leave the maternity ward without paying the doctors. Of course, I could not pay them back later, as I had no money for a long time.

    Something broke in me at that moment – this man could not even share our joy at having a child. It was as if he was saying the child wasn’t his. Had his lover put the idea into his head? I don’t know. Well, he spent two months at home and in all that time, though he could see how much the baby was suffering, from pain, from illness, how wretched I was, he never once came and helped.

    English: This is the logo of CONCORD, the Euro...

    English: This is the logo of CONCORD, the European NGO confederation of Relief and Development NGO’s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    In common with their Chechen neighbours, the Ingush population was accused by Stalin of colluding with the Nazi enemy during the Second World and deported to Kazazhstan. Although many returned under Khruschev, the links between Ingushetia and Kazakhstan remain strong to this day. 

    When the child was four months old he got convulsions so badly we went to the hospital. He was at death’s door. I rang my husband and asked him to talk to the doctor and pay him. I lost 7 kilos that night. The doctor managed to save him. But my husband went to his lover. Just ran away, leaving us to handle the crisis on our own. He didn’t even leave me any money. I didn’t see him again ‘til the child was 10 months old. We’d travelled home to Ingushetia for my husband’s brother’s wedding. The baby was more grown up – he stroked him, played with him. Then left again for Barnaul.

    Did I already say that my husband was an addict, as well as alcoholic? At first he only smoked weed, then he got onto prescription drugs. One of his lovers was a nurse – she got them for him. Then they did this check at her hospital and found that a lot of medicines with these drugs were missing. They suspected her. It was going to court. Well – she hung herself. My husband showed no regret at all. He didn’t know what compassion was. It was the drugs, I suppose. I know addicts become cruel, and that gets worse with time.

    At one point he’d overdosed badly.  A friend had brought heroin, they’d both shot up and gone out like lights. I was too embarrassed to call the neighbours – they respected us, I didn’t want them to know he was an addict. I was in such a panic I never thought of ringing his friends. At last his friend recovered and we dragged my husband onto the bed. He wouldn’t let me call an ambulance, it wasn’t the first time it had happened, he said. My husband lay there for days. I bought medicine – I’m a medic, I knew what to get. When he came round he couldn’t remember much. Forgot names. I nursed him through that.

    After two years away, he came back to Ingushetia, where we were now living. For a couple of months he did not touch a drop – because of his parents. He’d become all quiet, quite unlike himself. I was worried about him – now he was ill I couldn’t just walk out him.

    We went back to Barnaul and for a while we lived quietly, no quarrels, no fights. Then one day a friend came by with drink and that was it. Over night my quiet husband lost it, started having hallucinations, saying these unbelievable things. I went to the doctors. They said he was past helping, that after such a heavy overdose the damage was usually irreparable. I begged them, said that I couldn’t leave him in trouble, after 20 years together They looked at me as if I were mad. One of them took pity on me and prescribed some medicine. When I gave it to my husband he shouted at me, said it was me, not him, that was sick.

    Still, he was getting worse all the time. He was having hallucinations. He’d tell his brothers -we were back in Ingushetia – that people had seen me sitting in a car late at night, that I was being unfaithful. His brothers laughed at him. But he was beating me up, tormenting me, mocking the child. It got so bad that his brothers had to take me to his parents. It got to the point where his brothers took my mobile, went to the police and went through all the calls and texts I’d made. I knew he was ill, that it was pointless arguing with him. If I hadn’t been a medic myself I’d have left, but I knew he needed help, so I tried to tell his relations. But no one would listen.

    The last two months were a nightmare. I kept my phone in my pocket, my finger on the emergency button. His youngest brother and I agreed that I’d call if he attacked me. So when he started I’d press the button and in ten minutes the brother’d be there and take me to his parents’. After a few days, I’d go back. I don’t know why. I felt guilty, I couldn’t leave him in that state.

    Once my husband outwitted me. I was asleep with the child late one night when he knocked at the door. He asked for my phone, said he had to make a call. Stupidly, I gave it to him. He looked at me with this mad smile and put the phone under the pillow. He took me out on the balcony and started hitting me, trying to make me confess – that I’d been with someone. I tried to reason with him, but he kept hitting me harder and harder. I became so afraid he was going to kill me that I admitted everything. I shouted for help, but he just hit me harder. At some point passers-by heard my shouts, saw me standing by the window in my nightdress, being hit. They started whistling, so he left off. When they’d gone he asked me where I’d hidden my wig. When I said I’d never had one, he punched me in the stomach. I doubled over from the pain and he started kicking my head. The first blow was so hard I thought he cracked my skull. I knew he’d done something serious. He kicked me like a ball, so I bounced against the balcony door. He must have realised he’d gone too far. He told me to go to sleep, that he’d kill me if I breathed a word.

    Luckily, his brother rang in the morning. He took us to his relations. Then the elders decided we should get a divorce. They decided that I should stay in the flat with the child, and he would go to his parents. That’s how our marriage ended.

    When I got back to the flat with the child, I found this huge kitchen knife wedged in the sofa when I was cleaning. My husband must have hidden it, in order to kill me. What if I’d gone back to him one more time!

    After that, although the elders had agreed I should have the flat, his relations would not let me live there. I agreed to leave. I just wanted to forget it all. I’d been having these awful headaches. They found this tumour on my brain. Now I’m facing a very serious operation. That’s where the heedlessness of youth led me. Now I am the invalid, the one who needs help.

    I’d like to make this appeal to all women. My dears! Don’t put up with it. Run away from men like that!

    Least you will not end up like me. 

     

    Illustrations Courtesy of and by Jess Wilson 


    This article is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 licence. If you have any queries about republishing please contact us. Please check individual images for licensing details.

     

    Enhanced by Zemanta
     
  • #AceNewsGroup 17:10 on January 12, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Resignation, ,   

    Central African Republic’s {CAR}: “UN Calls for Calm, Urging Authorities to Mobilize Around the Speedy Election of a New Transitional Leadership” 


    #AceWorldNews says following the resignation of the Central African Republic’s two interim leaders, the top United Nations official in the crisis-riven country called for calm today, urging the authorities to mobilze around the speedy election of new transitional leadership.
    In a statement issued by his office in Bagui, Babacar Gaye, Special Representative and Head of the UN Integrated Peace-building Office for the Central African Republic (BINUCA), took note of the resignation yesterday of President Michel Djotodia and Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye.
    “He calls on members of the National Transitional Council (CNT) to mobilize around the urgent election of a new transitional executive, as agreed at the extraordinary summit of Heads of States of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) yesterday, 10 January 2014, in N’djamena, Chad.” Armed attacks between ex-Séléka and Christian anti-balaka militias have escalated significantly in the past two weeks, despite the creation of a transitional government following the attack a year ago by mostly Muslim Séléka rebels which forced President François Bozizé to flee.
    Since then, thousands of people are estimated to have been killed, nearly 1 million driven from their homes, and 2.2 million, about half the population, need humanitarian aid.
    Delivering a message on behalf of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the ECCAS Summit on Thursday, Mr. Gaye stressed that the past year’s events have profoundly damaged the relationship between Muslim and Christian communities in the CAR, and warned that there is a real danger of further upheaval along religious lines.
    “The horrific cycle of violence and retaliation between communities must stop immediately,” he said. “Distrust is high and violence has fuelled anger and a thirst for revenge,” he added, highlighting the need to prioritize reconciliation efforts. Disarmament of combatants in accordance with international standards is essential, Mr. Ban stressed, noting also the importance of demobilization and reintegration of the former fighters.
    Today, Mr. Gaye called on the people and the leaders of the CAR to maintain calm and show maturity following the leaders’ resignations. “Along with the International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA), French forces, SANGARIS, have made important progress in securing Bangui,” he said, adding that their efforts must be supported, especially as numerous threats persist.

    “The entire UN System and our humanitarian partners are fully mobilized to assist approximately two million people who are in urgent need of assistance across the country,” he said.
    To that end, yesterday, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) issued an appeal for $40.2 million for CAR. That request, which is for the period to the end of March, follows appeals launched by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in late December for $152.2 million in immediate support needs for a 100-day plan for CAR.
    UNHCR’s supplementary appeal for CAR aims to support more than 1 million people, including 86,400 refugees in neighbouring countries and 958,000 internally displaced persons.

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 18:08 on January 11, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , COMANGO, Malaysian Ministry of Home Affairs, ,   

    UN #HumanRights Office: “Concerned about Decision by Malaysian Ministry of Home Affairs to Declare Illegal a Coalition of 54 Non-Islamic Civil Society Groups” 


    #AceWorldNews says the United Nations human rights office today expressed concern about a decision by the Malaysian Ministry of Home Affairs to declare illegal a coalition of 54 mainly non-Islamic civil society groups focused on human rights known by the acronym COMANGO.

    “We call upon Government of Malaysia to amend the Societies Act 1966, maximize the space for human rights activists and organisations to operate freely, and ensure that they can conduct their legitimate activities without intimidation or harassment,” the spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Rupert Colville, told journalists in Geneva.

    The COMANGO coalition submitted joint reports to both the UN Human Rights Council’s 2009 and 2013 Universal Periodic Reviews (UPR) of the situation in Malaysia.

    Since its submission to the second cycle of the UPR, which took place on 24 October 2013, the coalition has reportedly been subjected to a series of harassment and threats, allegedly by both State and non-State actors. The coalition has been accused of attacking Islam and of spreading beliefs that do not conform to Islamic teachings.

    The Malaysian Ministry of Home Affairs declared in a press statement on 8 January that COMANGO promotes rights which are not in line with Islam, and is therefore illegal.

    The statement also noted that only 15 of the 54 organizations are registered under the Societies Act 1966.

    “We are concerned by what appears to be an act of reprisal against COMANGO for its engagement with international human rights mechanism,” the spokesperson added.

    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, High Commissioner Navi Pillay and the Geneva-based Human Rights Council have persistently called for the protection of individuals and members of groups that cooperate with the UN, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights from acts of intimidation or reprisal.

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 17:05 on January 11, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , ,   

    UN Human Rights: “Says they Hope that the Abolition of the Death Penalty will Follow their Decision to Commute All Death Sentences to Life-Imprisionment” 


    #AceWorldNews says “United Nations Human Rights Office” today said it hopes that Myanmar’s decision to commute all death sentences to life imprisonment will lead to the full abolition of the death penalty in the country.

    President Thein Sein announced on 2 January that he would commute death sentences to life imprisonment and reduce some sentences on humanitarian grounds and to mark the 66th anniversary of independence of the country, marked on 4 January.

    “We warmly welcome the Myanmar Government’s Presidential Order,” the spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Rupert Colville, told journalists in Geneva.

    The move is “very significant” for Myanmar, which has not carried out the death penalty since 1989, the spokesperson noted, as the country assumed the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

    The step “sets a positive example for other ASEAN member states and other States in the region and beyond,” Mr. Colville said on behalf of the Office for the High Commissioners of Human Rights (OHCHR).

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 11:12 on January 5, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , kind support, , , ,   

    #AceNewsGroup says to All its Readers “Thank You for 1000 Likes on Our Posts” 


    WP Like Button#AceNewsGroup says today marks another milestone for our group and it is all thanks to you the readers kind support and all your likes, as we have reached 1000 and we could not do it without your support.

    So all l can say is a great big thank you from the Ace News GroupThanks in all languages   

     

    Enhanced by Zemanta
     
  • #AceNewsGroup 20:31 on December 10, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , Presidential Statement, , , , , , , , ,   

    United Nations Official Say’s That Perhaps 250,000 #Syrian’s Maybe Cut Off From Aid in Besieged Communities Across the War-Torn Country #Peace 


    #AceWorldNews says Reporting “modest progress” with the Syrian Government on speeding up visa issuance and increasing the number of relief distribution hubs, a top United Nations official said the other that with perhaps 250,000 Syrians cut off from aid in besieged communities across the war-torn country, greater efforts are needed to ensure real gains on the humanitarian front.

    Security Council“I advised the Security Council that we have seen some modest progress in terms of administrative procedures that had been put in place over time,” said Valerie Amos, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, as she spoke to reporters after briefing the 15-member body on the humanitarian situation in Syria.

    This is her second closed-door meeting with the Council since it adopted, on 2 October, a Presidential Statement urging the Syrian Government to immediately allow humanitarian access to relieve the plight of civilians trapped by heavy fighting, including cross-line aid deliveries.

    The statement, which called on all parties to the conflict to agree on humanitarian pauses in the fighting, with special attention to key delivery routes, also deplored the escalating violence in a conflict that has killed more than 100, 000 people and driven some 6.5 million others from their homes since opposition protesters first sought to oust the Government of President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011.

    On the implementation of the statement, Ms. Amos cited progress, for example, in the Government’s decision to grant some 50 visas on an individual basis.

    OCHA SyriaDamascus has also given the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) permission to open three additional relief hubs, “but only two of these will actually be helpful to us, because the third being proposed – Al Sweida – will not allow us access into Western Dera’a, which is where the hard-to-reach communities are.”

    She also noted that both the Government and the opposition had indicated who the interlocutors are for the UN to try to facilitate humanitarian access.

    “However, I did remind the Council that on some of the more difficult areas – protection of civilians, de-militarization of schools and hospitals, access to besieged communities and also cross-line access to hard-to-reach areas – we have not seen any progress.

    “I need the Council to continue to make it absolutely clear that targeting civilians is against international humanitarian law and that we need to do greater work to ensure that the recommendations in the Presidential Statement are achieved,” she declared.

    Responding to questions, Ms. Amos said that an estimated 250,000 civilians are trapped in besieged communities, while perhaps some 2.5 million were in hard-to-reach areas – places that aid workers have been able to reach but not frequently enough to make any real headway against the overall needs.

    Asked if a Council resolution – which carry legal obligations for UN Member States ¬– would improve the situation, Ms. Amos said: “My focus is on how what has already been agreed can be put into effect. Should the Council agree on a resolution, then we will operationalize that.”

    Indeed, while the UN and its partners have made gains in reaching civilians across the strife-riven country, in the context of the scale of the crisis, “this is far too few to meet the needs of the people. Of course the issue is what is the best means to reach people in need? For me, the unity of the Security Council is the key here.”

    Meanwhile, UN agencies continue pressing ahead with relief efforts, now rushing to fortify desperate civilians against the oncoming winter season.

    UNICEFBriefing the press in Geneva today, Marixie Mercado, spokesperson for the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned: “The scale of the humanitarian response needed for the looming winter is unprecedented, as the number quadrupled as compared to the previous year.”

    She explained that in December 2012, there were approximately 1.15 million children affected by the crisis inside Syria, with an additional 232,000 Syrian children living as refugees in neighbouring countries.

    As the conflict approaches its fourth year, those numbers have skyrocketed to 4.3 million and 1.2 million, respectively. UNICEF has worked since early October to equip children as quickly as possible for the cold. Blankets, plastic sheeting, winter clothing and hygiene kits are being distributed, along with wintered tents and fuel to heat classrooms.

    United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees ...

    United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Representation in Cyprus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    For its part, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has commenced an emergency airlift of urgently needed winter supplies to reinforce its stockpile in northern Iraq with relief items for up to 50,000 vulnerable Syrians.  A UNHCR-chartered Boeing 777 landed at Erbil airport on Monday carrying 90 metric tons of relief items to help 4,400 families over the winter months, including plastic tarpaulins, thermal blankets, sleeping mats, jerry cans and kitchen sets.

    “While UNHCR has adequate stocks inside Iraq to meet the immediate needs, we want to ensure that sufficient items are on-hand to address any developments,” said UNHCR’s Amman-based Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Amin Awad. “The relief items we are airlifting will reinforce the UNHCR-led winterization regional response as temperatures are starting to drop across higher altitude areas in the Syria region.”

    English: An armored vehicle from the United Na...

    English: An armored vehicle from the United Nations (UN) World Food Program (WFP) leads a convoy of UN vehicles in procession carrying the remains of bombing victims from the UN Office of Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq (UNOHCI), as the arrive at , , during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. The bombing victims remains will be airlifted to their respective home countries for repatriation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Elisabeth Byrs, spokesperson for the World Food Programme (WFP), told reporters that the agency dispatched enough food for over 3.4 million people inside Syria in November, mainly to internally displaced families in 13 governorates, and had reached eight more locations, which had been inaccessible in recent months.

    However, she said WFP remains gravely concerned about the fate of many Syrians still trapped in conflict zones throughout the country, including around Damascus and in Al Hassakeh, where some areas have been without food assistance for six consecutive months.

    WFP aims to reach 4 million people inside Syria every month, as well as to provide assistance for nearly 1.5 million refugees in neighbouring countries.

     

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 19:24 on December 8, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Afghan Women's Network, , , , , , UNAMA, , United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan,   

    “International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women Ends 10 December on “Human Rights Day” #Peace 


    Office of the United Nations High Commissioner...

    #AceWorldNews says Afghan authorities registered an increased number of reported acts of violence against women and girls in the past year, but prosecutions and convictions under a landmark law  remained low with most cases settled by mediation, according to an annual United Nations report released today.

    While registration of reported incidents such as forced marriage, domestic violence and rape increased by 28 per cent in 16 provinces since the previous year, the use of the law on the Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW) as a basis for indictment increased by only two per cent, according to <“http://unama.unmissions.org/Portals/UNAMA/Documents/UNAMA%20REPORT%20on%20EVAW%20LAW_8%20December%202013.pdf“>’A Way to Go’ co-authored by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

    “Police, prosecutors and courts, in our view, need increased resources and technical and political support and direction from the highest levels of Government to deal adequately with the increase in reporting and registration of cases of violence against women documented in this report,” Georgette Gagnon, director of the human rights unit at UNAMA and OHCHR representative, told journalists in the Afghan capital of Kabul at the report launch.

    Women are “coming forward in demanding justice”, Ms. Gagnon said flanked by the heads of two key civil society group – Hasina Safi from the Afghan Women’s Network, and  the Afghan Women’s Skills Development Centre’s Mary Akrami. “The Government needs to step up and provide that justice.”

    Presenting the report findings, Ms. Gagnon said that of an estimated total of 1,669 reported incidents registered throughout the country only 109 cases or seven per cent went through a judicial process using the EVAW law.

    Parties to the Convention on the Elimination o...

    Parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, from the OHCHR. Parties in dark green, countries which have signed but not ratified in light green, non-members in grey. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    “What we found is that, instead, the police and prosecutors were mediating more cases of violence against women,” said the UN official, speaking on behalf of Ján Kubiš, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Afghanistan.

    Mediation whether through formal or informal dispute resolution bodies often fails to protect women from further violence by not applying criminal sanctions and legal protections for women, according to the report.

    It compares and updates findings from UNAMA’s December 2012 report on EVAW law implementation and is based on consultations with 203 judicial, police and Government officials, and monitoring of almost 500 cases of violence against women throughout Afghanistan. The report analyses statistical data on the law’s application obtained from police, prosecutors and other judicial officials in 18 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces over the one-year period October 2012 to September 2013.

    Enacted in 2009, the EVAW law criminalizes acts of violence against women and harmful practices including child marriage, forced marriage, forced self-immolation, ‘baad’ (giving away a woman or girl to settle a dispute) and 18 other acts of violence against women including rape and beating. It also specifies punishment for perpetrators.

    English: Staffan de Mistura, UNAMA

    English: Staffan de Mistura, UNAMA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    “The landmark law on the Elimination of Violence against Women was a huge achievement for all Afghans,” the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said in a <“http://unama.unmissions.org/Default.aspx?tabid=12316&ctl=Details&mid=15873&ItemID=37528&language=en-US“> news release from UNAMA. “But implementation has been slow and uneven, with police still reluctant to enforce the legal prohibition against violence and harmful practices, and prosecutors and courts slow to enforce the legal protections in the law.”

    “Afghan authorities need to do much more to build on the gains made so far in protecting women and girls from violence,” Ms. Pillay urged.

    Among its recommendations, the report calls on the Government to put in place a concrete plan, within six months, for the next two-year period for improving implementation of the EVAW law, including measures recommended to Afghanistan by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in August 2013.

    Another recommendation is that major donors establish a joint monitoring framework with specific indicators to measure progress in EVAW law implementation.

    The release of the report coincides with the global campaign of 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence.

    The campaign begins annually on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, marked on 25 November, and ends on 10 December Human Rights Day.

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 17:40 on December 7, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , Baroness Valerie Amos, Health care provider, , , Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, , , , ,   

    “Healthcare Workers in #Syria Must be Protected According to the UN” 


    The original advisory opinion was requested by...

    The original advisory opinion was requested by the World Health Organization in 1993. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    #AceHealthNews says that Healthcare workers in Syria must be protected, senior United Nations humanitarian officials have said issuing a fresh call for the protection of medical facilities and for safe access to medicines, vaccines and other vital humanitarian aid in the country.

    “It is of the interest of both parties in the conflict and of all Syrian people to preserve the neutrality and the functionality of health infrastructure,” UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos, Director-General of the UN World Health Organization (WHO) Margaret Chan, and Executive Director of the UN Children’s Agency (UNICEF) Anthony Lake said late last night.

    In the <” https://docs.unocha.org/sites/dms/Documents/Joint%20Statement%20on%20Syria,%20OCHA,%20UNICEF,%20WHO%206Dec2013.pdf“> joint statement, the officials “strongly condemn” attacks on health and any other civilian facilities in Syria and added that they are “deeply concerned by the serious implications for patients, health personnel and provision of critical medical supplies”.

    Over 60 per cent of public hospitals are not functioning in Syria and a similar percentage of ambulances stolen or damaged, according to UN figures.

    “At a time when hospitals are overwhelmed with patients, it is vital that these facilities be protected and medical staff be allowed to provide urgent medical, surgical and obstetric care to patients without any risk,” the officials said.

    They noted that attacks against health facilities can be considered a war crime under international law.

    “All parties must respect their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect civilians, health facilities and health professionals,” they urged.

    Governor Patrick signs an Act Relative to Assa...

    Governor Patrick signs an Act Relative to Assault and Battery on Health Care Providers. (Photo credit: Office of Governor Patrick)

    Despite the insecurity and serious access challenges the UN and partners have helped vaccinate more than 3.3 million children against measles and polio in recent weeks, according to figures provided by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

    Meanwhile, over 8,000 women have received reproductive and maternal health services, the UN agency said, and hundreds of thousands of people with chronic health problems are being treated with medical supplies and training provided by the UN and partners.

    The statement also deplored the escalating violence in a conflict that has killed more than 100, 000 people and driven some 6.5 million others from their homes since opposition protesters first sought to oust the Government of President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011.

    On Tuesday, Ms. Amos briefed the UN Security Council behind closed doors on challenges to humanitarian access in the war-torn country. She said that despite “modest progress” with the Government on speeding up visa issuance and increasing the number of relief distribution hubs, perhaps 250,000 Syrians remain cut off from aid.

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 19:56 on December 2, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , Premier League   

    Cameron’s Visit to China the People Or the Profit 


    Camerons Visit to China#AceWorldNews says the British Prime Minister David Cameron flew into China saying he wanted to lay the groundwork for a multi-billion-dollar free trade deal between Beijing and the European Union, despite growing unease about his own country’s membership in the bloc.On a three-day visit with a delegation of around 100 business people, the largest-ever British mission of its kind, Cameron said he wanted his country to play an important role in China’s expansion as the world’s second biggest economy is talking about opening up its markets.“China’s transformation is one of the defining facts of our lifetime,” Cameron wrote in Caixin, a Chinese weekly news magazine, on the eve of the visit.

    “There is a genuine choice for every country over how to respond. They can choose to see China’s rise as a threat or an opportunity. Britain’s answer is clear. We want to see China succeed,” continued Cameron.

    Cameron’s push for an E.U.-China trade deal will irritate the European Commission, which is understood to be strongly opposed to such a move on the grounds that it risks flooding the bloc with cheap Chinese imports and comes as the bloc is embroiled in a dispute with Beijing over solar panel exports.

    It is also likely to be seized upon by political opponents, as he has put a question mark over Britain’s continued membership of the 28-nation E.U. by promising Britons an in/out referendum on leaving the bloc if re-elected in 2015.

    “I now want to set a new long-term goal of an ambitious and comprehensive E.U.-China Free Trade Agreement,” Cameron wrote.

    “And as I have on the E.U.-U.S. deal, so I will put my full political weight behind such a deal which could be worth tens of billions of dollars every year,” promised Cameron.

    Cameron is expected to raise the subject in a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Monday. His office said he was the first European leader to champion such a deal in this way.

    He had already discussed the idea of an E.U.-China trade deal with other E.U. member states, it added. Such a deal would address services liberalization and better intellectual property rights protection.

    Cameron told reporters on the plane to Beijing he was aware the idea was not universally popular among E.U. member states, but said it could be a chance to tackle Beijing on intellectual property rights and trading standards.

    “It’ll be the normal thing in the EU which will be a discussion where there will be some skeptics. There will be some enthusiasts and I think the enthusiasts have the wind in our sails,” said Cameron.

    Human Rights

    British finance minister George Osborne opened the door to further Chinese investment in Britain during a visit to Beijing last month, during which he announced less stringent rules for Chinese banks operating in London in a push to make the British capital the main offshore hub for trading in China’s currency and bonds.

    He also paved the way for Chinese investors to take majority stakes in future British nuclear plants.

    Camerons Visit to Dalai LamaCampaigners have often accused Cameron of putting trade before human rights. On this trip, activists want him to raise what they say are rights abuses in Tibet.

    A senior source in his office said before the trip that Britain had turned the page on a rift with China over Tibet, adding that Cameron had no plans to once again meet the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader-in-exile, after their meeting last year angered Beijing.

    Asked on the plane whether he would be raising Tibet, Cameron was non-committal, but said nothing was “off limits” in Britain’s relationship with China.

    As permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, Cameron said the two countries would also discuss Iran and North Korea.

    Cameron visited a training academy for Jaguar Land Rover sales staff in Beijing on Monday to mark its official opening as the carmaker unveiled a deal worth 4.5 billion pounds to provide 100,000 cars to the National Sales Company in China.

    England’s Premier League is also expected to announce an agreement with the Chinese Super League to develop football in China and boost the Premier League’s profile.

    Xavier Rolet, the chief executive of the London Stock Exchange, is travelling with Cameron.

    The business delegation also includes Andrew Witty, the chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline. The company was drawn into a bribery case in China earlier this year which resulted in police detaining four Chinese GSK executives.

    Peter Humphrey, a British man running a risk advisory group, was also detained and is still being held.

    VOA NEWS  

     

     
  • #AceNewsGroup 18:17 on November 29, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Lord Resistance Army, LRA, , , ,   

    Security Council: Reports on LRA “Massacres in Villages and Mutilating of Boys to Prevent Them Becoming Child Soldiers and Forcing Girls into Sexual Slavery” 


    Rebels in the north of the Central African Rep...

    Rebels in the north of the Central African Republic (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    #AceHumanRightsNews says reiterating its strong condemnation of war crimes and crimes against humanity by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and its use of children in armed conflict, the Security Council today demanded that the group immediately cease all hostilities, release all abductees’, and disarm and demobilize.

    Issuing presidential statement the Council urged the United Nations Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), the UN political and peacekeeping missions in the region, and the Organization’s other relevant presences, to enhance their support for the implementation of the UN Regional Strategy to address the threat and impact of the activities of the LRA. It called on the international community to support the implementation of the Strategy where possible.

    The LRA, notorious for carrying out massacres in villages, mutilating its victims and abducting boys for use as child soldiers and forcing girls into sexual slavery, was formed in the 1980s in Uganda and for over 15 years its attacks were mainly directed against Ugandan civilians and security forces, which in 2002 dislodged it. It then exported its activities to Uganda’s neighbours, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Central African Republic (CAR) and South Sudan.

    English: Shaded relief map of the Central Afri...

    English: Shaded relief map of the Central African Republic. Cropped caption: Base 802739 (B01340) 2-01 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    The 15-member body reiterated its strong support for the African Union Regional Cooperation Initiative against the LRA, commending the “significant” progress by the African Union Regional Task Force. It urged all regional Governments to fulfil their commitments under the Initiative and provide basic provisions for their security forces.

    Welcoming steps taken to deliver an enhanced, comprehensive and “more regional” approach to the humanitarian situation, the Council underlined the primary responsibility of States in the LRA-affected region to protect civilians.  In that context, it welcomed efforts by the DRC, South Sudan, Uganda and the CAR, in coordination with the African Union, to end the LRA threat, urging additional efforts from those countries, as well as others in the region.

    Further, the Council expressed serious concern that the increased security vacuum in the CAR continued to negatively affect counter-LRA operations. As LRA attacks have reportedly taken place outside the Task Force’s principal area of operations, it emphasized the need for strong coordination among the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA), the Task Force, and the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (MISCA) in the context of protecting civilian activities and counter-LRA operations.

    Regionally, the Council encouraged the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) to reinforce efforts to address the LRA through improved responsiveness to imminent civilian threats, training and capacity-building of the Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC) and implementation of the disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, reintegration, and resettlement programme to encourage further LRA defections.

    In addition, the Council urged MONUSCO and the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to enhance their cooperation with the Regional Task Force to coordinate operations, patrols and protection of civilians strategies, and to provide logistical support within their existing mandates and resources.  It took note of reports of a LRA base in the disputed enclave of Kafia Kinga, on the border of the Central African Republic, and between South Sudan and Sudan.

    New York, Nov 25 2013  7:00PM

     
c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 654 other followers

%d bloggers like this: