By Kristy Siegfried | 27 November, 2019
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Militia attacks in eastern DR Congo spark violent protests. Protesters torched a UN peacekeepers’ camp and a town hall near the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo town of Beni on Monday, angered by the failure of government forces and peacekeepers to curb a spate of fatal attacks by militia groups. So far this month, some 80 civilians have been killed in 14 attacks that have displaced at least 2,500 people in an area that is also the epicentre of the country’s worst-ever Ebola outbreak. On Tuesday, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and several NGOS temporarily evacuated many of their staff who had been responding to the epidemic from Beni. The WHO said disruptions to the response threatened to reverse recent progress in containing the epidemic. Violence in the eastern DRC’s North Kivu and Ituri provinces has displaced some 300,000 people since June, according to UNHCR.
Greece gives NGOs working with refugees 10 days to register. NGOs working with refugees and migrants in Greece on Tuesday were given 10 days to register with the Citizen Protection Ministry or risk being banned from working in the country. According to local media, the country’s anti-money laundering authority has started compiling its own list of NGOs with the aim of auditing them. Separately, UN High Commissioner for Refugee Filippo Grandi is visiting the island of Lesvos today to see first-hand the living conditions for refugees and asylum-seekers at the Moria reception centre. He is expected to meet with authorities and civil society groups to discuss the challenges they are facing in the refugee response before leaving for Athens, where he will meet with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and other members of his Cabinet to discuss Greece’s management of the refugee response.
WHAT’S ON OUR RADAR
Somalia ratifies convention on internally displaced people. Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed on Tuesday signed the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced People, otherwise known as the Kampala Convention, after a nearly unanimous vote by parliament last week. Somalia has the fourth-largest population of IDPs in the world, estimated at 2.6 million people. This year alone, over 665,000 people have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict, drought and recent flooding, according to UNHCR. The Kampala Convention – adopted in 2009 by all the AU’s member states – is the world’s only legally binding instrument for protecting and assisting IDPs.
Three bodies recovered from boat trying to reach Spain. Spain’s maritime rescue service said today that it had rescued 58 people from a small boat 58 kilometres from the coast of Morocco on Tuesday night. Rescuers also recovered three bodies, while a fourth person died after reaching land. They are continuing to search the area for more people who were believed to be on board. Of 1,134 people who have died attempting to cross the Mediterranean so far this year, more than 300 have died on the so-called Western Mediterranean route between Spain and Morocco.
The life of a Rohingya child refugee. Filmmaker Shahida Tulaganova writes for Al Jazeera about her search for a child who could sing Rohingya songs for a film she was making about the history of the Rohingya. While visiting Kutupalong camp, she met a group of young, barefoot boys, including a 10-year-old called Kassem who had picked up some English working at an army barracks in the camp. Kassem eventually opened up about what had happened to his family back in Myanmar and sings a song for Tulaganova’s film about the suffering of his people.
Refugees and migrants safeguard Italy’s culinary heritage. Reuters reports that amid a rise in hostile rhetoric directed at refugees and migrants in Italy, many farmers desperate for labour have welcomed them. In areas like the Piedmont wine region, the newcomers are keeping alive the country’s agricultural and culinary heritage as farmers age and their children move away. While many refugees and migrants work in poor conditions for low wages, one vineyard is teaching them about organic farming while keeping the land productive. Another non-profit project is training refugees and asylum-seekers in beekeeping.
Recent violence in north-east Syria damaged Abu Mohammed’s falafel restaurant and forced him and his family to flee to northern Iraq, where they are staying at Bardarash camp. Now he’s giving other Syrians at the camp a taste of home with his falafel stand.
DID YOU KNOW?
Ten years since the Kampala Convention was adopted, it has been ratified by 30 of the African Union’s 55 states.