• Hundreds of Europeans ‘criminalised’ for helping migrants – as far right aims to win big in European elections

    Elderly women, priests and firefighters among those arrested, charged or ‘harassed’ by police for supporting migrants, with numbers soaring in the past 18 months.

    These cases – compiled from news reports and other records from researchers, NGOs and activist groups, as well as new interviews across Europe – suggest a sharp increase in the number of people targeted since the start of 2018. At least 100 people were arrested, charged or investigated last year (a doubling of that figure for the preceding year).
    #délit_de_solidarité #solidarité #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Europe
    #Allemagne #criminalisation #statistiques #chiffres #Suisse #Danemark #Espagne #France #journalisme #journalistes #presse #Grèce #Calais

    #Norbert_Valley #Christian_Hartung #Miguel_Roldan #Lise_Ramslog #Claire_Marsol #Anouk_Van_Gestel #Lisbeth_Zornig_Andersen #Daphne_Vloumidi #Mikael_Lindholm #Fernand_Bosson #Benoit_Duclois #Mussie_Zerai #Manuel_Blanco #Tom_Ciotkowski #Rob_Lawrie

    ping @isskein @karine4

    • The creeping criminalisation of humanitarian aid

      At the heart of the trial of a volunteer with American migrant aid group No More Deaths that began in Arizona last week lies the question of when humanitarian aid crosses the line and becomes a criminal offence.

      Scott Warren, 37, faces three felony charges after he helped two undocumented migrants by providing them food, shelter, and transportation over three days in January 2018 – his crime, prosecutors say, wasn’t helping people but hiding them from law enforcement officers.

      Whichever way the case goes, humanitarian work appears to be under growing threat of criminalisation by certain governments.

      Aid organisations have long faced suspensions in difficult operating environments due to geopolitical or domestic political concerns – from Pakistan to Sudan to Burundi – but they now face a new criminalisation challenge from Western governments, whether it’s rescue missions in the Mediterranean or toeing the US counter-terror line in the Middle East.

      As aid workers increasingly find themselves in the legal crosshairs, here’s a collection of our reporting to draw attention to this emerging trend.

      Dans l’article une liste d’articles poubliés dans The New Humanitarian sur le délit de solidarité un peu partout dans le #monde...

    • European activists fight back against ‘criminalisation’ of aid for migrants and refugees

      More and more people are being arrested across Europe for helping migrants and refugees. Now, civil society groups are fighting back against the 17-year-old EU policy they say lies at the root of what activists and NGOs have dubbed the “criminalisation of solidarity”.

      Et le #rapport:
      Crackdown on NGOs and volunteers helping refugees and other migrants

    • Documentan incremento de amenazas contra defensores de migrantes tras acuerdo con EU

      Tras el acuerdo migratorio que México y los Estados Unidos firmaron el pasado junio, se han incrementado los riesgos y amenazas que sufren las y los activistas que defienden a migrantes en Centroamérica, México y Estados Unidos. Esa es la conclusión del informe “Defensores sin muros: personas defensoras de Derechos Humanos criminalizadas en Centroamérica, México y Estados Unidos”, elaborado por la ONG Frontline Defenders, el Programa de Asuntos Migratorios de la Universidad Iberoamericana y la Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles Todos los Derechos para Todas y Todos. El documento identifica 69 eventos de detención, amenazas, acoso, difamación, agresión, deportación, vigilancia o negación de entrada a un país. La mayoría de ellos, 41, tuvieron lugar durante 2019, según un listado que acompaña al informe. Uno de los grandes hallazgos: la existencia de colaboración entre México y Estados Unidos para cerrar el paso a los migrantes y perseguir a los activistas. “Los gobiernos tienen relaciones tensas, difíciles, complicadas. México y Estados Unidos están pasando por uno de sus peores momentos en bilaterales, pero cuando se trata de cooperar para restringir Derechos Humanos hay colaboración absoluta”, dijo Carolina Jiménez, de Amnistía Internacional. Entre estas colaboraciones destaca un trabajo conjunto de ambos países para identificar a activistas y periodistas que quedaron fichados en un registro secreto. El informe se presentó ayer en la Ciudad de México, al mismo tiempo en el que el presidente estadounidense, Donald Trump, habló ante la asamblea general de las Naciones Unidas, agradeciendo al presidente Andrés Manuel López Obrador “por la gran cooperación que estamos recibiendo y por poner a 27 mil soldados en nuestra frontera sur”.
      #Amérique_centrale #Mexique

    • Migration and the Shrinking Humanitarian Space in Europe

      As of October 10th, 1071 deaths of migrants were recorded in the Mediterranean in 2019.[1] In their attempt to save lives, civilian maritime search and rescue organisations like Sea Watch or Proactive Open Arms have gained high levels of media attention over the last years. Cases such as the arrest of the captain of the Sea Watch 3, Carola Rackete, in June 2019 or the three weeks odyssey of Open Arms in August 2019 dominate the media and public discourse in Europe. The closing of ports in Italy, Spain and Malta, the confiscation of vessels, legal proceedings against crew members alongside tight migration policies and anti-trafficking laws have led to a shrinking space for principled humanitarian action in Europe. While maritime search and rescue (SAR) activities receive most of the attention, focusing solely on them prevents one from seeing the bigger picture: a general shrinking of humanitarian space in Europe. In the following, the analysis will shed some light on patterns in which the space for assisting and protecting people on the move is shrinking both on land and at sea.
      Migration and Humanitarian Action

      Migration is not a new phenomenon. Throughout history people have left their homes to seek safety and pursue a better life. Yet, due to increasing human mobility and mounting crisis migration the number of people on the move is consistently rising (Martin, Weerasinghe, and Taylor 2014). In 2019, The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) documents more than 258 million international migrants worldwide, compared to 214 million in 2009.[2]

      This number is composed of a variety of different migrant groups, such as students, international labour migrants or registered refugees. Based on a distinction between voluntary and involuntary migration, not all these groups are considered people in need of international protection and humanitarian assistance (Léon 2018). Accordingly, unlike refugees or internally displaced persons (IDPs) migrants generally fall out of the humanitarian architecture.[3] Yet, notwithstanding the reasons for migrating, people on the move can become vulnerable to human trafficking, sexual exploitation and other forms of abuse during their journey. They strand at borders and live in deplorable conditions (Léon 2018).

      The UN Secretary General’s Agenda for Humanity therefore stresses the importance of addressing the vulnerabilities of migrants. This entails providing more regular and legal pathways for migration but also requires “a collective and comprehensive response to displacement, migration and mobility”, including the provision of humanitarian visas and protection for people on the move who do not fall under the narrow confines of the 1951 Refugee Convention.[4] The view that specific vulnerabilities of migrants are to be integrated into humanitarian response plans is reflected in the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement’s approach to migration, which is strictly humanitarian and focuses on the needs and vulnerabilities of migrants irrespective of their legal status, type, or category (Linde 2009).

      Thereby, the term ‘migrant’ is deliberately kept broad to include the needs of labour migrants, vulnerabilities due to statelessness or being considered irregular by public authorities (ibid.). Despite this clear commitment to the protection of people on the move, migrants remain a vulnerable group with a high number losing their lives on migratory routes or going missing. Home to three main migratory routes, the Mediterranean is considered one of the world’s deadliest migration routes.[5]

      When in 2015 an unprecedented number of people made their way into Europe this exposed the unpreparedness of the EU and its member states in reacting quickly and effectively to the needs of people on the move. A report by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) on refugees and vulnerable migrants in Europe concludes that “Europe’s actual humanitarian response must be judged a failure in many respects; basic needs have not been met and vulnerable people have not been protected” (De Largy 2016).

      For humanitarian organisations with experience in setting up and managing camps in countries of the Global South, managing the humanitarian response in their own backyard seems to have posed significant challenges. When more than one million people arrived in 2015, most international humanitarian organisations had no operational agreement with European states, no presences in affected areas, no funding lines for European activities and no established channels to mobilise resources (ibid.). This has led to protection gaps in the humanitarian response, which, in many cases, have been filled by activists, volunteers and civil society actors. Despite a number of factors, including the EU-Turkey deal, arrangements with Libya and toughening border controls, have since lead to a decline in the number of people arriving in Europe, sustained humanitarian action is needed and these actors continue to provide essential services to refugees and vulnerable migrants. However, with hostile attitudes towards migrants on the rise, and the marked effects of several successful smear campaigns, a number of organisations and civil society actors have taken it upon themselves to bring much needed attention to the shrinking space for civil society.
      Shrinking Humanitarian Space in Europe

      The shrinking space for civil society action is also impacting on the space for principled humanitarian action in Europe. While no agreed upon definition of humanitarian space[6] exists, the concept is used in reference to the physical access that humanitarian organisations have to the affected population, the nature of the operating environment for the humanitarian response including security conditions, and the ability of humanitarian actors to adhere to the core principles of humanitarian action (Collinson and Elhawary 2012: 2). Moreover, the concept includes the ability of affected people to reach lifesaving assistance and protection. The independence of humanitarian action from politics is central to this definition of humanitarian space, emphasising the need to adhere to the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence as well as to maintain a clear distinction between the roles and functions of humanitarian in contrast to those of military and political actors (OCHA, 2003). Humanitarian actors within this space strive to achieve their mission of saving lives and alleviating suffering by seeking ongoing access to the affected population.

      Though the many organisations, volunteers and individuals that work on migration issues in Europe would not all self-identify or be considered purely humanitarian organisations, many of them provide life-saving services to people on the move. Thus, the humanitarian space is occupied by a diversity of actors, including human rights organisations, solidarity networks, and concerned individuals alongside more traditional humanitarian actors (Léon 2018).

      Referring to the limited room for agency and restricted access to the affected population, the shrinking humanitarian space in Europe has been linked to the spreading of populism, restrictive migration policies, the securitisation of migration and the criminalisation of humanitarian action (Hammerl 2019). These developments are by no means limited to Europe. Other regions of the world witness a similar shrinking of the humanitarian space for assisting people on the move. In Europe and elsewhere migration and asylum policies have to a great extent determined the humanitarian space. Indeed, EU migration policies have negatively affected the ways in which humanitarian actors are able to carry out their work along the migration routes, limiting the space for principled humanitarian action (Atger 2019). These policies are primarily directed at combatting human trafficking and smuggling, protecting European borders and national security interests. Through prioritising security over humanitarian action, they have contributed to the criminalisation of individuals and organisations that work with people on the move (ibid.). As has been particularly visible in the context of civilian maritime SAR activities, the criminalisation of humanitarian action, bureaucratic hurdles, and attacks on and harassment of aid workers and volunteers have limited the access to the affected population in Europe.

      The criminalisation of migration that has limited the space for principled humanitarian action is a process that occurs along three interrelated lines: first, the discursive criminalisation of migration; second, the interweaving of criminal law and policing for migration management purposes; and finally, the use of detention as a way of controlling people on the move (Hammerl 2019, citing Parkin). With media and public discourse asserting that migrants are ‘illegal’, people assisting them have been prosecuted on the grounds of facilitating illegal entry, human trafficking and smuggling.

      Already back in 2002, the Cypriot NGO Action for Equality, Support and Anti-Racism (KISA) was prosecuted under criminal law after it had launched a financial appeal to cover healthcare costs for a migrant worker (Fekete 2009). This is just been one of six cases in which the Director of an organisation has been arrested for his work with migrants.[7] While KISA takes a clear human rights stance, these trends are also observable for humanitarian activities such as providing food or shelter. Individuals and organisations providing assistance and transportation to migrants have faced legal prosecution in France and Belgium for human smuggling in 2018. Offering shelter to migrants in transit has led to arrests of individuals accused of human trafficking (Atger 2019).[8] The criminalisation of civilian maritime SAR activities has led to the arrest and prosecution of crew members and the seizing of rescue vessels.

      The tension between anti-smuggling and anti-trafficking laws and humanitarian action is a result of the European ‘Facilitators’ Package’ from 2002 that defines the facilitation of unauthorised entry, transit and residence.[9] Though the Directive and its implementation in national legislatures foresees humanitarian exemptions[10], the impact of these laws and regulations on the humanitarian space has been critical. Lacking clarity, these laws have been implemented differently by EU member states and created a sense of uncertainty for individuals and organisations assisting migrants, who now risk criminal prosecution (Carrera et al. 2018). In several EU member states with humanitarian exemptions, humanitarian actors were reportedly prosecuted (ibid.). A case in point is Greece, which has a specific humanitarian exemption applying to maritime SAR activities and the facilitation of entry for asylum seekers rescued at sea. Despite sounding promising at first, this has not prevented the prosecution of volunteer crew members of the Emergency Response Centre International (ERCI) due to the existence of two legal loopholes. The first of these works on the basis that rescuers are not able to identify who is in need of international protection, and second, the legal framework contains an exemption from punishment, but not prosecution.[11]
      Bureaucratic Hurdles

      Besides the criminalisation of humanitarian activities, across Europe – predominantly at borders – administrative decisions and rules have narrowed the space for humanitarian action (Atger 2019). In countries such as France, Germany, Hungary, Spain and Italy, laws and regulations prevent organisations from accessing reception centres or transit zones between borders (Hammerl 2019, Amnesty 2019). A reduction of financial support and tighter legal requirements for operation further hinder organisations to assist people on the move (Atger 2019). In the case of maritime SAR operations, NGOs had to stop their operations due to de-flagging of rescue ships as ordered by EU member state authorities.[12]

      Access to people on the move is obstructed in manifold ways and organisations face a mix of intimidations strategies and bureaucratic obstacles in their mission to deliver aid (Léon 2018). In Germany, new asylum policies in 2015 changed the provision of the previous cash-based assistance to in-kind aid.[13] This is inconsistent with German humanitarian policy in other migrant and refugee hosting countries, where the German Foreign Ministry promotes cash-based programming as an efficient, effective and dignified way of assisting people in need.

      Apart from instructions and orders by public authorities and law enforcement entities, other tactics range from frequent ID checks, parking fines to threats of arrest (Amnesty 2019). In Calais, humanitarian action was obstructed when the municipality of Calais prohibited the distribution of food as well as the delivery of temporary showers to the site by a local charity with two municipal orders in March 2017 (Amnesty 2019). In 2017, the Hungarian Parliament passed the so-called LEX NGO. Like the foreign agent law in Russia, it includes provisions for NGOs that receive more than EUR 23 000 per year from abroad (including EU member states) to register as “organisations receiving foreign funding”. Coupled with a draft bill of a new Tax Law that establishes a 25% punitive tax to be paid for “propaganda activities that indicate positive aspects of migration”, these attempts to curtail work with migrants has a chilling effect both on NGOs and donors. As the punitive tax is to be paid by the donor organisation, or by the NGO itself in case the donor fails to do so, organisations risk bankruptcy.[14]
      Policing Humanitarianism[15]

      An increasingly hostile environment towards migration, fuelled by anti-immigrant sentiments and public discourse, has led to suspicion, intimidation and harassment of individuals and organisations working to assist and protect them. The securitisation of migration (Lazaridis and Wadia 2015), in which migrants are constructed as a potential security threat and a general atmosphere of fear is created, has given impetus to a general policing of humanitarian action. Even when not criminalised, humanitarian actors have been hindered in their work by a whole range of dissuasion and intimidation strategies. Civilian maritime SAR organisations in particular have been targets of defamation and anti-immigration rhetoric. Though analyses of migratory trends have proved that a correlation between SAR operations and an increase of migrant crossings was indeed erroneous (Cusumano and Pattison, Crawley et al. 2016, Cummings et al. 2015), organisations are still being accused of both constituting a pull-factor for migration (Fekete 2018) and of working together with human traffickers. In some instances, this has led to them being labelled as taxis for ‘illegal’ migrants (Hammerl 2019). In Greece, and elsewhere, volunteers assisting migrants have been subject to police harassment. Smear campaigns, especially in the context of SAR operations in the Mediterranean, have affected the humanitarian sector as a whole “by creating suspicion towards the work of humanitarians” (Atger 2019). Consequently, organisations have encountered difficulties in recruiting volunteers and seen a decline in donations. This prevented some organisations from publicly announcing their participation in maritime SAR or their work with migrants.[16] In severe cases, humanitarian actors suffered physical threats by security personnel or “self-proclaimed vigilante groups” (Hammerl 2019).

      Moreover, having to work alongside security forces and within a policy framework that primarily aims at border policing and migration deterrence (justified on humanitarian grounds), humanitarian actors risk being associated with migration control techniques in the management of ‘humanitarian borders’ (Moreno-Lax 2018, Pallister-Wilkins 2018). When Italy in 2017 urged search and rescue organisations to sign a controversial Code of Conduct in order to continue disembarkation at Italian ports, some organisations refused to do so. The Code of Conduct endangered humanitarian principles by making life-saving activities conditional on collaborating in the fight against smugglers and the presence of law enforcement personnel on board (Cusumano 2019).

      Beyond the maritime space, the politicisation of EU aid jeopardises the neutrality of humanitarian actors, forcing them to either disengage or be associated with a political agenda of migration deterrence. Humanitarian organisations are increasingly requested to grant immigration authorities access to their premises, services and data (Atger 2019). In Greece, a legislation was introduced in 2016 which entailed the close monitoring of, and restrictive access for, volunteers and NGOs assisting asylum seekers, thereby placing humanitarian action under the supervision of security forces (Hammerl 2019). As a consequence of the EU-Turkey Deal in 2016, MSF announced[17] that it would no longer accept funding by EU states and institutions “only to treat the victims of their policies” (Atger 2019).
      The Way Ahead

      The shrinking space poses a fundamental challenge for principled humanitarian action in Europe. The shrinking humanitarian space can only be understood against the backdrop of a general shrinking civil space in Europe (Strachwitz 2019, Wachsmann and Bouchet 2019). However, the ways in which the shrinking space affects humanitarian action in Europe has so far received little attention in the humanitarian sector. The problem goes well beyond the widely discussed obstacles to civilian maritime SAR operations.

      Humanitarian organisations across Europe assist people arriving at ports, staying in official or unofficial camps or being in transit. An increasingly hostile environment that is fuelled by populist and securitisation discourses limits access to, and protection of, people on the move both on land and at sea. The criminalisation of aid, bureaucratic hurdles and harassment of individuals and organisations assisting migrants are just some of the ways in which humanitarian access is obstructed in Europe.

      A defining feature of humanitarian action in Europe has been the important and essential role of volunteers, civil society organisations and solidarity networks both at the grassroots’ level and across national borders. Large humanitarian actors, on the other hand, took time to position themselves (Léon 2018) or have shied away from a situation that is unfamiliar and could also jeopardize the financial support of their main donors – EU member states.

      Since then, the humanitarian space has been encroached upon in many ways and it has become increasingly difficult for volunteers or (small) humanitarian organisations to assist and protect people on the move. The criminalisation of humanitarian action is particularly visible in the context of civilian maritime SAR activities in the Mediterranean, but also bureaucratic hurdles and the co-optation of the humanitarian response into other political objectives have limited the space for principled humanitarian action. In order to protect people on the move, national, regional and international responses are needed to offer protection and assistance to migrants in countries of origin, transit and destination. Thereby, the humanitarian response needs to be in line with the principles of impartiality, neutrality, and independence to ensure access to the affected population. While the interests of states to counter organised crime, including human trafficking, is legitimate, this should not restrict humanitarian access to vulnerable migrants and refugees.

      In Europe, the biggest obstacle for effective humanitarian action is a lacking political will and the inability of the EU to achieve consensus on migration policies (DeLargy 2016). The Malta Agreement, a result of the latest EU Summit of Home Affairs Ministers in September 2019 and subsequent negotiations in Luxembourg in October of the same year, has failed to address the shortcomings of current migration policies and to remove the obstacles standing in the way of principled humanitarian action in the Mediterranean. For this, new alliances are warranted between humanitarian, human rights and migration focussed organizations to defend the humanitarian space for principled action to provide crucial support to people on the move both on land and at sea.

      Pour télécharger le rapport:
      #CHA #Centre_for_humanitarian_action

  • The trouble with plans to send 116,000 Burundian refugees home

    Under pressure to go home, Burundian refugees in Tanzania face two bad options: return to face social and economic hardship and possible rights violations; or remain in chronically under-resourced camps that restrict their opportunities.

    With both governments confirming plans to return 116,000 Burundians by the end of 2019, it’s crunch time for the international community if it wants to ensure returns are truly voluntary and offer returnees the level of support they will need to reintegrate properly back in Burundi.

    More than 400,000 people fled Burundi, most into neighbouring Tanzania, following violent unrest and repression that accompanied 2015 elections, which saw former rebel leader Pierre Nkurunziza returned to power for a controversial third presidential term.

    Limited repatriations began in 2017, but funding shortages mean the process has so far been little more than an offer of free transport back across the border, with a return package of food, non-food items, and cash that doesn’t even last the three months it’s expected to cover.
    #retour_au_pays #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Tanzanie #réfugiés_burundais

    Pour les #retours_volontaires initiés en 2017, voir le doc publié par @reka:

    • Tanzania wants Burundian refugees sent home. But they face big challenges

      Tanzania says it has reached an agreement with Burundi to begin sending back all Burundian refugees from October. The repatriation effort will take place in collaboration with the United Nations. Moina Spooner, from The Conversation Africa, asked Amelia Kuch to give some insights into the decision.

      How many Burundian refugees are there in Tanzania and why did they migrate there?

      Tanzania has long been held up as a safe haven for refugees in the region. There’s a long history of refugees from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Mozambique seeking refuge and safety there. Burundians have been seeking refuge in Tanzania since 1960, with major waves of displacement happening in 1972, 1988, 1993, and 2015. This was due to several civil wars and genocidal violence.

      The current displacement crisis started in 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza sought a third term in office and eventually won. Street protests led to violent clashes. The growing fear and uncertainty pushed over 400 000 Burundians to seek refuge in neighbouring countries. About 60% of them went to Tanzania.

      Interviews with Burundian refugees revealed that if they were not a member of the leading party they faced violent persecution. They shared personal accounts of torture and rape by the Imbonerakure, the youth wing of the ruling party, and of disappearances and executions of family members.

      There’s now a total of about 342 867 Burundian refugees and asylum seekers in Tanzania that are mostly settled in three refugee camps: Nyarugusu, Nduta and Mtendeli.

      Tanzania had previously granted some Burundian refugees citizenship. Why do you think they’re choosing repatriation now?

      Tanzania offered citizenship, through naturalisation, to 160 000 Burundian refugees. But this only benefited individuals and families who fled to Tanzania in 1972 and were settled in the three rural settlements –- Mishamo, Urambo and Katumba. It didn’t include more recent arrivals.

      As much as the announcement of forced repatriation is troubling, it is not surprising. Over the past 15 years Tanzania has been making moves away from acting as a host country.

      The 2005 election manifesto of Tanzania’s ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi, included a pledge to make Tanzania “refugee-free” by 2010. Their justification was that there wasn’t enough international aid to support the camps and that the camps were having a negative impact on neighbouring host communities and Tanzania’s security situation.

      This has already led to repatriations. In 2012 residents of Mtabila refugee camp, most of whom fled to Tanzania in the 1990s, were returned to Burundi against their will and the camp was closed.

      In 2018, Tanzania pulled out of the UN’s Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework – a declaration by countries to commit to respect the human rights of refugees and migrants and to support the countries that welcome them – citing a lack of international funding. The Burundian refugee situation is the lowest funded in the world. In 2018, UNHCR and its partners received just 33% of the required US$391 million requested to support Burundian refugees.

      How should the repatriation process happen?

      First and foremost Burundian refugees need to be able to make an informed decision if they wish to repatriate or remain in Tanzania. It must be a voluntary decision. At the moment it seems like refugees won’t be given a choice and will be forced to repatriate. Tanzanian Interior Minister Kangi Lugola announced that Tanzania will return Burundian refugees at the rate of 2 000 people a week.

      Ideally, people should be allowed to travel back to Burundi to assess the situation for themselves and decide, after that initial first-hand experience, if they wish to repatriate voluntarily.

      If they decide to repatriate, they should be given access to land and the ability to re-establish their livelihoods in Burundi. The support might come in the form of a financial grant, basic household items, food items, as well as financial support so they can access shelter and rent land.

      Following repatriation, it’s essential that the safety of refugees is monitored. Repatriation is a political process and it will be necessary to ensure that returnees are protected and can access the same rights as other citizens.

      Monitoring the reintegration of returnees is a UNHCR commitment under the Tripartite Agreement from 2017 and it is critical that journalists and researchers are safe to report on the reintegration process.

      What do the prospects look like for the refugees once they’re back in Burundi?

      Through current and previous research I’ve done on Burundian refugees who repatriated and then returned to Tanzania, I’ve seen a complex matrix of challenges that they face. These include hunger, the inability to access land and shelter, and a shortage of medicine.

      There are also safety concerns. Today the Burundian government controls the political space and refuses to engage in dialogue with opposition parties. While there is less open violence, refugees still fear going back and for some, that’s with good reason.

      With the closing migratory space in Tanzania, those who won’t be able to safely stay in Burundi will have to seek other destinations of refuge.

      What are Tanzania’s international obligations in terms of protection of refugees?

      The 1951 Refugee Convention – whose core principle asserts that a refugee should not be returned to a country where they face serious threats to their life or freedom – has been ratified by 145 states, including Tanzania.

      The Tanzanian government’s decision to repatriate Burundian refugees, despite evidence that their life and freedom might be threatened in Burundi, breaches the core principle of non-refoulement.

      This, however, must be seen in the global context. The decision of the Tanzanian government to expel refugees is not happening in a political void. Rather, it emulates the policies implemented by some Western countries, including the US, Australia, France, Hungary and Italy.

      These countries are also breaching the Convention; by obstructing refugees from coming, putting their lives in danger and even penalising those who try to assist refugees.

      Rather than an exception, the recent decision by the Tanzanian government to forcefully repatriate Burundian refugees is a reflection of a growing, global hostility towards refugees and other migrants.

    • Tanzania to send back all Burundian refugees from October

      Tanzanian and Burundian officials announce deal but UNHCR says Burundi conditions are not conducive to promote returns.

      Tanzania says it has reached an agreement with neighbouring Burundi to begin sending back all Burundian refugees from October, adding that the repatriation will take place in collaboration with the United Nations.

      However, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said in a statement on Tuesday that the conditions in Burundi, which was plunged into a political crisis four years ago, are not “conducive to promote returns” and noted that it is assisting refugees who indicate they have made a voluntary choice to return home.

      Hundreds of people were killed and more than 400,000 fled to neighbouring countries due to violence the UN says was mostly carried out by state security forces following President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision in April 2015 to run for a third, disputed, term in office.

      Nkurunziza won re-election and, the following year, Burundi suspended all cooperation with the UN human rights office in the country after a UN-commissioned report accused the Bujumbura government and its supporters of being responsible for crimes against humanity.

      Currently, some 200,000 Burundians are in Tanzania, according to government figures.

      Speaking to the AFP news agency, Tanzanian Interior Minister Kangi Lugola said: “In agreement with the Burundian government and in collaboration with the High Commissioner for Refugees, we will start the repatriation of all Burundian refugees on October 1.”

      “Under this agreement, it will be 2,000 refugees who will be repatriated every week until there are no more Burundian refugees in Tanzania,” he said.
      ’Returns should be voluntary’

      Lugola said that Burundi is currently at peace, adding that he had “information whereby people, international organisations, are deceiving people, telling them there is no peace in Burundi”.

      He was speaking after he and Burundian Interior Minister Pascal Barandagiye on Sunday visited a camp where they annouced the return to the refugees themselves.

      In an emailed statement to Al Jazeera, Dana Hughes, the UNHCR spokesperson for East Horn and Great Lakes, said around 75,000 Burundians had returned home in the past two years. She added, however, that hundreds still flee Burundi each month and urged governments in the region to maintain open borders and access to asylum for those who need it.

      UNHCR also called upon the governments of Tanzania and Burundi “to uphold international obligations and ensure that any returns are voluntary in line with the tripartite agreement signed in March of 2018”, referring to a deal covering refugees who wish to return on a voluntary basis.

      “The UNHCR urges states to ensure that no refugee is returned to Burundi against their will, and that measures are taken to make conditions in Burundi more conducive for refugees returns, including confidence-building efforts and incentives for those who have chosen to go home,” Hughes said.

      One Burundian refugee, a man in his 40s who crossed over with his family and now lives in Tanzania’s Nduta camp, said he would not be returning home.

      “We heard that the governments agreed on forced repatriation ... There is no way we can go to Burundi, there is no security there at all,” the man, who declined to be named, told Reuters news agency on Tuesday.

      Human Rights Watch says Burundi’s government does not tolerate criticism, and security services carry out summary executions, rapes, abductions and intimidation of suspected political opponents.

      Burundi’s ruling party denies it carries out systematic human rights violations.

    • Tanzania begins repatriating Burundian refugees

      Tanzania and Burundi agree to facilitate voluntary repatriation of refugees by the end of 2019.

      Tanzania on Thursday began repatriating 1000 Burundians, who had taken refuge in 2015, following political violence and instability in their country.

      “Today [Thursday] we are repatriating 1000 refugees with all their belongings. All international organizations are aware of this operation,” Director of Information Services and Government Spokesperson, Hassan Abbasi told reporters.

      In April 2015 protests broke out in the landlocked East African country Burundi, when President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to seek a third term in office. A coup attempt failed to dislodge him, leading to a clamp down and arrests. Over 300,000 people left the country, causing a humanitarian crisis.

      In August, Tanzania and Burundi agreed to repatriate all the refugees peacefully to their homes, by the end of 2019. The mass repatriation was supposed to commence from Oct.1.

      Reports said that the first batch of 1000 refugees were transported by buses to Gisuru transit center in eastern Burundi, where they stayed overnight.

      According to officials, they will be transported to their home districts along with rations, that will sustain them for three months.

      Abbasi said the Tanzanian government and the international agencies will ensure the refugees are at peace in their country.

      The UN High Commission for Refugees has asked Tanzania’s government to avoid forceful repatriation of refugees.

      “While an overall security has improved, UNHCR is of the opinion that conditions in Burundi are not currently conducive to promote returns,” the UN agency responsible for the welfare for refugees said in a statement in August.

      However, Abbasi emphasized that repatriation is voluntary. “All those refugees, leaving camps were eager to go home,” he said.

      He stressed that Tanzania respects international agreements on refugees and would ensure the repatriation process takes place well within international humanitarian laws.

      Nestor Bimenyimana, the director general of repatriation and rehabilitation department in Burundi’s Home Ministry told local media that the UNHCR is involved in the identification and registration of Burundian refugees, willing to be repatriated from Tanzania.

      “We don’t force anyone to register,” he said.

      According to the UN agency, as many as 343,000 refugees, were living in the neighboring countries of Tanzania, Rwanda, DR Congo and Uganda as of August 2019.

      Over past two years, refugee agency has facilitated repatriation of 74,600 refugees to their homes in Burundi.

    • Tanzania: Burundians Pressured into Leaving

      Mounting Intimidation for 163,000 Burundian Refugees and Asylum Seekers.

      The fear of violence, arrest, and deportation is driving many of the 163,000 Burundian refugees and asylum seekers in Tanzania out of the country. Tanzanian authorities have also made it very difficult for the United Nations refugee agency to properly check whether hundreds of refugees’ recent decision to return to Burundi was voluntary.

      In October and November 2019, Tanzanian officials specifically targeted parts of the Burundian refugee population whose insecure legal status and lack of access to aid make them particularly vulnerable to coerced return to Burundi. The actions come after the Tanzanian president, John Magufuli, said on October 11 that Burundian refugees should “go home.”

      “Refugees say police abuses, insecurity in Tanzania’s refugee camps, and deportation threats drove them out of the country,” said Bill Frelick, refugee rights director at Human Rights Watch. “Tanzania should reverse course before it ends up unlawfully coercing thousands more to leave.”

      In mid-November, Human Rights Watch interviewed 20 Burundian refugees in Uganda who described the pressure that caused them to leave Tanzania between August 2018 and October 2019. Seven returned to Burundi but said they then fled to Uganda to escape members of the Burundian ruling party’s youth league, the Imbonerakure, who threatened, intimidated, or arbitrarily arrested them. Thirteen went directly to Uganda.

      Refugees said their reasons for leaving Tanzania include fear of getting caught up in a spate of arrests, and alleged disappearances and killings in or near refugee camps and fear of suspected members of the Imbonerakure and of abusive Burundian refugees working with Tanzanian police on camp security. They also cited the government’s threats to deport Burundian refugees, the closing and destruction of markets, restrictions on commercial activities, and lack of access to services in the camps and freedom of movement.

      On December 3, Tanzanian Home Affairs Minister Kangi Lugola denied that the government is “expelling” refugees, and said the Tanzanian and Burundian authorities “merely mobilize, to encourage those who are ready to return on their own accord, to go back.”

      A refugee who returned from Tanzania to Burundi in August said: “I returned to Burundi because the Tanzanian authorities said those staying would be forced back… The police became increasingly violent and insecurity was the main reason I decided to return.” In late August, Imbonerakure members targeted him: “They arrested me, tied my arms behind my back and said, ‘you said you fled [Burundi] because of the Imbonerakure, but we are still here.’” He said his wife paid a bribe for his release and he fled to Uganda.

      A December 6 Human Rights Watch report documented widespread abuses by members of the youth league, often working with local Burundian administrators. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in August that conditions in Burundi were not safe or stable enough for it to encourage refugees to return, and that it would only facilitate voluntary returns.

      The 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1969 African Refugee Convention prohibit refoulement, the return of refugees in any manner whatsoever to places where their lives or freedom would be threatened. UNHCR says that refoulement occurs not only when a government directly rejects or expels a refugee, but also when indirect pressure is so intense that it leads people to believe they have no option but to return to a country where they face a serious risk of harm.

      Between September 2017 and end of October 2019, 78,380 Burundians – about 725 a week – left Tanzania under an agreement between Burundi, Tanzania, and the UNHCR, which tasks UNHCR with conducting detailed interviews with refugees to ensure they are leaving Tanzania voluntarily. The number is well below the target of 2,000 a week Tanzania and Burundi agreed on in March 2018. An August 24, 2019 agreement between Tanzania and Burundi says all the refugees “are to return to their country of origin whether voluntarily or not” by December 31.

      On November 9, UNHCR said that some Burundians signing up for voluntary return with UNHCR had “cited insecurity in refugee camps, fear of enforced return …, deteriorating living conditions …, prohibition of small commercial activities and closure of camp markets as the main reasons for their return.” The agency previously told Human Rights Watch that “push factors play a significant role” in refugees’ return decision, but that UNHCR considers their return to be voluntary because they have “made an informed decision” and “many other refugees” have decided to stay.

      A government’s duty to protect refugee rights should not be assessed based on statistics but on a case-by-case basis, Human Rights Watch said. The fact that some or many refugees can stay in a host country is not evidence that those who leave do so voluntarily or that they did not leave due to coercion.

      Seven of the refugees Human Rights Watch interviewed said they returned to Burundi between March 2018 and June 2019. One refugee who left Tanzania’s Nduta camp for Uganda in August said he had helped many families register for return to Burundi: “Before August 2018, UNHCR asked people who registered many questions about their decision to return and gave them time to change their minds,” he said. “But now they don’t give time to think or ask questions. They immediately process people for return.”

      UNHCR’s mandate requires it to ask refugees signing up for voluntary return about the reasons behind the decision to ensure the decision is truly voluntary.

      A well-informed source said that after a recent “validation exercise” to verify the number of registered and unregistered Burundians living in camps in Tanzania, about 3,300 people were registered but not given “active status,” which means they have no clear legal status or access to assistance, and are particularly vulnerable to government intimidation and coerced return to Burundi.

      In October, the Tanzanian authorities summoned these people and registered “hundreds” who said they wanted to return to Burundi. The authorities told them to report to a departure center, leaving UNHCR, which usually speaks to people leaving a few days beforehand to make sure they are leaving voluntarily, to conduct some interviews at the departure center “in less than ideal circumstances,” it said.

      Human Rights Watch previously reported on the coerced return of hundreds of Burundian asylum seekers on October 15, after camp authorities said that if they did not register to return, they would be in the camps without legal status and aid.

      In late October, UNHCR said Tanzania was increasing “pressure on Burundian refugees and asylum-seekers to return home.” In the second week of November, Tanzanian authorities banned 10 UNHCR staff involved in managing the refugee registration database from the camp.

      Tanzanian authorities should ensure that UNHCR staff are able to properly verify the voluntary nature of refugees’ decision to return to Burundi, Human Rights Watch said. The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the African Union should send a team to visit the refugee camps and urge Tanzania not to directly or indirectly forcibly return asylum seekers or refugees.

      “The African Union should publicly press the Tanzanian authorities to stop trying to bully refugees and the UN into submission,” Frelick said. “Tanzania claims it isn’t doing anything wrong, but Burundian refugees are telling us in clear terms that they are being driven out of the country.”

      Factors Driving Burundian Refugees out of Tanzania

      Twenty Burundian refugees formerly living in three camps – Nduta, Nyarugusu, and Mtendeli – in Tanzania’s northwestern Kigoma region spoke with Human Rights Watch in Uganda in November.

      Tanzanian Deadline; Memories of 2012 Forced Return

      All 20 said they left due to Tanzanian officials’ statements that Burundian refugees should go home. Some said that the combination of Burundian and Tanzanian officials telling refugees to go home, and refugees’ memories of Tanzanian forced refugee return in 2012 had created a climate in which they felt they had no choice but to leave Tanzania.

      Thirteen who went directly to Uganda said they feared for their lives if forced to return to Burundi. Many said they knew other refugees who had returned to Burundi only to flee again to Tanzania to escape ongoing insecurity in Burundi.

      Ten left the camps between August and October, with most citing increased pressure at that time. On August 24, Burundi and Tanzania signed an agreement to ensure that all Burundian refugees would leave Tanzania by the end of 2019. Both countries’ interior ministers jointly visited the camps the following day and said returns would start on October 1.

      A 40-year-old woman said: “I decided to leave the camp when the authorities said they would start sending people back on October 1 and that they didn’t want any more refugees in Tanzania. During the meeting, [the authorities] said they had agreed with the Burundian government to repatriate us. That’s why I left.” She left for Uganda on foot with her young child on September 10. She spent a night in a local family’s compound but became frightened that Tanzanian authorities would catch her and ran away, leaving all her belongings behind.

      Many refugees said they feared Tanzanian officials’ threatening language would turn into forced return. Several cited camp authorities’ phrases such as, “The last cow of the herd is always beaten” or “the cows that go to the trough first drink clean water, those that go last get the dirty water,” which they interpreted as saying that those who do not leave the camp now may be beaten or left without a return support package.

      A refugee who left Mtendeli camp in October said: “Tanzanian authorities intimidated people to make them sign up for repatriation. They said otherwise they would use force and we wouldn’t even have time to collect our belongings or get any assistance. People were afraid, so they registered [to return].”

      Tanzania has hosted hundreds of thousands of refugees over the past few decades and offered citizenship to tens of thousands who had been in the country since 1972. But the country also has a troubling history of forced return. After the forced return of hundreds of thousands of Rwandans in 1996, Tanzania began in 2006 to reduce the number of what it termed “illegal immigrants” by violently expelling thousands of registered Rwandan and Burundian refugees.

      In June 2009, Tanzanian authorities announced the closure of a camp sheltering more than 37,000 Burundian refugees, at Mtabila. Pressure mounted until the camp was closed in December 2012. Some refugees in Uganda said that they had been in Mtabila camp in late 2012 when Tanzanian authorities forced people into returning to Burundi and that they were afraid the Tanzanian authorities would use similar tactics again.

      A refugee leader from Nduta camp said he was summoned to a meeting with Tanzanian authorities on March 14, where refugees were asked: “Do you remember what happened in Mtabila? Our guns still work, you know. Burundi and Tanzania are one country.” A 25-year-old woman who left Tanzania for Uganda in August said: “I left because of what happened in Mtabila. I didn’t want to be forced back while there is insecurity in Burundi.”

      Fear of Insecurity in and Around Refugee Camps

      Most of the refugees said growing insecurity in the camps contributed to their decision to leave Tanzania.

      All said they feared the Tanzanian police, who they believe work closely with the Burundian authorities to encourage refugees to return. Fourteen also said they were afraid of Burundian refugees in charge of refugee camp security, called “Sungu Sungu,” a term used to describe neighborhood militias in Tanzania. Refugees, including a former Sungu Sungu member, and an independent well-informed source in the camps said that Tanzanian police approve the appointment of the most senior Sungu Sungu representatives in the camps, some of whom refugees believed to be Imbonerakure.

      Refugees said Sungu Sungu members had arrested refugees and helped Tanzanian authorities carry out what some called “mobilization efforts” to encourage their return.

      One interviewee said: “In the camps, they [Sungu Sungu members] targeted the [political] opposition, arrested people at night, confiscated phones and demanded bribes. They organized meetings to tell people to return, and said if we don’t return voluntarily, we will be forced back.”

      Some refugees said that Sungu Sungu members came to the houses of those who had registered for return, but had failed to show up on the day of the return convoy, and told people to leave Tanzania, but Human Rights Watch was not able to independently verify these allegations.

      One refugee said he knew four Sungu Sungu members in Nyarugusu camp who were also Imbonerakure members in his home commune in Burundi. He said: “If a normal refugee comes home after 8 p.m., it’s fine, but if an opposition member goes home after 8 p.m., he’s beaten and made to pay a fine of up to 10.000 Shillings (US$4.3).”

      Human Rights Watch independently verified the identity of the four men, as well as that of three other Imbonerakure members in Nduta camp, with a well-informed source in Burundi, who confirmed that at least five of the seven men were Imbonerakure members who either had ties with Tanzania or who had left their home communes in Cankuzo, Ruyigi, Karuzi, and Makamba provinces in Burundi.

      Thirteen interviewees said they had heard of killings, disappearances, and arrests of Burundians in and around Tanzania’s refugee camps since 2018, including when refugees left the camps to look for firewood. The resulting climate of fear and suspicion triggered their decision to leave.

      A 44-year-old man said: “After the August agreement … arrests increased. There were new ones every day. The camp authorities said they wanted to close the camps and that we had to register to go back.” A well-informed source confirmed that reports of disappearances and arrests by Tanzanian police have increased since August. Refugees also said that they believe Tanzanian authorities arrested people suspected of opposing their refugee-return “mobilization efforts.”

      Market Closures; Other Restrictions

      Most refugees said that restrictions that led to market closures, a ban on motorbikes and bicycles, and restrictions on access to services and commercial activities in the camps convinced them that Tanzanian authorities were planning to close the camps. Several also said that police and Sungu Sungu members prevented refugees from moving around the camps at night and prohibited refugees from listening to radio broadcasts by Burundian exiles.

      One refugee who was repatriated to Burundi in August 2018 said: “I didn’t want to leave but they put us in an untenable situation… [The Sungu Sungu] forbade us from listening to the radio and beat us if they found us out after 7 p.m. They worked with the Tanzania police, which collaborates with the Burundian police.”

      “In August, camp authorities closed Nduta camp market,” a 25-year-old woman who left Tanzania in August said. “This meant we had to survive on food rations, as we couldn’t buy vegetables and other small things in the camps anymore.”

      A 35-year-old carpenter, who left Tanzania for Uganda with his wife and four children on September 24 said: “Something changed after August 2019. Assistance for building houses or education programs were suspended. Aid for refugees definitely diminished.”

      Although these restrictions were added incrementally, refugees said that in August they became more severe. One refugee said: “After August, things changed. Markets inside and outside the camps were closed. The camp authorities said it would continue this way until all infrastructure is closed down.”

      Increasing Pressure on Certain Groups

      Human Rights Watch research indicates that as of October 31, there were about 151,000 registered refugees living in Tanzania’s camps together with 12,000 registered asylum seekers who were waiting for the Tanzanian authorities to decide on their individual asylum applications. In their August agreement, the Tanzanian and Burundian authorities erroneously referred to the 12,000 as “illegal migrants.”

      The source said that a recent “validation exercise” in the camps also identified about 2,800 Burundians who arrived in the camps after January 2018, when the Tanzanian authorities stopped registering asylum seekers. The authorities registered their presence in October, but refused to give them “active status,” leaving them without clear legal status and assistance.

      The source said that the exercise also identified and registered the presence of another 500 people whose refugee or asylum seeker status had been deactivated by UNHCR after they failed to show up for three consecutive food distributions, indicating they had left, but who had subsequently returned to the camps. As of early December, hundreds of them remain in the camp without “active status” or assistance.

      In October, sources in the camps said Tanzanian authorities posted lists in the camps of people without active legal status and access to assistance, saying they should report to Home Affairs Ministry officials in the camps. Hundreds did and signed up to return to Burundi. Tanzanian authorities did not follow standard procedure, requiring them to report to UNHCR to verify the Burundians were leaving Tanzania voluntarily. Instead, the authorities told them to report to Nduta camp’s departure center, where returning refugees go with all their belongings ahead of their scheduled return to Burundi. UNHCR said they had to conduct some voluntariness interviews at the departure center “in less than ideal circumstances.”

      UNHCR’s Handbook on Voluntary Repatriation says that “registration for repatriation should not be viewed as a merely clerical task” and that staff should “interview…the potential repatriates to obtain … relevant information, counselling them on issues of concern, answering questions on repatriation related issues [and] assessing vulnerability.”

      The source said that between September 2017 and mid-November 2019, about 10,500 refugees signed up for voluntary return to Burundi but then decided to stay in Tanzania. They informed UNHCR, which took them off the agency’s “pending departure” list.

      Nonetheless, in early October, the Tanzanian authorities posted a list of names in the camps of about 4,000 refugees who had signed up for return but had not shown up on the departure date and summoned them to Home Affairs Ministry representatives in the camps. A few hundred responded and said they wanted to return to Burundi and left in October and November. The rest remain in the camps.

      Returning Refugees Fleeing Burundi Again

      In its September report, the UN Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry on Burundi said that “serious human rights violations – including crimes against humanity – have continued…across the country” and that the targets were real and suspected opposition supporters, including Burundians who had returned from abroad.

      Seven refugees said they had returned to Burundi between March 2018 and August 2019 under the voluntary repatriation program. Four said that members of the Imbonerakure had stolen the money and goods they had received from UNHCR, which include 70,000 Burundian Francs ($37), perishable goods, and cooking and other utensils. All said they left Burundi for Uganda to escape insecurity in Burundi.

      A man who returned to Burundi on September 27, 2018 and left again for Uganda one year later, described the challenges returning refugees face in Burundi:

      The Imbonerakure said we were ibipinga [a pejorative Kirundi expression to designate those who are against the party] and that we would pay for it in [the] 2020 [elections]. When they saw us at the market, they made us pay more. In July, August, and September [2019], CNDD-FDD [ruling party] members forced us to pay contributions for the elections and the ruling party. The Imbonerakure monitored our houses, especially if they suspected people might try and flee, and said they were going to kill us. The [local] authorities made me sign up to become a member of the ruling party... I thought I would be killed.

      Several interviewees said Imbonerakure members accused them of joining rebel groups abroad and threatened to arrest them. One person said that Imbonerakure members beat people trying to get goods at distributions by aid agencies and prevented people from getting food. He said he was forced to give up much of the repatriation-assistance money he had received from UNHCR:

      Of the 70,000 Francs I received [from UNHCR], I had to give 10,000 ($5.3) to the communal counsellor, 5,000 ($2.6) to the hill-level authorities, and 3,000 ($1.6) to the local Imbonerakure chief. Then, whenever an Imbonerakure came to my house, I had to give them 1,000 Francs ($0.5) …The Imbonerakure said they were going to kill me because I didn’t tell them how rebel groups were planning on attacking Burundi. They said they would cut my head off. I was afraid and decided to leave without any belongings – if the Imbonerakure suspected I was fleeing; they would have prevented me from crossing the border.

      An interviewee who returned to Burundi in August said Imbonerakure members arrested and accused him of denouncing Imbonerakure abuses while he was abroad. He said his wife had to sell all the goods they had received from UNHCR in Tanzania to pay for his release, and they both fled the country later the same month.

  • #Burundi: Inside the secret killing house

    Burundi’s security services are running secret torture and detention sites to silence dissent, former government intelligence agents have told BBC Africa Eye.

    Using cutting-edge reconstruction techniques, BBC Africa Eye examines one house in particular, which was filmed in a video posted on social media in 2016.

    A red liquid, which looked like blood, was seen pouring from its gutter. We ask if Burundi’s repression of opponents has now gone underground?

    The government has always denied any human rights violations, and declined to comment for this report.

    #torture #services_secrets #vidéo #Bujumbura #torture #violence

  • UN Human Rights Council passes a resolution adopting the peasant rights declaration in Geneva - Via Campesina

    Seventeen years of long and arduous negotiations later, peasants and other people working in rural areas are only a step away from having a UN Declaration that could defend and protect their rights to land, seeds, biodiversity, local markets and a lot more.

    On Friday, 28 September, in a commendable show of solidarity and political will, member nations of United Nations Human Rights Council passed a resolution concluding the UN Declaration for the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas. The resolution was passed with 33 votes in favour, 11 abstentions and 3 against. [1]

    Contre : Australie, Hongrie et Royaume-Uni

    In favour: Afghanistan, Angola, Burundi, Chile, China, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iraq, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Mongolia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Switzerland, Togo, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela

    Abstention: Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Georgia, Germany, Iceland, Japan, Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain


  • China says Rohingya issue should not be ’internationalized’ | Reuters

    The Rohingya issue should not be complicated, expanded or “internationalized”, China’s top diplomat said, as the United Nations prepares to set up a body to prepare evidence of human rights abuses in Myanmar.

    The U.N. Human Rights Council voted on Thursday to establish the body, which will also look into possible genocide in Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine.

    China, the Philippines and Burundi voted against the move, whose backers said it was supported by more than 100 countries.

  • Lessons from Tanzania’s Historic Bid to Turn Refugees to Citizens

    Tanzania was lauded for offering citizenship to 200,000 Burundians, the largest-ever mass naturalization of refugees. But a political stalemate emerged between humanitarians and the government, leaving refugees stuck in the middle, explains researcher Amelia Kuch.

    During Europe’s so-called migrant crisis of 2015, the Tanzanian government gave over 200,000 Burundian refugees a choice between repatriation – returning to Burundi – and naturalization – obtaining Tanzanian citizenship.

    Given the choice, 79 percent of the refugees – 171,600 people – opted for Tanzanian citizenship. It is understood to be the first time in history any state has naturalized such a large group of refugees under the protection of the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) in a single move.

    This group of refugees had fled Burundi following ethnic violence and killings in 1972 and now live in three rural settlements in Tanzania: Katumba, Mishamo and Ulyankulu. Since the 1970s, these settlements had transformed into towns: People made improvements to their homes, electricity poles were laid out and the local markets began to expand.

    Research has shown that access to citizenship is an important means of resolving long-term displacement. Yet in most countries, granting citizenship to refugees is still politically unthinkable.

    Tanzania has long been held up as a safe haven for refugees in the region, giving shelter to some 315,000 mainly Burundian and Congolese refugees. The naturalization of Burundian refugees was hailed as a model for progressive solutions to displacement. Yet it has led to a political stalemate between humanitarian organizations and the government, with the “refugees-turned-citizens” stuck in the middle.

    Last month, the Tanzanian government halted the naturalization of another group of more recently arrived Burundian refugees and has since pulled out of the U.N.’s Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework, citing lack of international funding.

    During my research in the former Burundian refugee camps in Western Tanzania since 2014, I have spoken with many former refugees about the naturalization process, as well as NGO employees and government officials.

    The difficulties in Tanzania are important to understanding the challenges of mass naturalization. It is not easy to turn a camp of refugees into a settlement of citizens. They also demonstrate how important it is for refugees to be able to hold both governments and humanitarian organizations accountable when things go wrong.
    A Progressive Solution is Born

    Negotiations around Tanzania’s naturalization policy began in 2007. They resulted in the Tanzania Comprehensive Solution Strategy (TANCOSS), which was adopted that year by the governments of Tanzania and Burundi in partnership with UNHCR. The agreement had three pillars: repatriation to Burundi, granting citizenship to those who opted to pursue naturalization and relocation of naturalized refugees from the settlements to other regions of Tanzania.

    Major investments were promised to facilitate the process. Some $103 million was earmarked for relocation and integration of naturalized refugees in the 2011-15 United Nations Development Assistant Plan (UNDAP).

    Eventually, the resettlement pillar was abandoned because of logistical problems and local resistance to resettling refugees. As a result, the new citizens were permitted to remain in the areas of the settlements in which they had lived for the past four decades. They can now vote in national elections and join political parties.

    “Obtaining citizenship and being allowed to stay here brought peace into my heart. Before I lived in fear,” said one former refugee named Daniel.
    Left in Limbo

    Yet the initial TANCOSS agreement did not include any detailed plans for the refugee settlements after the naturalization of their residents. As a consequence, today the area remains in a governance limbo.

    Every refugee camp had a settlement officer who represented the Ministry of Home Affairs and was responsible for governing the area. Settlement officers remain in power in all three settlements, and they continue to act as the highest authority and arbiters of conflicts.

    “Naturalization certificates are important because they allow us to move, but opening of this space is crucial and still needs to happen,” said one church leader in Ulyankulu, referring to the full integration of the settlements. “As long as we still have a settlement officer and a closed space, the process is not complete.”

    It remains unclear when and how a transition to local governance will take place and what rights to the land the new citizens have. The Tanzania Strategy for Local Integration Program for the New Citizens (TANSPLI), drafted in 2016, stipulates the creation of a master land use plan for the settlements and the surrounding areas, followed by the registration of villages in each settlement and provision of documentation for land rights.

    However, the timeline for implementation is unclear. It “hinges on the availability of funding for the planned development projects,” according to Suleiman Mziray, who is assistant director of refugee services at Ministry of Home Affairs.

    “People here don’t have ownership, you can be taken off your land at any time,” said one elderly man from Kaswa village in Ulyankulu settlement. “It’s like a marriage with no certificate.”
    Lack of Accountability

    Some of these challenges have led to a political stalemate between humanitarian organizations and the government, with each claiming the other has not kept its promises. Meanwhile, residents of the settlements suffer the consequences, as they wait for citizenship documents and investment in infrastructure like access to clean water.

    Due to major delays in the distribution of citizenship certificates by the government, international funding for the promised development projects was redirected to other emergencies. Some of the aid was initially meant for resettlement, so once the refugees were allowed to stay in the former camps, funds were reallocated. Now that they are no longer refugees but citizens, they fall into a responsibility gap. “We have done our part,” a UNHCR official told me on condition of anonymity.

    On the other side is the Tanzanian government: frustrated and disillusioned. They say they were promised that major investments will follow the distribution of citizenship but they never arrived. “We kept our part of the deal and distributed citizenship. But none of the promises materialized,” said an official at the Ministry of Home Affairs.

    The government says it does not intend to invest in the settlements for now, as they are still hoping that international funding might come through eventually.

    Earlier agreements left it ambiguous who would be responsible for implementing the administrative, developmental and social programs that were designed to turn former refugee settlements into properly integrated towns and villages. Without accountability mechanisms, it is hard for former refugees to hold humanitarian organizations or the government to their initial promises.
    Three Lessons from Tanzania

    Clearly, the design and implementation of the naturalization policy was far from perfect. The experience of Tanzania offers a few important lessons.

    First, if similar mass naturalization policies are to be implemented elsewhere, it is key that they are drafted as binding documents, where the parties dedicated to the process (both national governments and international organizations) can be held accountable if they do not deliver on the promises and commitments made within an agreed timeline.

    Second, such policies should be more carefully drafted, incorporating provisions on post-naturalization arrangements regarding local governance and land ownership.

    Finally, despite the pitfalls and unforeseen challenges, my interviews with former refugees shows that naturalization is very important to them. They are acutely aware that citizenship is not a panacea, but firmly maintain that access to legal status provides them with a sense of security and the right to remain in the country, allaying fears of forced repatriation and deportation.
    #naturalisation #citoyenneté #nationalité #modèle_tanzanien #Tanzanie #asile #migrations #réfugiés #réfugiés_burundais

    v. aussi le #modèle_ougandais qui donne un lopin de terre aux réfugiés

  • Violences à Gaza : Israël convoque l’ambassadeur de Belgique après le vote de l’ONU
    La DH - belga Publié le lundi 21 mai 2018 à 18h07

    Israël a convoqué lundi les ambassadeurs d’Espagne, de Slovénie et de Belgique en réaction au vote de ces pays au Conseil des droits de l’Homme de l’ONU pour l’envoi d’une mission d’enquête internationale sur les événements sanglants à Gaza.

    Selon un communiqué du ministère des Affaires étrangères israélien, la directrice adjointe chargée de l’Europe occidentale a rencontré lundi les ambassadeurs d’Espagne et de Slovénie tandis que l’ambassadeur de Belgique sera reçu mardi.

    • Le Conseil des droits de l’homme décide la création d’une commission d’enquête sur les attaques militaires israéliennes contre les manifestations civiles palestiniennes
      GENEVA (18 mai 2018)

      (...) Les États suivants ont voté en faveur de la résolution (29) : Afghanistan, Afrique du Sud, Angola, Arabie Saoudite, Belgique, Brésil, Burundi, Chili, Chine, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Égypte, Émirats Arabes Unis, Équateur, Espagne, Irak, Kirghizistan, Mexique, Népal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Pérou, Philippines, Qatar, République Démocratique du Congo, Sénégal, Slovénie, Tunisie et Venezuela.

      Les États suivants ont voté contre (2) : Australie et États-Unis.

      Les États suivants se sont abstenus (14) : Allemagne, Croatie, Éthiopie, Géorgie, Hongrie, Japon, Kenya, Panama, République de Corée, Royaume-Uni, Rwanda, Slovaquie, Suisse et Togo.

      Déclarations concernant le projet de résolution
      La Belgique, s’exprimant également au nom de l’Espagne et de la Slovénie, a dit soutenir le projet de résolution et la création d’une commission d’enquête, car à leurs yeux, l’usage de la force contre ces manifestants n’était pas justifié. Les trois délégations saluent la coopération de l’État de Palestine pour parvenir à un texte équilibré, même s’ils regrettent que le texte ne fasse pas mention du droit légitime d’Israël à protéger ses frontières. Les délégations, tout en appuyant le texte, appellent le Hamas et les organisateurs de ces manifestations à faire preuve de plus responsabilité.(...)

  • Comment nommer un moment pré-fasciste ou que l’on peut suspecter de proto-fasciste ? Fascisant ? Fascistoïde ? Conservatofascisable ? Fascible-réactionnaire ? Réacto-fascistifiant ?

  • The Rise and Fall Of the Watusi - The New York Times
    En 1964 le New York Times publie un article sur l’extermination imminente des Tutsi. C’est raconté comme une fatalité qui ne laisse pas de choix aux pauvres nègres victimes de forces plus grandes qu’eux. Dans cette optique il s’agit du destion inexorable du peuple des Tutsi arrivant à la fin de son règne sur le peuple des Hutu qui revendique ses droits. L’article contient quelques informations intéressantes déformées par la vison colonialiste de l’époque.


    FROM the miniature Republic of Rwanda in central Africa comes word of the daily slaughter of a thousand people, the possible extermin­ation of a quarter of a million men, women and children, in what has been called the bloodiest tragedy since Hitler turned on the Jews. The victims are those tall, proud and graceful warrior­aristocrats, the Tutsi, sometimes known as the Watusi.* They are being killed

    *According to the orthography of the Bantu language, “Tutsi” is the singular and “Watutsi” the plural form of the word. For the sake of simplicity. I prefer to follow the style used in United Nations reports and use “Tutsi” for both singular and plural.

    Who are the Tutsi and why is such a ghastly fate overtaking them? Is it simply African tribalism run riot, or are outside influences at work ? Can nothing be done?

    The king‐in‐exile of Rwanda, Mwamni (Monarch) Kigeri V, who has fled to the Congo, is the 41st in line of suc­cession. Every Tutsi can recite the names of his 40 predecessors but the Tutsi cannot say how many centuries ago their ancestors settled in these tumbled hills, deep valleys and vol­canic mountains separating the great

    Nor is it known just where they came from—Ethiopia perhaps; before that, possibly Asia. They are cattle folk, allied in race to such nomadic peo­ples as the Somali, Gatlla, Fulani and Masai. Driving their cattle before them, they found this remote pocket of cen­tral Africa, 1,000 miles from the In­dian Ocean. It was occupied by a race of Negro cultivators called the Hutu, who had themselves displaced the ab­original pygmy hunters, the Twa (or Batwa). First the Tutsi conquered and then ruled the Hutu. much as a ??r‐man ruling class conquered and settled

    In the latest census, the Tutsi con­stitute about 15 per cent of Rwanda’s population of between 2.5 and 3 mil­lion. Apart from a handful of Twa, the rest are Hutu. (The same figures are true of the tiny neighboring king­dom of Burundi.)

    For at least four centuries the Tutsi have kept intact their racial type by inbreeding. Once seen, these elongated men are never forgotten. Their small, narrow heads perched on top of slim and spindly bodies remind one of some of Henry Moore’s sculptures. Their average height, though well above the general norm, is no more than 5 feet 9 inches, but individuals reach more than 7 feet. The former king, Charles III Rudahagwa, was 6 feet 9 inches, and a famous dancer and high jumper—so famous his portrait was printed on the banknotes—measured 7 feet 5 inches.

    THIS height, prized as a badge of racial purity, the Tutsi accentuated by training upward tufts of fuzzy hair shaped like crescent moons. Their leaps, bounds and whirling dances delighted tourists, as their courtesy and polished manners impressed them.

    Through the centuries, Tutsi feudal­ism survived with only minor changes. At its center was the Mwami, believed to be descended from the god of lightning, whose three children fell from heaven onto a hilltop and begat the two royal clans from which the Mwami and his queen were always chosen. Not only had the Mwami rights of life and death over his subjects but, in theory, he owned all the cattle. too — magnificent, long‐horned cattle far superior to the weedy native African bovines. Once a year, these were ceremonially presented to the Mwami in all their glory — horns sand‐polished, coats rubbed with butter, foreheads hung with beads, each beast attended by a youth in bark‐cloth robes who spoke to it softly and caught its dung on a woven straw mat.

    “Rwanda has three pillars.” ran a Tutsi saying: “God, cows and soldiers.” The cows the Mwami distributed among his subchiefs, and they down the line to lesser fry, leaving no adult Tutsi male without cows.

    Indeed, the Tutsi cannot live with­out cattle, for milk and salted butter are their staple food. (Milk is con­sumed in curds; the butter, hot and perfumed by the bark of a certain tree.) To eat foods grown in soil, though often done, is thought vaguely shame­ful, something to be carried out in private.

    THE kingdom was divided into dis­tricts and each had not one governor, but two: a land chief (umunyabutaka) and a cattle chief (umuuyamukenke). The jealousy that nearly always held these two potentates apart prompted them to spy on each other to the Mwami, who was thus able to keep his barons from threatening his own au­thority.

    Below these governors spread a net­work of hill chiefs, and under them again the heads of families. Tribute — milk and butter from the lordly Tutsi, and

    Just as, in medieval Europe, every nobleman sent his son to the king’s court to learn the arts of war, love and civil­ity, so in Rwanda and Burundi did every Tutsi father send his sons to the Mwami’s court for instruction in the use of weapons, in lore and tradition, in dancing and poetry and the art of conversation, in manly sports and in the practice of the most prized Tutsi virtue —self‐control. Ill‐temper and the least display of emotion are thought shameful and vul­gar. The ideal Tutsi male is at all times polite, dignified, amiable, sparing of idle words and a trifle supercilious.

    THESE youths, gathered in the royal compound, were formed into companies which, in turn, formed the army. Each youth owed to his company commander an allegiance which continued all his life. In turn, the commander took the youth, and subsequently the man, under his protection. Every Tutsi could appeal from his hill chief to his army com­mander, who was bound to support him in lawsuits or other troubles. (During battle, no commander could step backward, lest . his army re­treat; at no time could the

    The Hutu were both bound and protected by a system known as buhake, a form of vassalage. A Hutu wanting to enter into this relationship would present a jug of beer to a Tutsi and say: “I ask you for milk. Make me rich. Be my father, and I will be your child.” If the Tutsi agreed, he gave the applicant a cow, or several cows. This sealed the bargain­

    The Hutu then looked to his lord for protection and for such help as contributions to­ward the bride‐price he must proffer for a wife. In return, the Hutu helped from time to time in the work of his pro­tector’s household, brought oc­casional jugs of beer and held himself available for service

    The densely populated king­doms of the Tutsi lay squarely in the path of Arab slavers who for centuries pillaged throughout the central Afri­can highlands, dispatching by the hundreds of thou­sands yoked and helpless hu­man beings to the slave mar­kets of Zanzibar and the Persian Gulf. Here the explor­er Livingstone wrote despair­ingly in his diaries of coffles (caravans) of tormented cap­tives, of burnt villages, slaugh­tered children, raped women and ruined crops. But these little kingdoms, each about the size of Maryland, escaped. The disciplined, courageous Tutsi spearmen kept the Arabs out, and the Hutu safe. Feudalism worked both ways.

    Some Hutu grew rich, and even married their patrons’ daughters. Sexual morality was strict. A girl who became pregnant before marriage was either killed outright or aban­doned on an island in the mid­dle of Lake Kivu to perish, unless rescued by a man of a despised and primitive Congo tribe, to be kept as a beast of burden with no rights.

    SINCE the Tutsi never tilled the soil, their demands for labor were light. Hutu duties included attendance on the lord during his travels; carry­ing messages; helping to re­pair the master’s compound; guarding his cows. The reia­tionsiiip could be ended at any time by either party. A patron had no right to hold an unwilling “client” in his service.

    It has been said that serf­dom in Europe was destroyed by the invention of the horse

    UNTIL the First World War the kingdoms were part of German East Africa. Then Bel­gium took them over, under the name of Ruanda‐Urundi, as a trust territory, first for the League of Nations, then under the U. N. Although the Belgian educational system, based on Roman Catholic mis­sions, was conservative in out­look, and Belgian adminis­trators made no calculated attempt to undo Tutsi feudal­ism, Western ideas inevitably crept in. So did Western eco­nomic notions through the in­troduction of coffee cultiva­tion, which opened to the Hutu a road to independence, by­passing the Tutsi cattle‐based economy. And Belgian authori­ty over Tutsi notables, even over the sacred Mwami him­self, inevitably damaged their prestige. The Belgians even de­posed one obstructive Mwami. About ten years ago, the Belgians tried to persuade the Tutsi to let some of the Hutu into their complex structure of government. In Burundi, the Tutsi ruling caste realized its cuanger just in time and agreed to share some of its powers with the Hutu majority. But in Rwanda, until the day the system toppled, no Hutu was appointed by the Tatsi over­lords to a chief’s position. A tight, rigid, exclusive Tutsi aristocracy continued to rule the land.

    The Hutu grew increasingly

    WHEN order was restored, there were reckoned to be 21,­000 Tutsi refugees in Burundi, 14,000 in Tanganyika, 40,000 in Uganda and 60,000 in the Kivu province of the Con­go. The Red Cross did its best to cope in camps improvised by local governments.

    Back in Rwanda, municipal elections were held for the first time—and swept the Hutu into power. The Parmehutu —Parti d’Emancipation des Hu­tus—founded only in October 1959, emerged on top, formed a coalition government, and after some delays proclaimed a republic, to which the Bel­gians, unwilling to face a colonial war, gave recognition in terms of internal self‐gov­ernment.

    In 1962, the U.N. proclaimed Belgium’s trusteeship at an end, and, that same year, a general election held under U.N. supervision confirmed the Hutu triumph. With full in­dependence, a new chapter be­gan — the Hutu chapter.

    Rwanda and Burundi split. Burundi has the only large city, Usumbura (population: 50,000), as its capital. With a mixed Tutsi‐Hutu govern­ment, it maintains an uneasy peace. It remains a kingdom, with a Tutsi monarch. Every­one knows and likes the jovial Mwami, Mwambutsa IV, whose height is normal, whose rule

    As its President, Rwanda chose Grégoire Kayibanda, a 39‐year‐old Roman Catholic seminarist who, on the verge of ordination, chose politics in­stead. Locally educated by the Dominicans, he is a protégé of the Archbishop of Rwanda whose letter helped spark the first Hutu uprising. Faithful to his priestly training, he shuns the fleshpots, drives a Volkswagen instead of the Rolls or Mercedes generally favored by an African head of state and, suspicious of the lure of wicked cities, lives on a hilltop outside the town of Kigali, said to be the smallest capital city in the world, with some 7,000 inhabitants, a sin­gle paved street, no hotels, no telephone and a more or less permanent curfew.

    Mr. Kayibanda’s Christian and political duties, as he sees them, have fused into an im­placable resolve to destroy for­ever the last shreds of Tutsi power—if necessary by obliter­ating the entire Tutsi race. Last fall, Rwanda still held between 200,000 and 250,000 Tutsi, reinforced by refugees drifting back from the camps, full of bitterness and humilia­tion. In December, they were joined by bands of Tutsi spear­men from Burundi, who with the courage of despair, and outnumbered 10 to 1, attacked the Hutu. Many believe they were egged on by Mwami Ki­geri V, who since 1959 had been fanning Tutsi racial prideand calling for revenue.

    THE result of the attacks was to revive all the cumula­tive hatred of the Tutsi for past injustices. The winds of anti‐colonialism sweeping Af­rica do not distinguish be­tween white and black colo­nialists. The Hutu launched a ruthless war of extermina­tion that is still going on. Tut­si villages are stormed and their inhabitants clubbed or hacked to death, burned alive or herded into crocodile‐infest­ed rivers.

    What will become of the Tutsi? One urgent need is out­side help for the Urundi Gov­ernment in resettling the masses of refugees who have fled to its territory. Urundi’s mixed political set‐up is rea­sonably democratic, if not al­ways peaceful (witness the assassination of the Crown Prince by a political opponent

    In a sense the Tutsi have brought their tragic fate on themselves. They are paying now the bitter price of ostrich­ism, a stubborn refusal to move with the times. The Bourbons of Africa, they are meeting the Bourbon destiny—to be obliterated by the people they have ruled and patron­ized.

    The old relationship could survive no longer in a world, as E. M. Forster has described it, of “telegrams and anger;” a world of bogus democracy turning into one‐party states, of overheated U.N. assemblies, of press reports and dema­gogues, a world where (as in the neighboring Congo) a for­mer Minister of Education leads bands of tribesmen armed with arrows to mutilate women missionaries.

    THE elegant and long‐legged Tutsi with their dances and their epic poetry, their lyre­horned cattle and superb bas­ketwork and code of seemly behavior, had dwindled into tourist fodder. The fate of all species, institutions or individ­uais who will not, or cannot. adapt caught up with them. Those who will not bend must break.

    For the essence of the situ­ation in an Africa increasingly

    NOW, not just the white men have gone, or are going; far more importantly, the eld­ers and their authority, the whole chain of command from ancestral spirits, through the chief and his council to the obedient youth are being swept away. This hierarchy is being replaced by the “young men,” the untried, unsettled, uncer­tain, angry and confused gen­eration who, with a thin ve­neer of ill‐digested Western education, for the first time in Africa’s long history have taken over power from their fathers.

    It is a major revolution in­deed, whose first results are only just beginning to show up and whose outcome cannot be seen. There is only one safe prediction: that it will be vio­lent, unpredictable, bloody and cruel, as it is proving for the doomed Tutsi of Rwanda.

    #Ruanda #Burundi #histoire #Tutsi #Congo


    Many believe Syria constitutes the worst crisis in a decade. Indeed, the UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner has stopped counting fatalities in 2014,[1] the amount of US (2017) and Russian (2016) airstrikes is unprecedented[2] and after distinct crises such as Sinjar, Khan Shaykhun new ones continue to arise (Eastern Ghouta, Afrin). How ‘bad’ is Syria in a comparative perspective?

    Syria is very bad compared to other spaces. Syria averages 70 violent reported events per day, and is currently as violent as all African conflicts plus South Asian fragile countries combined (see visual). To comprehend this number, take a combination of Kenya and Burundi’s lingering unrest, with the Congo’s emerging war, the continuing crises in CAR, Somalia, both Sudan’s, conflict in Nigeria, AQIMS increasing presence in West-Africa and Libya’s continuing problems, and still you do not equal the number of clashes and attacks in Syria’s conflict. Or consider that the number of events during one week of the Afrin offensive (the week of February 5, 2018) is similar in intensity to all violence in the Middle East (with active conflicts like Afghanistan, Yemen and Iraq) plus all protests/incidents in South-East Asia.

    While scholars will contest over competing explanations for the decades to come, ACLED conflict data suggest two key insights. First, Syria is not special because its violence profile is very different. Syria shares a similar violence profile with Iraq and Yemen, meaning that actors engage in the same type of violence but just with an incredible intensity. Second, Syria is not more violent because it gets better reported on. Our ‘overlap-scores’ suggest that the detection rate of violence in Syria is not very different from other contexts. What may instead be a fruitful avenue is the finding that conflict size and intensity seem to be distributed according to an exponential function.[3] That means that the vast majority of conflicts experience (comparatively) little violence while some conflicts at the very tail end of the distribution are incredibly violent (see visual).[4] Syria unfortunately belongs to this latter category.

  • EE UU criticó que Venezuela sea miembro del Consejo DDHH de la ONU

    Estados Unidos criticó este miércoles que países con unas credenciales de derechos humanos cuestionables puedan ser miembros del Consejo de Derechos Humanos de la ONU y citó específicamente a Venezuela y Burundi.

    En su intervención ante el segmento de alto nivel del Consejo de Derechos Humanos de la ONU, la secretaria adjunta de la Oficina de Organizaciones Internacionales de Estados Unidos, Mary Catherine Phee, delineó algunas de las causas por las cuales Washington considera que el trabajo del Consejo se socava.

    Entre esas razones citó el hecho de que haya países miembros que tengan un registro de derechos humanos muy precario, y citó entre ellos a Venezuela y Burundi.

    «Los países miembros del Consejo deberían tener unos estándares de derechos humanos al más alto nivel», afirmó Phee.

    El Consejo está formado por 47 países que asumen un mandato de tres años en función de los puestos disponibles para la región a la que pertenecen.

    Otra de las causas que socavan el trabajo del Consejo, según la representante estadounidense, es que hablen ante él personas conocidas por ser violadores de derechos humanos.

    «El propio hecho de que se puedan dirigir a la sala es una burla al Consejo», destacó.

    La funcionaria de Estados Unidos censuró el hecho de que haya países que no colaboren con los mecanismos de derechos humanos de la ONU, citó a Burundi, Irán, Corea del Norte y Siria, y pidió el apoyo a las personas e instancias que los investigan desde el exterior.

    Finalmente, Phee también criticó el hecho de que el Consejo tenga a Israel como un ítem permanente de su agenda.

    • Liste des membres du Conseil des droits de l’homme des Nations-Unies
      (avec date d’échéance du mandat (au 31 décembre de l’année), max. 2 mandats consécutifs)

      Afrique (13 sièges)
      Angola (2020)
      Afrique du Sud (2019)
      Burundi (2018)
      Côte d’Ivoire (2018)
      Égypte (2019)
      Éthiopie (2018)
      Kenya (2018)
      Nigeria (2020)
      République démocratique du Congo (2020)
      Rwanda (2019)
      Sénégal (2020)
      Togo (2018)
      Tunisie (2019)

      Asie (13 sièges)
      Afghanistan (2020)
      Arabie saoudite (2019)
      Chine (2019)
      Corée du Sud (2018)
      Émirats arabes unis (2018)
      Irak (2019)
      Japon (2019)
      Kirghizstan (2018)
      Mongolie (2018)
      Népal (2020)
      Pakistan (2020)
      Philippines (2018)
      Qatar (2020)

      Europe orientale (6 sièges)
      Croatie (2019)
      Géorgie (2018)
      Hongrie (2019)
      Slovaquie (2020)
      Slovénie (2018)
      Ukraine (2020)

      Amérique latine et Caraïbes (8 sièges)
      Brésil (2019)
      Chili (2020)
      Cuba (2019)
      Équateur (2018)
      Mexique (2020)
      Panama (2018)
      Pérou (2020)
      Venezuela (2018)

      Europe occidentale et autres États (7 sièges)
      Allemagne (2018)
      Australie (2020)
      Belgique (2018)
      Espagne (2020)
      États-Unis (2019)
      Royaume-Uni (2019)
      Suisse (2018)'homme_des_Nations_unies

  • Vivre et se nourrir de la forêt en Afrique centrale

    Ce #livre nous emmène au cœur des zones de forêts denses et sahéliennes de l’Afrique centrale, un écosystème précieux et essentiel à la vie quotidienne de ses habitants, représentant l’un des trois principaux ensembles boisés tropicaux de la planète. Dix pays (Burundi, Cameroun, Congo, Gabon, Guinée Equatoriale, République Centrafricaine, République Démocratique du Congo, Rwanda, Sao Tomé & Principe, Tchad) abritent ces forêts et savanes, riches d’importantes ressources naturelles. Ils ont en commun une longue histoire liée à la colonisation, suivie d’une expérience de coopération multiforme depuis les indépendances qui évolue incontestablement vers une intégration économique et monétaire. De nos jours, alors que les équilibres séculaires entre l’homme et la nature semblent ébranlés, que la sécurité alimentaire, la lutte contre la pauvreté et la préservation de la biodiversité et des ressources forestières sont devenus des enjeux mondiaux ; à l’heure où la croissance démographique non maîtrisée fragilise le maintien des #écosystèmes forestiers tout en accentuant les conflits liés à la recherche d’espace vital, le phénomène des changements climatiques vient davantage sonder le génie créateur des populations forestières dans la préservation et la gestion durable de la forêt et des produits forestiers non ligneux (PFNL) qui en sont issus. Cette publication est l’œuvre du personnel technique de la FAO, avec la contribution des partenaires internationaux et locaux engagés dans l’évolution des PFNL. Elle est un document précieux consacré au développement des peuples par la promotion des PFNL en #Afrique_centrale en vue du renforcement de la #sécurité_alimentaire et la lutte contre la #pauvreté.

    #forêt #forêt_tropicale #Afrique

    • Gael Faye ce qui lui plaît
      Maria Malagardis, Libération, le 13 février 2013

      Il n’est pas donné à tout le monde d’avoir connu dès l’enfance, le paradis puis l’enfer, d’avoir griffonné ses premiers textes « sous les obus et les balles traçantes », à la veille d’un exil brutal. Et, bien des années plus tard, d’avoir soudain renoncé aux mirages de la City de Londres pour assumer une passion pour le rap, née à l’adolescence. Une façon de choisir enfin son destin. Gael Faye a 30 ans et déjà une vie bien remplie. Celle-ci forme la trame de son premier album solo, qui évite les clichés sur le métissage pour décliner les différentes facettes d’une existence de caméléon, sur des rythmes swinguants, mélangeant la rumba congolaise et un zeste de jazz-soul, au rap le plus affirmé. Une réussite d’autant plus notable que Gael Faye reste avant tout un auteur,« virevolteur de mots plein d’amertume », comme il se décrit lui-même dans le titre A-France, écrit il y a déjà dix ans et qui fut « la première vraie chanson » de cet album, rappelle ce jeune homme à l’allure presque sage et au visage encore enfantin.

      Faye parle de clivage entre deux cultures et deux mémoires. Cela peut sembler banal, c’est tout le contraire. Peut-être parce qu’exilé à 13 ans, un âge où l’on commence quand même à penser, il a une conscience claire de ses origines et prend un vrai plaisir à faire découvrir « son » Burundi natal, petit pays de l’Afrique des Grands Lacs qu’il a fallu abandonner du jour au lendemain. C’est à ce moment-là, en avril 1995, qu’il commence à écrire, dans une atmosphère de guerre civile. Des textes d’ado, alors que la mort des premiers Blancs vient de sonner l’heure du départ pour tous les Occidentaux. Le jeune Gael, lui, est métis. Avec un papa « croissant-beurre » et une maman « pili-pili » (nom du piment local), dont il raconte les amours contrariées dans la chanson qui donne son titre à l’album. En guise de « croissant beurre », le père est un personnage atypique : enraciné en Afrique, gérant aussi bien une réserve naturelle qu’une troupe de théâtre locale, et surnommé « Crocodile Dundee » depuis qu’il a tenté d’attraper Gaspard, le gigantesque caïman mangeur d’hommes du lac Tanganyika, sur les rives duquel se trouve Bujumbura, la capitale du Burundi. En l’occurrence, c’est la mère, qui rêve de Paris et finit par abandonner mari et enfants, longtemps avant les troubles qui conduiront à l’exil.

      Bien des années plus tard, c’est donc dans l’urgence d’une évacuation que Gael Faye retrouve sa mère et découvre Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines. Adieu l’Afrique, voici « l’A-France », « l’asile et l’exil ». Pour la première fois de sa vie, le garçon se découvre Noir, et trompe son angoisse en noircissant des pages d’écolier. On lui conseille de s’inscrire à l’atelier d’écriture de la MJC locale, « un atelier de rap, cette année-là. C’est comme ça que j’ai découvert cette musique », raconte-t-il. Très vite, il réalise aussi que, vu d’ici, l’Afrique est un gros trou noir perdu dans une lointaine galaxie, et c’est pour tromper cette ignorance complaisante qu’il prend plaisir à évoquer dans ses chansons les quartiers de « Buja » (Bujumbura), à remplir ses textes de noms de lieux et d’amis disparus.

      Gael Faye a tourné sur place, au Burundi, les clips de deux titres : Ça bouge à Buja, évocation endiablée d’une capitale réputée pour sa vie nocturne, et le sublime Petit Pays, qui arrachera des larmes à ceux qui connaissent l’Afrique des Grands Lacs. En réalité, le texte évoque un pays voisin, victime d’un autre drame : le Rwanda, dévasté par un génocide en 1994. C’est aussi l’autre patrie de Gael Faye, car sa mère était, au Burundi, une exilée rwandaise qui avait fui les premiers pogroms contre la minorité tutsie dans les années 60. Beaucoup de chansons sont d’ailleurs hantées par cette tragédie, dont il n’a découvert la genèse que longtemps après : « A l’époque, en 1994, on disait juste "les événements" devant les enfants », souligne-t-il. Le génocide hante aussi indirectement le magnifique Président,auquel participe le légendaire musicien angolais Bonga, dont la voix enrobe de rumba lusophone cette dénonciation des dérives du pouvoir sur le continent noir.

      Les thèmes d’inspiration remontent à l’adolescence. Ils ont eu le temps de mûrir avant que Gael Faye ne se décide à franchir le pas, larguer une vie de gestionnaire de hedge funds à Londres et cesser de ne considérer le rap que comme une passion intime. Bientôt, il crée avec Edgar Sekloka, un copain d’origine camerounaise, le groupe Milk Coffee & Sugar, qui produit un premier album, déjà prometteur. L’histoire de Gael Faye est faite de rencontres. Celle de ses potes, qui l’ont aidé à chaque étape à construire ce groupe, puis cet album solo. Celle de sa compagne, à laquelle il rend hommage (Ma Femme), mère de sa fille (Isimbi, autre titre empreint de tendresse). Elle est métisse, franco-rwandaise, et ses parents à elle traquent les présumés auteurs du génocide rwandais cachés en France. Au jeu de l’oie de la vie, on retombe toujours sur la case départ, semble suggérer ce jeune homme inspiré qu’on a envie de suivre, même quand il chante Je pars.

    • Gaël Faye, le paradis perdu à hauteur d’enfant
      Maria Malagardis, Libération, le 23 septembre 2016

      Il s’étonne encore, parfois, de ce qui lui arrive. Du succès foudroyant de ce premier livre, publié cet automne, qui lui vaut emballement médiatique et cascade de consécrations. A peine Petit Pays vient-il d’être couronné du prix Fnac, vite suivi du prix Cultura, que Gaël Faye, auteur de 34 ans, apprenait qu’il figure sur la première liste du prix Goncourt comme du prix Médicis. Trois jours après notre rendez-vous, il se retrouvera également sur celle du Femina. Belle prouesse pour ce jeune homme au visage d’enfant, qui vit si loin des salons parisiens, au Rwanda. Sur la carte du monde, ce n’est qu’un petit cercle à peine plus grand que la Bretagne, dans le flanc du continent africain. Un pays au destin intense, en partie évoqué dans le roman sans en être le sujet principal, où il a fini par s’installer il y a un an, après tant d’années en banlieue parisienne. D’abord parce que sa femme y avait trouvé un nouveau job. A l’époque, il venait de rendre son manuscrit. Et c’est de loin, depuis ce pays « où l’idée d’écrire un livre vous fait passer pour un excentrique », qu’il a découvert le succès si rapide de Petit pays. Le livre n’était pas encore paru en France qu’il avait déjà été vendu à une vingtaine de maisons d’édition étrangères qui se sont parfois livrées une féroce concurrence. Comme en Allemagne, où dix éditeurs étaient en lice pour obtenir les droits du livre, en partie autobiographique. Depuis la parution en France, Gaël Faye enchaîne les interviews et les signatures, avec un agenda de rockstar auquel ce jeune homme discret n’était pas forcément préparé. Ce samedi soir, le voilà même invité chez Ruquier. Et on a du mal à l’imaginer jonglant avec la dérision et les provocs qui font la renommée de l’émission, lui qui a voulu raconter une histoire a priori empreinte de gravité : celle, exprimée à travers le regard d’un enfant, du basculement tragique, du paradis vers l’enfer, de son « petit pays » natal, le Burundi. Derrière lequel se profile très vite, le destin terrible d’un autre « petit pays » : le Rwanda voisin, dont la page la plus sombre, celle du génocide de 1994, fait également partie de la trame de ce premier roman.
      De la musique à la littérature

      En principe, pas vraiment de quoi se marrer sur le canapé du salon face au petit écran. En arrivant au café où l’on s’est donné rendez-vous ce jour-là au centre de Paris, il montre ébahi un exemplaire d’un magazine people qui lui consacre une page entière, suite au choix d’Isabelle Adjani qui a beaucoup aimé le livre. Elle aussi. Qu’est-ce qui fait que « la sauce prend » ? Qu’au milieu de la rentrée littéraire, un Petit pays se distingue soudain dans l’avalanche de parutions et suscite un enthousiasme unanime ?

      Il est vrai que dans la vie de Gaël Faye, il y a déjà eu beaucoup de rebondissements inattendus. Des bons et des moins bons. A commencer bien sûr par la fin d’une enfance enchantée au cœur de l’Afrique, celle qui inspire la fiction. Suivie d’un exil forcé en banlieue parisienne pour ce petit métis, fils d’un père français et d’une mère rwandaise, elle-même exilée au Burundi. Fruit d’une identité indécise (trop blanc en Afrique, trop noir en France), il cherchera longtemps son destin. Il y a six ans, on s’était déjà retrouvés dans ce même café. A l’époque, il poussait le landau de sa fille aînée et s’efforçait de percer sur la scène du rap. Sans regretter son choix : avoir quitté une vie confortable de trader à Londres, pour se consacrer à sa passion, la musique. La vie n’était pas forcément facile, mais Gaël appréhendait alors les difficultés de la vie d’artiste avec la même sérénité qu’il affiche aujourd’hui face à ce succès littéraire inespéré. Sur la scène rap, il finira par connaître une certaine reconnaissance. Notamment grâce à Petit Pays, titre d’une chanson qui suscitera un réel engouement et qui préfigure évidemment déjà certains thèmes de son livre.

      La musique reste sa passion. Ses chansons ont raconté les étapes et les émotions de sa vie, plus concrètement que son premier roman. Il a chanté, avec une sensibilité touchante, ses fantômes, ses interrogations comme son amour pour sa femme, et son émerveillement à la naissance de son premier enfant. Son roman est bien plus pudique sur sa vie privée. Il lui ouvre pourtant le sésame de la célébrité, comme jamais la musique n’a pu le faire. Désormais, lorsqu’il se produit en concert, « les librairies de la ville concernée m’appellent souvent pour me proposer d’animer dans la foulée une signature », s’amuse-t-il.

      En réalité, de la musique à la littérature, le lien est encore plus direct. Dans les vrais contes de fées, le hasard est l’autre nom du destin. Donc, il était une fois une éditrice indépendante dont le fils écoutait du rap à la maison. Un jour, la voilà intriguée par ce jeune chanteur à la peau café au lait qui plaît tant à son fils, et dont les thèmes d’inspiration sortent des poncifs habituels sur la vie de banlieue. Il y a aussi cette façon d’agencer les mots, de donner du sens aux paroles, qui suggérait, peut-être, un vrai talent d’écriture. « Catherine Nabokov m’a écrit une lettre en 2013, puis on s’est vus deux ou trois fois, de façon informelle. Elle m’a poussé à écrire. Mais moi à l’époque, j’étais très pris par les tournées. Je venais de sortir mon premier album en solo, j’avais aussi un groupe, Milk, Coffee & Sugar. Et, surtout, je n’avais pas d’idée très précise sur ce que je pouvais lui proposer : un recueil de nouvelles ? De la poésie ? J’ai longtemps hésité, je tâtonnais », raconte Gaël. Un an plus tard, il profite des vacances d’été pour écrire enfin quelques pages : ce sera le prologue du roman. C’est sur cette seule base, mais après de nombreuses discussions, qu’un contrat est signé avec Grasset fin 2014. « J’avais en principe trois mois pour écrire un roman, et cette deadline m’a donné un bon coup de pied aux fesses », se remémore Gaël, qui ne cache pas avoir beaucoup souffert : « Au début je m’arrêtais sur chaque phrase, je pouvais passer une journée à écrire dix lignes. C’était déprimant, poussif. Jusqu’au jour, où je me suis décidé à dérouler tout en vrac sans me poser de questions et peu à peu les personnages et l’histoire ont pris corps. »

      Comme Gaby, le narrateur du roman, Gaël a vécu la séparation de ses parents peu avant que les passions ne se déchaînent dans son pays natal. Comme celle de Gaby, la mère de Gaël est une Rwandaise, membre de la minorité tutsie, contrainte de fuir son pays natal, lors des premiers pogroms contre les Tutsis à l’aube des années 60. Les ressemblances formelles s’arrêtent globalement là. Le reste est un kaléidoscope où l’imagination et les souvenirs s’entremêlent pour brouiller les pistes. Au fond, la seule « vérité », c’est ce petit pays tant aimé, où la haine va peu à peu gangrener les cœurs, obligeant chacun à prendre position.
      Une impasse de Bujumbura

      Tout s’est déroulé très vite, en quelques mois, il y a une vingtaine d’années. A la façon d’un jeu de dominos fatal. Le premier président démocratiquement élu du Burundi est sauvagement assassiné, le pays s’embrase. Quelques mois plus tard, c’est au tour du dirigeant du Rwanda voisin d’être victime d’un attentat. Les extrémistes proches du défunt y trouvent le prétexte pour déclencher une solution finale contre la minorité tutsie. Le Rwanda sombre dans l’apocalypse. Une déflagration qui se répercute au Burundi voisin, qui plonge encore plus vers l’abîme.

      C’est cette mécanique implacable du « eux contre nous » que raconte le roman, lequel réserve une surprise, lourde de sens, assénée à la dernière phrase. Si surprenante et tellement déchirante. Quand on a soi-même vécu une période aussi bouleversante, peut-on échapper à l’impérieuse nécessité de la raconter ? La vie de Gaël Faye est évidemment à jamais marquée par cette enfance brisée au Burundi, par le deuil et le traumatisme du génocide au Rwanda voisin, qui a emporté tant de proches. Ceux de sa propre famille et de celle de sa femme, dont les parents traquent depuis quinze ans sans relâche les responsables du génocide, qui ont tenté de se faire oublier et de recommencer une nouvelle vie en France.

      A table, lors des retrouvailles familiales, pourtant souvent joyeuses en apparence, il y a toujours des fantômes qui s’invitent de manière subliminale. C’est le destin des familles de rescapés. Et celles de Gaël et de sa femme n’y échappent pas. Même les prénoms qu’on choisit pour les enfants porteront la marque de cette mémoire qui ne vous lâche jamais. Certaines scènes du livre s’inspirent d’ailleurs, au détail près, d’événements qu’ont vécu ses beaux-parents, avant ou pendant le génocide. Mais le jeune auteur a réussi à résister à la tentation d’un livre dénonciateur, comme à toute fascination pour la mort. « Je ne voulais pas faire uniquement un récit des violences qui ont embrasé cette région, explique Gaël. Les moments heureux méritaient eux aussi d’être évoqués. J’ai voulu y mettre la même douceur que celle que j’essaye d’insuffler dans mes chansons, sans minimiser bien sûr l’impact de la tragédie. »

      On retrouve dans ce premier roman bien plus que les thèmes d’inspiration qui habitent le musicien : un tempo, un style qui s’imposent parfois dans des formules lapidaires (« l’Afrique a la forme d’un revolver », « La guerre, sans qu’on lui demande, se charge de nous trouver un ennemi »). Elles alternent toutefois avec des moments, magnifiques, où le temps semble suspendu. Juste avant le drame : « Les vieilles ne disaient rien. Maman fermait les yeux, elle se massait les tempes. La radio des voisins diffusait des chants liturgiques. On entendait nos fourchettes tinter dans les assiettes ». Des instants où la vie semble en apesanteur, avant de basculer brutalement.

      Est-ce propre à l’Afrique ? Quand on écrit son premier livre à Paris, pendant l’hiver 2015, d’autres événements se télescopent fatalement. « J’ai situé l’univers du narrateur dans une impasse de Bujumbura [la capitale du Burundi, ndlr] », rappelle-t-il. « Mais ce n’est pas un souvenir personnel. L’idée s’est imposée le 7 janvier 2015, le jour de l’attaque contre Charlie Hebdo. Ce jour-là, j’avais rendez-vous avec le cofondateur de mon groupe, qui m’a annoncé qu’il voulait mettre un terme à notre collaboration. C’était la fin de notre aventure, de nos projets communs. Et pendant cette discussion très pénible, on voyait aussi défiler les tweets de plus en plus alarmistes sur l’attaque. On était concentrés sur nos préoccupations, alors que tout notre univers était soudain en train d’exploser. C’est à ce moment-là que j’ai eu l’idée de cette impasse où habiteraient mon héros et sa bande de copains. Un monde clos, préservé, au départ, d’une violence qui fait soudain irruption et bouleverse tout. La France à ce moment-là se croyait à l’abri du danger avant d’être projetée dans la terreur. Comme le sera le petit monde dans lequel évolue mon narrateur. »
      Des victimes qui nous ressemblent

      A quel monde appartient-on ? A celui de nos origines ou bien à celui que le destin nous impose ? Et sont-ils vraiment si différents ? Bujumbura-Paris, en aller simple : catapulté en France après son évacuation d’urgence, le jeune Gaël sera souvent agacé d’être toujours réduit aux mêmes images exotiques : « Quand je suis arrivé en France, on m’interrogeait sans cesse sur les baobabs et les girafes, alors que moi j’avais grandi dans une culture dominée par Nike et Michael Jordan. » Dans le premier chapitre du roman, le narrateur mélancolique et tourmenté par son passé se retrouve dans un bar où défilent les images des réfugiés qui arrivent en masse aux frontières de l’Europe. Encore un autre drame qui a marqué l’année 2015. « On ne dira rien du pays en eux », constate Gaby en observant ces groupes de réfugiés désespérés. A sa façon, Petit pays tente de réparer cette injustice, celle de l’ignorance ou de l’indifférence face au passé des « autres ». Mais le livre révèle aussi combien les victimes de ces tragédies lointaines, au fond, nous ressemblent.

      Et c’est peut-être dans cette facilité d’identification avec le narrateur et ses amis, que réside la clé de l’engouement pour ce premier roman d’un jeune auteur inconnu. Gaby n’est pas un petit Africain, c’est un enfant du monde emporté par la fureur du destin. Notre hantise commune. Une fois la saison des prix et promotions achevée, Gaël Faye repartira pour Kigali au Rwanda. Retrouver sa femme et ses deux enfants. Il y est heureux, apprécie le retour à la paix dans ce pays qui s’est reconstruit de manière impressionnante. Seule ombre au tableau : depuis le printemps 2015, le Burundi voisin sombre à nouveau dans la violence. L’enfer côtoie toujours le paradis. C’est ce que nous réserve, trop souvent, notre époque tourmentée. Là-bas comme ici.

  • The New Heart of Darkness

    North of South by Shiva Naipaul Simon and Schuster, $10.95
    By Judith E. Matloff, July 13, 1979

    ACCORDING TO SHIVA and V.S. Naipaul, Mistah Kurtz—he ain’t dead. His capacity for barbarism is alive in African dictators who act like capricious children in fatigues, and in Australian tourists who visit Africa to prove racism is justified because the natives are so in competent.

    The two Trinidadian writes are brothers, which partly explains why their recent books on Africa both argue that the heart of darkness has relocated to a new bend in the river, just north of South Africa. They have not left Conrad far behind in their assertion that Africa is a dark and irrational continent.

    The books differ stupendously in their quality, but that’s thoroughly explainable. V.S. Naipaul, who is the superior writer, has more experience. He has produced 15 books since 1952, but his diversity in style is more remarkable than his productivity. V.S. Naipaul has mastered social satire, essays on development, historical accounts and pessimistic novels about racial conflict and independence in the Third world. Although writing about disparate societies, Naipaul displays an astute sociological ability to muster and link problems common to all former colonies.

    A Bend in the River is in the same genre as Naipaul’s later novels-those set in tropical areas where a blacked majority has recently seized power. A Bend takes place in the interior of a guerilla-ridden African nation. It is stifling hot, and the wet bush seems to reinforce the violence lurking in men’s souls. An Amin-like dictator rules the nation, periodically purging his national youth guard and murdering potential rebels.

    Ferdinand, one of the “young black men of Africa who rise from the bottom to the top with nothing, because he is young and a black and African” fears he will not survive the president’s arbitrary purges. A well-meaning missionary is beheaded by the very people he is trying to educate. And the protagionist’s store is seized because he is an East Asian and thus a “traitor.”

    Salim, the protagionist, is an archetypal Naipaul character—East Indian, sallow, passive and alienated. Salim’s lethargy reflects his anxiety about the ultimate, senseless violence. As the president’s forces creep deeper into the interior, Salim becomes more desperate. He tries twice to rouse himself, via an affair and a flight to London where illusions of a Western civilized arcadia lie. But neither succeeds as a safety-value. Salim renounces all hope and returns to Africa, only to find that the violent abyss has widened.

    A Bend is yet another of V.S. Naipaul’s impeccably crafted books. He maintains a level of tension that becomes almost intolerable; the reader can feel the vines and the president’s guard coming too close to his house. This is writing that makes one want to open a window or turn on a fan. Or keep a gun by the bedside.

    The author’s capacity for developing his characters’ humanity forces the reader to empathize with all of them—the wealthy white Europeans, black African cab drivers or Asian shopkeepers. His humanity does not extend, however, to his women characters—nymphomaniacs on whom he vindictively inflicts sexual abuse and mutilation.

    Another weakness is Naipaul’s pessismism about Africa’s future. He fells ruination and debauched immorality will scar Africa’s future as they have scarred its past. Naipaul consistently uses examples from unstable areas like Zaire and Jamaica and ignores relatively stable ones like Tanzania and Kenya.

    But because he is from a developing nation himself, V.S. Naipaul has a perspective a Westerner cannot glean. Naipaul’s perspective as an East Indian in a black nation sets him apart from other Third World writers. This gives him a curiously advantageous literary position—he is both a participant and observer in his society.

    IT MUST BE hard to follow in the footsteps of a famous and brilliant older brother. Unfortunately, Shiva Naipaul cannot compete with his brother’s polish or his sensitivity. Both are missing from North of South. The book is a montage of conversations held or overheard by the author during a six-month visit to Kenya, Zambia and Tanzania. For Shiva Africa is a land of hypocrisy, deceit and irony. Some of his examples are apt: an African student loves books but hates to read; young boys selling peanuts are condemned as capitalists in Tanzania; religious Hindus devour beef sandwiches; a white tourist asks her companion, “In Burundi do the tall ones kill the short ones or do the short ones kill the tall ones?”

    But Shiva’s persistent sardonic tone undermines his anecdotes’ effectiveness. The reader tires quickly of his smug arrogance, and yearns for some affirmative statement about Africa. Everyone on the “dark continent” seems to be a caricature—all racist and drugged white tourists, or insufferably dogmatic bureaucrats.

    The work has two other major flaws. First, Shiva presents no connecting analysis to link his anecdotes. This approach aggravates the reader’s impatience with Naipaul’s tone—as he becomes increasingly weary from traveling overland, so the reader becomes more tired of nasty asides.

    Second, Shiva’s theoretical point that “the African soul is a blank slate in which anything can be written” is offensive. For Shiva, Pan-Africanism, Tanzania’s self-reliance and the rebirth of Swahili mean nothing. He sees only Kenyans worshipping the West’s wealth and culture. And Shiva, like his brother, does not give enough credit to the governments and people of these nations who are struggling with the racial and class problems of a colonial past.

    Shiva Naipaul is most weak where his brother is strongest—the ability to empathize with all the people he writes about. He does not try to understand why a nouveau riche black Kenyan has two freezers (which she never uses), whisky at every meal, gold-painted nails, and an expropriated mansion too large for her needs. He simply finds her ludicrous and tasteless.

    Where V.S. Naipaul is a universalist, drawing parallels among the people he sees, Shiva Naipaul is a defensive separatist. This sense of separation stems in part from the nature of a travelogue, which forces him to keep a distance from his subjects. For hi, sanity only exists in the industrialized West—i.e., England. The nightmare only begins when one boards the flight to Africa.

    Both Naipaul brothers see Africa through Conrad’s eyes—as a ruined land where logic is an anomaly and men become corrupted. But for V.S. Naipaul, the entire world is a senseless, despondent morass. For Shiva, civilization and Mistah Kurtz are only dead in Africa.

    #littérature #afrique #congo

  • Postcards from Rwanda

    The translator wouldn’t ask the question. We were sitting in the community meeting space of a “reconciliation village” near Rweru, along the southern border of Rwanda with Burundi. We’d been talking with five villagers, three Tutsi who had survived the genocide and two Hutu who had been perpetrators – and who had also been their neighbors before the…

  • UNHCR - Global report: 10 most under-reported humanitarian crises of 2017

    a new report highlighting 2017’s ten most under-reported humanitarian crises. The report “Suffering in Silence” found that the humanitarian situation in North Korea received the least media attention globally. While much media focus has been on nuclear brinkmanship, the humanitarian situation has been overlooked. Other crises that rarely made the headlines were:

    Central African Republic
    Lake Chad Basin (Niger, Cameroon, Chad)

    Fichier pdf ici :

    “We all know that a single photo can make the world turn its attention to an issue. But the people in the countries featured in CARE’s report are far away from the cameras and microphones of this world”, says Laurie Lee, CARE International’s Interim Secretary General. “These crises might not make the media headlines, but that does not mean we can forget about them.”

    #crise_humanitaire #guerre #conflits #pauvreté

  • Burundian Refugees Face a Difficult Choice: Stay in Overburdened Camps or Return to Uncertainty · Global Voices

    On 7 September a convoy of 301 refugees from Nduta camp in Tanzania drove back into Burundi, with more Burundians following days after. Overall, 12,000 are registered to voluntarily return this year. While not the first returnees, the number is large; and their journey back is organized by Burundi and Tanzania’s governments and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

    However, the crisis, sparked by 2015 election turmoil, that led so many Burundians to flee is far from resolved. While some refugees, impatient with waiting to return, held sit-ins in Tanzania to demand the process be sped up, many others fear going back.

    #réfugiés #burundi

  • Violences envers les femmes dans le monde : l’état de la situation

    Même s’il convient d’admettre que les inégalités socio-économiques sont des facteurs aggravants, notamment le chômage, la violence faite aux femmes sévit dans toutes les catégories sociales, économiques et culturelles, en milieu urbain ou rural et ce, quel que soit le contexte éducatif ou religieux.

    La perception biaisée du phénomène proviendrait en réalité de son traitement médiatique. « S’il vient d’un milieu aisé, le criminel est traité avec bienveillance par les médias. S’il est issu d’une couche défavorisée, et plus encore d’une famille immigrée, la stigmatisation est de rigueur. Pourtant, la violence touche les femmes des beaux quartiers tout autant que celles des banlieues » [3].

    Le profil de l’agresseur n’est donc pas toujours celui que l’on s’imagine. « Il s’agit en majorité d’hommes bénéficiant par leur fonction professionnelle d’un certain pouvoir. On remarque une proportion très importante de cadres (67%), de professionnels de la santé (25%) et de membres de la police ou de l’armée », commente le professeur Roger Henrion, membre de l’Académie nationale de médecine et responsable d’une étude menée pour le ministère de la Santé [4].
    Une violence conjugale trop souvent justifiée

    Selon l’UNICEF [5], dans plus de la moitié des pays où la violence conjugale est constatée, les femmes la justifient plus encore que leurs partenaires masculins. Ainsi, au Burundi en 2013, 73% des femmes contre 44% des hommes pensent qu’un mari est en droit de frapper son épouse si elle brûle le repas, se dispute avec lui, sort sans son autorisation, néglige les enfants ou refuse d’avoir des rapports sexuels. Il en va de même en Éthiopie où 68% des femmes trouvent ces violences légitimes contre 45% des hommes, ainsi qu’au Cambodge (46% des femmes contre 22% des hommes).

  • Mémoire interdite en Algérie
    Au milieu de la « décennie noire » des années 1990 — particulièrement durant l’été 1997 —, plusieurs massacres de population ont endeuillé l’Algérie, déjà dévastée par les affrontements entre forces de l’ordre et groupes islamistes armés. Les lois d’amnistie et la volonté des autorités d’étouffer le souvenir de ces épisodes sanglants empêchent aujourd’hui tout un peuple de panser ses plaies.

    Une investigation honnête sur cette période devrait nous faire comprendre pourquoi et comment un #terrorisme « sous contrôle » a permis d’une part de mettre fin à l’ère démocratique ouverte par les événements d’Octobre 1988 en programmant la mort de l’intelligence et d’autre part d’organiser le transfert massif de rentes publiques vers des rentes privées, finissant par enfanter nos oligarques , symboles obscènes d’un libéralisme sans nom et sans règles.

    Source :

    Dans son article paru dans le #Monde_Diplomatique d’Août 2017, Pierre Daum parle, sans honte et sans scrupule, de « la guerre civile algérienne » comme si, pendant toute la période incriminée, deux ou des groupes sociaux ou ethniques nettement différenciés, territorialement identifiés, s’étaient affrontés massivement à l’instar de ce qui a pu se produire au Burundi, en ex-Yougoslavie, au Liban, en Angola, en Espagne , en Côte d’Ivoire, en Colombie , au Sri Lanka , au Sierra Leone ou en Somalie.
    Il n’est pas le premier à faire preuve de paresse intellectuelle en désignant par guerre civile des évènements, certes très graves, qui ne ressemblent en rien aux contours des guerres civiles que l’histoire récente ou plus ancienne retient.

    #guerre_contre_les_civils #GIA #Algérie #mémoire
    La source provient de la page de @salim

    crédit photographique : Hocine Zaourar

  • Vom Profit mit der Not

    Weltweit sind rund 65 Millionen Menschen auf der Flucht. Es gibt so viele Flüchtlingslager wie nie zuvor. Eigentlich als Provisorien gedacht, sind viele Camps heute Dauereinrichtungen. Ein neues Geschäftsfeld ist entstanden, ein Geschäftsfeld, das private Unternehmen für sich zu nutzen wissen.

    #camps_de_réfugiés #asile #migrations #réfugiés #profit #économie #privatisation #marché #business #vidéo #film #documentaire #technologie #ONU #nations_unies #ikea #biométrie #surveillance #HCR #UNHCR #Jordanie #IrisGuard #supermarchés #données #terrorisme #Dadaab #liberté_de_mouvement #liberté_de_circulation #apatridie #Kenya #réfugiés_somaliens #accord_UE-Turquie #Turquie #Poseidon #Frontex #Grèce #Lesbos #Moria #hotspots

    Les conseillers de #IrisGuard :
    #Richard_Dearlove : (il a travailler pour les #services_secrets britanniques)
    #Frances_Townsend : (conseillère de #Georges_Bush)

    L’entreprise IrisGuard a son siège aux #îles_Caïmans #Cayman_Islands (#paradis_fiscaux)

    #G4S assure la protection des travailleurs humanitaires à Dadaad... L’ONU a dépensé, selon ce documentaire, 23 mio de USD pour la protection de ses employés, le 2ème plus haut poste de dépenses après l’eau potable...

    • Market Forces: the development of the EU security-industrial complex

      While the European Union project has faltered in recent years, afflicted by the fall-out of the economic crisis, the rise of anti-EU parties and the Brexit vote, there is one area where it has not only continued apace but made significant advances: Europe’s security policies have not only gained political support from across its Member States but growing budgets and resources too.

      Transnational corporations are winning millions of euros of public research funds to develop ever more intrusive surveillance and snooping technologies, a new report by Statewatch and the Transnational Institute reveals today.

      The report, Market Forces, shows how the EU’s €1.7 billion ‘Secure societies’ research programme has been shaped by the “homeland security” industry and in the process is constructing an ever more militarised and security-focused Europe.

      The research programme, in place since 2007, has sought to combat a panoply of “threats” ranging from terrorism and organised criminality to irregular migration and petty crime through the development of new “homeland security” technologies such as automated behaviour analysis tools, enhanced video and data surveillance, and biometric identification systems.

      Key beneficiaries of this research funding have been companies: #Thales (€33.1m), #Selex (€23.2m), #Airbus (€17.8m), #Atos (€14.1m) and #Indra (€12.3m are the five biggest corporate recipients. Major applied research institutes have also received massive amounts of funding, the top five being: #Fraunhofer_Institute (€65.7 million); #TNO (€33.5 million); #Swedish_Defence_Research_Institute (€33.4 million); #Commissariat_à_l'énergie_atomique_et_aux_énergies_alternatives (€22.1 million); #Austrian_Intstitute_of_Technology (€16 million).

      Many of these organisations and their lobbies have played a significant role in designing the research programme through their participation in high-level public-private forums, European Commission advisory groups and through lobbying undertaken by industry groups such as the European Organisation for Security (#EOS).

      The report also examines EU’s €3.8 billion #Internal_Security_Fund, which provides funding to Member States to acquire new tools and technologies: border control #drones and surveillance systems, #IMSI catchers for spying on mobile phones, tools for monitoring the web and ‘pre-crime’ predictive policing systems are currently on the agenda.

      It is foreseen that the fund will eventually pay for technologies developed through the security research programme, creating a closed loop of supply and demand between private companies and state authorities.

      Despite the ongoing economic crisis, EU funding for new security tools and technologies has grown from under €4 billion to almost €8 billion in the 2014-20 period (compared to 2007-13) and the report warns that there is a risk of further empowering illiberal tendencies in EU governments that have taken unprecedented steps in recent years towards normalising emergency powers and undermining human rights protection in the name of fighting terrorism and providing “security”.

      Market Forces argues that upcoming negotiations on the next round of funding programmes (2021-27) provide a significant opportunity to reform the rationale and reasoning behind the EU’s development of new security technologies and its funding of tools and equipment for national authorities.

      Lien vers le #rapport:

    • #Burundi refugees refuse ’biometric’ registration in #DRC

      More than 2 000 Burundian refugees living in a transit camp in Democratic Republic of Congo are resisting plans to register them on a biometric database, claiming it would violate their religion.

      They belong to an obscure Catholic sect that follows a female prophet called #Zebiya and claim to have fled their homeland due to religious persecution.
      #résistance #Congo #camps_de_réfugiés #persécution_religieuse

  • Le Burundi institue le mariage obligatoire

    Au Burundi, une police conjugale traque les concubins. Non mariés, ils sont illégaux et tombent sous le coup d’une nouvelle loi qui s’inscrit dans la dérive totalitaire orchestrée par le clan Nkurunziza.

    "La prochaine étape sera l’identification par l’ethnie."

    Cette nouvelle décision sur les mariages obligatoires vient s’inscrire dans un plan plus global de réécriture du roman national initié en aout 2013 : faire renaitre les valeurs d’Ubuntu (dignité, humanité burundaise) qui auraient « totalement disparu de la société ».

    « Dans une logique jusqu’auboutiste, le régime, allié au clergé, impose sa lecture ethniciste de l’histoire burundaise, plaçant les Utuh comme des élus de Dieu pour légitimer leur pouvoir sur la minorité Tutsi. » Selon Florent Geel, Nkurunziza a déjà commencé l’épuration des Tutsi dans l’armée : annonce d’un génocide à venir sur lequel la FIDH alertait déjà l’année passée.

  • #Burundi : l’ONU dénonce les #chants appelant au viol d’opposantes

    « Les slogans choquants appelant au viol repris par de jeunes hommes appartenant aux #Imbonerakure dans plusieurs provinces du Burundi sont profondément inquiétants », car ils sont une preuve supplémentaire de « la campagne de terreur » menée par ces derniers, a estimé M. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, dans un communiqué.
    #viol #femmes

  • Le 6 avril 1994, le génocide au Rwanda commence...

    Le 6 avril, d’une façon très professionnelle, un avion est abattu dans le ciel de Kigali : les présidents du Rwanda et du Burundi meurent dans l’attentat. Dans l’heure qui suit, la garde présidentielle - noyau dur de l’armée rwandaise - prend la capitale en main. La troupe, accompagnée des escadrons de la mort, entre dans certaines maisons. Des gens bien sélectionnés sont abattus, sur la base de listes préétablies. La France complice.


    / #Guerres_-_Armements, Une

  • Le Conseil adopte onze résolutions dont cinq sur les droits de l’homme en Palestine et dans les autres territoires arabes occupés
    ​Conseil des droits de l’homme de l’#ONU, le 24 mars 2017

    Concernant la #Palestine :

    Par une autre résolution sur les droits de l’homme dans le #Golan syrien occupé (A/HRC/34/L.11), adoptée par adoptée par 26 voix pour, 3 contre (États-Unis, Royaume Uni et Togo) et 18 abstentions, le Conseil se déclare profondément préoccupé par les pratiques israéliennes dans le Golan syrien occupé, telles qu’elles sont décrites dans le rapport du Secrétaire général soumis à la présente session du Conseil.

    Les États suivants ont voté en faveur de la résolution (26) : Afrique du Sud, Arabie saoudite, Bangladesh, Bolivie, Brésil, Burundi, Chine, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Égypte, El Salvador, Émirats arabes unis, Équateur, Éthiopie, Ghana, Inde, Indonésie, Iraq, Kenya, Kirghizistan, Mongolie, Nigeria, Philippines, Qatar, Tunisie et Venezuela.

    Les États suivants ont voté contre (3) : États-Unis, Royaume-Uni et Togo.

    Les États suivants se sont abstenus (18) : Albanie, Allemagne, Belgique, Botswana, Congo, Croatie, Géorgie, Hongrie, Japon, Lettonie, Pays-Bas, Panama, Paraguay, Portugal, République de Corée, Rwanda, Slovénie et Suisse.
    Par une résolution visant à « Faire en sorte que les responsabilités soient établies et que justice soit faite pour toutes les violations du droit international dans le Territoire palestinien occupé, y compris Jérusalem-Est » (A/HRC/34/L.38), adoptée par 30 voix pour, 2 contre (États-Unis, Togo) et 15 abstentions, le Conseil invite instamment tous les États à promouvoir le respect du droit international et invite instamment toutes les Hautes Parties contractantes à la quatrième Convention de Genève à respecter et à faire respecter le droit international humanitaire dans le Territoire palestinien occupé, y compris Jérusalem-Est.

    Les États suivants ont voté en faveur de la résolution (30) : Afrique du Sud, Arabie saoudite, Bangladesh, Belgique, Bolivie, Botswana, Brésil, Burundi, Chine, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Égypte, El Salvador, Émirats arabes unis, Équateur, Ghana, Indonésie, Iraq, Kirghizistan, Mongolie, Nigeria, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, République de Corée, Slovénie, Suisse, Tunisie et Venezuela.

    Les États suivants ont voté contre (2) : États-Unis et Togo.

    Les États suivants se sont abstenus (15) : Allemagne, Albanie, Croatie, Éthiopie, Géorgie, Hongrie, Inde, Japon, Kenya, Lettonie, Pays-Bas, Panama, Paraguay, Rwanda et Royaume-Uni.
    Par une résolution sur le « droit du peuple palestinien à l’#autodétermination » (A/HRC/34/L.39), adoptée par 43 voix pour, 2 contre (États-Unis et Togo) et 2 abstentions (Panama et Paraguay), le Conseil confirme que le droit de souveraineté permanent du peuple palestinien sur ses richesses et ses ressources naturelles doit s’exercer dans l’intérêt du développement national et du bien-être de ce peuple et dans le cadre de la réalisation de son droit à l’autodétermination.

    Les États suivants ont voté en faveur de la résolution (43) : Afrique du Sud, Albanie, Allemagne, Arabie saoudite, Bangladesh, Belgique, Bolivie, Botswana, Brésil, Burundi, Chine, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatie, Cuba, Égypte, El Salvador, Émirats arabes unis, Équateur, Éthiopie, Géorgie, Ghana, Hongrie, Inde, Indonésie, Iraq, Japon, Kenya, Kirghizistan, Lettonie, Mongolie, Nigeria, Pays-Bas, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, République de Corée, Royaume-Uni, Rwanda, Slovénie, Suisse, Tunisie et Venezuela.

    Les États suivants ont voté contre (2) : États-Unis et Togo.

    Les États suivants se sont abstenus (2):Panama et Paraguay.
    Aux termes d’une résolution sur la situation des droits de l’homme dans le Territoire palestinien occupé, y compris Jérusalem-Est (A/HRC/34/L.40), adoptée par 41 voix pour, 2 contre (États-Unis et Togo) et 4 abstentions (Rwanda, République du Congo, Panama et Paraguay), le Conseil se déclare profondément préoccupé par la situation des prisonniers et des détenus palestiniens, y compris des mineurs, dans les prisons et les centres de détention israéliens.

    Les États suivants ont voté en faveur de la résolution (41) : Afrique du Sud, Albanie, Allemagne, Arabie saoudite, Bangladesh, Belgique, Bolivie, Botswana, Brésil, Burundi, Chine, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatie, Cuba, Égypte, El Salvador, Émirats arabes unis, Équateur, Éthiopie, Géorgie, Ghana, Hongrie, Inde, Indonésie, Iraq, Japon, Kenya, Kirghizistan, Lettonie, Mongolie, Nigeria, Pays-Bas, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, République de Corée, Royaume-Uni, Slovénie, Suisse, Tunisie, Venezuela.

    Les États suivants ont voté contre (2) : États-Unis et Togo.

    Les États suivants se sont abstenus (4) : Congo, Panama, Paraguay et Rwanda.
    Par une résolution intitulée « Colonies de peuplement israéliennes dans le Territoire palestinien occupé, y compris Jérusalem-Est, et le Golan syrien occupé » (A/HRC/34/L.41/Rev.1, oralement révisée), adoptée par 36 voix pour, 2 contre (États-Unis et Togo) et 9 abstentions, le Conseil décide de tenir, à sa session de septembre 2017, une table ronde sur « les activités de colonisation israéliennes dans le Territoire palestinien occupé, y compris Jérusalem-Est », et demande au Haut-Commissariat de consulter les États et l’ensemble des parties prenantes.

    Les États suivants ont voté en faveur de la résolution (36) : Afrique du Sud, Allemagne, Arabie saoudite, Bangladesh, Belgique, Bolivie, Botswana, Brésil, Burundi, Chine, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Égypte, El Salvador, Émirats arabes unis, Équateur, , Éthiopie, Ghana, Inde, Indonésie, Iraq, Japon, Kenya, Kirghizistan, Mongolie, Nigeria, Pays-Bas, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, République de Corée, Slovénie, Suisse, Tunisie et Venezuela.

    Les États suivants ont voté contre (2) : États-Unis et Togo.

    Les États suivants se sont abstenus (9) : Albanie, Croatie, Géorgie, Hongrie, Lettonie, Panama, Paraguay, Rwanda et Royaume-Uni.
    Remarque : on voit que la politique d’#Israfrique commence à porter ses fruits avec le #Togo qui vote systématiquement pour israel...

    Et pourquoi la France ne vote pas ?