Headlines for Monday, November 19, 2012
- Length: 5:20 minutes (4.88 MB)
- Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)
A quarter of the dead in Gaza are children; cease-fire talks ongoing in Cairo
The violence in Gaza continues unabated today. At least 100 are dead in six-days of heightened violence, with dozens of young children among the dead. Efforts to broker a cease-fire are ongoing in Cairo where Israeli officials are meeting with Egyptian peace negotiators who in turn are talking to Hamas representatives. UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon arrived today to participate in the talks and a peace delegation will travel to Gaza tomorrow. We will have much more from Gaza later in the newscast – stay tuned.
Karzai directs staff to take over Parwan prison at Bagram saying US reneged on commitments
Afghan President Hamid Karzai ordered his staff to reclaim full control of the Parwan detention facility at Bagram airbase today. President Karzai says the US has reneged on commitments under a deal signed last March. Karzai said that Afghan courts have cleared dozens of men detained at the prison, but the US won't free them. Further, US troops continue to retain control over hundreds of recent detainees in what Karzai calls a “serious breach” of their agreement.
Hundreds of Kurdish hunger strikers in Turkish prisons end protest
More than a thousand Kurdish prisoners on hunger strike in Turkey broke their fast over the weekend and Turkey says it will open direct talks with the outlawed PKK militant group. FSRN's Jacob Resneck reports.
On Saturday, jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan called on the hunger strikers to end their action. Many were immediately hospitalized after 68 days of subsisting on water, vitamins and sugar. The strikers had been demanding an end to solitary confinement of their leader and the right to defend themselves in court using their native tongue. Turkey's parliament will debate a bill allowing Kurdish language in courts, though a deal to ease Ocalan's confinement is unlikely. Turkey's justice ministry announced today the government will resume talks with the PKK as deadly clashes between militants and the military continue almost daily. Hugh Pope of the International Crisis Group in Istanbul says past precedent shows direct talks are effective at stemming the violence.
“The last time that this happened, when there was a serious period of negotiations, the number of people getting killed in southeast Turkey dropped by half – and that's something we really need because in the last year and a half in southeastern Turkey we've had more than 860 people killed.”
More than 40,000 have been killed since the early 1980s in a conflict over language rights and political autonomy for Turkey's ethnic Kurds. Jacob Resneck, FSRN, Istanbul
Obama urges Burma/Myanmar to stop violence and incitement against Rohingya
President Barack Obama arrived in Phnom Phen today for meetings with leaders from the Association of South East Asian Nations – or ASEAN. He immediately met with Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen, who defended his human rights record. Yesterday, ASEAN leaders agreed to consider human rights in “light of regional and national contexts." Hun Sen defended his record similarly, saying Cambodia has “a unique set of circumstances.” On his way east, President Obama stopped in Thailand and Burma – also known as Myanmar. Ron Corben reports.
In a speech at the Yongon University Monday, President Obama threw his support behind reforms of the past year under President Thein Sein. Mr. Obama pressed for national reconciliation, especially in strife torn Western Arakan state where rights groups says up to 200,000 people are in need of relief. The violence has pitted Buddhist against Muslim Rohingya, stateless under decades’ old laws. The bloodshed has left dozens killed or injured and hundreds of homes torched.
“Every human being within these borders is a part of your nation’s story and you should embrace that; it’s not a source of weakness; it’s a source of strength.”
But opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who met Mr. Obama at her University Avenue residence, warned against the “mirage of success” in the country. Myanmar’s military remains powerful, controlling parliament and capable of blocking constitutional reform. Earlier, Myanmar authorities released 51 political prisoners -- a move cautiously welcomed by the Thai based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) Burma. U.S. officials have highlighted reforms ranging from release of political prisoners, to press and media reforms, new labor laws to allow the formation of unions and a new foreign investment law. But the U.S. is calling on Myanmar to carry out “deeper reforms” with economic sanctions, while eased, still linger. For FSRN This is Ron Corben in Bangkok.
Communal violence in Nairobi after a grenade attack on a mini-bus kills nine
Unrest continued in a suburb of Nairobi today after an attack on a mini-bus yesterday killed nine people. John Bwakali is in Nairobi.
Nine people were killed Sunday when an explosive device was thrown into a public mini-bus. At least thirty-four were injured. A suspect was arrested soon after and is of Somali origin. Ethnic violence then broke out, with Attacks against Kenyans of Somali origin in the neighborhood known as Little Mogadishu. The area Member of Parliament immediately called for the clashes to stop.
“Demonizing and stigmatizing and attacking a particular community, is not going to resolve our problems. We need Christian and Muslim leaders to come together, to work together for peace of our community.”
Shops remained closed today and riot police used tear gas to quell angry crowds. The bbc reports that hundreds were arrested. Two other grenade attacks in recent months attributed to al-Shabab have fueled communal tension in the area. John Bwakali, FSRN, Nairobi.