Archive for November, 2006

300 Killed in Sudan

30 November 2006

It is reported that many of the 300 killed in fighting near Malakal, Sudan, were civilians, according to BBC News.  The fighting was between the government forces and rebels, and is said to be a serious breach of a 2005 agreement.

Though most of the dead are believed to be soldiers, it was in a civilian area and so many civilians were killed also.

There are currently 10,000 UN peacekeeper in southern Sudan.

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Child Soldiers in Sri Lanka

29 November 2006

Human rights groups accused Sri Lanka’s government of cooperating with militant groups who are kidnapping children to have fight, according to CSMonitor. The average age of a Tamil Tiger child soldier is 16, according to UNICEF. It is reported that children as young as 11 have been kidnapped.

Many minors also join the government military, though the minimum age is said to be 18. The monthly wage of a soldier with a minimum eighth grade education in the government forces is $160, about twice as much as a civilian machine worker who graduated high school.

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NBC Labels it a Civil War

28 November 2006

NBS has begun to refer to the violence in Iraq as a civil war, according to Reuters. Though of course it has been a civil war since before NBC decided to recognize it as such, it is nonetheless an interesting development. The White House, unsurprisingly, was not thrilled with the new way NBC words its broadcasts.

Whether other stations follow NBC’s lead has yet to be seen.

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Violence Continues in Congo

27 November 2006

Militants attacked army positions with heavy weaponry in Eastern Congo, according to Peninsula On-line, killing two soldiers and forcing thousands to flee. 15 soldiers and nine civilians were injured.

More than 1,000 people die every day in the Congo, according to UN estimates. Many of those killed are killed by the army.

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Sunnis Burned Alive

26 November 2006

Militia members took six Sunnis and burned them alive recently, according to Yahoo. Later attacks also killed 19 other Sunnis. It is reported that Iraqi soldiers at a post nearby did not intervene to stop the killing.

Many of those killed in Iraq’s sectarian violence are tortured, sometimes with electric drills, and often are decapitated, but burning victims alive is apparently something new and is likely to become more widely used now that it has been done.

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Rockets Fired into Israel, but Ceasefire Holds

26 November 2006

Though three rockets were fired into Israel, according to BBC News, the ceasefire in Gaza has, so far, held. Olmert says that Israel will nonetheless exercise “patience and restraint” and that he hopes the ceasefire can be extended to the West Bank as well and eventually lead to a permanent peace deal.

Hamas claimed responsibility for the three rockets, none of which caused any harm. Hamas’ armed wing said that the rockets were launched because Israeli troops were still in Gaza, even though Israel says that all troops were pulled out overnight. Hamas leader Ismail Haniya says that all Palestinian militant groups have reaffirmed commitment to the ceasefire.

Islamic Jihad also claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying that it would not agree to a ceasefire if Israel continued its military activity in the West Bank.

Mahmoud Abbas says that he has ordered security forces to enforce the deal in northern Gaza.

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Peace?

25 November 2006

Just this morning I wrote a post about the violence continuing in the Middle East, but now, at least for a time, it will stop, according to BBC News. On Sunday at 0400 GMT (8:00 PM in Los Angeles or 11:00 PM in New York), a ceasefire will come into effect in the Gaza Strip.

Mahmoud Abbas says that he has agreement from all militant groups to halt their rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip, and Ehud Olmert has also agreed to the ceasefire.

Whether or not this holds remains to be seen. However, if neither side breaks the peace, Shalit is returned, Palestinians prisoners are released, and a Palestinians state is created with part of Jerusalem, among other factors, it is believed to be possible that it could become permanent.

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Violence Continues in Middle East

25 November 2006

At least one person was killed in explosions in Gaza City, according to the Jerusalem Post, and several bystanders were also injured. IDF soldiers shot and killed a ten-year-old in Jabalya, in the northern Gaza Strip.

Israeli forces also found explosives in dolls and stuffed animals, and a Qassam rocket destroyed an empty house, though fortunately no one was killed.

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262 Killed Thursday in Iraq

24 November 2006

262 Iraqis were killed Thursday, according to Antiwar.com, and 291 wounded, and the death toll is expected to rise. Sunni militias killed at least 161 and wounded 257 in Sadr City (which is Shi’ite). 101 Iraqis were also killed or found dead in other regions.

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Red Cross Suspends Work in Gaza

23 November 2006

The Red Cross has suspended work in Gaza after two workers, aged 36 and 63, were abducted near Khan Younis, according to BBC News, though they were later released. According to Red Cross spokesman Eyad Nasser, “employees will stay in their homes and offices and only leave in emergencies.”

No one claimed responsibility for the abductions of the two workers.

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