DGI Brief - July 25, 2016
- AFGHANISTAN: New UN report released over the weekend gives nauseating figures that through June 1,601 civilians were killed, 3,565 wounded & about third of the total casualties were children. It seems these record highs are reached so frequently, it’s almost a trend. What are the counter-insurgency efforts exactly, 10-yrs in? Where do these cowards get their IED & bomb-making materials? There are innovative solutions to mitigate these aspects but no one is willing to try? Please check out the following article from an anti-terrorism & explosive expert: http://bit.ly/1Qe9OBx
- PHILIPPINES: Reviving the peace talks after almost half a century insurgency that left 150,000 dead & crippled the country’s economy, President Duterte’s ceasefire declaration was welcomed by the communist rebels who indicated a positive response after they review the agreement. The President is also looking to pursue peace talks w/ the Muslim insurgents except for the Abu Sayyaf extremist group. Those, he promised, will be crushed. Peace would be priceless. I wish great success for the Philippines. But other of the Presidents policies of the leader are concerning – advocated summary killings for drug trafficking risk widespread random extrajudicial violence.
- HAITI: Resident doctors, interns, nurses & support staff began a strike in March to protest crippling chronic shortages of basic medical supplies, unsafe working conditions & $120/month pay (for resident doctors). Negotiations w/ Haitian government are slow because of a political power struggle & impasse since November last year. According to World Bank, almost 50% of total healthcare expenditure in the country is provided by NGOs. There are long waiting lists for public-private & NGO run medical facilities. That is a troubling direction towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.
- SOUTH SUDAN’s armed opposition leader & first VP Riek Machar is in hiding since this months violent clashes, calls for African Union intervention to secure the capital. A faction of his supporters claims he is replaced by his chief negotiator Taban Deng until Machar returns to Juba. Machar claim he fired Taban. There is zero trust btw. the parties, their power struggles seem endless & meanwhile civilians are suffering & the world is footing the bill for humanitarian & development interventions.
- 12 of the 22 leaders of the Arab League member countries snubbed the Arab League Summit this year. Notably absent heads of state– the Saudis, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine. With conflicts throughout the Middle East & North Africa (MENA), the region cannot afford to play games. If you, Arab leaders, do not talk to each other & do everything you can to bring peace to your region, who will?
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