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DGI Brief - Aug 18, 2016

Good Thursday, everyone. Today's top 5 global issues news are about #SouthSudan #Haiti #Europe #Syria and #India

- Is SOUTH SUDAN’s peaceful future doomed? Rebel leader Riek Machar was replaced as first vice president after last month’s violent clashes because he fled the country claiming an assassination attempt. The UN confirmed he was in neighboring Congo. Machar insists on remaining in exile until a regional peacekeeping force is deployed to Juba. UN Security Council approved such a force, 4,000-soldiers strong, but South Sudan has not yet accepted it citing sovereignty concerns. Must the birth of a democracy always be this bloody?

- HAITI: Experts all around have confirmed that the deadly cholera epidemic “would not have broken out but for the actions of the United Nations.” The epidemic has been scientifically linked to UN peacekeepers from Nepal after infected sewage leaked into the biggest local river in 2010. At least 10,000 people died and 800,000 have been affected by this cholera outbreak. The UN continues to claim diplomatic immunity that most experts see as legally indefensible. The world’s greatest beacon & advocate of human rights, accountability & fight against impunity is losing credibility & integrity with each moment it continues to deny responsibility & refuse to make reparations to the victims. It never had to come this far… It’s crisis management 101.

- EUROPE: A new study by GERMANY’s Bertelsmann Foundation reports that integration & social support programs across Sweden, Denmark, France, Germany, Austria, Holland, Spain, Italy & UK have yielded very poor results btw. 2013-2014 (only available data). The measure of success is the ability for refugees to join the work force. Even Sweden, where all asylum seekers are entitled to work & has robust integration programs, saw only 11% of refugee women & 28% men successfully find work. Other countries have a poor record of integration through job placement initiatives. Meanwhile, AUSTRIA has proposed new legislature that would require unemployed asylum seekers to perform unpaid public service works and outlaw the wear of full-body veil or niqab. Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel also described the veil as an obstacle to integration.

- The heartbreaking images of SYRIA’s children being pulled out of rubble may be haunting our collective conscience, but the warring sides continue fighting, dropping bombs & besieging civilians in Aleppo. UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, dissolved a meeting of the humanitarian task force today after only 8 minutes because it makes no sense to plan aid distribution when no aid convoys have been allowed in to Aleppo in one month. Calls for a 48-hour ceasefire to allow convoys of aid shipment are ignored. How could we be so heartless…

- The unrest in INDIA-ruled Kashmir has claimed over 64 lives in last 40 days of violent protests, clashes with security forces & strict curfews. Amnesty International organized a public discussion on human rights abuses to give voice to victims, but were instead accused of inciting hatred against the state. AI rejects the accusations but has temporarily closed its offices & postponed all planned events for security reasons.

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