Tag Archives: Civil unrest

The G7 nations are pressing for an independent investigation into alleged rights violations in Tigray, Ethiopia | Instant News

Asmara, 11, holds her one-year-old younger brother Barakat on the doorstep of the classroom they now live in at the Tsehaye primary school, which has been turned into a temporary shelter for refugees due to conflict, in the city of Shire. , Tigray Region, Ethiopia, March 15, 2021. REUTERS / Baz Ratner

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The United States, Germany, France and other G7 nations on Friday called for an independent and transparent investigation into alleged human rights violations during the conflict in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region.

Ethiopia’s federal army ousted the former ruling regional party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), from the capital Mekelle in November.

Thousands of people died, hundreds of thousands were forced to flee and there is a shortage of food, water and medicine in the region. The government says most fighting has stopped but there are still isolated shooting incidents.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said last week Eritrea had agreed to withdraw troops it had sent during fighting into Ethiopian territory along their common border amid growing reports of human rights abuses. Eritrea has denied its troops joined the conflict.

The G7 foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain and the United States as well as EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell expressed their concerns in a joint statement.

“All parties must exercise complete restraint, ensure the protection of civilians and respect human rights and international law,” they said.

“It is imperative that there is an independent, transparent and impartial investigation into the crimes reported and that those responsible for human rights violations are held accountable,” the ministers said.

They said the withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Tigray had to be swift, unconditional and verifiable and that a political process acceptable to all Ethiopians had to be established that led to credible elections and a process of national reconciliation.

Ethiopia’s foreign ministry said in March it was ready to work with international human rights experts to carry out investigations into alleged abuses.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Edited by Peter Graff


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Australia asked the Myanmar military to release Australia’s economic adviser | Instant News

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia on Friday asked Myanmar’s ruling military to immediately release an Australian economic adviser to ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been in detention for two months.

Sean Turnell, a professor of economics at Macquarie University in Sydney who has advised Suu Kyi for years, was reportedly charged a week ago under Myanmar’s official secrets law, along with Suu Kyi and several of her ministers.

Describing it as “arbitrary detention”, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in a statement that Turnell had been detained with limited consular access.

“Australia continues to seek immediate release and official information on the reasons for his detention both in Myanmar and through the embassy in Australia,” a foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement. We call on the military regime to allow Professor Turnell to return to his family in Australia.

Turnell is the first foreign national to be arrested after a February 1 military coup overthrew Suu Kyi’s government.

Reporting by Lidia Kelly. Edited by Gerry Doyle


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Explosive protests erupted across Brazil as Bolsonaro addressed his nation | Instant News

FILE PHOTO: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro speaks during a ceremony at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, 23 February 2021. REUTERS / Ueslei Marcelino

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Massive protests erupted across Brazil on Tuesday as President Jair Bolsonaro defended the coronavirus response in a televised address on the same day that Latin America’s largest country recorded its highest COVID-19 death toll. ever existed.

Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter; Edited by Chris Reese


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Italian parents and children protest against school closures due to COVID | Instant News

ROME (Reuters) – Thousands of Italian parents, children and teachers staged protests in squares above and below the country on Sunday against what they called unnecessary school closings to try to curb COVID-19 infections.

FILE PHOTO: A masked man walks in front of a closed school as Lombardy tightens restrictions due to a spike in the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections in the region, in Milan, Italy, March 5, 2021. REUTERS / Flavio Lo Scalzo

The protests, a significant first against Mario Draghi’s national unity government that came to power last month, were held on more than 35 squares across the country including the Piazza del Popolo in Rome and the downtown Piazza Duomo in Milan.

Protesters in Rome wore stupid hats to demonstrate the impact the closure had on student education, while in Milan student messages and placards propped against their school backpacks rested on the ground.

The number at each venue is limited due to the coronavirus meeting restrictions.

“Open school, whatever the way,” reads a plaque held aloft by a child in Rome, referring to Draghi’s famous promise to save the euro when he became head of the European Central Bank in 2012.

Most Italian schools for all ages have been closed since March 15, when Draghi stepped up efforts to control the virus, with students attending online lessons from home.

“We ask for one thing: that our schools be given important public service status and reopen immediately,” Rome’s national network of “Open Schools” which organized the demonstration said in a statement.

Since the outbreak in Italy began 13 months ago, schools have closed and reopened at various times depending on the age group and local infection rates, but overall there are fewer face-to-face schools than in most other European countries.

The final closure is the latest for millions of parents forced to work from home or pay for childcare.

The government says closings are needed because of rising infection rates, and especially the increased prevalence of the variant first discovered in the UK, where transmission is high among younger age groups.

Draghi promised on Friday that schools will be the first things to reopen when current COVID restrictions are relaxed.

Reporting by Gavin Jones; Edited by Frances Kerry


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We can get most of the Germans vaccinated by the end of the summer: BioNTech founder | Instant News

BERLIN (Reuters) – BioNTech founders, partnering with Pfizer in making one of the first coronavirus vaccines approved for use, are optimistic that the virus will be under control in most European countries by the end of the summer despite the faltering vaccines. became available.

In Germany, shopkeepers who are closed and potential tourists are becoming increasingly nervous over COVID-19 restrictions. About 20,000 people protested against the lockdown in downtown Kassel on Saturday.

EU governments have faced criticism over the slow start of their vaccination campaign, with supply hiccups leaving the bloc lagging far behind countries such as Israel, Britain and the United States.

But BioNTech founder Ugur Sahin said he was optimistic the problem was temporary, adding it was possible to ensure 70% of Germans were vaccinated by the end of September, at which point he said the virus would cause little trouble.

“In many European countries and the US, we probably won’t need a lockdown at the end of the summer,” he told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper. “There will be an outbreak, but it will be background noise. There will be mutations, but they will not scare us. “

Nearly 9% of the German population had received at least one shot of the vaccine as of Saturday. Meanwhile, the UK is past the halfway point with 50% of adults receiving at least one dose.

In Germany, the slow deployment of vaccines and ongoing restrictions are weighing heavily on the plight of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, who are slipping on polls in an election year even as the increasing number of COVID-19 cases looks set to force the authorities to put the brakes on. efforts to gradually reopen the economy.

The incidence was above 100 cases per 100,000 population for a week – a threshold above which authorities say they should impose stricter spacing rules to stop an overburdened health care system.

“Many are disappointed,” Bavarian conservative Prime Minister Markus Soeder, a candidate who is likely to replace Merkel in the national election, told the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper.

“The wrong move now risks turning this third wave (of the virus) into a permanent wave,” he said ahead of a meeting on Monday with national and regional leaders where they are expected to discuss the next steps of the coronavirus.

“We have a tool: an emergency brake. It has to be implemented strictly everywhere in Germany, “Soeder said, referring to the possibility of halting the easing of restrictions.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Edited by Frances Kerry


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