Monthly Archives:November 2019

ByVidWorld

UN Tries to cut Numbers at EU-funded Migrant Center in Libya

The U.N. refugee agency plans to cut the number of migrants staying at an overcrowded transit center in Libya’s capital, a spokesman said Saturday.

Libya is a major waypoint for migrants fleeing war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East to Europe.

“The situation is very difficult, and we do not have the resources” because the center in Tripoli is at about twice its capacity, with some 1,200 migrants, Charlie Yaxley, a UNHCR spokesman, told The Associated Press.

The UNHCR has asked those refugees not registered with the agency to leave the European Union-funded Gathering and Departure Facility, offering an assistance package that includes cash for an initial two months.

“You will not be considered for evacuation or resettlement if you stay at the GDF,” the agency warned the migrants, according to a document obtained by the AP. It added that those seeking registration with the agency could only do so “outside” the facility.

The UNHCR said it would phase out food distribution for the unregistered migrants, including dozens of tuberculosis patients, from Jan. 1.

Yaxley said the agency also offered to facilitate returning the migrants to their home country or to a country they previously registered as asylum-seekers.

Migrants, however, decried the move, fearing they would end up at detention centers or at the mercy of human traffickers.

“The migrants are reluctant and have their concerns about leaving the GDF,” one person seeking shelter at the facility said, who spoke on condition of anonymity for his safety. The surrounding areas of Tripoli have seen heavy fighting between armed factions since April.

The self-styled Libyan National Army, led by Gen. Khalifa Hifter, launched an offensive to capture the capital city in April, clashing with an array of militias loosely allied with the U.N.-supported but weak government there.

The fighting has stalled in recent weeks, with both sides dug in and shelling one another along Tripoli’s southern reaches. They have also carried out airstrikes and drone attacks.

In July, an airstrike hit a detention center for migrants outside Tripoli, killing more than 50 migrants held there. The Tripoli-based authorities blamed the LNA for the airstrikes. The LNA, however, said it was targeting a nearby military site, not the detention center.

After the airstrike, hundreds of former detainees made their way into the GDF, the agency said. They were followed by another group of around 400 people from Abu Salim detention center in late October, as well as up to 200 people from urban areas, the UNCHR said.

The gathering point, which was opened a year ago, has capacity for around 600 people.

“We hope that the GDF will be able to return to its original function as a transit facility for the most acutely vulnerable refugees, so we are able to evacuate them to safety,” said UNHCR’s Chief of Mission for Libya Jean-Paul Cavalieri.

There are some 40,000 refugees and asylum-seekers living in urban areas across Libya, some of whom are extremely vulnerable, face abuse in militia-run detention centers, and are in desperate need of support, according to the U.N. refugee agency.

Separately, the Libyan coast guard said Saturday it intercepted at least 205 Europe-bound migrants off the western town of Zawiya. The African migrants, who included 158 men, 33 women and 14 children, were given humanitarian assistance and were taken to the detention center in Tajoura.

Libya’s detention centers are rife with abuse and Europe’s policy of supporting the coast guard has come under growing criticism.

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ByVidPolit

Побиття студентів «Беркутом» в 2013-му: Зеленський висловив бажання зустрітися з тодішніми постраждалими

Президент України Володимир Зеленський анонсував на наступний тиждень зустріч з учасниками акції в ніч з 29 на 30 листопада 2013 року на майдані Незалежності в Києві, які постраждали від бійців спецпідрозділу «Беркут».

«Сьогодні ми майже не згадуємо імен безпосередніх учасників тих подій, що фактично змусили Україну прокинутися та стали відправною точкою великих перетворень. Де вони зараз? Чи залишились в Україні? Чи отримали після Революції Гідності можливість керувати країною та втілювати зміни? Наступного тижня я дуже хотів би зустрітися зі студентами, які були на Майдані в ніч з 29 на 30 листопада 2013 року», – написав Зеленський на сторінці у Facebook.

Він зазначив, що жорстоке побиття студентів «Беркутом» 6 років тому «сколихнуло все суспільство».

«Їх було небагато. Вони залишилися ночувати на Майдані не заради майбутніх портфелів чи мандатів, не для того, щоб заробити політичні бали чи дивіденди, а тільки заради одного – щасливого майбутнього для своєї країни. Вони й були тими самими романтиками, які роблять революцію, плодами якої потім, як відомо, користуються негідники», – додав президент.

У ніч на 30 листопада 2013 року, коли бійці нині розформованого спецпідрозділу «Беркут» розігнали мирну акцію протесту (переважно студентів) на Майдані незалежності в Києві, від дій силовиків потерпіли 84 людини, які зазнали тілесних ушкоджень різного ступеня тяжкості. Після цього, 1 грудня 2013 року, на вулиці Києва на віче вийшли кілька сотень тисяч людей.

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ByVidPolit

Уряд зацікавлений розвивати мережу мобільних ЦНАПів – міністр розвитку громад і територій

В уряді зацікавлені розвивати мережу центрів надання адміністративних послуг громадянам, зокрема мобільних, повідомила в програмі «Суботнє інтерв’ю» на Радіо Свобода міністр розвитку громад і територій Альона Бабак. За її словами, цього тижня два мобільних ЦНАПи були передані в громади Дніпропетровської та Хмельницької областей.

«Позиція нашого уряду сьогодні – послуги, яких людина максимально потребує, повинні бути надані там, де вона проживає. Саме ці мобільні центри надання адміністративних послуг є першими «ластівками», які ми отримали за допомогою міжнародної програми ЄС «U-LEAD з Європою» уряду Швеції. Цьогоріч вони планують передати додатково ще шість таких мобільних центрів, а наступного – допоможуть нам модернізувати й облаштувати практично 600 центрів надання адміністративних послуг», – повідомила Альона Бабак.

За її словами, розвиток мережі мобільних ЦНАПів дозволить надавати щонайменше 20-50 видів адміністративних послуг громадянам.

Альона Бабак додала, що завдання уряду – до кінця цього року мати оптимальну мережу центрів надання адміністративних послуг.

«Ми розробили стандарти надання різних сервісів і послуг: медичних, освітніх, культурних, спортивних і адміністративних. У нас вже є ці стандарти, відповідно до них, ми завершуємо до середини грудня формування цієї оптимальної мережі», – додала міністр.

Перші ЦНАПи (центри надання адміністративних послуг) почали з’являтися в Україні у 2013 році. Ці державні установи працюють за принципом «єдиного вікна» та «прозорого офісу».

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ByVidWorld

Climate Activists Invade East German Coal Mines in Protest

Climate activists protested at open-pit coal mines in eastern Germany, pouring onto the premises to urge the government to immediately halt the use of coal to produce electricity.

The news agency dpa reported that police estimated more than 2,000 people took part Saturday at sites near Cottbus and Leipzig and that some of the demonstrators scuffled with police. Three officers were reported slightly injured at the Janschwaelde mine near Cottbus. The mine operators, Leag und Mibrag, filed police reports asking for an investigation and possible charges.

Burning coal releases carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas blamed by scientists for global warming. The German government plans to end the use of coal by 2038 and spend 40 billion euros ($44 billion) on assistance for the affected mining regions.

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ByVidWorld

Commonwealth, AU, OIF Call for Peace and Unity in Cameroon

Three international organizations have ended an official visit to Cameroon with a call for efforts to restore security, justice and the conditions for the resumption of normal life in English-speaking northwest and southwest regions of the country hit by the separatist crisis that has killed over 3,000 people. The Commonwealth, African Union, and International Organization of La Francophonie delegation says it is convinced dialogue remains the preferred path for peace to return, but that the government should start implementing the recommendations of the last major national dialogue it organized. Some, however, have been critical of government efforts.

Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the African Union Commission, says after exchanging views with Cameroonian President Paul Biya, Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute, representatives of the main political parties, religious leaders, youth representatives and a cross-section of Cameroonians,  the organizations are convinced that there is a yearning for peace to return to the restive English-speaking regions.

Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat delivers a speech during the African Union (AU) summit at the Palais des Congres in Niamey, Niger, July 7, 2019.
FILE – Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat delivers a speech during the African Union (AU) summit at the Palais des Congres in Niamey, Niger, July 7, 2019.

He says they noted that a majority of Cameroonians welcomed the convening of the Grand National Dialogue from September 30 to October 4,  in which Cameroon’s government  consulted with political party leaders, activists, opinion leaders, traditional rulers, lawmakers and clergy, and are anxiously waiting for the government to implement its recommendations.  Those recommendations include establishing some sort of special status for the minority English-speaking regions, to be considered by the country’s parliament.  It also backed enforcement of the constitutional language giving English and French equal status and saying they must be used in all public offices and documents.  It also backed continuing the process of decentralization by giving more powers and resources to local councils.  

Mahamat participated in the tripartite mission with  International Organization of La Francophonie Secretary General Louise Mushikiwabo and Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland to encourage national peace efforts.

Mahamat said after their meetings in Yaounde, they observed that a large majority of Cameroonians supported the convening of the major national dialogue and believe it aided their quest for peace.  He said they were convinced that dialogue remains the only path to peace, and asked the government to implement the recommendations of the national dialogue.

After the national dialogue, hundreds of prisoners were freed when Biya ordered a halt to court proceedings against them, saying he was implementing the recommendations of the dialogue.

However, Albert Mvomo, an official of the opposition Cameroon United Party, says Biya’s government has not been doing enough to solve the crisis. He says the AU, OIF and Commonwealth delegation should have proposed sanctions to force Biya to solve the crisis.

He says the three organizations, like any international organization, should force the government in Yaounde to solve the crisis in the English-speaking regions through economic and diplomatic sanctions. He says Cameroon’s government shows no serious sign of wanting to stop the crisis.

Mvomo said the growing number of displaced people in towns and villages in the French-speaking regions showed the government has not been doing much to stop the separatist conflicts.

Simon Munzo,  an Anglophone leader who took part at the national dialogue, says while some recommendations would require legislation, Cameroon should have started showing serious signs that it wants peace to return by restoring public infrastructure and villages and towns destroyed by the fighting for the population to return.  

“We expect the government to maintain the momentum through the implementation of the recommendations of the dialogue,” said Munzo. “Some of them require legislation. Others do not, for example rebuilding schools and bridges and all of that. You do not need legislation for that except in terms of budgeting. Now, there are other aspects that will require modifying the constitution.”

Separatists have insisted on social media that they do not recognize the outcome of the national dialogue and will be ready to negotiate with the Yaounde government only on the terms of the separation of the English-speaking and French-speaking parts of Cameroon.

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