Drawing upon the voices of cultural leaders to protect and assist the vulnerable, marginalized and displaced.
On Tuesday, leaders from the US, UK, France, Italy, Canada, South Africa, and Malaysia criticized the decision to sentence Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi to 18 months under house arrest. Regional bodies, including the EU and ASEAN, said Suu Kyi's incarceration calls into question the legitimacy of the ruling military regime's planned 2010 elections. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon issued a statement saying he "strongly deplored" the decision and called on the Burmese military government "to immediately and unconditionally release" the Nobel Laureate, and to "engage with her without delay as an essential partner in the process of national reconciliation."
Follow the jump for a full press round-up of the global outcry over the Suu Kyi verdict.
“I've seen first-hand how dire the situation is for Zimbabwean refugees in South Africa. Women are being raped, orphaned children have no protection, and thousands of people are without even the most basic supplies. Every-day survival has become a harrowing task,” said Not On Our Watch board member Matt Damon. “As the situation in Zimbabwe remains unresolved, the international community must stop sitting on the sidelines and instead take action to help those who need it most. Not On Our Watch is proud to support UNICEF's work in this critical time.”
Earlier this week, at the 2012 GEOINT Symposium—the nation’s largest intelligence event—the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, or USGIF, honored DigitalGlobe and theSatellite Sentinel Project, or SSP, with the 2012 Industry Intelligence Achievement Award. This was part of the USGIF Awards Program that annually recognizes the exceptional work of the geospatial intelligence tradecraft’s brightest minds. The award winners are nominated by organizations within the field of geospatial intelligence, known as GEOINT.
Few have ever heard of the Nuba Mountains village of Um Bartumbu, and fewer still have been there. It is located in the conflict-torn state of South Kordofan, Sudan, where troops fighting for the government of Sudan, and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-North, or SPLM/A-N, have been fighting since June 2011. Um Bartumbu Village does not appear on most maps, but it hosts a clinic, a mosque, Sudanese Church of Christ, several storerooms, a communal grinding mill, and copses of desert date trees. But for new eyewitness reports obtained by citizen journalists, the recent discovery and release of a cellphone video, and new confirmation from DigitalGlobe and Landsat satellite imagery, the world would never know of the razing of the village and the forced flight of its inhabitants.
With the 23rd anniversary of President Omar al-Bashir’s oppressive rule fast approaching, protests have swept through Sudan’s capital and neighboring cities. Yet this series of demonstrations “feels different” than previous anti-regime protests, report activists on the ground. Recent austerity measures and price increases have mobilized hundreds of Sudanese to take to the streets shouting, “The people want to bring down the regime!”—a chant that had resonated throughout the Arab world last spring.
JUBA, South Sudan -- Humanitarian aid groups working in South Sudan report that, in the last three weeks, over 35,000 refugees from the Sudanese state of Blue Nile have entered transit centers and over-stretched refugee camps in Upper Nile state. The first week of June alone saw an average of 4,000 people a day streaming across the North-South border into Upper Nile. This influx brings the total number of refugees in the South Sudanese state of Upper Nile to 105,000, a staggering number that exceeds the capacity of the state’s two existing refugee camps, Jammam and Doro.
While many Sudan observers are looking ahead to South Sudan’s first birthday in July, there is another, less auspicious, anniversary to commemorate. Today, June 5, marks one year since the beginning of hostilities in South Kordofan state. The Sudanese Armed Forces, or SAF, and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, have been engaged in combat over the last year; however, a hallmark of the violence has been the SAF’s relentless targeting of civilians, use of indiscriminate bombing, and continued denial of humanitarian aid to devastated and food insecure communities.