Five Humanitarian Hotspots 2020

Five Humanitarian Hotspots 2020

 As 2020 begins it is clear that the global humanitarian overview is worsening. Deepening crises across Sub-Saharan Africa,  the Middle-East, and, Latin America and the Caribbean presage growing challenges to the humanitarian community. While each region presents its own challenges and unique context, broadly speaking, a range of factors have created conditions which have the capacity to boil over in the coming months. These include, increased environmental precarity due, in no small part, to the deepening global climate crisis, displacement, the spread of disease and political strife and conflict. Moreover, the knock-on effect of previous humanitarian emergencies experienced over the last decade which, for affected populations, have barely subsided increases pressure on already fragile contexts. This, coupled with an ever more unstable international order unwilling to engage in all but narrow interests and ongoing economic carve-up of the Global South, heavily implies 2020 and the coming years will present serious serious global challenges to an already strained system. As such, here are five coming inflection points that will undoubtedly shape the humanitarian context for 2020 and beyond.

 

 

Central Sahel

The ‘three-country crisis’ engulfing the border regions of the contiguous African states of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger is worsening. Insecurity caused by extremism and aloof central governments, especially in Mali, has caused the displacement of nearly a million people across the three states. Furthermore, ongoing anti-terrorism operations conducted primarily by France in the region have fractured extremist groups while fomenting deep anti-Western sentiment and, as such, fostered an inchoate upsurge in extremism rather than a sustained demise. The resultant violence and insecurity, displacement (particularly a 500% increase in Burkina Faso since 2018) and a shrinking humanitarian space coupled with extreme poverty has created conditions for a perfect storm. This may well manifest itself in a man-made famine in the coming months in spite of satisfactory agricultural production across the Sahel. 

 

 

Democratic Republic of Congo

While the continuing proliferation of Ebola dominated discourse regarding the DRC in 2019, it was not by any means the only issue facing the country. Less reported outbreaks of measles and cholera lead to the deaths of over 5000 people in the country while mounting conflict and insecurity in the north-eastern province of Ituri and the highland of South Kivu displaced some 300,000.  Moreover, while Ebola has, to some degree, subsided in the face of effective responses, the consequences of the epidemic will live on: weak rule of law and ineffectual multilateral peacekeeping operations in Ebola zones have increased contention amongst various armed actors and conflict-related insecurity has surged. Moreover, neighbouring Uganda faces a growing crisis within its borders due to large scale displacement of Congolese. 

 

 

South Sudan

One of the world’s newest countries, officially established in 2011 following a years-long internecine ethnoreligious conflict, South Sudan had a difficult birth, fraught formative year and its troubles seem likely to continue. A weak central power and ineffectual security forces accused of a litany of human rights abuses have eroded any semblance of institutional trust. Moreover, a patchwork of violent non-state actors in tandem with concurrent climatic shocks, including deadly floods in 2019, have racked the nation displacing thousands and has created a complex humanitarian emergency that does not look set to abate in the near future. Relatedly, South Sudan is considered one of the most dangerous places on earth for aid workers who need to navigate the country’s often confusing power structures and proliferation of armed actors. Despite the situation within South Sudan, there has been some measured progress in creating a unity government, however, this is a grinding peace process and, as such, the humanitarian outlook remains bleak.

 

 

Haiti

Haiti, the Western Hemisphere’s oldest republic, is still reeling from the devastating 2010 earthquake which killed hundreds of thousands, displaced over a million people and crippled the country’s already fragile infrastructure. According to the World Food Programme, currently, more than one in three of Haiti’s almost 11 million inhabitants are in need of urgent food assistance. Of course, the earthquake piled increased pressure onto deep existing socio-economic problems within Haiti. Resultant mass unemployment amongst internally displaced persons still residing in squalid camps on the margins of the capital Port-au-Prince and elsewhere with scant access to vital food and medicine has fomented a sense of hopelessness amongst Haitians. Worse still, concurrent droughts, including in summer 2019 have racked the country destroying agriculture. These factors combined with a dismal economic outlook and an ineffectual and corrupt political class have led to serious political unrest which brought the country to a standstill in September 2019 and things look set to come to another inflection point in the months to follow. 

 

 

Libya

Following the NATO-backed ouster of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has become a plaything for great power competition. Carved into fiefdoms by various armed actors with the backing of a host of international actors including, but not limited to, Egypt, the US, UAE, France, Russia and Turkey, an initial civil conflict simmered down following the formation of the UN-sponsored Government of National Accord (GNA) in 2016. Despite this there remains little in the way of formal security forces beholden to central power, rather, a patchwork of loosely aligned militias under the auspices of the GNA maintains a tenuous hold on the north-east of the county with little hope of projecting power beyond. Meanwhile, the Libyan National Army under General Haftar, a former ally of Gaddafi, controls vast swathes of the interior and north-west including Benghazi. Militant Islamist groups are also present in the south. A relatively low-intensity conflict limited mostly to aerial interdiction and away from urban centres has continued since the initial chaos of the revolution and subsequent civil conflict. This looks set to change and intensify as Haftar seeks to consolidate his power and move into GNA controlled urban centres, including a recent unsuccessful bid for the city of Misrata. If the conflict extends in earnest to urban centres, given Libya’s already extremely fragile situation, a looming catastrophe awaits. 

 

 

 

Photo by Fernando @dearferdo on Unsplash

 

 

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Five Humanitarian Hotspots 2020

As 2020 begins it is clear that the global humanitarian overview is worsening. As such, here are five coming inflection points that will undoubtedly shape the humanitarian context for 2020 and beyond.

Holiday Humanity: Celbridge Community Comes Together

In Ireland, one-third of people over the age of 65 live alone – or 399,815 people – according to the 2016 Census. One community in Kildare decided to take action by bringing people together in celebration on Christmas day. With the help of many local residents, 70 people spent this important holiday with plentiful food and fun.

Vancouver: Harmony for Indigenous and Urban Life?

In Vancouver, plans have been unveiled to rebuild a reserve for Squamish peoples – indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest Coast. The new district will be built over an original Squamish area in downtown Vancouver which was destroyed over a century ago by Canadian officials.

What Do You Know About Direct Provision?

As the 2020 General Election is fast approaching, why not test your knowledge on one of Ireland’s biggest human rights issues of the last two decades; Direct Provision. Brush up on your facts and figures so you can quiz your local candidates and help keep Direct Provision at the front of the new Dáil’s minds!

Could Community Sponsorship be the Answer to Refugee Integration in Ireland?

Community Sponsorship is a pathway to resettlement that involves refugees being welcomed directly into a community by a group of people who have committed to helping them settle in and integrate. One group who have made this commitment are the St Luke’s Welcomes group in Cork City who realised they all shared a desire to act regarding the ongoing refugee crisis.

Aung San Suu Kyi Denies Genocide at the International Criminal Court

In the realm of international politics, few world leaders have incited such hope and then despair as Myanmar’s president Aung San Suu Kyi. Amidst allegations of genocide against the treatment of Myanmar’s Rohingya population, Suu Kyi has been summoned to the International Court of Justice to answer for her nation’s transgressions.

Holiday Humanity: Celbridge Community Comes Together

Holiday Humanity: Celbridge Community Comes Together

In Ireland, one-third of people over the age of 65 live alone – or 399,815 people – according to the 2016 Census. Halo Café decided to bring people in Celbridge together on Christmas day 2019. Halo Café is located in unit 1 Maynooth Road, Celbridge, Co.Kildare. It sells scones, sandwiches and a variety of hot and cold beverages, as well as operating a catering business for all occasions. However, as well as cooking and selling food over this festive season, Halo Café offered to go the extra mile for locals in need. 

 

Matt and Ellie Ryals from the Bridge Church in Celbridge asked Matthew and Clare Black from Halo Cafe if they could use their kitchens to create Christmas dinner for the people of Celbridge who were going to be alone. Instead of just allowing the Bridge Church to borrow their kitchens, Matthew and Clare Black from Halo Café offered to cook Christmas dinner and help organise the event. The staff at Halo Café even volunteered to help cook and serve the guests during the event. 

 

The Christmas dinner was advertised on the Celbridge Information Facebook group and the event spread through word of mouth. Locals shared it online and told their friends and neighbours about it. A number of people contributed food and money to the event. Some even offered to drive guests to the event. The turkey for the Christmas dinner was donated by some kind locals and some of Halo Café’s suppliers donated food too. St.Vincent De Paul and The Mill Community Centre got on board with the event too. 

 

A total of seventy local people attended the event. Matt and Ellie Ryals and the staff from Halo Café made a big effort to help the guests feel welcome. There was a variety of food available for the guests and the venue was decorated with tablecloths with candles on the tables. The guests had the opportunity to enjoy a glass of mulled wine before the festivities began.

 

 

This wasn’t just your average dinner; there was a starter, main course and dessert. It began with vegetable soup and brown bread. Turkey and ham with stuffing and vegetables followed. There was a huge variety of desserts to finish: chocolate fudge cake, pavlova and Christmas pudding. Alex from the Magic Circle, a magicians group, kicked off the entertainment. Comhaltas Maynooth and Matt Ryals played traditional music. They were accompanied by Alex, Jenny Black from Halo Café and many of the guests who joined in. 

 

The Blacks and the Ryals wanted to spread the message that you do not have to be alone at Christmas. They wanted to bring people together to feel supported, especially at Christmas. Many people even in our local community are struggling with loneliness, some may not have any close family or they may be homeless. Matt Black suggested that small towns across Ireland should organise similar events because it brings communities together. Christmas is full of fun but it can be a difficult time too for those facing the festive season alone.

 

 

Featured photo by Olesia Buyar 

Article photo by Matt Black 

 

 

Browse more stories below or sign up to our newsletter to receive our top news straight to your inbox!

 

 

Five Humanitarian Hotspots 2020

As 2020 begins it is clear that the global humanitarian overview is worsening. As such, here are five coming inflection points that will undoubtedly shape the humanitarian context for 2020 and beyond.

Holiday Humanity: Celbridge Community Comes Together

In Ireland, one-third of people over the age of 65 live alone – or 399,815 people – according to the 2016 Census. One community in Kildare decided to take action by bringing people together in celebration on Christmas day. With the help of many local residents, 70 people spent this important holiday with plentiful food and fun.

Vancouver: Harmony for Indigenous and Urban Life?

In Vancouver, plans have been unveiled to rebuild a reserve for Squamish peoples – indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest Coast. The new district will be built over an original Squamish area in downtown Vancouver which was destroyed over a century ago by Canadian officials.

What Do You Know About Direct Provision?

As the 2020 General Election is fast approaching, why not test your knowledge on one of Ireland’s biggest human rights issues of the last two decades; Direct Provision. Brush up on your facts and figures so you can quiz your local candidates and help keep Direct Provision at the front of the new Dáil’s minds!

Could Community Sponsorship be the Answer to Refugee Integration in Ireland?

Community Sponsorship is a pathway to resettlement that involves refugees being welcomed directly into a community by a group of people who have committed to helping them settle in and integrate. One group who have made this commitment are the St Luke’s Welcomes group in Cork City who realised they all shared a desire to act regarding the ongoing refugee crisis.

Aung San Suu Kyi Denies Genocide at the International Criminal Court

In the realm of international politics, few world leaders have incited such hope and then despair as Myanmar’s president Aung San Suu Kyi. Amidst allegations of genocide against the treatment of Myanmar’s Rohingya population, Suu Kyi has been summoned to the International Court of Justice to answer for her nation’s transgressions.

Vancouver: Harmony for Indigenous and Urban Life?

Vancouver: Harmony for Indigenous and Urban Life?

The beautiful country of Canada, helmed by the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans, and famed for its poutine and maple syrup, may soon be the new home of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. But how is this oft-considered egalitarian country housing its Indigenous peoples? 

 

The 2016 Canadian census suggests that 4.9% of the country’s 35.15 million inhabitants are Aboriginal, or Indigenous. There are 634 recognised First Nations governments spread across the country of Canada, with a majority in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia. The term First Nations refers to the predominant Indigenous peoples of North America that live below the arctic circle, and are not Inuit people or European-descended Métis people.

 

This month plans were unveiled to rebuild a First Nations reserve for Squamish peoples, who are native to Western British Columbia including Vancouver and Whistler. The new district will be built over an original Squamish area in downtown Vancouver which was destroyed over a century ago by Canadian officials. The government coerced the remaining residents in the original Squamish village to sell their land, after which the residents were placed on a barge bound for the north of British Columbia and their village was razed. Potentially housing up to 10,000 people, this move is vital in securing a safe space for some of Canada’s Indigenous peoples. 

 

The Squamish people, or Skwxwu7mesh in the Squamish language (the 7 represents a glottal pause), are a people who value oral traditions, working without a writing system until the late 18th century upon coming into contact with Europeans. Yet it was not until the 20th century when Europeans and Canadians began speaking with the elders and informants to document their history. Mainly due to the spread of European diseases, such as influenza, and usurpation of traditionally Squamish lands, over the past century, the Squamish population has been severely reduced. 

 

The location for the reserve exists underneath Burrard Street Bridge, across 11.7 acres of disused wasteland. 87% of internal Squamish Nation members voted in favour of transforming this area into a new district: Senakw. Vancouver is a city exponentially growing in popularity for its economic prospects and enviable lifestyle, being enclosed by several beaches, a metropolitan downtown and beautiful mountains, lakes and nature trails a short drive away.  This has, in turn, led to a shortage in affordable housing which Senakw will surely improve. Between 2010-2018, the city gained 40,000 inhabitants, but only 2,300 rental units. 

 

At more than 500 units per acre, and with buildings up to 56 floors tall, when construction of Senakw begins in 2021, the population density will equal that of Hong Kong – a fact that is only permitted because Senakw exists on federal reserve land rather than on city land of Vancouver.

 

Already, the Squamish Nation has helped comprise three Vancouverite First Nations areas’ smaller projects, returning profits to the nation’s members for community development. Permitting, and encouraging, such a development is a sharp rebuke to a common idea in once-colonial cities that Indigenous peoples and urban living are incompatible. 

 

 

Photo by Revery Architecture

 

 

Browse more stories below or sign up to our newsletter to receive our top news straight to your inbox!

 

 

Five Humanitarian Hotspots 2020

As 2020 begins it is clear that the global humanitarian overview is worsening. As such, here are five coming inflection points that will undoubtedly shape the humanitarian context for 2020 and beyond.

Holiday Humanity: Celbridge Community Comes Together

In Ireland, one-third of people over the age of 65 live alone – or 399,815 people – according to the 2016 Census. One community in Kildare decided to take action by bringing people together in celebration on Christmas day. With the help of many local residents, 70 people spent this important holiday with plentiful food and fun.

Vancouver: Harmony for Indigenous and Urban Life?

In Vancouver, plans have been unveiled to rebuild a reserve for Squamish peoples – indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest Coast. The new district will be built over an original Squamish area in downtown Vancouver which was destroyed over a century ago by Canadian officials.

What Do You Know About Direct Provision?

As the 2020 General Election is fast approaching, why not test your knowledge on one of Ireland’s biggest human rights issues of the last two decades; Direct Provision. Brush up on your facts and figures so you can quiz your local candidates and help keep Direct Provision at the front of the new Dáil’s minds!

Could Community Sponsorship be the Answer to Refugee Integration in Ireland?

Community Sponsorship is a pathway to resettlement that involves refugees being welcomed directly into a community by a group of people who have committed to helping them settle in and integrate. One group who have made this commitment are the St Luke’s Welcomes group in Cork City who realised they all shared a desire to act regarding the ongoing refugee crisis.

Aung San Suu Kyi Denies Genocide at the International Criminal Court

In the realm of international politics, few world leaders have incited such hope and then despair as Myanmar’s president Aung San Suu Kyi. Amidst allegations of genocide against the treatment of Myanmar’s Rohingya population, Suu Kyi has been summoned to the International Court of Justice to answer for her nation’s transgressions.

Could Community Sponsorship be the Answer to Refugee Integration in Ireland?

Could Community Sponsorship be the Answer to Refugee Integration in Ireland?

In the last few years, issues of displacement and resettlement for those seeking refuge from war and violence has become increasingly important across the world. Since 2011, the Syrian War has thrown millions of people into a state of displacement, travelling thousands of miles to seek asylum in countries in which they will be safe from war and persecution. European governments, including Ireland, in 2015-16 committed to resettling Syrian refugees in several EU countries through traditional government resettlement programmes. As the years draw on and many EU countries have broken promises or failed to meet quotas, alternative pathways to resettlement and integration are looking more attractive. These alternatives also appear to be more successful in the long term. 

Community Sponsorship is a pathway to resettlement that involves refugees being welcomed directly into a community by a group of people who have already committed to helping them settle in and integrate into the community. The concept was created in Canada in the late 1970s, with 300,000 refugees successfully resettled since that time. It involves a community group who commit to providing financial, social and administrative support to a refugee family (or individual) and give them a helping hand into beginning their life in this community. The focus of community sponsorship, according to Nasc (the Migrant and Refugee Rights Centre) is “promoting independence, agency and social inclusion for the [Community] Groups and the refugee families”. Generally, the Community Group fundraise a sum of money, source accommodation for the family, and provide language, healthcare and educational support to help the family integrate. Rather than being dropped into an unfamiliar country, often with an unfamiliar language and culture, forced to start from scratch; the family already have an in-built support system and social group to slot into and begin their new life.

In 2015, Ireland committed to resettling 4,000 refugees through the Irish Refugee Protection Programme, of which community sponsorship was one strand. Just over 2,500 refugees have arrived in the four years since the IRPP began. In Ireland, the pilot scheme for Community Sponsorship was launched in 2017 with the first family arriving in Ireland in December 2018. The Al Fakir family from Syria were resettled in Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath, and quickly became involved in community activities such as the local ‘Park Run’, with their daughter Lorca attending a local primary school. Through community sponsorship, five Syrian families have been welcomed into communities in Cork, Meath and Waterford since the scheme was launched. Unlike people arriving into Direct Provision centres, those arriving into Ireland through Community Sponsorship have already been given refugee status and have been identified as needing resettlement. Community Sponsorship takes the responsibility of welcoming refugee families out of the hands of impersonal government officials and forms, and into the open arms of a community ready to welcome them with support and friendship. 

One Community Group who have made this commitment to welcome a refugee family are the St Luke’s Welcomes group in St Luke’s, Cork City who are working along with Nasc to resettle a family in their community. The group was established in the Spring of 2019, by a few members of the community who realised they all shared a desire to act regarding the ongoing refugee crisis. Several of the members had been involved already with the work of Nasc, while for others this is their first taste of activism. One of the members, Jean, talked about how a leaflet through her door from St Luke’s Welcomes coincided with her watching the emotional RTÉ series Taken Down, inspiring her to act and get involved. The group are in the process of finding a house for the family to rent in the St Luke’s area, as well as fundraising an amount of around €10,000 to help with initial costs and support. One of the group members, Maria, who is also the Nasc Community Sponsorship Project Worker, outlined that this fundraised money would go towards things such as initial rent payments, transport costs, healthcare and dentistry needs, interpretation costs and English language tuition. The aim is that these costs will be taken over by the family once they have social welfare payments or an income, but they take away some of the extra hurdles to integration presented by emergency reception centres, which are often isolated from the community. 

Many members of the group believe that not only is Community Sponsorship simply a superior method than traditional resettlement, but it is particularly fitting for resettlement in Ireland. Ailbhe, a member of St Luke’s Welcomes, feels that Community Sponsorship is particularly suited to the Irish mentality and the welcoming nature of the way we live in communities in this country. She said that Irish people find it easier to get behind initiatives like this which avoid years and years of paperwork, and many people see Community Sponsorship as a refreshingly direct route compared to more traditional resettlement. All the members were surprised and touched by the level of positive response they had received from inside and outside of the St Luke’s community, with people approaching them offering many different forms of support and services.

 In modern Ireland, especially in cities like Cork, we often forget the importance of communities. Initiatives like this help to remind us of the benefit that having a community and support system around us has in helping integration and building relationships. Nasc describes how Community Sponsorship requires “hard work, imagination and […] commitment” and can empower not only the resettled family, but also the community that they are welcomed into; creating stronger bonds than may have ever been possible without it.

 

 

Photo by St Luke’s Welcomes

 

Browse more stories below or sign up to our newsletter to receive our top news straight to your inbox!

Five Humanitarian Hotspots 2020

As 2020 begins it is clear that the global humanitarian overview is worsening. As such, here are five coming inflection points that will undoubtedly shape the humanitarian context for 2020 and beyond.

Holiday Humanity: Celbridge Community Comes Together

In Ireland, one-third of people over the age of 65 live alone – or 399,815 people – according to the 2016 Census. One community in Kildare decided to take action by bringing people together in celebration on Christmas day. With the help of many local residents, 70 people spent this important holiday with plentiful food and fun.

Vancouver: Harmony for Indigenous and Urban Life?

In Vancouver, plans have been unveiled to rebuild a reserve for Squamish peoples – indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest Coast. The new district will be built over an original Squamish area in downtown Vancouver which was destroyed over a century ago by Canadian officials.

What Do You Know About Direct Provision?

As the 2020 General Election is fast approaching, why not test your knowledge on one of Ireland’s biggest human rights issues of the last two decades; Direct Provision. Brush up on your facts and figures so you can quiz your local candidates and help keep Direct Provision at the front of the new Dáil’s minds!

Could Community Sponsorship be the Answer to Refugee Integration in Ireland?

Community Sponsorship is a pathway to resettlement that involves refugees being welcomed directly into a community by a group of people who have committed to helping them settle in and integrate. One group who have made this commitment are the St Luke’s Welcomes group in Cork City who realised they all shared a desire to act regarding the ongoing refugee crisis.

Aung San Suu Kyi Denies Genocide at the International Criminal Court

In the realm of international politics, few world leaders have incited such hope and then despair as Myanmar’s president Aung San Suu Kyi. Amidst allegations of genocide against the treatment of Myanmar’s Rohingya population, Suu Kyi has been summoned to the International Court of Justice to answer for her nation’s transgressions.

Aung San Suu Kyi Denies Genocide at the International Criminal Court

Aung San Suu Kyi Denies Genocide at the International Criminal Court

 In the realm of international politics, few world leaders have incited such hope and then despair as Myanmar’s president Aung San Suu Kyi. The 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate rose to power on a wave of hope becoming Myanmar’s State Counsellor, the country’s top office, in 2015. Despite the hopes of the international community, Suu Kyi’s tenure has been marred by allegations of brutal treatment of Myanmar’s minority Muslim population, the Rohingya, who primarily inhabit the western Rakhine state. Amidst allegations of genocide brought by the state of Gabon, Suu Kyi has been summoned to the International Court of Justice to answer for her nation’s transgressions. The dichotomy inherent in Suu Kyi’s championing of civil rights and democracy and apparent blithe indifference to charges of genocide in the face of growing international opprobrium is representative of contradictions at the heart of Myanmar’s politics and, indeed, national and ethnic make-up.

 

            Myanmar, formerly Burma, is comprised of over 100 ethnic groups with the majority Bamar holding the lion’s share of power. The former British colony gained independence in 1948. Su Kyi’s father, Aung San, led the country’s first transitional government, however, he was assassinated in 1947. Held up as a father of the nation and a beacon of democracy, Aung San’s legacy lived on in his daughter’s enduring popularity amongst the Bamar. Structurally, the majority Buddhist Bamar population exist within an effective enclave in the centre of the country ringed by minority groups. Civil conflict of varying degrees between the Bamar majority and minority groups as well as a repressive military junta who seized power in 1962 have long been staples of the country’s political economy. 

 

      Amid increasing international isolation and a dismal economic outlook as well as domestic pressure, in 2010 a pragmatic decision was taken by the junta’s leadership to initiate some degree of democratic reform. However, the levers of power are very much still in the hands of the military and, what’s more, a restrictive constitution stymies any real hope of true reform and ensures a toothless polity. Moreover, as evinced by the country’s dismal human rights record, democratic reform for the Bamar does not imply the same for ethnic minorities within the country. This was the key factor missed by interlocutors who invested such expectation in Suu Kyi. Lastly, the historic distrust between Myanmar’s various ethnic groups, especially that between the Buddhist Bamar and the Muslim Rohingya, who have been held up as scapegoats by influential hard-line Buddhist preachers, all but ensures a policy direction of abuse by Myanmar’s security forces. 

 

       While tensions between the Bamar and Rohingya have alwasy remained high, the current conflagration began in 2016 as a vastly dispropotionate reaction by Myanmar’s security forces to attacks by Muslim militants on police posts in Rakhine state. It has developed into a protracted counter-insurgency operation involving land clearances and large scale round-ups of Rohingya people. Worse still, Buddhist extremists have been involved in brutal mob attacks, rape and violence against Rohngya groups. The crisis has also had knock-on effects creating attendant refugee crises in neighbouring states, especially Bangladesh with more than 730,000 Rohingya fleeing to the country as of 2018 according to Human Rights Watch. Furthermore, 128,000 Muslims, mainly Rohingya but including other minority groups have been interned in detention centres within Myanmar. A cautious estimate puts the death toll at roughly 10,000.

 

           As such, while Suu Kyi attempts to defend Myanmar’s alleged atrocities against its Muslim population citing a terrorist insurgency as the primary reason for “clearance operations” against the Rohingya, it is clear that regardless of her true feelings, which remain opaque, there are structural issues and political forces above her. These forces effectively hamstring any effective response from within Myanmar’s de jure government. Suu Kyi, then, for those who advocated for her, becomes a cautionary tale of hope turning to deep disappointment and, ultimately, chagrin. Tragically, the human cost of this lesson is enormous and may not have yet been fully counted.

 

 

Photo by Stortinget

 

Browse more stories below or sign up to our newsletter to receive our top news straight to your inbox!

 

Five Humanitarian Hotspots 2020

As 2020 begins it is clear that the global humanitarian overview is worsening. As such, here are five coming inflection points that will undoubtedly shape the humanitarian context for 2020 and beyond.

Holiday Humanity: Celbridge Community Comes Together

In Ireland, one-third of people over the age of 65 live alone – or 399,815 people – according to the 2016 Census. One community in Kildare decided to take action by bringing people together in celebration on Christmas day. With the help of many local residents, 70 people spent this important holiday with plentiful food and fun.

Vancouver: Harmony for Indigenous and Urban Life?

In Vancouver, plans have been unveiled to rebuild a reserve for Squamish peoples – indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest Coast. The new district will be built over an original Squamish area in downtown Vancouver which was destroyed over a century ago by Canadian officials.

What Do You Know About Direct Provision?

As the 2020 General Election is fast approaching, why not test your knowledge on one of Ireland’s biggest human rights issues of the last two decades; Direct Provision. Brush up on your facts and figures so you can quiz your local candidates and help keep Direct Provision at the front of the new Dáil’s minds!

Could Community Sponsorship be the Answer to Refugee Integration in Ireland?

Community Sponsorship is a pathway to resettlement that involves refugees being welcomed directly into a community by a group of people who have committed to helping them settle in and integrate. One group who have made this commitment are the St Luke’s Welcomes group in Cork City who realised they all shared a desire to act regarding the ongoing refugee crisis.

Aung San Suu Kyi Denies Genocide at the International Criminal Court

In the realm of international politics, few world leaders have incited such hope and then despair as Myanmar’s president Aung San Suu Kyi. Amidst allegations of genocide against the treatment of Myanmar’s Rohingya population, Suu Kyi has been summoned to the International Court of Justice to answer for her nation’s transgressions.