Showing posts from May 1, 2011

Deep inside the Naxal heartland to bring out the truth about child soldiers

Source: The weekendleader By Kavita Kanan Chandra   Mumbai 07 May 2011 Posted 06-May-2011 Vol 2 Issue 18 A Maoist stronghold is not a place that journalists normally visit. But after taking an arduous journey into the deep forests of Saranda in the Jharkhand-Orissa border and meeting the military commander of People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA), 25-year-old Neha Dixit of Headlines Today came out with a chilling story. Her interview with a child warrior of the Naxals went like this: Q : What made you join the Bal Sangathan? Girl: Police had set our house on fire and took away my father with them. Some sangathan (organization) people were present around at that time. So I came along with them. Q: How many children have come here in the last 2-3 months? Girl: Four batches of 30-40 kids have come. Neha, who recorded the activities in the Naxal training camps with a spycam at great personal risk, laments the loss of innocence of children as young as six, who are trained

IM, SIMI and now Naxals besiege Pune

Source: mid day After banned outfits like SIMI and Indian Mujahideen made it their domicile and target, Pune is now abode to another anti-state ensemble, that of the Naxalites The red corridor, dominant in the jungles on the western borders of the state, has made a foray into its eastern, urban centres, to set base in Pune. That the cultural capital of the state is now a hub for the Naxalite movement came to light after six alleged Naxals were arrested by the state Anti-Terrorism Squad. Worse, the ATS suspects many more Maoists of taking shelter in the city. This, however, is not the first signpost that marks out Pune as the axis of anti-social or anti-national agents. Earlier, a number of terrorists from the Indian Mujahideen and the Students' Islamic Movement of India were found to be residing in the city and were arrested by authorities.  Nabbed:  Mansoor Peerbhoy, a web-based engineer who was the IM's  whiz-kid, was a Pune resident. File pic Why Pune   Other than the de

Ban warns Sudan rivals over oil region tensions

( AFP ) –  12 hours ago UNITED NATIONS — UN chief Ban Ki-moon warned Friday that new deadly clashes in the disputed oil region of Abyei risk undermining relations between the rival north and south Sudan governments as they head for permanent separation. Scores have been killed in recent clashes in the frontier region where both sides have staged a significant military buildup and Ban demanded that they "refrain from provoking each other," his spokesman said. "The secretary general is deeply concerned by the continued tension in the Abyei area and underscores that the military stand-off is unacceptable," said UN spokesman Martin Nesirky. Ban urged the north and south "to immediately implement the short-term containment measures" agreed in January and March to reduce tensions. The rival governments agreed then to keep their troops apart and to hold talks to settle Abyei's future. "The resumption and conclusion of the negotiations on Abyei must now

Pro-PKK Party Supports Opposition in Kurdistan

Source: rudwa Former head of PCDK Fayaq Gulpi. Photo courtesy of PCDK. ERBIL, Iraqi Kurdistan – Members of the pro-PKK Democratic Solution Party (PCDK) have recently been arrested in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq for supporting demonstrations. The PCDK called on the  KRG to release demonstrators and the security forces to leave the streets. On April 21st, Fayaq Gulpi, a member of the KNK, and former head of PDCK was arrested in a security checkpoint in the province of Sulaimani and allegedly tortured. Also PCDK-members Ebubekir Mecit and  Kemal Said Sadik Kadir were arrested for supporting demonstrations. The detentions came after the KRG decided to ban the demonstrations. The next day, the Kurdistan National Congress asked the Kurdish authorities to release the arrested PCDK members. Most of them were released after 8-10 hours, but Kadir was jailed for 10 days for  supporting protests in the border town of Penjwin, said PCDK-member Emir Star. On May 5th yet another PCDK member name

Anwar al-Awlaki targeted in US military attack in Yemen

Anwar al-Awlaki was reportedly the intended target in a US military attack that left at least two suspected al Qaeda militants dead in Yemen. Anwar al-Awlaki is seen in a video released by SITE Intelligence Group on Nov. 8, 2010. Al-Awaki was reportedly the intended target of a US drone attack in Yemen, Friday. SITE Intelligence Group/AP/File By  Todd Eastham , Reuters / May 7, 2011 The U.S. drone aircraft attack that killed two midlevel al Qaeda militants in  Yemen  on Thursday was targeting the leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a U.S.-born radical known for encouraging attacks on the United States, U.S. media reported. Skip to next paragraph Related Stories The Monitor's View:   The killing of Osama bin Laden: Was capture really an option? Bin Laden's death puts exclamation point on Al Qaeda's demise How Osama Bin Laden's death will affect Al Qaeda in Yemen CBS News and The Wall Street Journal, citing Yemeni and U.S. officials, s

36 die in Syria 'Day of Defiance': rights group, army

( AFP ) –  17 hours ago DAMASCUS — Syrian security forces shot dead at least 26 protesters as thousands rallied on a "Day of Defiance" against the Syrian regime, a rights group said, with authorities accusing "terrorists" of killing 10 security personnel. The violence came as the European Union agreed to impose sanctions on 13 Syrian officials involved in the regime's brutal crackdown on protests and will meet Monday to discuss whether to target Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as well, diplomats said. The United States warned it would take "additional steps" against Syria if it continues its crackdown, a week after imposing tough sanctions on the Arab nation. The Syrian rights group, Insan, put the day's toll at 26 killed but said it expected this to rise. "Death toll for today is 26," Insan said in a statement received by AFP in Nicosia. The toll included 16 protesters killed in the central city of Homs, six in Hama, north of Damascus

16 killed in Christian village in northern Nigeria: police

(AFP ) –  12 hours ago KANO, Nigeria — At least 16 people were killed in a pre-dawn attack Friday in a Christian village in northern Nigeria beset by ethnic and sectarian violence, police told AFP. Unidentified gunmen attacked the farming village in Bauchi state, one of the worst hit states by post election riots last month, killing 16 residents and burning 20 houses. "There was an attack on Kurum village by unknown gunmen and from reports reaching me 16 people have been killed and 20 houses burnt in the attack," Amama Abakasanga, Bauchi state police commissioner, told AFP by telephone from Bauchi. The area which came under attack is in Borogo local government area and along the border with violence-wracked Plateau state, whose capital Jos has been a flashpoint of sectarian unrest. Police have deployed in the area to prevent escalation of violence in this region, notorious for clashes pitting predominantly Christian farmers and Fulani Muslim nomads. Bauchi state is predomin

INSIGHT:The challenges of democracy in Africa

By Dr Jean Ping Africa’s destiny will be shaped by how much Africa constructs a sense of common identity based, not on the narrow lenses of state, race or religion, but constructed on Africa’s belief in democracy, governance and unity as the most viable policy option to mediate, reconcile and accommodate our individual and collective interests.  Events in North Africa, despite providing hope and mixed results, remind us that no matter the difference in the colour of our eyes, skin, religion, wealth and geography, we all yearn for liberty and equality, something more consequential and bigger than “big and strong men.”  What are the possibilities of the contagion effect of the situation in North Africa? What policies can the AU develop to respond to the situations? Do these events mark the end of the history of the political evolution in Africa? While not entirely neglecting these very important questions, I would like to address the broader democracy and governance challenge facing

Defence to review 'risk' of social media

Defence Minister Stephen Smith.  Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Defence Minister Stephen Smith has warned the use of social media by Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel could put the military's reputation at risk. The defence minister's warning came a day after charges were laid against a former ADF member over the  setting up of a gay-hate Facebook page . Mr Smith today announced an external consulting company would head a review into the use of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, in light of ADF values. Advertisement: Story continues below The social media review is part of a raft of studies looking at the defence force, including the use of alcohol and leadership opportunities available to women. Mr Smith said the review would raise awareness among ADF employees that the information they share on social media often becomes public. "That which people [post on social media], which becomes public, particularly if they are representing Australia or representing the