Friday’s Daily Brief: human rights in Sudan, sombre anniversaries for Rwanda and Nigeria, and fears of ‘chaos’ in Libya

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This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


Top news on Friday included: a call for respect for human rights in Sudan’s protests; the 25th anniversary of the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda; five years since the Chibok girls were abducted in Nigeria; the UN chief condemning a deadly terrorist attack in Pakistan; continued fighting in Libya’s capital; and an update on Colombia’s peace process.

Sudan military committed to ‘ensuring stability’ and ‘peaceful transition’ says senior diplomat, as UN rights chief appeals for protesters’ rights to be upheld

Sudan’s military has an “overarching duty” to refrain from using violence against protesters and ensure that their human rights are protected amid concerns of a further escalation, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said on Friday.

Her comments followed the ousting of President Omar al-Bashir, announced on State television on Thursday, accompanied by the declaration from the defence minister, that a military council would govern the country for up to two years.

The full story here.

From ‘dead on the inside’ to ‘truly alive’: Survivor of genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda recounts her story as UN marks 25th anniversary

“Miraculously I had no machete marks” a survivor of the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda told a solemn United Nations event in New York on Friday, 25 years on, to remember the systematic killing of more than one million people, over less than three months.

“Most of the survivors we have today were broken in their bodies and their souls”, Esther Mujawayo-Keiner told those gathered in the General Assembly Hall.

More details here.

Five years since mass-abduction of Nigeria’s Chibok girls

In Nigeria, it’s been almost five years since 276 schoolgirls were kidnapped by armed separatists Boko Haram in the town of Chibok. Today, more than 100 of the abducted girls remain missing.

Those that have been rescued or escaped, have been receiving help from UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, which says that since 2013, more than 3,500 children have been recruited and used by non-state armed groups in the north-east of the country.

It has warned that these numbers are only those that have been verified, while the true figures are likely to be higher. In addition to these children, last year, 432 children were killed and maimed, 180 were abducted, and 43 girls were sexually abused in this conflict-wracked part of the Lake Chad region.

Ahead of the 14 April Chibok anniversary, UNICEF appealed to all parties to the on-going violence, to end violations against children and to stop targeting civilian infrastructure, including schools.

This is the only way to make lasting improvements in the lives of children in this devastated part of Nigeria, it said in a statement.

UN chief condemns attack in Pakistan

The UN Spokesperson issued a statement saying the Secretary-General is shocked at today’s attack in Quetta, Pakistan. He strongly condemns this cowardly act and extends his condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of Pakistan.  He wishes a speedy recovery to those injured.

The United Nations expresses its fully solidarity with the Government of Pakistan in its fight against terrorism and violent extremism.

Airstrikes and heavy artillery exchanges increase fears of ‘chaos’ in Libya’s Tripoli

Concern continues to grow for civilians in and around the Libyan capital Tripoli, amid reports of increasingly heavy fighting on the outskirts of the city, between government and opposition forces.

In an update from Tripoli on Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that airstrikes and heavy artillery had been deployed during clashes between the internationally-recognized Government forces and the self-styled Libyan National Army, or LNA.

Here’s WHO’s Dr Jaffar Hussain Syed, speaking from the capital: “Our major worry of escalation is increasing the airstrikes which we have witnessed in the last few days; they have increased from both sides and heavy artillery.  If at all the LNA forces manage to cross the current front line and come closer to the more densely populated city areas that obviously will increase the chaos inside the centre of Tripoli and will obviously end up with more casualties. But so far the centre of Tripoli is relatively calm and we have not witnessed any direct artillery shells coming or airstrikes taking place on the centre of Tripoli.”

Since clashes erupted a week ago, hundreds of people have been injured and dozens have died, including seven civilians – four of them health workers. More than 9,500 people have also fled fighting – 3,500 in the last 24 hours.

Head of UN mission in Colombia updates Security Council on peace process

Carlos Ruiz Massieu, who heads the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, told the Security Council about the latest developments in the country’s peace process implementation. He emphasized the need for the Statutory Law – which is the last missing element to enable the Special Jurisdiction for Peace to operate with independence and autonomy – to be put in place so the peace process can move forward.

Colombian President Iván Duque has delayed the process by objecting to six articles of the draft Statutory Law; the Chamber of Representatives rejected these said objections earlier this week. Now, the Senate’s decision on these objections is pending.

The Special Jurisdiction for Peace is a critical component of the peace process as it is the transitional body in charge of deciding responsibility for crimes committed during the armed conflict. The body started working over a year ago and has now initiated seven large cases concerning “significant violations affecting 820,000 victims.”

“In a climate of uncertainty – for victims, for those subject to the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, for FARC members awaiting funding for social and economic reintegration and for communities who have suffered from the conflict – the greatest uncertainty would be to reopen core elements of the underlying Peace Agreement itself,” said Mr. Ruiz Massieu, calling for the Security Council’s “firm and unified support”.

Nearly 900 children released by north-east Nigeria armed group

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The decision by a large armed group based in north-east Nigeria to release nearly 900 youngsters has been welcomed by UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, which has warned that those freed will need long-term help if they are to lead a normal life in the future.

“Today, 894 children, including 106 girls, were released from the ranks of an armed group called (the) Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) in Maiduguri, north-east Nigeria as part of this group’s commitment to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children,” said Spokesperson Christophe Boulierac.

According to the UN agency, the children of the troubled region “have borne the brunt of years of conflict”, linked to an insurgency led by armed extremist opposition groups.

Youngsters ‘witnessed horrors’

“They have been used by armed groups in combatant and non-combatant roles and witnessed death, killing and violence,” UNICEF said in a statement, noting that the CJTF was formed in 2013 to protect communities and help the Nigerian military fight against separatists.

Friday’s mass-release in regional capital Maiduguri, follows the CJTF’s commitment in September 2017 to end and prevent recruitment and use of children, as part of a UN-led action plan.

In total, 1,727 children and young people have now been released by the CJTF, and UNICEF says that it has not recruited any more children since then. Between 2013 and 2017, the UN agency believes that more than 3,500 children have been recruited and used by non-state armed groups in north-east Nigeria.

Others have been “abducted, maimed, raped and killed”, it says, amid ongoing clashes, mass displacement and alarming levels of food insecurity.

Highlighting the scale of need in a report released earlier this week, UN humanitarian coordinating office OCHA, said that the organization and its partners reached more than 1.2 million people with food security assistance across Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states in March.

Nearly 20,000 children under the age of five were treated for severe acute malnutrition, OCHA said in a statement, adding that humanitarians provided protection services to 87,000 people, while more than half a million people gained access to sanitation facilities.

Released youngsters need training, education to reintegrate

“The children and young people released today will benefit from reintegration programmes to help them return to civilian life and seize new opportunities for their own development,” Mr. Boulierac told journalists in Geneva. “Without this support, many of the children released from armed groups struggle to fit into civilian life as most are not educated and have no vocational skills.”

At least 9,800 people formerly associated with armed groups, as well as vulnerable children in communities, have accessed rehabilitation services between 2017 and 2018, the UNICEF spokesperson added.

Speaking in Nigeria, Mohamed Fall, UNICEF Representative and Co-chair of the UN Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting on Grave Child Rights Violations (CTFMR) reaffirmed his commitment to liberating and helping youngsters caught up in the conflict.

“We cannot give up the fight for the children, as long as children are still affected by the fighting. We will continue until there is no child left in the ranks of all armed groups in Nigeria,” he said.

‘Finally put an end to recruitment and use of children’ – Gamba

The UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba, welcomed the latest release from the CJTF.

“Today, hundreds of freed children will get to go home with their family and will begin a reintegration process that will enable them to fully regain their place into their communities”, she said.

“I call on the CJTF to continue to take tangible measures to better protect children and to release all children from its ranks and finally put an end the recruitment and use of children, as per its commitment with the United Nations”, she added.

Ms. Gamba also called on the international community to provide the necessary resources to UNICEF and its partners “for the reintegration of these children, so they can benefit from comprehensive reintegration services.”

The Top Five Parenting Hacks You Never Knew You Needed.

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I am tired. I am sick and I have a husband and a child at home that I homeschool and I don’t sleep well and my body hurts and I AM TIRED. So, “make my life easier in any way humanly possible” is my motto. Ask and ye shall receive! The internet provides and it provides in the form of hacks.

You may be asking yourself, what exactly are hacks, Christine? Well, I’m glad you did. Hacks, as defined by Urban Dictionary (the site that gave us 453 phrases for sex acts that will send you straight to hell), are clever solutions to tricky problems. Hacks make life simpler.

Well, at least that’s how it was supposed to be, but as the internet provides, the internet also taketh away. The term hack is now everyone’s favorite overused buzzword. It’s clickbait. So, even if that clever idea in the latest internet article has more steps than an IKEA bunk bed instruction manual, they’re still calling it a hack. Case in point, Zooey Deschanel.

No, she’s not the hack, but according to the internet she has a genius parenting “hack” to get her kids to eat their veggies. She’s grown a garden. See, it’s just that simple to get your little Suzy or Tom to like okra. Grow a fucking garden. Warm up the tractor, put on your best overalls, till the soil, fight plague and pestilence, overcome locust swarms, water, weed, repeat, and grow a motherfucking garden.

And I’m not hating on Zooey for growing a garden. Bully for her and her two spawn, Elsie Otter and Charlie Wolf. No, I didn’t make those names up. Those are the actual names of her actual children that came from her actual body. She named them that, and not ironically, I don’t think. I could hate on her for that, but not for growing the garden.

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I’m hating on the internet for calling something as labor and time intensive, as complicated, as backbreaking as growing a motherfucking garden a hack. It’s not. Now, perhaps I’m bitter because I have found it impossible to keep the one houseplant I have in my possession alive. But, counterpoint, growing a garden is not a hack. So there.

Unless the definition of hack has been changed to now include any idea, no matter how convoluted and complex. If that’s the case, baby have I got some hacks for you. The first one is, don’t name your children Elsie Otter and Charlie Wolf. Go big or go home. Don’t hide the good stuff in the middle name. They should be called Otter Elsie and Wolf Charlie or nothing at all.

And here are some other hacks you never knew you needed because, the fact is, you didn’t.

Teaching your child to tie their shoes has never been this easy!

Raise cattle from calf to full grown cow. Slaughter and skin them for their hides. Soak the hides overnight. Now begins the arduous task of scraping fur and flesh from those hides. Get the kids involved! They’ll look back fondly on this step and feel grateful that they wear shoes and aren’t cows. Tan the hide. Dry the hide. Become an old timey cobbler and craft a pair of shoes for your child. Don’t give up now. What kind of mother are you? Then, go to Target, pick up some shoelaces and find a YouTube video on how to tie those shoelaces. If that doesn’t work just make them wear slip ons until they move out of the house.

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Made a mess with glitter? Clean it up the easy way.

Sell the house or burn it down and collect the insurance money.

It’s the only way.

Keep wrapping paper neat, organized, and wrinkle free.

Forget fancy and expensive single use plastic containers! Use a clean wastebasket and stand your tubes on end inside one. You can tuck all your wallpaper out of the way and keep it neat in the back of any closet to keep for later use. Except here’s the thing, you’re going to forget that you have it because it’s tucked out of the way in the closet.

So, one time you’re going to need to wrap a present for that stupid friend of your kid who decided to have his birthday at the germ factory known as Chuck E. Cheese and think you have no wrapping paper. You’ll go out, buy more wrapping paper, find a clever way to store that wrapping paper on Pinterest, buy another garbage can and then discover your hidden stash of wrapping paper in the back of closet. Now you’ve got an extra garbage can and one more damn roll of wrapping paper to store. This will continue each and every month for the duration of your life until you have to claim bankruptcy because you’ve gone into debt buying wrapping paper and garbage cans.

Use Command Hooks for everything!

Want to keep your necklaces from tangling? Command Hooks! Hanging a wreath on your glass door? Command Hooks! Toothbrush holder? Command Hooks! Hanging curtains in a dorm? Command Hooks! Want to impeach a president? Command Hooks! Marriage falling apart? Command Hooks! Need a new kidney? Command Hooks! Have to hide a body? Command Hooks!

Command Hooks! Command Hooks! Command Hooks!

Don’t waste money on a Slip and Slide! Try this hack instead.

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Simply purchase an inexpensive tarp and stake it into the ground with uh, I don’t know, nails. Or maybe large screws? Twigs? Bricks? I have no clue. Something completely unsafe that will cause bodily harm and certainly guarantee at least one trip to the E.R.

Up the ante by slathering your tarp with dish soap so the kids really go flying down that hill and snag their flank on a few screws going down. And place it on the steepest hill in your yard so after they almost sever a limb they can sustain a head injury by slamming into the fence at a high rate of speed. Make the injuries count so you can also face the threat of lawsuits from the parents of your children’s friends.

See, parenting hacks can really make the job just that easy! As easy as it is for Zooey and her motherfucking garden and her broccoli eating kids, Dances with Wolves and Dead Man Walking. Or whatever their names are. Peppa Pig and Dame Edna? I don’t know. Something like that.

Sometimes Wrong Turns Are Meant To Be #childcare

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The plan was simple. Take the teenager, hike a mile and a half into the woods on a marked trail inside a state park, and meet up with friends who were camping. Then, have a glorious day, be wholly and profoundly changed by the experience, impart affirming life lessons, be the hero, eat lunch, and go home. Easy, right? This is not rocket surgery, folks.

Well, the first part was simple enough. And it was, in my dreamy, star filled head. Super simple in the part of my brain that forgot how baffling Target’s new layout still is. Easy peasy in the lobe that doesn’t remember having to use Waze to find my way out of the cul-de-sac for the first six months we lived here.

I suppose I should celebrate the one small victory I had on this day. With no cell service to call my friends for help, I did manage to find the correct trail that led to my friends’ campsite all on my own. Unfortunately, I zigged when I should have zagged, turned us completely around, and headed the other way. The wrong way. The way that was meant to be.

“Do you know what you’re doing?” Begged the skeptical teen.

“Do I look like I know what I’m doing?”

“No. Quite frankly, you do not.”

And still we carried on. Ignoring steep inclines. Trying to forget the punishing humidity and heat. Pushing beyond the reality of three trucks carrying injured hikers past us. Still we climbed.

It didn’t take long for the anger and resentment settling into the teen to be spat directly onto me. I didn’t even want to come todaybut you made me.

I plastered on my happiest face. It will be fun! This is an adventure! Even if we never find them, at least we got in a good hike!

*grumble moan*

The hordes of weekend warriors grew thin as that trail grew more steep, and eventually it was just myself, my kid, and an ever growing insecurity. Robert Frost opined about the splendor of taking the road less traveled, but clearly he’d not accidentally found himself heading the wrong way on a strenuous trail with a teenager mocking his every mistake.

At turn five, when I’d finally had sense enough to make note of the trail blaze, the wrong trail blaze, I realized we weren’t in Kansas anymore, Toto, and I sheepishly admitted my mistake.

This isn’t the way.

To his credit, this kid hadn’t complained anymore than any other teenager would, hadn’t whined more than I. Poor thing, he’d been sold a bill of goods by his deluded, directionally challenged mother and he had every right to make some noise. But he didn’t, bless that soul. He did, however, ask I finally throw in the towel, so I obliged.

Heading downhill gave me a chance to catch my breath and clear my mind. I could let go of the dream, the pie in the sky perfect day. It wasn’t going to happen. Between his mood and my bum leg, we were done.

On the way down, somewhere in between what could have been and what was yet to be, I let go. I gave in. I joked about how easy it would be for him to push me down side of the mountain and make it look like an accident. We laughed and let it be.

We talked about homeschooling and all the things we loved about learning the way that we do. We chucked rocks over the ledge. We swatted bugs from our faces and laughed about our day.

We took a stop to cool our feet in the frigid river. Our toes numbed almost instantly. There was only the sound was rushing water. And then, “I’m kind of glad it worked out this way,” he said, quietly.

Me too, kid. Me too.

He’s 13 now and, if memory serves, he’ll be grown and out of the house by next week. At least it will feel that way. It’ll be over that quick, in the blink of an eye. So this was my serendipity, the one I almost refused to see. The moment in time graciously slowed for us.

Maybe that’s what it is. I feel him pulling away. He’s supposed to. This is where it begins. He’s the last one in the nest and time is ticking by. I wanted to create a moment. I tried to manufacture a moment. I expected it to go my way. I was greedy, too hungry for something that was obviously not meant for me.

We had our moment, eventually, one more quiet than I had tried to plan. The change was, perhaps, not so profound. But it was special in its own way. The wrong way, which happened to be the right way, which happened to be the way it was meant to be.

Lumu Community Based Organisation Requesting donation for old office equipment #childcare #donation #volunteer #lumucommunitybasedorganisation

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Lumu Community Based Organisation is a non-profit organisation for children who are neglected, underprivileged and orphans. So far we working with 140 children form 0-16 years of age. It is our wish to have office equipment. We need your assistance in the following:

  • Telephone
  • Printer
  • Fax Machine
  • Computer
  • Office Tables
  • Chairs

Our budget is very limited to afford the above mentioned items. Therefore we trust that you will assist our organisation. Not only our organisation will benefit, the community we are serving will benefit as well.

 

If you are able to donate one item, it will still make a huge difference. We thank you for your support in advance.

If you have any queries please contact us at: Call or WhatsApp (+27) 7344 41337 Email: Lcbon256@gmail.com

Kind regards

Samuel Lumu

Founder  and CEO