Planet Watch
Amazon burning

IACHR hearings on state obligations in climate crisis

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) began its first day of public hearings in Manaus, Brazil, to address the obligations of states in light of the climate crisis, based on the principles of the American Convention on Human Rights. The hearings, marked by discussion on mitigating the impacts of social imbalances and the need to protect the most vulnerable, follow a January request by Chile and Colombia for an Advisory Opinion on the Climate Emergency and Human Rights. The first hearings took place in Barbados at the end of April. In their request, Chile and Colombia emphasized the devastating consequences of the climate emergency in their countries, citing examples such as droughts, floods, landslides and fires. (Photo: pixundfertig/Pixabay via Jurist)

Southeast Asia

Burma: new warnings of Rohingya ‘genocide’

Twenty-eight non-governmental organizations representing Burma’s Rohingya Muslim minority issued a joint statement¬†warning of the risk of a new “genocide” and urging the international community to take action. The NGOs, including the Free Rohingya Coalition and Burmese Rohingya Organization UK (BROUK), said that this time the threat comes from the Arakan Army, a predominantly Buddhist ethnic armed group that is waging an insurgency against the ruling junta. According to the statement, the Arakan Army has ordered Rohingya residents to evacuate the town of Buthidaung, Rakhine state, where many internally displaced during the 2017 genocide carried out by the Burmese armed forces have taken refuge. The evacuation order is being backed up by a campaign of threats, violence, and arson. (Map: PCL)


More advances for Palestinian statehood

Colombian President Gustavo Petro has¬†ordered the opening of an embassy in Palestine, joining a handful of other nations around the world that have done so. The announcement comes after Petro’s government withdrew its diplomats from Israel and broke relations with the country, describing Israel’s actions in Gaza as a “genocide.” The Colombian embassy is to be installed in Ramallah, the Palestinian Authority’s capital on the West Bank. The move also comes as Spain, Ireland and Norway have announced their recognition¬†of Palestine as a state. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of course opposed these decisions, charging that “the intention of several European countries to recognize a Palestinian state is a reward for terrorism.” (Image:¬†Nicolas Raymond via Flickr)


Senegal PM broaches ejecting French military

The new¬†prime minister of Senegal, Ousmane Sonko, announced the possibility of closing French military bases in the West African country in a national address. During his speech at¬†Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Sonko expressed his concerns about the French role throughout the West African region. He stated: “More than 60 years after our independence we must question the reasons why the French army still benefits from several military bases in our country, and the impact of this presence on our national sovereignty and our strategic autonomy.”¬†(Map: PCL Map Collection)


Kenya court approves suit opposing Haiti deployment

The Kenya High Court¬†ordered that a lawsuit seeking to prevent the deployment of police troops to Haiti be served on top government officials. Leaders of the civil organization Thirdway Alliance Kenya¬†filed the complaint to block the deployment, which is part of a UN-backed mission to assist Haiti’s battle against gang violence. The plaintiffs argued that the government’s agreement with Haiti to deploy the troops is in contempt of a January court order that deemed the deployment unconstitutional. The plaintiffs emphasized the urgency of the matter, noting that the deployment¬†is scheduled to begin this month. (Photo:¬†Amnesty Kenya¬†via PolicingInsight)

East Asia
Legislative Yuan

Protesters surround Taiwan parliament

Some 30,000 Taiwanese demonstrators surrounded the Legislative Yuan, the island’s parliament, one day after Lai Ching-te of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was sworn in as president. They were protesting against the legislative majority’s attempts to enact new laws they say would unconstitutionally limit the power of the executive. Three days before the inauguration, physical conflict broke out among lawmakers on floor of the Legislative Yuan, with five briefly hospitalized. The DPP, while winning the presidency, failed to maintain a legislative majority in the January election, leaving the opposition¬†Kuomintang¬†to¬†form¬†a majority¬†coalition. The Kuomintang favors closer ties with China, while the DPP upholds Taiwan’s de facto independence. Beijing responded to Lai’s inauguration with menacing naval maneuvers, completely surrounding Taiwan with warships. The protest at the Legislative Yuan evokes memories of the 2014 Sunflower Movement, when activists occupied the parliament chamber for 24 days to oppose a free trade agreement with China being pushed by the then-Kuomintang government. (Photo:¬†Kanshui0943 via WikimediaCommons)


US agrees to withdraw troops from Niger

The US has agreed to withdraw its troops from Niger, the two countries announced in a joint statement. A Joint Disengagement Commission has been established to guarantee the protection and security of the some 1,000 US troops during the withdrawal process. Earlier this month, Russian military personnel entered an air base in Niamey, the capital, that was hosting US troops, raising fears of a confrontation. However, Russian forces avoided contact with the US troops, using a separate hangar at Airbase 101, which is next to Niamey’s international airport.¬†(Map: PCL)

new caledonia

Podcast: New Caledonia in the Great Game

Azerbaijan, now facing accusations of genocide against Armenians, suddenly rallies to the defense of the Kanak indigenous people in the French overseas territory of New Caledonia, and accuses France of a legacy of “crimes against humanity” in its colonial holdings. This appears to be blatant retaliation for French support of Armenia in the conflict between the two Caucasus nations. The repression of the Kanak uprising in their colonized homeland and the cleansing of the Armenians from their usurped ancestral lands both demand our protest‚ÄĒbut the propaganda game makes everything more complicated. Yet another example of how a global divide-and-rule racket is the essence of the state system. Bill Weinberg discusses in Episode 227 of the CounterVortex podcast. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon. (Flag image via Wikipedia)


ICC prosecutor seeks arrest warrant for Netanyahu

International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Karim AA Khan announced that he has applied for arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, as well as senior Hamas leaders, for crimes committed during the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. The officials face various charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity under the Rome Statute. (Photo: OSeveno/WikiMedia)


France accuses Azerbaijan of interfering in New Caledonia

France accused Azerbaijan of interfering in the conflict in New Caledonia, and spreading anti-French propaganda on social media to enflame the unrest in the French overseas territory. The charge was based on a report published by the French state investigative agency Viginum, alleging that Azerbaijan has disseminated “manifestly inaccurate or misleading content…blaming France for its handling of the situation in New Caledonia in the context of the riots.” The report came one day after French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin accused Azerbaijan of making an agreement with the New Caledonia independence leadership, implying that this was retaliation for French support of Armenia in the conflict between the two Caucasus nations. Darmanin further added that France will not cede to the violence, and that it maintains sovereignty over New Caledonia. (Photo: New Caledonia protesters fly flag of Azerbaijan alongside that of the independence movement. Credit:¬†@BabakTaghvaee1)


Syria: protests against HTS face repression in Idlib

Security forces of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the Islamist militia that controls much of northwest Syria, put down protests that broke out in cities and towns across Idlib province. In the Idlib cities of Binnish and Jisr al-Shughour, HTS forces beat protesters with batons, deployed armored vehicles, and fired tear-gas and even live rounds to disperse demonstrations calling for the fall of the militia group and its leader, Abu Muhammad al-Jolani. Since then, HTS has increased security in the region, establishing checkpoints and roadblocks, especially aimed at preventing protesters from gathering in the provincial capital, Idlib City. Protests against HTS rule have been mounting in Syria’s northwest since the start of the year. (Photo: Macro Media Center)


Tuvalu regains full sovereignty over security relations

Australia and Tuvalu released a joint statement announcing new commitments to improve security relations, and remove the veto power Australia previously had over the small island nation’s security relations with other countries. The announcement concerned implementation and interpretation of the Falepili Union, a bilateral treaty entered into last November, which expands upon the Australia-Tuvalu Security Partnership of 2017. However, it eliminates the 2017 provision that limited Tuvalu’s sovereignty in foreign affairs‚ÄĒa sensitive matter given Australia’s growing regional rivalry with China. (Image via Pixabay)