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The world cannot forget the Rohingya | Myanmar

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This week marks exactly three years since the Myanmar military poured into Rakhine State and launched a vicious operation against the Rohingya people. Over the course of a few weeks, thousands of women, men and children were killed, mutilated and raped, whole villages were burned to the ground, and hundreds of thousands fled into neighbouring Bangladesh.

Even for us Rohingya, who have been oppressed and rendered stateless in our home country for decades, the savagery of the violence in 2017 was unprecedented. Today, our plight has mostly disappeared from the headlines in international media, but our people are still suffering. We need the world’s help more than ever to end the genocide against us in Myanmar.

Close to a million Rohingya continue to live as refugees in Bangladesh, mainly in the southeastern district of Cox’s Bazar. Bangladesh has generously welcomed and hosted people who fled for their lives, but an overcrowded refugee camp is no place for a life of dignity. A whole generation of Rohingya children is growing up in deplorable conditions, with little access to education, or hope for the future.

What the refugees want the most is to return home to Myanmar, but that is simply not possible today. The 600,000 Rohingya who remain in Rakhine State live in an open-air prison. Every aspect of their lives is controlled by the state: To leave one’s village to attend school, to make a living or to go to a hospital usually requires special permission or a well-placed bribe.

At the moment, Myanmar is gearing up to hold a general election on November 8. It is the first vote since the historic election in 2015, when Aung San Suu Kyi‘s National League for Democracy (NLD) won in a landslide, ending decades of direct military rule. Many Rohingya supported the NLD at that time, but have since grown bitterly disillusioned with the party’s policies. Aung San Suu Kyi and her civilian government have proven complicit in the genocide against us by continuing to support the army’s actions and denying on international platforms what is happening on the ground.

Although in the past, many Rohingya in Myanmar were able to vote and run in elections, today they are being barred from both. In 2015, Myanmar abruptly withdrew temporary citizenship cards from ethnic Rohingya, which had given them the right to vote. This year, the authorities have also rejected members of the Rohingya community who have tried to register to run in the elections, claiming their parents were not citizens and that they, therefore, did not meet the criteria. This is despite the fact that some of these candidates have been allowed to run in previous elections.

There still is a glimmer of hope for the Rohingya, however: the momentum behind the international justice process. Last November, the Gambia filed a case against Myanmar in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), accusing it of committing genocide against the Rohingya. A few days later, the International Criminal Court announced that it was launching an investigation into the Myanmar military for crimes against humanity.

In January this year, the ICJ ordered Myanmar to end genocidal practices against the Rohingya, and to report regularly on how it complies with these orders. But even though the government has claimed it was improving conditions in Rakhine State since, in reality, almost nothing has changed. If anything, conditions have become even worse this year for the Rohingya, as fighting between the military and armed groups has intensified while the pandemic has swept through the region.

My own organisation, the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK, has also brought a case against Aung San Suu Kyi, her government and the military before the Argentinian judiciary. It relies on the principle of universal jurisdiction – the notion that some heinous crimes can be tried anywhere, regardless of where they took place.

But for these efforts to be effective, we need the international community’s support. We have spent the past three years telling the world about our plight and telling the same stories over and over again. In return, we have received little more than sympathy and empty promises.

The world has failed to take concrete action to help the Rohingya. Despite the overwhelming evidence against Myanmar of their crimes, our reality is the same – Rohingya are suffering, whether in villages in Rakhine State or in refugee camps in Bangladesh.

The UN Security Council has remained paralysed for three years, failing to condemn Myanmar. The US and the EU have imposed individual sanctions on members of the security forces, but they do not go far enough in pressuring the military leadership. They have also refused to use the term “genocide”, in part because that would bring with it some legal obligations to act.

Rohingya are only asking for an opportunity to live a life of dignity in our own country. The oppression that has rendered us stateless and prisoners in our own homes must end immediately. Those responsible for the violence against us must be held to account to prevent it from ever happening again.

These are big but far from impossible tasks – history shows that genocidal regimes do not last long. One year from now, on the next anniversary, I hope we will have gotten closer to making this a reality.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Charles Mbire gains $1.2 million as stake in MTN Uganda rises above $51 million

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Ugandan businessman and MTN Uganda Chairman Charles Mbire has seen the market value of his stake in MTN Uganda surge above $51 million in just two days, as the share price in the leading teleco company increased by a single digit.

The single-digit bump in the share price caused the market value of Mbire’s stake to gain UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million) in less than two days.

The million-dollar increase in the value of his stake came after Uganda’s largest telecom company delivered the country’s largest-ever IPO through the listing of 22.4 billion ordinary shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).

Upon completing the largest IPO in Uganda’s history, MTN Uganda raised a record UGX535 billion ($150.4 million) from the applications that it received for a total of 2.9 billion shares, including incentive shares.

As of press time, Dec. 7, shares in the company were trading at UGX204.95 ($0.0574), down six basis points from their opening price this morning.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that since the telecom company registered its shares on the Ugandan bourse on Mon., Dec. 6, its share price has increased by 2.5 percent from UGX200 ($0.056) to UGX204.95 ($0.0574) as of the time of writing, as retail investors sustained buying interest long after the public offering.

The increase in the company’s share price caused the market value of Mbire’s 3.98-percent stake to rise from UGX178.45 billion ($49.96 million) to UGX182.86 billion ($51.2 million).

In less than two days, his stake gained more than UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million).

In a statement after the successful listing of MTN Uganda’s shares, Mbire said the IPO shows the confidence that Ugandans and other investors have in the company, its brand and strategic intent.

“We commend all the regulators for their support in our work to become a USE-listed company and to comply in a timely manner with the listing provisions of the national telecommunications operators’ license,” he said.

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350 million (debt free).

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350. ( debt free).

He is into communications-revenue assurance-cement-distribution-oil services-real estate-oil exploration and logistics.

Source: Billionaires Africa

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2-year-old dies at Arua hospital as nurse demands Shs 210,000 bribe

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A two-year-old child died at Arua Regional Referral hospital after a nurse, Paul Wamala demanded a bribe amounting to Shs 210,000 before carrying out an operation. 

The incident happened on Saturday, after Aron Nabil, a two-year-old child was referred to the hospital for an operation after he was diagnosed with intestinal obstruction, a medical emergency caused by a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through the small intestine or large intestine.

According to the relatives of the child, Wamala allegedly asked them to initially give him Shs 30,000 to buy medicines to commence the procedure. He however returned shortly asking for an additional Shs 180,000 from the relatives.

Emily Adiru, a resident of Osu cell, in Bazar Ward, Central Division, and a relative of the child says although they paid money to Wamala, he abandoned the child without carrying out the operation. According to Adiru, Wamala later refunded Shs 200,000 through mobile money, after she threatened to report him to the police.

“They told us this boy needs an operation which was supposed to be done in the morning on Sunday at around 7 am. They took him inside there, some doctor came from the theatre, he called one of us and said, we should pay Shs 70,000 for buying medicine to start the operation. We paid the Shs 30,000 [but] after paying the Shs 30,000, after some minutes, the same man came and opened the door and called us again, and told us we should pay another Shs 100,000. We also paid the Shs 100,000 and we thought it is finished. We were outside there waiting for our patient to come out [but] then this man came back again and said we should pay another Shs 80,000,” said Adiru.

Although the operation was later carried out after a 7-hour delay, the child didn’t make it, and relatives attribute the death to negligence. Miria Ahmed, a concerned resident wonders why such incidents have persisted at the facility which is supposed to service the citizens.

“Is the problem the hospital, is it the management or it is the human resource that is the problem in the hospital? A small child like this you demand Shs 210,000 for the operation? Well, if the money was taken and the operation is done, I would say anything bad but this money was taken and the small boy was abandoned in the theatre,” she said. 

When contacted Wamala refused to comment on the allegations. Dr Gilbert Aniku, the acting hospital director says that the hospital will issue an official statement later since consultations about the matter are ongoing.

Arua City resident district commissioner, Alice Akello has condemned the actions of the nurse saying she has ordered his arrest so as to set an example to the rest. The case has been reported to Arua regional referral hospital police post under SD reference No:05/30/05/2022.



Source – observer.ug

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Mexican president’s Mayan Train dealt new legal setback | Tourism News

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Activists say the planned tourist train will harm the wildlife and natural features of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been dealt the latest setback to an ambitious plan to create a tourist train to connect the country’s southern Yucatan Peninsula.

On Monday, a judge indefinitely suspended construction on a portion of the project, known as the Mayan Train, saying the plans currently do not comply “with the proceedings of the environmental impact evaluation”.

The ruling follows a legal challenge by activists who said they were concerned the 60km (37 mile) portion of the train that would connect the resorts of Playa del Carmen and Tulum would adversely affect the area’s wildlife, as well as its caves and water-filled sinkholes known as cenotes.

The original plan for the disputed section was for an overpass over a highway, but the route was modified early this year to go through jungle at ground level.

The federal judge cited the “imminent danger” of causing “irreversible damage” to ecosystems, according to one of the plaintiffs, the non-governmental group Defending the Right to a Healthy Environment. In a statement, the group said that authorities had failed to carry out the necessary environmental impact studies before starting construction of the section.

Lopez Obrador had announced the ambitious project in 2018, with construction beginning in 2020. The roughly 1,500km (930 mile) cargo and passenger rail loop was presented as a cornerstone of a wider plan to develop the poorer states and remote towns throughout the about 181,000sq km (70,000sq mile) Yucatan Peninsula.

The railway is set to connect Caribbean beach resorts with Mayan archaeological ruins, with authorities aiming to complete the project by the end of 2023. The plan is estimated to cost about $16bn.

The project has split communities across the region, with some welcoming the economic development and connectivity it would bring. Others, including some local Indigenous communities, have challenged the project, saying it could not only disrupt the migratory routes of endangered species, including jaguars, tapirs and ocelots, but could also potentially damage centuries-old Mayan archaeological sites.

The National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism, the government agency overseeing the project, has said that it expects to “overcome” the latest challenge and that work should continue after an environmental impact statement is finalised. It said the Environment Ministry was currently reviewing its environmental application for the project.

For his part, Lopez Obrador has insisted the railway will not have a significant environmental effect and has accused activists of being infiltrated by “impostors”.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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