Displaying items by tag: violence
On 8 April the gates of Belfast's so-called peace wall were prised open and set alight, police were attacked, petrol bombs thrown and a bus burnt in another night of violence. Over the week 41 police were injured, and ten people arrested. The most recent violence saw eight more officers hurt on both sides of an interface between several hundred loyalists and nationalists throwing petrol bombs in both directions in the loyalist Shankill Road and the nationalist Springfield Road. The power-sharing executive has met to consider the situation; the escalation in disorder requires a united response. It is hard to know how ministers will work in unity when they have not been on the same page about why the violence has been happening. Also criminals are orchestrating violence by putting petrol bombs into the hands of 12-year-olds: see
While a Russian minister visited Myanmar for Armed Forces Day, security forces killed 114 peaceful protesters. His visit left observers wondering what Russia wanted to gain by strongly supporting the junta amid the bloodshed. But the timing was such that Russia, which never admits to anything, let alone apologise, felt the need to distance itself from Myanmar and sought to soften the damage to its image amid outrage over the deadly violence. Mr Putin’s spokesman said, ‘We are really worried by the growing number of civilian casualties. It is a source of deep concern. We are following Myanmar’s unfolding situation closely.’ The violence also challenges the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which must decide whether to stick to its principle of non-interference in members' internal affairs or not. China, which is the only nation against imposing sanctions on Myanmar, is influencing the situation for its own commercial and political advantage.
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said they will continue to work around the clock assisting thousands of people evacuated from the shores of Palma after violent attacks by insurgents. At the seaport of Pemba MSF teams have been assisting refugees who are scared, traumatised, hungry and desperate. Project director Luiz Guimaraes said, ‘We have three mobile clinics around Pemba city. We provide for 400 to 450 consultations per day.’ He said that out of fear people fled, walking long distances on foot without food and shelter. Teams are also assisting with water and sanitation, as people need clean water to drink. ‘In this situation, they drink dirty water, and they have a lot of diseases caused by waterborne pathogens.’ He said that they had also implemented mental health services to help people cope with their traumatic experiences. Pray for God’s peace to comfort the refugees.
Hate crimes involving Asian-American victims soared in New York city last year. Officials are grappling with the problem as new incidents occur. ‘I’ve never cried like that before,’ Maggie Cheng said, after seeing security footage showing her mother being shoved to the ground on a crowded street. ‘To see my mother get thrown like that, she looks like a feather, a rag doll.’ The attack, which gained widespread attention on social media, was one of four attacks in a day against Asian-American women in New York. Concerns intensified after an Asian man was stabbed on Thursday night near Chinatown. Asian-Americans make up 16% of the population of the city: it is feared that the wave of racism and violence against them during the pandemic is surging again. The attacks are random, fast and furious, stoking a lot of fear and paranoia. Many Asians are not leaving their homes.
Over a dozen lives are claimed in nightly raids in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. On 1 March Italian diplomats and World Food Programme workers were killed in an attack on a UN convoy. Officials blame the Allied Democratic Forces, or ADF, for this incident - the latest in a disturbing trend. Armed groups have killed over a thousand civilians in eastern DRC since late 2019. ‘In 2021, we’ve seen mass attacks by these Muslim extremists,’ said Voice of the Martyrs Canada. There are more than 100 armed groups operating in DRC. Not all of them are Islamic, but those that are have one goal in mind. They are radical, and even though they may have lost some control in places like Iraq and Syria they’re doing whatever they can to cause destruction, particularly where a large majority of people are Christian.
IS has taken a firm grip on territory in Mozambique, far from its original strongholds in Syria. Even though it is losing territory in most other places, it has killed and kidnapped thousands in the country since 2017. Sphiwe, a Christian worker with Trans World Radio, says, ‘They behead people, they attack homes and villages. People live in fear. It causes displacement, as people move away to protect themselves.’ Many fear the next attack so much they avoid working in the fields. Christian broadcasting continues in troubled areas and also provides support for refugees. Sphiwe says, ‘It is emotionally draining. Sometimes they are adopted or taken in with other families, so that one family may end up having fifty people within one home because they are trying to help out.’ Pray for those fleeing from trauma in Mozambique to find hope and life in Jesus.
Among 17-year-olds in the UK, one in ten will have used hard drugs, such as ketamine and cocaine, a study by the University College London suggests. Nearly a third of 17-year-olds had tried cannabis and more than half admitted to binge-drinking alcohol. Almost 20,000 young people, born between 2000 and 2002, were surveyed as part of the Millennium Cohort Study. Drug-use rates were higher among white teens than black teens. A quarter of 17-year-olds had assaulted someone, including shoving, slapping or punching, over the previous 12 months. Levels of vandalism and weapon use were similar to when they were 14 but shoplifting rose from 4% in early adolescence to 7% a few years later. It remains to be seen how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected engagement in these behaviours.
Ahead of the March elections, prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is repeating promises he made nine years ago to control crime rates in Arab towns and villages. A recent firefight broke out on 1 February, when the police tried to stop men from shooting at a house. The Arab gang started shooting at the police with automatic weapons. When it was over, two young people were dead. One was suspected of firing at the house, but the other, Ahmed Hijazi, was a nursing student who happened to be in the vicinity but was not involved in the incident. The next day, thousands from local Arab towns and villages took to the street to protest Hijazi’s death and the police's inability to rein in crime in Arab society. Over the weekend, thousands more marched against escalating crime rates. Netanyahu has spent the last few weeks visiting Arab towns and villages and holding Zoom meetings with Arab mayors to discuss crime and violence in their towns.
Up to 1,000 people – including priests and church leaders – were killed in recent attacks in Ethiopia. A Belgium-based nonprofit organisation released reports of 1,000 people hiding in an Orthodox church in Aksum, thought to contain the Ark of the Covenant. They were brought out and shot in the square. 750 were definitely murdered, and possibly more of the injured died later. Inside Ethiopia there is political conflict. The government’s term of office ended in September, and the May elections were cancelled due to coronavirus. This has created political unrest where Christians and Muslims are dying in a long line of fatal assaults against innocent people in the Tigray region. 154 were killed in December in Maryam Dengelat, and ten from one family were killed on Christmas Day. Also, Eritrean troops have been killing dozens.
Indian farmers have been protesting against farm acts passed by the parliament last September. Their unions have demanded the laws be repealed, and will accept nothing less. The new acts, which exclude guarantees giving farmers a fair price for their produce, are described as ‘anti-farmer laws’ by the unions and opposition politicians. Since September the protests have become more violent. On 26 November a nationwide general strike by 250 million people took place in support of the farmer unions,and on 30 November 300,000 farmers converged in various places from the Punjab to Delhi. On 26 January tens of thousands violently fought the police, overturned vehicles, and hoisted religious flags from the ramparts of Delhi’s Red Fort. See