Displaying items by tag: violence
A group of Armenian organisations has appealed to the UN, warning about ethnic cleansing of the population of Nagorno-Karabakh by Azerbaijani Muslims. Their letter stated, ‘Two years have passed since the war against Nagorno-Karabakh started, but security issues are not resolved yet. Many fundamental rights are continually violated, plus significant and increasing risk of new conflicts and atrocities. Ethnic cleansing of native Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh is especially alarming. The Azerbaijani government's extreme hatred and belligerent rhetoric, destruction of Armenian monuments, appropriation of cultural heritage, exceptional brutality by Azerbaijani armed forces, continuous threats of violence, and intimidation are characteristic of genocidal atrocities. The scenario of ethnic cleansing may become a reality if Azerbaijan’s crimes remain unaddressed and effective pressure is not put on Baku to refrain from violence.’ Armenian Christian families in villages across the enclave need prayer, hope, and practical help. If their pasturelands are not seized by armed forces, they are too dangerous to use because the military are so close. See
Haiti is in such a bad political, economic and security crisis that the USA has urged its citizens to leave the country. The government authorised prime minister Henry to ask the world for military help to stop gangs paralysing the country and causing a major humanitarian disaster. Powerful gangs have blocked the country's main fuel terminal since September, crippling basic water and food supplies. It is not clear to whom the request for intervention has been sent, and in what form the help would be given. The UN said, ‘We remain extremely concerned about the security situation in Haiti and the impact it is having on the Haitian people and on our ability to do our work, especially in the humanitarian sphere.’ Eight people died recently from cholera, raising concerns of a potential health crisis. Pray for the USA to act on Haiti’s previous request for a humanitarian corridor to restore fuel distribution.
Security forces have killed at least 201 people in unrest following the death in custody of a woman arrested for breaking strict hijab rules. Now people honk car horns supporting any women they see not covered up. Protests against the security forces are in the evening and afternoon in different locations. At night, those who do not leave their houses shout ‘down with the dictator’ out of their windows in big and smaller cities. The protests are not just about women wearing the hijab; that was just the spark. They have always been about basic human rights. Iranians have always wanted what westerners might take for granted as a normal life. A protester said, ‘We want life, liberty, justice, accountability, freedom of choice and assembly, a free press. We want access to our basic human rights and an inclusive government that is actually elected by the people through a proper election and that works for the people.’ See also
After a cricket match between India and Pakistan on 28 August, aggressive crowds chanted hate slogans and began fighting in Leicester in what has since become weeks of violence. By 18 September Hindu-Muslim disorder had escalated, with violent acts against places of worship and people of faith. Many say the increasing influence of Indian politics (the BJP) and underlying social-economic tensions are being intensified by radical groups. On 20 September 47 people were arrested after masked men protested outside a Hindu temple. Riot police with helmets and shields attempted to move them on as protesters threw firecrackers and bottles. Amos Noronha, 20, was jailed for ten months for possession of an offensive weapon in connection with the violence. People are frightened to leave home; some factory workers have downed tools to go home and protect their families. Some are fearful of neighbours they’ve grown up with. See also
Moqtada al-Sadr won most parliamentary seats last October, but he refused to negotiate with Iran-backed Shia groups to form a government, causing a year of political instability. When he announced his retirement from politics on 29 August it caused an eruption of street fighting overnight, as fighters exchanged gunfire. Tracer rounds illuminated the night sky in some of the worst violence to hit Baghdad in recent years, including using heavy weaponry such as rocket-propelled grenades. Some fighting was between the Peace Brigades, a militia loyal to Mr Sadr, and members of the Iraqi military. Some fighters Iran closed its borders with Iraq amidst the fighting, and Kuwait urged its citizens to leave immediately. A UN spokesperson has called for ‘immediate steps’ to de-escalate the situation. Iraq's caretaker prime minister has declared a nationwide curfew after unrest in several other cities, and suspended cabinet meetings. By 31 August most violence had stopped, but the country’s crisis has only deepened. See
Haitians are surrounded by gang warfare. One of the largest gangs is 400 Mawozo who kill police officers. Outmanned and outgunned by well-armed gangs, police are demanding that the government back them up with better support and more equipment. The G9 is an alliance of nine gangs led by an ex-policeman. They control coastal ports and oil terminals, seize goods lorries, and extort money from businesses. An estimated 60% of Haiti’s capital is classed as ‘lawless’ by human rights groups. The city, similar in size to Los Angeles, is paralysed by dozens of gangs battling for power and territories. Once buzzing with nightlife, it now looks and feels like a ghost town. Shops are shut and residents have vacated homes, fearing of being caught in the crossfire. On city outskirts, huge swathes of the community are living from hand to mouth, without electricity or access to clean water.
In 2017 Fulani militants seized a Christian mother’s land and burned down her house, forcing her and her family to move closer to the city for safety. Loss of their farmland forced the family of seven into deep poverty, living and sleeping in one room. On 8 August Fulani militants attempted to rape her 16-year-old daughter while they were out walking. A missionary visited the family after the attack and the mother said, ‘They told us to stop, then they beat me as I tried to stop them from raping my daughter.’ She showed the deep gash in her arm she received from the militants, and said God used her to protect her daughter from public disgrace and shame, which is how victims of rape are viewed in their society. ‘I have nothing to say but thank God. Please tell Christians to pray for us. Pray that we will return to our village one day. Life is too expensive in the city.’
On 11 June the English football team will play a match against Italy with no fans watching. There have also been a number of recent incidents where pitches have been invaded. Despite the general jubilation of such scenes, they also saw players and coaches intimidated or even attacked. Police data in January showed that arrests at football matches across the top five English leagues are at their highest levels for years. Gareth Southgate, the England manager, says it is an 'embarrassment' that England are playing a home game behind closed doors, as a consequence of the chaos at Wembley before the Euro 2020 final against the same country. He added,' 'Normally when you watch those things happening abroad, we're all grandstanding about how it’s someone else's problem and how this country should be dealt with and now it’s us. That’s not good behaviour for the reputation of our country.' The FA said it was 'reviewing our regulations to help stamp out this behaviour and to ensure the safety of everyone inside a stadium'.
Sudan has seen weeks of large pro-democracy protests against a military coup that ousted the civilian transitional government last October. 81 people have been killed in rallies, many dying from gunshot wounds. The security forces repeatedly deny using live ammunition against peaceful protesters. Sudan’s women, who played a major role during the 2019 uprising, are again at the forefront of the demonstrations. Some have paid a heavy price for demanding civilian rule. Protesters and politicians have been abducted from their homes, offices, and even hospitals. In most cases, authorities deny the arrests or slam trumped-up charges against detainees. Noon Kashkosh, from the Democratic Coalition for Lawyers, is providing legal assistance to families of the detained. He said security forces are trying to discourage protests by pressing outlandish charges against young demonstrators. But the wave of detentions has fuelled the resolve of protesters to stay on the streets rather than back down.
On 28 January a contact in Nigeria discovered over 500 bullet shells used in the killing of eighteen Christians in Ancha village, located about two hours from the capital of Plateau State. Villagers said the attackers were Fulani militants dressed in black while others wore the uniform of the Nigerian army. Thirty soldiers with AK47s were stationed in a classroom in the community when the attack happened. The converted classroom served as a barracks for the soldiers. Despite being stationed inside the village, the soldiers did not defend it against the invading militants. Instead, they stood by and watched as houses were burnt, cars and food were destroyed, and villagers were killed. During the attack, the soldiers protected only their two vehicles and the converted classroom. This attack is just the latest in a years-long pattern of militant violence committed against Ancha and neighbouring villages. Often bullet shells found belong to the army.