Security Council Calls For Humanitarian Access To Yarmouk in Syria
The UN Security Council demanded Monday that humanitarian agencies to have access to thousands of Palestinians stranded in the Yarmouk camp in Syria, which is besieged by the particular Islamic State Group (EI), so they can be evacuated safely. We call for the protection of civilians in the camp, ensure humanitarian access to the area to provide vital assistance" to some 18,000 Palestinians under siege, said the Council Chair, Ambassador Dina Kawar Jordan, after closed consultations. She advocated including "safe passage and an evacuation of civilians." The 15 members of the Council are ready "to consider additional steps that might be taken to provide protection and assistance" to the Yarmouk Palestinian ambassador added, without elaborating.
Ms. Kawar also reminded of UN resolutions on Syria, which require "all parties (to the conflict in Syria) to lift the sieges imposed inhabited areas" and to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid. Council members "condemned in the strongest terms the serious crimes committed" in the EI Yarmouk and Al-Nusra Front and stressed the need to punish these crimes, stressed the ambassador.
The EI launched last week an attack on the camp with the help of the jihadist Al-Nusra Front, the Syrian branch of Al Qaeda, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH). They now control much, but at the same time, the Syrian army has reinforced its seat at Yarmouk and conducts regular raids on the camp
South Africa: War is Declared Statues
Symbols of oppression for some, evidence of the past for others, the monuments of the colonial era that decorate the South African cities are now threatened with destruction, or exile in museums. In power for twenty years after the fall of the racist apartheid regime, the African National Congress (ANC) has so far preserved almost all of the heritage left by the old masters of the country. In the name of national reconciliation dear to Nelson Mandela who did not shine whites.
Some museums have closed and then some monuments were overgrown with brambles, but very few heads rolled, despite some threatening statements. The ANC has added its own statues, such as Mandela, came to join in the gardens of the presidency in Pretoria the monument to Louis Botha, Prime Minister from 1910 to 1919. But students from the prestigious University of Cape Town have undermined the fragile balance, requiring tomb statue of mining magnate and British politician Cecil Rhodes (1853-1902), which sits at the entrance of the campus. Colleagues of University of Durban (east) have followed suit, attacking the statue of King George V (1865-1936), the grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II.
"We have not received any request (...) statue of removal, anywhere in the country," said in monday the spokesman of the Ministry of Culture, Sandile Memela, noting that there is a procedure matter, which provides in particular for public consultation.
But the amid heated debate in the media, some have decided to do without official permission. The young tribune Julius Malema, leader of Combatants for economic freedom (EFF) called repeatedly in recent days to break down the statues of the former white rulers of the country. English and Afrikaans. Activists of the third --the radical party in the country with more than 6% of the vote in elections 2014-- have set fire Thursday in an old monument to the British dead of the Boer War (1899-1902) in Uitenhage (south). And Sunday night, the pedestal of the statue of former Afrikaner leader Paul Kruger (1825-1902) was smeared with green paint on the central square of Pretoria.
This last speech in the heart of the capital has not been claimed, but the waitress a nearby café showed AFP photos showing the work a group dressed all in red as activists EFF. A local official Julius Malema movement had called on Saturday to shoot down all the monuments representing "white supremacy" in Pretoria. The national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi has in turn appointed Monday next victim: the statue in the center of Cape Town, the Dutchman Jan van Riebeeck, the first colonizers of the country that founded the city April 6, 1652.
"It's shocking and disappointing that people come to this kind of behavior," said Sandile Memela the Ministry of Culture. "We condemn all forms of violence and destruction of public property to express grievances or dissatisfaction." "We can not erase our history and our heritage. What we should do, instead of destroying monuments, is to have a constructive discussion on race and transformation" of Africa post-apartheid South, raised on radio 702 Phumzile van Damme, the spokesman for the Democratic Alliance, the main opposition party who vote for most whites. The ANC said he was open to discussion on the fate of statues covered but insists on staying within a legal framework. The dominant party remained rather quiet in long Easter weekend, but the mayor (ANC) of Pretoria, Kgosientso Ramokgopa, suggested putting the statues away in a museum. The police will monitor more closely the monuments of the capital in the meantime, according to the spokesman of the mayor.
"If the Afrikaner statues are no longer welcome, Afrikaners are they?" Asked the Afrikaner lobby AfriForum, which has launched a petition to the statues are left in place and protected. "The strongest measures (should) be taken urgently against vandals," said he required.
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