Rival generals agree on humanitarian rules but no truce Khartoum in Sudan Rival generals agree on humanitarian rules but no truce Khartoum in Sudan

Rival generals agree on humanitarian rules but no truce Khartoum in Sudan

Rival generals agree on humanitarian rules but no truce Khartoum in Sudan  Airstrikes, explosions and flak fire rocked Khartoum on Friday, after an agreement was signed to open corridors to allow civilians to leave combat zones in Sudan and humanitarian aid to arrive .  The emissaries of the two generals who are vying for power signed this four-page document, which does not mention a truce, overnight from Thursday to Friday in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, after almost four weeks of fighting which has made more than 750 dead, 5,000 injured, more than 730,000 displaced as well as some 200,000 refugees in neighboring countries, according to the UN.  After six days of negotiations under the aegis of Saudi Arabia and the United States, the emissaries of the army of General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane and the paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) of General Mohamed Hamdane Daglo, signed this "Jeddah declaration for the protection of civilians in Sudan".  Negotiations will continue to reach a new truce allowing the delivery of aid, which can last up to ten days, according to the US State Department.  "Cut off" from the rest of the country  Washington and Ryad have so far announced that they have obtained half a dozen truce promises, which have never been respected.  A witness in the south of Khartoum reported on Friday morning the passage of fighter jets and the sounds of explosions and fighting. Another in the north of the capital said he heard "air strikes and fire from anti-aircraft batteries".  In Darfur, in the western border of Chad, witnesses reported artillery fire on the town of El-Geneina, from which the inhabitants were trying to escape.  The situation is particularly sensitive in Darfur, torn apart in the 2000s by bloody repression. According to the UN, 450 people were killed in El-Geneina in recent fighting involving, in addition to soldiers and paramilitaries, armed civilians and tribal fighters or local armed groups.  The inhabitants of Darfur "are cut off" from the rest of the country, Mohamed Osman, a researcher for the NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW), told AFP, citing "the destruction of shops and the local market and the main hospital (in El-Geneina, editor's note) out of order".  In Jeddah, the two camps agreed to "create safe passages so that civilians can leave the combat zones towards the direction of their choice".  They pledged to "authorize and rapidly facilitate the passage of humanitarian aid" as well as "the passage of humanitarian workers into and within the country".  At least 18 aid workers have been killed so far trying to help a traumatized population.  For four weeks, millions of Sudanese, mostly in Khartoum, have been barricaded in their homes, surviving sweltering heat without running water or electricity.  Everywhere, food, money and fuel are running out and the UN is warning of soaring hunger, a scourge that has long plagued Sudan, one of the world's poorest countries, as well as a quadrupling of prices.  The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 60% of health centers in Khartoum are closed.  "WHO is ready to send more than 110 tons of emergency medical supplies from Port Sudan", a city on the Red Sea in eastern Sudan, to 13 destinations in the country, but needs assurances on the safety of their transport, declared Thursday evening a spokesman of the UNO, a few hours before the announcement of the agreement.  "At least ten years"  Washington hopes that this agreement will create a "dynamic" that can lead to the delivery of aid, explained an American official, acknowledging that the belligerents were "not there yet".  The Forces for Freedom and Change (FLC), the civilian bloc ousted from power in October 2021 by the two generals' putsch now at war, hailed Jeddah's declaration as "a first step in the right direction".  The UN, the African Union and Igad, the East African regional organization of which Sudan is a member, also jointly welcomed this agreement, "an important first step to alleviate the suffering of the Sudanese". .  On board an evacuation plane, Abderrahmane Ibrahim told AFP that he fled Khartoum by bus with his mother and sister. "I was hoping to see the country develop," he says, "but now I think Sudan needs at least ten years to regain its stability."         floods in the center of the country, Beledweyne Somalia  In recent days, these flood scenes have been frequent in central Somalia.  Here in the town of Beledweyne, the overflow of a river due to bad weather has forced thousands of people to abandon their homes. According to the UN, the considerable material damage also affects markets and hospitals.  These rains, frequent during the rainy season, which runs from April to June, however bring some relief in other parts of the country which are suffering from one of the most severe droughts that Somalia has known.  The Horn of Africa is one of the regions most vulnerable to climate change, with increasingly frequent and intense crises.     Mali, the army would have executed 500 people in Moura in 2022 : United nation  The UN on Friday accused the Malian army and "foreign" fighters of having executed in March 2022 at least 500 people during an anti-jihadist operation in Moura in the center of the country.  The report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is based on an investigation by the human rights division of the mission of blue helmets in Mali since 2013.  The text reports the arrival on March 27 at the end of the morning of Malian soldiers and their allies equipped with five helicopters while a cattle fair attracted thousands of civilians who came to stock up in anticipation of Ramadan.  He also indicates that the events that occurred in Moura have been the subject of contradictory versions for more than a year.  These actions could constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity, communicated the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.  These allegations were considered unfounded by the army and by the Malian Minister for National Reconciliation.  An investigation by the Malian Military Justice is underway.  "Indiscriminate" fire A helicopter and men on the ground would have opened fire "indiscriminately" towards the market, jihadists would have responded. Thirty people, including a dozen jihadists, were killed. The Malian army reportedly took control of the premises and arrested around 3,000 people, spread over four locations. She would have continued to comb the locality the following days.  Malian soldiers and their allies "would have selected several hundred people who were summarily executed for at least four days", the report said. The men to be executed would have been chosen on signs making them suspect, such as having a long beard.  The victims were reportedly buried in mass graves.  Since 2022, the events of Moura have given rise to opposing versions of human rights defenders and the junta in power since 2020: massive massacre according to NGOs, successful neutralization operation of 203 "terrorists" according to the military . Human Rights Watch reported a summary execution of 300 civilians.  Rights monitoring is part of Minusma's mandate and its report contradicts the official narrative.  The High Commission points out that the junta has consistently denied Minusma access to Moura outside of an initial flight.  Malian military justice announced in April 2022 an investigation. The junta rejects accusations of abuses against the armed forces and ensures that rights are respected. In 2022, it broke the military alliance with France and turned to Russia. She denies being linked to Wagner's mercenaries whose actions have been decried in various countries.  The report comes at a delicate time in relations - constantly deteriorating - between the junta and the Minusma whose mandate expires in June.  The Malian authorities criticize the action of Minusma on rights and in 2023 expelled the head of the human rights division.  "The government will continue to work tirelessly" for the protection of rights, "however, Mali will stand up strongly and with the same energy against any use of the issue of human rights for political purposes or destabilization" , said the Malian ambassador to the UN Issa Konfourou in April.     2 tea giants accused of sexual abuse lose their "sustainable" label,Rainforest Alliance in Kenya  A leading certification body for sustainable development products, Rainforest Alliance, announced this week to withdraw its label from two Kenyan subsidiaries of global tea manufacturing giants accused of sexual abuse on plantations.  In an investigation broadcast in February, the BBC claimed that more than 70 women working on Kenyan tea plantations had said they had been sexually abused by their superiors.  Rainforest Alliance conducted its own investigation "into the two tea plantations mentioned in the documentary: one owned and operated by James Finlay (Kenya) Limited (...), the other by ekaterra Tea Kenya PLC", owner in particular of the Lipton brand , the organization announced in a press release on Thursday.  "The audits confirmed the presence of non-compliance with the social and management criteria of the Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Standard. Based on these results, we took the decision to suspend the certifications of the two holders" in question , she adds.  Rainforest Alliance is an international organization working to "protect forests and biodiversity, take climate action, promote the rights of rural people and improve their livelihoods" , according to its website.  The Kenyan authorities had also announced that they were launching investigations after the broadcast of the documentary investigating plantations belonging to Lipton Teas and Infusion , which was until 2022 a subsidiary of the British giant Unilever , and its compatriot James Finlay , a subsidiary of the conglomerate Swire .  Several victims said they had no choice but to give in to their bosses' sexual demands in order to obtain or keep their jobs. One of them says she was infected with HIV, while others became pregnant.  An official is accused of raping a 14-year-old girl who lived on one of the plantations.  A reporter for the channel, who posed as a potential employee, was herself pressured into consenting to sex in exchange for a job.  After these revelations, Lipton Teas and Infusions and James Finlay had announced to suspend those responsible and to sponsor investigations.  The food and hygiene products giant Unilever finalized in July the sale to the CVC Capital Partners fund of its tea division called "ekaterra" , which has 34 brands including Lipton, for an amount of 4.5 billion euros. euros.  James Finlay announced last week that he had reached an agreement for the sale "in the coming months" of his tea plantations in Kenya to the Sri Lankan company Browns Investments PLC.  Kenya exported more than 500,000 tonnes of tea last year, according to government figures.

Airstrikes, explosions and flak fire rocked Khartoum on Friday, after an agreement was signed to open corridors to allow civilians to leave combat zones in Sudan and humanitarian aid to arrive .

The emissaries of the two generals who are vying for power signed this four-page document, which does not mention a truce, overnight from Thursday to Friday in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, after almost four weeks of fighting which has made more than 750 dead, 5,000 injured, more than 730,000 displaced as well as some 200,000 refugees in neighboring countries, according to the UN.

After six days of negotiations under the aegis of Saudi Arabia and the United States, the emissaries of the army of General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane and the paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) of General Mohamed Hamdane Daglo, signed this "Jeddah declaration for the protection of civilians in Sudan".

Negotiations will continue to reach a new truce allowing the delivery of aid, which can last up to ten days, according to the US State Department.

"Cut off" from the rest of the country

Washington and Ryad have so far announced that they have obtained half a dozen truce promises, which have never been respected.

A witness in the south of Khartoum reported on Friday morning the passage of fighter jets and the sounds of explosions and fighting. Another in the north of the capital said he heard "air strikes and fire from anti-aircraft batteries".

In Darfur, in the western border of Chad, witnesses reported artillery fire on the town of El-Geneina, from which the inhabitants were trying to escape.

The situation is particularly sensitive in Darfur, torn apart in the 2000s by bloody repression. According to the UN, 450 people were killed in El-Geneina in recent fighting involving, in addition to soldiers and paramilitaries, armed civilians and tribal fighters or local armed groups.

The inhabitants of Darfur "are cut off" from the rest of the country, Mohamed Osman, a researcher for the NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW), told AFP, citing "the destruction of shops and the local market and the main hospital (in El-Geneina, editor's note) out of order".

In Jeddah, the two camps agreed to "create safe passages so that civilians can leave the combat zones towards the direction of their choice".

They pledged to "authorize and rapidly facilitate the passage of humanitarian aid" as well as "the passage of humanitarian workers into and within the country".

At least 18 aid workers have been killed so far trying to help a traumatized population.

For four weeks, millions of Sudanese, mostly in Khartoum, have been barricaded in their homes, surviving sweltering heat without running water or electricity.

Everywhere, food, money and fuel are running out and the UN is warning of soaring hunger, a scourge that has long plagued Sudan, one of the world's poorest countries, as well as a quadrupling of prices.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 60% of health centers in Khartoum are closed.

"WHO is ready to send more than 110 tons of emergency medical supplies from Port Sudan", a city on the Red Sea in eastern Sudan, to 13 destinations in the country, but needs assurances on the safety of their transport, declared Thursday evening a spokesman of the UNO, a few hours before the announcement of the agreement.

"At least ten years"

Washington hopes that this agreement will create a "dynamic" that can lead to the delivery of aid, explained an American official, acknowledging that the belligerents were "not there yet".

The Forces for Freedom and Change (FLC), the civilian bloc ousted from power in October 2021 by the two generals' putsch now at war, hailed Jeddah's declaration as "a first step in the right direction".

The UN, the African Union and Igad, the East African regional organization of which Sudan is a member, also jointly welcomed this agreement, "an important first step to alleviate the suffering of the Sudanese". .

On board an evacuation plane, Abderrahmane Ibrahim told AFP that he fled Khartoum by bus with his mother and sister. "I was hoping to see the country develop," he says, "but now I think Sudan needs at least ten years to regain its stability."



Floods in the center of the country, Beledweyne Somalia

In recent days, these flood scenes have been frequent in central Somalia.

Here in the town of Beledweyne, the overflow of a river due to bad weather has forced thousands of people to abandon their homes. According to the UN, the considerable material damage also affects markets and hospitals.

These rains, frequent during the rainy season, which runs from April to June, however bring some relief in other parts of the country which are suffering from one of the most severe droughts that Somalia has known.

The Horn of Africa is one of the regions most vulnerable to climate change, with increasingly frequent and intense crises.


Mali, the army would have executed 500 people in Moura in 2022 : United nation

The UN on Friday accused the Malian army and "foreign" fighters of having executed in March 2022 at least 500 people during an anti-jihadist operation in Moura in the center of the country.

The report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is based on an investigation by the human rights division of the mission of blue helmets in Mali since 2013.

The text reports the arrival on March 27 at the end of the morning of Malian soldiers and their allies equipped with five helicopters while a cattle fair attracted thousands of civilians who came to stock up in anticipation of Ramadan.

He also indicates that the events that occurred in Moura have been the subject of contradictory versions for more than a year.

These actions could constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity, communicated the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

These allegations were considered unfounded by the army and by the Malian Minister for National Reconciliation.

An investigation by the Malian Military Justice is underway.

"Indiscriminate" fire
A helicopter and men on the ground would have opened fire "indiscriminately" towards the market, jihadists would have responded. Thirty people, including a dozen jihadists, were killed. The Malian army reportedly took control of the premises and arrested around 3,000 people, spread over four locations. She would have continued to comb the locality the following days.

Malian soldiers and their allies "would have selected several hundred people who were summarily executed for at least four days", the report said. The men to be executed would have been chosen on signs making them suspect, such as having a long beard.

The victims were reportedly buried in mass graves.

Since 2022, the events of Moura have given rise to opposing versions of human rights defenders and the junta in power since 2020: massive massacre according to NGOs, successful neutralization operation of 203 "terrorists" according to the military . Human Rights Watch reported a summary execution of 300 civilians.

Rights monitoring is part of Minusma's mandate and its report contradicts the official narrative.

The High Commission points out that the junta has consistently denied Minusma access to Moura outside of an initial flight.

Malian military justice announced in April 2022 an investigation. The junta rejects accusations of abuses against the armed forces and ensures that rights are respected. In 2022, it broke the military alliance with France and turned to Russia. She denies being linked to Wagner's mercenaries whose actions have been decried in various countries.

The report comes at a delicate time in relations - constantly deteriorating - between the junta and the Minusma whose mandate expires in June.

The Malian authorities criticize the action of Minusma on rights and in 2023 expelled the head of the human rights division.

"The government will continue to work tirelessly" for the protection of rights, "however, Mali will stand up strongly and with the same energy against any use of the issue of human rights for political purposes or destabilization" , said the Malian ambassador to the UN Issa Konfourou in April.


2 tea giants accused of sexual abuse lose their "sustainable" label,Rainforest Alliance in Kenya

A leading certification body for sustainable development products, Rainforest Alliance, announced this week to withdraw its label from two Kenyan subsidiaries of global tea manufacturing giants accused of sexual abuse on plantations.

In an investigation broadcast in February, the BBC claimed that more than 70 women working on Kenyan tea plantations had said they had been sexually abused by their superiors.

Rainforest Alliance conducted its own investigation "into the two tea plantations mentioned in the documentary: one owned and operated by James Finlay (Kenya) Limited (...), the other by ekaterra Tea Kenya PLC", owner in particular of the Lipton brand , the organization announced in a press release on Thursday.

"The audits confirmed the presence of non-compliance with the social and management criteria of the Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Standard. Based on these results, we took the decision to suspend the certifications of the two holders" in question , she adds.

Rainforest Alliance is an international organization working to "protect forests and biodiversity, take climate action, promote the rights of rural people and improve their livelihoods" , according to its website.

The Kenyan authorities had also announced that they were launching investigations after the broadcast of the documentary investigating plantations belonging to Lipton Teas and Infusion , which was until 2022 a subsidiary of the British giant Unilever , and its compatriot James Finlay , a subsidiary of the conglomerate Swire .

Several victims said they had no choice but to give in to their bosses' sexual demands in order to obtain or keep their jobs. One of them says she was infected with HIV, while others became pregnant.

An official is accused of raping a 14-year-old girl who lived on one of the plantations.

A reporter for the channel, who posed as a potential employee, was herself pressured into consenting to sex in exchange for a job.

After these revelations, Lipton Teas and Infusions and James Finlay had announced to suspend those responsible and to sponsor investigations.

The food and hygiene products giant Unilever finalized in July the sale to the CVC Capital Partners fund of its tea division called "ekaterra" , which has 34 brands including Lipton, for an amount of 4.5 billion euros. euros.

James Finlay announced last week that he had reached an agreement for the sale "in the coming months" of his tea plantations in Kenya to the Sri Lankan company Browns Investments PLC.

Kenya exported more than 500,000 tonnes of tea last year, according to government figures.

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