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Latest update : 2011-05-31

Sudan on the brink of war as army occupies Abyei

Strong concern for the disputed region of Abyei, now occupied by the North Sudanese army. Syrian rebels share accounts of the repression inflicted on them. And a web documentary series gives a behind the scenes look at French diplomacy.

Sudan on the brink of war as army occupies Abyei

NGO’s are saying these satellite images indicate evidence of war crimes committed by the North Sudanese army in the disputed region of Abyei, which they took control of last Saturday. Located on the border between North and South Sudan, this oil and water rich province has been the scene of deadly clashes in recent weeks.

The satellite images were posted online as part of the « Satellite Sentinel Project », championed notably by the actor George Clooney, to monitor violence following the South Sudan independence referendum in January.

This picture appears to trace attacks carried out by northern troops equipped with heavy artillery. Others appear to show combat aircrafts stationed near to Abyei and also the construction of a military camp between the 24th April and the 13th of May. According to this report, this all suggests that the invasion was premeditated and well planned.

The « Enough Project » organization has also joined forces with the satellite monitoring project, and has posted these photos online, presented them as evidence of abuses of power carried out by pro-north militias in Abyei. The shots appear to show armed men, dressed as civilians and in uniform, looting abandoned shops and loading their swag into lorries. According to the UN, around 40 000 people have fled the region since violence broke out.

Eric Reeves, an American researcher and Sudan expert is concerned about the situation. He thinks as the international community appears to be powerless against the crisis, the perspective of another war in Sudan is becoming increasingly likely.

 

Repression continues in Syria

Soldiers loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad set fire to motorbikes in the southwest city of Deraa to punish the people for their lack of allegiance to the regime and then fire shots into the air to demonstrate their authority. This footage is difficult to verify, and is thought to have been filmed in this opposition stronghold on Tuesday, and shows that 8 weeks on from the start of popular uprising in Syria, the repression continues, despite the promises of political reforms.

If these online accounts from rebels are anything to go by, the crackdown appears to be particularly violent. This week, NGO Amnesty International posted an account from a Syrian student who was reportedly arrested in Baniyas on the 8th of March, and claims to have been beaten and tortured by security forces, along with a hundred or so other protesters.

And the authorities are showing no signs of easing up on their crackdown of protesters. Numerous amateur videos likes these ones appear to show soldiers in armored vehicles around Talbisseh and Rastan to prevent any form of protests taking place in these two cities which were recently rocked by anti-government protests.

But despite all this, the rebels remain hopeful that soldiers will end up joining their ranks. This Facebook group, which has been highly active ever since the revolution began, says this Friday has been declared “Army Friday” by protesters who are appealing to soldiers to stop supporting President al-Assad.

Meanwhile, videos of the rallies continue to pour onto sharing sites, demonstrations have been taking place across the country despite the particularly tense climate. The footage filmed this week in al-Qamishli, Aleppo and also the capital Damascus, suggest that the revolution is far from ove…

 

Destinations, webdocumentaries on French diplomacy

Managing French property holdings in Algeria, maintaining a cultural center in the Gaza Strip and also the development of Peru’s archeological heritage … These are just some examples of the subjects approached in “Destinations”, a web documentary series produced by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs to give web users an insider view of French diplomacy, and the work done by representatives abroad.

 

WhoSay helps celebrities control social media photos

Stars who share their day to day lives with fans via Twitter don’t upload their photos just anywhere. Tom Hanks, Jim Carrey, Eva Longoria and also Cristiano Ronaldo are just some of the well-known figures using the site Who Say to post their photos. This platform protects the image of its famous clientele unlike the highly popular Twitpic which reserves the right to utilize their users’ pictures.

 

Video of the day

What do B-Boy Checho, Lazylegs, Tommy Guns and Kujo all have in common? They are all in breakdancing group “ill abilities” and all the dancers suffer from a physical disability. The message the young artists want to get across is “no excuses, no limits”, they campaign against prejudices towards disabled people and hope to show the world that you can turn your disability into your strength.

 

 

 

By Electron Libre

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