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African UN Security Council Members Push for AU-Led Peacekeepers

Salem Solomon 

A draft resolution introduced this week by the three African countries on the United Nations’ Security Council could shift peacekeeping responsibilities across the continent to the African Union.

A File Photo of Kenyan soldiers with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) patrol the streets of Kismayo, a port city in southern Somalia. UN Photo by Ramaden Mohamed Hassan

The resolution, introduced by Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire, calls for the U.N., on a case-by-case basis, to fund peacekeeping missions led by the AU.

The U.N. currently runs most peacekeeping efforts in Africa, with a budget that dwarfs the African Union’s. But the AU’s peacekeeping role has grown, especially in East Africa, where AMISOM, the AU’s Mission in Somalia, has fought back against a violent insurgency for more than a decade.

If passed, the proposed resolution would effectively outsource at least some future peacekeeping missions to the AU, transferring authority and oversight to the pan-African organization based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Higher costs?

The resolution has received key backing from both France and China, two of the Security Council’s five permanent members.

But the United States has raised questions about whether a transfer of authority to the AU might raise peacekeeping costs and complicate efforts to oversee potential human rights abuses in conflict zones.

Those concerns reflect U.S. policies on peacekeeping efforts that date back to the Bush and Obama administrations, Grant Harris, the former senior director for African Affairs under the Obama Whitehouse, told VOA.

“The United States has had a longstanding and consistent concern about outsourcing peacekeeping missions without full confidence that human rights compliance — obligations — will be met,” Harris said.

Funding for the U.N.’s peacekeeping budget comes from contributions from member states proportional to their GDPs. The U.S. and China are the biggest contributors, but China pays 18 percent less than the United States’ annual contribution of more than $2 billion.

Beijing’s strategy

China hosted a debate on the resolution at the U.N.’s headquarters in New York. That demonstrates a clear commitment to the importance of peacekeeping in Africa but also solidarity with the AU, Harris said.

“China is really endorsing and taking a stand on an African Union priority,” he added.

But Beijing has also been quick to invest in Africa without preconditions around governance or adherence to international standards. And that makes the AU resolution more appealing to Beijing than the U.S., according to Harris.

“They have consistently been less concerned about the human rights and other compliance issues that the United States has staked out as a major concern in supporting exterior missions with U.N. funding,” Harris said.

Keeping the peace

Half the U.N.’s 14 active peacekeeping missions focus on African conflicts, and the multilateral organization currently has tens of thousands of troops deployed in seven countries.

But repeated allegations of corruption and abuse have reduced confidence in the U.N.’s ability to play a positive role in Africa, fueling calls for African-led interventions.

From South Sudan to the Central African Republic, investigations into the U.N.’s role in Africa have revealed evidence of inaction, partiality and sexual abuse.

As the largest multinational organization based on the continent, the African Union is an obvious alternative. It too, however, has faced controversy, including allegations that AU troops have killed civilians.

US-Sino dynamics

For the draft resolution to move forward, the U.S. will need to find answers to its concerns. As a permanent member of the Security Council, the United States has veto power over any new resolution.

That could lead to a confrontation with Beijing.

But Harris cautions against framing the resolution as a U.S.-Sino showdown. And a consensus may be possible, if all sides are willing to be flexible.

Ideas about how best to handle peacekeeping are evolving, Harris said, with an eye toward empowering the African Union.

“I hope the Trump administration is really engaging on those issues and the underlying motivations to see if there may be a way to provide greater support and more consistent support,” Harris said, “while still ensuring that their very valid concerns about human rights laws and about financial accountability are being met.”(VOA)

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Top

India News Brief

 1 June, 2020

India Records Highest Single Day Increase of 8,392 Cases

India's COVID-19 Figure Reaches 1,91,041 Death Toll: 5,413

India's Most Affected States:

Maharashtra: Total Positive Cases:67,655 Total Deaths: 2,286

Gujarat: Total Positive Cases: 16,794 Total Deaths: 1,038

Madhya Pradesh: Total Positive Cases: 8,089 Total Deaths: 350

West Bengal: Total Positive Cases: 5,501 Total Deaths: 317

Delhi: Total Positive Cases: 19,844  Total Deaths: 473

Rajasthan: Total Positive Cases: 8,980 Total Deaths: 194

Uttar Pradesh: Total Positive  Cases: 7,823 Total Deaths: 213

Tamil Nadu : Total Positive Cases: 22,333 Total Deaths: 173

Andhra Pradesh: Total Positive Cases: 3,679 Total Deaths: 62

Telengana: Total Positive Cases: 2,698 Total Deaths: 82 

Karnataka: Total Positive Cases: 3,221 Total Deaths: 51

Punjab: Total Positive Cases: 2,263 Total Deaths: 45

Jammu and Kashmir: 2,446 Total Deaths: 28

Lockdown extends till June 30

  • International air travel, Metro rail services not allowed 

Cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places; and, social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions/ and other large congregations will not allowed.

  • Places of worship, hotels will open from June 8 with specific guidelines.

According to MHA guidelines, in Phase II, schools, colleges, educational/ training/ coaching institutions etc., will be opened after consultations with States and Union Territories.

There shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods. No separate permission or approval or e-permit will be required for such movement

But  states have the freedom to decide on public movement.

COVID-19: Delhi Death Toll Rises to 82 in Last 24 Hours

Probable Guidelines for Lockdown 5.0.

More travel routes are likely to open in Lockdown 5.0.

From June 1, the Railways will operate 100 pairs of mail or express trains, bookings have already begun. Then AC class services will resume.

Some states have already begun intra-state buses. Other states may  begin intra-tate bus services after June 1.Metro  services may begin in a limited manner, with lesser passenger capacity, social distancing norms and longer stops at each station.

Shops selling non-essential items were allowed to open during Lockdown 4.0.. More shops may open in Lockdown 5.0 even in markets.But no confirmed news regarding opening of shopping malls.Now many shops that have re-opened in market areas are operating on an odd-even basis.

Some cities have already allowed salons and beauty parlours to open with strict social distancing guidelines and wearing protective gear is a must.In containment areas the same rule may prevail in Lockdown 5.0.

The Human Resource Development Ministry of India will soon announce the guidelines of   schools reopening.

How to identify Fake News or Messeges on Social Media 

Beware of Fake News and Fake Messages on Social Media

Always follow websites or social media platforms of traditional media outlets whether newspapers, magazines,Television News Channels or Radio Stations and authentic online only media outlets.They still maintain journalism excellence and stress on reportorial talent.On the other hand, fake news websites run by people with non journalism background and promote their own ideology with fake news and disinformations and obviously conspiracy theories.

But unfortunately mainstream media also manipulates news to establish their story angle.There were various instances when News papers and TV Channels promoted fake news/conspiracy theories in the form of out of context or manipulated pictures/videos and distorted informations.

Always check the URL of any website.Some fake news websites look like the orginal and popular one the same layout,Logo but if you check the URL you may find extra words like if the orginal website's URL is www.xxx.com the duplicate one might be www.xxx.com.co or something like that so first check the URL for authentic informations.

Check whether photos are original or photoshopped.Check Google images for authenticity.You can find help from Google Reverse Images search.

Check the news sources from other websites whether they picked up the story or not.

Whether the website layout is little bit clumsy and obviously grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes and excessive use of Sex related and sensational and hate stories.Because sex and hate sells.

Follow official websites relating to COVID-19

WHO Clarifies the disinformation about the virus:
COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates
Cold Weather and Snow can not kill the new coronavirus
Taking a Hot Bath Does Not Prevent COVID-19
COVID-19 Can not be transmitted through mosquito bites

Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, mouth)

According to World Health Organization (WHO): Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth . If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early

Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover.

If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition

Follow WHO guidelines

www.who.int

When you follow COVID-19 related news and messages from social media then check and recheck it before consuming it.Follow journalism mantra: if your mother says she loves you, check it out.

Most of the messages or informations quote different organizations like WHO, UNICEF, UNDP,Cambridge University  or other well known institutes,organizations or individual to authenticate the messeges.Check official websites of these organizations  if stories are repeated there

Forwarding messages from unknown sources or little known sources, it would be better to ignore it.

Check whether any logo like UNICEF or WHO or other organizations used in the messages which look similar to original logo.

These type of messages are full of Grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes which are quite uncommon in original messages.

Don't rely on viral social media messages such as Coronavirus Infected Indian Currencies of Rs.500 and Rs.2,000 Notes Found, Muslim Man Spit in Food At Indian Restaurant.....Always Check Authentic Sources.

Some fake messages pretend to be real one like unofficial Twitter handle of international media organizations like BBC,CNN,Washinton Post, New York Times-check the official Twitter handles of media outlets.

You can identify fake messages if the message requests you to share it.

Beware of Fake News or Fake Photos/Videos Relating to Communal Hatred

Always check the fact checking sites if you have some doubts about the authenticity of any information or picture.

www.boomlive.in

www.altnews.in

https://check4spam.com

https://smhoaxslayer.com

www.factchecker.in

www.allsides.com

www.factcheck.org

www.newsbusters.org

www.politifact.com

www.snopes.com

www.propublica.org

The Same Method Applies to You Tube Videos Check the Source the credibility of the Source.To Check Fake You Tube Videos Check and Recheck the sources. Does the person have the legal right to the video posted? Did that person capture the video? Whether it has been altered?

But due to advancement of technology we can not really wipe out fake news.According to experts advent of  Artificial Intelligence(AI) some companies small or big one developing  technologies that can  lay digitally created script to anybody's voice  even words,sentences never said by the person.Even they are developing a technology which can create fake video footage,images,audios like originals.So be cautious! Rumour-mongers are active everywhere whether in physical world or cyber world.

 

For any further information relating to fake news and how-to search authentic informations from the internet write to us info@crimeandmoreworld.com or Whats App:+919073399779

COVID-19 Related Conspiracy Theories:
https://fsi.stanford.edu/news/china-covid19

 

 

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