Humanitarian

More sanctions against Russia

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the other G7 leaders kicked off their summit in Japan today by announcing new sanctions against 17 Russian individuals and 18 “entities” due to human rights abuses in Ukraine. They also announced new funding they said will help to guard against nuclear weapon proliferation. [node:read-more:link]

Sudan evacuation suspended

The federal government announced today that “the deteriorating security situation” in Sudan has forced it to suspend evacuation flights for now. Approximately 400 Canadian citizens and permanent residents had been rescued so far but Defence Minister Anita Anand said that about 230 are still seeking assistance through Global Affairs Canada. [node:read-more:link]

CAF ready for Sudan rescue

All Canadian Armed Forces commands are on standby to evacuate some 700 Canadian civilians who want out of Sudan, Defence Minister Anita Anand and government officials confirmed April 26. Anand said the mission would take place “as soon as conditions on the ground permit.” [node:read-more:link]

Sudan: Canada plans airlift

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has confirmed that the Canadian Armed Forces are planning to airlift out civilians trapped in Sudan. “We have assets in the region,” he said April 25, but there were “very limited places where those airlifts can happen from.” Potential CAF platforms in the region include a Boeing CC-177 Globemaster III transport and a frigate and supply ship. [node:read-more:link]

Some Canadians out of Sudan

Fifty-eight Canadians and one German were evacuated from Sudan today on a German aircraft and an RCAF CC-117 Globemaster III was on standby in the region to help evacuate more as a military conflict continued to escalate. Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly had said earlier in the day that there were talks with “like-minded countries” to help others. [node:read-more:link]

Sudan: Canadians stuck for now

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly said April 20 that evacuating citizens and diplomatic staff from Sudan is currently “impossible” due to security risks arising from the fighting between two military factions. However, she said “we are assessing the situation constantly” and advising personnel to shelter in place. There are at least 1,500 Canadians in Sudan but registration is optional. [node:read-more:link]

Sudan: U.S. set to evacuate diplomats

The U.S is moving additional troops and equipment to a naval expeditionary base in Djibouti to prepare for the potential evacuation of personnel from its embassy in war-torn Sudan. The plan was accelerated after an embassy convoy was attacked in Khartoum. There are some 70 personnel at the embassy and at least 16,000 private U.S. citizens registered in Sudan which is separated from Djibouti by Eritrea. [node:read-more:link]

Canada-U.S. interests “interwoven”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden used a day of talks in Ottawa March 24 to tackle a range of shared issues, including defence and security, third-country refugees, Haiti, clean energy and trade in what Trudeau said was a demonstration of how their countries’ interests are “interwoven.” Biden, on his first visit to Canada as President, agreed, saying, “I can't think of a challenge we haven’t met together.” [node:read-more:link]

Brothers released from Guantánamo

Two brothers from Pakistan have been released without charge and repatriated after two decades in Guantánamo Bay. Abdul and Mohammed Ahmed Rabbani, who were arrested as"terrorists" in Pakistan in 2002, claim to have been tortured by CIA officers in Afghanistan before they were shipped to the U.S. military prison. [node:read-more:link]

Another “Gitmo” detainee freed

Pakistani national Ahmed Rabbani, once described as one of “the worst terrorists” in the world, has been repatriated from Guantánamo after more than 20 years without charge. He had been handed over by Pakistani officials in September 2002 in return for a bounty despite his insistence that he was only a taxi driver. His British human rights lawyer says his treatment is more evidence of how the U.S. intelligence and military communities had mishandled most Guantánamo detainees’ cases. [node:read-more:link]

More U.S. sanctions on Russia

Banks and defence suppliers are among more than 100 entities within Russia and abroad targetted in new U.S. sanctions today, the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The U.S. also announced $2 billion in new aid for Ukraine as well as $550 million to help Ukraine and neighbouring Moldova to strengthen their energy infrastructure. [node:read-more:link]

Canada steps up Ukrainian support

The federal government today confirmed more than $32 million to bolster “security and stabilization” in Ukraine, including some $9.7 million previously announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The total includes $7.5 million for de-mining, $12 million to “counter chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats” and some $13 million for “accountability efforts” including addressing conflict-related sexual violence. [node:read-more:link]

What to do about Haiti?

As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discusses the crisis in Haiti with Caribbean leaders this week, he evidently remained resistant to suggestions, including from the U.S., about military intervention. During a multilateral meeting today, he told Haiti’s unelected leader, Ariel Henry, who has UN support for external security forces to combat endemic gang violence, only that Canada has “much to do” to offer support and stability. [node:read-more:link]

Why no immediate DART deployment?

As the Army officer who oversaw Canada’s refugee verification mission in Kosovo some three decades, retired Lieutenant-General J.O. Michel Maisonneuve is asking why the internationally-respected Disaster Assistance Response Team hasn’t been deployed to help in the aftermath of the earthquakes that have killed more than 25,000 persons in Turkey and Syria. “In truth,” Maisonneuve says, the CAF have “very little capability to help” due to shrinking ranks and mostly outdated equipment. [node:read-more:link]

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