UN head wants troops in Haiti

UN Secretary General António Guterres wants an international specialized armed force deployed to Haiti as gang violence and human rights violations have reached a critical level. His call is part of a report January 23 by the UN Integrated Office in Haiti, which says killings surged by 35 per cent last year while kidnappings more than doubled. “There are also allegations that a significant number of national police . . . may be associated with gangs,” Guterres said. [node:read-more:link]

Russian asylum seeker arrested in Norway

A former Wagner Group paramilitary commander who claimed asylum in Norway earlier this month has been detained by police under the auspices of immigration law, apparently for his own safety. Andrey Medvedev, 26, crossed into Norway from Russia two weeks ago and his lawyer said January 23 that he was detained because “police concluded his situation was very dangerous.” [node:read-more:link]

Canada involved in Cameroon

A peace process aimed at resolving the humanitarian crisis in Cameroon after years of civil will see Canada take a lead role, Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly has announced. “Canada has accepted the mandate to facilitate this process, as part of our commitment to promote peace and security and advance support for democracy and human rights,” she said January 20. [node:read-more:link]

Canada sends armoured vehicles for Haiti

Canada delivered three more armoured vehicles to the Haiti National Police via military aircraft. The vehicles are for use against criminal gangs which have caused a humanitarian crisis. Canada supplied an initial batch of AVs last October. [node:read-more:link]

Russia-Ukraine prisoner exchange

Fifty prisoners of war on each side of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine were returned home today. It was the 36th such exchange and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office said it would not be the last, that “our task is to return all our people and we will fulfill it.” [node:read-more:link]

EU’s Ukrainian aid blocked

Hungary’s right-wing government has blocked the approval of an €18 billion EU package of financial aid for Ukraine which was supposed to be paid in monthly instalments through 2023. “Hungary is not in favour of the amendment of the financial regulation,” Finance Minister Mihály Varga said kDecember 5, on the eve of a visit to Albania by his autocratic Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, for an EU-Western Balkans summit. The veto prompted EU finance ministers to delay three other Ukraine-focused votes. [node:read-more:link]

Canada sponsors Ukraine mine-clearing

The Scottish-based HALO Trust, a non-governmental organization which began mine-clearance in Afghanistan in 1988, has received $2 million from Canada for similar operations in parts of Ukraine east of Kyiv. Volunteers are dealing with what are understood to be millions of anti-tank and anti-personnel munitions left by retreating Russian invaders. [node:read-more:link]

26-hour-long moment of silence

On December 6th, a 26-hour long moment of silence will begin. Beginning on Finland's Independence Day, the conflict resolution organization CMI - Martti Ahtisaari Peace Foundation will hold a 26-hour long moment of silence in Helsinki, Finland to honour people who have lost their homes due to a conflict. [node:read-more:link]

Military intervention mooted for Haiti

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seemed to leave open the potential for Canadian military intervention in Haiti, which has been wrought with gang violence, but stressed that it would require a “consensus across political parties in Haiti before we can move forward. The Haitian government has called for intervention and the U.S. has suggested that Canada could spearhead the operation. [node:read-more:link]

Most Canadians back Ukraine aid

Results of a new Nanos Research poll released today indicate that even though it could exacerbate the federal deficit, 38 per cent of Canadians “support” increased financial support for Ukraine and a further 33 per cent are “somewhat” supportive. In contrast, 25 per cent “oppose” or “somewhat oppose” it while the small balance are unsure. Support is highest among respondents 55 or older. [node:read-more:link]

RCAF SAR crews honoured

The RCAF’s 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron at 19 Wing Comox on Vancouver Island, has been recognized by the U.K.-based Honourable Company of Air Pilots for its efforts during last year's devastating floods in British Columbia. AgustaWestland CH-149 Cormorant helicopter crews airlifted 311 persons, 26 dogs and a cat stranded on a highway between landslides in south-central B.C. [node:read-more:link]

“Digital Red Cross” protection proposed

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is proposing “digital” markers in the hope of protecting websites and systems used for medical and humanitarian purposes against cyberattacks. The “markers” could incorporate information that targetted institutions are protected by the Geneva Conventions. [node:read-more:link]

Fuel suppliers helping Myanmar junta

Amnesty International wants aviation fuel shipments to Myanmar suspended in an attempt to stop the military government from using its air firce against civilian targets. “There can be no justification for participating in the supply of aviation fuel to a military that has a flagrant contempt for human rights and has been repeatedly accused of committing war crimes,” says the organization’s Secretary General, Agnès Callamard of France. “If the planes can’t fuel up, they can’t fly out and wreak havoc.” [node:read-more:link]


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