Burundian unrest (2015–present)
On 25 April 2015, the ruling political party in Burundi, the National Council for the Defense of Democracy – Forces for the Defense of Democracy, announced that the incumbent President of Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza, would run for a third term in the 2015 presidential election. The announcement sparked protests by those opposed to Nkurunziza seeking a third term in office. Widespread demonstrations in the then-capital, lasted for over three weeks. During that time the country's highest court approved Nkurunziza's right to run for a third term in office despite the fact that at least one of the court's judges fled the country claiming he had received death threats from members of the government; as a result of the protests the government shut down the country's internet and telephone network, closed all of the country's universities and government officials publicly referred to the protesters as "terrorists". Since late April tens of thousands of people have fled the country, hundreds of people have been arrested and several protesters and police have been killed while dozens more have been injured.
On 13 May 2015, a coup was announced, led by Major General Godefroid Niyombare, while President Nkurunziza was in Tanzania attending an emergency conference about the situation in the country. By the next day the coup collapsed and government forces reasserted control. On 11 December 90 people were killed in attacks on state targets; the Burundian Civil War lasted from 1993 to 2005, an estimated 300,000 people were killed. The conflict ended with a peace process that brought in the 2005 constitution providing guaranteed representation for both Hutu and Tutsi, parliamentary elections that led to Pierre Nkurunziza, from the Hutu FDD, becoming President. Since 2005, poverty has remained a major problem. According to the World Bank, over 60% of Burundians do not have enough food; the country's government does not have enough money to fund needed programs and the economy is reliant on coffee exports whose price has fluctuated radically in recent years and made long term financial planning nearly impossible.
On 4 May 2015 the Vice-President of the Constitutional Court fled the country following alleged death threats from senior figures in the government. The judge claimed that most of the seven judges on the country's highest court believed it would be unconstitutional for Nkurunziza to be elected again. United States Secretary of State John Kerry stated on 4 May that Nkurunziza's nomination "flies directly in the face of the constitution."Following the departures of four of the seven judges who sit on Burundi's constitutional court, the remaining judges approved Nkurunziza's right to run for a third term in office. Members of the opposition described the court's ruling as "manipulated."Critics of the president say his actions jeopardise a peace deal that has kept ethnic tensions in check since the Burundian Civil War ended in 2005 and that Nkurunziza is not constitutionally permitted to seek a third term in office. On 25 April 2015, the ruling CNDD-FDD announced that Nkurunziza would run for a third term in the 26 June 2015 presidential election.
The announcement sparked protests by those opposed to Nkurunziza and those who claimed a third term would be a violation of the country's constitution which says no President can be elected more than twice. In the then-capital Bujumbura, protesters cut down trees to blockade roads. On 30 April, after days of protests, President Nkurunziza met with an American diplomat and told him that the protests were illegal. On 1 May, a grenade attack took place in Bujumbura and killed three people, including two policemen, human rights organizations said that protesters had been beaten and arrested. On the same day, a speech by President Nkurunziza was broadcast, in which he stated that the protests were illegal, a committee would be established and submit its findings before the June election, so that "severe sanctions will be taken against those who will be found guilty" of illegal activities. On 2 May, Security Minister General Gabriel Nizigama said the protests were an "uprising" and that the demonstrators would be regarded as "criminals and enemies of the country".
The International Red Cross says at least six people have been killed in the demonstrations, Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights says that over 400 protesters have been detained, some have been beaten in prison. Protests resumed on 4 May after a two-day suspension called for by protest leaders. Protests began peacefully but at least two protesters were shot and killed by police after stones were thrown at police. On 13 May 2015, Major General Godefroid Niyombare declared a coup d'état, announcing on radio that "Nkurunziza is dismissed, his government is dismissed too," while President Nkurunziza was in Tanzania attending an emergency conference about the situation in the country. Niyombare, a former army chief of staff and head of intelligence, announced the coup along with senior officers in the army and police, including a former defense minister. After the announcement, crowds stormed into the streets of the then-capital in celebration and soldiers were seen guarding the state broadcaster's headquarters.
Nkurunziza attempted to fly back to Burundi, but his plane was turned back to Tanzania. AFP reported; the head of the armed forces, Prime Niyongabo, declared from the RTNB state radio complex during the night of 13–14 May that the coup attempt had been defeated, he called on rebel soldiers t
Fatah the Palestinian National Liberation Movement, is a Palestinian nationalist political party and the largest faction of the confederated multi-party Palestine Liberation Organization and the second-largest party in the Palestinian Legislative Council. The President of the Palestinian Authority is a member of Fatah. Fatah is considered to have had a strong involvement in revolutionary struggle in the past and has maintained a number of militant groups. Fatah had been identified with the leadership of its founder and Chairman Yasser Arafat, until his death in 2004, when Farouk Kaddoumi constitutionally succeeded him to the position of Fatah Chairman, continued in the position until 2009, when Mahmoud Abbas was elected Chairman. Since Arafat's death, factionalism within the ideologically diverse movement has become more apparent. In the 2006 election for the PLC, the party lost its majority in the PLC to Hamas. However, the Hamas legislative victory led to a conflict between Fatah and Hamas, with Fatah retaining control of the Palestinian National Authority in the West Bank through its President.
The full name of the movement is حركة التحرير الوطني الفلسطيني ḥarakat al-taḥrīr al-waṭanī al-Filasṭīnī, meaning the "Palestinian National Liberation Movement". From this was crafted the reverse acronym فتح Fatḥ meaning "opening", "conquering", or "victory"; the word "fatḥ" or "fatah" is used in religious discourse to signify the Islamic expansion in the first centuries of Islamic history –as in Fatḥ al-Sham, the "conquering of the Levant". "Fatah" has religious significance in that it is the name of the 48th sura of the Quran which, according to major Muslim commentators, details the story of the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah. (During the peaceful two years after the Hudaybiyyah treaty, many converted to Islam, increasing the strength of the Muslim side. It was the breach of this treaty by the Quraysh; this Islamic precedent was cited by Yasser Arafat as justification for his signing the Oslo Accords with Israel. The Fatah movement, which espoused a Palestinian nationalist ideology in which Palestinian Arabs would be liberated by their own actions, was founded in 1959 by members of the Palestinian diaspora – more principally by professionals working in the Persian Gulf States who had studied in Cairo or Beirut and had been refugees in Gaza.
The founders included Yasser Arafat head of the General Union of Palestinian Students at Cairo University. Fatah became the dominant force in Palestinian politics after the Six-Day War in 1967. Fatah joined the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1967, it was allocated 33 of 105 seats in the PLO Executive Committee. Founder Yasser Arafat became Chairman of the PLO in 1969, after the position was ceded to him by Yahya Hammuda. According to the BBC, "Mr Arafat took over as chairman of the executive committee of the PLO in 1969, a year that Fatah is recorded to have carried out 2,432 guerrilla attacks on Israel." Throughout 1968, Fatah and other Palestinian armed groups were the target of a major Israeli Defense Forces operation in the Jordanian village of Karameh, where the Fatah headquarters – as well as a mid-sized Palestinian refugee camp – were located. The town's name is the Arabic word for "dignity", which elevated its symbolism to the Arab people after the Arab defeat in 1967; the operation was in response to attacks against Israel, including rockets strikes from Fatah and other Palestinian militias into the occupied West Bank.
Knowledge of the operation was available well ahead of time, the government of Jordan informed Arafat of Israel's large-scale military preparations. Upon hearing the news, many guerrilla groups in the area, including George Habash's newly formed group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Nayef Hawatmeh's breakaway organization the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, withdrew their forces from the town. Fatah leaders were advised by a pro-Fatah Jordanian divisional commander to withdraw their men and headquarters to nearby hills, but on Arafat's orders, Fatah remained, the Jordanian Army agreed to back them if heavy fighting ensued. On the night of 21 March, the IDF attacked Karameh with heavy weaponry, armored vehicles and fighter jets. Fatah held its ground; as Israel's forces intensified their campaign, the Jordanian Army became involved, causing the Israelis to retreat in order to avoid a full-scale war. By the end of the battle, nearly 150 Fatah militants had been killed, as well as twenty Jordanian soldiers and twenty-eight Israeli soldiers.
Despite the higher Arab death toll, Fatah considered themselves victorious because of the Israeli army's rapid withdrawal. In the late 1960s, tensions between Palestinians and the Jordanian government increased greatly. After their victory in the Battle of Karameh and other Palestinian militias began taking control of civil life in Jordan, they set up roadblocks, publicly humiliated Jordanian police forces, molested women and levied illegal taxes – all of which Arafat either condoned or ignored. In 1970, the Jordanian government moved to regain control over its territory, the next day, King Hussein declared martial law. By 25 September, the Jordanian army achieved dominance in the fighting, two days Arafat and Hussein agreed to a series of ceasefires; the Jordanian army inflicted heavy casualtie
Non-governmental organizations, nongovernmental organizations, or nongovernment organizations referred to as NGOs, are non-profit and sometimes international organizations independent of governments and international governmental organizations that are active in humanitarian, health care, public policy, human rights and other areas to effect changes according to their objectives. They are thus a subgroup of all organizations founded by citizens, which include clubs and other associations that provide services and premises only to members. Sometimes the term is used as a synonym of "civil society organization" to refer to any association founded by citizens, but this is not how the term is used in the media or everyday language, as recorded by major dictionaries; the explanation of the term by NGO.org is ambivalent. It first says an NGO is any non-profit, voluntary citizens' group, organized on a local, national or international level, but goes on to restrict the meaning in the sense used by most English speakers and the media: Task-oriented and driven by people with a common interest, NGOs perform a variety of service and humanitarian functions, bring citizen concerns to Governments and monitor policies and encourage political participation through provision of information.
NGOs are funded by donations, but some avoid formal funding altogether and are run by volunteers. NGOs are diverse groups of organizations engaged in a wide range of activities, take different forms in different parts of the world; some may have charitable status, while others may be registered for tax exemption based on recognition of social purposes. Others may be fronts for religious, or other interests. Since the end of World War II, NGOs have had an increasing role in international development in the fields of humanitarian assistance and poverty alleviation; the number of NGOs worldwide is estimated to be 10 million. Russia had about 277,000 NGOs in 2008. India is estimated to have had around 2 million NGOs in 2009, just over one NGO per 600 Indians, many times the number of primary schools and primary health centres in India. China is estimated to have 440,000 registered NGOs. About 1.5 million domestic and foreign NGOs operated in the United States in 2017. The term'NGO' is not always used consistently.
In some countries the term NGO is applied to an organization that in another country would be called an NPO, vice versa. Political parties and trade unions are considered NGOs only in some countries. There are many different classifications of NGO in use; the most common focus is on "orientation" and "level of operation". An NGO's orientation refers to the type of activities; these activities might include human rights, improving health, or development work. An NGO's level of operation indicates the scale at which an organization works, such as local, national, or international; the term "non-governmental organization" was first coined in 1945, when the United Nations was created. The UN, itself an intergovernmental organization, made it possible for certain approved specialized international non-state agencies — i.e. non-governmental organizations — to be awarded observer status at its assemblies and some of its meetings. The term became used more widely. Today, according to the UN, any kind of private organization, independent from government control can be termed an "NGO", provided it is not-for-profit, non-prevention, but not an opposition political party.
One characteristic these diverse organizations share is that their non-profit status means they are not hindered by short-term financial objectives. Accordingly, they are able to devote themselves to issues which occur across longer time horizons, such as climate change, malaria prevention, or a global ban on landmines. Public surveys reveal that NGOs enjoy a high degree of public trust, which can make them a useful - but not always sufficient - proxy for the concerns of society and stakeholders. NGO/GRO types can be understood by their level of how they operate. Charitable orientation involves a top-down effort with little participation or input by beneficiaries, it includes NGOs with activities directed toward meeting the needs of the disadvantaged people groups. Service orientation includes NGOs with activities such as the provision of health, family planning or education services in which the programme is designed by the NGO and people are expected to participate in its implementation and in receiving the service.
Participatory orientation is characterized by self-help projects where local people are involved in the implementation of a project by contributing cash, land, labour etc. In the classical community development project, participation begins with the need definition and continues into the planning and implementation stages. Empowering orientation aims to help poor people develop a clearer understanding of the social and economic factors affecting their lives, to strengthen their awareness of their own potential power to control their lives. There is maximum involvement of the beneficiaries with NGOs acting as facilitators. Community-based organizations arise out of people's own initiatives, they can be responsible for raising the consciousness of the urban poor, helping them to understand their rights in accessing needed services, providing such services. City-wide organizations include organizations such as chambers of commerce and industry, coaliti
Brussels the Brussels-Capital Region, is a region of Belgium comprising 19 municipalities, including the City of Brussels, the capital of Belgium. The Brussels-Capital Region is located in the central portion of the country and is a part of both the French Community of Belgium and the Flemish Community, but is separate from the Flemish Region and the Walloon Region. Brussels is the most densely populated and the richest region in Belgium in terms of GDP per capita, it covers 161 km2, a small area compared to the two other regions, has a population of 1.2 million. The metropolitan area of Brussels counts over 2.1 million people, which makes it the largest in Belgium. It is part of a large conurbation extending towards Ghent, Antwerp and Walloon Brabant, home to over 5 million people. Brussels grew from a small rural settlement on the river Senne to become an important city-region in Europe. Since the end of the Second World War, it has been a major centre for international politics and the home of numerous international organisations, politicians and civil servants.
Brussels is the de facto capital of the European Union, as it hosts a number of principal EU institutions, including its administrative-legislative, executive-political, legislative branches and its name is sometimes used metonymically to describe the EU and its institutions. The secretariat of the Benelux and headquarters of NATO are located in Brussels; as the economic capital of Belgium and one of the top financial centres of Western Europe with Euronext Brussels, it is classified as an Alpha global city. Brussels is a hub for rail and air traffic, sometimes earning the moniker "Crossroads of Europe"; the Brussels Metro is the only rapid transit system in Belgium. In addition, both its airport and railway stations are the busiest in the country. Dutch-speaking, Brussels saw a language shift to French from the late 19th century; the Brussels-Capital Region is bilingual in French and Dutch though French is now the de facto main language with over 90% of the population speaking it. Brussels is increasingly becoming multilingual.
English is spoken as a second language by nearly a third of the population and a large number of migrants and expatriates speak other languages. Brussels is known for its cuisine and gastronomy, as well as its historical and architectural landmarks. Main attractions include its historic Grand Place, Manneken Pis and cultural institutions such as La Monnaie and the Museums of Art and History; because of its long tradition of Belgian comics, Brussels is hailed as a capital of the comic strip. The most common theory of the origin of the name Brussels is that it derives from the Old Dutch Bruocsella, Broekzele or Broeksel, meaning "marsh" and "home" or "home in the marsh". Saint Vindicianus, the bishop of Cambrai, made the first recorded reference to the place Brosella in 695, when it was still a hamlet; the names of all the municipalities in the Brussels-Capital Region are of Dutch origin, except for Evere, Celtic. In French, Bruxelles is pronounced and in Dutch, Brussel is pronounced. Inhabitants of Brussels are known in French in Dutch as Brusselaars.
In the Brabantian dialect of Brussels, they are called Brusseleirs. The written x noted the group. In the Belgian French pronunciation as well as in Dutch, the k disappeared and z became s, as reflected in the current Dutch spelling, whereas in the more conservative French form, the spelling remained; the pronunciation in French only dates from the 18th century, but this modification did not affect the traditional Brussels' usage. In France, the pronunciations and are heard, but are rather rare in Belgium. See also: History of Brussels The history of Brussels is linked to that of Western Europe. Traces of human settlement go back to the Stone Age, with vestiges and place-names related to the civilisation of megaliths and standing stones. During late antiquity, the region was home to Roman occupation, as attested by archaeological evidence discovered near the centre. Following the decline of the Western Roman Empire, it was incorporated into the Frankish Empire; the origin of the settlement, to become Brussels lies in Saint Gaugericus' construction of a chapel on an island in the river Senne around 580.
The official founding of Brussels is situated around 979, when Duke Charles of Lower Lotharingia transferred the relics of Saint Gudula from Moorsel to the Saint Gaugericus chapel. Charles would construct the first permanent fortification in the city, doing so on that same island. Lambert I of Leuven, Count of Leuven, gained the County of Brussels around 1000, by marrying Charles' daughter; because of its location on the shores of the Senne, on an important trade route between Bruges and Ghent, Cologne, Brussels became a commercial centre specialised in the textile trade. The town grew quite and extended towards the upper town, where there was a smaller risk of floods; as it grew to a population of around 30,000, the surrounding marshes were drained to allow for further expansion. Around
Finnish Institute of International Affairs
The Finnish Institute of International Affairs is an independent research institute located in Töölö, that produces topical information on international relations and the European Union. The Institute has three research programmes: The European Union; the FIIA organises conferences and round-table meetings on topical subjects related to research programs. These seminars provide a forum for high level discussions between decision-makers; the research findings and current analyses on international topics are published in the FIIA-Report and Briefing Paper –series. In addition, the Institute publishes a quarterly journal on international relations; the Institute maintains the Archive and Chronology of Finnish Foreign Policy. The staff of the new Finnish Institute of International Affairs consists of around 50 members; the Director of the Institute is Dr. Teija Tiilikainen; the work of the FIIA is directed by a nine-member board, appointed by the Parliament and chaired by Minister Antti Tanskanen. The Institute has an advisory council.
The Institute was set up at the centennial session of the Finnish Parliament in June 2006 and started to function 1 January 2007 under the auspices of the Parliament of Finland. The Finnish Institute of International Affairs functioned as a private research organization, founded by the Paasikivi Society in 1961 and maintained by the Foundation for Foreign Policy Research; the core of the Institute's funding comes from the Parliament of Finland. Crisis Management Initiative European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats Official website Eilen
Transnistria, or Transdniestria the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, is a unrecognised state that split off from Moldova after the dissolution of the USSR and consists of a narrow strip of land between the river Dniester and the territory of Ukraine. Transnistria has been recognised only by three other non-recognised states: Abkhazia and South Ossetia; the region is considered by the UN to be part of Moldova. Transnistria is designated by the Republic of Moldova as the Transnistria autonomous territorial unit with special legal status, or Stînga Nistrului. After the dissolution of the USSR, tensions between Moldova and the breakaway Transnistrian territory escalated into a military conflict that started in March 1992 and was concluded by a ceasefire in July of the same year; as part of that agreement, a three-party Joint Control Commission supervises the security arrangements in the demilitarised zone, comprising twenty localities on both sides of the river. Although the ceasefire has held, the territory's political status remains unresolved: Transnistria is an unrecognised but de facto independent semi-presidential republic with its own government, military, postal system and vehicle registration.
Its authorities have adopted a constitution, national anthem and coat of arms. It is the only country still using the sickle on its flag. After a 2005 agreement between Moldova and Ukraine, all Transnistrian companies that seek to export goods through the Ukrainian border must be registered with the Moldovan authorities; this agreement was implemented after the European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine took force in 2005. Most Transnistrians have Moldovan citizenship, but many Transnistrians have Russian and Ukrainian citizenship; the main ethnic groups in 2015 were Russians and Ukrainians. Transnistria, South Ossetia, Artsakh are post-Soviet "frozen conflict" zones; these four recognised states maintain friendly relations with each other and form the Community for Democracy and Rights of Nations. The region can be referred to in English as "Trans-Dniestr" or "Transdniestria"; these names are adaptations of the Romanian colloquial name of the region, "Transnistria" meaning "beyond the River Dniester".
The documents of the government of Moldova refer to the region as Stînga Nistrului meaning "Left Bank of the Dniester". According to the Transnistrian authorities, the name of the state is Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic; the short form of this name is Pridnestrovie. "Pridnestrovie" is a transliteration of the Russian "Приднестровье" meaning " by the Dniester". Transnistria became an autonomous political entity in 1924 with the proclamation of the Moldavian ASSR, which included today's Transnistria and an adjacent area around the city of Balta in modern-day Ukraine, but nothing from Bessarabia, which at the time formed part of Romania. One of the reasons for the creation of the Moldavian ASSR was the desire of the Soviet Union at the time to incorporate Bessarabia; the Moldavian SSR, organised by a decision of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on 2 August 1940, was formed out of a part of Bessarabia and out of a part of the Moldavian ASSR equivalent to present-day Transnistria. In 1941, after Axis forces invaded the Soviet Union during the Second World War, they defeated the Soviet troops in the region and occupied it.
Romania controlled the entire region between Dniester and Southern Bug rivers, including the city of Odessa as local capital. The Romanian-administered territory – called the Transnistria Governorate – with an area of 44,000 km2 and a population of 2.3 million inhabitants, was divided into 13 counties: Ananiev, Berzovca, Golta, Movilau, Odessa, Ovidiopol, Rîbnița, Tiraspol and Tulcin. This enlarged Transnistria was home to nearly 200,000 Romanian/Moldovan-speaking residents; the Romanian administration of Transnistria attempted to stabilise the situation in the area under Romanian control, implementing a process of Romanianization. During the Romanian occupation of 1941–44, between 150,000 and 250,000 Ukrainian and Romanian Jews were deported to Transnistria. After the Red Army reconquered the area in 1944, Soviet authorities executed, exiled or imprisoned hundreds of the Moldavian SSR inhabitants in the following months on charges of collaboration with the "German-fascist occupiers". A campaign was directed against the rich peasant families, who were deported to Kazakhstan and Siberia.
Over the course of two days, 6–7 July 1949, a plan named "Operation South" saw the deportation of over 11,342 families by order of the Moldovian Minister of State Security, Iosif Mordovets. In the 1980s, Mikhail Gorbachev's policies of perestroika and glasnost in the Soviet Union