Monthly Archives: May 2012

Yemeni bomb leaves 90 dead, several hundred severely injured

Britain has expressed her condemnation over a terrorist attack in the Yemeni capital Sana’a that left  at least 90 people killed and more than 200 injured, most of them Yemeni soldiers. British Minister for the Middle East, Alistair Burt has described the attack as ‘cowardly’. In a statement issued from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London Monday, Mr Burt said: “The UK condemns today’s violent attack in central Sana’a in which scores of Yemeni servicemen were killed and many more injured. I am deeply saddened that so many have lost their lives and my thoughts are with the families of the victims. This tragic event underlines the scale of … Continue reading

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Barack Obama: A disappointment around the world?

In Europe, where more than 200,000 people thronged a Berlin rally in 2008 to hear Barack Obama speak, there’s disappointment that he hasn’t kept his promise to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, and perceptions that he’s shunting blame for the financial crisis across the Atlantic. In Mogadishu, a former teacher wishes he had sent more economic assistance and fewer armed drones to fix Somalia’s problems. And many in the Middle East wonder what became of Obama’s vow, in a landmark 2009 speech at the University of Cairo, to forge a closer relationship with the Muslim world. In a world weary of war and economic crises, and concerned about … Continue reading

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Conflict and the role of the media

By Rita Payne Emmanuel Jal, peace activist, musician and former Sudanese child soldier, brought the reality of conflict to the conference hall at the start of the 2012 Rotary World Symposium in Bangkok. Emmanuel, who was born in 1980 in southern Sudan, spoke graphically about how he came to be recruited as a child soldier. He was just seven years old when civil war broke out. His mother was killed by government soldiers and his father joined the rebels. Emmanuel, along with thousands of other abandoned children, fled to Ethiopia. They ended up becoming child soldiers with a consuming hatred of Muslims and Arabs who were responsible for atrocities against … Continue reading

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Obama heralds new future without war in Afghanistan

US President Obama has heralded what he called ‘a future in which war ends, and a new chapter begins’ during a surprise visit to Afghanistan Tuesday. Speaking to an American television audience on Tuesday night from Bagram Air Base, Mr Obama declared that he had travelled to Afghanistan to herald a new era in the relationship between the United States and Afghanistan. Mr Obama’s address, during an unannounced visit to sign a strategic partnership agreement with Afghan President Hamid Karzai that sets the terms for relations after the departure of American troops in 2014, was a chance for him to make an election-year case that he is winding down a … Continue reading

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