A Rapidly developing extremism in Burkina Faso.
One of the poorest countries in the world, Burkina Faso is facing a debilitating extremism crisis, perpetuated by armed groups aligned with the Islamic State and al-Qaeda. For the past five years, the West African nation has been under the control of a jihadist majority, which has prompted a steady increase in violence across the nation, impacting civilians on an unprecedented scale. This extremism crisis has subsequently elicited a number of new crises, including the mass displacement of countless Burkinans. As of this month, in Africa’s Sahel region (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, and NIger) more than two million people have been displaced. Even worse, Schools and other academic institutions have become a consistent target for extremists, which The Telegraph reports has caused the closure of at least 2,300 schools, disrupting the education of nearly 400,000 students. However, there is hope. International organizations, such as UNICEF and Enfants du Monde have struck a deal with the Burkinan government to provide education to 800,000 students, which many see as a path out of the crisis, as receiving education makes students less likely to become radicalized. Despite this goal, there are no guarantees, and at the moment jihadists still have the most political power in the region.
The continued horrors of the Uighur Genocide.
While press coverage has withered, the Uighur genocide is still being atrociously fueled by the Chinese Communist Party. Disturbingly, the United States Federal Government only recognized the circumstances in Xinjiang as an official genocide on the last day of the Trump administration, January 19. Not only is the Chinese government committing the mass murder of Uighurs and other Turkic minorities in the region, but recent reports are also indicating that the government is forcing them to denounce their religious values by eating pork and consuming alcohol. The Communist Party has even gone as far as to expand Pig farms in the region to bulk up production for the long haul. Thus far, solutions remain limited, and international governments have been completely silent, even those who recognize the situation as a formal genocide. At this moment in time, the crisis is still raging, and political priorities for governments around the world remain ignorant to the crisis. However, this does not mean you are powerless.
Saveuighur.org has excellent statistics and factual information about the crisis and a number of action items you can take to reject the evil conduct of the Chinese Communist Party.
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny is not afraid.
While the events of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny’s poisoning and return to Russia has been reported widely, the epidemic of Russian police brutality has gone rather unnoticed. On top of arresting not hundreds, but nearly 3,700 pro-Navalny demonstrators across Russia, video evidence and reports have displayed the brutal, excessive, and incessant force used by the Russian police state. Aside from aggressive pushing and shoving, the police proceeded to beat protesters relentlessly, despite the fact that the demonstrations were almost entirely peaceful. While there is historical criterion for nationwide anti-Kremlin protests, the scale of the recent demonstrations in Russia is completely unprecedented. It is estimated that across the entire nation, over 100,000 people marched in 100 cities, sending a clear message to the Russian government that dissenting voices are not afraid— even if advocating for a fairer Russia means that they will face abhorrent police violence.
The events of the past two weeks have proven what we already know about Putin’s Russia: When all other methods of controlling Russians fail, he will, and will not hesitate to, resort to violence.
Some good news from Africa’s Sahel region.
After nearly a decade of work to rebuild Africa’s degraded landscapes, provide food security, jobs, and a reason to stay for millions of Africans along the Sahel region, the goals of the Great Green Wall have finally come to fruition. The Great Green Wall is one of the largest efforts against deforestation in African history, involving multiple actors in the process. Since its inception in 2007, the Great Green Wall has involved at least 11 countries in the project, and partnered with stakeholders throughout the Sahel region to create an 8,000 Kilometer stretch of green landscape. Now, almost a decade and a half later, the Great Green Wall initiative has made a remarkable leap. On January 11, the project received $14 billion in funding from the French government, the World Bank, and other major donors. The funding will dramatically accelerate the project’s aims, saving biological diversity and creating millions of green jobs in the process. This monetary grant, dubbed the “Accelerator” makes up 30% of the total amount needed to fully complete the Great Green Wall, and is absolutely necessary in order to secure its future. Thanks to this international assistance, the Great Green Wall will restore 100 million hectares of degraded land and create ten million green jobs by 2030, as well as ease tensions between the African Ministers of Environment and the Great Green Wall leaders, a conflict that originally halted much of the project’s progress. Moreover, this grant enables partnering countries to increase local investments within the framework of the Great Green Wall, and strengthen several national agencies throughout the Sahel region, all of which are paramount to the completion of the Great Green Wall.
The Great Green Wall: