UN chief: Highest number of conflicts in 30 years, record 69 million displaced

Photo showing Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Soereide welcomes UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres as he arrives at the annual Oslo Forum, a meeting place for political leaders from all over the world in Losby, Norway, 19 June, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 20 June 2018

UN chief: Highest number of conflicts in 30 years, record 69 million displaced

COPENHAGEN: The number of countries involved in “violent conflicts” is the highest in 30 years, while the number of people killed in conflicts has risen tenfold since 2005, the UN secretary-general said Tuesday.
Antonio Guterres added that the number of “violent situations” classifiable as wars, based on the number of casualties, has tripled since 2007.
He also told reporters in Oslo, Norway, that “low-intensity conflicts” rose by 60 percent since 2007. Guterres gave no specific figures.
“Prevention is more necessary than ever,” Guterres said, adding “mediation becomes an absolutely fundamental instrument in our action.”
Guterres, who was attending a meeting on peacemaking, said that on top of regional conflicts, global terrorism was a new type of struggle that “can strike anywhere at any time.”
The annual Oslo Forum panel discussion on peacemaking also was attended by leaders from Somalia, Algeria, Jordan, Oman and Tanzania. The White House envoy for the war against the Islamic State also attended.
The UN refugee agency said nearly 69 million people fleeing war, violence and persecution were forcibly displaced last year, a record number.
In its annual Global Trends Report published Tuesday, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said the continued crises in places like South Sudan and Congo, as well as the exodus of Muslim Rohingya from Myanmar that started last year, raised the overall figure of forced displacements in 2017 to 68.5 million.


Four killed in India clash ahead of Trump arrival

A man supporting a new citizenship law throws a stone at those who are opposing the law, during a clash in New Delhi, India, February 24, 2020. (REUTERS)
Updated 4 min 17 sec ago

Four killed in India clash ahead of Trump arrival

  • The new law has raised worries abroad — including in Washington — that Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to remold secular India into a Hindu nation while marginalizing the country’s 200 million Muslims, a claim he denies

NEW DELHI: A policeman was among at least four people killed in New Delhi on Monday during violent clashes over a contentious citizenship law, local media said, hours before US President Donald Trump arrived in the Indian capital for an official visit.
Protesters torched at least two houses and shops before later setting a tire market on fire, the Press Trust of India said. Local TV channels showed plumes of black smoke billowing from buildings.
One video posted on social media showed crowds of men shouting “Jai Shree Ram” or “Hail Lord Ram,” a revered Hindu deity, as they went on a rampage.
Protests have broken out across India since the citizenship law came into force in December, leaving at least 30 people killed in clashes with police. Critics say the law discriminates against Muslims.
The new law has raised worries abroad — including in Washington — that Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to remold secular India into a Hindu nation while marginalizing the country’s 200 million Muslims, a claim he denies.
The latest unrest erupted between several hundred supporters and opponents of the law in a Muslim-dominated area of northeast Delhi on Sunday, and continued Monday.
A constable died after receiving a critical head injury, while another senior officer was among the injured.
Local media said three civilians also died and many people were hurt.
“Please renounce violence. Nobody benefits from this. All problems will be solved by peace,” Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia tweeted that schools in the capital’s northeast would be shut on Tuesday and exams postponed.
Trump arrived in the western state of Gujarat on Monday and addressed about 100,000 people at a rally with Modi before he visited the Taj Mahal monument in Agra.
Later Monday the US president landed in Delhi before official talks in the city on Tuesday.
A senior US official told reporters that Trump would raise concerns about religious freedom in the Hindu-majority nation during the trip, calling them “extremely important to this administration.”