What You Need to Know About the Crisis in the Central African Republic

Preventing the next genocide in a country wrought with conflict
 

Yesterday’s downing of a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane near the Ukrainian and Russian boarder—reportedly by a missile—is a tragedy that killed all 298 people on board. Now, investigators are getting more details about who the passengers were. According to multiple reports, up to 108 of the travelers were headed to the International AIDS Conference in Australia, scheduled to begin this weekend.

In a statement from the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Whales, the school confirmed that prominent AIDS/HIV researcher Joep Lange, who spent much of his career “preventing HIV from taking hold in Asia the way it had in Africa,” was among the victims. A fellow professor and director for the Institute, David A Cooper, said in the message, “Joep had an absolute commitment to HIV treatment and care in Asia and Africa. The joy in collaborating with Joep was that he would always bring a fresh view, a unique take on things, and he never accepted that something was impossible to achieve. Our joint work in Bangkok, the HIVNAT centre, will stand as his legacy.” Authorities are still unsure who is responsible for the attack ... Discuss

 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office has released a statement confirming that Israeli forces have begun a ground offensive in Gaza, with the goal of establishing "a reality in which Israeli residents can live in safety and security without continuous indiscriminate terror."

IDF spokesman Moti Almoz told the Jerusalem Post that "The operation has reached its ground phase. Large numbers of forces began a focused effort to destroy tunnels in Gaza. We are in a new stage." Almoz went on to say that Israeli forces are "moving now in various areas of Gaza. We will continue to attack in every location we think needs to be struck."

The New York Times reports that talks of a possible cease-fire are still underway ... Discuss

 

An Egyptian-proposed ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas appears to have fallen apart. Though Israeli officials agreed to its terms—which would end airstrikes into Gaza starting earlier this morning—the military arm of Hamas rejected it. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement after agreeing to the terms, “If Hamas rejects the Egyptian proposal and the rocket fire from Gaza does not cease—and that appears to be the case—we are prepared to continue and intensify our operation and protect our people." Since then, the airstrikes have restarted as Hamas continues their campaign of launching rockets into Israel. According to CNN, at least 190 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since the recent surge in violence.

There seemed to be some conflicted messages coming from Hamas about the agreement. The military wing of Hamas issued a statement indicating they had no intention of observing the ceasefire, saying they “reject altogether the proposal, which for us is not worth the ink that it was written with." However, a senior member of Hamas’ political party, Mousa Abumarzook, initially said on his Facebook page that “We are still discussing and there is no official position yet from the movement on the Egyptian initiative." According to a Reuters report, Hamas has made a number of demands for the ceasefire including an end to the blockade of Gaze, the lifting of restrictions at the Egyptian border crossing and “the release of hundreds of its activists arrested in the West Bank while Israel searched for the three missing teens” ... Discuss

 

Qatar’s 2022 World Cup: A Human Rights Nightmare

Our love of soccer is growing, but it comes at a high human cost. Read More
 

A group of government leaders called Nigeria's National Council of State promised reporters that “some good news," related to the more than 200 school girls who were are being held by the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram, is coming soon. An official said that security forces in the country know where the girls—who were first abducted three months ago—were being held, and seemed confident that they could be safely rescued. The government of President Goodluck Jonathan has been widely criticized for failing to quell the violence from Boko Haram, a group whose campaigns of mass murder, kidnapping and terrorism have claimed thousands of lives this year ... Discuss