News in the Humanosphere: Bangladesh proposes relocating Burmese refugees to flood-prone island

Undocumented Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh (Photo credit: EU/ECHO/Pierre Prakash/flickr)

Bangladesh has resurrected a plan to relocate thousands of Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in Myanmar’s northwestern Rakhine State to a flooded island in the Bay of Bengal to prevent them from “intermingling” with Bangladeshi citizens. The United Nations says around 69,000 people have fled the Muslim-majority northern part of Rakhine to Bangladesh since attacks that killed nine Myanmar border police on Oct. 9, sparking a heavy-handed security response in which scores were killed. Bangladesh first proposed the idea of sending the Rohingya to Thengar Char, which floods at high tide, in 2015, prompting anger among rights groups. In a Jan. 26 notice on its website, Bangladesh’s cabinet said several panels were set up to examine the influx of Rohingya Muslims, which the country fears could lead to law and order issues as they mix with residents.” (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2knL8xh)

Humanity affirming news of the day: Colombian FARC rebels gathered in demobilization zones on Tuesday to start a historic disarmament process to end Latin America’s last major armed conflict, authorities said. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) are due to disband with UN supervision under a peace deal with the government after 52 years of conflict. Meanwhile, the country’s last active rebel group, the smaller National Liberation Army (ELN), was taking the final steps towards its own peace talks with the government. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2jrdEP7)

UNICEF launches appeal…The UN children’s agency on Tuesday launched an appeal for $3.3 billion to help 48 million children caught up in crises worldwide amid fears of a funding cut from top donor the United States. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2jrcOCc)

Top Stories

Fresh clashes broke out around South Sudan’s second-largest city of Malakal on Tuesday, a rebel spokesman and a government official said, the latest turn in the struggle for the capital of the oil-producing Upper Nile region. (VOA http://bit.ly/2jrfobl)

The United Nations has restarted airdrops of food to support 93,500 Syrians besieged by Islamic State in the city of Deir al-Zor, the U.N. World Food Program said on Tuesday. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2kMxP7n)

Philippine police may have committed crimes against humanity by killing thousands of alleged drug offenders or paying others to murder as part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war, Amnesty International said Wednesday. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2kd5De7)

Brazil’s unemployment rate hit 12 percent between October and December, another record high, official data showed Tuesday even as the economy is forecast to slowly exit deep recession. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2jrkkwP)

Conditions for migrants and refugees in Libya are worse than in concentration camps, according to a paper sent to the German foreign ministry by its ambassador in Niger. (Guardian http://bit.ly/2kMxv8N)

The humanitarian crisis in northern Nigeria has implications that Europe can ill afford to ignore, according to a top UN official. Nigeria was the third largest source of migrants crossing the Mediterranean in 2016. (Guardian http://bit.ly/2kdcUuo)

The city of San Francisco filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging President Trump’s executive order that directs the federal government to withhold money from so-called sanctuary cities that limit cooperation with federal immigration enforcement agents. (USA Today http://usat.ly/2koPzYu )

European Council President Donald Tusk said on Tuesday that U.S. President Donald Trump has joined Russia, China and radical Islam among threats to Europe and called on Europeans to stick together to avoid domination by three other continental powers. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2jri3BK)

Oslo’s main trash incinerator has shown promising results in the world’s first experiment to capture greenhouse gases from the fumes of burning rubbish as a new way to slow climate change, officials said on Tuesday. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2kdfSiw)

Opinion/Blogs

This PHD Student in Colorado is Stuck in an Airport in Jordan With Her Baby. (Because, Travel Ban) UN Dispatch

US funding cuts to UN agencies would be costly for peace and security (Guardian http://bit.ly/2jrh5Fv)

Trump’s global gag rule means more women and girls will die (ODI http://bit.ly/2jrsu8D)

What Does the Future Hold for Africa’s Farmers? (DW http://bit.ly/2knS6m3)

How mass atrocities end: compendium of 40 case studies (Reinventing Peace http://bit.ly/2jroZPf)

How Should the U.S. Anticorruption Community Respond to Trump? Engagement vs. Confrontation (Global Anticorruption Blog  http://bit.ly/2jriImW)

What’s in DFID’s new economic development strategy – and what’s missing (ODI http://bit.ly/2kdaGuO)

Can Financial Inclusion Change Gender Norms? (IPA http://bit.ly/2jrj9O8)

Europe’s refugee colonialism (Africa is a Country http://bit.ly/2kd9kjH)

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