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elton_john_bono
Famous celebrities and world leaders alike channel their influence to promote the various causes they are passionate about. Below are 5 famous advocates for global poverty:

1. Bono

Lead singer of Dublin-based band U2, Bono is one of the most influential celebrity advocates fighting global poverty. He is the co-founder of the organization ONE, which is a campaign of over 3 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. He is also creator of other campaigns including Debt AIDS Trade Africa (RED) and clothing company EDUN. Bono recently performed at the 2013 Global Citizen Festival, calling on audience members to help put a stop to extreme poverty by 2030. He was granted knighthood in 2007 and dubbed a “Man of Peace” for all his philanthropic work. He serves as a role model to all celebrities and is passionate about a greater cause.

2. Angelina Jolie

While filming Tomb Raider in Cambodia, Jolie first became personally aware of worldwide humanitarian crises. Since 2001, she has traveled on field missions around the world and interacted with refugees and other displaced people in more than 20 countries. She founded the Jolie-Pitt Foundation with actor Brad Pitt. The foundation focuses on eradicating extreme rural poverty, conserving wildlife, and protecting natural resources. Among the many philanthropic endeavors she has undergone, some include building an all-girls primary school in Afghanistan, opening a refugee camp and recently, undergoing a double mastectomy, bringing awareness to cancer and women’s health.

3. Elton John 

Famous musician Sir Elton John has seen many of his close friends die from HIV/AIDS in his lifetime. In their honor, he established the Elton John Aids Foundation in 1992 to fight the disease worldwide. The organization has raised over $125 million to support programs in 55 countries through education, health services and elimination of prejudice and discrimination. In 2004 he was the most generous person in music of the year, donating over $43 million to organizations across the globe. In 2008, he donated 120 motorcycles to the African nation of Lesotho to be used by doctors and nurses to visit patients in remote areas.

4. George Clooney

Clooney is one of the most charitable stars in Hollywood, focusing his energy on a mission to stop the human rights atrocities occurring in Darfur. He famously founded the group Not On Our Watch to stop the genocide occurring in Sudan. He has personally visited the area several times and met with victims and world leaders alike.

5. Bill Clinton

Former U.S. President and founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation, Clinton set up his organization to promote aid for a number of humanitarian causes. His organization focuses specifically on climate change, economic development, global health and women’s rights. Though there has been some controversy over the Clinton Foundation in recent years, it remains a well-known global advocacy network for aiding poverty-stricken countries.

– Sonia Aviv

Sources: ONE, TED, Look to the Stars, CQ Researcher, Clinton Foundation
Photo: Charles Cannon

4_Liter_Challenge
4Liter Challenge is a movement that asks Americans to try to live on only the essential amount of clean water. The idea is to help Americans understand the problem of lack of clean water through experience.

There is an online sign up for a system where use of water can be documented and shared via social media. Using social media helps the organization to spread awareness for clean water globally. During the challenge, participants must try to live on only 4 liters (about one gallon) of water a day for up to five days. The challenge aims to help Americans consciously think about how they use water.

An estimated 783 million people do not have access to sanitary drinking water. The UN reports “it is not yet possible to measure water quality globally, dimensions of safety, reliability and sustainability,” so this figure is probably an underestimate.

4 liters is the absolute essential amount of water required to survive, but 50 is generally recommended to maintain a healthy life. Moreover, 80% of disease derives from lack of sanitized drinking water. According to PR Web, “4,500 children die every day from water borne diseases.”

The average American uses around 500 liters of water a day. Sustainability is not just a third world problem.  Increasingly, preservation of clean water is becoming a global environmental issue worldwide. Additionally, Problems accessing clean water are often exaggerated by political instability or natural disasters. Global unity is needed to solve these challenges in order to provide clean water.

In 2010 the UN recognized access to sanitation and water as a human right. This right states that the sufficient amount of water is 50 to 100 liters, water must be affordable and accessible, and its collection time should be under 30 minutes. The 4Liter challenge was started by DIGDEEP water. In line with the UN goals, DIGDEEP’s focus is human rights and building sustainable water sources worldwide. A core value of the organization is “Water is precious, and so is human dignity.”

All funds raised by the 4Liter campaign will go to sustainable water projects in South Sudan, Cameroon, and New Mexico. These projects aim to promote sustainability using adjusted, locally implemented programs that empower communities.

– Nicole Yancy

Sources: DIGDEEP Water, PR Web, Aleteia, UN
Photo: LXX Magazine

Omar Al Bashir Denied US Visa UN General Assembly War Crimes ICC The Hague Genocide
As police cracked down on protests against the slashing of fuel subsidies in Sudan, which have resulted in at least 50 deaths, the country’s Foreign Affairs Minister Ali Ahmed Karti used the nation’s speech at the U.N. General Assembly to protest the U.S. decision to deny a visa to the country’s president, who faces international war crimes and genocide charges.

Despite an outstanding warrant for his arrest from the International Criminal Court, linked to the conflict in the Darfur region in which around 300,000 people have died since 2003, Sudan’s president Omar Hassan al-Bashir planned to attend the U.N. General Assembly this past week and had already booked a hotel in New York.

Ali Ahmed Karti called the alleged visa denial an “unjustified and unacceptable action,” while the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power, had called Bashir’s intention to travel to New York “deplorable, cynical and hugely inappropriate.”

The U.S. has never denied a visiting head of state who wants to speak at the United Nations entrance into the country. Under a treaty between the U.S. and the U.N., Washington is obligated to issue the visa as the world body’s host country. Despite this, the country had made it clear that it did not want al-Bashir to arrive in New York. Had he been granted entrance, al-Bashir would have been the first head of state to address the world body while facing international war crimes and genocide charges.

Meanwhile, in Sudan, protests broke out in Khartoum and other Sudanese cities over high fuel prices, while the country’s internet was cut off on the third day of protest. In an effort to turn a wave of popular anger into a full-fledged uprising against the 24-year rule of al-Bashir, 5,000 protesters demonstrated in some of the biggest protests in many years in the Khartoum area.

The country’s economy has worsened in the past few years, especially after southern Sudan seceded and took the country’s main oil-producing territory. Still, al-Bashir has managed to keep a grip on the regime, surviving armed rebellions, U.S. trade sanctions, an economic crisis, and an attempted coup last year. He also continues to enjoy support from the army, his ruling party, and wealthy Sudanese with wide-ranging business interests.

– Nayomi Chibana
Feature Writer

Sources: AP, Reuters, ABC News
Photo: The London Evening Post

sudan-humanitarian-crisis
From 1983 to 2005, the people of Sudan endured the Second Sudanese Civil War. Conflict between the Sudanese government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) resulted in the deaths of two million people and the displacement of four million more. In 2005, the Sudanese government and SPLM signed a Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which eventually led to the establishment of an independent state of South Sudan.

Despite the Peace Agreement and separation of South Sudan, many members of the SPLM and other revolutionary groups—collectively known as the Sudan Revolutionary Forces (SRF) – remained in Sudan’s Blue Nile and South Kordofan states. Since 2011, the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) have engaged in a comprehensive campaign to repress and eliminate these revolutionary forces in the country’s southern states.

To achieve this objective, the SAF has initiated indiscriminate aerial bombings and ground assaults in territories held by the SRF. Eyewitness accounts describe government soldiers forcing civilians from their homes and destroying entire villages. The attacks have exacerbated a humanitarian crisis in a region that is already afflicted by severe food and water shortages. Many civilians have had no choice but to flee the territory.

The United Nations estimates that more than 200,000 Sudanese have fled to already-overcrowded refugee camps in Ethiopia and South Sudan. These refugees face a long and daunting journey by foot through the Nuba Mountains. Those that arrive at a camps are often afflicted with a range of health problems including malnutrition, water born illnesses, skin diseases, respiratory infections and potentially fatal diseases such as Hepatitis E.

Compounding the situation is the fact that many camps are hindered in their ability to care for refugees by a lack of water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities. In the rainy season, roads are impassable and all food and medical supplies must be flown into the camps. Ewan Watson, a spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross, says that many refugees “found shelter in camps whose stretched resources were insufficient to cover peoples’ basic needs.”

While many civilians have fled, those that remain in the region are unable to farm or harvest because of the aerial and ground attacks. This has intensified food shortages, malnutrition, and disease. The Sudanese government has also cut off all foreign aid to people living in territories controlled by the Revolutionary Forces. The Enough Project—an advocacy group focused on genocide and crimes against humanity—reports that more than 80% of households in the state are surviving on one meal a day.

Despite growing international pressure, there are no signs that the SAF will abate their assault on the southern states. As food, shelter and land become more scarce, the number of refugees fleeing Sudan will increase. In a region that has known little peace, the humanitarian crisis in Sudan appears to shift continuously from bad to worse.

– Daniel Bonasso

Sources: Enough Project, The Lancet, Overseas Development Institute
Photo: EPACHA

sudanese_conflict
In order to understand the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan, it is necessary to understand the colonial history of Sudan. Sudan consisted of kingdoms and tribal communities until the Turko-Egyptian invasion of 1821. The Turko-Egyptian invasion was motivated by the expansionist ambitions of the Ottoman empire and its interest in commodities, such as slaves, ivory, gold, and timber. The Turko-Egyptian and North Sudanese collaborated against those of South Sudan and exploited them into slavery. Turko-Egyptian rule lasted for sixty years, but during this time, South Sudan was not fully incorporated under the new administration. The Mahdist administration, 1883-1989, also struggled to maintain control over South Sudan.

During this time, Belgium and France both attempted to maintain some control over Sudanese territory. However, after the French attempted to annex South Sudan to the French territories in West Africa, a conflict developed between the British and French over South Sudan known as the Fashoda incident. In 1898, Egyptian and British forces teamed up to reconquer Sudan. This incident resulted in the signing of the Condominium Agreement, which established Sudan’s current borders. France and Belgium eventually receded from Sudan, giving Britain-Egyptian forces full control over the country. During this time, Britain created separate administrative policies for South and North Sudan. These policies, which included immigration and trade laws, coupled with differing official languages, treated North and South Sudan as two separate entities.

British forces established an Advisory Council for North Sudan, in which all six provinces of North Sudan were represented and the council had the power to decide what was administered where. However, no such council was established in South Sudan. Rather, in 1946, British forces suggested that the North colonize the South. Since the South was not represented in the Council, the choice to colonize South Sudan was made without consulting anyone from the South and the South was betrayed by the British.

When Sudan achieved independence from British-Egyptian forces in 1956, independence was seldom felt in the South as the North assumed full control over the colonial state. The parliamentary republic, which was established at the onset of independence, failed to incorporate the South and this has led to years of civil unrest. Since achieving independence, the South has been politically marginalized, socio-economically ignored, if not retarded, and culturally subjugated by the North. The South, which is predominantly Christian and Animist, is culturally different from the Arab Muslim North. Yet, the North has used Islam as a weapon by denying basic rights to those who do not convert to Islam. In addition, the North has forced Islam and Arabization onto the Southern populations through educational systems which aim to kill indigenous languages and culture.

The military-led government of President Jaafar Numeiri agreed to autonomy for the South in 1972, but this Peace Treaty was undermined in 1979 when oil was discovered in South Sudan. After the discovery, the Numeiri government attempted to deny the South ownership of the resource by redrawing the southern boundaries to include the oil reserves. The new boundaries, however, violated the Addis Ababa Agreement which accepted the boundaries from colonial rule. Rather than improving the living standards of the Sudanese, it led to further conflict between the North and South. Civil war broke out in 1983 when Numeiri divided South Sudan into three regions, each with a governor appointed by himself, and declared Arabic the official language. To make matters worse, Numeiri imposed Shari’a law on all of Sudan. Since then, the government has waged war on South Sudan, whose forces are known as Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).

Throughout the 22 year conflict, Southern villages were ransacked and destroyed. Numeiri was eventually removed from power and replaced by Al-Bashir, who is supported by the Nationalist Islamic Front (NIF). Al-Bashir was able to maintain control until 1999, when SPLA forces began to gain control over large areas outside of more populated cities. In addition, SPLA forces made huge gains by attacking transportation lines and government forces. But by 2000, the South was hit with a widespread famine and the government did nothing to help its people. With the help of the United Nations and the United States, Operation Lifeline Sudan began to deploy food and supplies to areas affected by the conflict. By 2002, 2 million lives had been lost due to the genocide by the Bashir government. Throughout 2003 and 2004, the international community pressured the Sudanese government and the conflict began to die down.

In 2005, Sudan and South Sudan ended the 22 year conflict. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was underpinned by an agreement to 6 years of Southern autonomy, with a vote on succession at its end, split revenues from southern oil evenly between north and south sudan, islamic law in the north but to be voted on in the South, and if the succession vote was negative, the north and south were to combine forces. Six years later, in July of 2011, a vote for succession was held in Sudan and South Sudan gained independence from Sudan. Since then, South Sudan has been recognized by the international community after being accepted into the United Nations.

Kelsey Ziomek

Sources: Global Witness, University of Pennsylvania, Pulitzer Center, University of Massachusetts
Photo: ABC

dog driving car race
You may have seen the new ad campaign for Nespresso, the Nestle-subsidiary coffee brand, which features George Clooney losing beautiful women to its instant coffee packs. Yes, that George Clooney and yes, he is advertising coffee. But he’s doing it because he cares about Sudan.

Earlier this month, Clooney joined Nespresso’s Sustainability Advisory Board in Paris to unveil their grand development strategy targeting Sudanese coffee growers. Nespresso, which already runs a reputable fair trade program with coffee growers in Guatemala, plans to branch out to South Sudanese and Ethiopian farmers with the same program. The company expects to double coffee exports in both countries by 2020.

Clooney, who has a deep-seated passion for Sudan’s development, says the move will shift Sudan’s national earning power away from crude oil, the profits of which hardly reach either the government or the people, and toward small-scale farming. It will bring prosperity directly to the Sudanese themselves.

“The problem with oil [is] that a company takes the oil from beneath the feet of the people living there via a pipeline, the back of a truck and a dock in Khartoum,” said the Hollywood actor at the press conference. “Oftentimes the government gets a small proportion and it doesn’t seem to trickle down.”

Clooney’s plans don’t stop there, however. He’s pouring all his earnings from the advertising position back into a satellite-monitoring program to curtail human rights abuses by Sudan’s military dictator, Omar-al-Bashir, who is charged with war crimes at the Hague. Bashir, obviously unhappy with the set-up, ordered Clooney’s arrest on his arrival the Sudanese embassy in Washington last year.

“He says that I’m spying on him and how would I like it if a camera was following me everywhere I went,” said Clooney. “I go, ‘well welcome to my life Mr. War Criminal.’ I want him to have the same amount of attention that I get. I think that’s fair.”

— John Mahon

Sources: The Guardian, Yahoo

harvard_humanitarian_initiative_borgen_project_opt
From medicine to law, admittance to many vocations is attached to undertaking an oath to serve humanity. Conversely, universities and institutions of higher education pride themselves on embodying a collective entity of bright minds dedicated to pursuing knowledge for the sake of serving a higher purpose.

One would be hard pressed to find a school that holds itself to these rigorous standards more than Harvard University, where the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative has been making remarkable strides in assisting victims of human rights violations, war, and natural disasters since its establishment on campus grounds in 1999. Taking advantage of Harvard’s sterling reputation in both research and education, the center has combined studies in fields ranging from public health to sociology in its solution-based and interdisciplinary approach to tackling humanitarian crises around the world.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, HHI warned Louisiana and Mississippi residents against consuming potentially contaminated water. The storm had produced perfect conditions for waterborne disease to spread. Thus, it was imperative for federal and state agencies to provide a despondent populace with clean food and water, as well as basic health services, in a quick and efficient manner. Studies funded by HHI, meanwhile, have suggested that a rise in the incidence of rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo may be correlated with the withdrawal of UN troops, which provide civilians with protection against rebel forces. Aside from offering expert advice, HHI has helmed technology to better track and prevent such incidents. Its members analyzed U.S. satellite images to uncover the cause of damage to several oil fields in the Republic of Sudan and South Sudan last year. Because these reservoirs were located along the border between the two countries and both held the other accountable for striking first, it was critical for HHI to prevent the formation of further tensions between the two nations by doing a thorough assessment of the evidence at hand.

HHI also has an eye toward human development. Specifically, it aims to foster new leaders in the field of humanitarianism through innovative training programs. By simulating extreme conditions – even going so far as to place students on food rations and creating the occasional kidnapping scenario – HHI is able to better prepare its members to think rationally and act with conviction on the field.

Although HHI has been in existence for only 14 years, its past and present accomplishments suggest that it will remain a stronghold of humanitarianism for decades to come.

– Melrose Huang

Sources: Harvard Humanitarian Institute, The Boston Globe, BBC, Impunity Watch, Harvard School of Public Health
Photo: Harvard Gazette

The World's Top 5 Refugee Crises

June 20th marked World Refugee Day, a day to honor the many people worldwide who have been forced to flee their homes because of conflict, violence, or persecution.  Today there are 43.7 million refugees or internally displaced people (IDPs) worldwide.   The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) provides protection and aid to 34 million of them.

Public awareness of these refugee crises often drops sharply after the initial news of the crisis wears off, but the crises themselves continue for years on end, with the toll of refugees climbing ever higher.  Here are the 5 largest refugee crises in the world according to the latest available data:

1.       Somalia- Since the Somalian Civil War in the 90s, Somalia has been a hotbed of humanitarian concerns and crises. Food crises and the violent insurgent group Al- Shabaab have only exacerbated the problems in the country, along with a large rise in piracy just off of the Somalian coast.  According to the UNHCR the total number of refugees and IDPs originating from Somalia numbers around 2.4 million.  The Somali government will hopefully regain control of its territory enough to sufficiently aid its refugees.

2.       Iraq- The US military invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq topped off decades of conflict in the country, including the Iran-Iraq War, the first Gulf War, and years of crippling sanctions.  The combination of these conflicts has put the UNHCR’s population of concern originating from Iraq at 3 million people.  The refugee situation there has been augmented as a result of the Syrian Civil War, in which many Iraqis who had fled to Syria are now choosing to return to their war-torn homeland to escape the Syrian violence.

3.       Sudan– The secession of South Sudan from its northern counterpart has helped quell the humanitarian crisis there, but the UN estimates a total of 3.2 million people in its total population of concern originating from Sudan.  Sudanese refugees have come from the conflicts in Khartoum, Darfur, the Protocol Areas, and Eastern Sudan.

4.       Afghanistan– Since the overthrow of the Taliban government in Afghanistan in 2001, lack of security has been a continuous problem for the Afghan people.  Tribal violence and Taliban influence continue to displace Afghan citizens daily. The UNHCR puts the total population of concern originating from Afghanistan at 4.2 million people.

5.       Colombia– Though it is not often mentioned in the news, according to the UNHCR, Colombia has the largest total population of concern out of these countries: 4.3 million people.  Internal conflict has particularly affected the country’s indigenous population.  The effects of natural resource extraction and the armed groups involved therein have almost overwhelmed Colombian citizens.

Although it did not make the list of the world’s largest refugee crises, the situation in Syria represents the most rapidly growing refugee crisis.  The number of Syrian refugees is around 1.6 million currently, and the UN expects that to increase to 3.45 million in the next seven months.  The UN has also stated that it expects almost half of Syria’s pre-war population to require humanitarian aid by the end of 2013.

Though these conflicts fade from the minds of Americans after their initial impact, World Refugee Day is an opportunity to remember the situations these refugees are dealing with and to donate to a cause or pressure your elected officials to take action in support of these refugees.

– Martin Drake
Source: UNCR Country Profiles, ABC News
Photo: CWS Global

The Future for South Sudan
A year ago, Sudan and South Sudan were on the brink of war, but this month a deal between the two countries was finally implemented, allowing production in South Sudan’s main oil field to resume. This region, the Palouge oil field, accounts for 80% of the country’s oil production and has not been operational for 16 months due to disputes regarding the export of the oil.

This resumption of operations marks a significant moment in South Sudan’s brief history. Since its independence two years ago, the nation has suffered dramatic setbacks to its economy. The fledgling nation’s GDP contracted by 52% last year alone, while government revenues from oil-backed loans were cut by 98%. Now, however, with a pipeline deal in place with the north, South Sudan will be able to ramp up production to pre-independence levels.

After the drastic cuts in expenditure necessitated by the cessation of oil production during the last two years, this influx of revenue should significantly boost the country’s economy. South Sudan will have to diversify away from oil as the primary revenue generator over the next few years as reserves disappear, however, for now, the hope remains that oil profits will allow this nascent economy to establish itself. A stable economic platform marks the first steps in allowing the country and its people to grow.

– David Wilson

Sources: The Economist
Photo: Royal African Society

Worst Dictators still alive

The worst dictators have a strange kind of fame. Many manage to escape widespread awareness until their regime turns irredeemably bloody or repressive. As a result of their bizarre behaviour and the extensive list of human rights violations committed under their rule, figures such as Idi Amin, Muammar Qaddafi and Kim Jong Il are now household names. Yet their notoriety grew at the end of their reigns, when their own people had revolted or their regime was nearing its final days. However, there are a number of dictators in the world in power today committing great crimes against their own people unchecked. Here are the top 5 worst dictators in the world.

1. Isias Afewerki, Eritrea

In power since 1993, Afewerki has plunged Eritrea into a living nightmare for its residents. Starting out, as many do, as an idealistic young revolutionary, Afewerki was chosen as the country’s first president after its liberation from Ethiopia. Yet after gaining the position, Afewerki essentially cut off democracy, with the country operating under a one party system and no free press. Interceptions from cables paint a desperate picture of the nation, as seen in the excerpt: ”Young Eritreans are fleeing their country in droves, the economy appears to be in a death spiral, Eritrea’s prisons are overflowing, and the country’s unhinged dictator remains cruel and defiant.”

2. Omar al-Bashir, Sudan

Though he has been in power during comparatively good economic times, Omar al-Bashir has led Sudan to becoming one of the bloodiest and most conflicted countries in the region. Bashir was at the helm of the country during Sudan’s horrific genocide, which saw upward of 300,000 deaths, largely at the hands of militant groups that were said to have government support. He has been accused by the International Criminal Court of crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes. The unceasing violent conflicts that characterized his reign ultimately led to South Sudan’s secession from the state. The new territory, however, quickly entered into war with Sudan over oil disputes and into yet another bloody conflict.

3. Islam Karimov, Uzbekistan

Ruling since 1989, Karimov’s term was first extended, and then he was reinstated in a sham election which was discounted entirely by watchdogs, against a political opponent who publicly admitted he himself had voted for Karimov. There is little to no religious or press freedom, with universities told not to train students in the realm of public issues. Brutal torture is seen as routine in the Uzbek judicial system, with Human Rights Watch expressing repeated concern over the accepted practices in Uzbek prisons. Karimov is still to call for an investigation into the Andijan massacre, where hundreds of people were killed. He also made international headlines in 2002 after evidence emerged that he had boiled one of his prisoners to death. Repeatedly named as one of ‘Parade’ magazine’s worst dictators, international rights groups have had great difficulty in breaching Uzbekistan’s borders and little success in implementing reforms.

4. Bashar Al-Assad, Syria

In a stunning display of irony, Syria’s blood-soaked dictator started his career in medicine and is a trained ophthalmologist. Inheriting power after his father and older brother died, Assad’s cruelty showed after the start of the Arab Spring. After a violent crackdown on not only rebels, but civilians, his government has no real way of restoring order and remaining in power, yet Assad stubbornly refuses to concede to any agreements. Many international leaders have called on Assad to recognize the reality of the Syrian rebellion and step down, with Britain even stating it would consider taking in Assad if it meant his departure from the state. Support from Iran and Russia, however, have strengthened the leader long enough to continue Syria’s endless and bloody war, with Assad himself showing no signs of remorse or weakening of resolve.

5. U Thein Sein, Myanmar

Thein Sein started on the right foot. His actions in opening up Myanmar garnered praise from Western leaders such as Barack Obama and Ban-Ki Moon and he was recently given a peace award from the International Crisis Group. This image sits uncomfortably with the Thein Sein of recent days. Having initially opened dialogue with Myanmar’s Aung Sang Suu Kyi, she was again recently threatened, as was a Democracy League operating in the country. He is also accused of blatantly ignoring a deepening crisis in his own country with the violent persecution of the Royingha Muslims. His actions in response to the crisis have attracted accusations of ethnic cleansing. In response, Thein Sein has recently spoken to the international press making clear that he is not afraid to use violence to maintain order, with the unsettling statement, “I will not hesitate to use force as a last resort to protect the lives and safeguard the property of the general public.”

Sources: Parade, HRW, Foreign Policy,  BBC
Photo: Atlanta Blackstar