International Committee of the Red Cross

UK : Government donation to Muslim Charities Forum denounced as “madness”

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An £18,000 grant to a charity coalition with alleged ties to terrorist organisations has been brandished “completely counter-intuitive” by interfaith groups
Egypt presidential election: Muslim Brotherhood win sets up army fight

Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood’s presidential candidate Mohammed Morsi celebrate in Tahrir Square, Egypt Photo: EPA

A government department donated £18,000 to a charity coalition with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, a group whose activities Britain has vowed to curtail following concerns over their extremist links in the Middle East, it has been claimed.

Last week the Telegraph revealed that the government was set to impose curbs on Muslim Brotherhood-linked organisations after a report by a senior diplomat exposed its ties with Islamist armed groups in Middle East and elsewhere.

Yet a Department for Communities and Local Government’s (DCLG) spending report shows they donated £18,397 earlier this year to the Muslim Charities Forum (MCF), an umbrella group for a number of leading Islamist charities, some of which allegedly have links to the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and other terrorist organisations.

David Cameron ordered an urgent investigation into the Muslim Brotherhood’s alleged role in violent extremism in April, after Gulf allies put pressure on the government to curtail the movement’s London-based operations. Read the rest of this entry »

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Syria – to break the downward spiral

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syria
syria (Photo credit: themua)
March 7th, 2012

It is necessary to consider what role NGOs might now play in Syria– particularly to support the mediation efforts of former UN secretary-general, Kofi Annan – in order to break what seems to be a continual downward spiral, with real dangers of civil war.

By Rene Wadlow

Mid-March 2011 in Syria, nonviolent protests and demands for limited reforms began and then were increasingly met by government violence.  Discussions on what the United Nations could do to help the Syrian people and to speed up necessary reforms started quickly in both New York and Geneva. The appointment of the former UN secretary-general, Kofi Annan, as a joint UN-League of Arab States moderator at the end of February 2012 is the most recent efforts as we mark this one-year anniversary.

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have also been concerned, some acting directly – such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) – others as members of the Observer Mission of the League of Arab States. Other NGOs, both Syrian, such as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, and international have provided information and have proposed mediation.

It is worth while to analyse these efforts, to outline some of the strengths and weaknesses and to consider what role NGOs might play now to break what seems to be a continual downward spiral with real dangers of civil war, as fighting with heavy weapons continues and flows of arms from outside Syria to the opposition seems to be growing.

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Malians flee the fighting: Heading for Mauritania, Burkina, Guinea

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SAHEL: Displaced Malians burden food-insecure hosts

Photo: ReliefWeb
Map of areas affected by fighting and subsequent displacement

BAMAKO/DAKAR, – Some 12,000 Malians have fled fighting in the towns of Ménaka and Anderamboucane in northern Mali and reached already food-insecure villages around Tillabéri in western Niger, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Niger’s capital, Niamey.

The Malian refugees are spread across the villages of Mangaizé, Chinégodar, Koutoubou, Yassan and Ayorou in Niger, according to the Malian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the bulk of them – an estimated 7,000 – in Chinégodar, which is usually home to 1,500, according to Franck Kuwonu at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Niamey.

Fighting broke out between Touareg rebels and former soldiers from Libya, and the Malian army in mid-January. Rebel groups and former Libya fighters have reportedly acquired fresh weapons as a result of the Libya conflict and have launched a new movement, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), which calls for the creation of an independent state encompassing the regions of Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu in northern Mali.

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Al Shabaab attack Kenyan police camp, kill 7

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Al-Shabaab
Image via Wikipedia

ISIOLO, Kenya | Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:58am EST

ISIOLO, Kenya

(Reuters) – Somali Islamist rebels stormed a remote police camp in northeastern Kenya, killing seven people and kidnapping three, the militants and Kenyan officials said on Thursday.

Scores of rebel fighters threw grenades and other explosives as they raided the police camp on Wednesday evening in Gerille, a town 7 km (4 miles) from the porous frontier with Somalia, Regional Commissioner Wenslas Ongayo said.

Police spokesman Eric Kiraithe said in a statement there were about 100 suspected al Shabaab attackers and two officials and a member of the public had been abducted.

Kenya has tried to beef up security along the border since it sent troops into the anarchic Horn of Africa country in October to crush the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab insurgents.

Al Shabaab said it carried out the raid to avenge the “aggressive Kenyan invasion”.

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