The London conference on Afghanistan was a done deal and has been in the works for a long time. The Taliban seem to be resistant to killing, they actually add to their numbers like amoeba and launch attacks ever closer to the hearts of power. So, if military power, the Big Stick, even carried by 44 countries in a coalition does not work, let us try economic power, the carrot.
Victoria Manno is an actor, journalist and pentathlete, among many other interests. Since 2000, she has started the year by performing a challenge for Peace in one of the 6 continents. She joined the organisation World without Wars and began by climbing mount Aconcagua, carrying the World March for Peace and Non Violence flag to the highest point in the Western World.
Over 200 protesters from Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Stop the War Coalition gathered outside the Afghanistan Conference in London’s Lancaster House. Campaigners greeted Gordon Brown and the visiting Presidents, Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers with the clear message that majorities in almost all their countries want their troops brought home.
Over 50 Italian organisations have demanded the immediate release of Muhaned Abu Awwad, a nonviolence activist and the eldest son of the General Manager of the Palestine association ‘Parents Circle – Families Forum’, who was arrested on January 23 by Israeli armed forces. ‘His arrest falls within the framework of a wider repressive mission’, stated Luisa Morgantini.
Honduras is entering a new phase following the swearing-in of a new president and the departure of the now former president Manuel Zelaya. On Wednesday, President Porfirio Lobo was sworn into office. A wealthy landowner, Lobo was elected in a November race boycotted by Zelaya supporters. Zelaya ended his four-month stay in the Brazilian embassy and left Honduras for exile.
The Congolese journalist, Caddy Adzuba, is in Spain to receive the award granted by ‘El Club de las 25’, a women’s journalists’ association, for her work raising awareness of the conflict in her country and how this violence is affecting women in particular. Despite receiving death threats, she is pressing forward with the project ‘A Loudspeaker for Silence’.
Afghan president Hamid Karzai, following his trilateral summit with Turkish president Abdullah Gül and Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari, confirmed in an announcement to the media that he will ask that the *”Taliban names”* be removed from the UN sanctions list during the summit on Afghanistan being held this week in London.
In my Reflection of January 14, two days after the catastrophe in Haiti, which destroyed that neighboring sister nation, I wrote: “In the area of healthcare and others the Haitian people has received the cooperation of Cuba, even though this is a small and blockaded country. Approximately 400 doctors and healthcare workers are helping the Haitian people free of charge.
Haiti is preparing for a massive relocation of survivors of last week’s earthquake out of the capital Port-au-Prince. Some 400,000 people will be moved to camps outside the city. The relief effort has now abandoned most efforts to find people trapped beneath the rubble to focus on keeping the survivors alive. The US is now leading the effort to repair Haiti’s main port.
Authorities in Haiti say as many as 200.000 have died in last week’s devastating earthquake. Another 1, 5 million and a half people have been left homeless. The death toll continues to rise as relief agencies struggle to distribute food and water to those in need. The World Food Programme said it fed about 100,000 people in Port-au-Prince on Monday.