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World news in brief

06 September 2019


Argentina’s Finance Minister, Hernan Lacunza, pleads for debt-restructuring measures, during a press conference in Buenos Aires last week, before the IMF imposed currency controls

Argentina’s Finance Minister, Hernan Lacunza, pleads for debt-restructuring measures, during a press conference in Buenos Aires last week, before the ...

Jubilee campaign blames IMF for Argentinian crisis

THE debt crisis in Argentina was inevitable after the IMF broke its own rules in agreeing loans last year without a debt-restructuring, the Jubilee Debt Campaign has argued. Its director, Sarah-Jayne Clifton, said: “From Greece to Argentina, Ghana to Pakistan, the IMF keeps on making the same mistakes. It needs to stop incentivising reckless lending and start requiring lenders to restructure debt before it issues bailout loans.” Argentina has been in recession in 2018 and 2019.


Renewed insurgency in Colombia condemned

THE decision by part of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to announce a “new stage of fighting” has been condemned by the charity Christian Solidarity Worldwide and the Roman Catholic Church in Colombia. A peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC-EP was signed in November 2016. In a statement to CSW, the Colombian Council of Evangelical Churches Peace Commission said: “It is true that the news has produced a feeling of loss and setback, it is true that this was coming due to the intention of the current government to tear apart the agreement.” The Archbishop of Villa Vicencio, the Most Oscar Urbina Ortega, said: “Weapons and violence only generate destruction, pain, and death, and there’s nothing that justifies war with ideological purposes.”


South Sudan Council of Churches holds first assembly

THE South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC), holding its first assembly, eight years after South Sudanese independence, has affirmed the Action Plan for Peace in that country. The SSCC also resolved “to work in a new way, based on love, unity and forgiveness”. Eight church leaders met last week, including the Anglican Archbishop, the Most Revd Justin Badi Arama. At the end of last month, the chair of the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, Yasmin Sooka, said that she was “deeply concerned” at the lack of progress made in adhering to the terms of the peace agreement.


Roman Catholic priest murdered in Nigeria

FR DAVID TANKO, a Roman Catholic priest, was murdered as he travelled to mediate in a conflict between ethnic groups in eastern Nigeria last week. Fr Tanko’s body and car were set alight after the attack, it was reported. The RC Bishop of Jalingo, the Rt Revd Charles Michael Hammawa, said that the diocese was in mourning. The President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, said in a statement: “The murder of the Catholic priest highlights the urgency of addressing this embarrassing and persistent conflict.” 


Arrests of Christians in Eritrea ‘rise to 150 in three months’

AS MANY as 150 Christians are under arrest in Eritrea owing to their religion, all of them members of the Faith Mission Church of Christ in Keren and Godayef. The first 70 were arrested in June, before another 80 were held last month, Vatican News reports. Fears of a crackdown against Christians in Eritrea have risen this year (News, 5 July).


Put Amazon people’s rights first, Christian Aid argues

AS FIRES continue to rage in the Amazon rainforest, Christian Aid has launched a petition calling on the UK government to put Amazonian people first in any response to the fires. Christian Aid’s Brazil country manager, Sarah Roure, said: “As this environmental disaster unfolds before our eyes, we need to ensure that any aid to protect and restore the Amazon rainforest is led by the very people who are most affected.” www.christianaid.org.uk

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