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World news in brief

by
05 November 2021

Alamy

Bargeri, a herdsman from the Rendille ethnic group, stands next to the carcass of his donkey, which died as a result of a continuing drought, near the town of Kargi, Marsabit county, Kenya, last month

Bargeri, a herdsman from the Rendille ethnic group, stands next to the carcass of his donkey, which died as a result of a continuing drought, ne...

 

Third round of drought in northern Kenya, says bishop

THE RC Bishop of Marsabit, the Rt Revd Peter Kihara, has drawn attention to the continuing drought in northern Kenya. He told the Catholic Information News Service for Africa last month that the whole county was affected: “no water and grass for our people who are ordinarily pastoralists”. This was the “third round” after reduced rainfall last November, April, and May: “You can imagine what a great disaster there is for our people who are ordinarily pastoralists and depend on it for their livelihood.” The situation was being exacerbated by ethnic clashes, he said. The UN estimates that 2.4 million people in the region will struggle to find enough to eat by November.


Post-coup assinations attempted in Sudan

TWO assassination attempts against people who worked for the civilian arm of Sudan’s government have been reported to Christian Solidarity Worldwide. The charity reports that the first was on Wednesday of last week, when Boutros Badawi, adviser to the Minister of Religious Affairs, was attacked as he was walking to his home in Khartoum. He had been attacked earlier, in July, after speaking out about the government’s record on confiscated churches. The second attempted assassination was the following day, when two people fired at a car belonging to Taha Osman, a member of the anti-corruption committee. His cousin was killed. The attempts follow an army coup last week that dissolved the joint civilian-military government established in 2019 (News, 29 October).


Churches destroyed in Chin State, Myamar

MORE than 160 buildings in Thantlang, Chin State, in Myanmar, including at least two churches, have been destroyed by fires started by bombing by government forces, according to media and activist reports picked up by the Associated Press. Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports that an orphanage housing more than 20 children and carers and the offices of Save the Children and the Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) were destroyed. The attack began last Friday, when a building attached to the town’s Baptist church was set alight, as well as others belonging to the Presbyterian Church and the Pentecostal Church on the Rock. Since the coup on 1 February (News, 5 February), thousands of people have fled Chin state to India. Speaking on the same day, Dr Sasa, a foreign-affairs minister of the National Unity Government of Myanmar, said that the state had been “subjected to an extreme campaign of violence and terror by the genocidal military terrorists as a result of the bloody coup. This is not due to any wrongdoing on the part of the people of Chin State. Rather, this is happening because the brave people of Chin State have stood strong in their struggle for their freedom, democracy, faith and rights.”


‘At least 180 Eritrean Christians imprisoned’

AN INVITATION to pray for Christians in Eritrea has come from Release International, before the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, this Sunday. In January, it was reported that 750 people had been massacred in the Aksum cathedral complex in Tigray (News, 15 January). Fighting broke out in Tigray in November 2020, after the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, sent federal troops, supported by militia and troops from Eritrea, to fight the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (News, 20 November 2020). Release International has published an interview with Dr Berhane Asmelash, one of its campaigners and partners, who believes that at least 180 Christians are imprisoned in Eritrea: “My message to the government of Eritrea is release them. Their families, their children, their wives, and their husbands need them.”

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