May 28, 2021
CANVAS is pleased to bring you another weekly report! This week covers the arrest of activist Roman Protasevich in Belarus, the first anniversary of George Floyd’s murder in the United States, and the ongoing impact of the coup on Myanmar’s economy.
After the cease fire between Israel and Hamas, both sides claimed their own victory in the conflict that began 11 days prior. The cease fire began at 2am on Friday May 21st, but clashes broke out in occupied East Jerusalem at al-Aqsa mosque. The clash tested the truce but ultimately did not lead to any breaks in the agreed ceasefire. Israel has opened a temporary crossing into Gaza which will allow food, fuel, and medicine into the territory. The people of Gaza have also begun to go outside for the first time in a fortnight and not fear their lives. The destruction in the area is huge though, with dozens of buildings lying in ruins. This week, the United Nations top human rights body has voted to launch an investigation into the tactics and possible war crimes and abuses that were committed by Israel. It has been a month since the beginning of the protests that have agitated Colombia. The negotiations between the government and demonstrators have made little to no progress and demands from the protesters are continuing to grow. Protests are occurring daily and disruptions have been evident across the country. On Friday, there was another major national strike which then resulted in the death of four people in Cali. Ivan Duque, the Colombian President, has said that he will be sending the military to the city in order to “restore order”. The leader of Mali’s military coup, Colonel Assimi Goita, has been named by the constitutional court as the country’s transitional president. He had already declared himself as the interim president after seizing power in the coup, the second in the last nine months. The two men who had been given the task of bringing the country back to civilian rule were detained by soldiers on Monday and Goita said the men had failed in their duties. They have since resigned from their posts and been released. The court has said that Colonel Goita is expected to take on the responsibilities and lead the transitional process. People of the Deomcratic Republic of Congo are fleeing the city of Goma this week as there are fears of a second volcanic eruption of Mount Nyiragongo. The first eruption occurred five days ago and the lava destroyed homes stopping just short of the international airport. There has been a mass movement of people out of the city once again as scientists cannot rule out a second eruption. 31 people were killed last Saturday and 17 villages were destroyed by this very active volcano. The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, visited the Rwandan capital of Kigali this week. Macron visited in order to declare a new chapter in the countries relations, nearly three decades after Rwanda’s devistating genocide. The visit is a part of the long process of reconciliation between France and Rwanda and there is a shared understanding of the genocide that led to the deaths of 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and France’s role in the genocide. The Rana Plaza disaster in 2013 that killed more than 1,100 workers in Bangladesh led to the Accord on Fire and Building safety. The document was signed by major European retailers, such as H&M and Primark, and labor unions and Bangladeshi factory owners. It led to the inspections of factories as well as safety training and factory improvements, helping the conditions of the garment workers. However, the accord is set to expire and brands are disagreeing in negotiations for a replacement deal. The deal is a critical part in protecting people who work in the garment factories in places such as Bangladesh and a failure to come up with a new deal puts their safety at risk.
The number of COVID-19 deaths officially recorded by countries are likely two or three times lower than they should be, according to the WHO. India recorded a world record of 4,529 deaths in a single day on Wednesday. Since then, the number of deaths and cases has declined slightly as the number of daily recoveries in the country surpasses the tally of daily cases for the seventh day in a row. The country has stopped the exportation of vaccines until October which could undermine Africa’s vaccination efforts. China has said that it will provide vaccines to nearly 40 African countries for reduced prices or by donation. The United States will also donate a significant number of vaccines this week, which will be distributed through the COVAX initiative. The head of the WTO warned this week that waiving intellectual property rights for vaccines will not be sufficient for decreasing the vaccine disparity between rich and poor countries.