Aid agencies warn of deepening crisis in eastern Congo as Gaza, Ukraine wars get more attention

Aid agencies warn of deepening crisis in eastern Congo as Gaza, Ukraine wars get more attention

The new fighting could lead to an escalation of regional tensions and involve more countries. As the UN winds down its 25-year peacekeeping mission in eastern Congo, a multi-national force under the southern African regional bloc is set to step in. That force will include soldiers from regional power South Africa, Malawi and Tanzania. They will help the Congo army forces, but it might put them in direct conflict with Rwanda.

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South African animal rights activists up in arms after ship with 19,000 cattle causes a big stink in Cape Town

South African animal rights activists up in arms after ship with 19,000 cattle causes a big stink in Cape Town

The National Council of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals sent a veterinary consultant onboard the ship to assess the welfare of the animals, it said. The SPCA’s council said it was strongly opposed to the export of live animals by sea.

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Gaza war enters new phase as US pushes UN to back temporary ceasefire, oppose Rafah assault

Gaza war enters new phase as US pushes UN to back temporary ceasefire, oppose Rafah assault

Until now, Washington has been averse to the word ceasefire in any UN action on the Israel-Hamas war, but the US text echoes language that President Joe Biden said he used last week in conversations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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Details emerge of how Israel is planning Rafah attacks, dismembering Hamas before pausing

Details emerge of how Israel is planning Rafah attacks, dismembering Hamas before pausing

Military chiefs believe they can significantly damage Hamas’ remaining capabilities in that time, paving the way for a shift to a lower-intensity phase of targeted airstrikes and special forces operations, according to the two Israeli and two regional officials who asked to remain anonymous to speak freely.

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World Court to hear arguments on Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories

World Court to hear arguments on Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories

The General Assembly also asked the ICJ’s 15-judge panel to advise on how those policies and practices “affect the legal status of the occupation” and what legal consequences arise for all countries and the United Nations from this status.

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Head of UN Palestinian assistance agency claims Israel plans to destroy it as part of Gaza eradication

Head of UN Palestinian assistance agency claims Israel plans to destroy it as part of Gaza eradication

The fate of Palestinian refugees and their descendants was a key point of dispute between Israelis and Palestinians in previous failed peace talks more than a decade ago. Israel rejects Palestinian demands to allow descendants of refugees to return to what is now Israel, arguing it would dilute Israel’s Jewish majority.

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Gaza war stripped media naked with claims of bias in coverage of conflict in Middle East rife

Gaza war stripped media naked with claims of bias in coverage of conflict in Middle East rife

The UN’s outspoken special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Francesca Albanese, has also questioned whether “journalists have codes of conduct and professional ethics to abide by and be held accountable to”. The unspoken assumption is that the reporting would greatly improve if all concerned simply stuck to the dictates of professional codes.

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South Africa asks UN court to urgently examine Israel’s targeting of Rafah in ongoing genocide case

South Africa asks UN court to urgently examine Israel’s targeting of Rafah in ongoing genocide case

South Africa already alleged Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinian people in its war against the Hamas militant group in Gaza and filed a case with the world court in December. A ruling on the genocide allegation could take years.

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US Secretary of State Blinken optimistic of Gaza ceasefire despite Israeli and Hamas hardlines

US Secretary of State Blinken optimistic of Gaza ceasefire despite Israeli and Hamas hardlines

Washington has cast the hostage and truce deal as part of plans for a wider resolution of the Middle East conflict, ultimately leading to reconciliation between Israel and Arab neighbours and creation of a Palestinian state.

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Hamas proposes 135-day Gaza truce with total Israeli withdrawal but mediators doubt Netanyahu will agree

Hamas proposes 135-day Gaza truce with total Israeli withdrawal but mediators doubt Netanyahu will agree

According to the document, during the first 45-day phase, all Israeli women hostages, males under 19 and the elderly and sick would be released, in exchange for the release of Palestinian women and children from Israeli jails. Israel would also withdraw its troops from populated areas during the first phase.

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