“Jasmine Revolution”
Symbol of peace: Flowers placed on the barrel of a tank
in very much calmer protests than in recent days in Tunisia

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011
Mannoubia Bouazizi, the mother of Tunisian street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi. "Mohammed suffered a lot. He worked hard. but when he set fire to himself, it wasn’t about his scales being confiscated. It was about his dignity." (Peter Hapak for TIME)

1 - TUNISIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

How eyepatches became a symbol of Egypt's revolution - Graffiti depicting a high ranking army officer with an eye patch Photograph: Nasser Nasser/ASSOCIATED PRESS

2 - EGYPT Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

''17 February Revolution"

3 - LIBYA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

5 - SYRIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

"25 January Youth Revolution"
Muslim and Christian shoulder-to-shoulder in Tahrir Square
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
(Subjects: Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" (without a manager hierarchy) managed Businesses, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)
"The End of History" – Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll)
(Subjects:Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Muhammad, Jesus, God, Jews, Arabs, EU, US, Israel, Iran, Russia, Africa, South America, Global Unity,..... etc.) (Text version)

"If an Arab and a Jew can look at one another and see the Akashic lineage and see the one family, there is hope. If they can see that their differences no longer require that they kill one another, then there is a beginning of a change in history. And that's what is happening now. All of humanity, no matter what the spiritual belief, has been guilty of falling into the historic trap of separating instead of unifying. Now it's starting to change. There's a shift happening."

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

African Union (AU)

African Union (AU)
African Heads of State pose for a group photo ahead of the start of the 28th African Union summit in Addis Ababa on January 30, 2017 (AFP Photo/ Zacharias ABUBEKER)

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela
Few words can describe Nelson Mandela, so we let him speak for himself. Happy birthday, Madiba.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Malian women demand voice in negotiations

Deutsche Welle, 12 December 2012

As Mali pursues peace talks and also prepares for war, Malian women insist they should be at the table for both. They argue women are the primary victims of rebel and terrorist groups occupying the north.

Mariam Cisse sits on a wooden bench with her arm wrapped in a sling, her sad eyes cast downward and her voice low. She's wracked with guilt over leaving her five children behind with relatives in the desert town of Timbuktu, occupied by al-Qaeda linked militants, while she sought medical treatment in the country's southern capital, Bamako.

"I could not bring them, I am sick," she repeated several times, rocking back and forth. She is too scared to go back.

In April, an armed gang of Tuareg separatist rebels and a radical Islamist faction invaded Cisse's hometown of Timbuktu. The Malian army threw down their weapons and abandoned their posts, leaving the rebels in control. When Cisse tried to run, she fell and dislocated her shoulder.

"There was nobody there to fight them," said Cisse.

Mariam Cisse is one of over 400,000 people who have been forced from
their homes in northern Mali

"[The rebels] destroyed all of our houses, the hospitals ... The rebels have kidnapping women and taking them outside the town for days raping them and leaving them sick."

The Tuareg-led rebellion was then hijacked by hardliner Islamist groups with links to al Qaeda, including al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), a splinter group called the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJOA) and the Malian-based Ansar Dine.

According to the United Nations, the human rights violations became "more systemic" and include an extreme version of Sharia law with women as the primary victims. They have been forced to wear veils and banned from working, shopping in the market, and accessing education and other social services. There have been public executions, amputations, stonings and floggings.

Strong women

While Cisse is physically weak and visibly scared, several leading women's rights defenders are speaking out to demand more female participation in decisions concerning the crisis and more protection for women. Mali's interim government has already met with the local Malian insurgents to attempt a negotiated end to the crisis.

"Women are being left out of the process," said Nana Sissako Traore, president of the Malian Women's Rights and Citizenship group. She has been defending women's rights in Mali for more than two decades.

Nana Sissako Traore is one of her country's leading women's rights activists

In an interview at the Maison de la Femme (women's house) in Bamako, Traore was indignant over the lack of female participation in negotiations so far, both in discussions over a military intervention and now government negotiations with rebel groups.

She said any negotiations with the rebels and terrorist groups must address their treatment of women.

"If [rebel groups] say they want negotiations, they can't deny women from receiving medical care in the hospital," Traore insisted. "You can't force a woman who's about to give birth to do so on her own because there's no female to assist her."

According to Traore, women in northern Mali are being denied medical treatment in several clinics and hospitals because radical Islamist militants refuse to let male medical staff treat women. That's why Mariam Cisse was forced to leave her children in Timbuktu to come south.

Leading human rights lawyer Saran Keita Diakite is president of the Women's Peace and Security network for the Wast African economic community ECOWAS. She was designated as a female mediator during negotiations for Mali's transitional government in April and told officials that women should "be present throughout the mediation process." Today, she is disappointed that has not happened.

According to UN Women, a sample of 24 major peace processes since 1992 reveals female participation in negotiations has only been 7 percent.

Sharia law a 'cover up'

Keita insists that jihadists are not motivated solely by their desire to impose Sharia law, but rather their criminal interests in using the north for drugs and arms trafficking and training new recruits.

"They want to apply Sharia law?" she scoffed. "They cut off people arms and beat up women who have had sex outside marriage ... while they themselves are raping girls and women and are forcing girls to marry. The first night, [the bride] is forced to have sex with five to six men. It's not Sharia."

Keita said it is a smokescreen. "What is sure is that they are engaged in an enormous drug trafficking operation, and they are using Sharia and everything else to cover that up."

Women are considered the primary victims of northern Mali's crisis, according
to the United Nations

Back in the dusty hillside of Segoroni, Mariam Cisse yearns for her children in Timbuktu.
"Now, we're waiting for the government to go and attack [the terrorists] there. We open our eyes waiting for the government."

That's even less likely to happen now that Mali's Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra has been forced to resign after being arrested by soldiers under the command of military junta leaders. If the UN Security Council approves the proposed military intervention, and ECOWAS can raise the money, it would still require months of training for the under-funded and ill-equipped Malian army before any 'offensive' military action took place.

Mali's women leaders in Bamako say they will continue their push to defend and protect women in the north.

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