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De jeunes leaders se rassemblent pour trouver des solutions innovantes aux défis compliqués de l’Afrique de l’Ouest

ACCRA, Ghana, 6 juin 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Plus de 130 jeunes leaders africains se sont rencontrés à Accra, au Ghana, du 31 mai au 1er juin pour travailler sur des solutions répondant aux défis difficiles rencontrés dans leurs pays et communautés. Lors de la Conférence régionale de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (West Africa Regional Conference), qui […]

Survey Finds Sentiment Against Islamic State Rising in Indonesia

JAKARTA/WASHINGTON � Opposition to Islamic State is growing in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, according to a new opinion poll.

While an overwhelming majority of Indonesians hold negative views of the Islamic State group, a significant portion of the population said it was not a threat to the country, a new survey finds.

Ninety percent of the 1,350 adults polled nationwide viewed IS as a threat to the country and even more, 92.9 percent, favored banning the group in Indonesia, according to the May 14-20 survey by the Jakarta-based Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting.

Two years ago, a Pew Research Center poll found 79 percent of Indonesians had unfavorable opinions of IS, and only 4 percent favored the group. That survey was conducted in 11 countries with significant Muslim populations, including several in the Middle East and Africa.

The new survey, however, showed that 10 percent of those surveyed do not see IS as a threat to Indonesia, and many have never heard of the group.

Future of Islamic State

Despite the fact that IS has shown signs of expanding in the country of 258 million people, analysts in Indonesia say the group does not have a future there.

This is very encouraging. The survey makes us hopeful because the number of people who oppose ISIS is pretty big, said Thamrin Tamagola, a sociologist at the University of Indonesia, who used an acronym for the group.

The government and the public, however, should remain vigilant because IS and other militant groups could undermine the republic, pluralism and the authority of large Muslim organizations in the country, Tamagola said.

An ongoing battle in the southern Philippines between the military and IS-endorsed militants has raised concerns about a resurgence of Islamist terrorism in Southeast Asia.

The region has made significant inroads since the early 2000s against al-Qaida-linked groups such as Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines and Jemaah Islamiyah in Indonesia.

Azyumardi Azra, a Muslim scholar and former president of the State Islamic University in Jakarta, said that unlike the Wahabi or Salafi movements, Indonesia’s inclusive form of Islam and multicultural society are too strong to be defeated by the ideologies of radical Islam.

Islam Indonesia is an Islam inherent in the culture, and Indonesian culture is basically a tolerant culture, Azra said. Even if IS pushes itself on Indonesia, the people of Indonesia, according to history, will rebel.

Attacks threatened

Indonesian authorities also point out that IS has repeatedly threatened to attack the country. IS claimed responsibility for coordinated bomb and gun attacks in central Jakarta in January that killed eight people, including the four attackers.

IS has been recruiting in Indonesia, and as many as 384 people had joined by January, according to the country’s counterterrorism agency. Most of those have traveled to Syria and Iraq. Government reports last year suggested as many as 169 to 300 Indonesians who fought for IS have returned home.

Greg Fealy, an associate professor at the Australian National University who studies terrorism in Indonesia, said the IS terror threat in Indonesia has been rising since mid-2014.

U.S. Treasury authorities in March sanctioned Bahrun Naim, a prominent Indonesian national, and added him to the global terrorist list for providing financial and operational support for IS in Indonesia and funneling money through Southeast Asia to recruit people to IS battlefields.

Source: Voice of America

AFRICA: UNHCR CALLS FOR SAFE PATHWAYS FOR MIGRANTS, REFUGEES AS 44 DIED FROM SMUGGLERS ‘DEATH TRAP’

GENEVA, Warning that smugglers may now be broadening a death trap for migrants and refugees that could stretch from the Mediterranean to the vast Sahara Desert, the United Nations refugee agency has reiterated its call for safe pathways so that those in desperate need of international protection do not lose their lives.

The alarm has been raised by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as some 44 migrants and refugees � including women and children � are reported to have succumbed to extreme dehydration when the truck they were travelling in (to Libya) broke down in the desert in northern Niger, exposing them to extreme heat and lack of drinking water.

Only six could be saved.

It is quite clear that human smugglers will go to any extent to exploit desperate refugees and migrants, said the UN agency in a recent news release.

These shocking deaths are part of the bigger picture of exploitation as smugglers broaden the death trap from the Mediterranean to the Sahara Desert.

Further, according to the UN International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Niger to Libya route is the one most sub-Saharan African migrants take when trying to reach Europe via the Mediterranean Sea.

Each week, thousands of desperate migrants are crammed into pick-up trucks for the days-long ride, often with only enough room for a few litres of water attempting to cross one of most inhospitable and deadliest places on the planet.

The migrants are often lied to and cheated on their way [and] smugglers usually run away with their money, [leaving them] in the middle of nowhere, in a country they don’t know, trying to gain enough money to either continue the route or go back home, said Guiseppe Loprete, the head of IOM operations in Niger.

Both IOM and UNHCR have been working to support refugees and migrants in the region, as well as warning them of the perils of the desert and sea journeys but operations remain constrained in the want of additional resources.

The UN refugee agency is currently in need of $75.5 million to meet the increased humanitarian and protection needs of people in Libya � including those internally displaced, host communities, as well as refugees and asylum seekers.

The appeal includes protection monitoring and interventions, as well as advocacy on issues related to respect for human rights, access to basic services, asylum procedures and freedom of movement.

Additional resources are also required in Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali and Chad to help prevent and respond to risks associated with such deadly journeys.

According to estimates, so far this year, the perilous Mediterranean crossing has claimed more than 1,700 lives.

This latest tragedy was a grim reminder that probably more migrants die in the Sahara desert than in the Mediterranean, but due to the inhospitable nature of the region, it was virtually impossible to know the exact number, said Loprete.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK