Europe between past and future

May 6, 2014

Moldova Puts "Borders On Full Alert" As Latvia Admits "Society Has Fear"/ Preventing Genocide in South Sudan


Moldova Puts "Borders On Full Alert" As Latvia Admits "Society Has Fear"

The activity across the entire Eastern European region is starting to rattle the nerves of more than just the well-meaning sanctionsers in Washington. Today saw Moldova:
And Latvia:
  • "The society has fear... We know what it means to be under Russia."
Both nations are also extremely divided along ethnic Russian lines and leadership is gravely concerned that any further gains by a pro-Russian force in Ukraine will either a) spill over physically into their nations; and/or b) instill confidence in the deeply divided nations' Russian-speakers.

First from Moldova, things are getting serious (as we have noted before of the region of Transnistria):

Moldova's government says it has placed the landlocked country's borders on alert amid unrest in neighboring Ukraine.

Top Moldovan leaders announced the move Monday in a joint statement after Ukrainian forces deployed an elite unit to the Ukrainian port of Odessa.

President Nicolae Timofti, Prime Minister Iurie Leanca and Parliament speaker Igor Coreman said in the statement that security forces were ordered "to take all necessary actions to ensure public order inside the country."

It made no reference to any specific threat.

The three met behind closed doors to discuss the situation in Ukraine. Moldova has 1,500 Russian troops stationed in a separatist republic of Trans-Dniester which recently asked to be united with Russia.

 And then there is its heavily Russian Baltic neigbor which, is sharply divided...

The U.S. ambassador was trying to instill confidence in a country growing nervous. Addressing Latvian troops at this large military base last week, Mark Pekala pointed to nearby paratroopers from the 173rd Infantry Brigade and said the U.S. was locked "plecu pie pleca," or "shoulder to shoulder" with its North Atlantic Treaty Organization partner.

It was a valiant effort. But in an interview after the speech, Latvia's new defense minister, Raimonds Vejonis, offered a more sober view of the mind-set here. "The society has fear," said Mr. Vejonis, who was a biology teacher when Latvia was still under Soviet rule. "We know what it means to be under Russia."

Preventing Genocide in South Sudan
Dear friends,

South Sudan is spiraling into horrific violence, but we can stop it. If we hit the leaders of both factions where it hurts -- their wallets -- they may rein in the terror. The UN’s deciding on sanctions and a protection mission right now - let’s give key global leaders the mandate they need to stop the spiral into what could become genocide:

Women and children pulled from schools and hospitals and killed by the roadside, hate propaganda filling the airwaves - Rwanda 20 years ago? This is happening right now in South Sudan, and we have the power to help stop it.
Two men are to blame: President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar. Locked in a bitter power struggle, both are cynically stoking tensions between ethnic groups that have lived peacefully together for decades. Both men have assets and family abroad. If we hit Kiir and Machar where it hurts -- their wallets -- we can stop this nightmare from spiraling into genocide.
With peace talks slowly resuming, the US and France are calling on the UN Security Council to impose sanctions and deploy more peacekeepers to protect civilians. Russia may try to block action, but even China doesn't want to see this oil-rich nation slide into chaos. So it's winnable - if we act fast. Let's flood key leaders with 1 million voices urging them to pass sanctions and deploy a stronger mission to protect the people of South Sudan:

It’s heartbreaking - and outrageous. More than one million of South Sudan’s eleven million people have fled their homes, tens of thousands have died, the country is facing widespread famine. Yet for months large delegations from both sides have been staying in plush hotels in neighbouring Ethiopia, making little effort and less progress in negotiating for peace.
We can stop this insanity. Sanctions, including asset freezes and travel bans, will directly affect Kiir and Machar's abilities to access their assets and visit friends and family living abroad. Even if we lose at the Security Council, unilateral sanctions by several countries will have a serious effect.
Bolstering the UN protection force is also key. The UN has, unprecedentedly, opened its own bases to shelter 85,000 civilians fleeing from massacres. But there are less than 9,000 UN troops to cover a country the size of France. One UN base has already been brazenly attacked, and the government is ominously threatening to kick the UN out of the country. We urgently need a much larger, stronger UN mission. 
We failed to stop the spiral of violence in Syria 3 years ago, but this conflict is new, and can still be contained. Let's not fail South Sudan. Sign and share with everyone:

South Sudan is the world's newest nation, and it was born out of decades of resistance to the genocidal brutality of Sudan's regime. But like many of our countries that have been around for a long time, there's a big gap between the leadership and the people. The gap is tragic, because President Salva Kiir was widely thought to be sincerely motivated, but he and Riek Machar seem to have become gripped by escalating anger, fear, and thirst for power. Let's stand with the South Sudanese people and help them rein in their leaders, to recover the peace that they have suffered so long for.

In hope,
Jeremy, Mary, Mathias, Jooyea, Sayeeda, Patri, Luis, Ricken

No comments:

Post a Comment