LHOKSEUMAWE: A girl rests at a transit camp after nearly 300 Rohingya migrants came ashore on the northern coast of Indonesia’s Sumatra island.—AFP

Cox’s Bazar: The United Nations map department has produced at least three maps since the start of the year that show a number of Rohingya village names have disappeared or been reclassified by Myanmar.Three years ago, Myanmar’s military burned the Rohingya village of Kan Kya to the ground and bulldozed over its remains. Last year, the government erased its name from official maps, according to the United Nations.

About 3 miles (5 km) from the Naf River that marks the border between Myanmar’s Rakhine state and Bangladesh, Kan Kya was home to hundreds of people before the army chased 730,000 Rohingya out of the country in 2017 in what the United Nations described as “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”

The Myanmar military, now facing charges of genocide, said it was conducting clearance operations targeting militants.

Where Kan Kya once stood, there are now dozens of government and military buildings including a sprawling, fenced off police base, according to satellite images publicly available on Google Earth and historical images provided to Reuters by Planet Labs. The village, in a remote region in the northwest of the country closed off to foreigners, was too small to be named on Google Maps.

On maps produced in 2020 by the United Nations mapping unit in Myanmar, which it says are based on Myanmar government maps, the site of the destroyed village is now nameless and reclassified as part of nearby town Maungdaw. The unit makes maps for the use of UN bodies, such as refugee agency UNHCR, and humanitarian groups that work with the United Nations in the field.

Kan Kya was one of almost 400 villages destroyed by the Myanmar military in 2017, according to satellite images analysed by New York-based Human Rights Watch. And it is one of at least a dozen whose names have been erased.

Jakarta(agencies).- A Rohingya refugee died Friday following the arrival of a ship in Indonesia earlier this week with almost 300 people who had spent more than five months wandering the Bay of Bengal, as countries in the area refused to let them disembark.

The 19-year-old woman passed after a 21-year-old and a 22-year-old man died Wednesday and Thursday respectively, all of them admitted to Lhoksemawe hospital, in Aceh province, according to the Rima Shah Putra, director of local refugee NGO Yayasan Geutanyoe.

The deceased had reached the Aceh coast by boat after spending more than five months at sea with 294 other refugees, who are now in a camp outside Lhoksemawe.

Jalaluddin, who uses only one name, and is a spokesman for the Lhoksemawue hospital where they died, told EFE that the deceased suffered from pneumonia and respiratory difficulties, after adding that there are three more patients admitted with the same symptoms.

For his part, Putra told EFE that COVID-19 tests had been carried out on all refugees with negative results, and added that “they are very weak after having spent so many months at sea.”

The director of the local NGO added that several refugees showed signs of having suffered violence, probably at the hands of the human traffickers who transported them.

On Monday, Chris Lewa, founder of the NGO Arakan Project, which has been studying the migratory flows of the Rohingya for years, told EFE that the 297 refugees who arrived in Indonesia came from a larger ship carrying 800 people.

This ship had departed in late March or early April from the Bangladeshi camps where nearly 1 million Rohingya expelled from Myanmar are crowded in Malaysia, the usual destination for these refugees.

“This mothership was unable to find a way to disembark in Malaysia, as it was stopped several times by Thai and Malaysian security forces. It then divided its passengers to disembark in several smaller vessels,” Lewa said.

According to the researcher, four other ships managed to disembark between June and July in Malaysia and Indonesia and “hopefully, this group of 297 is the last” left at sea.

Lewa also said refugees were adrift for so long “as a result of movement restrictions imposed by COVID-19 and being pushed back to the high seas, but also because they were held hostage by traffickers at sea until everyone paid for their trips.”

The vast majority of Rohingya are stateless people whose citizenship was revoked by the Myanmar government in the early 1990s and have discriminated for decades as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, despite living in Arakan for generations ( in western Myanmar).

In August 2017, the Burmese army launched a military campaign against the Rohingya population in northern Arakan, for which their government faces a genocide charge before the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

The brutal military operation prompted the exodus of more than 725,000 refugees to neighboring Bangladesh, where they remain overcrowded, along with other Rohingya who fled in previous waves of violence, in the world’s largest refugee camp complex. EFE-EPA

The Ministry of Education has suspended all kinds of exams — paper and online — in the new academic year (2020-2021) for all educational stages until the resumption of physical attendance is schools, reports Al-Rai daily quoting a source from the educational sector.

According to the source, the Public Education Sector has asked the general instructors to prepare proposals on the evaluation mechanism for intermediate and high school students. He said the evaluation mechanism will most likely be as follows: 25 percent each for attendance, participation, duties and reports.

Kuwait’s Amir Diwan has dismissed as untrue circulated reports about His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, stressing that his health condition is stable.

In a statement to KUNA, Minister of the Amir Diwan Affairs Sheikh Ali Jarrah Al-Sabah stated that the Amir Diwan is in touch with Deputy National Guard chief Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah (who accompanies the Amir in his treatment trip), and he affirmed that His Highness the Amir’s health condition is stable and he is receiving his prescribed treatment.

Sheikh Ali Al-Jarrah noted that His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah is keen on briefing the people about the health of His Highness the Amir in the cabinet statement after its weekly meeting.

The Amir Diwan urged everyone not to heed poisonous news.

It called for pursuing accuracy and seeking credible information about His Highness the Amir health from the official sources.

It also wished His Highness the Amir speedy recovery and everlasting wellbeing.


TOKYO (Reuters) - Oil prices fell for a second day on Friday, pressured by a surprise rise in U.S. stockpiles as the coronavirus pandemic continues to erode demand for fuels.

FILE PHOTO: A flare burns off excess gas from a gas plant in the Permian Basin in Loving County, Texas, U.S., November 21, 2019. REUTERS/Angus Mordant

Brent crude LCOc1 was down 18 cents, or 0.5%, at $39.88 a barrel by 0337 GMT, after falling nearly 2% on Thursday, while U.S. crude CLc1 dropped 14 cents, or 0.4%, to $37.16 a barrel, having fallen 2% in the previous session.

Both major benchmarks are down around 6.5% for the week and headed for a second week of declines, as hopes dim for a steady recovery in fuel demand amid signs of second-wave coronavirus outbreaks.

In the United States, stockpiles rose last week, against expectations, as refineries slowly returned to operations after production sites were shut down due to storms in the Gulf of Mexico and wider region.

“While U.S. crude oil production continues to recover following Hurricane Laura, the numbers show that refineries further reduced run rates over the last week,” ING Economics said in a note.

U.S. crude inventories rose 2.0 million barrels, compared with forecasts for a 1.3 million-barrel decrease in a Reuters poll. [EIA/S] [ENERGYUSA]

In a further bearish sign, traders were starting to book tankers again to store crude oil and diesel, amid a stalled economic recovery as the COVID-19 pandemic continues unabated.

Onshore storage remains near capacity as supplies continue to outpace demand, so the use of so-called floating storage is back in vogue as cheap financing costs and the spread between contracts for delivery now and later months makes it favourable for traders to hold oil for later sale.

Increasing stockpiles are likely to be a subject at a meeting on Sept. 17 of the market monitoring panel of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russia, a group known as OPEC+.

The grouping has been withholding supply to reduce stockpiles but analysts say the meeting is likely to focus on compliance among members, rather than seek deeper cuts.

LESBOS (Reuters) - Thousands of migrants were stranded without shelter on Lesbos on Thursday after fires razed their camp to the ground, and the government said it would take days to find housing for them.

Some who fled the fires on Tuesday and Wednesday night tested positive for COVID-19 after an outbreak of the disease in the camp, further complicating attempts to round up migrants and get them into alternative accommodation.

“Today we will undertake all necessary actions to house families and the vulnerable while food distribution continues,” government spokesman Stelios Petsas told reporters.

Bracing for a possible surge in COVID-19 cases, authorities were sending 19,000 test kits to the island. Petsas added that a passenger ferry had docked at the island’s port of Mytilene to house families.

Petsas said Tuesday’s fire, which reduced the Moria camp holding some 12,500 people to a mass of smouldering steel and melted tent tarpaulin, was started by asylum seekers reacting to quarantine measures after COVID-19 infections were detected. He did not provide evidence.

“Some do not respect the country hosting them. They take advantage of any excuse to set every solution on fire,” he said.

The camp was quarantined last week after its first COVID-19 case surfaced. Until the fire broke out, 35 migrants had tested positive and most of them were moved into an isolation unit in the camp. After the blaze erupted and the camp was evacuated, only eight of them had been tracked down.

On Thursday, Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi said all of them were missing again.

“The health issue is very important, that’s why we need to have a new temporary accommodation soon,” he told MEGA TV.

Earlier, authorities moved 406 unaccompanied children and teenagers from the camp and its poor living conditions to the mainland. But thousands more people remained stuck in Lesbos with nowhere to sleep and little to eat.

Local attitudes toward the migrants, on an island at the forefront of the European migrant crisis in 2015-2016, have turned largely hostile in recent years as the number of people in the camp gradually increased.

Families slept on roadsides and in fields across the island overnight after a second fire broke out at the camp late on Wednesday, destroying what was left from the first inferno.

On a parking lot outside a supermarket, more than 1,000 migrants, including families with small children, waited in the sunshine for bottled water and food to be distributed.


The 406 unaccompanied minors were taken to safe facilities in northern Greece where they will stay temporarily, while preparations for their relocation to other EU countries is ongoing.

Valencia, an eight-year-old Congolese girl who was barefoot, gestured to a Reuters reporter that she was hungry and asked for a biscuit.

“Our home burned, my shoes burned, we don’t have food, no water,” she said.

Both she and her mother, Natzy Malala, 30, who has a newborn infant, slept on the side of the road.

“There is no food, no milk for the baby,” Natzy Malala said.

Government plans to find shelter for the migrants were likely to be met with resistance. Authorities were already at loggerheads with Lesbos residents over plans to replace Moria with a closed reception centre, which the residents fear would mean thousands of asylum seekers remaining their permanently.

Municipalities were at odds over the situation, said Costas Moutzouris, governor of the Northern Aegean.

“There is no decision. It’s up in the air,” he told Reuters.

Another government official, who declined to be named, said sheltering migrants on boats was not a safe solution.

By Nithin Coca

For years, evidence has accumulated of Chinese atrocities against minority groups in Xinjiang, the northwestern province that is home to the mostly Muslim Uighur people. Investigative journalists, researchers, and refugees paint a grim picture of mass surveillance, arbitrary arrest, forced labor, sprawling detention camps, torture, and murder. The Chinese government has not only engaged in political and cultural repression but taken specific aim at the Muslim faith: it has destroyed mosques, confiscated Korans, forbidden halal diets, and banned fasting during the holy month of Ramadan.

And yet the countries and entities that regularly criticize Israel, Myanmar, the United States, and other nations for their actions against Muslims have kept quiet about China’s treatment of the Uighurs. The governments of Muslim-majority states, Muslim religious leaders, and international institutions such as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation have avoided calling out the litany of abuses in Xinjiang. Some have accepted Chinese funds in support of infrastructure projects and even signed on to letters supporting China’s behavior in Xinjiang.

Civil society groups in Muslim-majority countries, however, are increasingly uncomfortable with their governments’ reticence. Activists are organizing boycotts, protests, and media campaigns in a bid to bring the plight of the Uighurs to broader attention. Their efforts are slowly shifting the behavior of their governments: Chinese investment and political influence may prevent many leaders from openly criticizing China, but opposition figures and officials at lower levels of government have begun to speak out in response to pressure from below.


China’s growing economic might has bought quiescence from many quarters. Many Muslim-majority countries in Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East have signed on to Beijing’s infrastructure and investment project known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Some of these countries now count China as their largest or second-largest trading partner, and they fear losing access to Chinese capital and to the Chinese market should they take outspoken positions on Xinjiang. Moreover, these governments may feel distant from the plight of a community that once lived at the heart of Asia’s greatest trading routes but now resides far from the political, religious, and economic centers of the Muslim world. The Palestinians, by contrast, live alongside some of Islam’s holiest sites and have never ceased to be a central concern of regional governments.

Activists—especially in the large Muslim-majority countries that permit the most space for media and civil society—are pressing their governments to make the Uighurs a priority. In Malaysia, Ahmad Farouk Musa, director of the Islamic Renaissance Front, a nongovernmental organization that raises awareness of human rights abuses perpetuated both by and against Muslims, has been organizing events, responding to Chinese propaganda in the media, and trying to push the new government to speak out for Uighurs. Thanks in part to its growing clout and the effectiveness of its campaigns, Malaysia withstood Chinese demands and declined to deport Uighur asylum seekers in 2019. Ahmad applauded his government’s decision. “We were able to say there was no valid reason for us to deport the asylum seekers back to China, because if we send them to China, we send them to the gallows,” Ahmad told me. “This has given Muslims and Malaysians a moral boost.”

In Indonesia, Azzam M. Izzulhaq, a social entrepreneur and founder of a small nonprofit foundation, took the brave step of traveling to Xinjiang in 2018, documented what he saw, and has been organizing events across the country to inform his compatriots of China’s actions in the province. He has built a broad following of more than 100,000 people on social media, appeared on national media, and begun to directly call on politicians—including President Joko Widodo—to speak out against Chinese abuses.  

And in Turkey, Kadir Akinci, a businessman who runs a machinery company, has successfully signed up dozens of local companies to boycott Chinese products in solidarity with the Uighurs, with his effort receiving wide attention in domestic media. Turkey has the largest community of Uighur émigrés, estimated at 50,000, and hosts the World Uyghur Congress, the umbrella organization for Uighur groups outside of China.

Elsewhere, the cause of the Uighurs is even leading to violent unrest. In Pakistan, which receives considerable BRI funding, the radical Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir has criticized Prime Minister Imran Khan and his ruling party for their close ties to Beijing. Militants have attacked Chinese nationals and businesses, citing China’s crimes against Muslims in Xinjiang.

Arabic-language news media, such as the New Arab and Al Jazeera, have reported on Xinjiang, and such coverage has since spread throughout the Middle East and become a hot topic of discussion on social media. Public outrage has grown as a result. According to the Washington-based Uyghur Human Rights Project, China’s repression of the Uighurs was mostly unknown in the Islamic world just two years ago. Now UHRP and other Uighur diaspora organizations, such as the World Uyghur Congress, say they are receiving a rising number of inquiries from across the Muslim world from people who want to know what they can do to help the Uighur cause.

As a result of this shift in public awareness, some politicians have begun to speak out. In Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party had been relatively silent until late 2018, when the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) raised the matter in parliament. The HDP’s pressure, along with growing agitation from Turkish Islamists, led Turkey’s Foreign Ministry to issue a statement in early 2019 condemning China for “violating the fundamental human rights of Uighur Turks and other Muslim communities in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.” In response to protests in Jakarta in late 2019, Indonesia’s foreign minister released a statement claiming that his government was “actively communicating with China on Uighur issues.” The government of Qatar has quietly but meaningfully removed itself from a letter signed by 37 nations—including several Muslim-majority ones—supporting China’s policies in Xinjiang.


Such public rebukes may have little immediate impact on the policies of Muslim-majority countries toward China. Many Muslim countries, particularly in the Middle East, see China as a necessary counterweight to the United States—much the same way that they saw the United States as a counterweight to colonial European powers in the early twentieth century. Years of military alliances that resulted in an ever-expanding U.S. presence in the region, invasions, and overreach have left many governments in the Middle East with the impression that the United States is an untrustworthy partner. Today they turn to Beijing as the emerging power in the region. China has forged economic ties that have won it public esteem in the Middle East. Polls show that 50 percent of people in Middle Eastern countries had favorable views of China between 2005 and 2018 (by contrast, just 29 percent of Americans had positive views of China in that same period).

In the long run, however, China’s treatment of the Uighurs is a vulnerability that the governments of or political oppositions in Muslim-majority countries can raise in the event of a geopolitical spat, elections, or a trade dispute to quickly and perhaps permanently destroy China’s image with their populations. Neither the United States nor the countries of Europe, for all their faults and failures, had to answer for anything quite like a genocidal campaign against a domestic Muslim ethnic group.

Outrage over Xinjiang runs high in Southeast Asia.

Outrage over Xinjiang already runs high in Southeast Asia, which perhaps not coincidentally is disgruntled with other Chinese policies. China is pushing to expand BRI projects in Indonesia and Malaysia while simultaneously encroaching on the territorial waters of both countries. During the 2018 Malaysian general election, the opposition accused the government of agreeing to BRI deals that disproportionately benefited China during its winning campaign. When in power, it stopped the practice of deporting Uighur asylum seekers to China. Indonesia’s opposition staged protests supporting the Uighurs at Chinese consulates across the country during its 2019 presidential campaign. Since then, distrust of China has only grown—giving both leaders and opposition parties a powerful weapon to potentially mobilize public support in their favor. According to Pew Research Center polls, only 36 percent of Indonesians held a favorable opinion of China in 2019, a drop of 17 points from the previous year.

For now, China’s economic power gives it the latitude to repress Muslim Uighurs at home while building partnerships with Muslim nations abroad. But Beijing has painted itself into a corner. The evidence of cultural genocide is overwhelming, the destruction of Uighur mosques, cemeteries, shrines, and other cultural heritage sites impossible to deny. More people in Muslim-majority countries are becoming aware of Chinese actions in Xinjiang and beginning to see China as an anti-Muslim nation. As aggressive Chinese foreign policy angers the public in certain regions, such as Southeast Asia, governments will feel increasingly compelled to react. Beijing has acted with a sense of impunity in its northwestern province, but its abuses there could bedevil its foreign relations with the Muslim world in the years to come.

(CNN)Two Myanmar military deserters say they were ordered to take part in the indiscriminate mass killing and rape of Rohingya Muslims in 2017, a human rights group claims, in video confessions which correspond with individual accounts given by survivors of the alleged atrocities.

The footage of the soldiers would represent the first admission by members of Myanmar's military that a campaign of violence against the minority ethnic group took place in the country's western Rakhine State. That campaign has previously been described by the United Nations and human rights organizations as having the "hallmarks of genocide."

The video confessions of Private Myo Win Tun and Private Zaw Naing Tun were filmed in July by the Arakan Army, a rebel group currently in combat with the Myanmar military, and released by the non-government organization Fortify Rights, which says it has analyzed the footage and found it to be credible.

"We destroyed the Muslim villages near Taung Bazar village. We implemented the clearance operations in the night-time as per the command to 'shoot all that you see and that you hear.' We buried a total number of 30 dead bodies in one grave," said Myo Win Tun in his video statement.

CNN has not been able to independently confirm the veracity of the video. It's unclear if the men made the video confessions under duress, after having been captured, or if they surrendered as deserters.

The two soldiers are believed to now be in the Hague at the International Criminal Court where an investigation into the Rohingya crisis is underway.

"This is a monumental moment for Rohingya and the people of Myanmar in their ongoing struggle for justice," Matthew Smith, the chief executive officer of Fortify Rights, said in a statement.

CNN has reached out to the Myanmar government and the Arakan Army for comment on the videos and the admissions made by the two soldiers.

From 2016, there have been reports of a campaign of mass violence by Myanmar's military in the country's Western Rakhine state, specifically targeting the Muslim minority Rohingya. More than 740,000 refugees poured across the border into Bangladesh, bringing with them allegations of indiscriminate killing, rape and property destruction.

The Myanmar government, led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, has vehemently denied the allegations, telling the International Court of Justice in December 2019 that the claims were "incomplete and misleading."

It maintains the "clearance operations" by the military in Rakhine were legitimate counter-terrorism measures which began in response to a Rohingya attack on a border post which killed nine police officers. Myanmar has denied allegations of brutality.

Myanmar considers the one million or so Rohingya as illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh, despite the fact that many Rohingya families have lived in Rakhine state for generations.

But a UN fact-finding commission described the violence against the Rohingya as "genocide." Doctors Without Borders has estimated that at least 6,700 Rohingya were killed within the first month of the campaign alone, including 730 children under the age of 5.

Admission of rape

In the two videos released by Fortify Rights, filmed against a dark green plastic sheet, the two uniformed men describe in a matter-of-fact way how they were given orders to kill all Rohingya villagers.

Myo Win Tun said that he was sent on a night raid of a Muslim village in Buthidaung Township in August 2017, where officers told him to kill everyone in order to ensure that the Rohingya "race will be exterminated."

After destroying the first village, the soldier said his unit of 10 then stayed in the area for two weeks, razing other nearby settlements. "We buried a total of 30 dead bodies in one grave ... eight women, seven children, 15 men and elderly," Myo Win Tun said in the video.

He said his unit raped women before shooting them and admits to raping one woman himself. "We shot and buried people in village after village. It would be around 60 to 70 people in total," Myo Win Tun said.

In Zaw Naing Tun's video, he admitted to working with the 353th Light Infantry Battalion to wipe out "about 20 Muslim villages." "We shot dead and wiped them out according to the order to kill all, irrespective of children or adults," he said in the video.

Zaw Naing Tun said they had buried about 80 Muslim villagers in mass graves, stealing money, gold and mobile phones from their shops and houses after killing them, among other items. He also said he stood watch while his superiors raped women.

No member of the Myanmar military has previously admitted to widespread violence against the Rohingya in Rakhine state in 2016 and 2017. Very few members of the military have been prosecuted for killings in the region -- seven soldiers were imprisoned in Myanmar in 2018 for a massacre at Inn Din village in Western Rakhine state, after it was exposed by Reuters.

An investigation by Myanmar released in January found that some war crimes had been committed in Rakhine state, however it added prosecutions were ongoing and there was no "genocidal intent."

International Criminal Court

Shortly after the alleged confessions were filmed, the two soldiers appeared on the border between Bangladesh and Myanmar in August.

Fortify Rights said that it believes the two soldiers from the videos are now in the custody of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Dutch city of The Hague, potentially opening the possibility for their testimony to be used in a future case against the Myanmar government.

"These men could be the first perpetrators from Myanmar tried at the ICC, and the first insider witnesses in the custody of the court. We expect prompt action," CEO Smith said in a statement.

The ICC would not confirm to CNN that Zaw Naing Tun and Myo Win Tun were in custody.

"The ICC investigation is a confidential matter, all I can confirm is that two individuals appeared at a border post in Bangladesh, requested protection and confessed to mass murder and rape of Rohingya civilians during the 2017 clearance operations in Rakhine State," said Payam Akhavan, International legal counsel for Bangladesh and a former UN prosecutor.

"They claimed to have been members of the Myanmar military forces during that period and acting on orders from senior military commanders. Bangladesh informed the International Criminal Court, consistent with its obligations ... I am not able to confirm either their identity or their location," he said.

One Rohingya still inside Rakhine state, who asked to use the pseudonym Edin Hussein to avoid future persecution, said that the videos were a huge development which had made people "extremely happy."

"We have no words to describe how much we are happy that the two former militaries will be in ICJ to confess all the atrocities committed against Rohingyas by (the Myanmar military)," he said.

"Our people could not collect much evidence as they were shooting us on sight and most of our people rather had to flee and save life than facing the guns ... Finally we see a hope that the genocidaires will get punished for their crimes."

KAMPALA, Uganda 

Two research reports on oil released Thursday highlight major risks of oil projects by French energy company Total in Uganda and Tanzania.

Oil from Uganda is to be pumped through pipelines to Tanzania’s Port of Dar es Salaam. But many residents on land through which the pipes are planned to pass have been affected.

At least 12,000 families in Tanzania and Uganda have lost land, according to the reports. There is also endangerment of sensitive and vital ecosystems.

The reports, “Empty Promises down the Line?” researched by Oxfam and “New Oil, Same Business?” by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI), question the way oil companies are executing business in the Albertine Rift region.

Livingstone Sewanyana, the head of FHRI, while launching the reports at the foundation’s headquarters in Kampala requested government and oil companies to consider voices of communities and findings when implementing oil development in the region.

“There is need to assist the people with land where the pipelines are going to be constructed. Their voices must be respected,’’ said Sewanyana.

FIDH Vice President Sheila Muwanga said the reports offer community-driven recommendations of urging oil companies and governments who are on the verge of making final investment decisions for pipeline constriction that starts in March, to undertake measures that avoids human and environmental disasters.

“It is important to hear voices of communities on this sensitive topics. We have got testimonies of community members who have cited harassment,’’ she said.

Harrison Asaba, a resident in the Buliisa district accuses Total of not compensating several homesteads that were in the range of 300 meters from wells but instead forcing them to vacate their lands.

Advocacy officer with the foundation for Human Rights Initiative, Rashid Bunya, said companies in extraction of oil in Bunyoro should compensate project-affected residents.

Bunya said FHRI and other civil society organizations would go to court to seek redress for residents who were displaced and were not fully compensated./aa


Microsoft said Thursday it recently detected cyberattacks targeting people and organizations involved in the US presidential election in November.

They include "unsuccessful" attacks on those associated with the campaigns of US President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden, the company said.

Microsoft said the attacks were made by activity groups from Russia, China and Iran.

"Strontium, operating from Russia, has attacked more than 200 organizations including political campaigns, advocacy groups, parties and political consultants. Zirconium, operating from China, has attacked high-profile individuals associated with the election, including people associated with the Joe Biden for President campaign and prominent leaders in the international affairs community," it said.

"Phosphorus, operating from Iran, has continued to attack the personal accounts of people associated with the Donald J. Trump for President campaign," it said.

The tech giant said the "majority" of attacks were stopped by security tools built-in its products and the company has notified those targeted or compromised so they can take action to protect themselves.

Strontium was also identified in the Mueller report as "the organization primary responsible for the attacks on the Democratic presidential campaign in 2016," it said.

Microsoft urged state and local election authorities in the US to harden operations and prepare for potential attacks, adding "more federal funding is needed" to protect election infrastructure./aa