Klimaet skal på forsiden

Klimaet skaber forholdsmæssigt få forsidehistorier i de danske aviser og medier, selvom den global opvarmnings oversvømmelser, tørke, tsunamier, og orkaner opfylder alle nyhedskriterierne.

Et hurtigt overblik over forsidehistorier, i en tilfældig uge midt i juni 2017 i de landsdækkende medier viser, at blot én brugte ordene ”klima” eller ”global opvarmning”. I samme uge var der fire forsidehistorier eller forsidehenvisninger, der nævnte flygtninge eller terror, og fire om integrationsminister Inger Støjbergs barnebrude. Read more of this post

Thorning didn’t save the children

Helle Thorning-SchmidtFormer Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt’s appointment as chief executive of Save the Children has made headlines in Denmark because of her anti-immigration position and her party’s support of a new immigration bill. Many have criticized her policies, including the Danish branch of Save the Children.

“Children’s protection, rights and development have always been close to my heart, and I look forward to doing everything I can to help us deliver on our bold but simple ambitions: that no child under five dies from preventable causes”. Read more of this post

Western Sahara: Independence for Africa’s last colony?

Many African countries have been independent for 50 years or more. In fact, there is only one colony left on the African continent: Western Sahara.

Looking at the Western Sahara conflict today, it seems like Gordian knot, a mission impossible, an arch-typical case of realpolitik. So will Western Sahara ever become an independent country, as promised by the UN and international law? And if so, will it at least have gained its independence when many of the other African countries are celebrating their 100th anniversary as independent countries, in other words in 50 years’ time?

Western Sahara was a Spanish colony for a hundred years, but in 1975 Morocco struck a deal with Spain that meant that Moroccan (and initially Mauritanian) troops and hundreds of thousands of Moroccan civilians colonized Western Sahara instead. Read more of this post

Krig eller fred i Vestsahara?

Det første man bemærker, når man ankommer til flygtningelejrene i ørkenen nær Tindouf i sydvest-Algeriet er den ekstreme varme, manglen på vand, og det tørre, ufrugtbare ørkenlandskab. Her har sahawierne boet siden 1975, hvor Marokko invaderede deres hjemland, Afrikas sidste koloni Vestsahara.

Men selvom lejrene ligger midt i ørkenen, har over 150,000 mennesker i de knapt 40 år de har boet her, formået at opbygge noget der ligner et velfungerende samfund. Read more of this post

Turen går til Auserd

En rolig, smuk og mørk himmel med en million funklende stjerner og en stor halvmåne. Solen står hurtigt op, til lyden af muezzinen der kalder til bøn og galende haner. Morgenen er kølig, ligesom det finkornede sand der kærtegner mine fødder, men den afløses hurtigt af en tør, næsten kvælende varme.

Det lyder måske som en beskrivelse af et tropisk paradis fra en novelle eller turistbrochure, men jeg er i flygtningelejren Auserd, som ligger en times kørsel gennem ørkenen fra provinsbyen Tindouf i det sydvestlige Algeriet. Eller i det som de lokale kalder ”djævelens have”. Read more of this post

Rise and shine, Saharawi campers

Arriving in the Saharawi Refugee camps in the Algerian desert near Tindouf, the home of over 150.000 or around a third of the Saharawi population indigenous to Western Sahara, one is immediately struck by the extreme heat, the lack of water, and the aridness of the landscape. A landscape where little grows without a great effort and where the refugee population has lived since 1975, when Morocco invaded their homeland, Western Sahara.

As the camps are in the middle of the desert, in the so-called ‘Devils Garden’, there is sand everywhere. The houses are built on sand, literally. You have to close the windows during a sand-storm, but when you open them again afterwards the sand spills onto the floor. Read more of this post

UN unsustainability in the Tindouf Refugee Camps

The UN says that it seeks sustainability in its work and programmes, that it seeks “integration of the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development in policy-making at international, regional and national levels”.

And the UN’s Children’s Fund, UNICEF, says on its website that “UNICEF has worked from its founding on nutrition programming aimed at fulfilling every child’s right to adequate nutrition,” because “good nutrition benefits families, their communities and the world as a whole.”

But these principles have seemingly not been applied in the Tindouf refugee camps. Here approximately 150.000 Saharawis have been in a desert exile for 35 years, since their homeland, Western Sahara, was invaded by Morocco. Read more of this post