An international donors conference on Sunday raised US$850 million for projects intended to ensure the safe return of nearly 3 million people displaced during the war in Darfur.
The one-day conference in Cairo was organized by the 57-nation Organization of The Islamic Conference (OIC) and included representatives from the US, European nations, UN agencies and aid groups.
Host Egypt said the conference highlighted the importance of development in achieving peace and stability in Darfur. It said many participants made unspecified aid pledges on top of the US$850 million raised.
“The large participation and the pledges made reflect the wide extent of the international commitment and wish in supporting peace and stability in Darfur,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said, reading from the meeting’s final communique. “Development in Darfur is the real guarantee to help refugees back to their homes.”
The biggest donors on Sunday were Brazil, The Islamic Bank for Development, Qatar and Turkey. Others pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to finance development projects.
The fighting in Darfur, which began with a 2003 rebellion by groups accusing the government of neglecting the western province, has died down over the past year and peace talks are under way in the Gulf state of Qatar. Many of those displaced, however, are still living in camps and their future is one of the central unresolved issues. An estimated 300,000 people lost their lives to violence, disease and displacement.
OIC secretary-general Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu told reporters after the meeting that the US, European countries, Australia and Japan promised generous aid and pledged continued support for the people of Darfur. He gave no figures.
Aboul Gheit said the money raised and pledged would be used to finance development projects in Darfur when peace prevails there and all rebel groups come to agreement with the Sudanese government.
Japan said it opposed changes to the G7 nations as it pushed back against a reform plan by US President Donald Trump that would have rival South Korea this year join in an expanded meeting. Tokyo has told the US it stands against South Korea’s participation on the grounds of differences in policy on China and North Korea, Kyodo News reported this weekend, citing more than one source related to Japanese and US diplomacy. Japan also wants to maintain its status as the only Asian country in the group, the news agency added. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga yesterday told reporters that
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around
‘WOULD NOT COMPLY’: The company’s user data are kept in Singapore and it would not turn the data over to Beijing even if asked, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said Social media app TikTok has distanced itself from Beijing after India banned 59 Chinese apps in the country, according to a correspondence seen by Reuters. In a letter to the Indian government dated on Sunday last week and seen by Reuters on Friday, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said the Chinese government has never requested user data, nor would the company turn it over if asked. TikTok, which is not available in China, is owned by China’s ByteDance, but has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to appeal to a global audience. Along with 58 other Chinese apps, including Tencent
PLAYING THE VICTIM? A Chinese spokesman sent a statement to Australian media saying that Beijing had ‘irrefutable’ evidence of Canberra’s widescale espionage Australia yesterday unveiled the “largest-ever” boost in cybersecurity spending, days after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke out about a wave of state-sponsored attacks suspected to have been carried out by China. Morrison and government officials said the country would spend an additional A$1.35 billion (US$928 million) on cybersecurity, about a 10 percent hike, taking the budget for the next decade to A$15 billion. The largest chunk of the new money would help create 500 jobs within the Australian Signals Directorate, the government’s communications intelligence agency. Morrison on June 19 said that a “state-based actor” was targeting a host of