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COVID-19 poses challenges for Indonesia’s female peacekeepers

first_imgUN Secretary-General António Guterres said that women held a central role in UN peacekeeping operations because they had greater access to local communities, improved the protection of civilians and promoted human rights in the line of duty.But the outbreak threatens to upend their most vital work.As a civil military coordination (CIMIC) officer embedded with UNIFIL, First Lt. Rima Eka Tiara Sari is used to interacting with the local community, but now she is mostly coordinating remotely with local authorities and nongovernmental organizations because of the pandemic.“We still do [border patrols] while following protocols like wearing masks, using hand sanitizer and gloves,” Rima told reporters in a virtual briefing on Wednesday, hosted by the UN Information Center in Jakarta. In many of the world’s conflict regions where health may be one of the first casualties, the coronavirus poses a discernible threat to the local population.This is largely the case in south Lebanon, where sporadic skirmishes still occur at the border with Israel, and the only medical facilities are located at the compound of the United Nations peacekeeping mission.The COVID-19 outbreak has had the unintended consequence of putting an end to all direct contact with the Lebanese people, a vital aspect to the work female peacekeepers do, according to Indonesian peacekeepers with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). “But other activities like the various [civilian] training programs are postponed until the COVID-19 outbreak ends,” added the 37-year-old psychology graduate from Semarang, Central Java.UNIFIL was formed in 1978 to oversee the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon and to assist the Lebanese government in restoring its authority. Among its operational activities is patrolling along the “Blue Line” border demarcation between Lebanon and Israel, established by the UN in 2000.Another Indonesian UNIFIL operative, Second Sgt. Yazella Agustin, also lamented that the outbreak had greatly reduced her interaction with civilians.“We can only contact them by phone to ask them about the latest situation, whether it is a problem caused by the coronavirus, an economic situation or other things,” Yazella said at Wednesday’s press briefing.Many medical workers on the forefront of the COVID-19 response are putting their own health at risk to protect the Lebanese people and the UN peacekeepers stationed there. But even such crucial services had been forced to stop, said First Sgt. Imakulata Ngamel, an Indonesian Air Force nurse stationed with the UNIFIL’s Indonesian battalion. “We can no longer accept local patients,” she told the briefing.Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi on Thursday reiterated the nation’s concerns about the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on countries in conflict, that Indonesia was committed to upholding any and all efforts to resolve conflict and build peace.Earlier this month, the minister noted that the already vulnerable situation in conflict countries had “now worsened […] due to limited health infrastructure, fragile security, challenging economic situations and humanitarian conditions”.According to data on May 29 compiled by statistics site Worldometer, 1,168 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Lebanon, with 26 total deaths. While 699 people have recovered, the country’s economy has been hit hard, with businesses closing down and people losing their jobs.Separately, the Foreign Ministry’s director general for multilateral cooperation, Febrian Ruddyard, said that the safety and security of Indonesian peacekeepers were of utmost priority.“During Indonesia’s presidency of the UN Security Council last year, we specifically raised the issue of the safety and security of peacekeepers through training and capacity building,” he said.Febrian, who leads Indonesia’s Peace Maintenance Mission Coordination Team (TKMPP), said that the government was closely monitoring the latest developments in the field while ensuring that all missions followed the UN’s COVID-19 health protocols.He said that Indonesia was also deliberating a draft UN Security Council resolution on managing the pandemic amid the challenging conditions in conflict areas.“We are paying very close attention to our peacekeepers because they are our assets that we lend to the world, in this case to the UN,” said Febrian.Friday is the 20th anniversary of the International Day of UN Peacekeepers. The day is paying special tribute to female peacekeepers with this year’s theme, “Women in Peacekeeping: A Key to Peace”.UN Undersecretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix said in a statement that “ensuring women’s meaningful, equal and full participation in peace operations, as well as in peace and political processes, is key to protecting civilians and building durable peace”.However, women represent just 6 percent of all uniformed military, police, justice and corrections personnel in field missions, according to the UN.As a nonpermanent member of the UN Security Council, Indonesia has advocated for women’s participation in peace processes with an aim to increase the deployment of female peacekeepers to more than 3 percent at present.Out of the 2,852 military and police officers Indonesia has deployed to nine UN peacekeeping operations around the world, only 159 are women.Topics :last_img read more

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Firecrackers expected this evening in Limacol semis

first_imgTHE best four teams in the Petra-organised Limacol/GT Beer Round-Robin/Knockout football tournament will be on show this evening at the GFC ground. In the first affair, an all-Georgetown battle, Western Tigers will have their hands full when they take on the unpredictable Santos FC.Following their run in this year’s tournament, the Tigers have shown time and time again that they are not just talking the talk, they are walking the walk.They boast a record-winning streak so far of four, and their ability to get in even behind the sturdiest of defences will be put to the test this evening. Their hopes of moving on hinge primarily on players like Andrew Murray Jr. Devon Millington, Randolph Wagner, Jamal Pedro and Linden Picketts.Conversely, there is the obvious under-dog feeling that must be on Santos FC mind, considering the fact that they have been steadily improving throughout. Their star men include O’Kenie Fraser, Keith Caines, Job Caesar and Orin Yarde and their fans are hoping that they can overturn what many feel may be an easy game.Meanwhile, the two early games are no bench-warmers either with Police having to play Linden’s Winners Connection (WC).The leadership of Dwain Jacobs has proved to be sound so far for the boys in blue and while the unit may take a while to get into their groove most teams would like to avoid them due to their ability to take it to another level.Persons cannot count out Quincy Holder as well, one of the better players in the side to secure game-changing results whenever the conditions are right.WC, on the other hand, are a known physical team who will no doubt let Police know early that they are in for a tough 90 minutes and after Sunday night’s performance, Rene Gibbons has shown that all he needs is half a chance to make that difference.Kick-off time is 18:30hrs.last_img read more

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Backups get practice time as injured rest

first_imgThe bye week couldn’t have come at a better time for the Trojans.Like father, like son · USC coach Lane Kiffin and his father, defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, have used the bye week to prepare for Oregon. – Mannat Saini | Daily Trojan Without the pressure of an impending game and the necessity to work out all the kinks by Saturday, the coaching staff can let players rest and recover from nagging injuries.The entire starting offensive line, beside redshirt sophomore Matt Kalil, sat out or was limited during practice. Senior center Kristofer O’Dowd rested what he called a “strained shoulder.”He was seen at the beginning of practice wearing a wrap around his shoulder, which was removed by the end of the practice session. He expressed no doubt he’d be ready for the game against Oregon on Oct. 30 and said he was expecting a Tuesday return. He called sitting out a preventative measure to ensure full health.Junior tackle Tyron Smith sat out with an ankle injury, and senior guard Butch Lewis sat out with an undisclosed injury. Redshirt sophomore guard Khaled Holmes was limited and sat on a training table during the second half of practice.“As we’ve said all along, hopefully we get these guys back by Monday, and be ready to go with a full week of practice,” said USC coach Lane Kiffin.—With all the injuries and the lack of depth on the team, the bye week functions as a training ground for the younger players to earn playing time and demonstrate to the coaching staff whether their talents can translate to the collegiate level.The Trojans spent significant time in a four wide receiver set from the shotgun to simulate the style of play of the highly touted, high-scoring Oregon offense.Sophomore quarterback Matt Barkley was hurrying the team to the line and coaches were emphasizing quickness and speed on both sides of the ball.During a receivers and defensive backs drill, Kiffin told his players to ask themselves, “How am I going to tackle the fastest team in the country?”It was a common line from the coaching staff during the moments when the team was working on full-speed drills, especially during the scrimmage at the end of practice.—Freshman running back D.J. Morgan got a number of carries during Thursday’s practice, even with the first-team offense.He broke one of his carries for a touchdown and was picking up a number of yards on each attempt.Kiffin praised Morgan on his ability and said that it was promising that the freshman was able to show off his skill set in practice.“This is the first week that we’ve been able to see a lot with him,” Kiffin said. “He looks very explosive, even though he’s not 100 percent yet.”last_img read more

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Perfect score not enough on ‘Dancing’

first_imgBut in a second dance, he earned a score of just 28, bringing his total score for the week to 58. Even though it was just two points less than perfect, it was the lowest of the week. Judges’ scores are combined with viewer votes to determine which couple is eliminated. The three remaining celebrity dancers – Laila Ali, Joey Fatone and Apolo Anton Ohno – will begin the competition’s final round on Monday, when they will perform a dance chosen by the judges as well as a freestyle dance. The new “Dancing With the Stars” champion will be named on May 22. – Asssociated Press He earned a perfect score and glowing praise from the judges. But that wasn’t enough to keep Ian Ziering on “Dancing With the Stars.” The 43-year-old actor was booted from the ABC dance-off Tuesday during the competition’s semifinal round. “We’re in it to win it,” the “Beverly Hills 90210” alumnus said before his performance Monday. “This week you’re going to see a whole new Ian Ziering on the dance floor.” Judge Len Goodman seemed to think so, praising Ziering’s tango as “your best dance ever” and calling him “technically … the soundest of all the celebrity dancers.” He earned a perfect score of 30. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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