A Norwegian academic has disclosed that the civil disobedience movement that has sprung up in Myanmar since the military coup has been nominated for the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize.
Kristian Stokke, professor of sociology at the University of Oslo, said on Friday that the movement represents an exemplary peaceful response to the power grab by Myanmar’s army on February 1.
“The civil disobedience movement is an important mass mobilisation for democracy in Myanmar that is taking place, so far, with non-violent means,” he told AFP.
“This pro-democracy movement, especially if successful, can also have consequences outside Myanmar and inspire other non-violent pro-democracy movements elsewhere at a time when democracy is under pressure from authoritarian forces,” he added.
According to the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners (AAPP), a local monitoring group, 320 people have been killed and nearly 3,000 arrested since the coup that ousted Aung San Suu Kyi — who herself received the prestigious award in 1991.
“What is important and gives a glimmer of hope is that what started as a response to a military coup has become a broader alliance across the many differences, especially ethnic ones, within Burmese society,” Stokke said.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee only accepts nominations submitted before the 31 January deadline, so the proposal submitted last week by Stokke and five other academics can only be considered for next year’s prize.
Tens of thousands of people, among them parliamentarians and ministers from all countries, former laureates and certain university professors, are eligible to submit a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize.
The committee itself does not disclose who was considered or even nominated other than announcing the winner, though those who submit a nomination can publish it.
The 2021 peace prize winner will be announced on October 8. The World Food Programme (WFP) won last year.
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Israel-Hamas Truce To Begin At 7am On Friday With First Hostages To Be Freed, Says Qatar
Thirteen women and children being held hostage by fighters in Gaza will be the first to be released – as the temporary truce in Gaza between Israel and Hamas begins at 7am local time (5am UK time) on Friday, Qatar has said.
Dr Majed al Ansari, spokesperson for Qatar’s foreign ministry, said it had received a list of the civilians to be freed around 4pm local time (2pm UK time) tomorrow – and families would be given priority.
He said it was expected Israel would release Palestinian prisoners in return as part of the deal.
“We are hoping that we don’t see any further delays,” he said.
“I think we have reached a point now where everything is in place, we are ready to go on the ground.”
The deal, agreed following talks mediated by Qatar, Egypt and the US, will include the Red Cross visiting the hostages and bringing medicines to them.
It would also mean hundreds of trucks carrying humanitarian, medical and fuel supplies would be allowed to enter Gaza, while Israel would halt all air missions over southern Gaza and maintain a daily six-hour daytime no-fly window in the north.
Dr al Ansari said humanitarian aid would start flowing into Gaza as soon as the truce begins, adding it was “a fraction” of what it needs.
The ceasefire had been set to take effect at 10am local time on Thursday (8am UK time) – after six weeks of fighting.
The structured agreement was reached and confirmed on Wednesday morning, but more than a day later an expected announcement of the official start time had yet to materialise.
Asked about the delay by reporters at a news conference in Doha, Dr al Ansari said discussions had been “very difficult and detailed”.
“We wanted to make sure that nothing would cause harm in the process of getting the hostages out, and the perimeters of the agreement are agreed upon in the operational sense, on both sides,” he said.
He added the temporary truce includes a comprehensive ceasefire in both north and southern Gaza – and it was hoped it will lead to a permanent truce.
Hamas has agreed to free 50 Israeli women and child hostages held by fighters in Gaza, in exchange for Israel releasing 150 Palestinian women and children from Israeli jails.
Israel had said the truce could last beyond the initial four days as long as the fighters free at least 10 hostages per day.
A Palestinian source has told the Reuters news agency a second wave of releases could see as many as 100 hostages freed by the end of the month.
Both sides have said they will go back to fighting once the truce is over.
Wife Of Gabon’s Deposed Leader Ali Bongo Jailed
Sylvia Bongo Ondimba Valentin, the wife of Gabon’s deposed leader Ali Bongo has been jailed, the AFP news agency said in a post on social media platform X on Thursday, citing a lawyer.
Gabon army officers seized power on Aug. 30, annulling an election minutes after an announcement that President Ali Bongo had won, which they said was not credible. Bongo, in power since 2009, had succeeded his father Omar Bongo, who ruled for 42 years.
AUC Chairperson Seeks Truce In Israeli-Palestinian War
The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union, Moussa Faki Mahamat, has expressed his utmost concern at the outbreak of the current Israeli-Palestinian hostilities, causing grave consequences for the lives of Israeli and Palestinian civilians in particular, and for peace in the region, in general.
In a statement in Addis Ababa, the chairperson recalled that denial of the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people, particularly that of an independent and sovereign State, is the main cause of the permanent Israeli-Palestinian tension.
The chairperson urgently appealed to both parties to put an end to military hostilities and to return, without conditions, to the negotiating table to implement the principle of two States living side by side, to safeguard the interests of the Palestinian people and the Israeli people.
The chairperson further called on the international community, and the major world powers in particular, to assume their responsibilities to impose peace and guarantee the rights of the two peoples.
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