Home USA News The Soapbox: Ecuadorian gangs, Congolese tensions, North Korean missile tests

The Soapbox: Ecuadorian gangs, Congolese tensions, North Korean missile tests


The Soapbox is a weekly column from WSN’s news department that analyzes major events in world news and selects the stories we think are worth reading this week. A global consciousness for a global university.

Susan Behrends Valenzuela

The Soapbox is a weekly news column that collects must-read stories for the global university. (Staff illustration by Susan Behrends Valenzuela)

In Ecuador, gang attacks caused a state of emergency

After that, the president of Ecuador declared a state of emergency in two coastal provinces a rash of gang violence November 1. Attacks that were initiated by transfer of prisoners in a nearby prison, were just the latest in a years-long crime wave that has swept the once-peaceful South American country.

Mexican and Colombian cartels saw Ecuador as a profitable, easy-to-exploit country into which they could expand their operations after a number of failed anti-drug policies in the 2000s. While Ecuador is familiar with gang violence, the well-financed fight for territory by drug traffickers has led to an escalation of violence.

In a day of recent violence, gangs carried out at least nine attacks, which included planting explosives, in Guayas and Esmeraldas, five policemen were killed. Prisoners in Guayas also took guards hostage. November 2 of this year 28 people were arrested in connection with the attacks. President Guillermo Laso declared a state of emergency in two provinces and imposed a curfew at 9 p.m.

Ecuador has been carefully studied United Nations and Human Rights Watch for a series of prison riots and murders committed by gang control of institutions and overcrowding. From February 2021 more than 400 Ecuadorian prisoners were killed.

“What happened between last night and today in Guayaquil and Esmeraldas clearly shows the limits that transnational organized crime is willing to cross,” Lasso. – says the video message Translated by “Voice of America”. “We take action that they care about, hence the backlash.”

In Congo, a rebel group is renewing tensions with Rwanda

Rebel group M23 resumed fighting with government forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on October 20, despite April ceasefire. The initial M23 offensive in 2012 forced more than 140,000 people must flee their homes.

M23, of which they are members consists mainly of the Tutsi ethnic group, argues that the government has failed to fully integrate the Tutsi. Discrimination against Tutsi is prominent in the region, with the infamous 1994 genocide in Rwanda, killing 800 thousand people.

The fighting has renewed Congolese tensions with Rwanda, as both the DRC and the UN have identified Rwanda, which has a Tutsi president, as responsible for funding and encouraging the M23 in the 2012 offensive. In the same year, United States and United Kingdom withheld funds from Rwanda, accusing the country of involvement in M23 war crimes, including the use of child soldiers.

A similar UN report on the offensive in early 2022 released in August the Rwandan armed forces were also found to have operated with M23. October 31, DRC dismissed the ambassador of Rwandaaccusing the country of another financing of rebel groups.

MONUSCO, the UN stabilization mission in the DRC, is supporting the Congolese army against M23. November 2 made a “strategic and tactical withdrawal” from Rumangab, a military base in eastern Congo, ceding territory to M23. On the same day, in the neighboring Kanyarutinya refugee camp near the city of Goma, angry civilians threw stones at UNRWA trucks and set them on fireunhappy with the UN’s response to the conflict.

“The Secretary-General calls on all parties to facilitate humanitarian access to the affected population, as well as to ensure the protection of the civilian population and compliance with international humanitarian law,” said Stephanie Dujarric, spokeswoman for the UN Secretary-General. “The Secretary-General confirms that the United Nations, through its Special Representative for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and MONUSCO, will continue to support the Congolese government and people in their efforts to bring peace and stability to the east of the country. »

North Korea’s missile tests and launch of ICBMs worry the West

After an unprecedented number of missile tests last week, North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile at sea on November 3, despite the ban of the UN Security Council on such tests. ICBM seems to have failedalthough originally Japanese citizens have received asylum notices.

Pyongyang’s tests appear to have been induced Joint US-South Korean military exercises called “The Watchful Storm,” which began on October 31. The drills are taking place in response to North Korea’s actions preparation for the resumption of nuclear testing for the first time since 2017.

In response to the missiles of the United States and South Korea expanded Vigilant storm.

UN Security Council banned North Korea from nuclear and missile tests in 2006 after the country’s first nuclear test. The council passed several additional resolutions to strengthen sanctions, but Pyongyang continues to defy international authority. Although experts disagree, some analysts believe North Korea has nuclear material and the capability to build more than 100 warheads, as well as the ability to mount them on missiles capable of reaching the United States.

On November 3, in the wake of the missile test, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with his South Korean counterpart Lee Jong-sup, and both countries reaffirmed their positions on potential North Korean nuclear attacks.

“Any nuclear attack against the United States or its allies and partners, including the use of non-strategic nuclear weapons, is unacceptable and will lead to the end of the Kim regime. joint communique This is stated in the message of the Ministry of Defense of the USA. “The Secretary and the Minister strongly condemned North Korea’s escalating activities and violations of United Nations Security Council resolutions, including ballistic missile tests, multiple missile launches and coastal artillery fire, and called on the international community to hold North Korea accountable for its actions. »

Contact Torrey Morales at [email protected]

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