WW4 Report

Sudan: mass exodus from El Fasher

A mass exodus of civilians from El Fasher, capital of Sudan's North Darfur state, is underway as the army and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) battle for control of the city. The month-long RSF siege of El Fasher has resulted in hundreds of casualties and triggered the massive wave of displacement, with an estimated 28,000 people fleeing their homes between May 24 and June 3. Those fleeing have recounted harrowing experiences of escalating violence and dire living conditions.

Mexico's new presidenta and the human rights crisis

Mexico has made history with the election of its first woman president, former Mexico City mayor and environmental scientist Claudia Sheinbaum. But the ongoing human rights crisis that will obviously pose a grave challenge for Sheinbaum was dramatically exemplified by the record number of political assassinations that marred the elections. And she inherits a pending constitutional reform from her perceived political mentor, the incumbent populist Andrés Manuel López Obrador, which would further unleash the military to engage in internal law enforcement. Bill Weinberg explores in Episode 230 of the CounterVortex podcast.

Burma: army accused in village massacre

Burmese junta soldiers reportedly killed at least 75 civilians in an attack last week on a village in Rakhine state, where the regime is facing a fierce insurgency by the rebel Arakan Army (AA). The AA said in a statement June 2 that it has a list of 53 victims, including two teenagers and five women. Over 100 soldiers entered Byian Phyu, near state capital Sittwe (formerly Akyab), at noon on May 29, forcing residents into a communal area in the center of the village, where scores of were summarily gunned down, survivors said. (Irrawady)

Sudan: RSF accused in village massacre

The local Resistance Committees in Madani, capital of Sudan's al-Jazira (Gezira) state, reported June 5 that the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) carried out a massacre at the nearby village of Wad al-Noora, killing nearly 100 people. The Resistance Committees released a video showing the burial of dozens of bodies in a public square amid a large gathering of village residents. Other videos circulating online show RSF fighters firing with automatic rifles and from "technicals," pick-up trucks mounted with machine-guns. The RSF acknowledged operations in the area, but said it only targeted army positions on the village outskirts. Since taking control of Madani late last year, the RSF has been raiding villages in al-Jazira, with widespread atrocities reported, including killings of unarmed residents, abductions, forced displacements, and looting of properties, including crops and homes. (Sudan Tribune, Al Jazeera)

Podcast: from Palestine to Western Sahara

Benjamin Netanyahu's gaffe on French TV, displaying a map of the "Arab World" that showed the occupied (and illegally annexed) Western Sahara as a separate entity from Morocco, sparked a quick and obsequious apology from the Israeli Foreign Ministry. But the snafu sheds light on the mutual hypocrisy at work here. There is an obvious hypocrisy to Moroccan protests that demand self-determination for the Palestinians but not the Sahrawi, the indigenous Arab inhabitants of Western Sahara. The hypocrisy of Israel is also obvious: Israeli commentators and hasbara agents are the first to play the "whataboutery" game—relativizing the plight of the Palestinians by pointing to that of Kurds, Berbers, Nubians, Massalit and other stateless peoples oppressed under Arab regimes. But, as we now see, they are just as quick to completely betray them when those regimes recognize Israel and betray the Palestinians. Yet another example of how a global divide-and-rule racket is the essence of the state system. Bill Weinberg breaks it down in Episode 229 of the CounterVortex podcast.

Israel seizes 'buffer zone' on Gaza-Egypt border

The Israel Defense Forces on May 30 took "operational control" of the Philadelphi Corridor, the strip of territory running along the border between Egypt and Gaza, claiming it was being used by Hamas to traffic weapons into the Strip. In the operation, the IDF's 162nd Division said it uncovered dozens of rocket launchers in a network of tunnels under the Corridor. The Corridor, known to the Egyptians as Salah al-Din, had been established as a demilitarized zone under the 1978 Camp David Accords, and its re-occupation by Israel as led to fears that Egypt will "tear up the peace treaty" between the two countries.

Podcast: a cannabis coup in the Congo?

The attempted coup d'etat in the Democratic Republic of the Congo may or may not have been assisted by the CIA, but one of the Americans arrested in the affair is named as a "cannabis entrepreneur"—pointing to the possibility of legal cannabis playing the same destructive role in Central Africa that bananas have played in Central America. Yet while corporate power sees a lucrative new cash crop, lives (and especially Black lives) are still being ruined by cannabis prohibition in the United States. In Episode 228 of the CounterVortex podcastBill Weinberg argues that the old anarchist slogan "Neither your war nor your peace" can be updated as "Neither your prohibition nor your legalization!"

Israeli activists mobilize to protect aid trucks

For months, groups on the Israeli far right have traveled to the crossings where aid is moved from the West Bank to the Gaza border in an effort to disrupt the shipments—even attacking drivers and attempting to destroy the supplies. But now, other groups of Israelis are boarding buses from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and heading to those crossings to try and help the trucks complete their passage into Gaza to deliver the aid. This has sparked stand-offs near the border between right-wing groups such as Tzav 9 and pro-coexistence groups such as Standing Together.

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