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Black Friday global strikes | Gaza truce | Dutch election results
Our weekly roundup of stories you may have missed.
Amazon Black Friday strikes
Amazon workers across the world have joined together to launch the largest global strike against the company in history. Thousands of workers in over 30 countries including Germany, the US, the UK, Italy, France and Spain took part in a Black Friday strike last week as part of the international campaign ‘Make Amazon Pay’, demanding better working conditions, livable wages and calling out the companies tax avoidance and failure to meet its environmental pledges.
Temporary ceasefire in Gaza
The four-day ‘humanitarian pause’ in Gaza due to end on Tuesday has been extended an extra two days. Visiting IDF forces in Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to continue the fight ‘until the end’ once the truce expires.
40 Israeli hostages and 117 Palestinian women and children in Israeli prisons have been released over the last three days. Despite the truce, Israeli forces have continued operations in the occupied West Bank, killing 8 and arresting 60 Palestinians over the weekend, many of whom were former prisoners.
800,000 people have been forced from their homes and 100 people have died in Somalia due to flooding driven by climate crisis and worsened by the El Nińo climate pattern. Countries in the Horn of Africa such as Somalia and Kenya have faced the worst effects of climate change in recent years, including five successive seasons of drought going back to 2020. Now, hundreds of thousands of hectares of farmland have been lost due to flooding, another threat to food security across the region.
Far-right win in Dutch elections
Far-right populist Geert Wilders is likely to become the next prime minister of the Netherlands after an election victory last Wednesday. Wilders Party for Freedom (VVD) has gained support on a platform of extreme Islamophobic and xenophobic rhetoric, vowing to curb immigration as well as to roll back many of the climate policies put in place by the previous government. Wilders still needs to form a coalition to have enough seats to govern, a process that is expected to take months.
EU seeks new border security agreements with Egypt and Tunisia
The European Commission is pushing to establish new ‘anti-smuggling partnerships’ with Egypt and Tunisia, ignoring longstanding reports of human rights violations against migrants and refugees in both countries. The new agreements would bolster existing financial and material support that the EU provides to the North African countries in the name of curbing migration.
Humanitarian organisations have argued that this support enables human rights abuses in both countries. In Tunisia, violent abuses against refugees have been well documented, since President Kais Said announced a crackdown on sub-Saharan African migrants in a series of speeches at the beginning of this year.
Thousands arrested in Bangladesh
Over 10,000 activists have been arrested and at least 16 protesters killed in Bangladesh ahead of the country’s general elections in January. According to Human Rights Watch, authorities have been targeting opposition politicians in a bid to 'eliminate competition', while claiming that free and fair elections will be held. The violent authoritarian crackdown has come in response to widespread anti-government protests, as well as protests to demand higher wages for Bangladesh’s 4 million garment workers.
Escalation in the DRC
Violence in North Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has displaced over 450,000 people in the last six weeks. Clashes between pro-government militias and the M23 armed group, which is backed by Rwanda, have intensified in recent months, leading to a sharp increase in human rights violations according to the UN. The resource-rich DRC’s humanitarian crisis is made worse by a chronically underfunded humanitarian response, and is known as one of the world’s ‘most neglected crises.’