World Tour: Genocide in Myanmar and peace talks in Paris

NICK EICHER, HOST: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: World Tour with Africa reporter Onize Ohikere.

ONIZE OHIKERE, REPORTER: China claims ‘reeducation’ courses complete—We start today in Asia.

AUDIO: [Chinese official defends camps]

All of the Uighur Muslims detained in so-called “reeducation camps” in China’s Xinjiang province have completed their courses. That according to the regional chairman who spoke to reporters on Monday.

AUDIO: [Man speaking Mandarin]

He said all of the former detainees have found stable work and are leading “happy” lives. He also said the Xinjiang government would continue regular training programs in local villages for residents who do not have jobs.

Human rights groups estimate more than a million Uighurs and other minority groups were detained in the camps. Officials have rejected that claim without providing any official counts of their own.

The camps have drawn widespread, international condemnation. Last week the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill calling for sanctions against Chinese officials involved in creating and running them.

Myanmar at the Intl. Court of Justice—Next we go to Europe.

The International Court of Justice began hearings in The Hague on Tuesday. It will determine whether Myanmar is guilty of genocide against the Rohingya people.

The tiny African country of Gambia brought the charges. Its minister of justice made his country’s case.

TAMBADOU: All that The Gambia asks is that you tell Myanmar to stop these senseless killings, to stop this genocide of its own people. 

Myanmar’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, will answer the charges against her country today.

Myanmar’s military began a crackdown on Rohingya communities in 2017. The violence forced three-quarters of a million Rohingya to flee into neighboring Bangladesh.

Russia-Ukraine summit—Next to France.

AUDIO: [Zelensky Putin meeting]

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Paris on Monday for landmark peace talks. The two leaders agreed to a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine and the full withdrawal of troops by March. They also agreed to release all prisoners detained in the five-year conflict by the end of the year.

PUTIN: [Speaking Russian]

Putin described the agreement as an important first step to easing tension in the region. The conflict in eastern Ukraine began when Russia invaded the Crimean Peninsula.

Putin came to Paris hoping to secure promises of autonomy for areas now controlled by Moscow-backed separatists. But Zelensky wants to regain control of his country’s borders before agreeing to regional elections.

They left without an agreement on those issues. Zelensky described the outcome as “a tie.”

Finland gets a new prime minister—And finally, we end today in Finland.

Sanna Marin became the world’s youngest head of state Tuesday when she took the oath of office as prime minister.

AUDIO: [Sanna Marin speaking]

The 34-year-old told reporters she never thinks about her age or gender—just the reasons she got into politics. Marin will lead a center-left government of four parties. All of them are headed by women—another governmental first.

That’s this week’s World Tour. For WORLD Radio, I’m Onize Ohikere reporting from Abuja, Nigeria.

(Heikki Saukkomaa/Lehtikuva via AP) Social democrats minister Sanna Marin speaks to the media after she was elected as the new Prime Minister of Finland, in Helsinki, Finland, on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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