World Tour – Migrants in Greece, and forgiveness in South Sudan

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

ONIZE OHIKERE, REPORTER: Crisis at Turkish-Greek border—We start today in Europe. 

AUDIO: [Protestors yelling, police firing tear gas]

Locals on the Greek island of Lesbos clashed with riot police last week as they protested the ongoing refugee crisis. They used chains and rocks to block the road to a nearby camp in an effort to stop a busload of migrants from arriving.

Boris Cheshirkov is with the UN Refugee Agency.

CHESHIRKOV: We are also quite concerned that in the last two days we’ve seen an increase in intimidation and violent attacks against humanitarian workers, but also arriving refugees.

Greece currently hosts about 42,000 refugees in overcrowded camps. And the country now faces a new wave of migrants from Turkey. 

Last week, the Turkish government announced it would not stop refugees from crossing its borders into Europe. It is trying to pressure the European Union into stemming the flow of migrants across its eastern land and sea borders.

The Greek government has tightened border security in response. On Saturday, it claimed to have stopped over 4,000 migrants from crossing. 

Sectarian clashes in India—Next we go to India.

AUDIO: [Sound of trucks, scraping up debris]

Crews in New Delhi shoveled broken bricks off the streets last week after days of violent riots. At least 43 people died during clashes between Hindus and Muslims. Hundreds of others were injured.

Since December, thousands of Muslims and other activists have staged mostly peaceful protests over a law that offers citizenship to Christians, Hindus, and other migrants fleeing persecution. It does not extend the citizenship offer to Muslims.

Human rights groups have accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Hindu nationalist party of encouraging the sudden surge in violence. A local party leader issued a three-day ultimatum for police to clear out protest camps.

Witnesses say police participated in violent attacks against Muslims—a charge officials deny.

Threats against Christians in Kenya—Next to Africa.

The Islamic terror group al-Shabaab issued a new threat against Christians in Kenya. In a 20-minute recording, an al-Shabaab spokesman demanded Christians leave three Kenyan counties on the border with Somalia. He also called on local residents to evict all non-Muslims from the area.

The threats did not come as a surprise to many Christians in the region. In January, al-Shabaab attacked a Christian school, killing three teachers. Last week, the U.S. State Department warned terrorist groups may be plotting an attack against a major hotel in Nairobi.

Former rivals in South Sudan voice forgiveness—And finally, we end today in South Sudan.

Leaders of the new unity government issued a statement of reconciliation after holding their first official meeting last week. President Salva Kiir said he had forgiven former opposition leader Riek Machar and had asked for his forgiveness in return.

KIIR: And I am inviting all the people of South Sudan to forgive one another.

The rift between the two leaders began not long after South Sudan became its own country. Rival factions spent the next six years fighting a civil war. Machar vowed to work with his former rival to end the people’s suffering.

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

(AP Photo/Panagiotis Balaskas) Migrants scuffle with Greek police at the port of Mytilene after locals block access to the Moria refugee camp, on the northeastern Aegean island of Lesbos, Greece, on Tuesday, March 3, 2020.

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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