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Exhausted and confused: Migrant caravan of 4,000 lumber through Mexico on way to U.S. – National

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Patience among 4,000 Central American migrants appeared to be wearing thin on Saturday, as exhausted members of the caravan journeying toward the United States openly disagreed with organizers who are shepherding the group through southern Mexico.


READ MORE:
MAP: Where the migrant caravan began, and why people are fleeing these countries

Several thousand migrants opted to rest in the towns of Juan Rodriguez Clara, Veracruz and Isla, Veracruz, which are about 64 kilometres from their previous rest stop in Sayula. Another contingent splintered off by hitchhiking rides and walking to Tierra Blanca, Veracruz, which lies about 128 kilometres to the north.

Many said they no longer had faith in those organizing the large group after confusion broke out regarding buses that would have taken migrants on a route to Mexico City.

On Friday, Veracruz Gov. Miguel Angel Yunes reneged on a brief offer to provide transportation, saying that it would not be correct to send the migrants because Mexico City’s water system was undergoing maintenance and seven million of its people would be without water over the weekend.

WATCH: U.S. troops arrive at Arizona border ahead of migrant caravan.






In the lapse between his decisions, organizers told members of the caravan that buses would indeed be available, causing some migrants to go to sleep with the impression that they should wake up early to stake out a place in line.

Human rights activist Ernesto Castaneda said there’s still a possibility that bulk transportation will be arranged Saturday.

But as migrants struggle with exhaustion, blisters, sickness, and swollen feet hundreds of miles from the closest U.S. border, tempers flared within their ranks.


READ MORE:
Reality Check: 5 questionable claims Trump has made about the migrant caravan heading to the U.S.

“People are mad and confused,” said Saira Cabrera, a 36-year-old traveling with her husband and two children aged 7 and 13.

Gerardo Perez, a 20-year-old migrant, said he was tired.

“They’re playing with our dignity. If you could have only seen the people’s happiness last night when they told us that we were going by bus and today we’re not,” he said.

It remained to be seen if the group would stick together and continue employing the ‘strength in numbers’ strategy which has enabled them to mobilize through Mexico and inspire subsequent migrant caravans to try their luck.

WATCH: ‘This is an invasion, totally legal to stop it’: Trump on caravan






On Friday, another caravan — this time from El Salvador — waded over the Suchiate River into Mexico, bringing 1,000 to 1,500 people who want to reach the U.S. border.

That caravan initially tried to cross the bridge between Guatemala and Mexico, but Mexican authorities told them they would have to show passports and visas and enter in groups of 50 for processing.

The Salvadorans opted instead to wade across a shallow stretch of the river to enter Mexico. Police in the vicinity did not try to stop the migrants, who later walked along a highway toward the nearest large city, Tapachula.


READ MORE:
Trump defends claims on migrant caravan heading to U.S.: ‘When I can, I try to tell the truth’

Mexico is now faced with the unprecedented situation of having three caravans stretched out over 500 kilometres of highways in the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca and Veracruz, with a total of more than 6,000 migrants.

The first, largest group of mainly Honduran migrants entered Mexico on Oct. 19. The caravan has shrunk to less than 4,000 migrants, although it has become difficult to give exact numbers as migrants advance toward small towns any way they can.

Another caravan, also of about 1,000 to 1,500 people, entered Mexico earlier this week and is now in Mapastepec, Chiapas. That group includes Hondurans, Salvadorans and some Guatemalans.

WATCH: Bigger, more emboldened caravans on the heels of one coming now: Trump






Mexican officials appeared conflicted over whether to help or hinder their journeys.

In the smaller caravans, immigration agents and police have at times detained migrants. There has also been pressure on the main caravan, with federal police pulling over freight trucks and forcing migrants off, saying that clinging to the tops or sides of the trucks was dangerous.

But several mayors have rolled out the welcome mat for migrants who reached their towns – arranging for food and camp sites. Mexico’s Interior Department says nearly 3,000 of the migrants in the first caravan have applied for refuge in Mexico and hundreds more have returned home.


READ MORE:
Trump threatens to send up to 15,000 troops at Mexico border over migrant caravan

With or without the government’s help, uncertainty awaits.

U.S. President Donald Trump has ordered U.S. troops to the Mexican border in response to the caravans. More than 7,000 active duty troops have been told to deploy to Texas, Arizona and California.

Trump has also told the U.S. military mobilizing at the southwest border that if U.S. troops face rock-throwing migrants, they should react as though the rocks were rifles. He plans to sign an order next week that could lead to the large-scale detention of migrants crossing the southern border and bar anyone caught crossing illegally from claiming asylum.

Though some migrants clashed with Mexican police at a bridge on the Guatemala border, they have repeatedly denied coming with any ill intentions, saying they’re fleeing poverty and violence.

“We aren’t killers,” said Stephany Lopez, a 21-year-old Salvadoran with the first caravan.



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FOREIGN NEWS

Catholic Bishops react to military coup in Mali

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Catholic Bishops react to military coup in Mali

Contrary to the expectations of the people, the leadership of the Episcopal Conference of Mali (CEM) has termed the Tuesday, August 18 military coup in the West African nation as “regrettable” and “a big failure for our democracy” and called for a change of mentality if the country has to put an end to coups.

In an interview with ACI Africa Wednesday, August 19, made available to RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA, the President of CEM, Bishop Jonas Dembélé said that the governance challenges the country is facing can be managed through dialogue.

“The military coup that led to the ousting of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta is regrettable because we are in a state of law and democracy. This is the second time that Mali has had a military coup as a result of the way in which the country is governed. It is a big failure for our democracy even if there were reasons for it,” Bishop Dembélé told ACI Africa.

“It is true that our country has serious challenges including bad governance, the poor management of the economy, corruption, insecurity and so on,” Bishop Dembélé said and probed, “Why is it that we Malians have not managed to engage in dialogue to be able to discuss these problems and face up to these challenges responsibly?”

“Our leaders, our people lack transparency, they hate those who speak the truth and advocate for good governance. This mentality must change for our country to move on,” the Prelate told ACI Africa August 19.

Bishop Dembélé who is a frontline member of RECOWA-CERAO urged the military officials “to ensure a return to democracy as promised but most especially ensuring the new leadership of the country put the people first and tackle the security challenges facing the nation.”

Asked about the role of the Church in the current crisis, the 57-year-old Prelate noted, “For us the Catholic Church in Mali, our role is to preach peace; our role is to preach dialogue. We shall continue in this path of dialogue for peace just like Cardinal Jean Zerbo and some religious leaders initiated.”

“In a state of law, power is not in the hands of certain individuals but to the people. The anger of our people led to this crisis, but we must work for peace and reconciliation in Mali,” Bishop Dembélé said.

He continued in recollections, “The Bishops in Mali have always issued messages before every election in our country sounding the alert and inviting the government to organize transparent elections, ensure good governance and better management of resources.”
“But it seems our messages are never taken into consideration that is why we find ourselves in this situation today,” the Local Ordinary of Kayes Diocese told ACI Africa and added, “If the opinion of the Episcopal Conference of Mali is needed to mediate in bringing back stability and peace in the country, then we are ready.”

As a way forward, the Bishop urged the people of God in Mali to “seek the path to conversion” and to accept dialogue in the spirit of truth and honesty.
“We all want change in our

country, but this change can only be possible if individually we seek the path to conversion. It is for Malians be they Muslims or Christians or members of traditional religion, to do an examination of conscience and accept personal and community conversion in order to engage in sincere dialogue,” he said.

The Malian Prelate added, “Now there is this coup d’état to demand change we really wonder where change should come from. As long as we don’t change our behavior, our mentality, we will always have a repeat of the current situation.”

On Tuesday, August 18, President Keita announced his resignation and dissolved parliament hours after mutinying soldiers detained him at gunpoint, Aljazeera reported.
“For seven years, I have with great joy and happiness tried to put this country on its feet. If today some people from the armed forces have decided to end it by their intervention, do I have a choice? I should submit to it because I do not want any blood to be shed,” President Keita said August 18 during the televised address to the nation.

Rev. Fr. George Nwachukwu
RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA

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Harris accepts VP nomination

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Harris accepts VP nomination

Senator Kamala Harris formally accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president on Wednesday following a scathing speech by former President Barack Obama, who said the fate of the nation” depends entirely on the outcome of this election.”

Both Mr. Obama and Harris stressed the importance of voting, with Harris saying “we’re all in this fight together.” Harris sounded an optimistic note by highlighting her personal history and the promise of America, saying she was “so inspired by a new generation.”

“Make no mistake, the road ahead will not be not easy,” she said. “We will stumble. We may fall short. But I pledge to you that we will act boldly and deal with our challenges honestly. We will speak truths. And we will act with the same faith in you that we ask you to place in us.” She called Mr. Trump a “predator” in a speech that came after Mr. Obama issued his most forceful rebuke of his successor to date, saying Mr. Trump “hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t.”

“This president and those in power — those who benefit from keeping things the way they are — they are counting on your cynicism,” Mr. Obama said. “They know they can’t win you over with their policies. So they’re hoping to make it as hard as possible for you to vote, and to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter.

That’s how they win. That’s how they get to keep making decisions that affect your life, and the lives of the people you love. That’s how the economy will keep getting skewed to the wealthy and well-connected, how our health systems will let more people fall through the cracks. That’s how a democracy withers, until it’s no democracy at all.”

Mr. Obama and Hillary Clinton, speaking earlier in the night, both said they had hoped Mr. Trump would rise to the occasion. But they both stressed what they called his failures while in office, with Mr. Obama saying Mr. Trump has shown “no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves.”

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Mali coup leaders vow to hold elections as history repeats itself

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Mali coup leaders vow to hold elections as history repeats itself

The Malian soldiers who forced President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to resign in a coup promised early Wednesday to organize new elections after their takeover was swiftly condemned by the international community.

In a statement carried overnight on state broadcaster ORTM, the mutinous soldiers who staged Tuesday’s military coup identified themselves as the National Committee for the Salvation of the People led by Colonel Major Ismael Wagué.

“With you, standing as one, we can restore this country to its former greatness,” Wagué said, announcing that borders were closed and that a curfew was going into effect from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m

The news of Keita’s departure was met with jubilation by anti-government demonstrators in the capital, Bamako, and alarm by former colonial ruler France and other allies and foreign nations.

The U.N. Security Council scheduled a closed meeting Wednesday August 19, 2020 afternoon to discuss the unfolding situation in Mali, where the U.N. has a 15,600-strong peacekeeping mission. Keita, who was democratically elected in a 2013 landslide and re-elected five years later, still had three years left in his term.

But his popularity had plummeted, and demonstrators began taking to the streets calling for his ouster in June.

West African regional bloc ECOWAS had sent mediators to try and negotiate a unity government but those talks fell apart when it became clear that the protesters would not accept less than Keita’s resignation.

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