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tv   News  Al Jazeera  March 11, 2016 10:00am-10:21am EST

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>> announcer: this is al jazeera. ♪ hello, welcome to the news hour. i'm in doha and these are some of the stories we're covering in the next 60 minutes. south sudan government denies ordering its soldiers to commitment atrocities which are detailed in a disturbing u.n. report. tens of thousands gather to hear a powerful iraqi cleric push on for his demands for a political overhaul. five years on, japan
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remembers the earthquake that brought a wave of death and destruction and nuclear meltdown. and i'll have all of the day's sport, including pakistan's government finally clears their team to travel to india for the world 2020, despite security concerns. ♪ hello, it's been described as one of the most horrendous situations in the world right now. a u.n. report about the civil war in south sudan, contains allegations of children being burned alive, and soldiers raping women and girls as a form of payment. the report found that a majority of crimes are being committed by groups that support the government. charles stratford reports. >> reporter: the suffering
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defies belief. the report put together, goes into details of atrocities committed in south sudan since the conflict began in 2013. it says both sides are responsible but government forces were most to blame last year. between april and september, the u.n. reported more than 1,300 reports of rape in just one of south sudan's states. the oil-rich unity state. credible sources indicate that government forces are being allowed to rape women as a type of payment. one woman said she has been stripped naked, raped by five solders in front of her children on the roadside, and then raped by more men in the bushes only to return and find her children missing. the government has denied the
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accusations. >> you have got individuals, you know, soldiers that comes out to violate human rights, then they are doing it at their own [ inaudible ]. >> reporter: the conflict began as a dispute between the president and his former deputy. and it quickly turned into an arms rebellion. last august, we met him in the ethiopian capitol during a peace conference, and we asked him if he were willing to cooperate with an international investigation. >> anybody who has committed atrocities will be brought to book. >> reporter: the report details evidence of entire towns and villages being destroyed in what it describes as a scorched-earth policy. the u.n. says hundreds of children have been recruited as child soldiers. journalists, human rights and aid workers suffer threats,
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detention, and in some cases have been murdered. last august both sides agreed to establish a transitional government of national unity. both sides agreed to stop fighting. that still hasn't happened and the suffering of millions of people continues. charles stratford al jazeera. our diplomatic editor is in geneva with more. >> translator: there has been a disagreement for some time about sanctions on south sudan. there are already some sanctions in place, but there are countries around the security council table, powerful countries that don't currently want an arms embargo. certainly the u.s. has not been keen on an arms embargo, and russia has said that it is opposed to an arms embargo.
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what they decided was to extend existing sanctions just for a six-week period, because they couldn't make their mind up on a new resolution. i think the appearance of this damming human rights report, and the detail in this report is bound to concentrate minds around the security council table now. >> an isil suicide bomb attack has killed 14 soldiers in iraq. a bulldozer was driven into the barics. 15 others were wounded. supporters of the iraqi shiite cleric are protesting in baghdad. tens of thousands are calling for a government reshuffle and an end to corruption. he has given a deadline for the government to come up with a government with parties of no
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affiliations. >> translator: we really hope that these reforms, these promises of reforms will be true. i urge iraqi prime minister to press on with plans to form an independent cabinet of technocrats to fight [ inaudible ] despite political pressure. i want the prime minister to continue his reform plan with no fear of political pressure. >> jane arraf has more. >> reporter: he has gathered his followers this baghdad for the third week in a row. they chanted they would defend iraq with their blood and souls, and held up signs calling for a clean sweep of government. and it was clearly his rally. he appeared in a video address calling on the government to do three things as a goo will
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gesture. he said the prime minister should give lands previously given to corrupt officials to the needy. he said they should be given free electricity. and they shouldn't bare the brunt of the economic crisis caused by corruption. now he has also given the prime minister a deadline by the end of march to either come up with a new government, or he says he will send his followers into the heavily guarded green zone. the home of government offices and diplomatic missions. he has told those diplomatic missions that they shouldn't be afraid, that they won't be attacked but it is still very clearly a threat. there have been protests before that have head to abadi urging for reforms and trying to cut down on corruption, this is an
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indication of the ongoing rifts. the syrian opposition says it will attend talks in geneva on monday aimed at bringing the five-year war in syria to an end. but it is down playing the chances of reaching an agreement. the u.n. special envoy says talks will address presidential and parliamentary elections next year. he says he thinks the elections will happen in 18-month's time. >> reporter: you said finding peace in syria was almost mission impossible. what do you think of the chances of peace now? >> certainly higher than ever before. for three reasons. the first one we do have momentum, and we can see it in the syrian people are detecting it themselves. you can ask them and they will tell you that. both on the human inside, not enough momentum, and then a
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reduction of violence, not enough, but moving in that direction. think about what it used to be three weeks ago. the second reason is we do have something that both of the previous envoys who tried very hard and did not have at that moment some unity at the security council. and third, we have the vienna group, 18 countries, from saudi arabia to iran, from cat tar to turkey, to u.s. to russia, sitting in the same room, and in theory, and so far quite a lot in practice, discussing how to get a political solution, not a military solution in syria. inside syria, the fighting largely goes on.
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international aid agencies are warning the u.n. security council are adding what they call fuel to the fire of syria's war. human rights organizations have put out a report which shows that 2015 was the worst of the five-year conflict. they accuse russia, france, the u.s., and britain, of supporting rival sides or direct military action. they say at least 50,000 people have been killed since april of 2014. and an extra 1.5 million people are in need of humanitarian aid. last year they delivered assistance to fewer than 4% of those living in besieged communities. and even less food. the author of the report says recent progress in syria is encouraging but is taking too long. >> the last couple of weeks has
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shown with the cessation of hostilities, and the delivery of assistance, that when the international community put their mind to it, they can make progress on the ground inside syria. i think the question is why it has taken them so long to do this, and why over the course of the past year, instead they have been adding fuel to the fire as the report says, so i think it's within the gift of these powers to ensure -- to insist upon the resolutions being implemented. so this would entail putting pressure on the parties to the conflict to respect the ceasefire, and set the stage for negotiations in geneva but also stopping to send arms and ammunitions to the allies on the ground, and crucially respecting international humanitarian law themselves, so refraining from targeting civilians in their military actions. >> meanwhile the bombing of
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hospitals in syria is putting extra strain on medical centers in neighboring turkey. doctors say they are at breaking point. lawrence lee reports. >> reporter: the syrian government and its russian allies sometimes claim that fighters hide in hospitals, but surely not this one, it's the children's unit. such conditions in towns like this. this firefighter says they have no water to douse the flames. there is no choice but to want it burn. increasing destruction puts the lives of civilians under threat, the fewer hospitals that remain, the fewer doctors available to treat more and more people it all combines to create a crisis in the few places the injured
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can look to. >> translator: because there are so many injured now, it is no longer possible for us to treat some lesser injuries. >> reporter: turkey has had no choice to move people from the border to a nearby town. this hospital was itself evacuated this week, when it was shelled by isil fighters, so it's hardly safe here either, but it's certainly better than the alternative. on the morning we were filming, it already received three patients who would need amputati amputations. all of the attacks have put a huge strain on this unit. they have had to bring in translators, and double plastic surgeons, and there are now more syrian patients inside here than medical personnel. once they have been treated,
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syrians face a choice as to whether to go home. this man returned to the border with his bags of medicine, and was hobbling his way back. he paid a hundred dollars for his drugs. they brought me by ambulance because i was very sick. i needed medicine for my heart. i was going to die. no hospitals have been attacked sinces the cessation of hostilities, but for those injured in the fighting, the best they can hope is that someone can get them to another country for treatment. lawrence lee, al jazeera, turkey. fighting between government troops and houthi rebels has intensified in ta'izz. the city has been under siege by houthi rebels for more than ten months. it's an important battle ground between government loyalists, and houthi forces with reported
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ties to iraq. much more to come on this news hour. still ahead. >> i'm in lebanon, where farmers say a growing diplomatic dispute between lebanese political leaders and gulf countries could have a catastrophic effect on the agricultural industry here. >> and palestinian teachers voice their anger over what they say is a year's old broken promise. i'm paul rees in greenland where the quest to create new olympics could be creating a generation gap on the slopes. ♪ so all of that still to come, but first japan has marked five years since the earthquake and tsunami that killed more than 18,000 people. a moment of silence was held at
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the exact moment of the disaster. >> reporter: this is the closest thing to high ground, a mound built 96 years ago, so that residents could look out to sea. five years on from the tsunami, it has become a place of remember answer. it was from here that first showed the scale of disaster. 950 died here. nearly 18,500 across the country. all that is left are these few remaining foundation walls. the wave came through this neighborhood scrubbing it out entirely. at its height, it was about two meters above that man-made mound. >> it was there at 2:46 precisely that they gathered to mark the moment the earthquake struck.
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150 kilometers north another community marked the same moment the same way, sounding the tsunami sirens. >> translator: the reality is that we still feel the scars here, and there are still many who are struggling to restart their lives. >> reporter: at the national memorial in tokyo, a similar sentiments came from japan's emperor, on behalf of those forced from their homes from the nuclear meltdown in fukushima. >> translator: efforts are being made to improve the situation. but my heart aches at the thought that there are still people who cannot return home. >> reporter: the prime minister is promising a revitalized five-year plan to get it finishes, vast areas have changed little. at the plant itself workers battle to store and treat up to
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400 tons of nuclear contaminated material each day. >> translator: i think what i felt most was anxiety. i thought my experience would be useful, but all of the rules i used to abide by became completely irrelevant. it was like a war zone, and that astonished me. >> translator: higher sea walls have been built, sections being raised to minimize damage of future waves. a day of commemoration can bring some comfort, but it also serves as a reminder of how much has been lost. farmers in lebanon are becoming an indirect casualty of conflicts and tennings in -- tensions in the region.
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exports are down because of deteriorating conditions. >> reporter: harvesting green onion isn't easy. workers first need to loosen the earth around the delicate crop so when it is picked it won't be damaged. this soil is rocky, and the work is time consuming. this man owns this farm. he says growing crop like green onion is worth the extra care, because they are usually profitable, but not anymore. >> reporter: our industry has been badly affected by the war in neighboring syria. we can no longer track our progress through syria and into jordan and on to the gulf. because the crossings are now closed. more than 30% of our income is gone because of this. >> reporter: the only way now for lebanese farmers to send
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their products to the gulf f is by sea, but the costs are high and cut deep into profits. losing a third of all revenue has hit farmers here hard. but a growing concern is the dispute between political leaders here in lebanon and gulf countries. more than three-quarters are sent to gulf states, which is why recent decisions by saudi arabia and it's gulf allies have farmers here worried. last month the saudi government canceled billions of dollars it gives. the gcc last month declared hezbollah a terrorist organization. the group is the largest political movement. >> translator: if lebanese exports are