11 June 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on Middle East and North Africa Democracy


PM al-Abadi: Fire at ballot box warehouse plot to harm Iraq
by Al-Jazeera, 11 Jun 2018

PM says burning of Baghdad site where ballot boxes from disputed vote were kept aimed at sabotaging democracy.
Haider al-Abadi, Iraq's prime minister, has said the burning of a warehouse in Baghdad where ballot boxes from last month's disputed parliamentary elections were kept was part of a plot to sabotage the country's democratic process.
His comments on Sunday were the most high-profile indication that the fire in the Iraqi capital was deliberate.
"Burning election warehouses ... is a plot to harm the nation and its democracy," Abadi, whose coalition faltered in the polls by finishing third, said in a statement on Sunday.

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Gulf nations pledge $2.5bn economic aid package to Jordan
by Al-Jazeera, 11 Jun 2018

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and UAE pledge $2.5bn to Jordan after austerity measures spark massive protests in the country.
Three Gulf Arab states pledged $2.5bn in aid to Jordan in an effort to stabilise the kingdom as it faces its worst protests in years over government austerity plans that include tax increases and price hikes.
The aid, pledged by Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, will go toward a deposit in Jordan's Central Bank, cover World Bank loan guarantees for the kingdom, direct budget support in the form cash deposits and finance other development projects.

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Jan Kizilhan: ISIL rape victims need culture-sensitive therapy
by Al-Jazeera, 11 Jun 2018

Need for mental health experts who know local culture in post-ISIL Iraq is immense, German-Kurd psychologist says.
There are just 26 psychotherapists in a population of 5.5 million in Iraq's Kurdistan region, Kizilhan said at a panel on Wednesday during the two-day European Development Days conference held in Brussels, which focussed on the protection and empowerment of women.
In Dohuk province where his students work, Kizilhan said there are just five psychiatrists for a population of about two million, including more than half a million refugees.

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Fire breaks out in Baghdad's largest ballot box storage site
by The National, 10 Jun 2018

A fire tore through one of Baghdad’s main ballot storage sites on Sunday, days after parliament ordered a manual recount of the May 12 vote.
Thick black smoke was seen across the capital as firefighters brought 10 fire engines to bear against the blaze. The cause of the fire, in Baghdad's eastern Al Russafa district, was not immediately clear.
Interior ministry spokesman General Saad Maan visited the scene and told reporters that "most of the ballot boxes were stored in another building and have been preserved."

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The Real Reason the Middle East Hates NGOs
by Foreign Policy, 07 Jun 2018

 In the summer of 2011, a group of Egyptian military officers made their first trip to Washington after President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster. In public and private meetings at various venues around town, including the Egyptian Defense Office and the U.S. Institute of Peace, the delegation emphasized that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which had assumed executive power, was “preparing the country for democracy.”

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