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SOS Chrétiens d’Orient in Syria: The far-right French NGO supporting Bashar al-Assad

  • Conflict
  • Human Rights
  • Politics
  • Religion

French humanitarian NGO SOS Chrétiens d’Orient (SOSCO) claims to support persecuted Christians in Syria and the wider Middle East without interfering in conflicts or local politics. But in reality, the seven-year-old NGO—which was founded by far-right, conservative, Catholic activists— thinly veils its agenda to amplify Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s propaganda and push for a normalisation of diplomatic relationships between Damascus and EU countries.

Inside Zimbabwe's illicit gold-mining trade

  • Conflict
  • Corruption
  • Finance

HARARE - Gold is Zimbabwe's chief export product. However, partly because of the country's monetary policy, an estimate of 50% of artisanal and small-scale mined gold in Zimbabwe is lost to smuggling, causing bloody turf wars that have claimed hundreds of lives.

Young miner in Zimbabwe shows mercury coated gold

The Kremlin’s European Favourites

  • Conflict
  • Politics
  • Security

Vladimir Putin's Russia increasingly poses a security risk to Europe as it has become more and more aggressive in recent years, especially since the annexation of Crimea and occupation of Donbas. Russia has also committed assassinations on European soil, including the attempted assassination of the Skripals and the murder of Zelimkhan Khangoshvili in Berlin. Most recently a Russian diplomat was suspected of bringing ricin to Prague to poison the mayor.

Little Survivors

  • Conflict
  • Youth
  • Education

IRAQ - With Little Survivors Lotte Knaepen and Lisa Matthys made a report in Kurdistan (Northern Iraq). The story is about the Yazidis, a people who were persecuted by ISIS. Many Yazidi children became victims of human trafficking, were separated from their families, used as slaves or trained as child soldiers in Raqqa. In this documentary, the makers follow four little survivors who have suffered trauma in various ways. But the focus is on their resilience, courage and creativity.

Does Gaza have a future?

  • Conflict
  • Human Rights

GAZA - As early as eight years ago, the UN warned that the Gaza Strip was at risk of becoming unlivable by 2020. At the beginning of that year, De Morgen journalist Martijn Lauwens went to see what that means. He travelled around the isolated Palestinian enclave for a week and asked the people there how they live, how they see the future and what they dream of. 

War in my genes

  • Conflict
  • Art
  • History

ARMENIA/TURKEY - Kubra was born and raised in Belgium. However, her family is Turkish, at least, that's what they thought, because she was brought up as a Belgian Turk: with Turkish customs and the Islamic faith. Internal doubts lead her to have a DNA test taken in 2017 to see if she actually has Turkish roots. The test showed that she is not Turkish but Armenian. After further investigation, it appeared that this was due to the genocide around 1916.

Camel Trafficking From Syria

  • Conflict
  • Economy
  • Migration
  • Trafficking

Over thousands of camel shepherds have fled Syria to the European Union, crossing the sea and mountains to seek refuge following the tragic ongoing war, that has changed their lifestyle with loss of camels to illegal trafficking. 

Women of the Hirak

  • Conflict
  • Equal opportunities
  • Human Rights

MOROCCO - Hirak protests broke out in northern Morocco three years ago. Following the terrible death of a fish seller, the Riffines were crying out for good education, health care, work, fair justice and the fight against corruption. But the regime hit hard, resulting in hundreds of arrests. The leaders of the non-violent Hirak movement were sentenced to twenty years in prison.

Arab Spring 2.0

  • Conflict
  • Equal opportunities
  • Politics

MIDDLE EAST -The 'Arab Spring' of 2011 had enormous consequences: dictators fell, wars followed, the refugee crisis came and there was the global impact of ISIS. A continuation of "2011" appears to have been started in 2019. New revolts are raging in Sudan, Algeria, Iraq and Lebanon, while the previous struggle continues elsewhere.

Why are Colombian bananas crooked?

  • Conflict
  • Agriculture
  • Ecology

COLOMBIA - Belgium is a banana republic, as far as trade is concerned. There are only three countries in the world that import more bananas than we do: the United States, Russia and China. But we export 87 percent, or 1.17 tons, of those bananas. Most bananas come from Colombia.