This Week Around the World

May 11–12 Scheveningen, The Netherlands: At least six surfers went missing on May 11 after getting stuck in high winds, foamy waters and stormy seas. The Dutch Coast Guard began a search and rescue operation soon after the surfers went missing and recovered three survivors and two bodies. Two of the survivors later died due to injuries, and the coast guard reported seeing one additional body floating out to sea. The Dutch Coast Guard fears the number of victims is higher than the five bodies they recovered, as they found more surfboards than bodies. They asked locals to reach out if they recognized any of the recovered boards in an attempt to identify any additional victims. The five known victims included professional open-water swimmers, lifeguards and swim instructors. 


May 12 Guinea: Protests over COVID-19 lockdown measures left five dead in Coyah and one dead in Dubreka. The protests reportedly began over roadblocks established by security forces in an attempt to limit traffic in and out of the capital city. Guinea has seen at least 2,998 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and is one of the most affected African countries. The Guinea government has also implemented curfews, closed country borders, banned all public gatherings and mandated the wearing of face coverings, according to Al Jazeera


May 15 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: A raid carried out by the BOPE, an elite Brazilian police unit, in the Complexo do Alemão neighborhood left 10 dead after multiple clashes between the police and residents. Authorities reported the raid was an attempt to capture one of the leading drug traffickers in the area, but did not identify the suspect. The suspect was killed in the raid. Police exchanged gunfire with residents for an extended period of time before confiscating dozens of high-powered weapons and grenades. Residents criticized the police raid as a violation of rights, and authorities announced homicide detectives would be investigating the incident. “Within and outside the context of a pandemic, we demand that public security authorities respect human rights while policing,” Amnesty International’s Brazilian office tweeted after the incident, according to Voice of America.


May 16 Paris, France: Félicien Kabuga, one of the most wanted fugitives of the 1994 Rwandan genocide that left at least 800,000 dead, was arrested in a rented house with his children, who were protecting Kabuga at the time of his arrest. Kabuga was one of the richest men in Rwanda at the time of the genocide and has been accused of acting as the main financier and logistical supporter of the genocide, as well as creating the Interahamwe militia, which carried out many of the killings. Authorities hope Kabuga’s trial will answer several questions about the 1994 genocide that remain unanswered today, including how much planning went into the event. “It is historical on many levels,” Rwandan justice minister Johnston Busingye said in a statement, according to The New York Times. “You can run, but you cannot hide. It can’t be forever.”


May 16 Tripoli, Libya: The bombing of a shelter for displaced people left seven civilians, including a 5-year-old boy, dead and an additional 17 injured. Emergency services evacuated the shelter and relocated those who were staying there to other shelters around the city. Libyan government officials believe the attack was carried out by Khalifa Haftar’s eastern-based forces, who attempted to seize power in 2018 and have continued their campaign despite international criticism and COVID-19 lockdown measures. “This year so far there have now been 17 attacks on field hospitals, ambulances, healthcare workers and medical supplies—further decimating the country’s already struggling health system,” Tom Garofalo, Libya director of the International Rescue Committee, said in a statement, according to The Middle East Eye

May 17 India: The Indian government extended a nationwide lockdown until at least May 31 as Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai and other major cities struggle to contain the COVID-19. India has seen over 90,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and approximately 2,872 deaths as a result. Air, rail and metro travel as well as schools, hotels, restaurants, bars, shopping malls and movie theaters will remain shut down until the end of May, but some areas may begin to reopen at the discretion of district authorities under new lockdown extension measures. Rural manufacturing and farming resumed with new regulations on May 4 in the interest of the national economy, according to Al Jazeera.