US condemns ethnic cleansing in Myanmar, stresses need for accountability and threatens sanctions

The United States has condemned the Myanmar’s military actions against the Rohingya communtiy and labelled the crimes committed as ethnic cleansing. A press release made by the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, after returning from Myanmar, read, “These abuses by some among the Burmese military, security forces, and local vigilantes have caused tremendous suffering and forced hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children to flee their homes in Burma to seek refuge in Bangladesh. After a careful and thorough analysis of available facts, it is clear that the situation in northern Rakhine...

Former Bosnian Serb commander Mladic prosecuted for genocide

Former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic, during a historic hearing at the Hague, was sentenced to life in prison for a litany of crimes including genocide. The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) set up by the United Nations, convicted Mr Mladic of 10 crimes including extermination, murder and persecution of civilian populations. The former army general faced two charges of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and four violations of the laws of customs of war. The verdict, which took place in The Hague, faced several disruptions as Mr Mladic refused to...

Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe resigns after 37 years of rule

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe resigned today, marking the end of 37 years of rule. A letter from Mr Mugabe was read out by the parliamentary speaker, who said the decision was voluntary to allow for a smooth transfer of power, reports BBC News. The announcement was made as proceedings for Mr Mugabe’s impeachment commenced. The resignation announcement was met by waves of celebration in the streets of the capital, Harare. The US embassy in Harare, said the resignation was a “historic moment” and congratulated Zimbabweans who “raised their voices ans stated peacefully and clcearly that the...

Iraq's supreme court rules Kurdistan independence referendum unconstiutional

Iraq’s Supreme Court has ruled Kurdistan’s independence referendum unconstitutional, reports the BBC. The final ruling comes 2 months after the vote which saw 92% of Iraqi Kurds vote for secession from Iraq. The head of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government, Nechirvan Barzani called the ruling “unilateral” but said he would not challenge it.

Zimbabwe’s president fails to heed to resignation calls

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said on Sunday rejected calls by the ruling Zanu-PF to resign from his position in his official address to the country. Two senior sources of the government told Reuters that Mr Mugabe had earlier pledged to resign after the ZANU-PF sacked him as its leader. Following the military coup ZANU-PF had given Mr Mugabe 24 hours to resign. In a speech from his official residence, Mr Mugabe failed to announce his resignation, despite acknowledging criticism from the ZANU-PF, military and public. Impeachments efforts against Mr Mugabe are expected to proceed this...

Gerry Adams to step down as leader of Sinn Fein

Sinn Fein's leader and key figure in the IRA's resistance against British rule in Northern Ireland, Gerry Adams is to step down he announced on Saturday. Stating he would not stand for re-election to the Irish parliament, Mr Adams said he would step down at the next party conference in 2018. "Republicanism has never been stronger... But leadership means knowing when it is time for change. That time is now,” Mr Adams said at the party conference. “I have complete confidence in the next generation of leaders,” he added. Mr Adams has been leader of Sinn Fein since 1983, seeing the region through...

UN agencies urge Saudi led coalition to end blockade of Yemen

Three UN agenies, World Food Programme, UNICEF and the World Health Organization, issued a statement on Thursday urging the Saudi led military coalition to end its blockade on Yemen warning that thousands would starve to death. Last week land, air and sea routes to the country, which has already 7 million people at the point of famine, were stopped by the coalition after a missile was fired towards the Saudi capital. “The cost of this blockade is being measured in the number of lives that are lost,” the heads of the World Food Programme, UNICEF and the World Health Organization, David Beasley...

US Secretary of State calls for investigation into Myanmar atrocities

The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday for "a full and effective independent investigation" into allegations of human rights violations in Myanmar against the Rohingya population. Speaking at a news conference together with the defacto leader of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, Mr Tillerson said, "we’re deeply concerned by credible reports of widespread atrocities committed by Myanmar’s security forces and by vigilantes who were unrestrained by the security forces during the recent violence in Rakhine State." “The recent serious allegations of abuses in Rakhine state demand a credible...

Military takes over Zimbabwe signalling end to Mugabe regime

The military in Zimbabwe took over control of the capital, Harare on Wednesday morning, whilst announcing on state TV that the president, Robert Mugabe and his family were "safe and sound." The take over, which the military denied was a coup, comes amid increasing resentment towards the prospect of power being handed over from the 93 year old Mr Mugabe to his wife, Grace. “We are only targeting criminals around him (Mugabe) who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice,” Zimbabwe's Major General SB Moyo said on state...

Hundreds of thousands demonstrate for release of Catalan leaders

Hundreds of thousands of Catalans protested on Saturday across Barcelona calling for the release of the pro-independence leaders. Catalan leaders were imprisoned by Madrid on charges which included rebellion and sedetion following a referendum on secession last month and a declaration of independence. Protesters blocked the main through way in Barcelona, the Avenue Marina, demanding "freedom for political prisoners". See here for more.

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