African Union demands retraction from Trump over racist remarks

Following emergency meetings the African Union missions to the US and the United Nations having issued statements expressing their outrage at the US president, Donald Trump describing African and Central American nations as "shitholes countries", and demanded an apology and retraction. The African Group of Ambassadors to the UN said it was "extremely appalled at, and strongly condemns the outrageous, racist and xenophobic remarks". The group also expressed concern at the "continuing and growing trend from the US administration towards Africa and people of African descent to denigrate the...

Myanmar’s army admits killing Rohingya Muslims

Myanmar’s military has admitted for the first time that it has been involved in the killing of Rohingya Muslims, in a statement released earlier today. A statement from the military commander-in-chief said that the four soldiers had killed 10 "Bengali terrorists" in Inn Din village near Maungdaw. "It is true that both the villagers and security forces admitted they killed the 10 Bengali terrorists," said the statement posted on social media. "This incident happened because ethnic Buddhist villagers were threatened and provoked by the terrorists." The military went on to state, "the army will...

Court indicts fourteen Bosnian Muslims over war crimes against Serbs

A court in Sarajevo has indicted 14 Bosnian Muslim men accused of committing crimes against Bosnian Serb civilians during the conflict in the region. The Sarajevo state prosecutor’s office said the men are accused of war crimes “including murder of several dozens Serb civilians, both men and women of different age, torture, robbery and persecution of nearly the whole Serb population from the Konjic area”. The state prosecutor also indicted a further four Bosnian Serb army officers earlier that week for committing war crimes against Bosnian Muslims. “The women were raped and sexually molested...

Amnesty International welcomes release of political prisoners in Ethiopia

Amnesty International has hailed the release of political prisoners in Ethiopia as a move that “could signal new chapter for human rights” last week. Fisseha Tekle, Ethiopia Researcher at Amnesty International said the announcement by Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn “could signal the end of an era of bloody repression in Ethiopia”. “For prisoners who have spent years incarcerated on politically motivated and trumped-up charges, this is long overdue,” a statement added. Amnesty International went on to call on the Ethiopian authorities to implement the decision “as quickly as...

UN experts warn of ‘massive human rights abuses’ in Philippines

United Nations Special Rapporteurs have warned of “massive” human rights abuses that are taking place in Mindanao in the Philippines, where the military is currently carrying out operations. UN special rapporteurs on the rights of indigenous peoples and internally displaced people, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz and Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, said the Muslim population on the island is "suffering massive abuses of their human rights, some of which are potentially irreversible". "We fear the situation could deteriorate further if the extension of martial law until the end of 2018 results in even greater...

UN to investigate deaths of peacekeepers in Congo

The UN Secretary General, António Guterres on Friday announced the UN would commence an investigation into the killing of 15 peacekeepers in Congo in December. The peacekeepers, who were from Tanzania, were killed during an attack on a base in North Kiru province of Congo. The investigate team will include two military officers from Tanzania.

Myanmar criticises US sanctions on military general

Myanmar’s government has spoken out against sanctions placed on a general accused of leading the ethnic cleasning campaign of the Rohingya in the Rakhine state. “This targeted sanction is based on unreliable accusations without evidence, as we have repeatedly said, so we feel sad for that,” Zaw Htay, a spokesman for Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, told Reuters. The general, Maung Maung Soe, "oversaw the military operation in Burma's Rakhine State responsible for widespread human rights abuse against Rohingya civilians," said a US Treasury statement. US officials also added that it...

No compromise on Falklands self-determination says British PM

British Prime Minister Theresa May pledged that she would “never allow” any compromise on the self-determination of the Falkland Islanders, in a Christmas radio message last week. “I want you to know that I will never allow anyone to compromise your right to self-determination – a right you freely expressed in the 2013 referendum; and a legacy for which so many paid the ultimate price,” she said in the message that was relayed out to the islands. “You can count on me as a UK Prime Minister who will do everything possible to support you in realising the full potential of these islands,” she...

HRW calls for prosecution of Yazidi militias

Human Rights Watch has called for the prosecution of Yazidi fighters over their involvement in executing 52 civilians as part of an alleged revenge attack earlier this year. “As the ground fighting against ISIS winds down in Iraq, state security forces need to turn their focus to preventing retaliation and upholding the rule of law,” said Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Past atrocities against the Yezidis don’t give its armed forces a free pass to commit abuses against other groups, whatever their past.” Speaking to The National. Belkis Wille, senior Iraq...

Thousands of Palestinians protest for 4th Friday in a row over US policy

Thousands of Palestinians protested for the fourth Friday this month against the US president's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Protesters marched on the streets in Gaza and the West Bank, chanting “Death to America, death to Israel, and death to Trump”. According to local health officials at least 50 Palestinians have been injured by live fire by Israeli troops. Mr Trump's decision has been widely condemned internationally, with the UN General Assembly on passing resolution December 21, condemning the US decision, with 128 states voting in favour of the resolution and 9...

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