Theresa May to form Conservative minority government as shock UK general election results return hung parliament

The British Conservative Party will attempt to form a minority government, after failing to return a majority at general elections yesterday. Despite losing 12 seats, the Conservatives were the largest party but failure to attain the 326 seats needed for a parliamentary majority resulted in a hung parliament. Theresa May, Conservative leader and Prime Minister has said her party, with 318 seats, will continue to govern, with the support of the Democratic Unionist Party, which returned 10 MPs from Northern Ireland. The snap general election was called by Ms May in April with a view to...

FARC hands over 30 percent of weapons

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in Colombia stated that they have handed over 30 percent of their weapons to United Nation monitors – as per the terms established under the peace agreement. The remaining weapons are to be handed over by June 20 th – with approximately 7000 weapons to be surrendered before the FARC can transition into a political party. After five decades of war and peace negotiations, Colombia’s peace agreement with the FARC was ratified in December of last year.

Independence referendum for Kurdistan Region to be held on September 25

Kurdish President, Masoud Barzani, along with representatives of political parties within the Kurdistan Region, decided that an independence referendum would be held on September 25 th , 2017. “It will be on that day when the people of the Kurdistan Region, as well as those living in the disputed areas, will cast their votes on whether they accept independence for the Kurdistan,” the President’s website stated. Political parties have committed to resolving outstanding political and economic issues prior to the vote, while further agreeing to appoint representatives from the various parties...

UN Secretary General stresses the need to eliminate attacks on hospitals in areas of conflict

United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres, stated that the continuous treatment of hospitals and clinics as targets in conflict reflects the “grave disregard for international law and the protection of civilians.” At a Security Council debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, Guterres explained that there has been minimal change since the adoption of Resolution 2286 – which calls on “States and all parties to armed conflict to develop effective measures to prevent and address acts of violence, attacks and threats against medical personnel and humanitarian personnel...

Myanmar ethnic states to draft their own constitutions

Myanmar’s ethnic states are to right to draft their own constitution said one of one of Myanmar’s ethnic militant groups, the Pa-o National Liberation Army. Speaking after preliminary working group meetings ahead of the second round of the 21 st Century Panglong peace conference to begin on May 24, the negotiator of the PNLA told reporters that the Burmese government “has acknowledged the right to self-determination for the state as we are allowed to draft the state constitution. The states under the union have never had such rights as to draft their own constitutions, but we have earned it...

Controversial 'Jewish nation-state' bill given preliminary approval in Israel

The Israeli parliament has preliminarily approved a controversial bill this week, which states that the “right to self-determination in Israel is unique to the Jewish people” and demotes Arabic from its official status. Supported by Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu's Likud party, the bill states that Israel is the “national home of the Jewish people” and would demote Arabic from an official language to one that has “special standing”. Mr Netanyahu said the bill would ensure that Israel is legally established “as the nation-state of the Jewish people”. “There is no contradiction...

Arrests warrants for Buddhist monks in Myanmar after clashes with Rohingya

Police in Myanmar have issued arrest warrants for at least seven Buddhist nationalists, including at least two monks, after a clash with Rohingya Muslims left at least one injured, according to reports. The BBC quoted local media sources as reporting Buddhist monks marched into the Rohingya town of Mingalar Taung Nyunt on Wednesday, where they were allegedly looking for “illegal” Rohingya. The town, in the Yangon province, has seen increased tensions in recent months, as Buddhist nationalists have attempted to halt Islamic ceremonies and forced two schools to temporarily close. At least 70,...

Ontario passes motion to describe 1984 anti-Sikh riots as genocide

The province of Ontario is the first legislature in Canada to carry a motion describing the 1984 anti-Sikh riots as genocide. Harinder Malhi, Member of Provincial Parliament, moved the motion with 34 votes in favour and five against. Malhi stated that the Legislative Assembly of Ontario should “condemn all forms of communal violence, hatred, hostility, prejudice, racism and intolerance in India and anywhere else in the world, including the 1984 Genocide perpetrated against the Sikhs throughout India, and call on all sides to embrace truth, justice and reconciliation.” In response, India’s...

UN Security Council votes to end Haiti peacekeeping mission

The UN will withdraw its peacekeeping mission in Haiti by October 2017, the Security Council decided in a vote today. Unanimously adopting a new resolution, the Council decided that, after over 13 years operating in its current form, the UN Stabilization Mission, known by its French acronym, MINUSTAH, would gradually draw down its military component during the next six months, finally withdrawing from Haiti by 15 October 2017. Acting on the recommendations of the Secretary-General, the Council also decided to establish a successor operation, the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in...

South Sudan violence now genocide says UK international development secretary

The violence in South Sudan has now escalated to genocide, the UK’s International Development Secretary has said. The Secretary, Priti Patel visited South Sudan this week and said there is a “scorched earth policy” with “massacres taking place, people’s throats are being slit”. Speaking to the Associated Press, Ms Patel said villages were being burned down, women being raped and food being used as a weapon of war. “It’s tribal, it’s absolutely tribal, so on that basis it’s genocide,” she said. Ms Patel also said there was a need for increased International pressure to bring peace and...

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