Myanmar militarises Rakhine state after ethnic cleansing of Rohingya - Amnesty International

Myanmar’s Rakhine State is being militarised at an alarming pace, as authorities are building security force bases and bulldozing land where Rohingya villages were burned to the ground just months ago, Amnesty International said on Monday. After internationally condemned ethnic cleansing of the Rakhine state, Myanmar’s military is building bases where some of the Rohingya community homes and mosques once stood, said Amnesty International Citing evidence from satellite imagery, the rights organisation “Remaking Rakhine State” report published Monday, used eyewitness testimony and expert...

UN investigators identify South Sudanese officials accused of war crimes

Over 40 South Sudanese military officers have been identified by the United Nations as alleged perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity, highlighting a clear pattern of "ethnic persecution". In a report, released on Friday, investigators with the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, outlined allegations that military officials including generals and state governors had raped and murdered a number of civilians. The officials were not named in the report, which makes the case for "individual command responsibility for widespread or systematic attacks on civilians."

Cyril Ramaphosa appointed president of South Africa

Cyril Ramaphosa was elected president of South Africa by the country’s parliament on Thursday, after Jacob Zuma stepped down following weeks of intense pressure. Mr Ramaphosa said he would "continue to improve the lives of our people," and “work very hard to try to not disappoint the people of South Africa", as he accepted the position yesterday evening. He is set to deliver his first state of the nation address tonight. “There is widespread hope that Mr Ramaphosa will turn things around,” said the Guardian editorial . “Corruption has become deeply embedded both within the party and within...

Over 1 million allegations of war crimes in Afghanistan

The International Criminal Court has received over a million statements from Afghans alleging they have been victims of war crimes. Since the ICC started collecting material in November to decide whether to seek a war crimes investigation, the court has received 1.17 million submissions. The statements allege atrocities by groups like the Taliban and Islamic State, as well as by Afghan security forces, the US-led coalition, state-sponsored warlords and foreign and domestic spy agencies. Read more on ABC News.

New Sinn Fein leader pledges to work towards Irish unity referendum

The leader of Sinn Fein, Gerry Adams has stepped down after 34 years in his role, allowing Mary Lou McDonald to take over as the new party president at a special conference on Saturday. Mr Adams had announced his resignation in November last year. In her first address as party president, Ms McDonald said she would work towards a referendum on Irish unity. "I want us to achieve this with respect, graciousness and generosity," she said. "Irish unity cannot be a crude exercise of simply stitching north to south and returning to business as usual. "We do not want a 32 county free state. We want a...

Maldives Chief Justice detained as president declares martial law

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Maldives has been arrested after placing a court order on the President to release political prisoners, reports the BBC. Chief Justice Abdualla Saeed and another judge were arrested hours after the Maldives government declared a state of emergency. The state of emergency gives a range of powers to the security forces to make arrests and ban public gatherings. Last week the Supreme Court ordered the release of opposition politicians, whilst also ruling the 2015 trial of former President Mohameed Nasheed, who is now in exile, as unconstitutional. In a...

No tolerance for sexual harassment within the UN says Guterres

United National Secretary General António Guterres stated that the United Nations would not tolerate any sexual harassment within the institution, at the UN Headquarters in New York on Friday. Mr Guterres laid out a plan to be implemented across the UN, noting that issues such as sexual violence are rooted in power-imbalances and the patriarchal culture present within institutions. “This creates obstacles to upholding zero tolerance policies on sexual harassment, including here at the United Nations. I am determined to remove [those obstacles],” he said . For the first time in history, the UN...

UN Secretary-General meets president wanted for genocide

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres met with Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court over charges of genocide, whilst at the sidelines of the African Union summit reports AP. Mr Guterres’s deputy spokesman Farhan Haq confirmed that the secretary-general met with Mr Bashir on grounds of “operational necessity”. Operational necessities allow the UN chief to meet with the Sudanese president “from time to time” he added. He went on to state “that doesn’t obviate the need, of course, for respect of the International Criminal Court”. Sudan’s Foreign...

French activists file case against Rwandan genocide suspect

Activists in France have filed a case against a man accused of involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide this week. Michel Bakuzakundi, who reportedly lives in the French city of Le Havre, is accused of being involved in the killings that saw almost 800,000 Tutsis and Hutu supporters massacred. Activists from the Collectif des Parties Civiles pour le Rwanda (Civil Plaintiffs Collective for Rwanda), an organisation that works to prosecute genocide suspects living in Europe, filed the complaint which will be investigated by French authorities. See more from The New Times here .

Yemeni separatists capture Aden

Separatist fighters in Yemen have reportedly captured the defacto capital, Aden and surrounded the presidential palace. According to the news wire, Reuters, the prime minister and senior government figures are trapped inside the palace. Aden has been the government's base since 2014 when Houthi rebels from the North took control of Yemen's capital, Sana'a. Intensified fighting over recent months has plunged the country's population into what the UN has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis. Read more here , here and here .

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