Colombia’s Congress ratifies peace deal with FARC

Colombia’s Congress approved a revised peace deal with the FARC on Wednesday. By seeking approval through Congress, the government avoided another national referendum, which in October turned down the initial deal by a narrow margin. In the upcoming weeks FARC rebels are said to leave their camps and relocate to sites throughout the country, where they will disarm under the supervision of UN officials.

UN experts warn of genocide in South Sudan

UN human rights experts have warned of an impending genocide in South Sudan, after a commission found that ethnic cleansing is already underway in the country as violence continues. “The stage is being set for a repeat of what happened in Rwanda and the international community is under an obligation to prevent it,” said the Chairperson of the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, Yasmin Sooka. The commission carried out a 10-day visit to the country and will report to the Human Rights Council in March. “There is already a steady process of ethnic cleansing underway in several areas of...

Sunni fighters call for a Federal Iraq after Islamic State is defeated

Sunni tribes helping in the fight against Islamic State militants in Iraq, have called for a federal state structure once the Islamic state is defeated, reports Reuters. Fighters and community leaders from the Sunni community in Shayyalah al-Imam, a village near Mosul, expressed deep distrust in Iraq’s Shia-dominated governance, calling for deep changes once the war is over. One Sunni tribal commander, Abdel Rahman Ali, told Reuters that federalism modelled on the autonomous Kurdish region in Norther Iraq is the best option. Another Sunni tribesman who has been leading fights against Islamist...

Fidel Castro dies aged 90

The former President of Cuba Fidel Castro has died at the age of 90. Cuba’s incumbent president Raul Castro, announcing the news on television on Friday night, said, “With profound sadness I am appearing to inform our people and our friends across [Latin] America and the world, that today, 25 November 2016, at 10.29pm, Fidel Castro, the commander in chief of the Cuban revolution, died. In accordance with his wishes, his remains will be cremated.” Over half a century ago, Fidel Castro’s militant forces replaced the corrupt dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista and implemented communist rule over...

UN official accuses Myanmar of ‘ethnic cleansing’

A United Nations official has accused Myanmar’s government of carrying out “ethnic cleansing” with military operations in the Rakhine state, which has caused tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims to be displaced, following a UN Security Council closed door meeting on the crisis last week. John McKissick who heads the UN refugee agency UNHCR in the Bangladeshi border town of Cox's Bazar told the BBC that Myanmar’s military was engaged in “collective punishment of the Rohingya minority". "Now it's very difficult for the Bangladeshi government to say the border is open because this would further...

US names Syrian commanders responsible for killing and torture of civilians

The US Ambassador to the United Nations in New York Samantha Power named 13 Syrian military commanders that had been involved in killing and injuring civilians since 2011 through air and ground assaults, and detaining and torturing civilians reports Reuters. “The United States will not let those who have commanded units involved in these actions hide anonymously behind the façade of the Assad regime, said MS Power. The US Ambassador added, “Those behind such attacks must know that we and the international community are watching their actions, documenting their abuses, and one day they will be...

Hospitals in Aleppo out of service following heavy airstrikes says WHO

All hospitals in Aleppo have been deemed out of action following days of heavy airstrikes said the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Saturday. The White House national security adviser Susan Riche said the United States condemned “ in the strongest terms” the latest series of air-strikes against hospitals. The eastern part of Aleppo saw intense airstrikes from the Syrian army that started on Tuesday, reports Reuters.

EU and US agree to keep economic sanction on Russia

The US President and European Union (EU) leaders agreed on Friday to keep in place economic sanctions imposed on Russia over its encroachment into Ukraine. The agreement was made by six government heads at an informal summit hosed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, where close transatlantic cooperation between the US and EU was discussed. Incumbent US President Barack Obama urged EU leaders to work on common challenges with the incoming Trump administration “on the basis of the core values that define the United States and Europe as open democracies, said the White House. French...

Russia to withdraw from ICC

Russian president, Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to withdraw Russia from the International Criminal Court (ICC). The decision came after the ICC ruled Russia’s activity in Crimea was an “ongoing occupation”. Russian forces have also been accused of war crimes in Syria in recent months, with Human Rights Watch (HRW) and other groups calling for an ICC investigation. Russia became a signatory of the Rome Statute in 2000, but did not to ratify the treaty – rendering this decision a highly symbolic one. Tanya Lokshina of HRW said, “on a practical level it will not make much difference, but...

Bangladesh considers dropping Islam as state religion

Officials in Bangladesh are considering dropping Islam as the national religion. Dr Abdur Razzak, a member of the ruling Awami League Party, proposed that Islam be removed from the constitution during a discussion organised by the SAARC Cultural Society in Dhaka. “Bangladesh is a country of communal harmony. Here we live with people from all religions and Islam should not be accommodated as the state religion in the Bangladeshi constitution," he said He further added, “I have said it abroad and now I am saying it again that Islam will be dropped from Bangladesh’s constitution when the time...

Pages