UN Sec-Gen sacks commander of UN peacekeeping forces in South Sudan for failure to protect civilians

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon sacked the commander of the peacekeeping forces in South Sudan following a damning report that accused the UN forces of failing to protect civilians during outbreaks of violence in July. The report of the UN special investigation found that a lack of leadership in the UN mission, culminated in a “chaotic and ineffective response” during the heavy fighting South Sudan that killed dozens of people this summer. Peacekeepers abandoned their posts and failed to respond to pleas from aid workers under attack, reports Reuters. The UN Secretary General’s...

Rwanda accuses 22 French army officers of genocide

The Rwandan government this week named 22 French senior military officials accused of aiding in the planning and execution of genocide in 1994. According to Rwanda’s National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide, the French officers were involved as both perpetrators and accomplices. Acts said to be perpetrated in Rwanda included the establishment of tools for genocide, leading in acts of torture and concealing crimes committed by the Juvénal Habyarimana regime. The statement also included the names of 3 officers from Paris believed to be involved in crimes. “As supreme commander of the...

Turkey rejects criticism for detention of opposition newspaper editor

Turkey’s prime minister rejected criticism for the detention of senior journalists at an opposition newspaper, adding that he would not be brought to heel by international threats. Speaking in parliament today about EU criticism Binali Yildirim said, “We don’t care about your red line. It’s the people who draw the red line. What importance does your line have? We have no problem with press freedom. This is what we can't agree with our European friends. They always bring up press freedom when we take steps in our fight against terrorism.” The United States and European Parliament both voiced...

UK re-elected to serve 3 year term on UN Human Rights Council

The United Kingdom was voted to on to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for the term January 2017 to December 2019, on Monday. The decision came following an eleven month campaign by the to secure another term as a voting member of the Human Rights Council. Speaking in New York today, the British Human Rights Minister Baroness Anelay, said, “I am delighted that the UK has been re-elected to serve a further three year term on the Human Rights Council. The UK has been a strong advocate of the vital work the Council since its inception, and we are honoured to continue to serve as a...

Northern Ireland likely to seek special status with EU after Brexit

Northern Ireland could have a different relationship to the European Union’s single market compared to the rest of the United Kingdom following its exit from the EU, said the leader of the British province. Northern Ireland’s First Minster Arlene Foster has repeatedly said she wants to avoid having a “hard border” with customs checks with the Republic of Ireland. Speaking to Reuters on Saturday, Ms Foster said that Northern Ireland may seek a special status in relation to either the customs union or the EU’s single market. Speaking at her annual party conference, Ms Foster said, “Because of...

ICC prosecutor ‘deeply concerned’ over extrajudicial killings in the Philippines

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said she was “deeply concerned” over the spate of extrajudicial killings that have taken place in the Philippines since President Rodrigo Duterte came in to power earlier this year. Fatou Bensouda said she was "deeply concerned about these alleged killings and the fact that public statements of high officials of the republic of the Philippines seem to condone such killings". Almost 3,000 people are thought to have been killed since Mr Duterte launched a crackdown on the drug trade in June. As many as 1,566 suspects have died in police...

Californian cities recognise massacre of Sikhs as genocide

The cities of Fowler and Madera in California have recognised the 1984 killings of Sikhs in India as genocide, last week. The total number of American cities that have labelled the killings as genocide now stands at eight. Kerman City Council member Bill Nijjer posted on social media: “I’m very proud to announce that the City of Madera has passed a Resolution recognizing the 1984 Anti-Sikh Violence as GENOCIDE. Thank you to the Madera citizens who showed great leadership on this great accomplishment.” See more here .

Gambia announces withdrawal from the International Criminal Court

Gambia announced its withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC) after accusing the tribunal of acting towards the “persecution and humiliation of people of colour, especially Africans”. The announcement follows the withdrawal of South Africa and Burundi earlier this month. Allegations of bias against Africa have been a common criticism presented against the body, with Gambia’s information minister Sheriff Bojang stating, “there are many Western countries, at least 30, that have committed heinous war crimes against independent sovereign states and their citizens since the creation...

Venezuela's opposition rallies against incumbent president

Opposition supporters rallied throughout Venezuela against the incumbent socialist President Nicolas Madura, reports Reuters The rally was led by a coalition of opposition leaders who criticise Mr Maduro of preventing a change in leadership and resorting to dictatorship/ Maduro said he was convening a special Committee for the Defence of the Nation at his presidential palace on Wednesday. The opposition have been calling for a recall referendum, alleging that the president won the most recent elections on fraud.

UN report denounces global assault on freedom of expression

The UN Special Rapporteur on the freedom of opinion and expression David Kaye has released a report on the violations of freedom of expression globally. The report includes a survey of official communications with governments that have reportedly violated international human rights law in the area of freedom of expression. Trends show that governments utilize national security and public order justifications to restrict media, activists and critical voices. He states, “Many times governments provide not even the barest demonstration that such restrictions meet the legal tests of necessity and...

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