Author: npfdpk

Deploring attacks against civilians, peacekeepers, UN expert urges Malian parties to work together towards lasting peace

10 March 2015 – Condemning the “reprehensible” attacks on civilians and United Nations peacekeepers and facilities in Mali, UN independent expert Suliman Baldo today expressed deep concern that massive violations of the most basic rights continue to plague populations in areas affected by fighting. In a press release at the end of is his fourth visit to the country – from 1 to 10 March and including stops in Gao and Kidal – Mr. Baldo, Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali, noted the fragility of the cessation of hostility agreement signed in Algiers on February 19, and explained “the tensions created by the current situation of neither war nor peace has encouraged those who are not interested in peace to sabotage the ongoing efforts.” Against this backdrop, he said the recent terrorist attacks had led to five civilian deaths in the capital, Bamako, and to the attack against a barracks belonging to the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA) in Kidal that killed two Malian children and a Chadian peacekeeper, and injured 11 peacekeepers and three civilians. “These attacks against civilians and MINUSMA facilities are reprehensible and the perpetrators must be identified and brought to justice,” declared Mr. Baldo. The parties involved in the conflict in northern Mali continue to regularly violate the cessation of hostility agreements signed in Kidal and Algiers to strengthen and...

Read More

In South Sudan town devastated by conflict, UN official condemns forced child conscription

10 March 2015 – Individuals responsible for the recruitment of child soldiers in South Sudan must be held accountable for violating international law, the top United Nations official in the country declared today during a visit to the devastated frontline town of Malakal. According to a press release issued by the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Ellen Margrethe Løj, said she was “appalled” by the level of destruction she witnessed in the main market and teaching hospital of the Upper Nile state capital amid reports of child abductions in the nearby community of Wau Shilluk. A UNICEF education team recently reported, in fact, that 89 children were abducted in Wau Shilluk, where thousands of people have been internally displaced by the ongoing conflict. The actual number, however, could be higher. According to witnesses, armed soldiers surrounded the community and searched house by house. Boys older than 12 years of age were taken away by force. “I expressed my grave concerns about the forcible recruitment of boys recently at the Wau Shilluk village near Malakal and elsewhere in Upper Nile state,” Ms. Løj said in the press release. “I stressed the importance of holding accountable all those who engage in this unacceptable practice, and I shared with the Deputy Governor the assurances given by President Salva Kiir Mayardit to me last month that the boys...

Read More

Surge in ‘stunningly vicious’ attacks on albino children in East Africa, UN rights chief warns

10 March 2015 – The United Nations human rights chief expressed revulsion at a recent spike in gruesome attacks against people with albinism in several East African countries where in the past six months, at least 15 albinos were abducted, wounded, or killed, including three such incidents last week. “These attacks are often stunningly vicious, with children in particular being targeted,” said High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein in a statement to the press. “As a result, many people with albinism are living in abject fear. Some no longer dare to go outside, and children with albinism have stopped attending school because of the recent spate of assaults, murders and kidnappings,” he added. In Malawi alone, at least six incidents have been reported in the first ten weeks of this year, compared to four incidents recorded over the previous two years. In the south of the country, where several kidnappings and killings have taken place, groups of men are reported to be roaming around hunting for people with albinism. On 4 March, a 14-year-old girl was abducted by two men, but managed to escape. The following night, a two-year-old boy was reportedly kidnapped in another village. Four other attacks targeting people with albinism have been documented in Malawi since the beginning of the year. On 22 January, a nine-year-old girl with albinism was kidnapped and is believed to...

Read More

Attack in northeastern Mali that killed UN peacekeepers strongly condemned by Ban, Council

8 March 2015 – The United Nations today condemned in the strongest terms the attack in Mali that killed two Malian children and a Chadian peacekeeper with the UN Mission in the country (MINUSMA) and injured 11 peacekeepers and three civilians. Both the Secretary-General and the Security Council expressed their deepest condolences to the families of the victims of this heinous crime, as well as to the Governments and people of Mali and Chad, and to MINUSMA. “The killing of UN peacekeepers and civilian Malians is intolerable and a breach of international humanitarian law,” said a statement released by the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General about the attack, which took place in Kidal, in the North of Mali. “This flagrant attempt to obstruct progress at a crucial moment in the Malian peace process is reprehensible.” The Spokesperson’s statement added that the Secretary-General encourages all Malians to reject such violence and intimidation and to continue efforts to arrive at a peaceful resolution of the conflict, a sentiment echoed in the press statement agreed by members of the Security Council, who reiterated their support for the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Mali and MINUSMA to assist the Malian authorities and the Malian people in their efforts to bring lasting peace and stability to their country, as mandated by the Security Council in resolution 2164 (2014). Also reiterating their full support for...

Read More

Guinea-Bissau smashes child trafficking ring: police

8 March 2015 – Bissau (AFP) – Guinea-Bissau said on Sunday it had dismantled a criminal operation trafficking 54 children to Senegal, where it is believed they would have been forced by Islamic schools to beg on the streets. Police and migration agents rescued the group of children, aged five to 15, on Friday near a border crossing at Cambadju, a village 200 kilometres (125 miles) northeast of the capital Bissau. “Trafficking often happens with the complicity of the parents. In this case it’s parents trying to persuade us to let the children, who were going to a Koran-reading ceremony, cross over,” a local immigration police officer told AFP. “But given the large number of children, we suspected that this is trafficking.” Police said they had arrested two men believed to have been with the children, although two others escaped. The children were placed in temporary care while their legal guardians were sought. “This is the trafficking of children, probably to a Koranic teacher,” said Malam Balde, the head of the “Wakilare Cross-Border Initiative”, a local radio project campaigning against the practice. In Muslim-majority Senegal, where religious leaders have enormous social and political power, children have long been entrusted to teachers who educate them in residential Koranic schools, called daaras. But research by Human Rights Watch (HRW) has shown that in many daaras, the teachers are using education as...

Read More







Like Us On Facebook