“Individuals in the Government of Yemen and the coalition, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, may have conducted airstrikes in violation of the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution, and may have used starvation as a method of warfare, acts that may amount to war crimes,” it said.
Kenya is urging the UN to list Al-Shabaab under the same sanctions as Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, but foreign donors say the move could leave millions in drought-stricken Somalia without aid. The proposed listing — which could take effect as soon as Thursday — comes at a critical time in Somalia, where 2.2 million people, or nearly 18 percent of the population, face the risk of severe hunger. Al-Shabaab is already targeted under broader sanctions imposed by the United Nations on Somalia, which is heavily aid-dependent after three decades of conflict and economic ruin. Right now, UN agencies and humanitarian organisations are exempt from these sanctions, which enables them to deliver urgent aid without prosecution when they venture into territory controlled by Al-Shabaab. But Kenya wants to tighten the screws on the jihadist group after several deadly attacks on its soil, and the sanctions regime it proposes would remove that safeguard. “A measure like this will have the effect of criminalising humanitarian aid,” Eric Schwartz, president of Refugees International, told AFP. “Any measure that would impact the current provision of aid would have extremely serious and substantial implications.” If no member state objects before August 29 the Al-Shabaab listing under Security Council resolution 1267 will take immediate effect. Hundreds of millions of aid dollars for Somalia will then be thrown into doubt. In some cases, foreign donors said they may need to freeze payments for up to a year as they consider how to comply with the new sanctions,
In the desert of western Libya, hundreds of African migrants were held for months in a hangar filled with maggot-covered garbage and sewage. They shared a couple of buckets of water between them and barely survived on one meal a day. More than 20 died from disease and hunger, they said. The migrants and their advocates accused U.N. aid agencies of turning a blind eye or responding too slowly to their plight. The U.N refugee agency, or UNHCR, denies it’s been unresponsive, saying it has been unable to access parts of the facility, run by one of Libya’s many militias. The commander in charge of the facility denied there was any lack of access. Internal memos and emails leaked to The Associated Press also show disagreement among the UNHCR and other aid agencies over conditions at the site in the town of Zintan, with one NGO working on behalf of UNHCR denying there was lack of food, even as it acknowledged it hadn’t been able to see the majority of migrants held there. The suffering of the migrants held in Zintan underscores the impact of the European Union’s effective yet much-criticized policy of blocking Africans from sailing across the Mediterranean to its shores and keeping them in Libya. Funded and trained by the EU, Libyan border guards have been stepping up efforts to stop migrants from crossing. As a result, thousands of migrants are trapped in a country thrown into chaos by war. At least 6,000 are locked up in
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other senior Saudi officials should be investigated over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi since there is credible evidence they are liable for his death, a U.N. rights investigator said on Wednesday. Saudi Arabia’s minister of state for foreign affairs, Adel al-Jubeir, rejected the investigator’s report as “nothing new”. He added in a tweet: “The report of the rapporteur in the human rights council contains clear contradictions and baseless allegations which challenge its credibility.” Khashoggi’s killing provoked widespread disgust and damaged the image of the crown prince, previously admired in the West for pushing deep changes including tax reform, infrastructure projects and allowing women to drive. Agnes Callamard, the U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, called on countries to invoke universal jurisdiction for what she called the international crime and make arrests if individuals’ responsibility is proven. In a report based on a six-month investigation, she also urged countries to widen sanctions to include the crown prince, who many consider the kingdom’s de facto ruler, and his personal assets abroad, until and unless he can prove he has no responsibility. Khashoggi, a critic of the prince and a Washington Post columnist, was last seen at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct 2 where he was to receive papers ahead of his wedding. His body was dismembered and removed from the building, the Saudi prosecutor has said, and his remains have not been found. “What needs to be investigated is the extent to
The U.N. Security Council approved a resolution Thursday extending an arms embargo and other sanctions against South Sudan over objections from African nations, Russia and China that the measure won’t help promote peace. The U.S.-sponsored resolution received 10 “yes” votes — one more than the minimum required for adoption — and five abstentions from South Africa, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Russia and China. A fragile peace deal to end a five-year civil war that killed nearly 400,000 people was signed in September. But the committee overseeing its implementation says key elements have yet to be put in place. South Sudan had faced a May 12 deadline for opposition leader Riek Machar to return to the country and once again become President Salva Kiir’s deputy. It is the crucial next step in implementing the peace deal, but both South Sudan’s government and Machar’s opposition requested a six-month extension, which regional ministers approved earlier this month. Acting U.S. Ambassador Jonathan Cohen expressed disappointment at the lack of African support for renewing the sanctions, stressing that “if there is to be any chance for lasting peace in South Sudan we must stop the flow of weapons used to fuel conflict and terrorize civilians.” He said the Trump administration wants to support African bodies taking leading roles in resolving disputes and conflicts on the continent but “support for this expanded role is difficult to envision if countries in the region are unwilling to support measures that incentivize warring parties to choose peace over war.”
“Hate speech is spreading and public discourse is being coarsened. Social media is being exploited as a platform for bigotry. We must all show solidarity in response to this dangerous upsurge in hatred,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a speech outside the mosque.
The UN chief António Guterres expressed his admiration for Jacinda Arden’s rapid and decisive response to the mass shootings, which saw the Government immediately take measures to significantly strengthen gun control legislation, and her call to prevent hate speech on social media and the Internet.