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.
Iran's envoy to the UN has denounced US attempts to portray Tehran's conventional missile program as a breach of Security Council Resolution 2231 that endorsed a 2015 nuclear deal, saying Washington must first explain why it has, itself, violated that international document by abandoning the landmark agreement.
Majid Takht-e Ravanchi said Thursday that American officials are after creating a negative atmosphere against Iran's missile work at the world body, reaffirming that Iran's missile activities are not inconsistent with Resolution 2231 contrary to what the US claims.
He added that a US State Department official has met with members of the UN Security Council and the world body's Secretariat about Iran's missile activities with the intention of promoting Washington's false allegations against Tehran
"Our stance is clear; [the issue] of our missiles does not fall at all within the framework of Resolution 2231," Takht-e Ravanchi stressed.
Violence is on the rise in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Israeli authorities are continuing to demolish and confiscate Palestinian-owned homes and property, in contravention of international law, the United Nations envoy for the Middle East Peace Process said on Thursday.
“It is hard to articulate the flesh and blood meaning of the exposed lives Palestinians endure under occupation,” he said, calling on Security Council members to act to reduce their suffering.
Hours before Iranian President Hassan Rouhani takes the same rostrum, US President Donald Trump denounced the clerical regime as sowing “chaos, death and destruction” and doubled down on the US withdrawal of an international agreement on curbing Tehran’s nuclear program. “We cannot allow the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism to possess the planet’s most dangerous weapons. We cannot allow a regime that chants ‘Death to America’ and that threatens Israel with annihilation, to possess the means to deliver a nuclear warhead to any city on Earth. We ask all nations to isolate Iran’s regime as long as its aggression continues.”
“The United Nations’ members should not turn a blind eye to these threats and must take firms actions to eliminate all Israeli nuclear weapons,” Fars news agency quoted Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations Gholamali Khoshrou as saying in letters to the U.N. secretary general and the security council.