UN to investigate deaths of peacekeepers in Congo

The UN Secretary General, António Guterres on Friday announced the UN would commence an investigation into the killing of 15 peacekeepers in Congo in December. The peacekeepers, who were from Tanzania, were killed during an attack on a base in North Kiru province of Congo. The investigate team will include two military officers from Tanzania.

Myanmar criticises US sanctions on military general

Myanmar’s government has spoken out against sanctions placed on a general accused of leading the ethnic cleasning campaign of the Rohingya in the Rakhine state. “This targeted sanction is based on unreliable accusations without evidence, as we have repeatedly said, so we feel sad for that,” Zaw Htay, a spokesman for Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, told Reuters. The general, Maung Maung Soe, "oversaw the military operation in Burma's Rakhine State responsible for widespread human rights abuse against Rohingya civilians," said a US Treasury statement. US officials also added that it...

No compromise on Falklands self-determination says British PM

British Prime Minister Theresa May pledged that she would “never allow” any compromise on the self-determination of the Falkland Islanders, in a Christmas radio message last week. “I want you to know that I will never allow anyone to compromise your right to self-determination – a right you freely expressed in the 2013 referendum; and a legacy for which so many paid the ultimate price,” she said in the message that was relayed out to the islands. “You can count on me as a UK Prime Minister who will do everything possible to support you in realising the full potential of these islands,” she...

HRW calls for prosecution of Yazidi militias

Human Rights Watch has called for the prosecution of Yazidi fighters over their involvement in executing 52 civilians as part of an alleged revenge attack earlier this year. “As the ground fighting against ISIS winds down in Iraq, state security forces need to turn their focus to preventing retaliation and upholding the rule of law,” said Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Past atrocities against the Yezidis don’t give its armed forces a free pass to commit abuses against other groups, whatever their past.” Speaking to The National. Belkis Wille, senior Iraq...

Thousands of Palestinians protest for 4th Friday in a row over US policy

Thousands of Palestinians protested for the fourth Friday this month against the US president's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Protesters marched on the streets in Gaza and the West Bank, chanting “Death to America, death to Israel, and death to Trump”. According to local health officials at least 50 Palestinians have been injured by live fire by Israeli troops. Mr Trump's decision has been widely condemned internationally, with the UN General Assembly on passing resolution December 21, condemning the US decision, with 128 states voting in favour of the resolution and 9...

German police detain Bosnian man over alleged war crimes in 1990s

Police in Bavaria, Germany on Thursday detained a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina over alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in the former Yugoslavia during the 1990s. The man was detained at Munish airport following an arrest warrant issued by Interpol, reports Sputnik. He is alleged to have involved in acts of torture and executions of civilians. Read more here .

Ukraine swaps over 300 prisoners with separatists

The Ukrainian government and separatists reportedly backed by Russia have carried out the largest prisoners swap to date, since violence erupted in the region in 2014. Ukraine handed over 246 prisoners that it had in its custody in exchange for 74 prisoners who were being held by separatist forces. The prisoner swap is the largest to date, since the signing of the 2015 Minsk peace agreement. Germany’s foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel said the swap "is an important step in the implementation of the Minsk agreements” and called for further steps to be taken. Both sides hailed the swap, with the...

Bosnian court sentences former fighter over war crimes

A former fighter, Azra Bašić was found guilty by a Bosnian court of committing war crimes during the 1990s Balkan war. Ms Bašić who is 58 years old was sentenced to 14 years in prison. She was found guilty of atrocities including the murder of a detainee who she stabbed in the neck and torture. Known as "the mistress of life and death", Ms Bašić was said by the judge to have exhibited "particular cruelty" towards detained ethnic Serbs.

South Korea and Japan clash over reparations for sex slaves

The governments of South Korea and Japan have clashed over a 2015 reparations agreement on the use of wartime sex slaves by Japan. South Korean President Moon Jae-in said the deal on the enforced sex slaves – or ‘comfort women’ as they have been termed – was “seriously flawed”. Tens of thousands of Korean women and girls were forced to work in Japanese military brothels during the Second World War. Mr Moon’s remarks come after a panel set up by South Korea found the 2015 deal failed to meet victims’ needs. “This runs afoul of the established universal principle of the international community...

German investigators uncover nine new cases of Nazi war crimes

Investigators in Germany have handed over nine new cases of war crimes committed by Nazis during World War Two to authorities, for possible prosecution of the perpetrators. Die Tageszeitung reported this week that the cases all involved guards at concentration camps run by the Nazis at Auschwitz, Mauthausen, Buchenwald and Ravensbrueck. All of the accused are in their early to mid-90s, reports the AP. Several Nazi war criminals have been successfully prosecuted in recent years.