Gandhi statue removed from Ghana University campus

A statue of Mohandas K Gandhi has been removed from the Legon campus on the University of Ghana in Accra on Tuesday night. The statue was initially unveiled in 2016 with the presence of the former Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and was meant to symbolise the unity between the two nations however this move caused a significant backlash with the students and academics, who criticised Gandhi's racist views towards Africans, describing them as inferior and using the derogatory term “kaffir”. This decision has further bolstered activists in South Africa and Malawi who are trying to remove...

US Senate calls for end to military support in Yemen war

The US Senate approved a resolution calling for an end to United States military support in the Saudi-UAE led campaign in Yemen. The final vote was 56-41 with seven Republicans defying their party by voting in support of the motion on Thursday. Speaking to Al Jazeera , a Republican Senator who sponsored the resolution said, “Warfare involves a lot more that a single battlefield and liens of military personnel firing against each other with guns.” Independent Senator Bernie Sanders, who also co-sponsored the resolution, said, “The United States will no longer participate in the Saudi-led...

Chile pulls out of UN Migration Pact

Chile announced this weekend it would be pulling out of the UN Migration Pact. The pact, whilst non-binding, offers guidance on how to protect migrants, help them integrate into society, and to help them return to their home countries when it no longer poses a risk. So far 150 nations have agreed to be signatories of the pact. Speaking on this issue Chilean ministry sub secretary, Ubilla said, “Our position is clear […] We have said that migration is not a human right. Countries have a right to determine the entry requirements for foreign citizens.” The Chile’s Progressive Party has responded...

Israel joins anti-illegal funding body

Israel has become the 38th member of FATF (Financial Action Task Force), a Paris-based international organisation which aims to tackle issues of money laundering and terrorism financing. Israel has stated that it has been an observer in the organisation since February 2016 but has now decided to follow up with membership after “successful mutual evaluation”. This would allow it a voice in setting the rules and agenda. It is suspected that Israel will use its position to leverage support against its regional enemies such as Iran, which has been under scrutiny by FATF, as well as pushing for a...

France arrests Central Africa Republic war crimes suspect

French authorities have arrested Patrice-Edouard Ngaissona, a senior leader and the National General Coordinator of a Anti-Balaka militant group in the Central Africa Republic. Ngaissona is charged with having led targeted attacks on the nation’s Muslim’s population in 2013-14. The International Criminal Court (ICC) further alleges he was responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity including “murder, extermination, deportation, persecution, torture, attacking civilians, and recruiting child soldiers”. The arrest was carried out on December 7. The ICC has since submitted a formal...

First round of UN sponsored talks on Western Sahara self-determination conclude

The UN Secretary General’s envoy for Western Sahara concluded talks between the the Polisario Front and Morocco, in what were the first political negotiations between the two sides in 6 years. Last week, two days of talks facilitated by UN envoy Horst Koehler, a former German president, ended with both sides agreeing to meet for a second round of negotiations in the first quarter of 2019. Morocco offered significant self-autonomy for Western Saahara, whilst Polisario Front assured that its local population numbering 350,000 to 500,00 has the right to a referendum on the territory’s future...

Police arrest Early Rain Church members in China

Chengdu police in South Western China have arrested dozens of Protestant Church members, in a crackdown on unregistered religious groups. Police are believed to have detained over a hundred members of the Early Rain Covenant Church, making the arrests at their homes. Under China's constitution there is a right to religious freedom, but this has been under attack since President Xi Jinping came to office six years ago. Jinping views religious freedom as a challenge to the continued authority of the Community Party. Under Chinese law places of worship are required to register with the state and...

Resolution condemning Hamas fails to be adopted at UN

A US sponsored resolution condemning Hamas' firing of rockets failed to be adopted at the UN General Assembly today. The resolution required a two-thirds majority to be passed, however, only 87 states voted in favour of the resolution. Sri Lanka was one of 33 states which abstained, along side 57 voting against. Hamas thanked UNGA member states who "stood by our people's resistance and the justice of their cause." The group criticised the US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, stating she was "known for her extremism and her positions that support the Zionist terrorism in Palestine".

Myanmar engaged in systematic attacks against Rohingya says US Holocaust Memorial Museum report

Myanmar has engaged in crimes against humanity as well as fostering “long-standing discrimination against the Rohingya population” whilst “ensuring impunity for perpetrators”, a joint report by United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide and Fortify Rights concluded. The report details how the army and police alongside armed civilians “razed villages”, “killed men, women and children”, “raped and gang-raped Rohingya women and girls”, and illegally detained “masses of Rohingya men and boys”, many of whom remain missing. The report also noted that within October and November 2016, the army alongside armed civilians engage in a “clearance operation” seemingly provoked by ARSA attacks on military outposts.

UN to host talks for political solution between Polisario Front and Morocco

The United Nations will host the first political talks between Morocco and separatist Polisario Front in 6 years, reports the National. Last month the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution extending the mandate of the UN Mission for the referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO). The talks under the auspices of the UN Secretary General Antonio Gutterre commence tomorrow. Morocco originally claimed Western Sahara after European colonisers withdrew from the region in 1975. Their claims to the region were disputed by the Sahrawi population who declared the region the Sahrawi Arab...

Pages