Senior Kosovo politician detained on suspicion of war crimes

A senior Kosovo politician and former rebel leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) has been placed under house arrest by an EU judge. Fatmir Limaj has been accused of committing war crimes in the Kosovo War between the KLA and the former Yugoslavia. He is thought to have ordered the killings of Serb police men in 1999, in his capacity as a commander of the KLA. Limaj is the former Transport Minister and a close confidante of Prime Minister Hashim Thaci. All three parties to the conflict, Yugoslavia, the KLA and NATO, have been accused of committing war crimes. Several Serb politicians...

Bloody Sunday Victims’ families reject compensation, demand prosecution

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced compensation will be paid to those killed or injured on Bloody Sunday. "We acknowledge the pain felt by these families for nearly 40 years, and that members of the armed forces acted wrongly. For that, the government is deeply sorry," said a MoD spokesman on Thursday. "We are in contact with the families' solicitors and where there is a legal liability to pay compensation we will do so." However, some families of victims are reported to have rejected any compensation until there is at least one successful prosecution of a soldier.

UK's Cameron calls for UN action against persecution worldwide

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Thursday, British Prime Minister David Cameron urged the UN to founding principles and responsibility " to stand up against regimes that persecute their people ." “You can sign every human rights declaration in the world. But if you stand by and watch people being slaughtered in their own country, when you could act, then what are those signatures really worth?” "The UN has to show that we can be, not just united in condemnation, but united in action, acting in a way that lives up to the UN's founding principles and meets the...

Former IRA commander McGuinness in bid for Irish Presidency

Ex-IRA leader, Martin McGuinness launched his campaign to be elected Ireland's next president on Monday . McGuinness, currently the first minister in the Northern Ireland Assembly, was the commander in the Irish Republican Army for the city of Londonderry. He was jailed in the 1970s, charged with possession of bomb-making equipment and ammunition. Criticising the 'media fixation' on his time with the IRA, McGuinness stated, “ I don’t think I would have been invited to the Oval Office on three occasions to meet with three American presidents, or to Johannesburg to meet with Nelson Mandela, or to Brussels to meet with the president of the European Union, and indeed many other countries throughout the world, if people thought that my credentials in relation to the search for peace were in any way in doubt. ” Mc Guinness is considered to have been an integral part to the signing of the Good Friday agreement in 1998. The Agreement acknowledged that the views of both sides were legitimate. It included provisions for the release of paramilitary prisoners, as well as the 'normalisation' of the British security forces in Northern Ireland. Specifically it involved the removal of special emergency powers in Northern Ireland, reduction in the numbers of British armed forces deployed in Northern Ireland and the removal of British security installations.

Sarkozy calls for UN action in Syria

French President Nicolas Sarkozy urged the UN to support the Syrian people against the repressive measures taken by the Syrian Government, as members of the Arab League called for a suspension of Syria and Yemen from the body headquartered in Damascus. Sarkozy called on the UN to provide the same assistance to the Syrian people as to the Libyans. 'I wish the Security Council would assume all responsibilities for the protection, using appropriate methods, for the Syrian people against the repression of the condemned regime (in Damascus),' Sarkozy told a meeting at the UN headquarters in New...

France warns against veto of Palestinian statehood bid

Speaking at the UN General Assembly shortly after President Obama urged the Palestinians to abandon their bid for UN membership, the French President Nicolas Sarkozy warned a Security Council veto against the Palestinian statehood bid, 'risks engendering a cycle of violence in the Middle East'. Sarkozy's comments expose a clear divide between France and the United States, who have repeatedly asserted that the US will veto any such resolution at the Security Council. Sarkozy said, “Let us cease our endless debates on the parameters. Let us begin negotiations and adopt a precise timetable.” "Each of us knows that Palestine cannot immediately obtain full and complete recognition of the status of United Nations member state," "But who could doubt that a veto at the Security Council risks engendering a cycle of violence in the Middle East?" " Why not envisage offering Palestine the status of United Nations observer state? This would be an important step forward. Most important, it would mean emerging from a state of immobility that favors only the extremists .”

Former Mexican President sued in US for crimes against humanity

Ernesto Zedillo, former President of Mexico is being sued for alleged crimes against humanity for a massacre of 45 villagers in 1997. The former President from 1994-2000, now a Professor at Yale University, has had the lawsuit filed against him by ten relatives and survivors of the massacre, who claim that Zedillo was both responsible for the attack and helped cover up the killings. See report by The Associated Press here . The lawsuit alleges that Zedillo “knew or should have known that his subordinates were committing human rights abuses, and he failed to prevent the abuses or punish those...

US urges restraint in Yemen

Renewed clashes have killed over 50 anti-government protestors after two days of violence the AFP reports. The US embassy in Sanaa has called for restraint and a peaceful transfer of power from President Saleh to his deputy. "The United States regrets the deaths and injuries of many people during protest marches in Sanaa yesterday (Sunday). In this tense situation, we call upon all parties to exercise restraint," the statement said. "The United States continues to support a peaceful and orderly transition in Yemen, one which addresses the Yemeni people's aspirations for peace and security. "...

Netanyahu calls for talks as Palestine prepares membership bid

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has called to meet President of the Palestinian Authortity Mahmoud Abbas in New York this week for “direct negotiations”, as the Palestinians gear up to submit their statehood bid to the UN on Friday. Abbas told Fox News that he is willing to meet with “any Israeli official any time... But there is no use if there is nothing tangible." "I felt there is no way for negotiations because the American administration, including President Obama, exhausted their efforts to bring Netanyahu to the negotiating table. They couldn't convince him to cease the...

Pakistan refuses to hand over former ISI chief to war crimes tribunal

Islamabad has refused to hand over the former head of the country’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency, to an international tribunal investigating war crimes in Bosnia. Javed Nasir, a retired Lieutenant General, has been accused by The Hague of supporting Bosnian Muslim fighters, despite a UN embargo at the time, and has demanded his custody. Official sources told the Express Tribune that Pakistan has rejected the demand on medical grounds, saying that the former general had “lost his memory” after a road accident and would be unable to face investigations on the matter. Nasir apparently...

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