US and Arab nations pledge aid to Syrian rebels

Arab nations and the US pledged to assist the Syrian rebels on Sunday, agreeing to send $100 million in financial assistance and communications equipment respectively. Communications equipment, classes as non-military aid, is hoped to help the rebels to organise and evade Syria's military regime, and compliments a decision by other countries, such as UK , to increase aid. Addressing delegates at a conference held Sunday, US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton said , “ The world must judge Assad by what he does, not by what he says, ” “ And we cannot sit back and wait any longer .” States...

Kofi Annan - Assad regime agrees to withdraw troops

The Assad regime has agreed to withdraw its troops and heavy weapons from densely populated areas by the 10th April announced the United Nations-Arab League envoy, Kofi Annan. Meanwhile the United States, Britain, France, Germany and other countries remained cynical over whether President Assad will keep his word. The U.S. Ambassador, Susan Rice, said, “ Past experience would lead us to be sceptical and to worry that over the next several days , that rather than a diminution of the violence we might yet again see an escalation of the violence. We certainly hope that is not so." “So the United...

If threatened, Japan will intercept North Korean rocket

Japan’s defense minister, Naoki Tanaka, announced on Friday that the country's missile unit will intercept a North Korean rocket if it were to cross into Japan’s territory. The announcement came as North Korea prepares to launch a satellite into orbit at the middle of next month. Many countries including the United States claim that North Korea is testing its long-range missile capabilities through this satellite launch, which would violate international agreements. Concerns have also been raised that Japanese lives are in danger if there is a failed launch, leading to Japan deploying...

Rwanda welcomes France extradition

Rwanda’s Justice minister Tharcisse Karugarama has welcomed a decision by a French court to extradite Claude Muhayimana, a Rwandan with French-Rwandan dual citizenship. Muhayimana is accused of taking part in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and crimes against humanity. It is a remarkable gesture for France to have taken a step as the very first time a French court to agree that a genocide suspect should be extradited to Rwanda to face charges in a country a suspect allegedly committed the crimes, said Karugarama at a press conference in Kigali. France has previously extradited Rwandan genocide...

Pakistan president to visit India after 7 years

Pakistan's president, Asif Ali Zardari, is due to visit India on Friday - the first visit by a Pakistani president since 2005. Althought the visit is said to be a private pilgrimage to the shrine of Sufu saint in Ajmer, Rajasthan, President Zardari will have lunch with India's Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh in New Delhi. The visit is being seen as a sign of improving relations between the two countries.

Aung San Suu Kyi wins Burma parliament seat

Burma’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has won a seat in parliament after winning a by-election in Kawhmu, her party said on Sunday. Ms Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy contested 44 out of 45 seats up for grabs in Burma’s 664-seat parliament. Official results are not due until later this week. Aung San Suu Kyi said in a statement: "It is natural that the NLD members and their supporters are joyous at this point. "However, it is necessary to avoid manners and actions that will make the other parties and members upset. It is very important that NLD members take special care that the...

Assad will face justice – Navi Pillay

United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay has accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of being behind the systematic torture of children and the killing of civilians. Speaking to the BBC, Ms Pillay said Assad could stop the killings immediately if he issued an order and that he would face justice for the crimes committed by the Syrian forces. Asked by the BBC in an interview if he bore command responsibility for the abuses, Ms Pillay said: "That is the legal situation. Factually there is enough evidence pointing to the fact that many of these acts are committed by the security...

UK doubles aid to Syrian opposition

Foreign Secretary William Hague has confirmed the UK will double its non-military aid to the Syrian opposition. An extra £500,000 will be provided to opponents of President Bashar al-Assad, both inside and outside of Syria. The money will contribute towards the training for activists and journalists to help them get their stories out of Syria. Speaking at Mansion House in the City of London, Mr Hague warned the regime that its reliance on violence was not only morally indefensible, but also futile. "President Assad and his allies may look at the rubble of Homs, the abandoned streets of Idlib...

Kofi Annan demands immediate implementation of Syria peace plan

The peace plan proposed by the UN and Arab League envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, expects the Syrian Government to implement the peace plan immediately. The plan includes the need for an UN-supervised cessation of armed hostilities by all parties. However, reports by activists indicate the Syrian regime is continuing its offensive against rebel forces and shelling the city of Homs. Ahmed Fawzi, spokesperson for Mr Annan, told reporters in Geneva: “This is our great concern. We expect [President Bashar al-Assad] to implement this plan immediately. The deadline is now. "If you read the agreement...

Balochs welcome US human rights intervention at UNHRC

A coalition of Baloch political parties and figures welcomed the US intervention at the 19th session of the UN Human Rights Council, expressing concern over the deteriorating human rights siutation in Balochistan. In a statement released last week the Baloch groups and Baloch leaders welcomed the intervention as " long-awaited, necessary, encouraging and in the right direction to address the human rights issue ". The statement was signed by Baloch leaders, including Akhtar Meingal, Bramdagh Bugti, Hayrbiar Marri and Khan Suleiman D Ahmadzai, as well as ten leading Baloch resistance and rights...

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