Monthly Archives: March 2015

Daily World News Digest, 31 March 2015

Germanwings DNA identification could take four months

Australian Associated Press reports today that it could take up to four months to identify victims from last week’s Germanwings crash using DNA, according to the head of the research institute carrying out the work. Francois Daoust, the head of the Criminal Research Institute of the National Gendarmerie in Pontoise near Paris, told dpa on Monday that it might not be possible to identify all 150 people who died in Tuesday’s crash in the French Alps. In the crash of an Air Algerie plane in Mali last year, the institute was able to identify 115 of the 116 victims. “The 116th we couldn’t identify because we couldn’t recover any of his remains,” Daoust said. The impact of Germanwings flight 4U9525 also occurred at a higher velocity than the Air Algerie flight.

Senator seeks change in Philippines missing persons legislation

The news portal…

Daily World News Digest, 30 March 2015

Germanwings crash: DNA of 78 victims found

The BBC reported on 29 March that five days after Germanwings flight 4U 9525 crashed in the French Alps killing all 150 on board, investigators say they have isolated DNA of 78 victims. Recovery teams have so far only reached the mountainside on foot or by helicopter to continue the search for human remains as well as parts of the aircraft, including the flight data recorder which is still missing. Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said work on an access road which would give all-terrain vehicles access to the area could be completed by Monday evening.

Hundreds of hidden human trafficking victims in Scotland, says minister

STV News reports today that there could be around 1,000 hidden victims of human trafficking in Scotland, according to the Justice Secretary. Official figures show that there were 55 people across Scotland identified as trafficking victims. However Michael…

Daily World News Digest, 27 March 2015


Mexico: Six months of frustration and failure in search for missing students

Amnesty International issued a statement on 26 March noting that, six months on from the tragedy, Mexican authorities have made “shamefully little progress” in their investigation into the enforced disappearance of 43 student teachers from Guerrero State.  “The past six months have been a period of heartbreak and torment for the family and friends of those who were forcibly disappeared last September. Despite worldwide attention on the issue, the Mexican authorities have failed to properly pursue all lines of investigation, especially the worrying allegations of complicity by armed forces. The Mexican authorities cannot wait even one day more, but must act now to bring those responsible to justice,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director Amnesty International. According to official figures, more than 25,700 people have disappeared or gone missing in Mexico in the last decade, almost half of them…

Daily World News Digest, 26 March 2015


Bosnian Serb leader calls for Srebrenica “Truth Commission”

Balkan Insight reports today on the fall-out from an interview given by Milorad Dodik, president of the predominantly Serb entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina, to the Serbian newspaper Politika on Wednesday. Among other things, Dodik characterized the Srebrenica massacre as “the biggest stain on the Serbs and an act of cowardice,” and he calls for “a new international commission to establish the truth of what happened”. Balkan Insight quotes Munira Subasic of the Association of Mothers of the Srebrenica and Zepa Enclaves as saying that numerous court verdicts have already clearly determined what happened in Srebrenica in July 1995. It also quotes President of the Women of Srebrenica Association Hajra Catic as saying that Dodik is trying to “change the facts about Srebrenica.” Both Subasic and Catic said they considered the idea of setting up a new commission 20 years after the crime…

Daily World News Digest, 25 March 2015


Boko Haram crisis: “About 500” Nigerian children missing

The BBC reported on 24 March that about 500 children aged 11 and under are missing from a Nigerian town recaptured from militants, according to a former resident of Damasak. A trader in the north-eastern town told Reuters news agency that Boko Haram fighters took the children with them when they fled. Troops from Niger and Chad seized Damasak earlier in March, ending months of control by the Islamist militants. A regional force has recently been helping Nigeria take on the insurgents. Boko Haram caused international outrage in April 2014 after it abducted more than 200 girls from a boarding school in Chibok town in north-eastern Nigeria’s Borno state. The group’s leader Abubakar Shekau has said the girls have been married off.

Eight missing persons declared hardcore militants

The News portal from Pakistan reports today that eight persons who had been reported…

Daily World News Digest, 24 March 2015

8,000 persons still missing after the 1992 – 1995 war in Bosnia

Bosnia Today carried a summary on 21 March of an interview with the Director-General of the International Commission on Missing Persons that appeared the same day in the daily newspaper Oslobodjenje. It noted that around 23,000 persons have been found and identified, but about 8,000 persons are still missing from the conflict of the early 90s. Bomberger said the key challenge now is to maintain public and political focus on finding missing persons. She pointed out that this task is more difficult because the number of people being found is falling every year. Therefore, it is necessary to take into account additional sources of information, such as aerial photography to locate clandestine graves.

20 “missing” in Bangladesh this year

The Daily Star news portal from Bangladesh reported on 23 March that rights group Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK)…

Daily World News Digest, 23 March 2015

Release of child soldiers in South Sudan

UNICEF reported on 21 March that up to 250 child soldiers including four girls, one as young as nine, have been released in South Sudan from an armed group, the Cobra Faction. Another 400 are being released over the next two days. The release happened in the remote village of Lekuangole, in Jonglei State. It is the third release of children following a peace deal between the faction and the Government. The Government’s National Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (NDDRC) and UNICEF are working together to care for the children and reintegrate them in their communities. The Cobra Faction have advised UNICEF that they have up to 3,000 child soldiers in their armed group. UNICEF Representative in South Sudan, Jonathan Veitch said this release takes the number of child soldiers demobilized to 1,314. “While we welcome freedom for the children, we are also…

Daily World News Digest, 20 March 2015

9/11 victim identified through DNA 13 years on

ITV News reports today that a man who died in the 9/11 attacks in New York has been formally identified more than 13 years after the event. New York City’s Chief Medical Examiner’s Office (OCME) announced today that they have identified through DNA 26-year-old Matthew David Yarnell from New Jersey. Yarnell, an assistant vice president for technology at Fiduciary Trust International, was in the South Tower, the second building to be struck by a plane on 11 September 2001. His remains were among those recovered in the original search for remains in 2001 and 2002, but were not identified until additional DNA testing. The identification brings the total number of positively identified victims in the attack to 1,640 out of 2,753 people reported missing. Almost 40 percent of the victims remain unidentified.

Missing persons issue “a scar on Pakistan democracy”

The Pakistan…

The Right to the Truth

19 March 2015: Participants at a Roundtable organized by ICMP in Sarajevo today highlighted the underlying fact that accounting for the missing in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the responsibility of the authorities.

The BiH Law on Missing Persons, and the Declaration signed by Western Balkans leaders in Mostar last summer assert the fundamental obligation of the state to address the issue of missing persons, and to ensure that the rights of family members are upheld and that survivors and civil society have access to information and a proper investigation.

Officials at every level of government are obliged to cooperate – fully and effectively – in accounting for the missing, whatever their ethnicity, whatever the circumstances of their disappearance.

A key way of doing this is to consolidate, review and verify records of the missing. The BiH authorities created the Central Evidentiary List of the Missing (CEN) in 2011. However, only around half…

Daily World News Digest, 19 March 2015

#Every90Seconds: Significant facts about missing kids

The WUSA9 News portal reports today that in the United States a child goes missing approximately once every 90 seconds, adding that, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, nearly 800,000 children are reported missing in a year; approximately 10% of those children are classified as non-family abductions; the most prevalent type of reported missing children in the US are runaway or abandoned children; and one in six endangered runaways reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in 2014 were likely sex trafficking victims.

Thailand urged to investigate alleged torture in military custody

Human Rights Watch issued a statement on 18 March calling on the authorities in Thailand to investigate the alleged torture of suspects held incommunicado in military custody. Four suspects in a grenade attack on the Bangkok criminal court alleged that they were tortured while being held…