Monthly Archives: November 2016

Daily World News Digest, 17 November 2016

Mediterranean: 2016 death toll passes 4,500

Yahoo7News reported yesterday that at least 240 refugees had died in 48 hours of boat disasters in the Mediterranean as asylum seekers continue desperate attempts to reach Europe in worsening weather. Only 15 people survived one sinking off the coast of Libya on Monday, telling rescuers around 135 people who had been packed into their rubber dinghy drowned. At least 95 others died in a second disaster on Tuesday, with just nine bodies recovered from the water so far, pushing the death toll for 2016 over 4,500. The Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS), a rescue charity, said efforts in the Mediterranean were becoming more challenging than ever, with humanitarian efforts overwhelmed by the changing tactics of smuggling networks. The group said gangs appeared to be “industrializing” to meet demand as conflict and lawlessness continue in Libya, where asylum seekers report being detained, extorted and tortured…

Daily World News Digest, 16 November 2016

100 feared dead in Mediterranean after migrant boat capsize

Yahoo7News reports today that around 100 people were missing, feared drowned, in the Mediterranean on Tuesday after a migrant dinghy capsized off Libya, according to rescue teams frantically searching for survivors in darkness and rough seas. German NGO Jugend Rettet, whose boat was at the scene, said 23 survivors had been rescued by an oil tanker which was first to reach the stricken boat. “The crews are searching for survivors in the water and recovering dead bodies,” it added in a tweet. The survivors and four recovered corpses were transferred from the tanker to the Acquarius, a boat operated by another charity group, SOS Mediterranee. A survivor told one of that organization’s staff that the dinghy had begun to sink at 6:00 am, four hours before the tanker arrived.

Philippines: footage shows police abducting man  

Interaktyon, a news…

Daily World News Digest, 15 November 2016

Colombia government, rebels reach new peace agreement reported on 13 November that the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC) reached a peace agreement on Saturday to end the guerrilla warfare that has plagued the country for more than five decades. Meeting in Havana, the two sides solidified a new deal that alters the deal voters rejected in last month’s referendum. The new deal includes provisions for FARC fighters to face jail and community service, for the FARC to turn over financial information, and for investigations of crimes to begin within a narrower window of the next two years. It is unclear whether the new agreement will also face a voter referendum for approval.

Macedonia: convicted war criminal runs for parliament

Balkan Insight reported yesterday that the ruling VMRO DPMNE party has nominated Johan Tarculovski, the only Macedonian convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal…

Daily World News Digest, 14 November 2016

Mass grave discovered as Iraqi forces advance on Mosul

Yahoo news carried a story on 12 November describing how fighters of so-called Islamic State drove thousands of civilians across the Nineveh desert, retreating ahead of Iraqi advances on Mosul. It says IS fighters rounded up men, women and children for use as human shields and killed dozens of others. When Iraqi forces began to close in on a cluster of villages along the Tigris River valley, most of the militants fled into Mosul, taking thousands of civilians with them. But before the retreat, IS fighters also led hundreds to a garbage dump past an old IS training camp and shot them, leaving the bodies among the piles of trash.

Systematic “government campaign” of disappearances in Syria

Al Jazeera carried an article yesterday on what it says has been a government campaign of disappearances in Syria. “The countless disappearances…

Daily World News Digest, 11 November 2016

Mosul battle: ‘Iraqi forces’ tortured and killed villagers

BBC News reported yesterday that men dressed in Iraqi federal police uniforms are reported to have tortured and killed residents of villages south of Mosul, Amnesty International says. Evidence gathered by the group suggests that up to six people from the Shura and Qayyarah sub-districts were shot dead after being detained on suspicion of having ties to so-called Islamic State. The federal police forces command has denied the accusations. Pro-government forces launched an offensive to retake Mosul last month. About 50,000 Iraqi security forces personnel, soldiers, police, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, Sunni Arab tribesmen and Shia militiamen are involved in the three-week operation.

CID instructed to determine forensic expertise on Mannaar mass graves in unison with victims

Tamil Net, a news portal from Sri Lanka, reported yesterday that a magistrate in the district of Mannar in the north of the country…

Daily World News Digest, 10 November 2016

37 men fleeing fighting detained in Iraq

Human Rights Watch reports today that Iraqi and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) forces have detained at least 37 men from areas around Mosul and Hawija suspected of being affiliated with so-called Islamic State since the beginning of the Mosul operation. HRW has spoken to 46 relatives and witnesses, who described how security forces took the men from checkpoints, villages, screening centers, and camps for displaced people. Most said that they did not know where the men are being held and all of them said that the men have not been able to contact them while in detention. HRW notes that enforced disappearances, which occur when security forces detain and then conceal the fate or whereabouts of a detainee, placing them outside the protection of the law, are violations of international human rights law and can be international crimes. Depriving detainees of any contact…

Daily World News Digest, 9 November 2016

Iraq: remains in mass grave near Mosul identified

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Iraqi authorities on Tuesday began to identify bodies discovered in a mass grave in a village southeast of Mosul, as the United Nations said Islamic State militants had forced 1,500 families to retreat with them from the village into the city. Iraqi authorities said the remains of some 100 decapitated bodies found Monday by Iraqi troops as they advanced into Islamic State-held territory were likely those of members of Iraq’s security forces and their family members. The government dispatched a forensic team to the site, near an agricultural school in the Hamam al-Ali district about 30 miles from Mosul. The UN said last month that ISIS had executed 50 former police officers in the facility.

Kenya Minister denies claims of killings and disappearances

The Daily Nation, a newspaper from Kenya, carried an article yesterday about…

Daily World News Digest, 8 November 2016

Iraq: mass grave containing 100 bodies found near Mosul

CNN reported yesterday that a mass grave containing the remains of about 100 beheaded civilians has been discovered inside a school in a town south of Mosul, according to a statement issued on Monday by Iraq’s military. The mass grave was found by Iraqi forces in the School of Agriculture on the outskirts of Hammam al-Alil, a town that was recaptured from ISIS on Monday, Iraq’s Joint Military Command said. Special teams are being sent to the site to investigate the killings, the statement said.

Nigeria: talks with Boko Haram to free Chibok girls “ongoing”

The International Business Times reported yesterday that talks between the Nigerian government and Boko Haram are ongoing, according to Information Minister Alhaji Lai Mohammed. He denied allegations that the authorities have interrupted dialogue with the terrorists regarding the release of nearly 200 girls. Rumors that talks had…

Daily World News Digest, 7 November 2016

Three school girls missing in Assam

The Assam Times carried an article yesterday on an incident in which three girls went missing on Saturday from Udalguri district in the north of Assam, which is in the northeast of India. Family members and locals believe that the girls, all aged 14, were victims of a human trafficking group that has been active in this part of the state. The All Assam Gorkha Students’ Union and the Gorkha Sanmilon have appealed to police to take immediate action.

Mass Graves on the road to Mosul 

Buzzfeed carried a story on 5 November describing bodies and clusters of mass graves found on the way to Mosul. A former policeman explains how over the last two years he has been burying victims of Da’esh. “Five civilians in one hole became seven soon after, he remembered. Another pit held 15. He found about…

Germany Supports ICMP Colombia Project


7 November 2016: Germany is supporting an ICMP project to help the authorities in Colombia design and implement measures to account for missing persons. Under an agreement signed on Thursday by Germany’s Ambassador to The Netherlands, Dirk Brengelmann, and ICMP Director-General, Kathryne Bomberger, the German Government will provide funding for the initial assessment stages of ICMP’s Colombia program.

In this phase of the program, ICMP will examine the prospects for implementing measures to account for missing persons in Colombia following the 2 October referendum, in which voters narrowly rejected the current terms of a Peace Agreement between the Government of Colombia and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de ColombiaEjército del Pueblo (FARC-EP) to end five decades of conflict. A new round of negotiations is now underway.

ICMP will also assess challenges in the process of setting up institutional measures to account for missing…