Daily World News Digest, 19 December 2016

Mass graves must be protected in Iraq and Syria

The Conversation, a UK news portal, published a story on 15 December, dealing with conflict-related mass graves in Syria, Iraq, Cambodia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and other parts of the world, noting that while there have been calls from some European parliamentarians for mass graves in Iraq and Syria to be protected, “implementing adequate safeguarding has yet to become a priority for the international community”. The article goes on to note that there are “compelling reasons” for mass to be protected. “They hold evidence that is important for the criminal investigations needed to bring perpetrators to justice. At the same time, the families of the dead have a need and right to know what happened to their loved ones. This requires identification and repatriation of the bodies. All too often, mass graves are disturbed and contaminated, compromising these ends.” http://bit.ly/2hAS09K

Villagers persecuted in Myanmar, neglected in Bangladesh

Reliefweb reports today on what says is a government campaign of enforced disappearance against Rohingya residents of Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State. Amnesty International has documented the cases of 23 men who were taken away by security forces, without any information about their whereabouts or charges against them. Authorities have appeared to target prominent community members for arrest, including village leaders and religious leaders. These arbitrary arrests could amount to enforced disappearances under international law.  http://bit.ly/2hQ3T8K

7000 migrants died this year

The International Organization for Migration reported on 16 December that 7,189 migrants and refugees have died or remain missing on world migratory routes this year. This is the highest yearly number  IOM has ever recorded, and represents an average of 20 deaths per day, suggesting the deaths of another 200-300 men, women and children well may be recorded worldwide before 2016 comes to an end. Total fatalities compiled by IOM in 2014 (5,267) and 2015 (5,740) both fell hundreds of victims short of the 6,000 mark, a figure that was surpassed this year before the end of November. As in the previous two years, the number of deaths on the three principal Mediterranean routes linking North Africa and the Middle East with Europe accounted for over 60 percent of all deaths worldwide. IOM reports the number of migrants recorded as dead or missing and presumed dead – appears to be rising across all regions, including the Mediterranean, Northern and Southern Africa, as well as in Central America and in the United States-Mexico border region. Each already has surpassed those recorded in these regions through all of 2015, according to recent IOM data. http://bit.ly/2gRIn6O

Uganda Muslims protest against arrest of their leaders

allAfrica reported yesterday that Muslim residents of Uganda’s capital Kampala have accused President Yoweri Museveni’s government of persecution. They are demanding that the police authorities explain “endless arrests” of their leaders on what they call “bogus charges” under the guise of police investigations into a spate of killings that have rocked the country. The latest outburst was prompted by the arrest of seven Muslim clerics. http://bit.ly/2hYoyuT

18 Killed in Taraba Tiv, Fulani clash

The Vanguard, a newspaper in Nigeria, releases an article today stating that no fewer than 18 persons have been reportedly killed and many others missing in an ongoing violent clash between Tiv and Fulani in Taraba State in eastern Nigeria.  http://bit.ly/2gR6o9g

Items in Daily World News Digest are summaries of published reports relevant to the issue of missing persons, compiled by ICMP staff.  These items do not necessarily reflect the position of ICMP.