Daily World News Digest, 19 October 2016

Burundi President signs decree to quit the International Criminal Court

Reuters published an article yesterday on President Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi, who signed a decree on Tuesday taking his country out of the International Criminal Court, after parliament voted overwhelmingly last week to remove the country from the court’s jurisdiction. The move is unprecedented in a continent whose leaders often complain that the court disproportionately targets Africans. On 12 October, just two lawmakers voted in favor of staying under the jurisdiction of the Dutch-based ICC, while 94 voted against and 14 abstained. In April, the ICC opened a preliminary investigation into Burundi, focusing on killings, imprisonment, torture, rape and other sexual violence, as well as enforced disappearances. Burundi’s government was infuriated last month by a U.N. report that named officials accused of orchestrating the torture and killing political opponents. Since then, Bujumbura has banned three U.N. investigators from its territory and condemned a U.N. decision to set up a commission of inquiry to probe the violence, which began last year after Nkurunziza decided to seek a third term in office. http://reut.rs/2e3npiD

Boko Haram: More than 1,000 persons have been abducted

YNaija, a news portal from Nigeria, reported yesterday that the Senate on Tuesday said more than 1,000 persons were being held captive by Boko Haram. The Upper Chamber urged those involved in the negotiations of the release of 21 Chibok girls to ensure that they rescue all others still in captivity. Senate Leader, Ali Ndume said other abduction were not given media attention the way the Chibok kidnapping was publicised.  http://bit.ly/2erpqT0

Mass grave contains remains of 80 Da’esh militants

Iraqinews reported yesterday that Al-Hashd al-Shaabi Command in Anbar Province announced on Tuesday the discovery of a mass grave containing the remains of 80 members of Da’esh west of Ramadi, and said the group is trying to hide the size of losses inflicted on it during recent fighting. Da’esh appears to have buried its dead members in the mass grave to hide the number of its casualties in the western areas of Anbar, Shia leader Sheikh Qatari al-Samarmad said in a press statement. http://bit.ly/2dNpVa0

Majority of Europe-bound refugees trafficked and enslaved

Telesur reported yesterday thatCAIRO according to a report released on Tuesday, a staggering 71 percent of migrants fleeing war and insecurity in North Africa have been victims of exploitation and human and organ trafficking while on their way to Europe. The report published by the International Organization for Migration gathered information for more than 10 months, surveying over 9,000 people who made the desperate journey to Mediterranean ports. Of those surveyed, 49 percent said they had been held in a location against their will in situations that constituted kidnapping and ransom during their journey to Europe. Many were forced to work against their will without payment, akin to slavery, to ensure their spot on a vessel. Longer transit time was related to more risk for refugees, with 79 percent saying they had experienced exploitation after spending more than 12 months outside of their country of origin. Those fleeing from North Africa to Italy via the Mediterranean Sea were over 10 times more likely to experience exploitation compared to those traveling by means of longer overland routes through Greece and Turkey. http://bit.ly/2ejYWYt

Italy: authorities bring ship with drowned migrants to the surface

CBS News carried an article yesterday about the recovery of a ship that sank on 18 April 2015. Twenty-eight people survived. Hundreds more were locked below deck. A year later, the Italian Navy returned to the site and used a complicated pulley system to bring the wreck to the surface. As the boat emerged from the water, the horror of what had lain below became clear. Meticulously, the firefighters filled 458 body bags. Many contained the remains of more than one person. The team expects to complete the autopsies this month. So far, all of the victims have been men and boys, mostly between the ages of 12 and 27. Officials have put the death toll in the shipwreck — the deadliest known migrant tragedy — at between 750 and 800 people, in light of the ongoing autopsies. That figure is in line with survivor estimates of between 700 and 800 victims. http://cbsn.ws/2dLCzq1

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.