Daily World News Digest, 2 July 2015

Recalling “responsibility to protect” UN pays tribute to victims of Srebrenica genocide

UN News Centre reported on 1 June that during a high-level commemorative event in New York, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon paid tribute to the victims of the Srebrenica genocide, perpetrated 20 years ago, and which, he said, “will forever weigh on the collective conscience of the international community.” “We are here to remember the thousands who lost their lives in the genocide…We are here to tell the families and friends of the victims that we share their sorrow,” Mr. Ban said at the special event commemorating the 8,000 men and boys who were killed by Bosnian Serb forces who overran Srebrenica in July 1995 – the largest such massacre on European soil since the founding of the United Nations. http://bit.ly/1Hx9Hwt 

Britain, Russia at odds over U.N. Srebrenica genocide commemoration

Euronews carried a story today saying that a draft United Nations Security Council resolution commemorating the 1995 Srebrenica massacre does “not seek to bring up painful divisions nor point the finger of blame,” Britain said on Wednesday as Russia pushes a rival text it considers balanced. The British-drafted resolution has angered Bosnian Serbs and Serbia, who branded it as “anti-Serb” and sent a letter of protest to the United Nations. The British draft strongly condemns the genocide at Srebrenica and any denial of this genocide, while the Russian text instead condemns “the most serious crimes of concern to the international committee.” Russia’s Deputy U.N. Ambassador Petr Iliichev described the British draft on Tuesday as “divisive” because “it focuses on only one aspect of the conflict.” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, told the commemoration event at the United Nations on Wednesday that the Srebrenica genocide must never be forgotten. “Those who deny the genocide in Srebrenica today only embarrass and humiliate themselves,” said Power. http://bit.ly/1HyQRXG

Serbia, Hungary end row over border fence

Balkan Insight reported on 1 July that at a joint meeting of the two governments in Budapest, Hungary said the new border fence is not directed against Serbia and will prevent a further mass influx of illegal immigrants. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Wednesday said the plan to build a fence along the southern border was not a move against Serbia, praising the good relations between the two countries. In mid-June, Hungary said it was considering building a four-meter-high fence along its border with Serbia to stem the flow of illegal migrants. One of the concrete measures will be mixed joint patrols of Serbian, Hungarian and Austrian police on the Serbian border with Macedonia. Frontex, the EU agency that manages cooperation between national border guards, has reported the largest number of illegal crossings occurring at the land border between Hungary and Serbia. http://bit.ly/1H2pH8n

Groups ask US senator to keep restrictions on military funds for Philippines

The philstar news portal reports today that civil society groups, advocacy organizations and clergymen have written a joint letter to United States Sen. Lindsey Graham asking to maintain the restriction of military funding to the Philippines. The joint letter, dated 1 July, cited the restriction imposed on foreign military financing to the Philippines due to the military’s alleged involvement in extrajudicial killings. “The most recent restriction places limits on assistance to the Philippine Army while allowing assistance to the Navy. The groups cited the case of retired Army Gen. Jovito Palparan who has been arrested last year for involvement in several enforced disappearances in 2006. The groups also cited the State Department’s most recent Human Rights Country Report on the Philippines which noted that the “most significant human rights problems continued to be extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances undertaken by security forces and suspected vigilante groups.” http://bit.ly/1f403Hk

Interactive dialogue with High Commissioner for Human Rights needed in Nigeria

Human Rights Watch carried a story on 1 July saying that greater respect for human rights and the rule of law are essential if Nigeria is to manage continued economic, social and security challenges effectively. It is the conflict in the north east of the country that has involved the most egregious human rights abuses. Human Rights Watch believes that around 7,000 civilians have been killed since 2010 and more than a million people are displaced. The Islamist insurgent group, Boko Haram has targeted civilians, abducted hundreds of women and girls, forcefully conscripted young men and boys, and destroyed villages, towns, and schools. In responding to Boko Haram, Nigerian government security forces have been implicated in serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, including incommunicado detention, extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. http://bit.ly/1R6DzpL

Mumbai’s eastern suburbs account for highest 30 percent missing adults, minors

Times of India reports today that the city police on Wednesday said 5,894 individuals from all age groups went missing in Mumbai in the six months between November 2014 and May 2015. Out of the total missing cases registered, 17.5 percent (1,033 cases) involved minor boys and girls. Most of those who had disappeared were between 14 and 18 years. “We have managed to track down 75-80 percent of the total missing persons during the period. The overall tracking percentage shown is 90-100 percent which includes tracing of missing persons during the mentioned period and those who went missing earlier,” said Mumbai police spokesperson DCP Dhananjay Kulkarni. “Strife in the house, parents’ disapproval of teenage love affairs, pressure from parents on studies and quest of career advancement are the major reasons of teens and youths going missing,” said IPS officer-turned-lawyer Y P Singh. http://bit.ly/1f412qX

Mexico is stonewalling attempts to interview soldiers in case of the missing 43, panel says

VICE News carried a story on 1 July saying that more than nine months since the disappearance and likely massacre of 43 teachers college students in Mexico, a team of top-notch human-rights investigators tasked with looking into the case said they are still waiting for access to soldiers who might have witnessed or even participated in the attacks. The five members of a special independent panel convened by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, or IACHR, said in a press conference in Mexico City that Mexican authorities have not answered a request they filed three months ago to gather testimonies from soldiers. Panelists asked to interview 36 infantry troops from the Mexican army’s 27th battalion who could have been involved in the attacks against students from the Ayotzinapa Normal School in southern Guerrero state on September 26, 2014. The Ayotzinapa disappearances became an international lightning rod for protests against the Mexican government. More than 100 people have been detained overall in connection to the case. http://bit.ly/1Jzn92j

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.