Daily World News Digest, 24 January 2019

Pakistan urged to address enforced disappearances

The website of GeoTV from Pakistan carries an opinion piece arguing that, “If Pakistan is to stop the practice of enforced disappearances; it must start bringing those responsible . . . to justice. At the minimum, this would require recognizing enforced disappearance as an autonomous offence (and until such time, prosecuting such acts under existing laws); empowering independent institutions like the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) to investigate cases of alleged disappearances, notwithstanding the identity of the perpetrators; ensuring cases of serious human rights violations are only tried by civilian courts, including where members of the security apparatus are allegedly responsible; and as recommended by the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID), enacting “clear rules and dedicated institutions … to ensure the oversight and accountability of law enforcement and intelligence agencies”. https://bit.ly/2Wevvc1

Hundreds of bodies found in mass graves near former Da’esh stronghold

Kurdish forces have unearthed two mass graves containing hundreds of unidentified bodies near the former Da’esh stronghold of Raqqa in northern Syria, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Wednesday. It was not immediately clear if the victims were civilians or fighters. https://bit.ly/2AXME0I

Enforced disappearance in the Central African Republic

ReliefWeb reports that Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona has been transferred to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, by the authorities in France. Ngaïssona, a former militia leader, is accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the Central African Republic between December 2013 and December 2014, including enforced disappearance. https://bit.ly/2RIKjky

Germany seeks resolution of EU migrant distribution policy

Germany is pushing for a solution to disputes over the distribution of migrants rescued at sea so that Europe’s naval security mission can continue beyond March, Reuters reports. The EU launched “Operation Sophia” in 2015 to counter migrant smugglers in the Mediterranean and reduce arrivals. Germany decided this week not to replace its ship, the Augsburg, when its tour ends on 6 February, although it said another vessel would be standing by in the North Sea if needed. https://reut.rs/2UfeXik

IOM: 4,883 arrivals to Europe by sea in 2019, 203 dead

A total of 4,883 migrants and refugees reached Europe by sea in the first 20 days of 2019, a slight increase on the 4,466 who arrived during the same period in 2018, according to figures from the International Organization for Migration (IOM). It said there have been 203 deaths on the Mediterranean migrant routes in the first three weeks of January 2019. https://bit.ly/2RLFDdJ

Items in the 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.