Daily World News Digest, 29 March 2017

Colombia’s Congress approves transitional justice system

Colombia Reports carries an article today on the approval granted yesterday by Colombia’s congress for the transitional justice system that will try war crimes committed during the country’s 53-year conflict. The transitional justice system, consisting of a Transitional Justice Tribunal, a Truth Commission and a Missing Persons Unit, is a key part of the peace deal between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), ratified by the Colombian Congress at the end of November last year. Under the peace agreement, ICMP is tasked with providing recommendations on establishing the Search Unit to account for those who have gone missing as a result of the conflict. http://bit.ly/2nfSQY8

Call for release of detainees in South Sudan

Anadolu Agency reported yesterday that in an open letter sent on Tuesday to South Sudan President Salva Kiir, Amnesty International Secretary-General Salil Shetty called for the release of all those detained without charge by the South Sudanese security agencies. Since the start of South Sudan’s current conflict in December 2013, the National Security Service (NSS) and the Military Intelligence Directorate have carried out hundreds of arbitrary arrests, prolonged detentions and enforced disappearances of individuals perceived as government opponents, Amnesty says. Shetty called for victims of arbitrary detention and torture and relatives of individuals who have died or disappeared while in government custody to be provided with reparation, including financial compensation and physical and psychological rehabilitation. http://bit.ly/2o5mN1u

Bodies of 2 UN researchers found in the Democratic Republic of Congo

The New York Times reported today that the bodies of two UN researchers have been found in a grave in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Both were members of a Group of Experts appointed by the Security Council to investigate the insurgency in the Kasai-Central Province of the DRC. On Tuesday night, UN Secretary-General António Guterres confirmed their deaths and called on the Congolese authorities to “conduct a full investigation into this incident” and to continue the search for four Congolese nationals who were with the two expatriate UN workers and who are still missing. The group was reported missing on 12 March. http://nyti.ms/2nzqqM7

Advocacy centers call for lift of restrictions against Kurdish journalists

NRT, a news agency from the Kurdistan region of Iraq, reports today that two journalist advocacy groups, Metro Center and the Campaign to Protect Journalists (CPJ), have called on the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to lift restrictions on journalists covering the fighting in Mosul and Raqqa. KRG officials have promised to provide broader media freedom and to take further measures against those responsible for the assassination of journalists. According to a report by Metro, 175 violations have been recorded against 148 journalists in the Kurdistan Region, including murder, injury, illegal detention, and breaking and seizing of equipment. http://bit.ly/2nhWdhQ

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.