Daily World News Digest, 3 December 2015

Boko Haram resurgence in Nigeria

Council on Foreign Relations issued a news on 2 December saying that President Muhammadu Buhari has repeatedly said that the Nigerian security services would destroy Boko Haram by December. The reality is that Boko Haram of late has been resurgent. Boko Haram destroyed a Nigerian military base at the end of November and occupied the town of Gulak, in Adamawa state. Separately, a military intelligence officer confirmed that 107 soldiers remain missing. Unspecified number of girls were kidnapped from Bam village, in Yobe state. Meanwhile, the UN Resident Coordinator in Cameroon, Najat Rochdi, is sounding the alarm that Boko Haram is expanding. Recent round of Boko Haram kidnapping of girls is a reminder that more than a year after more than two hundred girls were kidnapped from Chibok, not one has been found, though a handful escaped at the time. http://on.cfr.org/1QVMXeX

Tests started on bodies found on mysterious Korean ‘’ghost ships’’ found in Japan

CNN reported today that tests are being carried out on decomposed bodies found aboard so-called “ghost ships” that have entered Japanese waters in the past five weeks. Evidence found on the boats and their grim cargo suggest they came from North Korea. The Japanese Coast Guard says that it’s been happening for years, though it only has data for the last five. The Coast Guard hasn’t disclosed how many bodies were on board. The Japanese Coast Guard said it was not possible to confirm if all the bodies belonged to men, due to the level of decomposition. Autopsies are being carried out to determine their gender and age. However, many analysts say the victims are likely to be North Korean fishermen. Fishing nets were found aboard some boats. http://cnn.it/1jA9tLY

Ireland: Families of missing persons share their ‘‘unique pain’’

The Irish Times carried a story on 2 December saying that family members and loved ones of missing persons have shared stories of their “unique pain” at an event in Dublin for the third annual Missing Persons Day. More than 9,000 people were reported as missing last year, of which 17 cases remain unsolved. Of the 7,753 reported cases in 2013, 12 remain outstanding. Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan said the force was looking at “new and innovative ways” to collaborate with partners to ensure “no stone is unturned” in the search for a missing person. Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald paid tribute to the families and said that added that new legislation establishing a DNA database that was enacted last month will be a help in resolving missing persons cases. http://bit.ly/1TykbQ0

Sri Lanka government insists no new secret detention cells

Colombo Gazette, a daily from Sri Lanka, reported today that the Government insisted that there are no new secret detention centers operating in Sri Lanka. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told Parliament today that if anyone has information related to new secret detention centers then the Government will investigate those claims. Samaraweera said that the Government is also taking very seriously a report by the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances following its recent visit to Sri Lanka. The UN group had raised concerns over secret underground detention cells at the Trincomalee navy camp believed to have been used to detain people now reported missing. The UN group inspected the cells and at least one cell is said to have had writings on the walls indicating that a detainee was in the cell in July 2010. Tamil National Alliance leader Sampanthan however, said that secret detention centers still exist. http://bit.ly/1IFw7sZ

Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo reunite mother and son kidnapped by military junta

The Independent carried a story on 2 December saying that as a baby Mario Bravo was snatched from his mother in an Argentinian jail so fast that she never knew her child’s gender. This week, Mr Bravo, now 38, was returned to his mother in the latest success of the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo which has fought for years to reunite families torn apart by the Dirty War. Bravo’s mother, identified as Sara, brought her case to the grandmothers in 2007 and submitted blood and DNA samples in the hope that one day someone would come forward and make a match. That happened finally, when Mr Bravo acted on the suspicions he had long held about the story of his upbringing. He submitted a blood sample in August this year. It was cross-referenced with Sara finally on 19 November. http://ind.pn/1NrPgUG

China’s missing children

The Financial Times carried a story on 2 December saying that Zhaoyuan was playing by the village store when he disappeared. His worried grandparents found the toddler’s footprints in the path by the local temple. Nearly a year later, there are no clues. Zhaoyuan’s family has come to the grim conclusion that he is one of the thousands of children trafficked in China. The trade ranges from the informal — babies given up by impoverished rural families — to criminal gangs who kidnap children and sell them. The police are treating Zhaoyuan’s disappearance as a kidnapping. In China, babies and toddlers, especially boys like Zhaoyuan, are in demand for adoption. In 2009 police set up a national anti-trafficking task force and a DNA database to match parents with missing children. However, the reported kidnapping cases have climbed since then. http://on.ft.com/1SwRQZJ

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.