Daily World News Digest, 3 February 2015

UN court dismisses Croatia and Serbia genocide claims

The BBC reports that the International Court of Justice has ruled that Serbia and Croatia did not commit acts of genocide against each other during the Balkan wars. The Croatian government had alleged that Serbia committed genocide in the town of Vukovar and elsewhere in 1991. Serbia later filed a counter-claim over the expulsion of more than 200,000 Serbs from Croatia. The Croatian town of Vukovar was devastated when it was occupied by Serbs for three months in 1991. Tens of thousands of ethnic Croats were displaced, and about 260 Croat men were detained and killed. Four years later, the Croatian military’s Operation Storm bombarded the majority ethnic-Serb Krajina area, forcing about 200,000 people from their homes. Speaking in court on Tuesday, Judge Peter Tomka dismissed both the Croatian claim and the Serbian counter-claim. Forces on both sides had carried out violent acts during the war, Judge Tomka said. However, neither side had provided sufficient evidence to demonstrate the “specific intent required for acts of genocide”. http://bbc.in/1uSYe0T

Police search for 4,000 missing children every month in Turkey

The Hurriyet Daily News in Turkey reported on 2 February that Turkish police search for nearly 4,000 missing children every month, and that 2,600 people have been found in the past four months. The Turkish national police launched a special team in 2013 of 5,000 experts and police to improve searches for missing persons. Some of those who have been found in the last four months, had been missing for more than 20 years, the paper said. http://bit.ly/1uTirn6

Argentina’s stolen children

Russia Today broadcast a documentary on 29 January on the estimated 500 children in Argentina who had their identities erased in the 1970s after their parents were murdered and the children were give for adoption to families that were considered loyal to the regime. The report includes interviews with grandparents of lost children and with childre who have been able to recover their identiy, and examines the campaign to address the issue through political and legal initiatives. http://bit.ly/1HRltDJ

International “naming and shaming” not enough in Mexico

On 2 February the Open Democracy web portal published an analysis of the impact of international “naming and shaming” on the approach by Mexican authorities to the country’s missing persons crisis. Noting that the enforced disappearances of 43 university students in the town of Iguala in September appear to be only the tip of a human rights violations iceberg and that many of Mexico’s tens of thousands of disappearances over the past years are likely to have been the result of state actions, including police acting in collusion with criminals, the report argues that international outrage over past human rights crises in Mexico has failed to generate authentic reform on the part of the authorities. http://bit.ly/1zC2Tdt