Daily World News Digest, 6 July 2015

Srebrenica dead to be remembered

The Daily Mail reports today that thousands of men and boys killed in the Srebrenica genocide 20 years ago will be remembered at a service at Westminster Abbey today. More than 8,370 Bosnian Muslims were systematically murdered in the days after General Ratko Mladic and Bosnian Serb troops captured the town on 11 July 1995, during the Balkans conflict. The United Nations described it as “the worst crime on European soil since the Second World War”. Prime Minister David Cameron has led tributes and the Princess Royal will travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina on Saturday for Srebrenica Memorial Day. Mr Cameron said: “We must never, ever forget what happened at Srebrenica. The 20th anniversary is a moment to remember the many thousands who lost their lives and to remember their families and the missing.” http://dailym.ai/1giQkgD

Serbs ask Russia to veto UN resolution on Srebrenica

The Moscow Times carried a story on 5 July saying that Serbia asked Russia to veto a British UN Security Council resolution that would call the massacre of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys during the Bosnian war in Srebrenica genocide. Serbian state television said the country’s pro-Russian President Tomislav Nikolic has sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin “pleading” for a Russian “no” in the UN council when the resolution is expected to be tabled next week. Western nations and Russia have been dueling in the UN over whether the killings should be called genocide or not. Russia, which has close historic and religious ties to Serbia, has circulated a rival draft resolution which doesn’t mention either Srebrenica or genocide. The British resolution was intended to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the July 1995 slaughter. UN courts have labeled it genocide. http://bit.ly/1JPWsqj

Colombia to exhume Medellin graves

Yahoo News reported on 6 July that Colombian authorities will this month begin the grisly task of carrying out what could be the largest exhumation of unmarked graves in the conflict-torn country’s history, according to the local media’s report. Caterina Heyck, who is overseeing the operation for national prosecutors, told El Tiempo newspaper that the exhumation would begin 27 July in the Commune 13 neighborhood of Medellin. Investigators believe this area in Colombia’s second city has a large number of corpses of people killed in the country’s decades-long conflict. The South American nation is still in the grips of a half-century civil war that has drawn in left-wing guerrillas, right-wing paramilitaries and drug gangs at various times, killing more than 220,000 people and uprooting as many as six million. There is no official number of missing people, though estimates put the figure at between 15,000 and 20,000. http://yhoo.it/1Rfpyq5

UN body to investigate human rights violations in Eritrea

Sudan Tribune carried a story on 4 July saying that the United Nations (UN) decided to assign human right experts who will investigate alleged “crimes against humanity” committed by the Eritrean government. The decision comes after the UN Human Rights Council extended the mandate of the Special Rapporteur as well as the Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea. The Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea has recently released its report where it unveiled the government’s gross human right violations. The report has condemned the extrajudicial executions, torture, arbitrary and incommunicado detentions, enforced disappearances, sexual violence and other forms of right abuses by the regime. There are an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 political prisoners in Eritrea. http://bit.ly/1HGH6H8

Coup, repression fail to stamp out Egyptian military’s enemies

rfi news portal from Egypt reported on 3 July that the second anniversary of the military coup which toppled Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi had been marked. Hundreds have died and hundreds more are on death row as security forces crack down on dissent. President Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi promised stability, security and economic growth. His record has so far been lackluster and he has failed to stamp out opposition, according to many observers. “The Sisi regime created the threats that it now faces,” said former US diplomat Michele Dunne, a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace scholar who was denied entry in Egypt in December. There are reports that 40,000 people have been detained, some of them still being held incommunicado. There are concerns that at least 160 arrests may be considered enforced disappearances. http://rfi.my/1J00Sbp

Mexico: investigate new evidence that a military order may have provoked massacre

Amnesty International carried a story on 3 July saying that the Mexican civilian authorities must urgently investigate a recently uncovered military document that seems to indicate that the killing of 22 people in June 2014 was not the outcome of a clash between soldiers and a criminal gang as the military reported, but the direct result of an order to “take down criminals”. “This military order has come to light in the midst of the most grievous human rights crisis in Mexico’s recent history which has resulted in thousands of people killed or disappeared. It is fundamental that President Enrique Peña Nieto publicly condemns this act and makes a public commitment to human rights by ordering a prompt, thorough and independent investigation by civilian authorities into the way the armed forces are implementing the government’s security policy,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International. http://bit.ly/1ex3HZq

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.