Daily World News Digest, 8 May 2017

Srebrenica survivor’s eyewitness testimony

On 6 May, the BBC broadcast a documentary on Srebrenica, the town in Bosnia and Herzegovina where Europe’s worst atrocity since the Second World War took place. Some local politicians, and the new mayor, refuse to accept that genocide occurred, despite the findings of international courts and the testimony of survivors. Nedzad Avdic, who survived the massacre of 8,000 men and boys in July 1995, returned ten years ago to live in the town and bring up his family there. He now faces a new struggle for truth. http://bit.ly/2qHpyYg

Nigeria: 82 Chibok schoolgirls freed in exchange for five Boko Haram leaders

The Guardian reported yesterday on the release of 82 kidnapped schoolgirls, who had been held captive for more than three years by the Islamist group Boko Haram in northern Nigeria. The girls were handed over on Saturday in exchange for five militant leaders. “Joy at their freedom was quickly followed by concern for their privacy and fears that the thousands of other less high-profile prisoners still held captive by the extremists would be forgotten,” the Guardian noted. Picked up in Red Cross vehicles and given the agency’s branded T-shirts to wear, the young women boarded military helicopters and were flown to the capital, Abuja, to meet the country’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, as anxious families awaited an official list of the names of those released. Information was given out gradually: by mid-afternoon, only 20 names had been published. The girls were from a group of 276 abducted in north-eastern Nigeria in 2014. Before the latest release, about 195 of the girls were still missing. http://bit.ly/2qHLrqm

Italian coastguard: 3,000 refugees rescued in one day in the Mediterranean

Al Jazeera reported on Sunday that according to the Italian coastguard about 3,000 people have been saved in the Mediterranean. They were picked up in more than 20 separate rescue operations on Saturday, involving the Italian coastguard and navy, the EU’s EUNAVFOR mission in the Mediterranean, the European Union border agency Frontex, NGOs, and merchant ships. According to the International Organisation for Migration, so far this year 43,490 refugees and migrants had arrived in Europe by sea as of 26 April. http://bit.ly/2qdkNWr

West African troops extend mandate in Gambia

On Friday, Al Jazeera reported that the mandate for a group of West African troops deployed in Gambia has been extended. Since mass graves were discovered in March, the country has been struggling to rebuild its armed forces. Al Jazeera reported from Banjul that police believe the victims were killed by members of the Gambian army, on the orders of former President Yayha Jammeh, who is now in exile. It said the government plans to form truth and reconciliation commission. http://bit.ly/2qHVc7T

Malaysia: civil society groups to monitor enforced disappearances

On Sunday, the Sun, from Malaysia, reported that 48 civil society groups in Malaysia have formed a Citizens’ Action Group on Enforced Disappearance (Caged) to monitor cases in Malaysia. The group is urging the authorities to provide more information on the disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh and three other activists who have gone missing in the last six months. According to the group, the main objectives of “Caged” are to help victims and their families to seek justice and redress, to create awareness of cases and issues of enforced disappearance and to coordinate advocacy action with other citizen groups throughout the country and globally. http://bit.ly/2qRICiN

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.