Archive for February 13th, 2015

13/02/2015

'Yemen is collapsing before our eyes' — UN Chief

Human Wrongs Watch

New York, 12 February 2015 – Amid a dangerous political and humanitarian crisis and a seething secessionist movement, Yemen sits on the brink of collapse, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned the Security Council today, reminding the international community of its “solemn obligation” under the UN Charter to help the country prevent an escalation of the conflict and re-launch its political process.

Damage to property and infrastructure caused by fighting between Government troops and militants is estimated at 95 per cent in some areas of Yemen. Photo: OCHA/EmanAl-Awami

“We have all been following recent developments in Yemen with the deepest concern,” said Ban, as he briefed the 15-member Council alongside the UN Special Advisor, Jamal Benomar. “Let me be clear: Yemen is collapsing before our eyes. We cannot stand by and watch,” the UN chief warned.*

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13/02/2015

On International Day, UN Demands End to Use of Child Soldiers in Conflict

Human Wrongs Watch

From Afghanistan to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), as the world’s conflicts become more brutal, intense and widespread, children are finding themselves increasingly vulnerable to recruitment and deployment by armed groups, the United Nations on 12 February 2015 warned.

This child soldier, demobilized in South Sudan in 2015, has never been to school and he really wants to go to school now. Photo: UNICEF/2015/South Sudan/Doune Porter

In a joint press release marking the International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers, observed every 12 February since 2002, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict called for “urgent action to end grave violations against children” and appealed to all parties of conflicts to meet their obligations under International Law.*

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13/02/2015

Why South Sudan’s Children Are Fighting Again

Human Wrongs Watch

Nairobi, 12 February 2015 (IRIN)* – Thousands of children are fighting with government and rebel forces in South Sudan, reversing a painstaking demobilization program and fanning calls for war crimes trials as a better way to protect minors from recruitment.

To mark the International Day Against the Use of Child Soldiers, this article examines the dynamics of recruitment and the prospects for sustainable demobilization.

Many thousands of children have been killed, wounded, orphaned or displaced since December 2013, when a power struggle between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar split the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and Army (SPLM/A) and triggered a conflict that still shows little sign of ending.

Doune Porter, a spokeswoman for UNICEF, said armed groups including government troops and allied militias as well as an array of opposition forces are currently using more than 12,000 children, and that recruitment is ongoing.

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13/02/2015

UN Security Council Adopts Resolution Targeting Sources of Funding for ISIL, Authorizing Use of Force

Human Wrongs Watch

New York — Urging global cooperation “to impair, isolate and incapacitate” terrorist threats, the United Nations Security Council on 12 February 2015 approved measures targeting sources of funding for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Al-Nusrah Front (ANF), condemning those buying oil from the groups, banning all trade in looted antiquities from Iraq and Syria, and calling on States to end ransom payments.

Ambassadors representing two countries under attack from ISIL, Bashar Ja’afari (right) of Syria, and Mohamed Ali Alhakim of Iraq, speak to journalists following the adoption of a Security Council resolution targeting sources of financing for the group. UN Photo/Mark Garten

Unanimously adopting a Russian-led resolution, the Council reiterated its deep concern that oilfields, as well as other infrastructure such as dams and power plants, controlled by ISIL, ANF and other Al-Qaida-associated groups, “are generating a significant portion of the groups’ income, alongside extortion, private foreign donations, kidnap ransoms and stolen money from the territory they control.”

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