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News Roundup – 20/21 November 2014

November 21, 2014

Just Security: UN Human Rights Committee’s General Comment on the right to liberty and security: a missed opportunity?

Just Security: The United States and the Torture Convention: Armed Conflict. 

Opinio Juris Guest Post: the suspension of the Colombian peace talks and the illegality of the deprivation of liberty of members of state armed forces in non-international armed forces. 

FARC agreed to release Colombia’s general. 

ICC prosecutor mulls war crimes charges against jihadists.

United Nations Third Committee adopts draft resolution condemning human rights violations in Syria. 

UN armed Syrian opposition ‘ surrenders’ to Al-Qaida? And Al-Qaida are now affiliates of the Islamic State.

Can the Islamic State be forced to pay reparations to its victims?

Temporary truce declared in Libya’s Benghazi. 

Mali, rebels start third round of talks. 

Congo army colonel, rebel leader sentenced to death. 

UNHCR: Sudanese refugees struggle to get by as new dangers in CAR conflict. 

Enough Project report: Joseph Kony’s rebels sell ivory minerals (see here for press release).

OHCHR says nearly 1,000 dead amidst shaky Ukraine ceasefire (see report here).

News Roundup – 19 November 2014

November 19, 2014

Colombia’s ombudsman seeks clarity on general’s capture, urges humanitarian accord. 

Syrian rebels unite in ‘battle of destiny’ in Aleppo. 

Inside Islamic State’s oil empire. 

Brookings Institute analysis: The origins of ISIS. 

Outrage over UAE’s new terror list which includes several prominent Western Muslim charities and civil society groups in a new list of “terrorist organizations” together with Al Qaeda, Boko Haram and the so-called Islamic State.

International Crisis Group report: Mali peace negotiations:last chance in Algiers. 

CAR losing its next generation. 

Ukraine readies itself for possible Russian-backed rebel attack. 

Enough Project: 7 ideas to help end the FDLR group in DRC (see report here).

News Roundup – 18 November 2014

November 18, 2014

Global Terrorism Index 2014 includes the following key facts:-

  • 17,958 people were killed in terrorist attacks last year, that’s 61% more than the previous year.
  • 82% of all deaths from terrorist attack occur in just 5 countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria.
  • Last year terrorism was dominated by four groups: the Taliban, Boko Haram, ISIL, and al Qa’ida.
  • More than 90% of all terrorist attacks occur in countries that have gross human rights violations.
  • 40 times more people are killed by homicides than terrorist attacks

FARC rebels admit capturing Colombian general, but want peace talks to continue. 

Five Jordanians jailed for ISIL membership?

Amid monstrous violence, ISIL aims to tear Iraq apart, build state of terror, warn UN officials. 

Mali hostage daughter’s ‘shock’ at jihadist video. 

How will the Boko Haram insurgency impact on the 2015 election in Nigeria?

Solheim says Sri Lanka aware of rebel funding. 

News Roundup – 17 November 2014

November 17, 2014

Colombian peacetalks on hold after general is snatched. 

OHCHR: Rule of Terror: Living under ISIS in Syria. 

ICRC’s president seeks broader humanitarian role for the organisation in Syria. 

Islamic State boasts influx of new recruits in new beheadings video. 

UK to seize returning fighters passports. 

Mali: complaint filed on behalf of 80 victims of rape and sexual violence during occupation of Northern Mali: response to victims needs for justice is essential without delay.  

Any lessons from Operation Lifeline Sudan?

Missing persons commission set up in Sri Lanka to look at the following (see extract from public notice below):

A. In this connection, the Commission is hereby required to investigate and report on the following specific issues:

The principle facts and circumstances that led to the loss of civilian life during the internal armed conflict that ended on the 19th May 2009, and whether any person, group or institution directly or indirectly bears responsibility in this regard by reason of a violation or violations of international humanitarian law or international human rights law. Whether such loss of Civilian life is capable of constituting collateral damage of a kind that occurs in the prosecution of proportionate attacks against targeted military objectives in armed conflicts and is expressly recognized under the laws of armed conflict and international humanitarian law, and whether such civilian casualties were either the deliberate or unintended consequence of the rules of engagement during the said armed conflict in Sri Lanka.

The adherence to or neglect of the principles of distinction, military necessity and proportionality under the laws of armed conflict and international humanitarian law, by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces.

Whether the LTTE as a non-state actor was subject to international humanitarian law in the conduct of its military operations.

The use by the LTTE of civilians as human shields and the extent to which such action constitutes a violation of international humanitarian law or international human rights law, and did or may have significantly contributed to the loss of civilian life.

B. The recruitment of child soldiers by the LTTE or illegal armed groups-affiliated with the LTTE or any political party in violation of international humanitarian law or international human rights law.

C. International criminal activities of the LTTE and the application of financial and other resources obtained through such illegal activities in the prosecution of the conventional and guerilla war in Sri Lanka by the LTTE.

D. The suicide attacks by LTTE using child soldiers and other combatants under the direct orders of the leader of the LTTE, Velupillai Prabhakaran or any persons acting on his behalf, and the culpability for such actions under the international humanitarian law or international human rights law.

It is stated that the Commission will accept complaints of incidents that occurred up to 19th May 2009 as set out in section 4.359 of the LLRC report.

Ukraine to close state offices, bank services in rebel held east. 

News Roundup – 13-14 November 2014

November 14, 2014

UN says LRA abductions on rise in central Africa

The Congo’s Feared ‘Cobra’ Warlord Plans to Surrender — Again

Embassies of Egypt and UAE attacked in Libya

Sudan and Rebels Under Pressure to Find Path to Peace

Israel will not cooperate with ‘one-sided’ UN probe into Gaza war

Punishing Syrian Criminals Against Humanity: 15 Regime Leaders That Could Be Indicted

Rebel holdout in Syria’s Homs gets first aid in 6 months

Syria rebels in south emerge as West’s last hope as moderates crushed elsewhere

Islamic State leader al-Baghdadi calls on followers to unleash ‘volcanoes of jihad’

Islamic State to mint ‘dinar’ coins

UN report: Islamic State commanders liable for mass war crimes. The Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, called “Rule of Terror: Living under ISIS in Syria” of 14 November 2014, is available here.

Iraqi forces drive IS from refinery town

At least 33 dead in Yemeni clashes, drone kills 7 militants

14 killed as Philippine troops battle militants

News Roundup – 12 November 2014

November 12, 2014

Statement to the United Nations Security Council on the Situation in Libya, pursuant to UNSCR 1970 (2011), Mrs Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court

Violent Attacks Against MSF Threaten the Supply of Humanitarian Assistance in CAR

Bemba ‘guilty of troops’ barbarity’, ICC hears as trial nears end

Russian Troops Crossing Into Ukraine, NATO Says

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: US-led Syria strikes kill at least 860

Iraqi troops struggle to secure key oil hub amid continued Islamic State resistance

Afghan opium crop set for record high

Ethnic Rebel Armies an Unsolved Myanmar Puzzle

Fearing Bombs That Can Pick Whom to Kill

Obama Administration Reverses Bush Policy, Says U.S. Torture Ban Applies Abroad

News Roundup – 10-11 November 2014

November 12, 2014

Human Rights Watch: Justice Crucial to Mali Peace Talks

Explaining Boko Haram, Nigeria’s Islamist Insurgency

Suicide bomber kills dozens at school assembly in Nigeria

ICRC: Using traditional law in dialogues with Somali armed groups

Militant Group in Egypt Vows Loyalty to ISIS

South Sudanese Cease-Fire Ends After 48 Hours

International Crisis Group report: Turkey and the PKK: Saving the Peace Process

Knife attacks on Israelis add to unease; 2 killed in separate assaults

Truce deal one of few ideas left for Syria peace

Iraqi forces advance to try to break insurgent siege of Baiji refinery

Kurds gain ground but not control in struggle for Kobani

Human Rights Watch: Incendiary Weapons Threaten Civilians in Ukraine and Syria (see new HRW memo Incendiary Weapons: Recent Use and Growing Opposition

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