Member Sign In
International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect
PDF Print E-mail
  alt


UN Special 
 Advisors on the Prevention of Genocide and RtoP release joint statment
on the plight of the Rphingya populations in Burma's Rakhine State

UN Special Advisors to the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide and the Resposbility to Protect, Adama Dieng and Ivan Simonovic respectively, have released a joint statement calling on the Burmese government to "take immediate action to stop and address the commission of atrocity crimes that are reportedly taking place in northern Rakhine state." The Special Advisors stated that regardless of their previous continued warnings of the presebce of risk factors for atrocities in the country, that the government has "failed to meet its obligations under international law and primary responsibility to protect the Rohingya population from atrocity crimes," also adding that the international community had "equally failed" to uphold its RtoP commitments in this situaiton as well.

ICRtoP member Human Rights Watch has also reported on the damage in the Rahkine State, stating of the destruction in Maungdaw, that approximately 62% of the area was either partially or completely destroyed, with a total of 288 villages destroyed. However, the Burmese government reported that the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) and local Rohingya communities were at fault for setting the fires. However, the government has provided no evidence in support of their claims.

Senior United Nations (UN) officials called on the international community to strengthen efforts to help bring peace and assistance to Rohingya refugees, working towards their safe and voluntary returns, as well as giving continuous support to Bangladesh. In addition, the officials announced the ministerial-level pledging conference, set for 23 October, where States will present how they will show their solidarity and assist in the crisis.

Furthermore, the
 European Union (EU) has suspended invitations to Burmese military commanders due to their excessive use of violence against the Rohingya population. The EU stated that they would consider additional restrictions and measures on top of what had already been placed if the situation does not improve.

BBC news has created a new roundup of the Rohingya crisis, giving a breakdown of “who, what, where, why, and how”. The situation is said to be one of the fastest growing refugee crises today. The United Nations has labeled the military offensive tactics in Rahkine State as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”. However, the Burmese military refutes the claim, stating that they are fighting against Rohingya militants and deny attacking civilians in the area.
 


 Catch up on developments in...

CAR
DRC

Iraq
Kenya 
Libya
Nigeria
South Sudan 
Sudan
Syria
Venezuela
Yemen
Other
 


Central African Republic:

After a recent visit to the country, UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng strongly condemned the religious and ethnic-based incitement of hatred and violence by armed groups and politicians in the CAR. The Special Adviser raised concerns over the impunity for perpetrators of atrocities and called on all parties to the conflict to commit to dialogue, while restoring good governance, strengthening the rule of law and combating impunity. Dieng highlighted the importance of reducing intercommunal tensions and stated that the responsibles for committing atrocities will have to face justice, either national or international.

An attack perpetrated by Christian anti-Balaka has killed at least 25 Muslims in a mosque in Kembe. Ousman Mahamat, a Muslim community leader, warned about the recent increase of intercommunal hatred.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned the Security Council about the deterioration of the situation in the CAR and of the intense risk of ethnic cleansing. Guterres also urged the Council to increase the UN peacekeeping operation in the country (MINUSCA) to give it more flexibility to deploy to where civilians need protection. Next month, the UN Security Council will decide on the renewal of MINUSCA’s mandate.

The UN humanitarian coordinator in the CAR, Najat Rochdi, has warned about the humanitarian crisis in the country. Rochdi said that there is no remaining humanitarian assistance in the CAR because violence has made humanitarian workers flee. The coordinator also warned about violent acts related to witchcraft and the widespread severe malnutrition of children aged under five.

MINUSCA has said in a recent statement that it has received accounts of violence in the southern town of Pombolo and that it will focus its work on ensuring access to treatment for the victims and ending the violence. Souleymane Daouda, the spokesman of the muslim Union for Peace in the CAR, said that the attack in Pombolo has killed at least 150 muslims and injured 100 others. Initial reports say that the attack was most likely perpetrated by Christian anti-Balaka. 
 


Democratic Republic of the Congo:

Authorities have
found 26 bodies in eastern DRC, a week after civilians disappeared after an ambush. Due to intense fighting, authorities had not previously been able to locate the bodies.

The DRC has been
elected to serve in the Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva for a three-year term starting in January 2018. The election has been severely criticized by many, like ICRtoP’s member Human Rights Watch (HRW), who remarked that the government has perpetrated grave human rights violations against its population. The UN Human Rights Office data from 2016 also says that 64 percent of the violations that took place in the DRC throughout the year were committed by the Congolese police or army. 
 


Iraq:

Kurdish referendum for independence, were reported to flee the city due to Iraqi military offenses to retake it from the Kurds. The military offensive came after the Kurdish leaders on Sunday rejected the demand from the Iraqi central authorities to cancel the outcome of the recent referendum for independence. On Wednesday the Iraqi forces declared that they had accomplished their mission and retaken control of Kirkuk.

However, Thursday, Kurdish officials reported that 100,000 people fled Kirkuk and the town of Tuz Khurmato since the Iraqi military takeover, allegedly due to fear of sectarian reprisals. UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, Lise Grande, urged all parties to do their best “to shield and protect all civilians impacted by the current situation”.

 


Kenya:

In a joint report, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) have
said that police have killed at least 33 civilians and injured hundreds in the city of Nairobi in response to the protests that sparked after the 7 August 2017 election. The report calls on Kenyan authorities to ensure that the responsible for excessive use of force are held accountable and that the police comply with international standards and law during the repeat 26 October 2017 election. The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights has also documented 37 deaths since the August election.

President Kenyatta has told the international community that “there is no problem in Kenya” and that he will not allow any dialogue with Odinga launched by foreign actors.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga has suspended the protests that he previously urged to push for electoral commission reforms. The suspension of the protests comes after the killings of protesters by police in recent weeks.

Amid rising uncertainty, Roselyn Akombe, one of the seven members of the electoral commission has resigned and fled the country, claiming she fears for her security. Akombe stated that the election cannot meet the basic expectations of any credible election and the commission chairman, Wafula Chebukati, agreed with her statement. Chebukati said that he had tried to make critical challenges but commissioners had defeated all of his motions, making it difficult to guarantee credible, free and fair elections. Akombe said in a statement from the United States, where she has fled, that election officials have been targets of attacks and that, therefore, the security situation does not give a stable environment for elections either. 
 


Libya:

On Tuesday, the UNSC delivered a presidential statement reopening a Libyan-led political process, as submitted by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. The initiative includes the establishment of a unity government and an action plan that, among other things, includes preparations for the creation of a constitution.
 


Nigeria:

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has
reported that 86% of Nigerians displaced as a result of Boko Haram violence are not planning to return to their homes in the near future. Most of the displaced claim that their reasoning for not wanting to return is “insecurity” in the regions they once inhabited. When some of the displaced Nigerians attempted to return home, they reported attacks from groups like Boko Haram, as well as a lack of security in the region, and therefore decided to return to migrant and refugee camps.

45 Boko Haram members have been
convicted to serve from 3 - 31 years in prison after Nigerian court proceedings, reported Nigerian Information Minister, Lai Mohammed. In addition, 468 members have been released following their trials. Those who have been released must undergo deradicalization programs. According to reports, Nigerian jails and holding facilities are currently beyond capacity. In addition, a large portion of those facing trial are women and children, or individuals who claim they were forced to join Boko Haram.

Nigeria was
re-elected to serve on the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) this week. Nigeria will serve alongside 14 other states for the 2018 to 2020 term.


South Sudan:

Rival factions have
agreed to declare a ceasefire and to denounce violence. The government has also stated that it agrees to participate in the revitalization forum after the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) clarified that revitalization does not mean complete peace talks or a renegotiation. The revitalization forum will serve as a basis for discussion among all parties and President Salva Kiir has vowed his support to it since he believes that dialogue is the only way to peace.

Jean Pierre Lacroix, UN Under-Secretary-General of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, has
told the Security Council that despite the presence of the peacekeeping operation in the country the security situation has deteriorated and that human rights abuses, arbitrary arrests, extrajudicial killings, and armed clashes have increased. Lacroix has also said that the warring parties do not show real commitment to revitalize the peace agreement. 

 


Sudan:

Rival factions have
agreed to declare a ceasefire and to denounce violence. The government has also stated that it agrees to participate in the revitalization forum after the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) clarified that revitalization does not mean complete peace talks or a renegotiation. The revitalization forum will serve as a basis for discussion among all parties and President Salva Kiir has vowed his support to it since he believes that dialogue is the only way to peace.

Jean Pierre Lacroix, UN Under-Secretary-General of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, has
told the Security Council that despite the presence of the peacekeeping operation in the country the security situation has deteriorated and that human rights abuses, arbitrary arrests, extrajudicial killings, and armed clashes have increased. Lacroix has also said that the warring parties do not show real commitment to revitalize the peace agreement. 
 


Syria:

By the end of last week, the fighting to retake the City of Raqqa had
intensified, as the US-backed Syrian Defense Forces (SDF), an alliance made of Kurdish and Arab forces, announced that fighting had reached its final stages. During the last months, civilians have been trapped inside the city, risking being targeted by Islamic State (ISIL) fighters if they tried to flee, as ISIL forces had reportedly killed everyone attempting to escape, including very young children. Civilians who managed to flee also reported on entire families within Raqqa having been killed by airstrikes. However, on Friday, it was reported that a deal had been agreed upon to evacuate civilians by buses from the city.

On Tuesday, the SDF had
declared the war against ISIL in Raqqa effectively over. The battle started when the SDF launched its offensive on the city in June this year, and the retaking of the city is said to mark a milestone in the US-led battle against ISIL. However, the battle has been brutal for civilians in Raqqa. More than 3,000 bombs have reportedly fallen on the territory, while allegedly 900 civilians have been killed, more than half of these from coalition airstrikes.
 


Venezuela:

Electoral authorities have said that the Socialist Party of current President Maduro has won 17 of the 23 state governorships in the recent 15 October election. However, the coalition of opposition parties has demanded a complete audit and has refused to recognize the victory, calling it fraudulent. The National Electoral Council has previously been accused by the opposition of being pro-government biased. Before the election, a poll conducted by Datanalisis, a private firm, suggested that 45 percent of voters favored opposition candidates, while 21 percent favored the incumbent candidates.


Yemen:

UNICEF, the UN children’s fund, has noted that as of July this year, 1,600 schools have been totally or partially destroyed in the war. On Wednesday, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Geert Cappelaere, announced a statement in which he called on all parties to consider schools as safe zones and to refrain from using them for military purposes. Furthermore, he called on donors to raise support for educational personnel and health workers in order to deliver critical services to children.



What else is new?

Since the adoption of UNSC Resolution 1325, the landmark resolution which established the Women, Peace and Security agenda in 2000, focus on the importance of women’s participation in peace and security processes as an essential factor for likelihood of success grew globally. The support for the agenda is, among other initiatives, seen by the growing number of National Action Plans (NAPs), which are created by national governments to secure and enhance the participation of women in all peace and security processes. Last week, the US government enhanced its own NAP establishing the national Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2017 as law. By doing this, the US government acknowledged the importance of the advancement of women’s contribution to all peace and security processes.


 

Browse Documents by Region:

International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect
c/o World Federalist Movement - Institute for Global Policy
708 Third Avenue, Suite 1715, New York, NY 10017
Contact