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un seeks to put human rights experts into new sahel force


united nations (ap) — the united nations is seeking to put human rights advisers and monitors into the 5,000-troop african force that is charged with fighting extremists in western africa’s vast sahel region.assistant secretary-general andrew gilmour, the deputy human rights chief who recently visited mali, told several reporters friday that he told senior military officials from the five troop-contributing countries that protecting human rights “can help unlock” funding for the force.the five nations — mali, niger, burkina faso, mauritania and chad — have been grappling with a growing menace from extremists, including the islamic state group, boko haram and groups linked to al-qaida’s north africa branch.gilmour said his office is preparing proposals for the force on protecting human righ






g5 sahel counterterrorism force explained | burkina faso news


the us government has pledged $60m to a united nations-backed counterterrorism force geared to tackle rebel groups in the troubled sahel region.the initiative, known as the g5 sahel force, involving niger, burkina faso, chad, mali and mauritania, will see a 5,000-strong battalion of troops operate in the region, which has been hit hard by instability and illicit activity, including human trafficking, arms sales and drug smuggling.the sahel, traversing central and west africa, is considered a hotbed of lawlessness, insecurity and impoverishment, with many living in a permanent state of neglect. the situation in the region has been compounded by the crisis in mali, which began in 2013, and by increasing drought. a hollow state presence has left millions at the mercy of the climate and non-st






g5 sahel counterterrorism force explained | burkina faso news


the us government has pledged $60m to a united nations-backed counterterrorism force geared to tackle rebel groups in the troubled sahel region.the initiative, known as the g5 sahel force, involving niger, burkina faso, chad, mali and mauritania, will see a 5,000-strong battalion of troops operate in the region, which has been hit hard by instability and illicit activity, including human trafficking, arms sales and drug smuggling.the sahel, traversing central and west africa, is considered a hotbed of lawlessness, insecurity and impoverishment, with many living in a permanent state of neglect. the situation in the region has been compounded by the crisis in mali, which began in 2013, and by increasing drought. a hollow state presence has left millions at the mercy of the climate and non-st






g5 sahel counterterrorism force explained | burkina faso news


the us government has pledged $60m to a united nations-backed counterterrorism force geared to tackle rebel groups in the troubled sahel region.the initiative, known as the g5 sahel force, involving niger, burkina faso, chad, mali and mauritania, will see a 5,000-strong battalion of troops operate in the region, hit hard by instability and illicit activity, including human trafficking, arms sales and drug smuggling.the sahel, traversing central and west africa, is considered a hotbed of lawlessness, insecurity and impoverishment, with many living in a permanent state of neglect. the situation in the region has been compounded by the crisis in mali, which began in 2013, and by increasing drought. a vacuous state presence has left millions at the mercy of the climate, and non-state armed gro






un resolution would authorize sahel force against extremists


united nations (ap) — france circulated a u.n. security council resolution tuesday that would authorize military action by five countries in africa’s vast sahel region against extremist groups.presidents of the five countries — niger, mali, chad, burkina faso and mauritania — agreed in february to set up a joint force. initially, it is expected to comprise up to 5,000 military, civilian and police personnel, with headquarters in mali.france’s u.n. ambassador, francois delattre, told reporters that the african union and the presidents of the five nations asked the security council to authorize the force. council experts are expected to start discussing the draft wednesday and it could be put to a vote next week.“we cannot afford to let the sahel region become a new safe haven for terrorists






un experts decry deteriorating human rights in bahrain


geneva — u.n. human rights experts are denouncing a "sharp deterioration" in the rights situation in bahrain, including an intensifying crackdown on opposition parties and a shiite religious leader.the five rights experts, who are independent but commissioned by the u.n. human rights office, said in a statement on friday that the repression "took a new turn" in june 2016 with government moves to dissolve the main opposition party, the al-wefaq islamic society.they also noted a security forces' operation last month in the city of duraz used "excessive and lethal force to disperse peaceful protesters," citing reported use of "tear gas, shotguns equipped with birdshot and lethal anti-personnel weapons."the experts say bahraini authorities have resorted to "drastic measures" to curb dissent in






west african and french leaders launch sahel force | mali news


five african countries have launched a new multinational force to fight armed groups in the sahel region, which france's president emmanuel macron told a summit in mali should be fully operational "in a matter of weeks".the new regional anti-terror force is set to include as many as 5,000 soldiers, with one battalion from each of the so-called g5 sahel countries: mali, mauritania, burkina faso, niger and chad."our enemies are cowards, but they have determination. they want to destroy us," macron said on sunday, in a regional summit with the g5-sahel leaders in the malian capital, bamako.france's president said his country would contribute $9m to the new force this year. he also mentioned a contribution of 70 vehicles, without saying whether that was included in the sum. read more: mali's k






west african and french leaders launch sahel force | mali news


five african countries have launched a new multinational force to fight armed groups in the sahel region, which france's president emmanuel macron told a summit in mali should be fully operational "in a matter of weeks".the new regional anti-terror force is set to include as many as 5,000 soldiers, with one battalion from each of the so-called g5 sahel countries: mali, mauritania, burkina faso, niger and chad."our enemies are cowards, but they have determination. they want to destroy us," macron said on sunday, in a regional summit with the g5-sahel leaders in the malian capital, bamako.france's president said his country would contribute $9m to the new force this year. he also mentioned a contribution of 70 vehicles, without saying whether that was included in the sum. read more: mali's k






west african and france leaders launch sahel force | mali news


five african countries have launched a new multinational force to fight armed groups in the sahel region, which france's president emmanuel macron told a summit in mali should be fully operational "in a matter of weeks".the new regional anti-terror force is set to include as many as 5,000 soldiers, with one battalion from each of the so-called g5 sahel countries: mali, mauritania, burkina faso, niger and chad."our enemies are cowards, but they have determination. they want to destroy us," macron said on sunday, in a regional summit with the g5-sahel leaders in the malian capital, bamako.france's president said his country would contribute $9m to the new force fighting this year. he also mentioned a contribution of 70 vehicles, without saying whether that was included in the sum. read more:






un experts urge uae to free detained human rights advocate


geneva — a group of u.n. experts is calling on the united arab emirates to immediately release a leading human rights advocate, saying his arrest was a "direct attack" on the work of rights defendersthree independent experts with the u.n. human rights office in geneva also on tuesday demanded information about the whereabouts of ahmed mansoor, saying his secret detention in the uae puts him at the risk of ill-treatment and torture.they expressed concerns that mansoor, who was arrested in a pre-dawn operation at his home march 20, was detained over his work with u.n. human rights mechanisms.mansoor received the prestigious martin ennals award last year for bringing attention to arbitrary arrests, concerns of torture and issues around the independence of the judiciary in the uae.






us seeks criminal investigation into deaths of un experts


united nations — the united states is calling for u.n. secretary-general antonio guterres to initiate a special investigation into the gruesome march killings in congo of two united nations experts from the u.s. and sweden and their interpreter.the u.n. is conducting a board of inquiry into the deaths of american michael sharp and zaida catalan of sweden, but u.s. ambassador nikki haley said monday that the trump administration wants a special investigation. that would be a criminal investigation.haley said in a statement that the united states will also support a resolution in the human rights council in geneva to establish a commission of inquiry into human rights violations in congo's kasai region, where the killings took place.the three went missing while investigating human rights abu






un human rights experts urge china to free prominent lawyer


geneva — four u.n. human rights experts are urging china to release a prominent lawyer and rights defender who may have been forced into making a televised "confession" that he sought the overthrow of china's political system.the experts say jiang tianyong's so-called confession on aug. 22 amounts to "a worrying sign of china's disregard for due process and the rule of law."they said they were "gravely concerned that his confession may have been coerced by the use of torture" in practices that would violate international standards and china's own laws.jiang was arrested in november. the experts say he has been kept at an unknown location for at least nine months.they said wednesday his alleged crime "apparently included communications with foreign entities," possibly including u.n. agencie






un rights chief decries palestinian, israeli suffering


geneva — the u.n. human rights chief has decried over 2,000 years of jewish suffering culminating in the "colossal crime" of the holocaust.zeid ra'ad al-hussein also says palestinians today mark "a half-century of deep suffering under occupation imposed by military force."zeid, a jordanian prince, acknowledged that some people would respond "that the experiences of the two peoples are not equivalent: how could i mention them in one breath?"indeed, i agree: the holocaust was so monstrous and so mathematically planned and executed, it has no parallel, no modern equal."he said ending israel's occupation of palestinian areas was essential for peace.most of zeid's speech tuesday to the human rights council denounced a lack of access for his staffers and rights experts to countries to investigat






france and us agree on un resolution welcoming sahel force


united nations (ap) — france and the united states say they have reached agreement on a u.n. resolution that welcomes the deployment of a 5,000-strong force from five countries in africa’s vast sahel region to fight the growing threat from extremists.the final draft, obtained tuesday by the associated press, eliminates several provisions that the united states opposed: it now can’t be militarily enforced; it doesn’t authorize the deployment; and it doesn’t ask the u.n. secretary-general to propose options for financing the force.france’s u.n. ambassador francois delattre told reporters he hopes for a vote wednesday, calling the draft “a very important step forward since it will be the first resolution ever on this force.”the u.s. mission to the united nations said it was “pleased to have r






macron in mali for talks with leaders of africa's sahel | mali news


french president emmanuel macron has arrived in mali for talks with the leaders of five countries across africa's sahel region to support a new 5,000-strong multinational force to fight armed groups in the area.the five african countries, which make up so called g5 sahel, have pledged to to fight al-qaeda-linked groups and others in the region who have alarmed the international community after launching deadly attacks in recents months on areas that were once considered relatively safe."every day we must combat terrorists, thugs, murderers ... who we must steadfastly and with determination eradicate together," macron said on sunday at the opening of the summit with the leaders of burkina faso, chad, mali, mauritania and niger.in mid-june, the un security council unanimously approved a reso






mali urges un to authorize force to fight terrorism in sahel


united nations — mali's foreign minister is urging the u.n. security council to authorize the immediate deployment of a five-nation force to fight the growing "terrorist" threat in africa's vast sahel region — a move the united states opposes.abdoulaye diop told the council friday that malian president ibrahim boubacar keita, the acting president of the so-called group of five, is deeply concerned at the difficulties the french-drafted resolution is facing in the council.he said the leaders of mali, burkina faso, mauritania, niger and chad created the force to fight terrorism and trans-national crime, and its deployment is only awaiting security council authorization.a u.s. official said recently that while the trump administration supports the force in principle, it doesn't believe a coun






france and us agree on un resolution welcoming sahel force


united nations (ap) — france and the united states said tuesday they reached agreement on a u.n. resolution that welcomes the deployment of a 5,000-strong force from five countries in africa’s vast sahel region to fight the growing threat from extremists.the final draft, obtained by the associated press, eliminates several provisions that the united states opposed: it now can’t be militarily enforced; it doesn’t authorize the deployment; and it doesn’t ask the u.n. secretary-general to come up with options for financing the force.the security council scheduled a vote on wednesday morning, and with the u.s. on board it is expected to be adopted unanimously.france’s u.n. ambassador francois delattre called the resolution “a very important step forward since it will be the first resolution ev






macron in mali for talks with leaders of africa's sahel | mali news


french president emmanuel macron has arrived in mali for talks with the leaders of five countries across africa's sahel region to support a new 5,000-strong multinational force to fight armed groups in the area.burkina faso, chad, mali, mauritania and niger, which make up so called g5 sahel, have pledged to to fight al-qaeda-linked groups and others in the region who have alarmed the international community after launching deadly attacks in recents months on areas that were once considered relatively safe."every day we must combat terrorists, thugs, murderers ... who we must steadfastly and with determination eradicate together," macron said on sunday at the opening of the summit.in mid-june, the un security council unanimously approved a resolution welcoming the deployment of the new forc






un human rights experts condemn jailing of vietnam blogger


hanoi, vietnam (ap) — u.n. human rights experts on friday said the trial of a prominent vietnamese blogger did not meet international standards and appeared to be aimed at intimidating environmental activists.nguyen ngoc nhu quynh, also known as “mother mushroom,” was sentenced in a one-day trial thursday to 10 years in prison after being found guilty of defaming the communist government in facebook posts and in interviews with foreign media.quynh, 37, has written about human rights, civilian deaths in police custody and the release of toxic chemicals by a taiwanese-owned steel plant in april 2016 that killed thousands of fish in one of vietnam’s worst environmental disasters.“this was little short of a show trial, designed to intimidate other environmental activists,” the u.n. human right






mali urges un to authorize force to fight terrorism in sahel


united nations (ap) — mali’s foreign minister is urging the u.n. security council to authorize the immediate deployment of a five-nation force to fight the growing “terrorist” threat in africa’s vast sahel region — a move the united states opposes.abdoulaye diop told the council friday that malian president ibrahim boubacar keita, the acting president of the so-called group of five, is deeply concerned at the difficulties the french-drafted resolution is facing in the council.he said the leaders of mali, burkina faso, mauritania, niger and chad created the force to fight terrorism and trans-national crime, and its deployment is only awaiting security council authorization.a u.s. official said recently that while the trump administration supports the force in principle, it doesn’t believe a






us seeks criminal investigation into deaths of un experts


united nations — the united states called on secretary-general antonio guterres on monday to initiate a special investigation into the gruesome march killings in congo of two united nations experts from the u.s. and sweden and their interpreter.the u.n. is conducting a board of inquiry into the deaths of american michael sharp and zaida catalan of sweden. but u.s. ambassador nikki haley the trump administration wants a special investigation — which would be a criminal investigation.haley said in a statement that the united states will also support a resolution in the human rights council in geneva to establish a commission of inquiry into human rights violations in congo's central kasai region, where the killings took place. the trump administration is considering pulling out of the counci






un chief urges support for sahel force to fight extremists


united nations (ap) — secretary-general antonio guterres is urging strong international support for a 5,000-strong force to fight the growing threat from extremists in africa’s vast sahel region, warning that if urgent action isn’t taken “the stability of the entire region, and beyond, is in jeopardy.”the u.n. chief said in a report obtained monday by the associated press that the security situation in the sahel is in “a continuous downward spiral” and stressed that inaction will leave millions of people at risk of violence.“ultimately, we, the international community, will bear the responsibility for such a disastrous scenario,” guterres said.in february, the leaders of mali, mauritania, niger, burkina faso and chad agreed to establish the force to combat terrorism and transnational organ






us seeks criminal investigation into deaths of un experts


united nations (ap) — the united states called on secretary-general antonio guterres on monday to initiate a special investigation into the gruesome march killings in congo of two united nations experts from the u.s. and sweden and their interpreter.the u.n. is conducting a board of inquiry into the deaths of american michael sharp and zaida catalan of sweden. but u.s. ambassador nikki haley the trump administration wants a special investigation — which would be a criminal investigation.haley said in a statement that the united states will also support a resolution in the human rights council in geneva to establish a commission of inquiry into human rights violations in congo’s central kasai region, where the killings took place. the trump administration is considering pulling out of the c






burundi: un experts say situation worsening for ngos


kampala, uganda — a group of united nations human rights experts says there's growing repression of civic groups and rights activists in burundi amid sporadic violence stemming from the president's disputed third term.a statement monday from the u.n. in geneva said its experts believe the moves by president pierre nkurunziza's government against civil society are "alarming in view of the overall situation for human rights defenders in the country."a number of groups have been banned and a new bill p ed by the national embly last december compels local ngos to obtain authorization from the interior minister for any activity and to transfer funds of foreign origin through the central bank.the statement said rights defenders who have not fled burundi are under relentless intimidation, threat






mali urges un to authorize force to fight terrorism in sahel


united nations (ap) — mali’s foreign minister urged the u.n. security council on friday to authorize the immediate deployment of a five-nation force to fight the growing “terrorist” threat in africa’s vast sahel region — a move the united states opposes.abdoulaye diop told the council that malian president ibrahim boubacar keita, acting president of the so-called group of five or g5, is deeply concerned at the difficulties the french-drafted resolution is facing in the council.leaders of the g5 — mali, burkina faso, mauritania, niger and chad — created the joint force to fight terrorism, trans-national organized crime and human trafficking, and its deployment is only awaiting security council authorization, he said.a u.s. official said earlier this month that while the trump administration






mali urges un to authorize force to fight terrorism in sahel


united nations — mali's foreign minister urged the u.n. security council on friday to authorize the immediate deployment of a five-nation force to fight the growing "terrorist" threat in africa's vast sahel region — a move the united states opposes.abdoulaye diop told the council that malian president ibrahim boubacar keita, acting president of the so-called group of five or g5, is deeply concerned at the difficulties the french-drafted resolution is facing in the council.leaders of the g5 — mali, burkina faso, mauritania, niger and chad — created the joint force to fight terrorism, trans-national organized crime and human trafficking, and its deployment is only awaiting security council authorization, he said.a u.s. official said earlier this month that while the trump administration supp






us promises up to $60m for anti-extremist force in africa


united nations — the u.s. is pledging up to $60 million to help a 5,000-troop african force get going on fighting extremists in western africa's vast sahel region.u.n. ambassador nikki haley announced the planned contribution monday as the security council discussed the joint force being launched by mali, burkina faso, mauritania, niger and chad. u.s. secretary of state rex tillerson also issued a statement from washington.the so-called group of five countries agreed in february to assemble the force to combat extremist groups, organized crime and human trafficking. the nations have been grappling with extremists linked to the islamic state group, boko haram and al-qaida's north africa branch.the joint force's first-year budget is 423 million euros ($492 million). before the u.s. pledge, a






un rights expert to visit panama after 'panama papers' leak


geneva — the u.n. human rights office says one of its independent experts will travel to panama next month to investigate tax avoidance and evasion schemes like those revealed by the so-called "panama papers" leak.juan pablo bohoslavsky, the office's expert on foreign debt and human rights, has been asked by the u.n.'s human rights council to study panama's efforts to improve financial transparency and reduce illicit financial flows.the u.n. human rights council has asked bohoslavsky to study the impact of such illicit transactions and report to the 47-member body next march.the argentinian expert said thursday that during the may 2-10 visit he also wants to consider how panama's "impressive economic growth" has trickled down to citizens, and the possible negative effects of large infrastr






europe's top human rights body debates new hungarian laws


budapest, hungary — the council of europe, the continent's top human rights organization, is debating new hungarian laws which critics say seek to limit academic rights and intimidate civic groups.recent amendments to the law on higher education could force central european university, founded by billionaire george soros, to close or leave budapest.also, draft legislation being considered in hungary would force civic groups to declare foreign funding exceeding $25,000 a year or face fines or closure.mogens jensen, a danish lawmaker who prepared the report on hungary being debated thursday in strasbourg, france, says hungary should suspend applying the university law and wait to approve the law on civic groups until experts from the council's advisory venice commission has a chance to asses






filipino envoy hails duterte human-rights record at un body


geneva (ap) — a filipino senator is defending president rodrigo duterte’s human rights record, saying his government always “seeks to uphold the rule of law” in the face of claims that it supports deadly vigilante justice.senator alan peter cayetano came before the u.n.’s human rights council equipped with a slide show and video excerpts of previous comments by duterte about the philippines’ fight against illegal drug trafficking.cayetano was speaking monday at a review of philippines human rights record at the council, part of a process known as the universal periodic review of all 193 u.n. member states.human rights watch has urged the u.n. to denounce the philippines’ “war on drugs” that it said has left over 7,000 suspected drug dealers and users dead since duterte took office in june.






un rights body votes to send experts to deadly congo region


geneva — the u.n.'s main human rights body has voted to send international experts to look into abuses and killings in central congo, where thousands of deaths and mutilations have been reported in recent months.the human rights council approved a resolution friday that blended stringent calls for an international investigation led by the european union with calls from africa for congo's own forces and investigators to take the lead.the resolution calls for experts working with congo's government to visit people and sites in the central kasai regions, where militias and government troops have been blamed for abuses.the catholic church this week estimated that over 3,300 people have been killed in the kasais since august, including two u.n. investigators and their interpreter.






federal lawsuit seeks to force court oversight of chicago police reform


a federal lawsuit filed wednesday by a host of civil rights lawyers and organizations seeks to force sweeping reforms in the troubled chicago police department.the lawsuit, filed in u.s. district court in chicago, is an attempt to force a form of oversight mayor rahm emanuel backed away from earlier this month — federal court supervision of reforms in a department plagued by allegations of excessive force and misconduct.about 15 lawyers from chicago and new york filed the lawsuit on behalf of six african-american plaintiffs who allege excessive force and other abuses, as well as groups including black lives matter chicago.the suit seeks class-action status.the roughly 130-page lawsuit invokes police uses of force dating to the 1968 democratic national convention and the killing of black pa






us promises up to $60m for anti-extremist force in africa


united nations (ap) — the u.s. is pledging up to $60 million to help a 5,000-troop african force get going on fighting extremists in western africa’s vast sahel region.u.n. ambassador nikki haley announced the planned contribution monday as the security council discussed the joint force being launched by mali, burkina faso, mauritania, niger and chad. u.s. secretary of state rex tillerson also issued a statement from washington.the so-called group of five countries agreed in february to assemble the force to combat extremist groups, organized crime and human trafficking. the nations have been grappling with extremists linked to the islamic state group, boko haram and al-qaida’s north africa branch.in june, the european union announced a 50 million euro ($58.1 million) contribution. the joi






palestinian children's rights focus of new us bill | usa news


members of the us congress introduced the "first-ever" bill that seeks to promote the rights of palestinian children living under israeli military occupation.introduced on tuesday by betty mccollum, a democrat and us representative from minnesota, the bill has at least nine co-sponsors and seeks to prohibit us funding that facilitates human rights abuses that impact palestinian children in the occupied west bank, including east jerusalem.in order to become law, the bill would first have to pass the house of representatives and then be introduced and passed in the senate.while that is unlikely to happen, the bill's supporters hail its introduction as a positive development and an attempt to change public opinion on israel and palestine.the promoting human rights by ending israeli military d






palestinian children's rights focus of new us bill | usa news


members of the us congress introduced the "first-ever" bill that seeks to promote the rights of palestinian children living under israeli military occupation.introduced on tuesday by betty mccollum, a democrat and us representative from minnesota, the bill has at least nine co-sponsors and seeks to prohibit us funding that facilitates human rights abuses that impact palestinian children in the occupied west bank, including east jerusalem.in order to become law, the bill would first have to pass the house of representatives and then be introduced and passed in the senate.while that is unlikely to happen, the bill's supporters hail its introduction as a positive development and an attempt to change public opinion on israel and palestine.the promoting human rights by ending israeli military d






un envoy warns of instability in sahel and lake chad basin


united nations (ap) — the u.n. envoy for west africa and the sahel says instability in mali is spilling over into burkina faso and niger while insecurity in the lake chad basin, where boko haram remains active, is proving equally challenging.mohamed ibn chambas told the u.n. security council on thursday that “efforts by member states in the region to deliver on development, improve infrastructure, create jobs and strengthen human security are being hampered by traditional and new drivers of conflict and insecurity.”he says terrorism and violent extremism along with a humanitarian crisis and threats to state integrity “have exacerbated traditional threats.”chambas says a surge in migration and human trafficking is being driven by those factors, along with climate change, a growing youth pop






we don't know exactly what 'extreme vetting' will look like, but screening for r


captioncurves, craftsmanship and cl | 2017 grand national roadster show in pomonathirteen custom cars will compete for the “america's most beautiful roadster” award, vying for a 9-foot-tall trophy and $10,000 in prize money. (gina ferazzi / los angeles times)thirteen custom cars will compete for the “america's most beautiful roadster” award, vying for a 9-foot-tall trophy and $10,000 in prize money. (gina ferazzi / los angeles times)