HRW: Cameroon civilians caught between soldiers, separatists

HRW: Cameroon civilians caught between soldiers, separatists

Since October 2016, when Cameroon’s English-speaking lawyers and teachers first launched peaceful protests to press government reforms for its Anglophone populations, there’s been no shortage of international concern over the deepening cycles of violence. Yet they continue, with a new report from Human Rights Watch detailing the deaths, abductions and…

UN laments closure of human rights office in Burundi

UN laments closure of human rights office in Burundi

  Burundi’s antagonism towards United Nations investigators and the UN human rights agency has spanned the years since President Pierre Nkurunziza insisted on a third term in 2015, touching off a political and humanitarian crisis in the small east-central African nation. Now the government has forced the closure of the…

UN expert welcomes Angola’s decision on same-sex relations

UN expert welcomes Angola’s decision on same-sex relations

A United Nations human rights expert has welcomed Angola’s leadership in decriminalizing same-sex relations, and urged other countries to follow the example in establishing human rights. “All other countries that still criminalize homosexuality and other forms of sexual orientation and gender identity, without exception, must observe these processes of decriminalization…

Report: Amid election crisis, 900 died in DR Congo village clashes

The United Nations human rights agency, OHCHR, said Wednesday that some 900 people died during three days in December in Democratic Republic of Congo’s Mai-Ndombe province, in communal violence stoked by the country’s heightened political tensions. The clashes between the Banunu and Batende people stretched across four villages in the…

UN calls on Cameroon to address Anglophone crisis

The United Nations human rights office said Tuesday it is increasingly concerned over the violence in Cameroon, and said it stands ready to help the West African nation deal with its crisis. “We continue to receive reports of abductions and killings by armed groups, as well as extrajudicial killings by…

Angola’s deportations to DRC spark security fears

Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), warned Friday that Angola’s deportation of Congolese nationals is resulting in serious human rights violations by security forces on both sides of the border. Some 330,000 people have crossed from Angola back into the troubled Kasai and Kwango provinces…

UN formally appoints Bachelet as new human rights chief

Former president of Chile Michelle Bachelet has officially been appointed as the new United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, following a vote Friday at the UN General Assembly in New York. The Bachelet announcement was warmly received by UN Secretary General António  Guterres, who called her “a pioneer, a…

IOM: More migrants die after Algeria forces them into desert

Hundreds of migrants rounded up in Algeria have arrived in Niger, despite the Algerian government’s strong denials that it is forcibly removing the primarily West African migrants and dumping them in the desert. Migrants from Guinea, Cameroon and other nations tell the International Organization for Migration (IOM) that they are…

Rights groups speak out on Mauritanian blogger, blasphemy law

The African Union’s human rights organization, wrapping up its meeting in Nouakchott this week, called on President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz to review Mauritania’s controversial “blasphemy” law. “The African commission uses the occasion of its current session in Mauritania to urge the highest authorities to review this legislation,” said Soyata…

UN human rights chief warns of spiraling CAR violence

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, is appealing to the international community to take serious measures to curb the spiraling ethnic and communal violence in Central African Republic. “Last week’s violence in Bangui demonstrates just how volatile the situation is, and how easily crowds…

UN report points to South Sudan war crimes

A United Nations report on human rights violations in South Sudan released Friday concludes that some violations against civilian populations may constitute crimes against humanity and war crimes. The Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, established by the Human Rights Council in March 2016, said it has identified at least 40…

South Sudan’s Dak draws death penalty despite refugee status

In South Sudan, the SPLM-IO has called shameful the decision to condemn James Gatdet Dak, a former spokesman for exiled opposition leader Riek Machar, to death by hanging on charges of treason. “When the regime should be working to create a conducive environment for negotiations, they are instead handing down…