UN

Congolese Forces Take the Offensive Against Uganda’s ADF-NALU Militants

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Publication: Terrorism Monitor Volume: 12 Issue: 6

March 20, 2014 07:17 PM Age: 9 days  By: Andrew McGregor

Congolese Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Genera...
Congolese Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Kisempia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Fresh from a victory over the rebel troops of the Mouvement du 23 Mars (M23) in the unsettled but resource-rich Nord-Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Congolese army has launched an offensive against the self-described “Islamists” of the Allied Democratic ForcesNational Army for the Liberation of Uganda (ADF-NALU) who have operated in that region since 2004. [1] After several years of dormancy, ADF-NALU renewed operations in July 2013 with a wave of raids, kidnappings, massacres of civilians and attacks on security forces and UN peacekeepers. The once poorly-armed ADF-NALU militants appear to be newly supplied with machine-guns, mortars and rockets to replace their previous reliance on machetes and knives. According to the UN, M23’s defeat was followed by large-scale surrenders by thousands of members of various militant groups in the Nord-Kivu region, but few of these came from ADF-NALU (IRIN, January 27).

Operation Sokola

The operation against ADF-NALU was intended to begin in December 2013 but was delayed after the intended leader of the campaign, Colonel Mamadou Moustafa Ndala, was killed by a rocket in an ambush originally attributed to ADF-NALU fighters in early January (Uganda Radio Network, February 1). Read the rest of this entry »

Russia plays the Iran card

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Russian President Vladimir Putin passes Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during their meeting at the Kremlin, Jan. 16, 2014.  (photo by REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin)

The Geneva II conference to be held next week may be the most intriguing event in diplomacy since the Cold War. On the one hand, this is an example of the cooperation of major countries that want to resolve a regional conflict, each for its own reason. On the other hand, this is a classic “great game,” when all participants are afraid to miscalculate and miss out on the opportunities that will arise. All this is happening, yet the result is completely unpredictable. Even the process itself is unpredictable — a few days before the conference is set to begin, it is still unclear who will participate.

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NZ Hosts Pacific Regional Counter-Terrorism Exercise

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Royal Standard of New Zealand.
Royal Standard of New Zealand. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Friday, May 06, 2011 10:26 AM

BY PACIFC ISLANDS FORUM SECRETARIAT

PRESS STATEMENT from the office of New Zealand Foreign Minister, Hon. Murray McCully – Wednesday 4th May 2011 – Foreign Minister, Murray McCully, says a Pacific regional counter-terrorism exercise is being hosted in New Zealand this week.

Exercise Ready Pasifika brings together police, legal experts and senior officials responsible for counter-terrorism from 14 Pacific Island countries for a table-top exercise being held in Auckland.

“While there is only a low level of threat to the Pacific region from terrorism, nowhere can be considered completely immune,” said Mr McCully.

“The high level of involvement in this exercise demonstrates the importance New Zealand and Pacific Island Forum governments attach to cooperation against international terrorism,” he said

The exercise coincides with the Working Group on Counter-Terrorism‘s annual meeting. This is the only regular regional forum for countries to discuss international counter-terrorism trends and identify priorities for assistance.

This year it is being attended by the head of the UN Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate, Ambassador Mike Smith, as well as Pacific Forum member and observer countries and a number of regional security organisations.

United Nations’ resolutions have required member states to restrict the movement, organisation and fund-raising activities of terrorist groups,” said Mr McCully

“Many smaller states have lacked the resources to fully comply with international standards and for the last five years New Zealand has taken a lead role on assisting Pacific Island countries meet their counter-terrorism obligations.”

“New Zealand has provided funding for counter-terrorism technical assistance in the region through the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat,” he said Read the rest of this entry »

Counter-terrorism; South Sudan; Iran; Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and more | UN Dispatch

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Counter-terrorism: At the Security Council’s high-level debate on Counter-terrorism today, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today he hoped Member States will decide to create the position of a UN Counter-Terrorism Coordinator to promote better coordination, collaboration and cooperation among all players.

Mr. Ban told the Security Council, during its debate on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts, that terrorism is a significant threat to peace and security, prosperity and people, and the global community continues to pursue a robust and comprehensive response.

Meanwhile, the U.N. Security Council says international terrorism is increasingly motivated by intolerance and extremism and its perpetrators are increasingly resorting to kidnapping for ransom and coordinating acts with organized crime. A presidential statement approved by the council Friday also expressed concern at the growing use of the internet and new information and communications technologies by terrorists to recruit, incite, finance and prepare their illegal activities.


South Sudan:
The United Nations announced today that U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay will visit South Sudan for four days starting Tuesday. Pillay is to meet with South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and other top government and civil leaders beginning Tuesday. She’ll discuss the risk to civilians caught up in the hostilities between both countries.


Iran:
A group of independent UN experts today condemned the ongoing arrests and harsh sentencing of human rights defenders in Iran, and urged the Government to ensure they are provided with adequate protection. Along with fellow experts, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed voiced particular concern about the situation of Nargess Mohammadi, whose state of health is reportedly extremely fragile.


DR Congo:
The UN refugee agency is helping more than 20,000 people who have fled fighting between government forces and renegade troops in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in recent days and found shelter in areas near Goma, the capital of North Kivu province. According to UNHCR field staff, people are still heading toward Goma and its environs from their homes in the affected Masisi and Walikale territories, located west and north-west of Goma, but the flow has eased slightly. The refugee agency has registered 10,300 people at a spontaneous site 25 kilometres from Goma, and 9,000 in Mugunga III, one of 31 UNHCR-run settlements for IDPs in North Kivu.


UN Youth Forum
: The creation of green jobs is essential to ensure a sustainable future, United Nations officials stressed today at a forum held at the Organization’s Headquarters in New York aimed at giving young people a platform to voice their concerns, experiences and ideas to tackle youth unemployment.

The forum, whose theme is “Empowering Youth with Better Job Opportunities,” brought together young delegates and entrepreneurs, students and representatives of youth NGOs. Participants took part in two interactive dialogues, the first one focusing on education and training, and the second on the creation of green jobs and the conditions needed to create them.

In her address to participants, Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro stressed that youth are mobilizing like never before and that their ideas can help countries achieve their sustainable development objectives.


Right of Indigenous Peoples:
A United Nations fact finder surveying conditions of Native Americans and Native Alaskans says he will recommend in his report that some of their lands are returned.

James Anaya has been meeting with tribal leaders, the administration and Senate members over 12 days to assess U.S. compliance with the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. He plans several suggestions in his report, likely due out this fall. Anaya says land restoration would help bring about reconciliation. He named the Black Hills of South Dakota as an example. The hills are public land but are considered sacred land by Native Americans.

A Tormenting in Moscow

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Why is Russia harassing President Obama’s new ambassador? BY LEON ARON | APRIL 12, 2012

Russians are known for their warm welcomes, rolling out the red carpet for honored guests and ensconcing them in bear hugs, complete with three hearty kisses on the cheeks. Perhaps the new U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul didn’t quite expect the same gracious reception given the frosty relationship between Washington and Moscow these days, but his first few months on the job have been unusual, if not downright hostile, a lot more Cold War than Russian Reset. Upon arriving in Moscow, the ambassador greeted his guests with an effervescent — even hokey — YouTube video introducing himself, a longtime student of and friend to Russia. In response, he was met with an Arctic propaganda blast reminiscent of the early 1980s, and harassment likely without precedent for U.S. ambassadors — either in the Soviet Union or in post-Soviet Russia.

The Obama administration has since complained to the Russian government about the harassment of McFaul. “Everywhere I go,” McFaul tweeted, “[the Gazprom-owned national television network] NTV is there. Wonder who gives them my calendar. They wouldn’t tell me. Wonder what laws are here for such things.” By crowding the U.S. ambassador and filming his comings and goings, NTV reporters act not unlike former KGB myrmidons, clearly seeking to intimidate not only McFaul but even more so his Russia interlocutors, whom they try to intercept and “interview.” It wouldn’t be the first time that the Kremlin has successfully snooped into the affairs of the U.S. Embassy — in fact, there’s a long tradition of mutual suspicion and spycraft between these old adversaries, but the host government sharing his open schedule with flunkies just to intimidate the ambassador seems a new low in what was hoped to have been a new period of mutual respect and good relations.

It is always sad and maddening to hear about insults to human dignity by paid propagandists and thugs of authoritarian regimes. Yet the hounding of McFaul is particularly bizarre. Not only is he a brilliant scholar, the author of hundreds of articles and several books on Russia, and one of the most popular professors at Stanford University, but McFaul is widely regarded as a man of profound intellectual and personal integrity. In at least 20 years that I’ve known and deeply admired Mike, I’ve met no one who did not hold him in highest esteem, even those who disagreed with him professionally.

A native of Montana and a Californian by professional choice, Mike epitomizes America’s democratic spirit, free inquiry, unfettered debate, and respect for the right to question authority. He is also a sparkling, often ebullient conversationalist. Anyone who spends even a few minutes in his company finds his discourse utterly infectious.

That he is a Russian speaker and, with his shock of blond hair, Hollywood-handsome, does not hurt him a bit among Russian television viewers — not to mention his legion of longtime admirers among pro-democracy experts and intelligentsia. It is all of this — but particularly the last bit — that makes McFaul such a stark and embossing contrast to the intellectual grayness of Putinism, the vulgarity of its propaganda, and the pettiness of its cat-and-mouse games with intellectuals and pro-democracy opposition.

From the start of his ambassadorship a few months ago, McFaul seemed determined to treat Russia as a normal country: he proclaimed himself willing to speak to anyone – even his detractors. “I respect press right to go anywhere & ask any questions,” he tweeted of NTV, even as he wondered whether “they have a right to read my email and listen to my phone?”

But there is more to it than that. McFaul was among the key architects of the reset in the U.S.-Russian relations. Whatever this effort has or has not achieved and whatever built-in flaws handicapped the reset from the beginning, there is little doubt about McFaul’s sincerity, good faith, and passionate commitment that the effort would make both countries more secure and prosperous. Among other things, he worked tirelessly on the New START nuclear arms treaty and helped to secure Russia’s entry in the World Trade Organization.

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Review_UN list of proscribed Taliban associates

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On 6 January 2012, the Committee approved the addition of the four entries specified below to the Committee’s List (the 1988 Sanctions List) of individuals and entities subject to the assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo set out in paragraph 1 of Security Council resolution 1988 (2011):

Syria – to break the downward spiral

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syria
syria (Photo credit: themua)
March 7th, 2012

It is necessary to consider what role NGOs might now play in Syria– particularly to support the mediation efforts of former UN secretary-general, Kofi Annan – in order to break what seems to be a continual downward spiral, with real dangers of civil war.

By Rene Wadlow

Mid-March 2011 in Syria, nonviolent protests and demands for limited reforms began and then were increasingly met by government violence.  Discussions on what the United Nations could do to help the Syrian people and to speed up necessary reforms started quickly in both New York and Geneva. The appointment of the former UN secretary-general, Kofi Annan, as a joint UN-League of Arab States moderator at the end of February 2012 is the most recent efforts as we mark this one-year anniversary.

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have also been concerned, some acting directly – such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) – others as members of the Observer Mission of the League of Arab States. Other NGOs, both Syrian, such as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, and international have provided information and have proposed mediation.

It is worth while to analyse these efforts, to outline some of the strengths and weaknesses and to consider what role NGOs might play now to break what seems to be a continual downward spiral with real dangers of civil war, as fighting with heavy weapons continues and flows of arms from outside Syria to the opposition seems to be growing.

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