Bangkok Desk, Apr 17 (EFE).- More than 1,600 Myanmar prisoners were being released Sunday in a Buddhist New Year amnesty, the military junta announced, as anti-coup protests took place across the country. The total of 1,619 prisoners to be released includes 42 foreigners, according two junta statements on Sunday, although they did not say whether they would include political prisoners jailed for their opposition to the 2021 coup. More than 1,700 people have been killed and 13,000 arrested by the military since the coup, according to the NGO Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, which documents and verifies information. It is also unknown whether Australian Sean Turnell, economic adviser to the deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi and who has been held since shortly after the coup on Feb. 1, 2021, is among the 42 foreigners released and deported.
This week, the European Union imposed sanctions on Wagner Group, a Russian mercenary organization accused of committing human rights abuses in the Central African Republic and further afield. The EU said in a statement that Wagner had recruited, trained and sent independent military operatives to war zones around the world, fueling violence, as well as unlawfully stealing natural res and intimidating civilians. In August, the United Nations reported more than 500 incidents July 2020. Amongst those documented were extrajudicial killings, torture and sexual violence. As a result, the EU, one of the regions largest humanitarian donors, suspended its mission to help train CAR forces. This was due to concerns that Wagner mercenaries were commanding units the EU had assembled.
The US has extended a warm welcome to India on its election to the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member and said that it looks forward to working with New Delhi in the powerful organ of the United Nations on the issues of international peace and security. The remarks of America, which is one of the five permanent members of the UNSC, came hours after India’s overwhelming election as a non-permanent member for a two-year term, beginning January 1, 2021. We extend a warm welcome to India and congratulations on India’s successful election to UN Security Council, said the South and Central Asia Bureau of the State Department. We look forward to working together on issues of international peace and security a natural extension of the US-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership, it said in a tweet.
United Nations (United States) (AFP) – The UN Security Council on Wednesday unanimously adopted two resolutions to create a mission in Sudan to support the country’s political transition and extend the mandate of peacekeepers in Darfur, diplomats said. The resolution on the new United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) was drafted by Britain and Germany. The mission was established “for an initial period of 12 months,” according to the text of the resolution, seen by AFP. The resolution asks Secretary General Antonio Guterres to quickly name an envoy to head up the new mission. After the fall of long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir in April 2019, and several months of pro-democracy protests that were brutally suppressed, Sudan embarked on a political transition. In August last year, a civilian-military transition authority was created to lead the transition for a period of three years.
Few Afghans have been safe from the ongoing fighting across the country. The violence has been brutal and often close to home. The war has destroyed hospitals, schools, mosques, wedding halls, and other public places. Yet the cycle of violence continues. The dream of peace is distant as ever in a country where violence is a means to win the war through gaining leverage over negotiations. With the derailed peace talks villages are once again under siege, improvised explosives devices continue taking lives and widespread combat breaks apart mothers who wait for their sons to come home from the frontline. The Afghan people are trapped inside the fire. Militants Stage Gruesome Hospital Massacre