#AceNewsReport – Sept.23: That’s according to Ukrinform’s own correspondent in New York reporting from Zelensky’s meeting with representatives of Ukrainian organizations and churches in the United States, which took place at the Ukrainian Institute of America.
#AceDailyNews says that Ukraine to implement idea of dual citizenship, Zelensky assures diaspora in U.S.
President Volodymyr Zelensky has told the Americans of Ukrainian descent said he would work toward implementing the idea of dual citizenship.
“We must implement the idea of dual citizenship, especially for Ukrainians in America,” Zelensky said, noting, however, that the issue with the law on dual citizenship “isn’t an easy one.
“This can’t apply to everyone because some Ukrainians live in countries that are not our friends, to put it mildly,” Zelensky explained, hinting at Russia.
According to Zelensky, it is necessary to “restore history, justice, and respect for the centuries-old, multinational and multicolored state.” And the restoration of respect, he said, is measured by concrete things. Among such things, the president named massive road construction efforts.
“Our roads are better now than they are in New York,” he said, sparking applause and adding that more work needs to be done in this regard in “respect for the history of our country.”
The head of state also stressed his priority in the office, which is to bring peace back to Ukraine. This will be done through diplomacy, negotiations “with a very difficult country and difficult people,” and we need pressure from the international community, “anyone who can do anything to restoring our country’s connection with all our people and territories.”
Zelensky called on Ukrainians abroad to do everything possible to help Ukraine.
In turn, President of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, Andriy Futey, noted that the community is making every effort to influence U.S. government policy towards Ukraine and thus to promote the implementation of Ukraine’s strategic course toward membership in NATO and the EU, restoration of territorial integrity, as well as the termination of the Nord Stream 2 project.
As Ukrinform reported, Volodymyr Zelensky kicked off his working visit to the United States on September 20.
The President arrived in New York to attend the 76th session of the UN General Assembly. The Ukrainian leader is set to speak at the session’s general debate on September 22.
US told its allies to wrap up rescue missions by Friday, Belgium minister says
Russia sends planes to evacuate more than 500 people
German and US top envoys hold talks
This story was last updated at 09:55 UTC
Germany may soon end evacuations
German media reported on Wednesday that German evacuation flights from Kabul airport could end as early as Friday.
A correspondent for the German public broadcaster ARD said that the rescue flights between Kabul and Tashkent may even come to an end on Wednesday.
However, Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly said, according to Reuters, that: “As long as it is responsible, we will evacuate people. But that can only be done together with the USA.”
German military flights have evacuated over 4,600 German citizens and at-risk locals so far, according to the German defense ministry. The Bundeswehr will need time to evacuate its own personnel from the airport before the 6,000 US troops finish their own withdrawal on August 31.
Belgium: US told allies to end evacuations on Friday
Belgium’s Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder told local newspapers L’Echo and De Tijd that the US has made it clear to its coalition partners who are still evacuating people from Kabul that they should wrap up their “noncombatant evacuation operations” by Friday, August 27.
The US has insisted on pulling out its 6,000 troops from Kabul airport by August 31. The military forces will require several days to complete the evacuation of military personnel and equipment meaning that rescue operations will have to end before that.
Afghanistan withdrawal leaves hard questions for NATO
UK to maintain operations up to the last minute
The UK’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told the BBC on Wednesday that although he could not give a “precise timeline” for the UK to leave Kabul airport, it was “clear that the troops will be withdrawn by the end of the month.”
He said that the operation would need to wind down to evacuate military personnel working at the airport, but that the UK would “make the maximum use of the time left.”
The comment comes a day after the UK failed to convince US President Joe Biden to extend the evacuation deadline.
Raab also said that British forces have managed to airlift 9,000 British citizens and locals since the Taliban took control of Kabul on August 15.
Mexico and Uganda welcome Afghan refugees
Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard welcomed six Afghan refugees as they landed at Mexico City airport on Tuesday. “Welcome to your home,” Ebrard told them.
Five of the arrivals were women who had won a robotics competition. They fled Afghanistan earlier in the month and passed through six countries before arriving in Mexico.
A flight carrying 51 Afghans also landed in Uganda on Wednesday morning. Kampala agreed to accept “at-risk” Afghan nationals temporarily while they wait to be transferred to the US or other destinations.
The US embassy in Kampala thanked the east African country for its “generosity and hospitality toward these communities.”
Russia sends planes to evacuate more than 500 people
Four Russian military aircraft have been sent to Kabul to evacuate more than 500 people, the Interfax news agency reported on Wednesday.
They were sent on there on the orders of President Vladimir Putin and Russian Defense Minister Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.
The report said the mission was to evacuate Russian nationals, but also citizens of Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine.
Germany’s Maas speaks to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas tweeted late on Tuesday that he had held talks with his US counterpart, Antony Blinken.
Berlin’s top diplomat said they discussed the “ongoing evacuation” and “further departure options for Afghans” who want to flee their homeland.
The Social Democrat politician said the pair also focused on how to deal with the Taliban, the hardline Islamist group that now rules Afghanistan.
Paralympians leave Afghanistan
Two Paralympians from Afghanistan have left the country, according to the International Paralympic Committee said Wednesday.
Afghanistan’s team for the event was made up of female para-taekwondo athlete Zakia Khudadadi and male track athlete Hossain Rasouli.
The IPC said the pair were receiving counseling, but could not confirm if they would be able to travel to Japan.
#AceDailyNews reports on the Remarks by President Biden on Evacuations in Afghanistan following G7 Virutal Meeting on Tuesday …..
1:49 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon. I’ve just met with the Vice President, Secretary Blinken, Secretary Austin, National Security Advisor Sullivan, and other members the national security leadership team in the Situation Room to discuss our ongoing efforts to evacuate American citizens, third-country civilians, Afghan allies, and vulnerable Afghans. And I want to provide the American people with a brief update and the — on the situation in Afghanistan.
August 20, 2021
Since I spoke to you on Monday, we’ve made significant progress. We have secured the airport, enabling flights to resume. Not just military flights, but civilian charters and other — from other countries and the NGOs taking out civilians and vulnerable Afghan — vulnerable Afghans.
And now we have almost 6,000 troops on the ground, including the 82nd Airborne providing runway security, the Army 10th Mountain Division standing guard around the airport, and the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit assisting the civilian departure.
This is one of the largest, most difficult airlifts in history. And the only country in the world capable of projecting this much power on the far side of the world with this degree of precision is the United States of America.
We’ve already evacuated more than 18,000 people since July and approximately 13,000 since our military airlift began on August the 14th. Thousands more have been evacuated on private charter flights facilitated by the U.S. government.
These numbers include American citizens and permanent residents, as well as their families. It includes SIV applicants and their families — those Afghans who have worked alongside us, served alongside of us, gone into combat with us, and provided invaluable assistance to us, such as translators and interpreters.
The United States stands by its commitment that we’ve made to these people, and it includes other vulnerable Afghans, such as women leaders and journalists.
In fact, working in close coordination with the management of the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal, we have successfully evacuated all 204 of their employees in Afghanistan on U.S. military aircraft earlier this week.
We have established the flow of flights, and we’ve increased the number of people we are moving out of the country.
We paused flights in Kabul a few hours this morning to make sure we could process the arriving evacuees at the transit points, but our commander in Kabul has already given the order for outbound flights to resume.
Even with the pause, we moved out 5,700 evacuees yesterday, and we’re working on a variety — to verify that number of the Americans that are still in the country as we work on this because we’re not — don’t have the exact number of people who are — Americans who are there. And those who may have come home to the United States, we’re not — we want to get a strong number as to exactly how many people are there, how many American citizens, and where they are.
Just yesterday, among the many Americans we evacuated, there were 169 Americans who, over the — we got over the wall into the airport using military assets.
We’re also facilitating flights for our Allies and our partners, and working in close operational coordination with NATO on this evacuation.
For example, we provided overwatch for the French convoy bringing hundreds of their people from the French embassy to the airport.
These operations are going — are going to continue over the coming days before we complete our drawdown.
We’re going to do everything — everything that we can to provide safe evacuation for our Afghan allies, partners, and Afghans who might be targeted if — because of their association with the United States.
But let me be clear, any American who wants to come home, we will get you home.
But make no mistake: This evacuation mission is dangerous. It involves risks to our armed forces, and it is being conducted under difficult circumstances.
I cannot promise what the final outcome will be or what it will be — that it will be without risk of loss. But as Commander-in-Chief, I can assure you that I will mobilize every resource necessary.
And as an American, I offer my gratitude to the brave men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces who are carrying out this mission. They’re incredible.
As we continue to work the logistics of evacuation, we’re in constant contact with the Taliban, working to ensure civilians have safe passage to the airport. We’re particularly focused in our engagements on making sure every American who wants to leave can get to the airport. Where we have been — seen challenges with Americans — for Americans, we have thus far been able to resolve them.
We’ve been able — we’ve made — look, we’ve made clear to the Taliban that any attack — any attack on our forces or disruption of our operations at the airport will be met with a swift and forceful response.
We’re also keeping a close watch on any potential terrorist threat at or around the airport, including from the ISIS affiliates in Afghanistan who were released from prison when the prisons were emptied. And because they are, by the way — to make everybody understand — that the ISIS in Afghanistan are the — have been the sworn enemy of the Taliban.
I’ve said all along: We’re going to retain a laser-focus on our counterterrorism mission, working in close coordination with our allies and our partners and all those who have an interest in ensuring stability in the region.
Secretary Blinken, who is with me today, met this morning with our NATO Allies in consultation about the way forward so that Afghanistan cannot be used as a — in the future as a terrorist base of attack — to attack the United States or our Allies.
For 20 years, Afghanistan has been a joint effort with our NATO Allies. We went in together and we’re leaving together, and now we’re working together to bring our people and our Afghan partners to safety.
In the past few days, I’ve also spoken directly with the British Prime Minster, Mr. Johnson; Chancellor Merkel of Germany; and President Macron of France.
We all agreed that we should convene and we will convene the G7 meeting next week — a group of the world’s leading democracies — so that together we can coordinate our mutual approach, our united approach on Afghanistan and moving forward.
We are united with our closest partners to execute the mission at hand.
We’ve also discussed the need to work with the international community to provide humanitarian assistance, such as food, aid, and medical care for refugees who have crossed into neighboring countries to escape the Taliban; and to bring international pressure on the Taliban with respect to the treatment of Afghan peo- — the Afghan people overall, but including Afghan, particularly, women and girls.
The past week has been heartbreaking. We’ve seen gut-wrenching images of panicked people acting out of sheer desperation. You know, it’s completely understandable. They’re frightened. They’re sad — uncertain what happens next.
I don’t think anyone — I don’t think any one of us can see those pictures and not feel that pain on a human level.
Now we have a mission — a mission to complete in Afghanistan. It’s an incredibly difficult and dangerous operation for our military.
We have almost 6,000 of America’s finest fighting men and women in Ka- — at the Kabul Airport.
And we’re putting their lives on the line — they’re doing it — in a dangerous place to save other Americans, our Afghan allies, and citizens of our al- — our allies who went in with us.
You know, I — I talk — I talk to our commanders on the ground there every single day, as I just did a few hours — an hour or so ago. And I made it clear to them that we’ll get them whatever they need to do the job. They’re performing to the highest standard under extraordinarily difficult and dynamic circumstances.
Our NATO Allies are strongly standing with us — their troops keeping sentry alongside ours in Kabul.
As is the case whenever I deploy our troops into harm’s way, I take that responsibility seriously. I carry that burden every day, just as I did when I was Vice President and my son was deployed to Iraq for a year.
There’ll be plenty of time to criticize and second-guess when this operation is over. But now — now I’m focused on getting this job done.
I would ask every American to join me in praying for the women and men risking their lives on the ground in the service of our nation.
As events evolve over the coming days, my team and I will continue to share the information and update the American people on exactly where things are.
We’ll use every resource necessary to carry out the mission at hand and bring to safety American citizens and our Afghan allies. This is our focus now.
And when this is finished, we will complete our military withdrawal and finally bring to an end 20 years of American military action in Afghanistan.
Thank you, and may God bless you, our troops, our diplomats, and all those serving in harm’s way.
And now I’ll take questions. AP, Zeke Miller.
Q Thank you, Mr. President. You vowed that your election would usher in an era where the world could count on America to live up to its promises. You promised to leave Afghanistan, but you also promised not to — to help — to bring out those who helped America in its war effort. We’ve seen these heart-wrenching images at the Kabul airport of people trying to get there, to say nothing of the people who can’t get to that airport.
You made the commitment to get American troops out, to get the American citizens out. Will you make the same commitment to those who assisted in the American war effort over the last 20 years? Number one.
And then, number two: What’s your message to America’s partners around the world who have criticized not the withdrawal, but the conduct of that withdrawal, and made — made them question America’s credibility on the world stage?
THE PRESIDENT: I have seen no question of our credibility from our allies around the world. I have spoken with our NATO Allies. We’ve spoken with NATO Allies — the Secretary of State. Our National Security Advisor has been in contact with his counterparts throughout the world with our Allies, as has the General — or, excuse me, I keep calling him a General, but my Secretary of Defense.
The fact of the matter is I have not seen that. Matter of fact, the exact opposite I’ve got — the exact opposite thing is we’re acting with dispatch, we’re acting — committing to what we said we would do.
Look, let’s put this thing in perspective here. What interest do we have in Afghanistan at this point with al Qaeda gone? We went to Afghanistan for the express purpose of getting rid of al Qaeda in Afghanistan, as well as — as well as getting Osama bin Laden. And we did.
Imagine — just imagine if that attack — if bin Laden had decided, with al Qaeda, to launch an attack from Yemen. Would we ever have gone to Afghanistan? Would there ever be any reason we’d be in Afghanistan — controlled by the Taliban? What is the national interest of United States in that circumstance? We went and did the mission. You’ve known my position for a long, long time. It’s time to end this war.
The estimates of the cost of this war over the last 20 years ranged from a minimum of $1 trillion to a think tank at one of the universities saying $2 trillion. That’s somewhere between $150 million a day and $300 million a day.
The threat from terrorism has metastasized. There’s a greater danger from ISIS and — and al Qaeda and all these affiliates in other countries, by far, than there is from Afghanistan.
And we’re going to retain an over-the-horizon capability that if they were to come back — to be able to take them out, surgically move.
So, this is — this is where we should be. This is about America leading the world, and all our allies have agreed with that.
And, by the way, before I made this decision, I was at the G7, as well as — met with our NATO partners, and I told them all. Every one of them knew and agreed with the decision I made to an end — end — jointly end our involvement in Afghanistan.
The first part of your question was — I can’t remember now.
Q It is: Are — would you commit to the same commitment — would you make the same commitment to bring out Afghans who assisted in the war effort?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Yes. We’re making the same commitment. There’s no one more important than bringing American citizens out. I acknowledge that. But they’re equally important, almost — is all those who — those “SIVs,” we call them, who, in fact, helped us. They were translators. They went into battle with us. They were part of the operation. As well as — we’re also trying to get out as many NGOs — non-governmental organizations — women’s organizations, et cetera. We’re doing all we can.
In the meantime, Secretary Blinken and I am going to be working with our Allies to see to it that we can bring international pressure on the Taliban to be — they’re looking to gain some legitimacy. They’re going to have to figure out how they’re going to maintain that country.
And there’s going to be harsh conditions we’re — strong condition we’re going to apply. And it will depend on whether they get help — based on whether or not how and well they treat women and girls, how they treat their citizens.
So, this is just beginning on that score.
Q And are you willing to stay passed the 31st to make that happen — to bring all the Americans out, to bring those SIVs out?
THE PRESIDENT: I think we can get it done by then, but we’re going to make that judgment as we go.
Now, Justin Sink of Bloomberg.
Q Thank you, Mr. President. You just said that you would keep a laser-focus on counterterrorism efforts and that you don’t see as great of a threat of terrorism from Afghanistan as other parts of the world. But if you and your administration so badly misassessed how quickly the Taliban would sweep through Afghanistan and we no longer have an embassy there from which to run intelligence operations, how can you at all be confident of your assessment of the risk of terrorism and the ability of the U.S. to conduct over-the-horizon missions to keep it in check? Can you tell Americans that they’re safe and will remain safe from terror attacks in Afghanistan?
THE PRESIDENT: I think you’re comparing apples and oranges. One question was whether or not the Afghan forces we trained up would stay and fight in their own civil war they had going on.
No one — I shouldn’t say “no one” — the consensus was that it was highly unlikely that in 11 days they’d collapse and fall, and the leader of Afghanistan would flee the country.
That’s a very different question than whether or not there is the ability to observe whether or not large groups of terrorists began to accumulate in a particular area in Afghanistan to plot against the United States of America. That’s why we retained an over-the-horizon capability to go in and do something about that if that occurs — if that occurs.
But in the meantime, we know what’s happening around the world. We know what’s happening in terms of what’s going on in other countries, where there is the significant rise of terrorist organizations in the Middle East, in East Africa, and other places.
And so, the bottom line is: We have to do — we’re dealing with those terrorist threats from other parts of the world in failed states without permanent military — without permanent military presence there. We have to do the same in Afghanistan.
Q And, sir, just on that initial assessment: We’ve learned, over the last 24 hours, that there was a dissent cable from the State Department —
THE PRESIDENT: Sure.
Q — saying that the Taliban would come faster through Afghanistan. Can you say why, after that cable was issued, the U.S. didn’t do more to get Americans out?
THE PRESIDENT: We’ve got all kind of cables, all kinds of advice. If you notice, it ranged from this group saying that — they didn’t say it’d fall when it would fall — when it did fall — but saying that it would fall; to others saying it wouldn’t happen for a long time and they’d be able to sustain themselves through the end of the year.
I made the decision. The buck stops with me. I took the consensus opinion. The consensus opinion was that, in fact, it would not occur, if it occurred, until later in the year. So, it was my decision.
Now, my — I got — my next is Stephanie Ramos, ABC.
Q Thank you, Mr. President. Two questions for you. The military has secured the airport, as you mentioned, but will you sign off on sending U.S. troops into Kabul to evacuate Americans who haven’t been able to get to the airport safely?
THE PRESIDENT: We have no indication that they haven’t been able to get — in Kabul — through the airport. We’ve made an agreement with the — with the Taliban. Thus far, they’ve allowed them to go through. It’s in their interest for them to go through. So, we know of no circumstance where American citizens are — carrying an American passport — are trying to get through to the airport. But we will do whatever needs to be done to see to it they get to the airport.
Q And one more, Mr. President. Last month, my colleague Martha Raddatz interviewed Abdul, an interpreter who was on the frontlines with U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Overnight, we received a photo of Taliban militants coming to the door of his home, literally hunting him down. Thankfully, he was able to escape, but he is obviously still in mortal danger. What would be your message to Abdul, his wife, and his three young daughters?
THE PRESIDENT: We want you to be able to get to the airport. Contact us. We’ll see whatever we can do to get you there. We’ve got to get you out. We are committed to deal with you, your wife, and your child — to get all three of you out of Afghanistan. That’s the commitment.
Q Thank you, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: Meredith Lee of PBS NewsHour.
Q Thank you, Mr. President. You mentioned just now using every resource available for evacuations. Why haven’t you ordered the military to expand the security perimeter around the Kabul airport? Do you have any plans to do so, given that it will likely require more U.S. troops? And are you considering rescue operations to recover Americans and Afghan allies stuck behind Taliban checkpoints?
THE PRESIDENT: The last answer is yes — to the last question. We’re considering every op- — every opportunity and every means by which we can get folks to the airport. That’s number one.
Number two, the reason why we have not gone out and started — and set up a perimeter way outside the airport in Kabul is that it’s likely to draw an awful lot of unintended consequences in terms of people who, in fact, are not part of the Taliban.
We’ve been in constant contact with the Taliban leadership on the ground in — in Kabul, as well as the Taliban leadership at Daho [Doha], and we’ve been coordinating what we are doing.
That’s why we were able — for example, how we got all of our embassy personnel out, how we got everyone out of the embassy safely that was at distance. That’s how we helped get the French out and — out of their embassy.
So, the question remains — there will be judgments made on the ground by the military commanders at the moment, and that — I cannot second-guess each of those judgments to be made.
But the idea of — again, let me — let me get back to the fundamental point I made at the outset. When the decision was made by me that — and it was made some time ago, when I ran for President saying I wanted to get us out of Afghanistan — one of the things that is a reality is people now say to me and to others — and so- — many of you say it on air — that: Why did we have to move? Because no Americans are being attacked. Why did we withdraw those — why did we agree to withdraw 2,500 troops? No Americans were being attacked.
As I said before, the reason they weren’t being attacked was part of an agreement that Trump had made a year earlier. “We will leave by May 1st,” he said, “as long as there’s no attack on Americans in that year, period.” Number one.
Number two, the Taliban was taking large swaths of the countryside, north and south — none of the major areas, none of the major points of the capitals of each of these provinces, but they were all over the — all over the country.
And the idea that if I had said on May the 2nd or 3rd, “We are not leaving; we are staying” — does anybody truly believe that I would not have had to put in significantly more American forces — send your sons, your daughters — like my son was sent to Iraq — to maybe die? And for what? For what?
So the only rational thing to do, in my view, was to set up and pre-position American forces for the purpose of evacuation, and the aircraft — to pre-position those ahead of time so that we would be able to begin the process of evacuation of American citizens, SIVs, and others who helped us.
The last point I’ll make is this: Look, if we had decided 15 years ago to leave Afghanistan, it would have been really difficult. If we decided five years ago — if we start — if we continued the war for another decade and tried to leave, there’s no way in which you’d be able to leave Afghanistan without there being some of what you’re seeing now.
But what we’ve done so far is we’ve been able to get a large number of Americans out, all our personnel at the embassy out, and so on.
And, thank God, so far — knock on wood — we’re in a different position.
Scott Detrow. Scott. NPR.
Q Thank you, Mr. President. I just want to follow up on something you said a moment ago. You said that there’s no circumstances where American citizens cannot get to the airport. That doesn’t really square with the images we’re seeing around the airport and with the reporting on the ground from our colleagues who are describing chaos and violence. Are you saying unequivocally that any American who wants to get to the airport is getting there and getting past the security barrier and to the planes where they want to go?
THE PRESIDENT: No, I thought the question was: How can they get through to the airport outside the airport? And the answer is: To the best of our knowledge, the Taliban checkpoints — they are letting through people showing American passports.
Now, that’s a different question when they get into the rush and crowd of all the folks just outside the wall near the airport. That’s why we had to, I guess, ye- — was it yesterday or the day before? — we went over the wall and brought in — how many?
MR. SULLIVAN: One hundred and sixty-nine.
THE PRESIDENT: One hundred and sixty-nine Americans. So, it is a process to try to figure out how we — how we deal with the mad rush of non-Americans — those who didn’t help, those who are not on a priority list — just any Afghan — any Afghan to be able to get out of the country.
And so my guess is that, no matter what, under what circumstances we — anyone — there’s not a whole lot of Afghanis — there’s a whole lot of Afghanis that just as soon come to America, whether there were any involvement with the United States in the past at all, rather than stay under Taliban rule or any — any rule.
So, what I was saying is that we have an agreement that they will let pass through the checkpoints that they — the Taliban — control. They’ve let Americans through.
Q But given this — given the negotiations with the Taliban, the scenes that we’re seeing, can you just fully explain why the plan wasn’t to go ahead with these evacuations of both Americans and allies before the drawdowns began, before Bagram was closed, looking back several months? Because whether it was now or several months from now, there seems to be a broad consensus that the Taliban would make these gains and these would be needed at some point.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, yeah, at some point. But the point was that although we were in contact with the Taliban and Doha for this whole period of time, that “some point” wasn’t expected to be the total demise of the Afghan National Force, which was 300 [thousand] persons.
Let’s assume the Afghan National Force had continued to fight and ha- — and they were surrounding Kabul. It’d be a very different story. Very different story.
But the con- — overwhelming consensus was that they — this was not — they were not going to collapse. The Afghan forces, they were not going to leave. They were not going to just abandon and then put down their arms and take off. So, that’s what’s happened.
#AceNewsReport – June.26: However, a member of the German parliament’s defense committee, who requested anonymity, told AFP that all the wounded were German. Twelve were seriously injured, the MP said:
MALI: Car bomb wounds 15-UN peacekeepers in Bamako they said on Twitter that an evacuation was under way that struck a temporary base near Tarkint, in the lawless north of the country. It didn’t provide further details and the presence of thousands of French and UN troops, the conflict has engulfed the center of the country and spread to neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger: Published: June 25, 2021 16:43
On Monday, six French soldiers and four civilians were wounded when a car bomb detonated near a French armored car in central Mali.
About 13,000 troops from several nations are deployed in the UN’s MINUSMA peacekeeping mission across the vast semi-arid country: Mali is struggling to contain an Islamist insurgency that erupted in 2012 and which has claimed thousands of military and civilian lives:
A security official, who declined to be identified, told AFP that the forward operating base attacked on Friday was only set up the previous day, after a land mine damaged a UN vehicle in the area: The peacekeepers set up the temporary base in order to remove the damaged vehicle, the security official said:
#AceNewsReport – Mar.16: The resolution, among other things, required the UN Secretary-General to report on its implementation on the 74th UN General Assembly’s session in the fall of 2019:
Russia’s replacement of population in occupied Crimea violates Geneva Convention – UN report: ‘In December 2018, the UN General Assembly approved the Ukrainian resolution A/RES/73/263 on the protection of human rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation’
2019/10/18 – 19:14 •
People hold Russian flags on the streets of occupied Crimea. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk, RFE/RL
Edited by: Yuri Zoria
A formal presentation of UN Secretary-General António Guterres‘s report took place on 14 October in New York. The report reveals multiple Russian crimes in Crimea, including a direct replacement of the population in the occupied region.
By resettling people from mainland Russia to Ukrainian Crimea in an attempt to alter the demographics of the area, Russia deliberately violates Geneva conventions.
It was the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour who presented the report on how the Ukrainian 2018 resolution is being implemented. Answering a question by a Ukrainian representative in the course of the presentation, Mr. Gilmour emphasizedthat transferring populations into an occupied area violates the Geneva Conventions, in particular, the fourth Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.
As the Russian delegate in his objection stated that the General Assembly’s Resolution on human rights in Crimea was “politicized, based on unverified and clearly falsified information,” Andrew Gilmour reminded that his office has not been unable to access Crimea despite the requests it made to Russia.
Oleh Nikolenko, Vice-Chair of the UN Committee on Information and Spokesperson of Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations, described the importance of the UN Sec-Gen’s report for Ukraine,
For the first time in five years of the occupation, we have an analysis of the situation on the Crimean peninsula prepared by the UN Secretary-General… The most important things are named:– Russia is an occupying power, subject to obligations under international law.– Russia completely ignores these obligations.
Russia deliberately pursues policies aimed at changing the demographic situation in Crimea, which is a gross violation of international humanitarian law. On the one hand, the Russian authorities are taking measures to coerce those who disagree with the occupation to leave the peninsula, and on the other, in 2014-2018, it has transferred 140,000 of its citizens to the Ukrainian peninsula, including servicemen and their families … This, in particular, is made to secure the annexation attempt, to create additional obstacles for further de-occupation.
Changing demographics in the occupied territories violates the Fourth Geneva Convention. Russia implemented the same scenario in the occupied territories of Georgia.
It is important for Ukraine that the UN Secretary-General finally spoke out on this. All Russian crimes are recorded and will be used to hold Moscow accountable, including in subsequent resolutions and international courts.
Volodymyr Yelchenko, the permanent representative of Ukraine at the United Nations, thanked the Secretary-General for the report and notedthat the UN should take the necessary measures to stop the transfer of Russian population to Crimea,
At the outset, my delegation would like to extend its sincere appreciation to the UN Secretary-General for the release of 12 reports, and among them of the very first report “Situation of human rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea…” … I would also like to ask you, Mr. Gшlmour, while reporting to the UN GA to pay special attention to the main root causes of human rights violations and abuses in Crimea, namely the foreign aggression and temporary occupation of the peninsula by the Russian Federation. … I would appreciate your advice on the steps and actions to be taken by the UN in general and the General Assembly, in particular, to stop transferring of the Russian population to Crimea and prevent consequences of such actions of the occupying power.
Population replacement in occupied Crimea
The report of the Secretary-General states, in particular, that international humanitarian law prohibits individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory regardless of the motive of such actions. The OHCHR (Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights) notes that, according to the court registry of the Russian Federation, during 2017–2018 courts in Crimea ordered the transfer of at least 947 individuals considered foreigners under the laws of the Russian Federation, including the transfer of 518 Ukrainian citizens who lived in Crimea.
What is yet more important, under international humanitarian law, the occupying power must not transfer parts of its civilian population into the territory it occupies. As reported by OHCHR, during 2014–2018, 140,198 people changed their residency registration from regions of the Russian Federation to what Russia calls “the Republic of Crimea.” These relocations include appointments of public sector employees from the Russian Federation to Crimea, transferring servicemen with their families to the peninsula in the Russian framework of the militarization of the peninsula.
Read also: Russians moving into occupied Crimea now form one-fifth of its populationAccording to RFE/RL, the resettlement of Russian citizens to Crimea is going on while native residents are leaving the peninsula. Particularly, at least 19,000 Russians resettled to the peninsula while 17,500 locals departed in 2018. Some 17,000 Russians moved in and 16,000 Crimean residents moved out from the occupied region in 2017.
Other conclusions of the report
Meeting of the Social, Humanitarian & Cultural Committee of the UN General Assembly – the third committee, 17th meeting of GA’s 74th session. 14 October 2019, New York. Screenshot: webtv.un.org
The UN Sec-Gen’s report, not only provides data and evidence of population replacement in Crimea but also confirms all other Russian crimes and violations mentioned in the previous UN General Assembly Resolutions. The most important cases are:
Violating the A/RES/73/263 resolution, Russia denied the OHCHR access to the peninsula. Therefore, the Office was obliged to conduct remote monitoring based on the information from the human rights monitoring mission in Ukraine as well as Crimean civil activists and witnesses who fled occupied Crimea to mainland Ukraine.
Russia, the occupying power, automatically extended the Russian Federation’s citizenship to all Ukrainian citizens who resided in Crimea on a permanent basis. This is a violation of the right to a nationality. People who rejected Russian citizenship were considered as foreigners and faced deportation.
Russian Federation laws against terrorism, extremism, and separatism, designed to persecute political opponents, were applied to acts committed before the occupation, against all commonly accepted judicial norms.
The same laws were used for arbitrary arrests, usually preceded by house raids and searches conducted by the police and the FSB special service. From 1 January 2017 to 30 June 2019, OHCHR recorded 186 searches. In some cases, individuals were reportedly detained even without formal charges.
OHCHR received information alleging torture and ill-treatment of individuals deprived of their liberty, usually on the basis of the same above-mentioned laws against terrorism, extremism, and separatism. Torture was used to obtain forced confessions from the victims. Perpetrators resorted to various forms of torture, including mock executions, beatings, and electric shocks, as well as sexual violence.
Prisoners had not received adequate medical assistance
Religious organizations had to re-register according to Russian procedures. Some communities, including the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, chose not to re-register and now the Russian occupation authorities of Crimea consider that such organizations have lost their legal status. This led to the non-recognition of church property. Other religious communities with strong links to churches in other parts of Ukraine, like the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, were denied registration in the peninsula.
To avoid repercussions for independent journalistic work, journalists frequently self-censored, used pseudonyms and filtered their content before publication.
Authorities didn’t allow protests or rallies that were critical to Russian policies. In particular, courts arrested or fined 80 Muslim men who conducted single-person protests in October 2017 against criminal cases against other Muslims perceived as sympathizers of unauthorized religious groups.
Further concerns emerged about the legitimate exercise of the right to freedom of expression in Crimea following the introduction by the Russian Federation on 18 March 2019 of new laws on the offenses of “public insults towards State authorities” and “distribution of false information of public importance.”
OHCHR has documented a narrowing of space for manifestations of Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar identities and enjoyment of the respective cultures in Crimea. Crimean authorities exerted pressure on members of Ukrainian cultural organizations and imposed a total ban on the Mejlis, an important self-governing institution of the Crimean Tatar people. Members of the civic group “Ukrainian Cultural Centre” were threatened and interrogated by the sham authorities of Crimea on dubious grounds.
The number of school students instructed in the Russian language increased to 96.7% of all students, from 90.7% in 2013–2014, and the number of students instructed in Ukrainian decreased to only 249 children from 12,694 in 2013-2014. OHCHR documented cases in which the school administration disregarded or rejected explicit requests from parents to use Ukrainian or Crimean Tatar as the language of instruction for their children.
International humanitarian law forbids the occupying power to compel people on the occupied territory to serve in its armed or auxiliary forces. As of 2019, the total number of Crimean men conscripted into the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation since 2015 amounted to at least 18,000. There had been least 29 guilty verdicts in criminal prosecutions of Crimean men for draft evasion since 2017.
#AceNewsReport – Mar.06: We share the EU’s concerns regarding Russia’s deepening authoritarianism and welcome the EU’s determination to impose sanctions on Russia under its new global human rights authorities:
Imposing Sanctions on Russia for the Poisoning and Imprisonment of Aleksey Navalny: For more information on today’s action, please see the Department of State’s fact sheet.
The U.S. government has exercised its authorities to send a clear signal that Russia’s use of chemical weapons and abuse of human rights have severe consequences. Any use of chemical weapons is unacceptable and contravenes international norms.
The United States has consistently characterized the legal offensive against Mr. Navalny as politically motivated, an assessment shared by our G7 partners and the European Court of Human Rights. We reiterate our call for the Russian government to immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Navalny.
In today’s actions, the Department of State, under the U.S. Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991, will expand existing sanctions first imposed on Russia after its 2018 chemical weapon attack against Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom, three years ago this week. The Department of State has also implemented measures under Executive Order (E.O.) 13382, which targets weapons of mass destruction proliferators, as well as the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) against multiple Russian individuals and entities associated with the Russian Federation’s chemical weapons program and defense and intelligence sectors. In addition, the Department will amend Section 126.1 of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations to include Russia in the list of countries subject to a policy of denial for exports of defense articles and defense services, with certain exceptions for exports to Russia in support of government space cooperation. Exports in support of commercial space cooperation, however, will be restricted following a six-month transition period.
The Department of the Treasury is designating seven Russian government officials, five of whom were previously designated by the EU and UK for their role in Navalny’s poisoning and two whom the EU designated in response to Mr. Navalny’s arrest and imprisonment. The Department of Commerce is adding 14 entities to the Entity List based on their proliferation activities in support of Russia’s weapons of mass destruction programs and chemical weapons activities.
#AceNewsReport – Mar.05: Her office had “managed to corroborate information about some of the incidents that occurred in November last year, indicating indiscriminate shelling in Mekelle, Humera and Adigrat towns in Tigray region.”
UN to investigate war crimes in Ethiopia: ‘Michelle Bachelet stressed in a statement the urgent need for an independent investigation into the situation in Tigray, which has been rocked by months of fighting’ It had also verified “reports of grave human rights violations and abuses including mass killings in Axum, and in Dengelat in central Tigray by Eritrean armed forces,” it said’
March 04, 2021 10:10:
A preliminary analysis of the information indicated that “serious violations of international law, possibly amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity, may have been committed by multiple actors in the conflict,” the statement warned. Those actors included the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), Eritrean armed forces, and Amhara Regional Forces and affiliated militia, it said. “With multiple actors in the conflict, blanket denials and finger-pointing, there is a clear need for an objective, independent assessment of these reports,” Bachelet said.
She urged the Ethiopian government to grant her office and other United Nations investigators access to Tigray “with a view to establishing the facts and contributing to accountability, regardless of the affiliation of perpetrators.”
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights pointed out that her office was continuing to receive information of ongoing fighting in central Tigray in particular: She lamented “deeply distressing reports of sexual and gender-based violence, extrajudicial killings, widespread destruction and looting of public and private property by all parties.”
“ Without prompt, impartial and transparent investigations and holding those responsible accountable, I fear violations will continue to be committed with impunity, and the situation will remain volatile for a long time to come,” she said. Bachelet also voiced concern at the detentions this week in Tigray of journalists and translators working for local and international media, including AFP. While they had been released, she pointed to worrying remarks by a government official that those responsible for “misleading international media” would be held responsible.
“ Victims and witnesses of human rights violations and abuses must not be hindered from sharing their testimony for fear of reprisals,” she said. Tigray has been gripped by fighting since early November 2020, when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced military operations against the TPLF, accusing them of attacking federal army camps. Abiy — who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 — declared victory after pro-government troops took the regional capital Mekele in late November, although the TPLF vowed to fight on, and clashes have persisted in the region: The presence of Eritrean troops in the Tigray conflict has been widely documented but has been denied by both countries.
#AceGuestNews – Sept.29: Western Propaganda Machine Kicked Into Action as France Commenced Bombing in Syria Apparently in “Self Defense.” France’s president and prime minister think Syria’s Mr. Assad is a”butcher” and “dictator.” Agreed and no one in any part of the world is arguing that Mr. Bashar al-Assad is the most benevolent leader in the history of statecraft, but […]
#AceNewsReport – MYANMAR:Aug.04: Over 39 people died and over 200,000 are “in need of lifesaving assistance” due to heavy rains, winds and flooding in Myanmar, United Nations agencies said on Monday, citing the country’s government.
Myanmar: Myanmar: Snapshot of Humanitarian Issues (as of 31 July 2015)
“The floods are hitting children and families who are already very vulnerable, including those living in camps in Rakhine state,” Shalini Bahuguna, from the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), said in a press release.
#AceNewsReport – UKRAINE: #MH17 July.17: On the first anniversary of downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Ukraine, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO, a UN agency) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade association uniting more than 260 airlines, have joined forces in seeking a global convention on anti-aircraft weapons, RIA reports.
#AceNewsReport – NORTH KOREA:June.12: Pyongyang has accused the United States of using “biological warfare schemes” to target North Korea with live anthrax and wants the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to investigate.
The accusations were made in a letter to the UNSC and Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon from North Korea’s ambassador to the UN Ja Song Nam.
The letter, which was dated June 4, was made public on Friday and comes after US defense officials revealed in late May that low concentration samples of live anthrax were mistakenly shipped to labs in 19 states and to at least 70 labs in four countries, including a US facility based in South Korea. Australia, Britain, and Canada have also reported receiving shipments of the deadly bacteria.
According to the US Defense Department, the anthrax was supposed to have been killed before it was shipped to laboratories for research, a practice that has been carried out successfully for ten years.
“The United States not only possesses deadly weapons of mass destruction…but also is attempting to use them in actual warfare against [North Korea],” Nam wrote in his letter.
Referring to the delivery as “the gravest challenge to peace and a hideous crime aimed at genocide,” the letter also “strongly requests the Security Council take up the issue of the shipment of anthrax germs in order to thoroughly investigate the biological warfare schemes of the United States.”
Pyongyang has been openly critical of the US’ military presence in South Korea, and has strongly objected annual US-South Korean military exercises which it views as a threat.
State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke dismissed the allegations on Friday, telling reporters in Washington that they were “ridiculous” and “didn’t merit a response.”
The US House of Representatives announced on Wednesday that a thorough investigation has been launched into the incident, and vowed that they will hold the Defense Department accountable for the error.
#AceNewsReport – USA:June.09: Donald Rumsfeld, one of the leading architects of the Iraq war, said in a recent interview that then-President George W. Bush was “unrealistic” to pursue democracy in the country.
Rumsfeld, who served as Bush’s defense secretary from 2001 to 2006, made the comments in an interview with the Times of London.
“I’m not one who thinks that our particular template of democracy is appropriate for other countries at every moment of their histories,” Rumsfeld said.
“The idea that we could fashion a democracy in Iraq seemed to me unrealistic. I was concerned about it when I first heard those words.”
The comments are a departure from Rumsfeld’s robust public defense of the war during the Bush administration, and mark a rare break between him and the former president on foreign policy.
Since the 2003 invasion and the toppling of dictator Saddam Hussein, Iraq has held multiple elections. But most recently, majority Shiites have been accused of sidelining minority Sunnis, feeding tensions that were exploited by the Islamic State, a Sunni terror group.
Even as he voiced second thoughts about the U.S. goals in the Iraq war, Rumsfeld scolded western governments for their current failure to deal with Muslim extremists.
“The movement for a caliphate, the movement against nation states is central and fundamental. And no one’s talking about it,” he said.
#AceNewsReport – Post Update:SAUDI ARABIA:June.08: There has been international outcry following news that a Saudi blogger – sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes on charges of insulting Islam – has had his punishment upheld, with criticism of the British government’s perceived soft touch in condemning officials in Riyadh.
#AceNewsServices – Featured Post: Jan 03 – The silence on the genocide is our backyard is shameful and startling, for as we speak another exercise is being carried out by the Indonesian security forces that are intentionally raping and killing women and children civilians at some massacre point inside resource-rich province of Papua.
During 1950s, West Papua was under Dutch Colonial rule, but by 1961 were moving towards independence with their own flag, the ‘Morning Star’, and Papuan government officials.
In the early sixties, however, “Conflict erupted over West Papua” between The Netherlands and Indonesia, and a United Nations agreement gave control of the colony to Indonesia for six years. This was to be followed by a referendum.
These six years of Indonesian control saw well-documented cases of violence and abuse by the military.
‘ 2nd August 1969 Act of Free Choice became Act of NO Choice ‘
Then in 1969, Indonesia conducted a referendum called the Act of Free Choice. Only 1025 Papuans, representing a population of one-million were hand-picked to vote and under duress, opted to remain a part of Indonesia.
‘ Demonstration against Rape & Abuse of Women & Children ‘
Despite a critical report by a UN official who was present at the voting results, citing serious violations, the UN shamefully sanctioned the vote and West Papua officially became a part of Indonesia. Most Papuans’ call this referendum the ‘Act of No Choice.’”
The sheer complicity of United Nations, Indonesia and European Union’s democracy Netherlands helped the beginning of the end for the WEST Papuans who are ethnically and culturally totally diverse to the so-called Indonesian identities.
Today the world looks away as Indonesian enjoys complete impunity to conduct the racial genocide of indigenous Papuans. Since 1962, some 1962,100, 000 people have been killed or disappeared thanks to the wonderful military operation going on inside Papua. The Free West Papua has recorded with evidence the issue of mass-killings, sexual violence including rape and torture of girls and women.
What strikes me most in the context of west papuan struggle to self-determination is the multifaceted stakeholders that hold the reins that hinder the people of Papua. Nobel laureate American diplomat Henry Kissinger of the Vietnam war fame and chairing director of the infamous company Freeport-Mcmahon that has enjoyed a great stake into the gold mining missions should not be forgotten, off-course American, followed by Australia with tall claims of peace and democracy are carrying out the plundering of the world’s biggest coal and gold mine owing people out of their resources.
The issue of sexual violence to silence the whole struggle of the papuans continues to be shrouded into mysteries and unheard because foreign media and journalists presence, as well as aid agencies are banned from entering the province. Never-the-less, local media activism is ensuring to share the plight of the people stuck within this nightmare.
A report “Enough Already” has been documented with help from West Papuan women representation and highlights the horrifying tales of violence against women that took place during 1963-2009. It was presented to the Papuan Indigenous People’s Council, an official body established by the Special Autonomy law for Papua to protect Indigenous People’s rights, and to the National Women’s Commission.
Real Life Testimonies of West Papuan Women
–In 1967, military operations were conducted in the town of Biak and began to move to the villages. In 1969 [we] went home to Swaipak, Biak staying there during the Sadar [military] operations. The Yospan [Papua’s traditional dance] became a threat to parents, because they had to let their young daughters [participate]; in fact, some parents pressured their daughters to go to the Yospan rather than be targeted with physical violence or threatened… In the middle of the night the people were woken up… the young girls were made to dance Yospan then have sexual relations. The Indonesian troops said to the parents and husbands, ‘You must understand.’
– During a dance party organized by the troops in Jayapura district, around 1989, a fight broke out between some community members. Some soldiers intervened: The soldiers brought my sister-in-law and told her to swallow a battery, until she was coughing. They wouldn’t allow us to bring her to the hospital . The next day, they brought me and [a young man who was involved in the fight] to their post . They opened our clothes, and told us to stand in water for hours . Then they made us sleep on the beach for about one hour. We were given no food; we were very hungry. Then they forced [the young man] to rape me. After that they made us walk to the post naked; at the post a picture was taken of us.
But we also heard stories of violence in the home:
Fighting in families in my neighborhood usually happens after our husbands consume alcohol CT (a local brand). When we wives are beaten to almost half dead by our drunken husbands, the crazed husbands don’t get arrested or taken away. Maybe this is also because other than some people who sell CT, there are also policemen who sell and consume (alcohol). So how will the police take care of security?
Leonie Tangahma, one the West Papuans negotiators based in Netherlands recently said that “women now don’t have a choice but to be involved. In the past it was because the men were fighting, we had to make sure that we were there for them and we could provide for the food and all that. But after a while we have been taken more positions actively as demonstrators, so we do have a role within the struggle itself.”
The world slumbers on a soundless sleep. But, the west papuan women marred by four decades of oppression and subjugation have risen and as they rise, let us all rise with them in their struggle for self-determination and liberation from atrocities.
We shall see the rise of ‘Morning Star’ soon. Long Live West Papuans!
#AceNewsServices – SOMALIA (Mogadishu) – October 16 – The top United Nations official in Somalia today condemned the car bombing which left an estimated 13 people dead and many more injured in Mogadishu, the capital, amid a precarious humanitarian situation in the rest of the country.
“I condemn last night’s appalling terrorist attack against innocent civilians in Mogadishu resulting in numerous casualties,” said the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Nicholas Kay.
For decades, Somalia has been riven by factional fighting and the recent spread of religious fanaticism in the guise of Al-Shabaab has only added to the beleaguered country’s woes.
In 2012, new Somali national institutions emerged as the country ended a transitional phase toward setting up a permanent, democratically-elected Government. Meanwhile, the Somali National Army (SNA) and the UN-backed African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have been pursuing a renewed offensive against Al-Shabaab insurgents, who in 2011 were forced to retreat from the capital, Mogadishu.
The UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), which Mr. Kay leads, was established in 2013 by the UN Security Council.
It is mandated to support the Federal Government of Somalia with its peace and state building agenda and to strengthen Somalia’s security sector, promote respect for human rights and women’s empowerment and assist in the coordination of international assistance.
“The use of such indiscriminate tactics against the Somali people is a cruel and despicable crime. I commend the swift response of Somalia’s security and medical staff.
The perpetrators need to be brought to justice swiftly,” added Mr. Kay.
At the same time, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Philippe Lazzarini, voiced extreme concern over the unfolding humanitarian crisis in southern, central and north-eastern Somalia where numerous communities remain “desperately” in need of water, food and healthcare.
“The humanitarian operation in Somalia requires urgent scale-up,” Mr. Lazzarini said in a press statement. “We are in a race against time to save lives in areas stricken by drought and conflict.”
The humanitarian coordinator noted that aid workers could reach affected areas despite the numerous challenges and persisting insecurity but urged the international community to drastically ramp up its financial assistance for the country.
“Despite competing crises in the world today, not responding to the humanitarian situation in Somalia is not an option,” Mr. Lazzarini continued.
“Critical funding is needed today to expand operations. Funding pipelines for food security, nutrition, health, water, sanitation and hygiene services must be increased without delay.”
#AceNewsServices – UNITED NATIONS – October 2 – Palestine, together with Arab countries, has prepared a UN Security Council draft resolution that sets the deadline for ending the Israeli occupation — November 2016.
The document, a copy of which was received by TASS on Wednesday, urges Israel’s earliest withdrawal from all Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem.
The text of the bill states that Israeli withdrawal must happen “as rapidly as possible and to be fully completed within a specified time-frame, not to exceed November 2016, and the achievement of the independence and sovereignty of the State of Palestine and the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people.”
The draft resolution requests “all parties to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949.” It also “demands an end to all Israeli military operations, reprisals, forced displacement of civilians, and all acts of violence and hostilities.”
The draft resolution urges the comprehensive settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the UN resolutions, Madrid agreements, including the “land for peace” principle, the Arab peace initiative and the roadmap of the “quartet” of mediators for Middle East settlement.
“It is nakedly clear that those people fell victim to reprisals, of which their hands tied behind the back, bullet wounds in the head and spent 9-mm cartridges found at the site are evidence,”
‘ Victims found in Mass Graves in Ukraine Lack Internal Organs ‘
Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin said in a message addressed to the UN SC.
According to Churkin’s message published on the UN electronic system of documents, “the available information allows for speculating that these civilians were shot in cold blood by Ukrainian troops.”
“There have been reports that two days before the mass grave was discovered the area had been vacated by a unit of the 25th airborne brigade of the Ukrainian army and the Aidar battalion, who had controlled the area for a long time,” Churkin said.
#AceNewsServices – UNITED NATIONS – September 26 . /ITAR-TASS/. Russia is prepared to work with the United States on equal terms when Washington is ready, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.
“As for a new cold war, I have met with many colleagues and regional groups, and they told me that the Cold War had never ended and its winners had never given up attempts to use the situation in their own geopolitical interests,” the minister said.
“What can be done in order to improve relations with the United States? We did not aggravate them either during the Magnitsky situation or when Snowden came out of the blue.
The Americans got very much offended and decided to postpone Barack Obama’s visit. So we did not aggravate relations and are doing everything we can to preserve channels of communication,” Lavrov said.
“It was not us who abolished the presidential commission co-coordinated by the heads of the Russian and American foreign ministries. And the U.S. froze the work of the commission’s working groups,” he added.
“These are practical things the U.S. rejected to punish us. We are prepared for fair and equal work. They sent us signals: we will work out the criteria which you will meet [for the sanctions to be lifted],” Lavrov said.
But this is not serious, he said. “As soon as our partner get ready [for the dialogue], they will be most welcome,” he added.
The first notice was a press release from the Rainforest Action Network informing me that Cargill, the agribusiness giant, had pledged “to protect forests in all of Cargill’s agricultural supply chains and to endorse the New York Declaration on Forests.” Cargill has a big hand-print — they have soy silos in Brazil and palm oil plants in Malaysia.
So as of now, if you want to carve a farm out of the jungle, you’re going to get the cold shoulder from a company that is a prime connector to world markets.
And this isn’t limited to hot-button crops like soy and oil palm.
Here’s what Cargill’s CEO Dave MacLennan said at the U.N.: “We understand that this sort of commitment cannot be limited to just select commodities or supply chains,” said MacLennan. “That’s why Cargill will take practical measures to protect forests across our agricultural supply chains around the world.”
It’s not just Cargill. Kellogg’s, Unilever, Nestle, Asia Pulp and Paper, General Mills, Danone, Walmart, McDonalds, and many other corporations have committed to the New York Declaration on Forests. But, here’s why Cargill is interesting: It’s making a concrete pledge, while the actual declaration is pretty mushy at this point.
The declaration calls for ending forest loss by 2030. And, to quote a U.N. brief: “It also calls for restoring forests and crop-lands of an area larger than India. Meeting these goals would cut between 4.5 and 8.8 billion tons of carbon pollution every year — about as much as the current emissions of the United States.” Or about as much as taking all the cars in the world off the roads — that’s another comparison I’ve seen.
Okaaay. Does anyone care about a non-binding declaration of voluntary goals? Not me. But it does give me hope to see a company commit to something tangible — like upending the incentive it created for people to cut down forests. Usually the way these things work is that everyone agrees on the goals, and then no one is willing to make sacrifices to reach those goals. But this time we have a major player saying at the outset: “Not only do we support these goals, here’s how we plan to achieve them.”
Of course, Cargill could say all these nice things and then do nothing. But that would be a lousy PR strategy. If it doesn’t follow through, it goes from being just another business-as-usual foot-dragger in the crowd to a recalcitrant liar that put a spotlight on itself.
Activists have been pressuring Cargill for years, and now that it’s made itself news, journalists like me are going to be watching its environmental progress.
There has been a cascade of companies announcing that they are going to eliminate palm-oil deforestation from their products. It feels like a tipping point. When no one cares, there’s a big economic penalty for being the first company to act ethically while all the others quietly capitalize on the easy profits it’s giving up.
But once a critical mass of companies begins to do the right thing, the economic penalty instead falls on the laggards. It’s easy to act unethically in a crowd, but if you are among a small group of villains, it starts getting hard to find customers who want to support you.
I would not be surprised to see other companies stepping up with actual plans for reforming their supply chains.
This declaration of forests could just be the real thing.
#AceNewsServices – BRITAIN – September 23 – David Cameron supports the latest air strikesby the US and five other countries from the Gulf and Middle East, Downing Street has said.
The UK prime minister, in New York for a UN General Assembly meeting, will be holding talks about “what more the UK can do to contribute”, No 10 added.
The UK is already providing arms to the Kurds as well as surveillance support.
The BBC’s Nick Robinson said Parliament could be recalled by Friday if Labour and Lib Dems back UK military action.
The involvement of UK forces could be restricted to Iraq, where they would be operating at the invitation of the government in Baghdad.
Nick Robinson said Mr Cameron would only put the issue to a House of Commons vote, if he was confident of support from Labour, the Lib Dems and his own backbenchers.
“David Cameron will not risk a repeat of the Commons defeat he faced last summer over air strikes in response to President Assad’s use of chemical weapons.”
‘ Fair wind’ for action:
Former Labour foreign secretary Jack Straw said under the right circumstances there could be support for Britain joining air strikes in Iraq.
He said the situation was different from when the Commons voted against intervention in Syria last year.
“If Mr Cameron comes to Labour and there’s a clear proposition I think he’ll get a fair wind,” he said.
Several Conservative MPs who opposed air strikes in Syria last summer have told the BBC they would now support military action.
Crispin Blunt, a former minister and one of the Tory rebels at the time, said there was “no great controversy” about the UK’s military involvement – short of a significant ground commitment – and there was no need to recall Parliament.
“Any military strategy against ISIS, which is necessary, must involve taking them on in Iraq and Syria,” he said.
Another of last year’s Tory rebels, Sarah Wollaston, said if Syrian strikes were the only way to hit IS effectively she would support them.
She has explained her position in an open letter to constituents on her website.
Conservative Julian Lewis said he “would be in favour” of military action if there was “a coherent and sensible plan”.
Another backbencher who rebelled last year, Charles Walker, said he would support action against IS with or without the recall of Parliament.
Other Conservatives have privately confirmed they would support strikes.