today in history

January 31, 1976. Ernesto Miranda, famous from the Supreme Court ruling on Miranda vs. Arizona is stabbed to death.

international news


‘No country, no region’ can tackle global challenges alone says UN’s Mohammed

“In the regions today, no country is alone. Our borders don’t make any difference in the Sahel when we talk about issues of terrorism, migration, and climate change”, Ms. Mohammed said on Tuesday at the opening of the Kaduna State Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Acceleration Conference 2019.“No country, no region can tackle the global challenges of today”, she spelled out.Under the theme "Building effective partnership for accelerated progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals", the two-day conference aims to fortify partnerships to fast-track implementation of the global goals, which each country is adapting to reach ambitious targets on poverty and hunger eradication, among other challenges. Ms. Mohammed advocated strongly for gender parity saying that “part of our population, especially women and girls, has to be put at the centre of the results” and not only “at the centre of our policies”.Moreover, she continued, “we need to see young people at the centre of the impact that is made on everyone’s life. Because they are not the future tomorrow; they are the future today.”Calling the rise in global hunger over the past few years “a great concern”, Ms. Mohammed underscored that the world has enough to feed itself two to three times over, but inequalities mean that millions go to bed hungry and “short change us in the revenue [that] otherwise would have been put into governance.”Despite a global decline in the number of people living in poverty, the Deputy Secretary-General observed that there are many reasons why extreme poverty remains. She singled out the two explanations of “when there is no enabling environment and when there is no stability”.Ms. Mohammed stressed the importance of using a national outlook, within a regional context, to drive what are global goals.The Deputy Secretary-General also argued that effective partnerships are vital to achieving the SDGs.  As a case in point she focused on the room, where federal and state governments, members of the international community, civil society, and local and community authorities, were all participants.Also speaking at the conference, Governor Mallam Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai said that Kaduna state stood out as an SDG pacesetter. He noted that his administration has adopted the targets and indicators, and developed an integrated, sustainable infrastructure that would make Kaduna a leading investment destination in Nigeria and provide it with a “comparative advantage’’ to make it globally competitive.-UN News CentreLeague of Justice Online

January 25, 2019, 12:17 pm

Extreme weather hit 60 million people in 2018, no part of the world spared

The study cited by the agency, from the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) –  showed that earthquakes and tsunamis claimed more lives than any other type of hazard, with over 10,000 lives lost in the last year; whilst floods, droughts, storms and wildfires affected more than 57 million.Floods affected the largest number of people – over 35 million – with 23 million in the Indian State of Kerala alone. Storms are expected to be the costliest type of disaster once final economic losses are compiled: the cost of the damage caused by Hurricane Michael, which inundated the eastern seaboard of the United States, is estimated to reach around $16 billion.2018 was a record-breaking year when it came to wildfires, with the US experiencing its deadliest outbreak in over a century (it was also the costliest on record), and Greece suffering a record number of casualties from wildfires, with 126 losing their lives.As for drought, over 9 million people were affected worldwide, with the Kenyan population accounting for a third of the total, followed by Central American countries (2.5 million people), including migration hotspots Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua. The head of CRED, Debarati Guha-Sapir, acknowledged that the human impact of all disasters, particularly drought and extreme temperatures, is poorly reported, especially in low-income countries. Innovative approaches that measure progress and report on specific Sustainable Development Goal targets need to be urgently addressed by appropriate UN agencies, she added.Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and head of UNISDR, said that, with time running out to limit global warming to 1.5˚C or even 2˚C, climate change adaptation needs to be a high priority, citing measures such as “reducing disaster risk in our cities, avoiding the creation of new risk by better land use, stronger planning regulations and building codes, safeguarding protective eco-systems, reducing poverty, and taking active measures to reduce exposure to rising sea levels.”-UN News CentreLeague of Justice Online

January 25, 2019, 12:06 pm

african news


‘Along the Main Road You See the Graves’: U.N. Says Hundreds Killed in Congo

Fifteen communal burial sites and 43 single graves have been found in a northwest area of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where three days of ethnic strife last month may have left nearly 900 people dead, United Nations officials said Tuesday.The officials said the violence, between the Bununu and Batende groups in and around the town of Yumbi in Mai-Ndombe Province, flared a few weeks before the country’s presidential election on Dec. 30.There was no indication the violence had been directly related to the election, the officials said. But it came against a backdrop of high political tensions throughout the central African country because the election had been repeatedly delayed by the government of then-President Joseph Kabila, who ruled for 17 years and was reluctant to relinquish power.The mayhem in the Yumbi area left many homes burned, forced hundreds of residents to flee and destroyed voting machines and other election equipment, which were among the reasons that the authorities in Kinshasa, the capital, excluded the area from participating in the election.Word of possible massacres around Yumbi first surfaced a few weeks ago, when the United Nations’ human rights office said it had reports from “credible sources” of horrific violence between Dec. 16 and Dec. 18 that had killed 890 people. Michelle Bachelet, the top human rights official at the United Nations, said it was “crucial that this shocking violence be promptly, thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators be brought to justice.”A fact-finding team sent to Yumbi and the nearby town of Bongende by the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in Congo, known as Monusco, found the burial sites, a spokeswoman, Florence Marchal, said Tuesday in a telephone interview.In Yumbi, she said, “if you walk along the main road you see the graves.”Ms. Marchal said Monusco had yet to establish an exact death toll. But confirming her remarks quoted in a Reuters report from Kinshasa, she said that “several hundred people, including women and many children, were killed in unbearable circumstances.”Abdoul Aziz Thioye, the director of the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office in Kinshasa, said the graves had been dug by local Red Cross workers and family members who initially fled the violence and had returned to bury the dead.“Very often when you talk about mass graves, everyone has in mind people who have been summarily executed and thrown into a hole, which was not the case here,” he said in a telephone interview.The officials said it was unclear who was responsible for the killings.Ms. Marchal said the violence appeared to have started over a dispute about the burial of a local chieftain and escalated dramatically. Mr. Thioye said “definitely there was a certain level of organization” in the killings.They said most residents of Yumbi had fled toward Brazzaville, on the other side of the Congo River in the neighboring Republic of Congo.Mr. Thioye described Yumbi as “quite a ghost town.”Ethnic tensions and deadly flare-ups are not uncommon in the Democratic Republic of Congo, an enormous nation of roughly 81 million that has been chronically convulsed by war and violence.Although the Banunu and Batende communities have a history of conflict, the area they share is generally considered more stable than the eastern region of the country, which is particularly volatile. An Ebola outbreak in eastern Congo that began in August and killed hundreds has aggravated the problems there.In a further worrisome sign, the country’s Health Ministry said Tuesday that two soldiers had died from Ebola in the eastern city of Beni, in North Kivu Province, where pre-election rioting caused major damage to an Ebola treatment center.It was not immediately clear whether the soldiers were the first members of the Congolese military to contract the virus or how many other soldiers may be at risk.Although vaccines have been developed to protect against Ebola, the disease is still fatal to a majority of people who become infected.According to the most recent data from the World Health Organization,as of Sunday, 405 people were confirmed to have died from Ebola in the eastern Congo outbreak, out of a total of 679 confirmed cases.Beni and another eastern city, Butembo, were excluded from participating in the presidential vote because of the Ebola outbreak.The Dec. 30 election, intended to be the country’s first democratic transfer of power in the six decades since independence from Belgium, was riddled with irregularities.Last week, the country’s Supreme Court validated the result, which gave Félix Tshisekedi, an opposition candidate, the victory. Another opposition figure, Martin Fayulu, who had been considered the favorite, called the result a fraud. He accused Mr. Kabila of secretly collaborating with Mr. Tshisekedi to retain power.-NYTLeague of Justice Online

January 31, 2019, 6:58 pm

DR Congo seeks UN help against Rwanda rebels on border

DR Congo’s government has asked its UN peacekeeping mission for help against Rwandan rebels planning operations against Rwanda from inside Congolese territory, the UN said on Wednesday.Leila Zerrougui, chief of the UN mission known as MONUSCO, said Kinshasa asked in a letter for peacekeepers to “thwart” FDLR Hutu rebels who were mustering in an eastern province near Rwanda’s border.The Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR) have in the past carried out cross-border attacks on Rwandan forces from rear bases in the DR Congo.In his letter DR Congo Defence Minister Crispin Atama Thabe said rebel brigades had moved from North Kivu into South Kivu province where they would be able to join a rebel commander planning operations in Rwanda.DR Congo “cannot accept being used as a rear base for a foreign rebel movement against one of its neighbours,” the minister said in the letter, which was shared on social media and with the local press.The minister did not give details about the kind of help the government wanted UN peacekeepers to provide.Zerrougui said the UN peacekeeping mission praised Kinshasa’s cooperation and had notified the Rwandan authorities.The DR Congo’s government said Monday it had extradited two FDLR rebel commanders to Rwanda as part of a legal agreement.One of the two men extradited was Bazeye Fils La Forge, an FDLR spokesman.The FDLR has been fighting in eastern DR Congo for decades.The authorities in Rwanda say the group’s leaders took part in the 1994 Rwandan genocide in which some 800,000 people, mainly minority Tutsis, were slaughtered by the military and by Hutu militias.-The CitizenLeague of Justice Online

January 31, 2019, 6:47 pm