UN May Seek Accountability for Saudi Killings of Hundreds of Migrants

By Thalif Deen UNITED NATIONS. 23 August 2023 (IDN) — The United Nations has expressed serious concern over the killings of hundreds of migrants, mostly Ethiopians, crossing war-ravaged Yemen trying to reach Saudi Arabia. “I think trying to stop migration using the barrel of a gun is intolerable,” UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told reporters on […]

Arab Media Sustains a Heavy Presence at the UN

By Shanta Roy

UNITED NATIONS (IDN) – The day-to-day news coverage by the UN press corps represents a virtual political barometer of the outside world – from a UN perspective.

Since most news organizations in the developing world cannot afford either a fulltime or a part-time correspondent at the UN, they have traditionally relied on the mainstream wire services and news organizations such as Reuters, BBC, the Associated Press, Deutsche Welle, Agence France-Presse (AFP) and the Chinese news agency Xinhua — all of them fully staffed and geared for extensive UN coverage.

What’s Going On in the Middle East?

By Pier Francesco Zarcone*

ROME (IDN) – The military breakthrough in the Syrian war appears to be definitive … at least according to Robert S. Ford, former U.S. ambassador to Syria.

Even though the conflict has not yet come to an end, in a recent interview with Foreign Affairs Ford stated that the Syrian army has won the war and the United States must “abandon hopes of supporting a separate Kurdish region” having “no good options in Syria” so that “hopes of getting rid of [Bashar Hafez al-] Assad are far-fetched fantasies.”

The reason for this situation was Russian intervention. An obvious question comes to mind: why and in what way did the Russians succeed? In this regard, it is necessary to clarify a number of points.

ISIL Members Accused of ‘International Crimes’ in Mosul

By Jaya Ramachandran

GENEVA (IDN) – A UN report has accused the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Daesh) of perpetrating serious and systematic violations in Iraq’s Mosul city that amount to “international crimes”.

Published on November 2 by the UN assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the report is based on direct witness testimony, and documents mass abductions of civilians, the use of thousands as human shields, the intentional shelling of civilian residences, and indiscriminate targeting of civilians trying to flee the city.

Morocco: Addressing Shantytowns in an Emerging Democracy

Viewpoint by Wajiha Ibrahim*

BOSTON (IDN) – What peaked in 2011 as a series of political protests sweeping the Middle East and North Africa is today an opportunity to celebrate and evaluate how various regimes mould their path towards democracy. A noteworthy component of these transitions includes the shifting role of the informal sector.

While many countries have increased political participation, achieved macroeconomic stabilisation and restored growth, millions of people remain excluded from political and economic systems.

Terrorism Hinders Hailing Modi’s Israel Visit Climaxing 25 Years

By Shastri Ramachandaran*

NEW DELHI (IDN-INPS) – Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s three-day visit to Israel from July 4 to 6, the first ever by an Indian Prime Minister, is a historic departure with ramifications that may have been missed in the euphoric aftermath of the moment.

This was also the first time that a high-level Indian dignitary visiting Israel did not travel to Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority. Usually, visiting dignitaries are at pains to emphasise, at least, optical equality between Israel and Palestine, and make it a point to visit Ramallah. This act of omission – or is it commission? — alone, it is observed, takes India-Israel relations to a new level.

Suspense Abounds in Iran’s Presidential Elections

By Mortezagholi Raissi

BONN | TEHRAN (IDN) – In the run-up to the Presidential elections in Iran on May 19, all but six of the 1600 women and men who were registered as presidential candidates for the twelfth poll since the ‘Islamic Revolution’ that resulted in the toppling of the monarchy on April 1, 1979, have been axed.

The spokesman of the powerful ‘Guardian Council’ announced in an interview with the Iranian television on April 26 that only the six approved candidates fulfilled the requirements for standing for elections to the office of the President.

The Guardian Council consists of 12 persons, 6 of whom are scholars appointed directly by Ayatollah Khamenei, the country’s Supreme Leader, and the other 6 are jurists, who need to be confirmed by the Parliament. However, the chairman of the Council is a confidant of the leader. But all candidates are requited to be local to the regime.

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