GENEVA (Reuters) – Syrians are caught between government bombardment of civilian areas and ruthless Islamist groups in a conflict increasingly driven by foreign powers and marked by the “spread of extremism”, U.N. war crimes investigators said on Thursday.
Islamic State or ISIS forces, who control large parts of northern and eastern provinces, have expanded into the center and south, instilling terror and committing crimes against humanity, the investigators said.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Syria’s water network, heavily damaged by bombs and shelling, is at risk of collapse as its civil war drags on, increasing the threat of deadly typhoid or cholera outbreaks, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Wednesday.
Millions of people in Aleppo and Damascus are cut off from water supplies for days at a time, a tactic used by all warring sides to exert control in divided cities, the ICRC said.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Nearly 100 civilians have been killed in the past two weeks in Yemen’s southwestern city of Taiz where a collapsing health care service and outbreak of dengue fever are compounding a dire humanitarian situation, the United Nations said on Tuesday.
Yemen’s third-largest city has become the latest frontline in a five-month war between northern Houthi militiamen and supporters of Yemen’s exiled government, which is backed by the West and Saudi Arabia.
GENEVA, Aug 28 (Reuters) – A fresh surge of refugees and
migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh is expected to set out in
smugglers’ rickety boats for southeast Asia when the monsoon
season ends in about a month, the United Nations said on Friday.
Boatloads of minority Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution
in Myanmar and Bangladeshis escaping poverty at home were turned
away or towed further from the shores of Thailand, Indonesia and
Malaysia earlier this year, triggering a humanitarian crisis.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Justice has asked Switzerland to give priority to a U.S. request to extradite former FIFA official Julio Rocha in preference to a later request from his native Nicaragua, the Swiss Justice Ministry said.
Six of seven soccer officials detained in Zurich in late May remain in Swiss custody pending extradition requests from the United States to face charges in a corruption scandal that has rocked world’s soccer governing body.
BERNE, Aug 25 (Reuters) – Swiss authorities expect to decide in September whether to extradite six soccer officials to face corruption charges in the United States, a Justice Ministry spokesman said.
The accused men, who are in custody and whose lawyers are opposing their extradition to New York, would have 30 days to appeal decisions to the Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona – a process that could take several months.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Up to 3,000 migrants are expected to cross into Macedonia every day in the coming months, most of them refugees fleeing war, particularly from Syria, the United Nations said on Tuesday.
Member states of the European Union must share the burden by establishing “equitable re-distribution” of desperate families seeking asylum in the bloc, the U.N. refugee agency said.
BERNE, Aug 24 (Reuters) – Switzerland expects to adopt a new
law by the end of the year that will speed restitution of
illicit funds stashed in the Alpine country, where thousands of
‘politically exposed persons’ are believed to hold bank
accounts, a top Swiss official said on Monday.
Swiss authorities are cooperating with a number of countries
- among them Haiti, Egypt, Tunisia and Ukraine – to return
stolen assets that have been frozen following changes in power,
said Valentin Zellweger, head of the foreign ministry’s federal
department of international law.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Sudanese police and security forces have shot, killed and abducted civilians in Darfur with near-total impunity, the United Nations said on Friday in a report also documenting crimes committed by rebels last year in the remote western region.
The military conducted aerial bombing and ground attacks on civilians and burned villages in its campaign to end the insurgency in North and South Darfur in 2014, the U.N. human rights office said, citing serious violations of international law.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Greece must show “much more leadership” to tackle an escalating crisis in which 160,000 refugees and migrants have reached its shores so far this year, the United Nations said on Tuesday.
Clashes erupted last week on the overwhelmed Greek island of Kos between desperate people, mainly fleeing conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, who come on small boats from nearby Turkey only to find dire conditions.