Nigeria, Boko Haram claims attacks on two churches: eight dead and over 50 injured
The attacks occurred Jos (central Nigeria) and Bui (nor-east of the country). Alarm: Islamization of African countries after the fall of the Libyan leader Gaddafi.
|06/09/2012 SYRIA - UNITED NATIONS|
UN monitors reach Qubair massacre site but find no sign of who did it
Observers find smouldering houses, the stench of burning flesh, and body parts but few bodies. They need to carry out a closer inspection because the situation "is unclear". Saudi Arabia and Qatar continue to arm rebels, al-Qaeda extremists and Salafis. A car bomb explodes in Damascus. Turkey urged to lead a NATO intervention. Kofi Annan warns of a large-scale civil war in the making.
|06/09/2012 SAUDI ARABIA |
Jeddah: 35 Ethiopian Christians still in prison after praying in a private home
They were arrested in December 2011. Despite US pressures, Saudi authorities deny religion was the motive behind their detention. Since 2006, praying in private has been allowed in Saudi Arabia.
Annan peace plan for Syria needs Security Council action
UN-Arab League envoy calls on SC members to put pressure on regime, blamed for most of the violence in the country. Sources tell AsiaNews that the fight for democracy that started in 2011 has led to a factional fight with fighting to continue with or without Assad.
|06/08/2012 SRI LANKA|
Abuse of women migrant workers, Sri Lanka blocks 600 contracts with foreign agencies
Most are located in the Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia. Ministry of Foreign Employment and Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (Slbfe) offering training courses to send skilled workers abroad. Compared to last year, migrant workers down by 40%.
Apostolic vicar in Alep: No to the political and strategic use of children's death
Mgr Giuseppe Nazzaro condemns the massacre in Qubair and Maarzaf (Hama) that claimed the lives of 78 people, including women and children. UN has a moral duty to verify the context as well as find the culprits and reasons for the massacre. Economic sanctions and extremist muslin fighters kill more than the regime troops.
|06/07/2012 SYRIA - UN|
Damascus and rebels trade accusations over latest massacre in Qubair
According to the rebels, the pro-government forces of "shabiha" killed 86 people, including many women and children. According to the government the massacre of nine people was carried out by "terrorist groups". Neither version has been independently confirmed. Today the UN Security Council meets. Russia wants to involve Iran in the search for a ceasefire and a peaceful transition of power from Assad. United States and Sunni Arab countries against move.
|06/06/2012 SRI LANKA|
Social activists to Elizabeth II: For Diamond Jubilee, save Rizana Nafeek’s life
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) sends a letter to the Queen of England, who is celebrating 60 year reign. Since 2007, the Sri Lankan girl is sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia for the alleged murder of a newborn babay.
|06/05/2012 SRI LANKA|
Sri Lanka: The courage of Divya, raped at 13 by a neighbor
The Kandy High Court has sentenced Sandanam Jeevaratnem, 48, to 20 years in prison, the maximum penalty in Sri Lanka for the crime of rape. In 2007, the man abused the girl when she was at home alone. Staff of the Office for Human Rights in Kandy, run by Fr. Nandana Mantunga central to her battle for justice, psychological and legal support.
Syrian rebels invoke "total war". Assad expels some ambassadors
Opponents no longer respect the cease-fire in effect since April 12. New army being planned-funded by Sunni Muslim countries. Assad declares ambassadors of the United States, Great Britain, France and Turkey no longer welcome.
Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, renewed his country's firm stance regarding the crisis in Syria in terms of finding a peaceful solution through starting dialogue among all parties based on Geneva Statement.
"Our stance is firm regarding Syria's sovereignty and its territorial integrity, and we will not allow passing any decision against Syria under Chapter VII," Lavrov said in a joint press conference with the UN Envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, in Moscow on Saturday.
''Brahimi is engaged in a shuttle diplomacy, and he met the Syrian government and opposition in all its components. Likewise, we are contacting all parties in Syria openly and at all levels , and we hope that our stance is clear,'' Lavrov said.
"We contact with all parties in Syria to solve the crisis in it; the terrorist acts are increasing there including what al-Qaeda is doing," Lavrov said, adding "Our Priority is halting violence in Syria and starting a political process according to Geneva Statement,"
''Concerning outside players, it all hinges on their conduct. Dialogue among Syrians must start, and all acts that would aggravate the crisis must stop,'' he added.
The Russian Minister stressed that all parties should support Brahimi's mission, pointing out that there is still an opportunity for finding a solution to the crisis in Syria, as reaching a real political process is the best solution to find a way out of the crisis.
He said : " The work basis of "Syrian Opposition Coalition" is the rejection of dialogue and the overthrow of the regime," adding that the opposition which is represented through this coalition will not be able to affect the field situation.
Lavrov added : "We invite the coalition to work in accordance with Geneva Statement, but we were surprised of what they stated; It seems that the coalition chairman does not have a long history in politics as it seems that his latest statements came with intimations from foreign sides.
''Had al-Khatib (Chairman of the Coalition) been a real politician, he should have understood that it is in his own interest to listen to our analysis. If he wants to lend an ear to doubtful news such as those which claimed that I spoke about Latin American countries ready to host President Bashar al-Assad in case he stepped down…If he depends on such sources, he may reach incorrect conclusions.''
''We are ready for contacts with all opposition groups in Syria which care for the interests of their country. They have to be sure that Russia can play a role to solve the crisis.'' The Russian Minister said : "Preconditions should not be set for solving the crisis in Syria, and the international players should work on overcoming contradiction between the relevant parties in Syria,"
Lavrov said " Russia will not stand with any party in particular, as what interests it is the Syrian people's destiny …the Syrian opposition's rejection of dialogue is futile and would lead to a blocked path as it also would result in the increase of victims… I ask it to put aside the demand of 'the departure of the regime' before starting dialogue, as it also should reconsider its stance and resort to dialogue for the future of Syria,"
He stressed that deploying international observers in Syria should come after establishing security and stability and finding positive environment in it, saying " We call for the return of the international observers, as the withdrawal of the Arab and then the international observers from Syria wasa big mistake."
Lavrov went on to say that the foreign players should say one word and send parallel hints to all sides to halt violence and sit on dialogue table away from precondition.
''President al-Assad has repeatedly expressed, during meeting with Mr. Brahimi in Damascus, that he will stay in his post and will protect Syria and the Syrian people. There is no chance that this will be changed,'' Lavrov said, adding ''We are accused of backing President al-Assad and blocking UN resolutions authorizing foreign intervention.''
Answering a question on whether Russia is considered part of the crisis or party to it, Lavrov said ''This is not worth commenting on…We are not backing the Syrian regime with offensive weapons…We cannot do anything about the fact that the regime has weapons from the Soviet Union era, but I believe that these weapons won't be used inside.''
Asked about Russia's military contracts with Syria and the defense systems it offers to it, Lavrov said ''We haven’t exported offensive weapons to the opposition similar to what other countries are doing, nor did we send special forces for an intervention. You can speak about an interference in Syria, but not by Russia.''
Barhimi, for his part said: " Nothing is left for us but the political solution being a choice for solving the crisis in Syria according to Geneva Statement, and everyone should help the Syrians to overcome the crisis and halt violence, "
Brahimi said, " The international community should help settle the situation in Syria," stressing that 'changing authority' in Syria will not lead to improving the situation in it and that the alternatives of the political solutions in Syria are chaos and the continuation of violence, which will affect the region and the world as well.
He expressed hope for finding a peaceful solution for the crisis in Syria soon and that the new year would be good for the Syrians because that represents Syria's and the whole world's interest.
Russian Foreign Ministry: Russia Vigorously Backs Brahimi's Efforts Based on Geneva Statement
The Russian Foreign Ministry stressed Russia's strong backing to the efforts of the UN Envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, based on Geneva statement as irreplaceable basis to solve the crisis in Syria.
In a statement following talks between the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the UN Envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi in Moscow on Saturday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said "The two sides had a candid exchange of views on the situation in Syria, including means for a diplomatic political settlement to the crisis in the country.''
The statement indicated that ''Brahimi briefed Minister Lavrov on the outcomes of his contacts with the Syrian sides in Cairo and Damascus with the aim to reach an immediate halt to bloodshed and shift the conflict to the political track.''
''Lavrov and Brahimi emphasized the importance of intensifying international efforts to achieve a political settlement to the crisis on the basis of the points agreed upon during the Action Group ministerial meeting on Syria in Geneva on June 30,''the statement said.
The statement added that ''The two sides act according to their conviction that there won't be a military solution to the crisis in Syria, and that the establishment of transitional leadership bodies has to be based on dialogue among the Syrians without foreign meddling.''
Bogdanov: Solving Crisis in Syria According to Geneva Statement, Only Syrians Decide Syria's Future
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Bogdanov stressed that all the debates that Russia is conducting regarding the crisis in Syria are based on Geneva Statement, asserting that the Syrians are the only ones who determine the future of their country.
In an interview with Russian Russia Today Channel on Saturday, Bogdanov said "We discussed with our partners different thoughts to solve the crisis in Syria and all of them are on the basis of Geneva Statement,"
He dismissed as " untrue" the existence of any US-Russian plan conveyed by UN envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi.
On a question on that Brahimi mission aims at reaching Geneva 2 or entering amendments or new points to Geneva Statement, Bogdanov said that what they have agreed on in Geneva represents the consensus of the international players, describing it as a good accord.
He indicated that setting up the details of a transitional process and its criteria are the Syrians' mission who are the only ones to determine the future of their country oand prospects of developing it.
Bogdanov said that the urgent basic mission of Brahimi is halting violence and starting a constructive political dialogue.
He warned that hindering a solution to the crisis in Syria will lead to a massive chaos that will negatively affect not only Syria but all countries of the region which in turn will lead to the spreading of extremism and terrorism to distant areas.
''There are two ways for a settlement in Syria: either the political solution, or the internationalization which will bring about dire consequences for the region,'' Brahimi said.
He added that ''We have to do our best for the political process to proceed according to Geneva statement. When it is too late, we will be obliged to make amendments to Geneva statement.''
On the question of deploying international observers in Syria, Brahimi said ''I believe that the peacekeeping efforts are part of the package of procedures intended for a political settlement to the crisis in Syria, with the top priority being the importance of ending bloodshed there.''
The Armed Forces have continued their national mission of hunting the armed terrorist groups at different sites in Idleb province as they destroyed their criminal tools and hideouts, killing many of them.
A source in the province told SANA reporter that an army unit killed several terrorists and injured many others, as it destroyed four launchers of locally-made missiles that were used in their attacks at orchards in Maartamasrin area.
The source added that another army unit destroyed terrorists' dens and hideouts killing the terrorists inside in Taftanaz, To'oum, Kafar Rohin, nirab and Ain Sheet, in addition to destroying a number of vehicles that were used for transporting and attacking people.
An army unit targeted, in qualitative operations, terrorists' gatherings at the surrounding area of Wadi al-Dhef in Maaret al-Nomaan, killing many of them and destroying their criminal tools. Heavy losses were inflicted upon the so called 'Baba Amr' and al-Farouq' battalions, killing many of the terrorists and injuring others, in addition to destroying several cars, some of which were equipped with heavy machineguns.
Director of Raqaa Awqaf Assassinated
In the framework of targeting the national cadres, an armed terrorist group on Sunday assassinated director of Raqaa Awqaf Abdullah al-Saleh in front of his home in al Dere'yeh neighborhood in the city.
An official source told SANA reporter that terrorists shot al-Saleh in the head as he left his home causing his martyrdom.
Terrorists' Infiltration Attempt from Jordan Thwarted
A unit of the armed forces and border guards inflicted losses on a terrorist group that sought to infiltrate into Syria coming from Jordan near al-Mataeieh village in Daraa countryside, and confiscated Israeli-made weapons.
SANA quoted a source in the province as saying that ''The seized weapons included Israeli-made Lau missiles, along with various weapons, munitions and modern communication devices.''
The source added that units of the armed forces clashed with armed terrorist groups in Basr al-Harir in Daraa countryside, killing and injuring its members.
The source said that the terrorists Ahmad Ali Omar, the leader of a so-called 'Der'a al-Lajat' terrorist group, Moussa al-Eliyyan, Yehiya al-Hariri and Khaled al-Hariri were identified among the dead.