The UN’s special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar has criticised the country’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, for failing to protect the Rohingya Muslim minority. Yanghee Lee said the situation in Rakhine was “really grave” and it was time for Ms Suu Kyi to “step in”. Her comments came as the number of Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh reached 87,000, according to UN estimates. That is more than the exodus after the October 2016 violence in Rakhine. Both outpourings were sparked by attacks by Rohingya militants on police posts which triggered a crackdown by the Burmese military. The Rohingya are a stateless Muslim ethnic minority who have faced persecution in Myanmar. Many of those who have fled describe troops and Rakhine Buddhist mobs burning their villages and attacking civilians. Satellite images show many fires across northern parts of the state, and Human Rights Watch has released an image which it says shows that...
Not less than 49 children died at a state-run hospital in Northern India allegedly due to lack of medicine or oxygen, Police Chief Dayanand Misra, said on Monday. The latest deaths were registered between July 21 and Aug. 10 in Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in Farrukhabad city in Uttar Pradesh state. The children died from complications including shortage of oxygen. Following preliminary inquiry, Farrukhabad district magistrate Ravindra Kumar as well as two top hospital doctors were transferred from their positions and a probe was ordered, the state government announced. “A high-level team will be sent to investigate the incident so that the real cause behind the deaths can be determined,’’ a government spokesperson said on Twitter. “Parents have complained that their children died due to suffocation. “We have registered complaints against doctors under sections including causing death due to negligence,’’ Misra said. Registering complaint represents the very beginning of the legal process in India. More than 60...
The Philippine Military’s Chief on Monday warned Islamic State-allied militants to surrender or die as troops make a final push to end a more-than-three-month conflict in besieged Marawi City. The fight between government forces and the militants was concentrated in the centre of Marawi, 800 kilometres south of Manila, and picked up last week after soldiers retook control of key landmarks in the municipality. “We are in the final phase, finishing touches that’s why fighting has been intense,’’ said General Eduardo Ano, the armed forces chief of staff. The enemy is repositioning. We will finish this soon. “Either they surrender or they die there, so we can start the reconstruction of Marawi City,’’ he added. At least two leaders of the siege of Marawi, Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute are still believed to be alive and in the main battle area, according to military intelligence reports. A third leader, Abdullah Maute, was reported to...
The president of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, has said his country has “a problem” with its judiciary after the Supreme Court cancelled his victory in last month’s presidential election. Speaking on live television, he vowed to “fix” the court if re-elected. It comes a day after the Supreme Court cited irregularities in the vote and ordered a new one within 60 days. Mr. Kenyatta has said he will respect the ruling and called for calm amid fears of unrest. But at a rally in Nairobi on Friday he branded the Supreme Court judges “crooks”. The 8 August poll raised fears of major violence similar to that following a disputed vote in 2007. Deputy President William Ruto has called on the electoral commission to set a date for fresh presidential elections, saying the governing Jubilee Party is ready. But opposition candidate Raila Odinga wants the commission replaced, saying it has lost credibility. The decision to annul the election was...
United States President, Donald Trump visited Texas for a second time in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. The hurricane made landfall in the state a week ago, causing devastating floods. Some residents have been allowed to return to their homes but flood waters are still rising in other areas. Harvey has been blamed for at least 47 deaths, and about 43,000 people are currently housed in shelters. Mr. Trump has asked Congress for $7.8bn (£6bn). The sum would be an initial payment to help with recovery efforts following the flooding in both Texas and Louisiana, which has also hit production at America’s main petrol and oil refining centre. Governor of Texas Greg Abbott has said the state may need more than $125bn in aid. President Trump and his wife Melania visited Texas earlier in the week but stayed clear of the disaster zone, saying they did not want to divert resources from rescue...
By Bukola Ogunsina, Beijing, China As China prepares to host the 9th BRICS Summit at Fujian Province this coming September, from 3 to 5th the Deputy Executive Director of the China Asian Cooperation Centre,  Dr Zeng Aiping has disclosed that the Summit will further enhance the existing economic ties between BRICS member countries and Africa. The groups global shares have risen from 11 to 16 percent in recent years, with Foreign Direct Investment to African countries rising from seven to 12 percent, he said. The Deputy Executive Director said this while hosting 27 African journalists participating at the 2017 China Africa Press Centre programme. The theme of this year’s BRIC’s meeting is ‘BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future’. “China attaches importance to the development of Africa. Some other African countries will participate in this summit,” Dr Zeng noted. He further emphasised that the group’s bank, African Regional Centre for New Development...
By Bukola Ogunsina, Beijing, China China and Africa’s trade volume has reached $85 billion the first half of this year 2017 with growth rate at 19 per cent. This was disclosed by the China Africa Development Fund (CADF) recently as it hosted 27 journalists, participants of the 2017 China Africa Press Centre (CAPC) programme. At its headquarters in Beijing, the firm noted that the total investment of projects generated by the CADF through Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) to Africa is about 20 billion US dollars. The Vice President of CADF, Wang Yong said that all the projects invested in Africa can generate approximately 2 billion US dollars for local export, 10 billion US dollars for local tax revenue which in turn directly benefit more than one million local people. A financial and equity investment firm, CADF tracks investment projects across countries they have made diplomatic contact with on the African continent. It...
By Bukola Ogunsina, Beijing, China Guangzhou is the capital of Guangdong Province in China, home to a large population of Africans. A well-known business hub, and one of the earliest trade ports open to the world. However, the capital city has more than business to offer, BUKOLA OGUNSINA writes… The tour of Guangzhou began with a ferry sail at night across the Pearl River. A magnificent view of the Canton Tower, a symbol of Guangzhou shone in the myriad of lights. It was easy to see why people across the world visited. The experience competes with a night out on Seine River in Paris or the Thames River in London. When the Director General of Guangdong Foreign Affairs Office, Luo Jun said, "We welcome more visitors not only on business but tourism," it made a lot of sense. People sat at tables, served by waiters, enjoying the view. Halfway through the...
By David Ujah Abakpa North Korea says its firing of a missile over Japan was "the first step" of military operations in the Pacific, signalling plans for more launches. State media also repeated threats to the US Pacific island of Guam, which it called "an advanced base of invasion." The missile launched on Tuesday crossed Japan's northern Hokkaido island, triggering public alerts to take cover, before landing in the sea. The UN Security Council has unanimously condemned North Korea for its actions. Meeting late on Tuesday in New York, the council called the launch "outrageous", demanding North Korea cease all missile testing. While the statement said the regime's actions were a threat to all UN member states, it did not threaten new sanctions against Pyongyang. Russia and China said US military activity in the region was partly to blame for the increase in tensions, and urged negotiations. Arriving for a visit to Japan, British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday called...
By CHIKA IZUORA Saudi Arabia has to date welcomed 1.497 million pilgrims who have flocked to the country in preparation for the annual Islamic Hajj pilgrimage, which is due to begin on August 30, 2017. In total, around two million people from across the globe are expected to visit the Holy City of Makkah, Saudi Arabia, making it the largest annual international gathering, and which, for many Muslims, is the highlight of their spiritual lives. As one of the five pillars of Islam, the annual pilgrimage to Makkah, is mandatory for physically and financially capable Muslims to perform at least once in their lives. The rituals involved are intended to cleanse the soul and demonstrate the equality and solidarity of all Muslims, in their submission to God. The responsibility for organizing the pilgrimage falls on the government of Saudi Arabia, under direct supervision of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman...