Showing posts from April 6, 2014

Turkey calls for end of Azerbaijani territories' occupation

By Sara Rajabova Turkish Foreign Minister has said Turkey makes every effort to put an end to the occupation of territories of Azerbaijan. "To this end, Ankara also tries to improve relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia, as well as Turkey and Armenia," Ahmet Davutoglu said. Armenia occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions, after laying territorial claims against its South Caucasus neighbor that caused a brutal war in the early 1990s. Long-standing efforts by US, Russian and French mediators have been largely fruitless so far. The UN Security Council has passed four resolutions on Armenian withdrawal from the Azerbaijani territory, but they have not been enforced to this day. Besides, the Armenian armed forces have intensified the ceasefire breaches on the contact line of troops between Armenia and Azerbaijan since the beginning of 2014. As a result of ceasefire breaches, several

Basque Country – definitive cessation of ETA’s armed activity

Emeritus Archbishop and Noble Peace Prize winner, Desmond Tutu, welcomed ETA’s decision to start the process of disarmament, because it “opens the door to a lasting peace”. By Lokarri Following the gesture made by ETA in February, reactions from different areas of politics have come thick and fast. The President of the Spanish Government, Mariano Rajoy, said that “this will be sorted out the day that ETA, which is a terrorist organisation, disbands” and that “we do not owe them anything, there is nothing to discuss”. For his part, Basque President, Iñigo Urkullu, repeated his support for the International Verification Commission [of ETA’s ceasefire] and stated in a plenary session of the Basque Parliament that “the verifiers are reliable people to bring about the end of ETA”. On the international level, Tony Blair’s former Chief of Staff Jonathan Powell stated that “ETA needs Spain’s help to put its weapons out of use”. In an op-ed article, he pointed out that “no Government in the wor

Q&A: Jailed Basque leader Arnaldo Otegi

 11 April 2014 Spain considers Basque independence group ETA 'terrorists', but Arnaldo Otegi says they want a negotiated solution. Logrono, Spain  - In prison since October 2009, Arnaldo Otegi is considered the most senior political leader in the Basque independence movement, and a key player in its decision to focus solely on political and democratic mechanisms. The change of strategy led to the armed Basque organisation ETA declaring a "definitive cessation" of armed struggle back in October 2011, just a few days after international mediators led by former UN secretary general Kofi Annan formally called on the group to lay down arms. Despite international pressure, the Spanish government has refused to take further steps towards a peaceful settlement of the Basque conflict. Nobel Prize winner  Desmond Tutu  is the most recent international figure to call for the release of Otegi, who was arrested on charges of trying to reconstitute the political structure of a bann

Maoist rebels kill 13 in Chhattisgarh blasts

Sat Apr 12, 2014 3:35pm IST BHUBANESWAR (Reuters) - Suspected Maoist rebels set off two bombs in Chhattisgarh on Saturday, killing 13 people, most of them paramilitary soldiers and officials charged with holding elections in the region. The attacks, half an hour apart, were the most serious since voting to elect a new central government began last week in a six-week process to allow security forces to move across the country. The first explosion took place in a bus in Bijapur carrying election officials who were on their way back after completing the vote. Seven people were killed. A second bomb hit an ambulance in the thickly forested Bastar region killing five members of the Central Reserve Police Force and their driver, said R.K.Vij, the head of anti-Maoist operations. It was not clear why the soldiers were travelling in the ambulance, but in the past government officials are known to be have used such vehicles to avoid attacks by the Maoists. The rebels have operated for decades ac

CRPF jawans fight 'invisible enemy' in Maoist zone

LATEHAR/PALAMU: Jharkhand is a critical place as the fight is against an invisible enemy, feel CRPF personnel posted in the state that often sees Maoist violence. CRPF personnel deployed in Latehar and Palamu, which fall in the Red zone in the state, say Maoists can launch an attack anytime and from any direction. Deputy commandant (CRPF) B B Bhakta, who posted in Laat village under Maoist-dominated Burwadih block of Latehar, said guerrilla warfare is a different ballgame. "When the enemy is invisible, level of alertness should remain high all the time," he said. After successfully tackling a Maoist attack on a poll booth in Laat on Thursday, Bhakta said the security personnel have to avoid paths through forests because of landmines. "We keep changing our plan and briefs every now and then so that even if some information leaks the possibility of being trapped decreases," he said. Hailing from Tripura, Radhe Shyam Das, ASI of CRPF Battalion deployed for election dut

One commando killed, 5 injured in Maoist ambush in Gadchiroli

NAGPUR: A commando of Maharashtra's specialized anti-Naxalite force was killed and five others were injured when Naxalites ambushed in Gadchiroli district early on Friday. A squad of the special anti-Naxalite operations force of the state police "C-60" was out in the jungles of the district clearing the road for a polling party to retreat when a strong squuad of Naxals ambushed them and engaged them in gunfire. Special inspector general (anti-naxalite operations) AK Singh said while one commando was killed, five others were injured in the encounter. The ambush took place near the Asa village under Aheri police station area of the district. Polling was held on Thursday in Gadchiroli-Chimur Lok Sabha constituency on Thursday. Source

Prensa Latina News Agency - Peace in Colombia Requires Commitment: FARC-EP

Havana, Apr 11 (Prensa Latina) Colombian insurgency stressed today at the end of the 23rd cycle of the dialogue, that peace in that South American nation requires commitment and deep changes instead of demagogical attitudes, as it h occurs at present. Such statements of the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia- People´s Army (FARC-EP) are related with recent declarations of president Juan Manuel Santos in which he affirmed that at present the peace process would think twice before ordering the arrest of the guerrilla leader Timoleon Jimenez. The communique read by the head of the FARC-EP delegation, Ivan Marquez, reflects that the Government speaks of progress in dialogue, but continues to be in debt with the people and insinuates several and unnecessary threats to its counterpart. Marquez reiterated the guerrilla´s desire to create a Commission for the Clearing of the Origin and Truth of the Colombian Historical Internal Conflict., necessary for the approach to the agenda issue refe

Colombia's victims of conflict 'a priority' for the state

By Vanessa Buschschluter   BBC News 9 April 2014 An estimated 220,000 people have been killed in Colombia's 50-year-long armed conflict Colombia says providing reparations for the victims of its armed conflict is "a priority" as the country marks the National Day of Memory and Solidarity. The government body in charge of reparations - the Unit for Attention and Reparation of Victims - says it has compensated more than 360,000 people. Director Paula Gaviria tells the BBC the victims are "at the centre" of the government's peace plan. She says there are more than six million registered victims in total. Paula Gaviria says looking after the victims is key to the peace process Referring to the much derided demobilisation in 2005 of Colombia's righting paramilitaries - many of whom went on to join criminal gangs and continued terrorising the local population - Ms Gaviria says Colombia has learned from past mistakes that the victims have to have a voice in any

Peace in the Philippines, but what next for the MILF?

Source The peace agreement between the MILF insurgency and the Philippines government is a significant achievement, but challenges do lie ahead for all parties.  EPA/Ritchie B. Tongo Late last month, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) insurgency and the Philippines government  signed  a landmark peace settlement, signalling the end of a decades-old conflict. After 17 years of  on-and-off negotiations , the two parties finally signed a settlement based on the  Framework Agreement developed in 2012. The new “Bangsamoro” autonomous region will replace the now-defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). The ARMM was originally established in accordance with the  1976 Tripoli Agreement , signed between the government and the MILF’s rival, the Moro National Liberation Front  (MNLF). While the agreement is a significant political achievement for Philippines president Benigno Aquino as it essent

Peace? Philippines Signs Deal with Separatists

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A peace process that is going nowhere

Apr 12th 2014  |  JERUSALEM AND RAMALLAH ZE’EV ELKIN, Israel’s 43-year-old deputy foreign minister, who emigrated from eastern Ukraine in 1990, chuckles about the rise of “Russians” into his country’s highest posts. The foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, hails from Moldova, once part of the Soviet Union. “Recently the ministers of tourism, absorption, diaspora affairs, the head of the Jewish agency—they’ve all been Russians,” jokes Mr Elkin. Most Russian-Israelis, he notes approvingly, are “right-wing”, meaning that they are hawks on Palestine. Mr Elkin openly opposes—under any circumstance, he breezily asserts—the stated desire of his prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, for a Palestinian state to co-exist alongside Israel, something John Kerry, America’s secretary of state, is failing to achieve after nearly eight months of frenetic diplomacy. A Palestinian one, however hedged about, would, says Mr Elkin, “threaten the existence of a Jewish state.” Better, he adds, to annex a chunk