BANGUI (Central African Republic): A Burundian soldier in the UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic (CAR) was killed late Sunday in a clash in the center of the country, UN sources said.
The fighting occurred in the town of Bambari, according to UN sources there and in the capital Bangui. A CAR soldier was also injured. The death came a week after a Tanzanian peacekeeper was killed and seven others were wounded when their patrol was ambushed in the village of Dilapoko in the southwest Mambere-Kadei prefecture.
The UN force, known by its French acronym of MINUSCA, has been in CAR since April 2014, tasked with assisting to stabilize the country after a brutal sectarian-tinged civil conflict that France helped to dampen. It is one of the UN’s biggest peacekeeping operations and currently has 11,000 troops and 2,000 police in a complement of nearly 13,500 people.
However, the mission is struggling to contain militias who control most of the country’s territory and often violently fight each other. Five UN troops have now been killed in the CAR this year. Sunday’s attack was carried out by a group that calls itself the Union for Peace in CAR (UPC), a gendarmerie official said in Bambari, adding that several militiamen were killed during the three-hour gunfight.
A piece published earlier: Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations (UN) Maleeha Lodhi said on Friday that Pakistan’s commitment to UN Peacekeeping remains strong, consistent and unstinting. Addressing the meeting of the recent Leaders Summit on Peacekeeping in New York, Lodhi said: “Additional Pakistan Army units are ready for deployment to UN peacekeeping missions around the world.” Lodhi said that Pakistan is the top contributor to the UN’s peacekeeping mission and more than 7,000 uniformed personnel from Pakistan are serving in seven peacekeeping missions. She said that Pakistan wants UN to gear up its support mechanism for speedy deployment of selected units to UN missions. Earlier, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon lauded Pakistani peacekeepers for their service under the UN flag in hot spots around the world, saying they had made the valuable contribution in maintaining peace as also helping communities suffering from war. (Published on 18th June 2016)
Malaysia pardons three Mexicans on death row
MEXICO: The Sultan of the southern Malaysian state of Johor has commuted the death sentences of three Mexican brothers who were set to be hanged for drug trafficking crimes, Mexico said.
After years of lobbying by Mexican diplomats, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar of Johor – one of Malaysia’s most powerful and wealthiest state rulers – commuted the men’s death sentences to life in prison, Mexico’s foreign ministry said Thursday.
“This was the result of a long process and intense dialogue with Malaysian federal authorities,” it said in a statement.
The brothers — Simon, Luis Alfonso, and Jose Regino Gonzalez Villarreal – were arrested in a raid on a methamphetamine lab in Johor in March 2008.
The brothers, who hail from the Mexican state of Sinaloa — home to jailed drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s Sinaloa cartel — insisted they were innocent, saying they had been hired to clean the building and were unaware what was being made inside.
But a Malaysian court sentenced them to hang to death in May 2012. The conviction was upheld on appeal the following year.
Mexico, which does not use capital punishment, neither accepted nor rejected the court’s guilty verdict, but pushed for the death sentence to be commuted.
Journalist murdered in Mexico, ninth of 2018
Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Mexico: Gunmen shot and killed a Mexican journalist as he left his home in the southern state of Chiapas, his newspaper said Saturday, at least the ninth reporter murdered in the country this year.
Mario Gomez, a reporter with El Heraldo de Chiapas, is the latest victim in a wave of violence against the press in Mexico, the second-deadliest country in the world for journalists after war-torn Syria, according to the watchdog group Reporters Without Borders.
“He had recently filed a complaint because he was receiving threats,” a colleague at the paper told AFP on condition of anonymity.
The newspaper said Gomez, a general news correspondent in the town of Yajalon, was leaving for work when two unidentified men arrived and “murdered him in cold blood” with a series of shots to the abdomen.
Gomez, 35, was taken to the hospital but died of his wounds, it said.
“We call for an exhaustive investigation to find those responsible for this crime,” his colleagues wrote in an editorial published on the newspaper’s website.
The state prosecutor’s office said in a statement it would “follow all lines of investigation to shed light on this reprehensible crime and bring those responsible to justice.”
Pakistan condemns terror attack on military parade in Iran
ISLAMABAD, Sep 22 (APP):Pakistan on Saturday strongly condemned a terrorist attack on military parade in Ahvaz province of Iran in which several lives were reportedly lost.
“Our deepest condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones in this heinous attack. Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” said the Foreign Office spokesperson in a statement.