Ethiopian forces committed genocide in Tigray: report

There is "credible" evidence that Ethiopian forces committed genocide during the two-year war in northern Tigray region, a new report has concluded. Ethiopia's National Defense Force and its allies—the paramilitary Amhara Special Forces and the Eritrean Defense Forces—are accused of committing "at least four acts" constituting genocide against Tigrayans, including: killing, causing serious bodily or mental harm, deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about their destruction, and imposing measures intended to prevent childbirth. The report by the New Lines Institute, a US-based foreign policy think-tank, called for Ethiopia to be referred to the UN's top court, the International Court of Justice.

UN commission accuses Israel of war crimes

Israeli forces have committed war crimes and violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, and there are "reasonable grounds" to conclude Hamas and loyalists have done the same, a UN inquiry concluded in a report released June 12. The report, which covers Hamas' Oct. 7 attacks on Israeli civilians and the initial phase of Israel's retaliatory invasion and bombardment of Gaza, was produced by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, & Israel (Commission). The UN Human Rights Council established the Commission in 2021 to monitor human rights and humanitarian concerns in the region.

Sudan: mass exodus from El Fasher

A mass exodus of civilians from El Fasher, capital of Sudan's North Darfur state, is underway as the army and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) battle for control of the city. The month-long RSF siege of El Fasher has resulted in hundreds of casualties and triggered the massive wave of displacement, with an estimated 28,000 people fleeing their homes between May 24 and June 3. Those fleeing have recounted harrowing experiences of escalating violence and dire living conditions.

Hostage rescue for Israelis; 'massacre' for Palestinians

A joint operation by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Shin Bet, and Israeli police in the Nuseirat refugee camp of central Gaza on June 8 rescued four hostages—and killed over 200 Palestinians amid pitched gun-battles in a heavy populated area. The rescued hostages had been abducted from the Nova music festival on Oct. 7, and are reported to be in good medical condition. In a public statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "saluted" those involved in the operation, saying: "We will not relent until we complete the mission and return all our hostages home, both the living and the deceased."

Burma: army accused in village massacre

Burmese junta soldiers reportedly killed at least 75 civilians in an attack last week on a village in Rakhine state, where the regime is facing a fierce insurgency by the rebel Arakan Army (AA). The AA said in a statement June 2 that it has a list of 53 victims, including two teenagers and five women. Over 100 soldiers entered Byian Phyu, near state capital Sittwe (formerly Akyab), at noon on May 29, forcing residents into a communal area in the center of the village, where scores of were summarily gunned down, survivors said. (Irrawady)

Sudan: RSF accused in village massacre

The local Resistance Committees in Madani, capital of Sudan's al-Jazira (Gezira) state, reported June 5 that the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) carried out a massacre at the nearby village of Wad al-Noora, killing nearly 100 people. The Resistance Committees released a video showing the burial of dozens of bodies in a public square amid a large gathering of village residents. Other videos circulating online show RSF fighters firing with automatic rifles and from "technicals," pick-up trucks mounted with machine-guns. The RSF acknowledged operations in the area, but said it only targeted army positions on the village outskirts. Since taking control of Madani late last year, the RSF has been raiding villages in al-Jazira, with widespread atrocities reported, including killings of unarmed residents, abductions, forced displacements, and looting of properties, including crops and homes. (Sudan Tribune, Al Jazeera)

Burma: new warnings of Rohingya 'genocide'

Twenty-eight non-governmental organizations representing Burma's Rohingya Muslim minority issued a joint statement May 22 warning of the risk of a new "genocide" and urging the international community to take action. The NGOs, including the Free Rohingya Coalition and Burmese Rohingya Organization UK (BROUK), said that this time the threat comes from the Arakan Army, a predominantly Buddhist ethnic armed group that is waging an insurgency against the ruling junta. According to the statement, the Arakan Army has ordered Rohingya residents to evacuate the town of Buthidaung, Rakhine state, where many internally displaced during the 2017 genocide carried out by the Burmese armed forces have taken refuge. The evacuation order is being backed up by a campaign of threats, violence, and arson. (Anadolu AgencyTNH)

More advances for Palestinian statehood

Colombian President Gustavo Petro on May 22 ordered the opening of an embassy in Palestine, joining a handful of other nations around the world that have done so. The announcement comes after Petro's government withdrew its diplomats from Israel and broke relations with the country on May 2, describing Israel's actions in Gaza as a "genocide." The Colombian embassy is to be installed in Ramallah, the Palestinian Authority's capital on the West Bank.

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