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U.N human rights rep charges West Africans to do more.

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The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet in her first address to the Human Rights Council since taking office enumerated rights issues and violations across the world.

In her opening statement as at the 39th session of the Human Rights Council on 10 September 2018, she singled out a number of African countries that had grave concerns relating to the human rights situation.

Except for southern Africa, every other bloc of the continent had a share of rights violations.



In Egypt, I am shocked by Saturday’s death sentences for 75 people, following another mass trial which failed to comply with international standards regarding due process guarantees.

The trial of these protesters contrasts sharply with a recent law that bestows immunity on senior members of the security forces for human rights violations which they may have committed.

Credible allegations have been made regarding the extrajudicial executions of at least 77 people since the beginning of 2018. The Government has opened judicial investigations for most of these incidents, and the Office will be closely following up these and other cases.

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The Government has not acted to promote the conference on dialogue suggested by religious leaders, and there is still no mechanism in place which could envisage a halt in hostilities in the short term.

We strongly condemn reports of the killing and abductions of teachers and students and the destruction of schools by armed elements in the north-west and south-west regions. These acts of intimidation are preventing thousands of children from attending school.

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In Sudan, clashes in Jebel Marra between security forces and armed groups have again led to new displacements of people in recent months. Despite some improvements in overall security in Darfur, displaced people continue to be subjected to attacks, including killings and rapes, when they venture outside their camps.

Many such attacks are attributable to Government security forces and related militias, which still operate with impunity in Darfur.

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Motherland News

Families Identify Church Collapse Victims in Anguish

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Tears and anguish characterized the atmosphere as the grieving families of 13 worshipers killed in a church collapse arrived at the Richards Bay mortuary to identify the bodies of their loved ones.

The worshipers died when a wall collapsed at the Pentecostal Holiness Church near Empangeni in northern KwaZulu-Natal last Thursday night.

The KwaZulu-Natal Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department co-ordinated with various departments including health, home affairs and the police, to assist in speeding up the body identification process.

Six worshippers were from Ulundi, four from eSikhawini and three from Maqwakazi in uMlalazi.

Describing the collapse, Phumelele Simelane from eSikhawini said worshippers had just had their evening meal and were preparing to sleep when the wall caved in.

Simelane was with her 6-year-old son, who is recovering in hospital. She said she came to the mortuary to support congregants whose relatives died.

The Mthembu family, who lost grandmother Thembi Mthabela, 54, and Andiswa Mthembu, 10, in the tragedy were overcome with grief.

“Thembi loved going to church and she always took Andiswa with her. Andiswa was doing Grade 3 at Nyathini Primary School. As a family, we are very traumatised and it is hard for us,” said a relative, who did not wanted to be named.

Buhle Mzila, whose sister Samke, 33, died, said the family had lost a breadwinner.

Samke, who worked at the Ulundi Municipality, was with her 9-year-old daughter during the incident.

Buhle said her niece, who was in hospital, was in a state of shock about her mother’s death.

“Samke loved the church, she always made sure she attended every service. She played a big role in terms of assisting the family. We are still going to feel her absence,” said Buhle.

A sobbing Mbongeni Langa said his mother had died in a “place she loved”.

The memorial service will be held tomorrow

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Motherland News

CAF Sidelines Nigerian Centre Referees for 2019 AFCON

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Out of the Twenty-seven centre referees penciled down for the 2019 African Cup of Nations, countries like Burundi, Mali, Zambia and Sudan are represented on the list, but no Nigerian referee was selected for the big occasions.

However, only one assistant referee from Nigeria named Baba Adel was listed among the twenty-nine assistant referees selected by the African Football Governing Body.

The competition will be held from 21 June to 19 July 2019, as per the decision of the CAF Executive Committee on 20 July 2017.

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