Thursday, 7 July 2011

Ban Ki-Moon 'URGES' Israel not to kill unarmed civillians. 7 dead - 111 injured

A UN report into the bloodshed along the Israeli-Lebanon border on Nakba Day, has slammed the Israeli army for using unnecessary force, a newspaper said yesterday.
The report was released by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon earlier this week and passed on to the 15 members of the Security Council, with a copy also passed on to Israel's Haaretz newspaper.
The study focuses on the events of May 15 when thousands of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon marched on the Israeli border. As the protesters tried to scale the fence, Israeli troops opened fire, killing seven and injuring 111, the report said.
The report found Israeli troops "used direct live fire against unarmed demonstrators" and urged the army to avoid doing so in situations where there was no immediate threat to life.
In his concluding remarks, Mr Ban urges the Israeli military to act only with the level of force appropriate to the threat facing its troops.

Israel eyeing reoccupation of Sinai

Regional analysts say Israeli officials are thinking about reoccupying the Sinai Peninsula because of the growing prospect of infiltration by al-Qaida and other militants such as Hamas, the inability of the Egyptian military to guarantee security and the prospect of a cut-off of vital natural gas supplies flowing through a repeatedly sabotaged pipeline, according to a report in Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin.
Israeli officials already have warned of a heightened terrorist threat from the Sinai. In April, Israeli aircraft attacked a car said to be carrying three Hamas operatives allegedly planning to abduct Israelis there.
In response, Israel's counter-terrorism bureau issued an instruction that told of "updated information that terrorist organizations are continuing their efforts to abduct Israeli tourists in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula for bargaining purposes" and that "terror agents that are residing in Sinai are coordinating plans for such attacks with local Bedouin collaborators."
Since the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in January, Israel has become increasingly concerned with the security of the Sinai, a stretch of land that is three times the size of Israel's pre-1967 border area, or some 23,000 square miles.
As G2Bulletin recently reported, some 400 al-Qaida militants are known to have infiltrated into the Sinai with the help of Hamas Palestinians from bordering Gaza. There also is Israeli concern that Hamas could bring in rockets from the Gaza Strip and shoot them into Israel along the 140-mile border between Israel and the Sinai.
Egyptian authorities also claim they no longer can maintain security in the region.
Egyptian police are abandoning their remote stations and checkpoints, which are coming under increased attacks from Bedouin tribesmen in the region. Bedouin tribesmen ransacked numerous abandoned government facilities and have threatened to attack South Sinai oil installations and tourist resorts.
"The Sinai is already known as a lawless land," according to a senior Israeli official. "There is real concern that if the Egyptians don't get the Sinai back under their control, it could develop into a major threat to Israel."

$100 million U.S. funding Sudan Terrorist Activities

JUBA, Sudan — The Sudan People's Liberation Army was a ragtag guerrilla group six years ago, battling a bloody civil war with Sudan's north. The SPLA becomes a national army Saturday, when the south breaks away and becomes the world's newest country.
The United States is investing tens of millions of dollars into this fledgling military, one that is massing troops on the north-south border as tensions — and violence — with the north rise. SPLA troops are battling rebel militias in hot spots across the south, and fears of renewed war with the north are high.
But international rights groups say those soldiers have been responsible for human-rights abuses, including killings.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who sponsored a law that prohibits U.S. aid to foreign military units that violate human rights, says he is concerned about those reports.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell and Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, will head a U.S. delegation that will attend ceremonies marking the nation's independence. Powell was instrumental in brokering the 2005 peace accord between the north and south.
The United States backed the south's push for independence, and the Obama administration long had said it would formally recognize Southern Sudan.
The State Department is giving nearly $100 million in yearly assistance to train and support the SPLA and says the behavior of the former guerrilla fighters is being monitored. Yet, watching the 140,000-plus-member army of a developing nation the size of Texas is a nearly impossible task.
In April, a 700-member battalion of SPLA commandos — the most highly trained of the army's fighters — fired indiscriminately on unarmed men, women and children of a rival ethnic group at a remote Nile River village in Jonglei state, killing or wounding hundreds, according to witness accounts in a confidential U.N. report.
The State Department, after a congressional inquiry, investigated and found no U.S. aid was being given to the two commanders named in the report or to the unit as a whole.
Since Sudan's decades-long civil war ended — some 2 million people were killed — the U.S. government has given more money than any other to programs aimed at professionalizing the SPLA. According to the Open Society Foundations, the Obama administration is requesting nearly $160 million in aid to the armed forces in Southern Sudan for fiscal year 2012.
The aid is to help the SPLA develop logistics, engineering abilities, medical, and command-and-control abilities.
Sudan experts say a responsible, professional army will be essential to improving security in a region where basic principles of rule of law and justice have yet to be upheld and enforced.
According to U.N. statistics, conflicts such as cattle-raiding and battles between rebel militias and the SPLA have claimed at least 1,800 lives this year.
The SPLA has a lot of growing up to do as the world's youngest national military. In a November report by the Small Arms Survey, author Richard Rands concluded an "overarching strategy" for the long-term transformation of the SPLA from a guerrilla movement to a conventional army "has not yet emerged."