Two African Nations May Face Sanctions For Breaking U.N. Diamond Embargo
The United States and Britain condemned Liberia and Burkina Faso for their military assistance to a brutal rebel group in Sierra Leone, accusing the West African nations of violating a United Nations embargo. Liberia and Burkina Faso may face unilateral sanctions from the U.S. and Britain for arming the notorious Revolutionary United Front (RUF) group with weapons, food, fuel, and medical supplies in return for access to Sierra Leone's diamonds. RUF depends on its smuggling of diamonds to Liberia and Burkina Faso for its purchase of weapons. "The governments of Liberia and Burkina Faso ... are fueling the war in Sierra Leone and profiting from the arms-for-diamonds trade," remarked Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. At a two-day United Nations hearing on Sierra Leone diamonds beginning on July 31st, witnesses testified that the presidents of Liberia and Burkina Faso were directing RUF's war strategy and facilitating the diamond business.
The RUF is known for gruesome practices such as chopping off the breasts of women, systematically raping women and children, and kidnapping children to use them as soldiers. In recent months, the rebels held more than 500 U.N. hostages and incited conflict with U.N. peacekeepers.
Media Resources: New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com) 1 August 2
11/25/2015 Afghan Women Launch 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence - Afghanistan marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and begun participating in the worldwide 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, which is being called in Afghanistan "Peace from Home to the World." During the launch day's event, which was attended by government officials, including First Lady Rula Ghani and women's rights activists, speakers expressed their commitment to ending violence against women.
First Lady, Rula Ghani gave a speech on ending violence against women and supporting women by stating that "war often leads society towards violence and this violence is in violation of human dignity. . . .