Palestine
Gaza

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 new report. 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 rights and humanitarian concerns in the region. (Photo: badwanart0/Pixabay via Jurist)

Africa
Fasher

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 over the past weeks. Those fleeing have recounted harrowing experiences of escalating violence and dire living conditions. (Photo: Sudan Tribune)

Palestine
Gaza

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 rescued four hostages—and killed over 200 Palestinians amid pitched gun-battles in a heavy populated area. 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.” The president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, described the operation as a “gruesome massacre.” Abbas has instructed Palestine’s envoy to the United Nations to request an emergency session of the Security Council over the matter. (Photo: WAFA via Jurist)

Southeast Asia
Burma

Burma: army accused in village massacre

Burmese junta soldiers reportedly killed at least 75 civilians in an attack 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 that it has a list of 53 victims, including two teenagers and five women. Over 100 soldiers entered Byian Phyu, near state capital Sittwe, forcing residents into a communal area in the center of the village, where scores of were summarily gunned down, survivors said. Burma’s military government has denied the accusation. (Map: PCL)

Africa
Wad Al-Noora

Sudan: RSF accused in village massacre

The local Resistance Committees in Madani, capital of Sudan’s al-Jazira state, reported 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. (Photo: Sudan Tribune)

Southeast Asia
Burma

Burma: new warnings of Rohingya ‘genocide’

Twenty-eight non-governmental organizations representing Burma’s Rohingya Muslim minority issued a joint statement 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. (Map: PCL)

Palestine
Palestine

More advances for Palestinian statehood

Colombian President Gustavo Petro has 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, 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. The move also comes as Spain, Ireland and Norway have announced their recognition of Palestine as a state. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of course opposed these decisions, charging that “the intention of several European countries to recognize a Palestinian state is a reward for terrorism.” (Image: Nicolas Raymond via Flickr)

Oceania
new caledonia

Podcast: New Caledonia in the Great Game

Azerbaijan, now facing accusations of genocide against Armenians, suddenly rallies to the defense of the Kanak indigenous people in the French overseas territory of New Caledonia, and accuses France of a legacy of “crimes against humanity” in its colonial holdings. This appears to be blatant retaliation for French support of Armenia in the conflict between the two Caucasus nations. The repression of the Kanak uprising in their colonized homeland and the cleansing of the Armenians from their usurped ancestral lands both demand our protest—but the propaganda game makes everything more complicated. Yet another example of how a global divide-and-rule racket is the essence of the state system. Bill Weinberg discusses in Episode 227 of the CounterVortex podcast. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon. (Flag image via Wikipedia)

Palestine
ICC

ICC prosecutor seeks arrest warrant for Netanyahu

International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Karim AA Khan announced that he has applied for arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, as well as senior Hamas leaders, for crimes committed during the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. The officials face various charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity under the Rome Statute. (Photo: OSeveno/WikiMedia)

Africa
Darfur

Podcast: the betrayal of Darfur —again

In Episode 226 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg discusses the alarmingly under-reported humanitarian disaster in Darfur. A generation later, the genocide is back on—but this time there is no global campaign to stop it. Even last time around, elements of the campist pseudo-left portrayed the “Save Darfur” movement as a Zionist conspiracy, because atrocities by an Arab-led regime happened to be useful to Israel in the “whataboutery” game. Alas, such cynical voices are at it again. Yet another example of how a global divide-and-rule racket is the essence of the state system. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon. (19th century map of Sultanate of Darfur via GlobalSecurity)

Africa
Mali

War crimes seen in Mali conflict

An Islamist armed group linked to al-Qaeda killed at least 32 civilians, including three children, and set fire to over 350 homes in central Mali in January, forcing about 2,000 villagers to flee, Human Rights Watch reports. Earlier in January, a Bambara ethnic militia formed to oppose the jihadists killed at least 13 civilians, including two children, abducted 24 other civilians, and looted property and livestock in central Mali. These attacks, which HRW said are apparent war crimes, occurred amid a cycle of reprisal killings and communal violence in central Mali, pitting the Dogon and Bambara against the Fulani. (Map: PCL)

Africa
Sudan

Darfur: ‘ethnic cleansing’ targets Massalit

Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that “ethnic cleansing” and crimes against humanity are being committed in El Geneina, capital of Sudan’s West Darfur state. The crimes are described as “among the worst atrocities against civilians so far in the current conflict in Sudan.” The Rapid Support Forces (RSF) are responsible for the widespread attacks and massacres that have been carried out against the Massalit ethnic minority. The wave of attacks commenced in April 2023, with the start of the conflict. Since then, it is estimated that between 10,000 and 15,000 people have been killed in El Geneina. HRW called for these killings to be investigated as genocide. The RSF meanwhile continues to close a ring around El Fasher, North Darfur, the last city in Darfur region it has not yet taken.  (Map: PCL)