Somalia UN rights expert decries killing of aid workers

30 January 2008The United Nations Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia today condemned the recent killing of three aid workers there and called for justice in the case. The United Nations Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia today condemned the recent killing of three aid workers there and called for justice in the case.Three staff members of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)–Holland were killed in Somalia earlier this week. Victor Okunnu, a Kenyan doctor, Damien Lehalle, a French logistician and their Somali driver Billan were killed when their car was hit by a roadside bomb outside the town of Kismayo. A Somali journalist, Hassan Kafi Hared, as well as a Somali boy were also reportedly killed in the blast.Calling the deaths “a great loss” Ghanim Alnajjar condemned all attacks on aid workers, journalists and human rights defenders in Somalia.“The international aid community must be allowed to carry out their humanitarian and human rights work in safety and without fear of retaliation,” he said. “These brave people work under extremely difficult and dangerous circumstances and their senseless deaths are an affront to all Somalis and the humanitarian and international communities.”Mr. Alnajjar said those responsible must be held accountable for their crimes. Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991, but he urged “the Somali authorities to investigate this case and all cases in order to bring the perpetrators to justice.All “authorities and groups concerned” must ensure safe and secure conditions for humanitarian and human rights activities, he said. read more

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to visit Sri Lanka

The Secretary’s first stop will be in New Delhi, India. The US said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent election victory provides an excellent opportunity for him to implement his vision for a strong and prosperous India that plays a leading role on the global stage. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is to arrive in Sri Lanka later this month on a brief visit.The US State Department said Secretary Pompeo will travel to the Indo-Pacific region on June 24th through the 30th to broaden and deepen US partnership with key countries to advance their  shared goal of a free and open Indo-Pacific. He will also discuss promising opportunities for U.S.-Sri Lanka cooperation based on shared commitments to a free and open Indo-Pacific region.From Colombo the Secretary will travel to Osaka, Japan to participate in the G20 Leaders’ Summit from June 28th to 29th, the first such gathering hosted by Japan. The Secretary’s next stop will be in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where Secretary Pompeo will express America’s solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka as they stand united against the despicable Easter Sunday terrorist attacks. The last US Secretary of State to visit Sri Lanka was John Kerry in May 2015. (Colombo Gazette) read more