Cambodia releases alleged opposition leader plot video

Kem Sokha, leader of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), gestures during an interview with Reuters at the CNRP headquarter in Phnom Penh, June 23, 2016. (REUTERS)
Updated 03 September 2017
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Cambodia releases alleged opposition leader plot video

PHNOM PENH: Cambodia’s government on Sunday released a video which it said showed arrested opposition leader Kem Sokha talking about conspiring against the administration with US support.
Kem Sokha was arrested on Sunday and Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government said he was accused of treason for plotting with foreign powers.
The government released the video on its Facebook page and said it had been recorded in Australia by the private Cambodia Broadcasting Network. It did not say when.
It appeared to show Kem Sokha speaking to supporters in the Khmer language and discussing a political strategy with US support rather than an immediate plot to oust the government.
Kem Sokha’s opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) made no immediate comment on the video and either its veracity or content. These could not be independently verified.
Kem Sokha was heard comparing the situation in Cambodia to that in the former Yugoslavia in 2000, when protests helped to bring down former leader Slobodan Milosevic.
“Before changing the top level, we need to uproot the lower one... The USA, which has assisted me, has asked me to take the model from Yugoslavia, Serbia, where they were able to change the dictator Milosevic,” he appears to say.
“I do not do anything at my own will. I have experts, university professors in Washington DC, Montreal, Canada hired by the Americans in order to advise me on the strategy to change the leaders. And if I follow such a tactic and strategy and if I could not win, I do not know what else to do.”
The government has recently increased its rhetoric against the United States and last month ordered the expulsion of the US State Department-funded National Democratic Institute pro-democracy group.


UN team to investigate ‘horrific’ massacre in central Mali

Updated 26 March 2019
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UN team to investigate ‘horrific’ massacre in central Mali

  • UN human rights office spokeswoman says the massacre in Ogossagou, in Mali’s Mopti region, mostly targeted people from the ethnic Fulani, or Peuhl, community

GENEVA: The United Nations is deploying crime-scene investigators, human rights officers and a child protection expert to central Mali to investigate intercommunal violence over the weekend that killed more than 150 people, one-third of them children.
Spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani of the UN human rights office says the massacre in Ogossagou, in Mali’s Mopti region, mostly targeted people from the ethnic Fulani, or Peuhl, community.
She said Tuesday the “horrific attacks” signal a “spike in killings” in a cycle of violence in the region that has caused 600 deaths and displaced thousands since last March.
Shamdasani said the attacks appeared to be motivated by an effort to eliminate violent Islamic extremist groups active in Mali, but that “millions of people are being painted as violent extremists simply because they are Muslim.”