Ethiopia uncovers mass grave with 200 bodies in strife-torn region

Above, a refugee camp in the Somali region of Ethiopia on December 19, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 09 November 2018
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Ethiopia uncovers mass grave with 200 bodies in strife-torn region

ADDIS ABABA: Police in Ethiopia have uncovered a grave containing at least 200 bodies along the border between the strife-torn Oromiya and Somali regions, state-affiliated media said.
The mass grave was found during an investigation of a former administrator of the Somali region who is facing trial on charges of human rights abuses and stoking clashes, the Fana Broadcasting Corporation said late on Thursday, quoting police officials.
It did not give further details.
Abdi Mohammed Omer was forced to resign on Aug. 6 and was arrested weeks later after violence broke out in the provincial capital, Jijiga.
Rights groups have routinely accused his administration of abuses such as torture, while some witnesses claimed he had ordered paramilitary raids on civilians in neighboring Oromiya province after ethnic clashes there last September.
The region has been plagued by violence for decades as the government fought the secessionist Ogaden National Liberation Front before both sides signed a peace deal last month.


UK’s Hunt to make first visit to Iran

Britain's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt leaves 10 Downing Street in London on November 14, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 42 min 48 sec ago
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UK’s Hunt to make first visit to Iran

  • Jeremy Hunt: “The Iran nuclear deal remains a vital component of stability in the Middle East by eliminating the threat of a nuclearised Iran. It needs 100 percent compliance though to survive”

LONDON: British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt will visit Iran for the first time on Monday for talks with the Iranian government on issues including the future of the 2015 nuclear deal, his office said in a statement.
In May, US President Donald Trump abandoned the deal, negotiated with five other world powers during Democratic President Barack Obama’s administration, and earlier this month the United States restored sanctions targeting Iran’s oil, banking and transportation sectors.
Hunt’s office said he would meet Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and would stress that the UK is committed to the nuclear deal as long as Iran sticks to its terms. He will also discuss European efforts to maintain nuclear-related sanctions relief.
“The Iran nuclear deal remains a vital component of stability in the Middle East by eliminating the threat of a nuclearised Iran. It needs 100 percent compliance though to survive,” Hunt said in a statement ahead of the visit.
“We will stick to our side of the bargain as long as Iran does. But we also need to see an end to destabilising activity by Iran in the rest of the region if we are going to tackle the root causes of the challenges the region faces.”
Hunt will also discuss Iran’s role in the conflicts in Syria and Yemen, his office said, and press Iran on its human rights record, calling for the immediate release of detained British-Iranian dual nationals where there are humanitarian grounds to do so.
“I arrive in Iran with a clear message for the country’s leaders: putting innocent people in prison cannot and must not be used as a tool of diplomatic leverage,” he said.