UN and Africa: focus on human rights, bird flu and armed groups in DRC

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. UN File Photo/Violaine Martin

Rights chief hails trial of Chad's former dictator Habré

The news that Chad’s former dictator Hissène Habré is to stand trial for crimes against humanity has been called a “milestone for justice in Africa.” Habré’s trial is being held at a special court in Senegal where he faces charges relating to his eight-year rule from 1982 to 1990. UN human rights Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has hailed what he’s called the “tireless quest for justice of the victims.” Daniel Johnson reports from Geneva.

Rights expert Christof Heyns. Photo: UN / Yubi Hoffmann

Death sentence U-turn is step in right direction for Zambia, say experts

UN human rights experts have welcomed Zambia's decision to drop death sentences for hundreds of individuals. But they say the country should consider banning the punishment altogether. UN investigators Christof Heyns and Juan Mendez made their comments after Zambia President Edgar Lungui announced that 332 inmates at a maximum security prison are to see their death sentences commuted to life behind bars. Daniel Johnson has more.


Poultry farm in Chad. Photo: FAO/Sia Kambou

Bird flu outbreak threatens West Africa

An avian influenza outbreak in five West African countries could affect the region and beyond unless “timely intervention” occurs. That warning comes from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) which is appealing for US$20 million to prevent the spread of the disease, commonly known as bird flu. The outbreak began last December and FAO says so far, nearly two million chickens have died or were culled in poultry farms and markets in Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Niger, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. Sandra Ferrari asked FAO’s Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Juan Lubroth about its origins and what needs to be done going forward.

Aveba, Ituri district, DR Congo. Photo MONUSCO/Abel Kavanagh


Progress made in combating armed groups in DRC

Progress has been made in combating armed groups in the volatile eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to the head of the UN mission in the country, MONUSCO. MONUSCO chief Martin Kobler said joint operations between its forces and the Congolese army have resulted in the surrender of members of the FPRI faction responsible for arbitrary executions, rape and other crimes. However, he said activity against another group, the FDLR, remains at a standstill. Isabelle Dupuis asked Mr Kobler about these operations.

Presenter: Eleutério Guevane
Production Assistant: Ana Carmo
Duration: 10’00″

Filed under UN and Africa.
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