Top of the Morning: Escalation of Atrocities by Malian Government Troops; France and the UK Will End EU Arms Embargo on Syria

Top stories from DAWNS Digest

UN Reports Escalation of Atrocities by Malian Government Troops

Remember: this is the military on whose behalf the international community is intervening. “The recent military intervention in northern Mali has been followed by a serious escalation of retaliatory violence by government soldiers who appeared to be targeting members of various ethnic groups perceived to be supportive of the armed groups, a senior United Nations official warned today. Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kyung-wha Kang told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that members of the Peuhl, Tuareg and Arab ethnic groups were being targeted. ‘The situation has been exacerbated by the propagation of inflammatory messages, including through the media, stigmatizing members of these communities, thousands of whom have reportedly fled out of fear of reprisal by the Malian army,’ she stated.” (UN News Center

France and the UK Will End EU Arms Embargo on Syria

It looks like the European ban on arming Syrian rebels will lapse in just a couple of months, if not sooner. “Britain and France raised the pressure on other European Union members on Tuesday to lift a ban on supplying arms to Syria, where anti-government rebels are outgunned by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. Britain warned that it could break with the embargo altogether, which requires unanimous agreement by the EU’s 27 members to take effect, while France hinted it would push to get the bloc to agree to amend the ban to allow the supply of arms. The arms embargo is part of a package of EU sanctions on Syria that currently roll over every three months, with the last extension unanimously agreed to by the EU last month and which came into effect on March 1.” (Reuters