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Resources updated between Monday, March 15, 2021 and Sunday, March 21, 2021

March 19, 2021

March 18, 2021

March 17, 2021

Houthi fighters (File photo)

A fire last week that killed more than 40 African migrants in an overcrowded detention centre in Yemen's capital Sanaa was started after Houthi forces fired projectiles during a skirmish with detainees, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Tuesday.

The United Nations migration agency IOM says the March 7 fire engulfed a hangar-like building holding around 350 people from among 900 being held at the Immigration, Passport and Naturalization Authority Holding Facility at Sanaa airport.

Reuters spoke to one Ethiopian who described himself as a survivor of the blaze and corroborated the HRW account of a projectile as the cause. It was not possible to provide further independent verification.

IOM declined to comment on the cause of the blaze. The Houthis, who control Yemen's capital Sanaa and run the detention centre, have said the incident is under investigation.

Asked about the HRW account, Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam did not directly address the accusation that the fire was caused by a projectile fired by security forces. He said the international community should help provide better facilities for migrants, and the incident "should not be politicised or exploited outside of its normal context".

In its report on the incident based on interviews with five Ethiopian survivors and U.N. officials, HRW said that on the day of the fire, detainees had protested conditions by refusing to eat. A skirmish broke out and Houthi security forces arrived.

"The guards then rounded up the migrants nearby and locked them in the hanger," the HRW report said.

A first projectile was launched from a roof, producing smoke. A second exploded loudly and started a fire, said HRW, which said it could not verify the projectile types. People outside the burning hanger helped break the walls and door to evacuate people.

Yemen has been at war for six years, pitting the Iran-aligned Houthis who control the capital and most populous areas against a Saudi-backed government based in the southern port of Aden. Millions of Yemenis live on the edge of famine in what the United Nations calls the world's biggest humanitarian crisis.

SURVIVORS REACH ADEN

Around a dozen migrants who described themselves as survivors of last week's fire in Sanaa protested on Monday outside a U.N. building in Aden. They said that after the fire they had been deported to government-held territory and had been forced to make a three-day journey to Aden.

Ahmed Abdallah, an Ethiopian among the group, described the incident, telling Reuters a projectile had been fired through a hole into the room he was in.

"The fire caught onto the piles of pillows we are sleeping on. The room filled with smoke and we all started to scream," he said. He escaped through a door.

"They locked the room to others who were still inside," he said. "I was watching through the window while my fellow inmates were burning."

Despite Yemen's war, migrants from the Horn of Africa still risk dangerous sea crossings in the hands of smugglers to get there, en route to Saudi Arabia or other wealthy Gulf countries.

In February, IOM estimates 1,255 irregular migrants arrived in Yemen, mostly Ethiopians. The United Nations says migrants have been increasingly stigmatised during the COVID-19 pandemic, after Houthi authorities in May announced their first coronavirus case in a Somali found dead in a Sanaa hotel.

On Friday, footage released by the Houthis showed 44 bodies of those killed in the detention centre blaze, lined up in numbered body bags in a dusty cemetery being buried.

"Number 29!," called a burial supervisor as men lowered a body into a grave.

Houthi forces fired projectiles at African migrant detainees, killing over 40 Document

Islamic State terrorists from a propaganda video (File photo)

Children as young as 11 are being beheaded in Mozambique as part of an Islamist insurgency that has killed thousands and forced many more from their homes, a UK-based aid group has said.

Save the Children said it had spoken to displaced families who described "horrifying scenes" of murder, including mothers whose young sons were killed. In one case, the woman hid, helpless, with her three other children as her 12-year-old was murdered nearby.

"We tried to escape to the woods, but they took my eldest son and beheaded him," the 28-year-old, who Save the Children called Elsa, is quoted as saying.

"We couldn't do anything because we would be killed too."

Another mother, a 29-year-old Save the Children calls Amelia, said her son was just 11 when he was killed by armed men.

Mozambique's northern-most province of Cabo Delgado has since 2017 been home to a festering insurgency, linked to Islamic State (Isis), that has escalated dramatically in the past year.

While beheadings have always been a hallmark of the attacks, throughout 2020 the insurgents began regularly engaging the military to capture and hold key towns. Brutality also continued, with mass killings including the murder of about 52 people at once in the village of Xitaxi in April.

Altogether almost 2,700 people on all sides have died in the violence, according to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, a consultancy that tracks political violence. Almost 670,000 people have been displaced, Save the Children said.

The US last week declared the Mozambique group a foreign terrorist organisation over its links to Isis, saying the group reportedly pledged allegiance to it as early as 2018. Isis claimed its first attack in Cabo Delgado in June 2019.

The US embassy in Mozambique on Monday said American special forces would train Mozambican marines for two months, with the country also providing medical and communications equipment, to help Mozambique combat the insurgency.

Amnesty International found earlier in March that war crimes were being committed by all sides in the conflict, with government forces also responsible for abuses against civilians a charge the government has denied.

Chance Briggs, Save the Children's country director in Mozambique, said reports of attacks on children "sicken us to our core".

"The violence has to stop and displaced families need to be supported as they find their bearings and recover from trauma," Briggs added.

Isis-linked militants beheading children in Mozambique, says aid group Document

March 16, 2021

Students pictured in Nigeria Defence Academy barracks after fleeing from gunmen who raided their school (Photo courtesy Kaduna state)

Armed men attack another Nigerian school, as 39 students still missing Document

Molotov cocktails taken from suspects near a Border Police base in Bethlehem. (photo credit: ISRAEL POLICE)

IDF Foils Attempted Palestinian Terror Attack in the West Bank Document

March 15, 2021

Zaw Myat Lynn, right, posted on Facebook that "people should fight the army even if it costs our lives." (Photograph: Facebook)

Outrage in Myanmar after activist allegedly tortured to death Document

Israeli Ambassador Gilad Erdan

"Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Gilad Erdan is promoting an initiative that would see the international body adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's definition of anti-Semitism.
...
To enlist the U.N. to the effort, Erdan recently met over the weekend with U.N. Under-Secretary-General Miguel Moratinos, the body's 'point man' on anti-Semitism. The two discussed options for fighting anti-Semitism, as well as the possibility of the U.N.'s adopting of the IHRA definition of the term in such a way that obligates all of its organizations.
...
So far, 35 countries have adopted the IHRA definition, according to which anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism."

Israel to push for U.N. adoption of IHRA definition of antisemitism Article