- Despite strong international outcry, the United Nations General Assembly went ahead to elect a 15-member Human Rights Council on Wednesday.
Rights groups opposed the election of Gabon, Zambia, Burkina Faso, Bahrain, Pakistan, East Timor and Sri Lanka to the UN council, accusing them of gross violations of human rights.
Except Sri Lanka and East Timor, all these countries with "questionable human rights credentials" got elected. Other elected members include Ghana and France.
Three of the council's members - China, Cuba and Saudi Arabia - were listed on Freedom House's Worst of the Worst report.
The Executive Director of the Geneva-based UN Watch, Hillel Neuer, wondered why "democratic countries" have "squandered a golden opportunity to promote human rights through this important UN body."
Neuer blamed these countries of lending "international credibility to repressive governments that routinely violate the rights of their own citizens."
Paula Shriefer, Advocacy Director of Freedom House, said with the exception of Burma, the UN Human Rights Council has so far failed to adequately address any of the egregious human rights situations taking place in the countries included in the Worst of the Worst report.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.