Across decades, families of missing Iraqis share endless anguish
08 September 2019 | 9:15 am
The table running across Samya Khasro's living room wall is a shrine to the missing: flickering candles and fading photographs of her 26 Iraqi relatives who vanished 35 years ago. Iraq is one of the countries with the highest number of missing or disappeared persons, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), with numbers ranging between 250,000 and well over a million.
French adventurer Jean-Jacques Savin, who set off in a rowboat from Portugal on January 1 to cross the Atlantic solo, has vanished at sea with his boat found overturned and empty near the Azores archipelago, Portugal's navy said. The 75-year-old Savin's support team had said in a Facebook post on Saturday that his body had been found inside the cabin of his sleek, purpose-built boat Audacious, but late on Sunday issued another statement signed by his daughter Manon that the body had not been recovered.
Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has emerged as the biggest winner in Iraq's election. But early results showed a voter turnout of just 41%, which is the lowest since the US-led invasion that removed Saddam Hussein from power.
Almost 100,000 people are officially listed as missing in Mexico. Each year, volunteers travel to different parts of the country to join the National Search Brigade for Disappeared Persons. For relatives seeking closure, the search is often fruitless.
With several million pieces of mines and explosives lying under the rubble and soil across Iraq, many internally displaced people prefer living in camps to returning home.
Decades of conflict has made Iraq a hotbed for trafficking. From weapons to drugs, Iraq has dominated headlines. However, less attention has been focused on the trafficking of wild animals. In fact, the Middle East is considered one of the hubs of animal trafficking. Our correspondent in Iraq, Lucile Wassermann, went to meet the players in the trading of wildlife to understand the drivers behind it.
The US said it is working with the Iraqi and the regional Kurdish governments to get missile defense capabilities after Iran attacked Erbil.
At least 306 people have been killed in flooding around Durban in South Africa. On a visit to the stricken city, President Cyril Ramaphosa described the devastation as a "catastrophe of enormous proportions". Also, Amnesty International accuses Mali of stalling war crimes and abuse investigations. And after the French city of Bordeaux, the international tour of an exhibition highlighting the African experience heads to Abidjan in Ivory Coast.
The death toll from South Africa's unprecedented floods has risen to nearly 400. Police army and volunteers have widened the search, and the dozens of people still missing after the storm that devastated Durban over the weekend. In Senegal, citizens express their anger at the failures of the healthcare system after a pregnant woman died in hospital. And in South Sudan, the World Food Programme warns that millions are on the brink of hunger.
Thousands of troops have been deployed to South Africa's flood-ravaged KwaZulu-Natal province where residents are still searching for the missing more than a week after torrential rains began.
A new round of fighting has driven some 1,000 Yazidi families from their homes. The security situation remains fragile, despite a cease-fire agreed on earlier this week.
Wars and natural disasters tear families apart worldwide. The German Red Cross tries to put them back in touch.
In a UN Security Council briefing, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert said the streets in Iraq could "boil over" if political leaders were unable to end a political stalemate that has gripped the country for over seven months.
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