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World in Brief: 23/05/14

KENYA: Hundreds of Somalis have been expelled from Kenya in a crackdown on suspected Islamists, Human Rights Watch said yesterday.

People have been held in police cells and a football stadium during the crackdown, which follows a spate of attacks by supporters of Somalia’s al-Qaida-linked Shabab rebels.

“Deporting people to conflict zones in Somalia shows a total disregard for their rights and their safety,” said HRW spokesman Gerry Simpson, adding that returning refugees against their will to a war zone is unlawful.

 

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: The International Criminal Court in The Hague sentenced Congolese warlord Germain Katanga to 12 years in prison yesterday, after convicting him in March of aiding and abetting crimes including murder and pillage.

Mr Katanga is only the second person sentenced by the court. He could be free soon as he already has been in detention for almost seven years.

He was convicted for his role in a 2003 attack on the strategic village of Bogoro in eastern Congo’s Ituri province.

 

NETHERLANDS: Prominent rightwinger Geert Wilders expressed disappointment yesterday after a Dutch exit poll showed his party losing support on the first day of European Parliament elections.

The shock slide for Wilders’s Party for Freedom bucked the trend of right-wing populist parties gaining support across the continent.

Official results will not be known until Sunday night.

But an Ipsos exit poll showed Wilders’ Party for Freedom slipping from 17 per cent five years ago to 12.2 per cent.

 

TURKEY: A second person died today from injuries sustained during protests in Istanbul overnight following the fatal shooting of bystander Ugur Kurt the day before.

Eight other people had been injured during a protest late on Thursday denouncing the death of 301 people in the Soma coalmine last week.

Police fired tear gas and water cannon at the group in the Okmeydani part of Istanbul, which responded by throwing rocks and petrol bombs.

Police denied using live ammunition.

 

CHINA: The Xinjiang region has started a “one-year crackdown” on “violent terrorist activities,” the official Xinhua news agency reported today.

The troubled region in western China, home to a large Muslim Uihgur minority, saw explosives hurled from two vehicles in an open market, killing 31 people and wounded 90 others.

Domestic security chief Meng Jianzhu vowed to strengthen a crackdown on the “arrogance of terrorists.”

 

ARGENTINA: Spanish energy giant Repsol announced today that it had exited Argentina, saying it pocketed £3.75 billion in compensation and asset sales after Buenos Aires’s 2012 nationalisation of its YPF unit.

Repsol said it had earned £3bn from the sale of Argentine government bonds, which had been paid by Buenos Aires in compensation.

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