The UN Human Rights High Commissioner said that 2012 was a “daunting” year for human rights challenges.
“The ongoing crises in Syria, Mali and the Sahel region, Palestine and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have resulted in thousands of deaths, massive displacement and grave violations, marked by a climate of impunity,” she stated in her wide-ranging report.
Let us dig further. Syria:
Up to 70,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011. In recent days, the Security Council was told of reported systematic use of sexual violence not just against women but also against men, boys and girls.
Following fighting in January 2012 between Government forces and Tuareg rebels, Northern Mali was occupied by radical Islamists prompting the Malian Government to request assistance from France. The fighting displaced more than 430,000 people in the past 13 months, and coincides with reports of rape and brutalities, as well as reported abuses ranging from a lack of access to schooling to inability to farm or work.
A year after the international community launched a massive humanitarian response to the food crisis affecting Africa’s Sahel region, millions of people there are still affected by drought and require assistance, according to the United Nations World Food Programme
Nearly a million people have been displaced in North Kivu by clashes between DRC’s national army and fighters from the rebel M23 group, and in recent weeks, more than 300,000 people have been displaced by additional fighting in the south-eastern province of Katanga.
The nearly-two-year-old conflict has left over 4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, including 2 million internally displaced, and led more than 900,000 people to flee to neighbouring countries, including over 150,000 this month alone, he stated.
Oh, wait. That’s Syria. I forgot, there was a devastating war in Gaza that caused thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of refugees. No, wait, that’s Syria again.
During the course of the operation, the IDF struck more than 1,500 sites in the Gaza Strip, including rocket launchpads, weapon depots, Hamas facilities and apartment blocks. Gaza officials said 133 Palestinians had been killed in the conflict of whom 79 were fighters, 53 civilians and 1 was a policeman. and estimated that 840 Palestinians were wounded. Many families were displaced.
One of these things is not like the other. But in the corridors of the openly anti-Israel United Nations, the Palestinian human rights “crisis” is as important as wars that kill tens of thousands and force millions from their homes.