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Report: States fail to control arms

LONDON | The failure of states to control the transport of weapons around the world is increasing the risk of human rights violations and war crimes, Amnesty International said in a report Monday.

Transport companies registered in Britain, France, China, Russia and the U.S. are able to move arms and munitions to countries where they could be used to commit serious violations of humanitarian law, the rights group said.

It alleged deliveries of cluster munitions on ships registered in Britain and managed by British and German companies were transported to Pakistan between March 2008 and February this year for use by the country’s army.

The shipments were made despite commitments by Britain and Germany to comprehensively ban the transfer and use of cluster munitions, Amnesty said.

The report, “Deadly Movements: Arms Transportation Controls in the Arms Trade Treaty”, was published to coincide with the resumption of talks at the United Nations on a proposed international treaty on the arms trade.

IRAQ

Tariq Aziz back in Iraqi court

BAGHDAD | Former Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz and several other members of Saddam Hussein’s regime appeared in court Sunday just days after being handed over from U.S. to Iraqi custody, an Iraqi official said.

Deputy Justice Minister Busho Ibrahim said Aziz, 74, and the other members of the deposed regime were summoned to appear in front of the court dealing with crimes from the Saddam era.

The court charged Aziz with squandering the public wealth and he will face a new trial, his lawyer said.

Aziz, who was the international face of Saddam’s regime for several years, has twice before been convicted by the Iraqi High Tribunal and has received prison sentences of 15 years and seven years in prison.

NIGERIA

Gunmen free four journalists

ONITSHA | Gunmen in Nigeria’s southeastern oil region released four local journalists and their driver unharmed Sunday after nearly a week in captivity.

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