[JURIST] Asif Ali Zardari [BBC profile], the husband of slain former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive], called again Saturday for a UN-led international investigation into the circumstances surrounding his wife's assassination [JURIST report]. This is the second time Zardari has called for a UN-led inquiry [JURIST report] similar to the ongoing probe into the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive]. Zardari accused members of President Pervez Musharraf's ruling regime of involvement in the assassination and rejected any investigation involving the Pakistani government as illegitimate. Musharraf has acknowledged mistakes in the handling of the case, including hosing down the site hours after the attack, but has insisted that Pakistan can run its own probe with the assistance of Britain's Scotland Yard. The United States has already taken the posiiton that a UN investigation is unnecessary.
Bhutto was assassinated [JURIST report] December 27 at a political rally in Rawalpindi. She was campaigning in the lead-up to parliamentary elections then scheduled for January 8, where her Pakistan People's Party (PPP) [party website] was challenging Pakistani Prime Minister Pervez Musharraf's Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) [party website]. The elections have since been postponed [JURIST report] to February 18. AP has more.
[JURIST] UN rights investigators with the United Nations Human Rights Office in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (UNHRO) have documented serious human rights violations committed in the DRC following post-electoral violence in the capital Kinshasa in March 2007, including summary execution of civilians and excessive force leading to at least 300 deaths. The findings were contained in a preliminary report [PDF text; press release] released Friday in Geneva by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Congolese government has rejected the investigators' findings as untrue.
Congolese government forces clashed last March with members of the personal security detail of Jean-Pierre Bemba [BBC profile], a former warlord turned senator. Bemba was elected to the Congolese Senate after losing a run-off presidential election [JURIST report] to Joseph Kabila [BBC profile], who in December 2006 became the first freely-elected president of the DRC since 1960. After the election, Bemba's private militia force led a violent campaign against government troops until the DRC Supreme Court rejected his election challenge [JURIST report]. In the process, Bemba's supporters set fire to the Supreme Court building [JURIST report]. Following the March clashes, Bemba fled to Portugal. AP has more.
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