UN feebly asks Egypt to stop killing Africans

Thursday, March 04, 2010 |  Israel Today Staff

The United Nations, which never hesitates to bring the full weight of its member nations down upon Israel, took a far softer approach this week when it implored Egypt to stop murdering African migrants trying to reach the Jewish state.

Nine Africans trying to illegally enter Israel via the Sinai Peninsula have been gunned down by Egyptian troops this year alone. Over 60 have been murdered over the past two and a half years. In several instances, Israeli soldiers patrolling the area have recounted horrifying scenes of African men, women and children nearly reaching the border, only to be brutally killed by pursuing Egyptians.

In a statement released to the press, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said that all those deaths could not possibly be accidents.

"I know of no other country where so many unarmed migrants and asylum seekers appear to have been deliberately killed in this way by government forces," said Pillay.

But she did not blame the Egyptian government. Instead, Pillay suggested the phenomenon was merely a matter of undisciplined Egyptian soldiers stationed far from their homes giving in to their baser instincts.

"The sheer number of victims suggests that at least some Egyptian security officials have been operating a shoot-to-kill policy," the statement continued. "The Egyptian government should issue an immediate order to its security forces to ensure that firearms are used in strict compliance with international standards."

By contrast, unconfirmed accusations of individual Israeli soldiers acting outside the bounds of international law in the Gaza Strip last year gave rise to the UN's Goldstone Commission and legal indictments against Israeli leaders.

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