The “Mutur Massacre”, named after the town where the killings took place, occurred on August 4, 2006, during the civil war between separatist Tamil Tiger rebels and government forces that began in 1983. It also voiced concern at reports of continuing violations including killings, torture, curbs on the right to freedom of expression, and reprisals against activists and journalists.Resolutions such as that brought by the United States are not binding, but the scrutiny by the U.N. Human Rights Council maintains pressure on the government to prosecute war crimes.ACF said it welcomed the resolution, but noted that the resolution did not demand an independent inquiry into the deaths of ACF staff and other war victims, but called on Colombo to undertake its own investigation, Alertnet reported. The Sri Lankan government must find and prosecute those responsible for the massacre of 17 aid workers during the country’s 25-year civil war, French charity Action Contre La Faim (ACF) has said.The killing of the aid workers, who were shot at point-blank range outside their office in northeast Sri Lanka in 2006, was the worst attack on humanitarians since the 2003 bombing of the United Nations compound in Baghdad, Alertnet reported. The mostly ethnic Tamil aid workers were providing water and sanitation to survivors of the 2004 tsunami when Tamil Tiger fighters launched an offensive against government troops to take control of Mutur.Trapped in their office, the aid workers lost radio contact with their head office. Two days later, the bodies of 15 of them, men and women, were discovered lying face down in the ACF compound with bullet wounds to the head and neck. The bodies of two others were found in a vehicle nearby, possibly killed while trying to escape.The war ended in May 2009, but no one has been held accountable for the killings, let alone arrested and charged, says ACF, which now runs a campaign called “Justice for Mutur.”Tens of thousands of civilians were killed in the final months of the war as government troops advanced on the last stronghold of the Tamil Tiger rebels fighting for an independent homeland, a United Nations panel has said. In a resolution passed by the U.N. Human Rights Council last month, the organisation urged Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to carry out credible investigations into the killings and disappearances during the war, especially in the final stages. “It’s important that those responsible be held accountable. If we want real peace and reconciliation and justice in Sri Lanka, any investigations conducted must be transparent which they have not been so far,” Pauline Chetcuti, ACF’s Humanitarian Advocacy Advisor told AlertNet by phone from Paris. “It’s great that the international community got together to pass this resolution, but it’s really not enough because the terms of the resolution are not strong enough and it doesn’t force Sri Lanka to do something concrete,” said Chetcuti.“What we are calling for is an international, credible investigation into war crimes. Asking Sri Lanka to do its own inquiry is ironic as its own army is accused of being behind some of these human rights violations.”ACF says it has closely followed three Sri Lankan judicial proceedings on the Mutur massacre, but says the proceedings, which spanned two years of investigations, were subject to continuous delays and riddled with errors and political interference.An international group of observers withdrew due to a lack of transparency, and as a result, ACF also pulled out from the country in protest and to press for the guilty parties to held accountable.A 2008 report by a local rights group, The University Teachers for Human Rights, blamed Sri Lankan security forces for the massacre and accused the government of a cover-up.The Sri Lankan government has denied responsibility and has blamed the killings on Tamil Tiger fighters.
West African focused gold explorer and developer, Azumah Resources Ltd, advises that exploration campaigns on multiple fronts have continued to progress the Wa gold project, Ghana towards its immediate goal of updating Mineral Resources in Q3 2018 and delivering an interim Ore Reserves update by end-2018.Managing Director Stephen Stone said “The Wa project has delivered real game-changing results this June Quarter which has increased our confidence of increasing Mineral Resources and more importantly, Ore Reserves.“We have continued our intensive, multi-target drilling campaigns as well as advancing the overall Wa Gold Project study update. Notably, several high-grade intercepts have opened up the possibility that mineralisation at Kunche could extend to considerable depth – consistent with similar style deposits around the world.“Our exploration plans for the September Quarter include drilling to test the recently identified possible Kunche ‘feeder zone’, exploration drilling at the Danyawu, ABC, and Butele North targets and continued auger drilling at Butele North, Yagha Southwest and throughout our prospective 2,400 km2 tenure”. Priority targets are shown in the diagram.Additional Kunche RC hole provides further ‘proof of concept’ and depth confirmation for a possible feeder zoneKunche deposit modelling and Mineral Resource update underway and to be integrated into a Q3 2018 Mineral Resource update for the overall Wa gold projectRC drilling intercepts at Kunche deposit south support possible deepening of current shallow pitAircore drilling adjacent to current Kunche eastern pit wall confirms zones of shallow ore-grade mineralisationDr. Jon Hronsky, Global Targeting & Research Manager at Azumah’s joint venture partner, Ibaera said “We are extremely happy with the progress made on many fronts at Wa this past few months and in particular the ‘proof of concept’ drilling that may suggest a possible feeder zone into the Kunche deposit.“Several drill rigs continue to test and evaluate a number of existing and new prospects across the whole project with the immediate goal being to update Mineral Resources in Q3 2018 and Ore Reserves before year-end.”Three main deposits have been discovered and extensively drilled at Kunche and Bepkong, adjacent to the Black Volta River and Ghana’s border with Burkina Faso, and at Julie ~80 km to the east. Several satellite deposits, including Aduane and Collette, have also been delineated.To date, the company has delineated a JORC 2012 Mineral Resource of 2.1 Moz of gold grading 1.5 g/t Au, including 1.4 Moz Measured and Indicated grading 1.7 g/t Au, with these evenly distributed between Kunche-Bepkong and Wa East (Julie deposit). Within this a JORC 2012 Ore Reserve of 624,000 oz Au (9.1 Mt at 2.14 g/t Au) has been defined.Extensive metallurgical test work has confirmed a high average overall gold recovery of ~92% for the combined Kunche, Bepkong and Julie deposits.Mineral Resources have been progressively grown through a focused, systematic approach to exploration of the company’s 2,400 km2 licence holdings, which encompass large tracts of prospective Birimian terrain, the rocks that host the majority of West Africa’s gold mines. Much of this is covered in soil, alluvium or laterite so most discoveries have been ‘blind’. Azumah anticipates Mineral Resources will grow substantially as it continues to test its large pipeline of target areas and specific prospects.Azumah’s exploration strategy is primarily driven by its need to boost Mineral Resources to increase the existing Ore Reserve base from 624,000 oz towards 1.0 Moz. This would more solidly underpin a development decision and improve funding capability.Azumah has two 15-year Mining Leases over its key deposits (Ghana government holds a 10% free carried interest in their ‘rights and obligations’ and is also entitled to a 5% gross gold royalty).No technical, social or environmental impediments to development have been identified, no communities need to be relocated and rehoused and there is strong support from key stakeholders for the project, which benefits from excellent regional infrastructure including grid power to site, good quality bituminised and non-bituminised roads, easy access to water, a 2 km sealed airstrip at the regional centre of Wa and good general communications.