With the election of Chad and Saudi Arabia for the two-year term to the all powerful United Nations Security Council (UNSC), human rights groups fear that getting a unanimous Security Council agreement to act against rogue nations and rights abusers may become even more difficult
A Los Angeles Times report on Thursday says: "Chad made the United Nation's "list of shame" again this year over allegations of conscription and deployment of child soldiers, and Saudi Arabia is a recurring target of criticism by rights champions for denying women the right to vote, drive or travel without permission of male relatives."
"Saudi Arabia and Chad have abysmal records on human rights," says Hillel Neuer, executive director of Geneva-based U.N. Watch quoted in the LA Times.
With the UNSC often being called upon to decide on authorising peacekeeping missions in conflict zones, imposing sanction on nations accused of human rights violations, the credibility of nations like Chad, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria have been called to question by human rights activists.
For instance, according to the LA Times quoting Mr Neuer, Saudi Arabia has a "despicable record of repeatedly praising and shielding Sudan," whose president, Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir, was charged by the International Criminal Court for war crimes. Human rights groups have also criticized Saudi Arabia for repressing women and the followers of religions other than Islam.
Similarly, Chad is accused by international human rights bodies for recruits and deploys underage soldiers in combat zones throughout its restive Sahel region.
Nigeria's credentials too have been questioned. Reports of abuses by law enforcement agencies and the country's failure to protect civilians from Boko Haram extremists have been chief complaints against Nigeria.
With five seats in the 15-member body falling vacant, following the conclusion of the two-year term of Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Morocco, Pakistan and Togo, by the end of the year, Chile and Lithuania have been elected for a two-year term starting Jan 1, 2014, along with Chad, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria. However, the five of the open Security Council regional seats went uncontested, leaving the 193-nation General Assembly no other choices apart from the sole contenders.
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