Botswana severs ties with North Korea

Gaborone, Feb 20: The government of Botswana announced Wednesday it has decided to terminate diplomatic and consular relations with North Korea in the light of “human rights violations” in the country.

The decision is informed by the recently released report of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea which details systematic, widespread and grave human rights violations by authorities, Xinhua quoted a statement from Botswana’s foreign ministry as saying.

“The Government of Botswana does not wish to be associated with a government which continues to display such total disregard for the human rights of its citizens,” it said.

The report released by the UN human rights watchdog accused North Korea of systematically violating the rights of its population through arbitrary arrest, detention, lack of due process, and torture and ill-treatment of detainees.

It also that said the country practices collective punishment for various anti-state offenses, for which it enslaves hundreds of thousands of citizens in prison camps, including children.

Last year, Botswana suspended bilateral cooperation with North Korea as the result of “the threat posed by that country to international peace and security”.

IANS