Cécile Pouilly, spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Photo: OHCHR
Chad, 1 September 2015 – Following the first executions in Chad since 2003, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) today deeply regretted the resumption of the death penalty in that country and called for an official moratorium on its use.
OHCHR Spokesperson Cécile Pouilly called Saturday’s execution by firing squad of 10 people sentenced to death the day before “an extremely unfortunate development,” particularly given the Government of Chad’s abolition of the death penalty in 2014. The penalty was reinstated in an anti-terrorism law unanimously approved by Chad’s parliament on 30 July. Continue reading
Ugandan soldiers serving with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), walk across a bridge near the town of Janaale, Somalia. Photo: AU/UN/IST/Tobin Jones
Somalia, 1 September 2015 – The top UN official in Somalia, Nicholas Kay, has strongly condemned today’s attack by Al Shabaab militants on an African Union Mission (AMISOM) base at Janaale, Lower Shabelle Region manned by troops from the Ugandan contingent.
According to AMISOM, the militants used a car loaded with explosives to trigger the attack and to facilitate their forced entry into the camp after which they engaged soldiers in a gun-battle.
Full control of the base has reportedly been regained. Continue reading
WHO team organizing intensive response to the new Ebola case reported in Kambia, Sierra Leone. Photo: WHO/S. Gborie
Sierra Leone, 1 September 2015 – The detection of a new case of Ebola in Sierra Leone over the weekend after the West African country had marked almost three weeks of zero cases has prompted the use of an experimental vaccine to fight the disease, according to the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO).
“Although no-one wanted to see more cases of Ebola virus disease in Sierra Leone, we kept all our teams on alert and ready to respond and close down any new transmission” said Dr. Anders Nordstrom, WHO Representative in Sierra Leone. Continue reading
South Sudan, 1 September 2015 – Seeking to boost relations with the local community, UNMISS has been assisting a Central Equatoria village with farming, carpentry, basketball and kindergarten.
As part of the Civil Military Cooperation (CIMIC) project, the mission has cleared 1.8 square metres of land for farming in Rajaf village, 15 kilometres south of Juba.
The land was first cleared by the UN Mine Action Service of any potential mines and unexploded ordinance before the Bangladeshi Engineers began preparing it for cultivation on 28 August. Continue reading
The World Health Organization (WHO) has supported campaigns of indoor and outdoor spraying against dengue vectors in Yemen. Photo: WHO Yemen
Yemen, 31 August 2015 – The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) is appealing for a safe corridor to reach more than 3 million people in war-torn Yemen’s most populated governorate, Taiz, where “an extreme spike” in cases of dengue fever has been recorded over the past two weeks.
“There is an urgent need for a humanitarian corridor to assess the situation and institute control measures,” said Dr. Ala Alwan, WHO’s Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean.
“We need protection and safety for all people working to control the worrying outbreak of dengue fever in Taiz, which includes support with residual spraying, health education of communities and distribution of other supplies,” Dr. Alwan said. Continue reading
Girls herding goats in Somalia where in certain areas drought has contributed to severe water shortages and livestock deaths. Photo: FAO/Simon Maina
Somalia, 31 August 2015 – Somalia’s humanitarian situation remains “alarming” four years after a devastating famine with the number of people requiring emergency aid rising 17 per cent to more than 850,000 and those in “food-stressed” situations still at 2.3 million, according to the latest United Nations-managed food assessment study released today.
“The levels of food insecurity and malnutrition are critical,” said UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Peter de Clercq. “Humanitarian actors and donors have prevented the situation being a lot worse than it is, but we all need to do more.” Continue reading
New York, 30 August 2015 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed “deep regret’ over the decision by the Egyptian court of Cassation to uphold the sentencing of several Al Jazeera journalists and has reiterated his appeal for their cases to be resolved expeditiously and in accordance with the country’s international obligations to protect free expression.
In a statement issued last evening by his spokesperson in New York, the Secretary-General expressed deep regret over the sentencing of Al Jazeera journalists Baher Mohamed, Mohamed Fahmy, and Peter Greste (in absentia), as well as others. Continue reading
Children at a protection of civilians site in Juba, South Sudan, run by the UN Mission, perform at a special cultural event in March 2015. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine
South Sudan, 28 August 2015 – Welcoming the recent signature by President Salva Kiir, SPLM/SPLA-IO Chairman Riek Machar and others of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan, the Security Council today called on all the parties, with the help of the United Nations, to implement the accord and adhere to the permanent ceasefire.
“The Security Council acknowledges that this Agreement is the first step in reversing the difficult political and economic situation, and humanitarian, and security catastrophe resulting from this crisis, calls upon the parties, with support from the United Nations and international community, to fully implement the Agreement,” the 15-member body declared in a press statement. Continue reading
Sudan, 28 August 2015 – A group of independent United Nations human rights experts have voiced alarm after a female Sudanese student was sentenced to public flogging and a heavy fine for charges of “indecent dressing,” while another received a hefty fine for the same charges, and urged that the convictions be overturned immediately.
“Public flogging of women is a continuing practice in the country, and the offence of modesty and the penalty of flogging are disproportionately used to punish women,” noted the experts, who all report to the United Nations Human Rights Council. Continue reading
Miguel Trovoada, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS), briefs the Security Council. UN Photo/Loey Felipe
Guinea-Bissau, 28 August 2015 – With Guinea-Bissau facing political turbulence barely a year after the re-establishment of constitutional order, the top United Nations official there expressed hope today that political leaders would rise to their “historic responsibility” to preserve the gains made so far in the interest of the country and people.
Briefing the Security Council, Miguel Trovoada, Special Representative and head of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Support Office in that country (UNIOGBIS), introduced the Secretary-General’s latest report on the activities of the Office and recalled that previous reports to the Council had always underscored how Guinea-Bissau’s fragility was rooted in failure to address the underlying causes. Continue reading