Category Archives: Media

More than 850,000 people face acute food insecurity in Somalia, UN food assessment shows

Girls herding goats in Somalia where in certain areas drought has contributed to severe water shortages and livestock deaths. Photo: FAO/Simon Maina

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

Ban ‘deeply regrets’ Egyptian court decision to uphold sentences of Al Jazeera journalists

Photo: UNAMI

Photo: UNAMI

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

Fresh peace deal ‘first step’ in resolving South Sudan crisis – Security Council

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

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

UN experts urge Sudan to overturn ‘outrageous conviction’ for indecent dressing

Photo: UNODC

Photo: UNODC

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

At Security Council, UN officials warn political turbulence in Guinea-Bissau puts past gains at risk

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

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

UNICEF announces release of 163 more children by armed group in Central African Republic

Children associated with the anti-Balaka militia take part in a release ceremony in Bambari in the Central African Republic (CAR) in May 2015. Photo: UNICEF/Donaig Le Du

Children associated with the anti-Balaka militia take part in a release ceremony in Bambari in the Central African Republic (CAR) in May 2015. Photo: UNICEF/Donaig Le Du

CAR, 28 August 2015 – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) announced today that 163 children have been released by an armed group in the Central African Republic, where thousands of other boys and girls are still serving as combatants, cooks and messengers for the country’s militant factions.

“This release is a sign that the process of implementing the commitment made by the leaders of these groups, as a part of the peace and reconciliation process, is on track,” UNICEF Representative in the Central African Republic (CAR) Mohamed Malick Fall said in a press release. Continue reading

Ban urges all parties in Burundi to ‘look beyond political differences,’ revive spirit of landmark peace accord

Burning barricades in Bujumbura, as turmoil erupted in Burundi. Photo: Desire Nimubona/IRIN

Burning barricades in Bujumbura, as turmoil erupted in Burundi. Photo: Desire Nimubona/IRIN

Burundi, 28 August 2015 – Fifteen years after the signing of a landmark Burundi peace accord, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on all the country’s political leaders, including those in exile, to find common cause and commit to build on the stability that was ushered in by the Arusha Agreement.

“Today, Burundi marks the fifteenth anniversary of the initial signing of the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement in Tanzania. This process gave birth to the first generation of Burundians with no direct experience of war since independence, said Mr. Ban in a statement issued by his spokesperson. Continue reading

LoveLife’s UNCUT Puts The Spotlight On Gender-Based Violence This Women’s Month

UNCUT Magazine, "Silence breeds Violence" Issue-95 Photo: UNFPA/Love Life

UNCUT Magazine, “Silence breeds Violence” Issue-95 Photo: UNFPA/Love Life

South Africa, 28 August 2015 – With the focus on women in August, loveLife, South Africa’s national youth leadership development organisation, has released a special online edition of its cutting-edge youth magazine, UNCUT, to raise awareness on gender-based violence (GBV). The edition is a collection of powerful stories unearthed through its GBV project with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

“Through this project with UNFPA we have brought to light and explored the intricacies of gender inequality in South Africa and have found that solutions to the issue are not standard and require interventions that are tailored and informed by communities themselves,” says UNCUT Editor-in-Chief Angelo C Louw. Continue reading

Clashes in Central African Republic force thousands to seek refuge at UN peacekeeping base

Internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Bambari, Central African Republic. UN Photo/Catianne Tijerina

Internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Bambari, Central African Republic. UN Photo/Catianne Tijerina

CAR, 27 August 2015 – Clashes between rival militias in the past few days have forced several thousand people to flee their homes in the Central African Republic (CAR) town of Bambari and seek shelter at a former cotton factory inside the compound of the United Nations peacekeeping mission, the UN refugee agency said today.

“We are extremely concerned by the mounting violence in Bambari and its impact on the civilian population. Our staff have reported the displacement of people who are extremely frightened,” Kouassi Lazare Etien, the Representative of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in CAR, said in a press release. Continue reading

As Libyan political talks resume, UN envoy urges parties to set aside differences, agree unity government

A new round of Libyan political dialogue got underway on 27 August 2015 in Skhirat, Morocco. Photo: UNSMIL

A new round of Libyan political dialogue got underway on 27 August 2015 in Skhirat, Morocco. Photo: UNSMIL

Libya, 27 August 2015 – The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has announced that a round of Libyan political dialogue began today in Skhirat, Morocco, with discussions expected to focus on expediting the process towards finalizing the Libyan Political Agreement, including reaching agreement on a Government of National Accord.

In a statement UNSMIL explained that it has been informed by the GNC (Libyan General National Congress) that its team will not be attending this round of talks in Skhirat, explaining that it needs to reorganize its negotiating team following the resignation of two members. Continue reading