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
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
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
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
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
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
The market in the town of Bol on the outskirts of Lake Chad. Lack of clean water and health centres remain major concerns. Photo: OCHA/Pierre Peron
Lake Chad, 27 August 2015 – A senior United Nations relief official today called on the international community to ramp up its support in response to the multifaceted humanitarian challenges affecting Chad, the seventh largest refugee-hosting country in the world.
“Now is the time for the aid community to scale up its support for humanitarian action, especially for people in the Lake Chad region,” where, “prior to this recent crisis, a quarter of the nation’s population needed humanitarian assistance,” advocated UN Regional Humanitarian for the Sahel, Toby Lanzer, at the end of a four-day visit to Chad and the Lake Chad Basin. Continue reading
People in conflict-affected areas of South Sudan collect food from WFP. Photo: WFP/Peter Testuzza
South Sudan, 27 August 2015 – Emergency relief teams from the United Nations have managed to reach more than 27,000 people in a town in South Sudan cut off by insecurity since March where “there were only some fish and a few tomatoes for sale in the market, and almost nobody had the means to buy them.”
“With little or no services available, children are going without nourishing food and healthcare in these villages,” said Jonathan Veitch, Representative for the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in South Sudan. Continue reading
President Salva Kiir of South Sudan at the signing ceremony in the country’s capital, Juba. UN Photo/Isaac Gideon
South Sudan, 27 August 2015 – Welcoming President Salva Kiir’s signing of the agreement on the resolution of the conflict in South Sudan, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the move is “a critical and necessary step towards ending the 20 month-long conflict that has devastated [the country] and subjected its people to unspeakable suffering.”
In a statement issued late yesterday by his spokesperson in New York, Mr. Ban commended the Intergovernmental Authority on Development Partners Forum (IGAD)-led mediation for its tireless efforts to bring the peace talks to a successful conclusion. Continue reading