The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and humanitarian colleagues express concern about persistent forced displacement of indigenous people and farming communities in rural Colombia. Since 19 January, violence in Caceres has displaced at least 822 people; in Bajo Cauco murders have increased.
The United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia condemned the murder of Wilman Asprilla Allim and Ansel Montoya Ibarra, two Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) political party members who were participating in electoral activities in Peque municipality. The Mission urges all the competent institutions to investigate and prosecute those responsible for this crime.
United Nations Secretary‑General António Guterres traveled on Saturday, 13 January, to Bogotá, Colombia, for an official visit to the country to support the peace efforts there.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that $430 million is needed this year to help 2.8 million people in Afghanistan, assisting those displaced by conflict or natural disaster, feeding malnourished children and helping vulnerable families returning home after years in Iran or Pakistan.
The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that heavy rains and flooding in the Democratic Republic of the Congo may exacerbate the country’s ongoing cholera epidemic. The current outbreak, which began in July, is one of the most severe in years. The latest reports find 55,000 cases, including nearly 1,200 deaths, for 2017 alone — double the number of cases in 2016.
Although the reintegration of former guerrilla combatants in Colombia was on track, the level of accumulated frustration with that process would not be easily overcome, the Security Council heard today, as representatives also expressed concern about the possible ramifications stemming from the broken ceasefire between the Government and the National Liberation Army (ELN).
The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Kairat Umarov (Kazakhstan):
The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Sebastiano Cardi (Italy):
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia today convicted Ratko Mladiæ on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, giving him a life sentence. Prosecutor Serge Brammertz said the judgment was a milestone in the Tribunal’s history and international criminal justice.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights report having noted an increase in murders and threats against human rights defenders and community leaders in the country’s Pacific Coast region. In most cases, the victims are from indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities.
The United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia and the Episcopal Conference of Colombia issued a joint press release highlighting the first month of ceasefire monitoring by the Government of Colombia and the National Liberation Army (ELN). The Mission has established 33 local or regional verification teams that are now operational.
Some 4,000 Rohingya refugees have fled Myanmar and crossed the border into Bangladesh in the last 48 hours. The newly arrived refugees say thousands more people are waiting on Myanmar’s coast to make the crossing. United Nations agencies and their partners are providing food and other supplies.
Welcoming “remarkable achievements” in Colombia following agreements to end long-term civil strife, the Security Council decided this afternoon that the United Nations Verification Mission there would expand its work to include monitoring a ceasefire recently signed by the Government and the group known as Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN).
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says that the number of Rohingya refugees who have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh has surpassed 700,000, with 480,000 arriving since late August. The United Nations continues to provide aid, but the massive influx of refugees is outpacing the capacity to respond.
The Security Council today approved the Secretary-General’s recommendations regarding the size, operational aspects and mandate of the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia.
The new mission that would oversee the next phase of the 2016 peace agreement between the Government of Colombia and the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP) is on track to begin its activities as scheduled on 26 September, the Head of the United Nations Mission in that country told the Security Council today.
The number of migrant deaths and disappearances over the past three years is likely to be much higher than the 23,000 that the International Organization for Migration has reported globally since 2014, since many deaths are not recorded, according to a report released by the agency today.
OCHA says a cholera outbreak has been reported in Borno State, north-eastern Nigeria, the first case of which was recorded on 16 August. More than 530 suspected cases had been registered as of yesterday, including 23 deaths, mainly in Muna Garage, a camp hosting about 20,000 internally displaced persons on the outskirts of Maiduguri, the state capital.
The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:
Aid workers in Iraq are preparing to bring water, hygiene, sanitation, food and emergency medical care to those in need ahead of the anticipated military campaign to retake the Da’esh-held town of Telafar, some 60 kilometres west of Mosul. Some 60,000 people are believed to remain trapped in the city and its environs.
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