News in Brief 20 March 2017 (PM)

20 March 2017

“High number of deaths” reported in Kananga area of DRC

The UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, MONUSCO, has received “credible reports of high numbers of deaths” in clashes between militia and government troops in the Kananga and Kasai regions.

Maman Sambo Sidikou, head of MONUSCO, called for the “immediate cessation of violence” in the area, and the immediate halt on restrictions of movement on UN peacekeepers in the DRC.

Here’s UN Deputy Spokesperson, Farhan Haq.

“MONUSCO is concerned by the attacks of militiamen against State institutions and symbols, but also by the disproportionate use of force by the security and defense forces and the targeting of civilians, including women and children.”

Friction between army personnel and the Kamwina Nsapu militia has grown in recent months.

Two UN experts and three Congolese colleagues were kidnapped just over a week ago in Kasai province and violence has been spreading across DRC due to a prolonged political crisis.

Three-quarters of health facilities in Libya closed or “partially functioning”

An assessment by the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that almost 75 per cent of health facilities in Libya are closed or only partially-functioning.

The Humanitarian Coordinator for Libya, Maria Do Valle Ribeiro, and WHO have called on all warring parties to respect civilians, health facilities, and medical staff, in accordance with international law.

The country has been riven by factional conflict, insecurity and humanitarian crises since the fall of former president Muammar Gadaffi in 2011.

Here’s Farhan Haq again.

“Humanitarians are alarmed at the impact of the ongoing fighting in Tripoli on the civilian population. On 15 March, a mortar shell hit Tripoli’s Al-Hadbha Hospital, setting fire to the paediatric department. Three children received treatment for suffocation. As fighting continues in Tripoli and other parts of Libya, health facilities, health staff and patients are at continuous risk.”

Economic growth not enough to foster happiness: UN deputy chief

Governments which focus on economic growth alone and “forget social and environmental dimensions” are harming their citizens’ well-being overall.

That’s the view of UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, in a statement marking the International Day of Happiness on Monday.

She said that solely-pursuing economic growth could result in “growing inequalities and environmental degradation”.

“Well-being does not depend on income alone” she said, adding that people were happier when they have personal and job security, personal freedom, and “strong family relations based on intergenerational solidarity.”

She pointed to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a blue print for building a “plan of action for the people, planet and prosperity.”

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2'21"


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