News in Brief 03 August 2017 (AM)

3 August 2017

Syria Commission of Inquiry calls for justice for Yazidis

A UN-mandated Commission of Inquiry on Syria is calling for justice for the Yazidi religious minority, victims of the terrorist group ISIL, also known as Daesh.

The Commission is urging the international community “to recognize the crime of genocide being committed by ISIL against the Yazidis and to undertake steps to refer the situation to justice,” including to the International Criminal Court or another tribunal.

The appeal comes in a statement on Thursday marking three years since the extremists launched an attack on the Iraqi city of Sinjar, the Yazidi homeland.

A June 2016 Commission report found that many of the women were sold as sexual slaves to ISIL fighters in Syria while boys were indoctrinated and used in hostilities.

The report concluded that ISIL had committed genocide “by seeking to destroy the Yazidis through killings, sexual slavery, enslavement, torture, forcible displacement, the transfer of children and measures intended to prohibit the birth of Yazidi children.”

The Commission members also urge parties fighting ISIL to consider plans to rescue Yazidi captives.

Food prices rise for third consecutive month: FAO

Food prices globally rose for the third consecutive month in July, mainly due to a spike in the price of cereal, sugar and dairy products.

That’s according to the latest Food Price Index, published on Thursday by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

It tracks monthly changes in the international prices of these three food commodity groups as well as meat and vegetable oils.

Last month the index reached its highest value since January 2015, marking a 2.3 per cent increase from June.

The Food Price Index has been published since 1996 to help monitor developments in global agricultural commodity markets.

Lebanon campaign targets host communities and Syrian refugees

A new media campaign in Lebanon aims to reduce tensions between local communities and Syrian refugees.

It was launched on Thursday by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and its partners.

Lebanon, which has a population of around six million, is hosting more than one million people who have fled the ongoing conflict in Syria.

UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag noted that there have been tensions related to limited resources and access to jobs.

However, she highlighted the “common objective” of achieving a” stable, prosperous and secure Lebanon.”

She said this can be done through strengthening the society by emphasizing the importance of dialogue, with the media also playing an important role.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2’45”


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