News in Brief 14 August 2017 (PM)

14 August 2017

“Deep concern” for safety of Syrian civilians on Jordanian border

UN agencies expressed deep concern on Monday for the safety of nearly 50,000 Syrian civilians who have been stranded for months on the border with Jordan.

The displaced are mainly women and children, who have been trapped in an area known as the berm; an earthen wall in rocky desert, without shade, water or vegetation.

Air strikes have been reported in the area over the past few days, and it’s reported to be increasingly unsafe, according to UN Deputy Spokesperson, Farhan Haq.

“Some people are reportedly attempting to leave the area, risking further danger and deprivation in an inhospitable desert location. The situation for those who remain is worsened by the scarcity of services available in the area, especially food and healthcare. Some families in one part of the berm, Hadalat, where there are an estimated 4,000 people living, are reportedly living solely on flour and water.”

Mr Haq added that the UN was ready to continue supporting Jordanian authorities to help protect beleaguered civilians attempting to reach safety there.

He said agencies were ready to provide life-saving aid and protection as needed.

UN peacekeeper killed in Mali, alongside government soldier

A peacekeeper with the UN Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) has been killed and another slightly injured, following an attack by gunmen on Monday.

A Malian government soldier was also killed during the assault, by so-far unidentified assailants.

The attack took place at a MINUSMA camp in Douentza, in the Mopti region, in the centre of Mali.

MINUSMA condemned the assault and offered the UN’s condolences to the families of the victims and to their governments.

What has become the UN’s deadliest peacekeeping mission has been enforcing a fragile 2015 peace agreement between government forces and multiple armed groups.

More than 100 blue helmets have died in Mali over the past four years.

“No room for violent racism” in Virginia: UN Deputy Spokesperson

There must be “no room for violent racism” of the kind witnessed over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, said the UN Deputy Spokesperson on Monday.

Farhan Haq was responding to the death of a female protester and injuries to 19 others, allegedly caused by a so-called white supremacist, who rammed his car into a crowd in the southern city in the United States on Saturday.

Hundreds of supporters of extremist nationalist groups had gathered in the town to protest the removal of a Civil War era statue, and were met by anti-racism counter-protesters.

The US Attorney General said on Monday that the killing and injuries amounted to an act of “domestic terrorism”.

Here’s Farhan Haq.

“We are against all racism and bigotry. We believe that there must be no place in our societies for the violent racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and discrimination that we have seen in Charlottesville, Virginia, in recent days.”

Matt Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2’25”


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