News in Brief 25 August 2017 (AM) - Geneva

25 August 2017

Deadly Myanmar violence condemned by top UN coordinator

Deadly attacks on police outposts in Myanmar have been condemned by a top UN official in the country, who’s called on “all parties” to halt the violence.

Country Coordinator Renata Lok-Dessallien issued the statement on Friday after more than 30 people including State troops were reportedly killed in the latest clashes in Rakhine state.

Reading her statement in Geneva, UN spokesperson Alessandra Vellucci:

“We condemn in the strongest terms the series of coordinated attacks carried out against the Myanmar security forces in northern areas of Rakhine State in the early hours on 25 August. We regret the loss of life, express deepest condolences to the bereaved families and wish a speedy recovery to the injured… We call on all parties to refrain from violence, protect civilians, restore law and order and resolve issues through dialogue and peaceful means.”

Rakhine is in the west of Myanmar and home to a substantial Muslim minority.

Following similar attacks last October against three border posts, a UN-appointed rights expert reported serious alleged abuses linked to security force operations.

The latest incident follows the release of a Rakhine State report, chaired by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

It called for "urgent and sustained action" to prevent violence, maintain peace and foster reconciliation.

Internet hate campaign against Nigeria minority a “grave concern”: UN experts

An online campaign in northern Nigeria aimed at terrorising a minority community should be condemned universally, three UN rights experts said on Friday.

In a statement, the experts describe how a “hate song” targeting the Igbo people has circulated via social media.

It urges Nigerians to destroy Igbo property and kill anyone who refuses to leave by 1 October.

The internet message follows a threat issued by a youth group against the Igbo people in June.

Some local and national figures have already denounced the incitement to violence.

But the UN experts have expressed deep concern that “prominent local leaders and elders” have yet to do so.

Atlantic storm season set to be “most active” since 2010

This year’s hurricane season in the North Atlantic region could be one of the most active in years, UN forecasters said on Friday.

The warning from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) follows an updated prediction from weather experts at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The development follows the rapid intensification of Hurricane Harvey in the central Gulf of Mexico.

Harvey is forecast to strengthen further and become the first category three hurricane to make landfall in the United States since 2008.

This has been accompanied by concerns about potentially deadly amounts of rain and storm surges.

Here’s WMO spokesperson Clare Nullis:

“A storm surge warning is in effect for much of the Texas coast, a life-threatening storm surge and that’s a phrase that we’re seeing over and over again about this storm, life-threatening storm surge, flooding, could reach heights of six to12 feet above ground level, so that’s 1.8 to about 5.6 metres.”

In the Pacific region, meanwhile, WMO said that typhoon Hato has left a reported 16 people dead.

The storm, which has lashed Hong Kong and Macao, has also created a new wind speed record, at 152.3 kilometres per hour, according to reports.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva

Duration: 3'35"


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