News in Brief 27 October 2017 (AM)

27 October 2017

Eastern Ghouta situation “an outrage”: UN human rights chief

The suffering of civilians in the besieged Syrian enclave of Eastern Ghouta is “an outrage,” UN Human Rights High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussain said on Friday.

Eastern Ghouta, located in the outskirts of the capital, Damascus, has been under siege by Syrian government forces for more than four years and some 350,000 people there are facing what Zeid described as a humanitarian emergency.

He said images emerging from the area, which appear to show severely malnourished children, are “shocking” and an indication of the plight there.

The UN human rights chief called on parties to the conflict to allow badly needed food and medical supplies to be delivered to the area, which was last reached by a UN convoy on 23 September.

Rights experts conclude mission to Rohingya displaced in Bangladesh

Three UN human rights experts said on Friday they were “deeply disturbed” by accounts of killings, torture, rape and other attacks reportedly perpetrated against the Rohingya community in Myanmar.

The experts—members of an independent fact-finding mission established by the UN Human Rights Council—have just concluded their first visit to Bangladesh.

Over the past two months, more than 600,000 Rohingya, a Muslim minority, have fled violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, following attacks on security positions and subsequent military action.

They have sought shelter in the Cox’s Bazar region in south-eastern Bangladesh, joining other Rohingya already in the area.

The UN experts interviewed Rohingya at three camps and also held consultations with government officials, diplomats and NGOs.

Mission member Marzuki Darusman, former Attorney-General in Indonesia, said they heard many accounts from villagers from across Rakhine state that “point to a consistent, methodical pattern of actions resulting in gross human rights violations affecting hundreds of thousands of people.”

UN calls for swift probe into deadly attack on blue helmets in Mali

The United Nations is urging the government of Mali to swiftly investigate a deadly assault on peacekeepers serving at its mission in the country, MINUSMA.

Three blue helmets from Chad were killed, and two others injured, when their convoy was attacked on Thursday.

The incident occurred on the road between the villages of Tessalit and Aguelhok, located in the Kidal region in the north.

The UN Security Council has issued a statement condemning the attack “in the strongest terms,” underlining that it may constitute a war crime under international law.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres echoed the statement, and reaffirmed that such attacks “will not affect the United Nations' determination to support the Malian people in their quest for peace.”

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration:  2'52"


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