News in Brief 18 December 2017 (PM)

18 December 2017

Mali: Blue helmet wounded by explosive device

A peacekeeper with the UN’s mission in Mali was slightly wounded when the vehicle he was in hit a suspected improvised explosive device.

The incident occurred on Monday in Kidal city, located in the north of the country.

UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric has more details:

“In response to the attack, the UN Mission deployed a quick-reaction force and an explosive ordnance disposal team to secure and clear the incident site and to recover a vehicle that was damaged. This follows four separate attacks against peacekeeping personnel and premises in Kidal on Friday, all of which were repelled by peacekeepers. One peacekeeper was severely wounded. Two UN Mission staff and two civilians, were slightly wounded as well, and they were immediately given medical attention. In a statement over the weekend, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mahamet Saleh Annadif, strongly condemned the attacks on peacekeepers that also put civilians at risk, adding that the Mission would continue to repel all attacks in a similar robust manner.”

UN chief condemns deadly church bombing in Pakistan

The UN Secretary-General has strongly condemned a deadly suicide bombing at a Methodist church in Pakistan.

Nine people reportedly were killed and more than 50 others were wounded in the attack, which occurred on Sunday in the city of Quetta, capital of the south-western province of Balochistan.

A local affiliate of the terrorist group ISIL has claimed responsibility, according to media reports.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice, according to a statement issued on Monday by his spokesperson.

The UN chief also extended his sincere condolences to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery to the injured.

Somali youth debate future development

Young people make up more than two thirds of Somalia’s population and hundreds have gathered in the capital, Mogadishu, to discuss their future development.

They are taking part in the four-day National Youth Conference, which opened on Monday.

The UN Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) said a key part of the gathering was the launch of the Federal Government’s National Youth Policy, designed to remove institutional barriers to youth development and enable young people to pursue their goals.

The UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, who addressed the opening of the conference, has welcomed the new policy.

Jayathma Wickramanayake also called for a “change in the narrative” surrounding young people.

“We should stop stigmatizing young people based on the stereotypes. For example: if you’re young, you’re likely to be radicalized; if you’re young, you’re likely to be an extremist. I don’t think these are true. I think the majority of young people — just like all of you in this room — want peace, love peace, and are working towards peace. So, I think there should be a greater change in the narrative where we recognize young people as victims or perpetrators of violence into changing that as who we truly are: the peacebuilders.”

Issues to be discussed at the conference include opportunities for growth, as well as the role young people can play in promoting peace and security.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 3’20”


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