Fighting “paralyses” UN’s ability to deliver aid to Syria’s eastern Ghouta
Continuing fighting in and around the besieged Syrian suburb of eastern Ghouta has paralysed the UN’s ability to deliver lifesaving aid to more than 400,000 civilians trapped there.
An inter-agency aid convoy was able to deliver some supplies on Monday before being forced to leave due to shelling, and further deliveries planned for Thursday had to be abandoned.
Ongoing hostilities in the rebel-held enclave near Damascus have reportedly resulted in more than 100 deaths over the past 48 hours, said the UN.
Here’s Marwa Awad, communications officer for the World Food Programme (WFP), based in the Syrian capital.
“The escalation and fighting in besieged and hard-to-reach areas has paralysed the UN's response and WFP's ability to reach those who desperately need our help. A case in point is the UN and partners inability to return to Douma in east Ghouta today because the movement of the convoy was not authorized due to security concerns on the ground.”
The UN says it’s ready to deliver aid to all people in need in Douma and other areas in eastern Ghouta as soon as conditions allow.
Now “up to the Taliban” to begin talks and end Afghan suffering: UN Mission chief
It’s up to Taliban extremists to enter into direct talks with the Government and “put an end to the suffering of the Afghan people”.
That’s according to the Head of the UN Mission in the country, UNAMA, Tadamichi Yamamoto, who briefed the Security Council on Thursday.
He said that a week ago, Afghanistan had successfully hosted the second conference of the Kabul Process for peace and security, where all participants endorsed a call for direct talks, without preconditions.
Mr. Yamamoto also expressed concern about the deepening of divisions in Afghan society and stressed that national unity provides the only basis for the implementation of effective reforms in the country.
Failure to build electoral confidence in Democratic Republic of Congo will only “heighten political tensions”
If the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) fails to reassure voters that fresh elections will be held at end of this year, political tensions will only heighten, said the Head of the UN Mission there, MONUSCO.
Briefing the Security Council for the first time in charge of MONUSCO, Leila Zerrougui paid homage to the “determination of the Congolese people” to take part in the political process.
President Joseph Kabila was due to stand down at the end of 2016 but remains in power, and no firm date has been set for fresh elections so far.
Protests against the political uncertainty led to deaths at the hands of the security forces earlier in the year.
More details on Ms. Zerrougui’s briefing from UN Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric.
“She stressed that a failure to generate confidence in the full and faithful implementation of the 31 December Agreement will only serve to heighten political tensions, and to fuel the risks of inciting violence for political ends. During the time of the heightened tensions, the UN Mission remains steadfast in its commitment to support the Congolese authorities to protect those most vulnerable, and most affected, by acts of violence, she said.”