Mine clearance a ‘matter of urgency’ in Syria: UNICEF representative
More than 8 million people in Syria, including over 3 million children, are exposed to explosive hazards.
That information comes from two UN agencies which are calling for concerted international action to address the issue.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) made the appeal on the International Day for Mine Awareness, observed this Wednesday, 4 April.
Elizabeth Hoff, WHO Representative in Syria called for demining activities there to be scaled up “as a matter of urgency”.
She added that more support is needed to help injured Syrians recover.
Meanwhile, British actor Daniel Craig, famous for playing James Bond, stated that landmines, grenades, missiles and other explosive weapons are a “deadly legacy” of conflict in places such as Cambodia, Somalia, Iraq and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Mr. Craig is the UN Global Advocate for the Elimination of Mines and other Explosive Hazards.
“Today, we remember and pay tribute to the thousands of teachers providing risk education, and the deminers around the globe who devote their lives to making the world a safer place — not just for now but for generations to come.”
Salisbury attack lab results expected next week: chemical weapons body
Biomedical samples collected from two people in the United Kingdom who were exposed to a nerve agent have been submitted for technical analysis, the head of a UN-backed independent organization working to rid the world of chemical weapons said on Wednesday.
Ahmet Üzümcü, Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), updated its Executive Council on technical assistance provided to the UK in relation to the so-called Salisbury incident.
Russian-born Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, have been hospitalized since they were found on a public bench in the English city on 4 March.
The UK Government said they had been exposed to a nerve agent called Novichok.
The country requested OPCW assistance in determining the nature of the toxic chemical reportedly used against the Skripals.
OPCW experts have travelled to the UK and collected environmental samples from the locations where two victims were reportedly exposed to a toxic chemical.
They also collected biomedical samples from two victims and a police officer.
The samples have been delivered to laboratories for technical analysis, with results expected by early next week.
A report of the findings will be transmitted to the UK once the results are received, and the country has indicated that it will share the report.
CAR urged to investigate deadly attack on UN peacekeepers
The United Nations has condemned the killing of one of its peacekeepers in the Central African Republic.
The blue helmet from Mauritania died when suspected militia members attacked a temporary base of the UN Mission in the country, MINUSCA, on Tuesday.
Eleven of his colleagues also were injured.
The UN Security Council has urged the authorities in the CAR to swiftly investigate the incident and bring those responsible to justice.
Ambassadors were also concerned that 21 civilians, including four children, were found dead and 14 others injured on the same day and in the same district.
They also supported the investigation launched by MINUSCA to determine whether their deaths were linked to the attack against its personnel.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres has also condemned the attack on the blue helmets and expressed outrage over the killing of the civilians.