Rise in number of children killed, maimed and recruited in conflict: UN report
More than 10,000 children were killed or maimed in conflict last year while more than 8,000 youngsters were recruited or used as combatants, the United Nations reported on Wednesday.
These violations contributed to the overall rise in the number of children globally affected by fighting in 2017, as documented in the annual report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict.
The report covers 20 countries, including hotspots such as Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan, but also situations in countries such as India, the Philippines and Nigeria.
Virginia Gamba, the UN’s expert on children and armed conflict, said 66 parties to conflict are listed this year — three more than in the 2016 report — with nine government forces and 57 armed groups named.
She said that in too many conflict situations, parties to conflict have an utter disregard for any measures that could contribute to shielding the most vulnerable from the impact of war.
UN Syria envoy warns that south-west offensive could echo destruction of Aleppo
Escalating conflict between pro-government forces in south-west Syria and opposition fighters, is threatening to create a humanitarian crisis similar to the sieges of Aleppo and eastern Ghouta, according to the UN Special Envoy for the country.
Staffan de Mistura, briefing the Security Council, said he was gravely concerned at the turn of events in the country’s south-west, with a full-scale ground and aerial offensive taking place there.
He urged all parties to use existing channels to work on arrangements to prevent further human suffering.
John Ging, the Director of Operations for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, detailed the humanitarian consequences of the fighting in Dara’a Governorate, saying that so far around 45,000 to 50,000 people have been displaced due to fighting.
One million Ethiopians displaced since early June by communal violence: UN
Around a million people in two border regions of Ethiopia have been displaced due to intercommunal violence in just the last few weeks, the UN Spokesperson told reporters on Wednesday.
Citing UN humanitarian agencies, Stéphane Dujarric said that authorities in Gedeo had registered more than 793,000 displaced since early June, while at least 185,000 are believed to be in neighbouring West Guji — part of the Oromia region — where registration is still limited due to insecurity.
Civilian deaths, damage to property and public buildings have also been reported, including schools and health facilities.
More details from Stéphane Dujarric:
“Food has been provided by the Government, and emergency shelter and non-food items have been provided by both the Government and humanitarian partners. Last week, the Government of Ethiopia and humanitarian partners jointly launched a Response Plan requesting $117.7 million for the coming six months to deliver immediate life-sustaining assistance and access to basic services to the displaced.”