This is the news in brief from the United Nations
Clashes see Tripoli residents shelled in their own homes: UN agencies
Civilians must be spared ongoing clashes in and around the Libyan capital, Tripoli, and they must be allowed to move to safer areas, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said on Tuesday.
The agency’s appeal comes amid a recent uptick in violence between rival armed groups which has reportedly claimed dozens of lives and restricted humanitarian aid access.
Here’s UNCHR spokesperson Charlie Yaxley:
“Recent shelling of civilian neighbourhoods has caused death, destruction and displacement and is of great concern. Two people were killed and several others injured, including children at the Fallah 2 Tawergha settlement for displaced people on Sunday night as armed groups exchanged fire. The site hosts more than 900 displaced Libyans.”
Oil-rich Libya has been gripped by violent insecurity since the overthrow of President Muammar Gaddaffi in 2011.
The UN is supporting a return to democracy in the country under a 2015 deal which calls for the establishment of a single national unity government.
According to UNSMIL, the UN Support Mission in Libya, parties to the conflict have used weapons “with wide-area impact” in the capital, including rockets, tanks and other artillery, in residential areas.
In the last 12 months, an estimated 1.1 million people have been directly affected by the crisis, and are in urgent need of healthcare.
UNRWA needs $200 million to continue operations in 2018
More than $200 million is urgently needed to support millions of Palestinian refugees in the Middle East this year following the US decision to stop funding UNRWA – the UN agency that supports them – its top official said on Tuesday.
Speaking to journalists in Geneva, UNRWA Commissioner General Pierre Krahenbuhl expressed “deep regret and disappointment” at the US move, announced at the end of last month.
He rejected what he called the “politicization of humanitarian funding” and said that until now, support from the United States had “made a huge difference” in education, healthcare and emergency response for Palestinian refugees.
Mr Krahenbuhl cautioned that closing schools risked removing a stabilizing factor in the Middle East.
“There is no horizon here in the Middle East currently in terms of peace dynamics, there is no horizon for people, in most cases, in terms of their personal futures. And if schools were to close down, you can imagine the cumulative effect that that would have… What UNRWA does to preserve the focus on education, we are the only institution that provides a human rights curriculum that focuses on conflict resolution, on tolerance and respect of others, these are things that should be celebrated in every corner of the planet.”
The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East was established by the General Assembly in 1949 to provide assistance and protection to a population of some five million registered Palestine refugees throughout the Middle East.
Caution urged in Nicaragua after UN rights team is expelled
The Nicaraguan Government’s decision to expel the UN Human Rights Office OHCHR from the country will not stop it from monitoring alleged abuses in the Latin American country, UN officials have said.
The United Nation’s rights team was told to leave Nicaragua last Saturday – a day after the publication of a UN report into violations committed there since April.
Spokesperson Liz Throssell told journalists in Geneva that the protection of victims in Nicaragua is “increasingly challenging” amid anti-government protests, but that her office would continue to watch events and “be a voice for the victims”.
In recent weeks, individuals and groups have increasingly faced criminalization and arrest in Nicaragua, OHCHR says.
There have also been smear campaigns by Government-aligned media, including labelling protesters as “terrorists” and “coup mongers”, it says.
Daniel Johnson, UN News