This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Myanmar crimes were worse than we expected, says UN investigator
Graphic details of grave rights violations against Myanmar’s Rohingya community have been heard at the Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva.
Marzuki Darusman, head of the Fact-Finding Mission into the events that led to the exodus of more than 750,000 people from Rakhine state last year, said that it was “hard to fathom the level of brutality of Tatmadaw operations” – a reference to the Myanmar military.
Here he is speaking about an attack on the village of Min Gyi, which is also known as Tula Toli:
“Without notice, Tatmadaw soldiers entered by land, opening fire and burning houses… All the Rohingya houses and structures in Min Gyi were burned to ashes. All its inhabitants fled or were killed. Lists carefully compiled by Rohingya community volunteers in the refugee camps suggest that approximately 750 men, women and children died that day.”
Among the UN mission’s findings, it concludes that the acts of the Tatmadaw and other security forces showed clear “genocidal intent”, which should be judged by an international tribunal.
Its findings were rejected by Myanmar, which questioned the impartiality of the 440-page report.
900,000 people affected by typhoon Mangkhut, say UN aid agencies
Typhoon Mangkhut has claimed 64 lives and affected around 900,000 people in the Philippines where UN aid agencies have sent emergency food aid for some 166,000 families.
The World Food Programme (WFP) announced on Tuesday that it has sent 1,000 metric tons of food for families who’ve become victims of the storm that hit at the weekend.
A landslide in Nengust province killed 33 miners and the death toll is likely to rise further as search and rescue efforts continue, according to the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNISDR.
Here’s spokesperson Denis McClean:
“The position of UNISDR is that climate change is the biggest existential threat to the world in terms of the rising number of extreme weather events. We’ve seen over the last 40 years that there has been almost a doubling of extreme weather events – this is due to improved reporting, of course, but it is also undeniably linked to rising temperatures worldwide, rising sea levels and greater populations living in hazard-exposed areas.”
A recent study of 5,000 landslides found that they have caused nearly 56,000 deaths since 2004.
Nearly 700 incidents were linked to construction, illegal mining and hill cutting, Mr. McClean said.
More countries should take in refugees after US decision to cut quota: UNHCR
More countries should consider taking in vulnerable individuals, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has said, following the announcement that the United States is to reduce its refugee quota.
UNHCR spokesperson William Spindler told journalists in Geneva that there are just 34 so-called resettlement countries.
“We submit resettlement cases on the basis on need. We estimate that about 8 per cent of all refugees in the world are in need of resettlement and the number of countries that come forward with resettlement places has never met those needs… So, we will continue to advocate with Governments around the world to increase their resettlement quotas and also to look for other countries with the resettlement programmes.”
UNHCR’s announcement follows the US decision to reduce the number of refugees it accepts to 30,000 next year, down from 45,000 for 2018.
It is still on track to be the largest refugee host nation for resettlement, UNHCR said.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.