This is the news in brief from the United Nations
International Criminal Court acquits Laurent Gbagbo of Côte d’Ivoire allegations
Former President of Côte d'Ivoire Laurent Gbagbo has been cleared of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court (ICC), it announced on Tuesday.
The development relates to bloody clashes in the West African nation that claimed a reported 3,000 lives following the 2010 election in which current President Alassane Ouattara ousted Mr Gbagbo.
In June, the court overturned the war crimes conviction of Jean-Pierre Bemba, former vice-President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The Hague-based tribunal has more than 15 other cases that are either ongoing or yet to commence, including against Mr Gbagbo’s wife, Simone.
In a statement, the ICC said that the prosecution had “failed to submit sufficient evidence” showing how Mr Gbagbo and a co-defendant, Charles Blé Goudé, had committed crimes in line with State policy – or “patterns of violence” that were indicative of a “policy to attack a civilian population”.
The acquittal was by majority, with Judges Cuno Tarfusser and Geoffrey Henderson for, and Judge Herrera Carbuccia against.
Aid reaches war-hit Hudaydah communities for first time in months – WFP
Thousands of families in conflict-affected communities near the port city of Hudaydah in Yemen have received aid for the first time in more than six months, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Tuesday.
Spokesperson Hervé Verhoosel confirmed that Tuhayat and Darayhimi had been reached thanks to a partial ceasefire deal agreed at UN-led talks between Government forces and Houthi opposition militia:
“So far WFP has dispatched more than 3,334 metric tonnes of food assistance to these areas, and that is simultaneously from both Aden and Hudaydah; 8,125 households in Al Tuhayat have received enough assistance for two months and 2,662 families in Al Darayhimi, south of Hudaydah, have received food rations. Those are the first humanitarian shipments delivered to those regions since July 2018 when a WFP contracted truck was hit in the area.”
Last month, WFP scaled up the delivery of food and food vouchers to around nine million people in Yemen, up from seven to eight million in November.
The aim is to reach 12 million people to help avert famine in the country, which was already one of the poorest in the world before conflict escalated in March 2015.
‘Life and death’ conditions in Syria’s desert camp, warns WFP
And staying with the World Food Programme, it has warned that conditions in a makeshift Syrian camp near the border with Jordan are “increasingly desperate”, after at least eight children died there from extreme cold and a lack of medical care.
The development echoes an alert from UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) that the victims are only months old.
Here’s WFP spokesperson Hervé Verhoosel again: “The United Nations remains seriously concerned about the increasingly desperate conditions for more than 40,000 people staying at the Rukban site. The majority are women and children, who have been staying at the site for more than two years in harsh conditions with limited humanitarian assistance, access to medical care and other essential services.”
WFP is calling for a new aid convoy for Rukban – and for all parties to the Syria conflict to ensure safe, sustained and unimpeded humanitarian access to people in need, in line with International Humanitarian Law.
Daniel Johnson, UN News