This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Cyclone Idai ‘another alarm bell’ on climate change, says UN’s Guterres
Cyclone Idai and its mounting death toll is “yet another alarm bell about the dangers of climate change” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Tuesday, warning that vulnerable countries like Mozambique, would be hit the hardest unless urgent action is taken.
“Such events are becoming more frequent, more severe and more widespread, and this will only get worse if we do not act now”, said the UN chief.
Speaking in New York; he added that “in the face of turbo-charged storms, we need revved up climate action”.
The Secretary-General has convened a Climate Action Summit this September, to try and mobilize countries around the urgent need to reduce global warming to well under 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement.
The death toll across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, stands at around 700, but figures are expected to rise, with hundreds still missing.
An estimated three million have been affected, nearly two-thirds of them in Mozambique, where key port city Beira was “practically razed to the ground” while the farmland interior has been inundated, said Mr. Guterres.
Mali’s ‘self-defence’ groups must face justice after deadly intercommunal attacks: UN rights office
Mali’s authorities have been urged to bring to justice so-called self-defence groups responsible for horrific intercommunal attacks, after a weekend assault that claimed the lives of more than 150 people.
Last Saturday’s attack in central Mopti region is just the latest in a series of raids since March 2018 that has resulted in some 600 deaths of women, children and men, the UN Human Rights office (OHCHR) said on Tuesday.
Here’s spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani:
“These traditional disputes have always been there. But lately it has taken on a particularly deadly turn because entire Fulani communities - and we are talking about millions of people - are being painted as violent extremists simply because they are Muslim.”
To help the authorities, OHCHR has deployed a team of crime scene investigators and human rights officers to conduct interviews in the affected villages.
Survivors said traditional hunters carried out the raid in the village, they said, apparently using automatic weapons, hunting rifles and other weapons, according to OHCHR.
UN Children’s Fund UNICEF also condemned the latest violence, noting that the injuries sustained by children were mostly gunshot-related, burns and fractures.
Spokesperson Christophe Boulierac also warned that many thousands of people have fled the increasing violence, with 56,400 internally displaced people in the Mopti region at the end of 2018, compared with 2,000 in 2017.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.