This is the news in brief from the United Nations.
Sudan violence may not be over, says UN human rights in appeal to military to respect protesters’ rights
Sudan’s military should refrain from using violence against protesters and address their concerns, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, said on Friday.
Her comments followed the ousting of President Omar al-Bashir – announced on State television on Thursday, along with the declaration that a military council would govern the country for up to two years.
Those developments come amid protests that began months ago against rising food and fuel prices, which have also claimed dozens of lives.
Speaking to journalists in Geneva, spokesperson for the High Commissioner, Ravina Shamdasani, said that it was “encouraging” that there was no violence overnight” in the capital, Khartoum, even though a curfew had been ignored.
“I wouldn’t want to get into details on who our sources are, but there are clear indications from them that they are not happy with what happened yesterday and that the protests will continue. We also understand that the announcement that was made yesterday didn’t indicate any possibility for people to participate in this transition. Which is why we are, again, calling on the authorities to ensure that there’s a concerted effort with the meaningful participation of civil society, of dissenting voices, in charting a way forward.”
In a Security Council meeting on Friday morning in New York, Sudan’s Deputy Ambassador to the UN, Yasser Abdullah Abdelsalam, said that the military council would be the “guarantor” of a return to civilian government.
“No party will be excluded” from democratic process, the Sudanese representative said - including armed groups.
The Deputy Ambassador also highlighted that the crisis was a “domestic matter”, urging the international community to “support a peaceful transition” back to civilian rule, according to a timetable that “could be shortened” depending on events.
Airstrikes and heavy artillery exchanges increase fears of ‘chaos’ in Libya’s Tripoli
Concern continues to grow for civilians in and around the Libyan capital Tripoli, amid reports of increasingly heavy fighting on the outskirts of the city, between government and opposition forces.
In an update from Tripoli on Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that airstrikes and heavy artillery had been deployed during clashes between the internationally-recognized Government forces and the self-styled Libyan National Army, or LNA.
Here’s WHO’s Dr Jaffar Hussain Syed, speaking from the capital:
“Our major worry of escalation is increasing the airstrikes which we have witnessed in the last few days; they have increased from both sides and heavy artillery. If at all the LNA forces manage to cross the current front line and come closer to the more densely populated city areas that obviously will increase the chaos inside the centre of Tripoli and will obviously end up with more casualties. But so far the centre of Tripoli is relatively calm and we have not witnessed any direct artillery shells coming or airstrikes taking place on the centre of Tripoli.”
Since clashes erupted a week ago, hundreds of people have been injured and dozens have died, including seven civilians - four of them health workers.
More than 9,500 people have also fled fighting – 3,500 in the last 24 hours.
Five years since mass-abduction of Nigeria’s Chibok girls
And finally to Nigeria, where it’s been almost five years since 276 schoolgirls were kidnapped by armed separatists Boko Haram in the town of Chibok.
Today, more than 100 of the abducted girls remain missing.
Those that have been rescued or escaped, have been receiving help from UN Children’s Fund UNICEF, which says that since 2013, more than 3,500 children have been recruited and used by non-state armed groups in the north-east of the country.
It has warned that these numbers are only those that have been verified, while the true figures are likely to be higher.
In addition to these children, last year, 432 children were killed and maimed, 180 were abducted, and 43 girls were sexually abused in this conflict-wracked part of the Lake Chad region.
Ahead of the 14 April Chibok anniversary, UNICEF appealed to all parties to the on-going violence, to end violations against children and to stop targeting civilian infrastructure, including schools.
This is the only way to make lasting improvements in the lives of children in this devastated part of Nigeria, it said in a statement.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.