300,000 flee flare-up of ethnic violence in north-eastern DRC
More than 300,000 people have been forced to flee resurgent inter-ethnic violence in north-east Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) this month, the UN refugee agency said on Tuesday.
Citing multiple attacks and counter-attacks between Hema herders and Lendu farmers in Ituri province, UNHCR warned that the situation has worsened in recent days.
The development comes amid reports of intense fighting between the Congolese armed forces and non-state armed actors in Djugu territory, as the authorities attempt to bring the situation under control in the vast, resource-rich region.
Here’s UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch speaking in Geneva:
“People are fleeing attacks and counter attacks in Djugu Territory, with reports of both communities forming self-defence groups and being involved in revenge killings. The details we are receiving from our partners, and also some of the displaced; they talk about brutalities against civilians, killing, sexual violence, and other extreme forms of violence against civilians and people.”
Three of Ituri’s five administrative territories - Djugu, Mahagi and Irumu – have all seen mass displacement, according to UNHCR.
In response to fears that the situation could escalate further, the UN peacekeeping mission in DRC, MONUSCO, has set up three temporary military bases in Djugu and Mahagi.
Simmering rivalry between the Hema and Lendu goes back decades; in the 1998 to 2003 war, when thousands were killed.
Sudden death of Egypt’s former President Morsi must be investigated: UN human rights
To Egypt now, where the UN human rights office, OHCHR, has called for an independent probe into the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of former President Mohammed Morsi.
Mr. Morsi died after collapsing in court on Monday, where he faced spying charges.
He was elected to power as the first democratically-elected leader of the country, in 2012 but ousted a year later, following mass protests. He led the now banned Muslim Brotherhood political movement.
In a statement highlighting concerns about the conditions of Mr. Morsi’s detention in prison during nearly six years in custody, OHCHR spokesperson Rupert Colville noted that he appeared to have been held in “prolonged” solitary confinement.
Any investigation should assess whether Mr. Morsi had access to adequate medical care, his lawyer and family, Mr. Coville said, amid reports by rights groups that he was rarely allowed any of these things.
In addition, it should examine “all aspects of the authorities’ treatment of Mr. Morsi, to examine whether the conditions of his detention had an impact on his death”, the UN human rights office spokesperson said.
Kuwait and Pakistan confirmed as having hottest temperatures on earth recorded
And finally to two hot zones – not where wars are happening, but where temperatures hit a near-record 54 degrees Centigrade.
According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Mitribah in Kuwait hit 53.9 in July 2016 and Turbat in Pakistan saw a sweltering 53.7 in May 2017.
These are the highest, officially-recognized temperatures to have been recorded in the last 76 years, WMO says.
Amazingly, though, they’re not the hottest conditions experienced on earth on record.
According to the Weather and Climate Extremes archive, that feat happened in Death Valley, California in July 1913, when the thermometer reached 56.7 degrees Centigrade.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.