UN chief condemns deadly Somalia attacks on offices visited earlier by UN envoy
UN Secretary-General António Guterres has condemned Wednesday’s deadly terror attacks in Somalia, that targeted the offices of the mayor of Mogadishu, reportedly killing six Government officials and injuring several others.
According to media reports, the attack was carried out by a female suicide bomber, and was claimed by terror group al-Shabab.
The mayor of Mogadishu, Abdirahman Omar Osman, was one of those injured in the attack: he is reported to be unconscious, and due to be flown to Turkey for treatment.
The new UN special envoy to Somalia, James Swan, who had met the mayor at the offices earlier in the day, described the bombing as a “heinous attack” that “demonstrates a violent disregard for the sanctity of human life”.
UN nuclear watchdog agency appoints interim chief, following death of Director General
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has appointed an interim chief, following the death of Director General Yukiya Amano, which was announced on Monday.
Mr Amano, who died at the age of 72, had been due to step down next March amid reports of an unspecified illness.
In a statement published on Thursday, the IAEA stated that, “to ensure the orderly and smooth functioning of the Agency”, Cornel Feruta will serve as acting Director General, until a new chief assumes office.
Mr. Feruta currently heads the IAEA’s Office of Coordination, responsible for supporting the Director General in areas such as policy, external relations with Member States, and strategy.
Growing risk of locust swarms in Yemen and Horn of Africa
Yemen and several countries in the Horn of Africa region, are facing an increased risk of desert locust swarms, threatening agricultural production during the next three months, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO, warned on Thursday.
The risk is being blamed on summer breeding, amplified by heavy rains, and the FAO says that it could affect food security and livelihoods in the countries concerned, which include Sudan, Eritrea and parts of Ethiopia and northern Somalia.
Intensive ground and aerial operations to control the locust population, mounted in Iran, Saudi Arabia and Sudan this year, have had some success, but were not able to entirely prevent swarms from forming, and moving to traditional summer breeding areas in Yemen, Sudan, the Horn of Africa and along both sides of the border between India and Pakistan.