This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
UN strongly condemns mortar attack on Mali base
The UN Mission in Mali on Thursday, strong condemned a mortar attack on a base in the restive Kidal region that it shares with Malian and international forces.
Initial reports indicate that 18 UN peacekeepers from Chad were wounded, six of them seriously.
The Mission, MINUSMA, said it had immediately evacuated the injured ‘blue helmets’ for medical treatment, and reinforced security following the attack.
Nobody has yet claimed responsibility, and there were no reports of casualties among other soldiers stationed at the camp in the town of Tessalit.
MINUSMA is the UN’s deadliest mission with more than 13,000 troops, who are there to contain extremist and inter-communal violence by armed groups in the north and centre of the country, since an uprising began in 2012.
Make 2020 ‘year of change’ for refugee protection
The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) is calling on the European Union to make 2020 “the year of change for robust refugee protection”.
After years of shifting policies, UNHCR said on Thursday in a set of new recommendations to the EU’s Croatian and German Presidencies, that a new Pact on Migration and Asylum, provides “unique opportunities to better protect forcibly displaced and stateless people in Europe and abroad, while supporting host countries.”
The recommendations would provide a common and workable asylum system within the EU through sustainable reform and revitalized financial support for host countries, said the agency.
“The last decade was one of displacement. This decade has to be one of solutions, starting right now in 2020”, said Gonzalo Vargas Llosa, UNHCR’s Regional Representative. “By supporting large refugee hosting countries outside Europe, the EU can also help refugees thrive and not just survive”, he said.
UN envoy welcomes Russia-Turkey cease-fire call in Libya
The UN Special Representative for Libya, Ghassan Salamé, has welcomed international calls for a ceasefire in Libya, highlighting Wednesday’s joint appeal made by Turkey and Russia.
Mr. Salamé, who also heads the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), urged an immediate end to military operations across the war-ravaged country.
The Special Representative urged all countries with a stake in resolving the Libyan crisis, to grasp the current momentum for a return to a UN-brokered three-track peace process.
The UNSMIL initiative aims to bring together the UN-recognized government in Tripoli and the rival administration in the east, supported by the Libyan National Army which is besieging the capital, to resolve the country’s political, economic and security crisis.
Matt Wells, UN News.