This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Peace agreement remains only path for peace in Mali: Lacroix
The “rapid and thorough implementation” of a 2015 peace agreement signed by the multiple armed groups and Government of Mali, remains “the only viable path” to stabilizing the country.
That’s according to UN Peacekeeping chief, Jean Pierre Lacroix, who addressed the Security Council on Wednesday.
The peace accord was signed by the Government and supportive armed groups, with jihadist forces, who staged a failed coup in 2012.
But fighting continues in the north and centre of Mali, which has made the UN mission there the deadliest place in the world to serve as a ‘blue helmet’.
Mr. Lacroix said the accord was still fit for purpose and would address grievances of Malians who feel excluded from political and economic development.
Speaking in French, he said important progress had been made and the benefits of the agreement were being undermined:
“There are increasing challenges in terms of security, and these may counter gains which have been so dearly earnt during the peace signature process.”
UNICEF opens African ‘drone academy’ to aid youth
The UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, has opened a new academy in Africa, designed to promote the use of drones in programmes and services which will benefit young people across the continent.
Officially known as the African Drone and Data Academy, it opened its doors in the Malawian capital, Lilongwe, on Monday.
UNICEF chief Henrietta Fore said that “humanitarian and development programme delivery in Africa and beyond, can benefit significantly” from drone technology.
She added the academy would be “instrumental in equipping young people with the skills they need to use the technology to benefit children and their communities.”
Approximately 150 students will be trained to build and pilot drones by 2021. Funding from UNICEF’s partners will provide free tuition to the first class of 26 students, from across Africa.
Darfur: Resort to violence, a ‘lose-lose’ option says UN mission chief
Resorting to violence as a means of solving intercommunal disputes, only leads to a “lose-lose situation” the head of the joint African Union-United Nations peacekeeping mission in Sudan’s Darfur region has said.
Jeremiah Mamabolo visited a camp for internally displaced people in El Geneina on Monday, following the recent deadly clashes in the West Darfur region, where more than 50 were killed and 60 others injured.
The Joint Special Representative expressed his deep regret at the damage to the camp, which is now deserted.
Around 40,000 were displaced, and thousands of civilians crossed the border into Chad, seeking refuge.
Mr. Mamabolo encouraged the leaders and members of local communities to always engage in meaningful dialogue to resolve their differences.
Matt Wells, UN News.