This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Cholera concerns for 280,000 children fleeing DR Congo volcano
Hundreds of thousands of people will likely need assistance in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, or DRC, as people in Goma continue to flee the threat of further eruptions by Mount Nyiragongo, UN humanitarians said on Friday.
The first eruption, on 22 May, killed over 30 people and the Goma Volcanological Observatory has warned that the risk of a new explosion is real, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.
It reported strong tremors on Thursday, one of them measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale, along with large traffic jams out of Goma.
With some 400,000 people potentially on the move, the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, warned that 280,000 youngsters may need help.
The UN agency said that many of those who left Goma in the first wave headed to nearby Sake, which is an area prone to cholera outbreaks and where at least 19 suspected cases have been recorded in the last two weeks.
Needs are already high in this part of the country, North Kivu, where more than two million people are internally displaced and three-in-10 are severely food insecure.
Grave concerns over deteriorating situation in war-torn Tigray region
To Ethiopia’s Tigray region now, where there’s deep concern about serious, ongoing abuses carried out against civilians who’ve been displaced by months of conflict.
The UN sexual and reproductive health agency, UNFPA, said in an alert that it was aware that “gross violations” were continuing, including “alarming levels of sexual violence”.
In a related development, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, condemned the reported abduction of “at least several hundred” youths from camps for displaced people in Tigray.
At a briefing in Geneva, UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch cited various community sources who said that soldiers had entered a number of sites in Shiré town on Monday night and taken away young people in vehicles.
“UNHCR is deeply alarmed by the reported incident. The situation is traumatic and distressing, not only for the relatives of the missing, but for all the displaced communities residing in Shiré …it is crucial that all parties to the conflict recognize the civilian and humanitarian character of these sites hosting displaced people.”
Fighting began in Tigray on 4 November last year between national Government forces and regional power brokers loyal to the former national ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.
Some areas of the war-torn region are accessible but others remain hard to reach, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, or OCHA, which added that the “grave” needs are outstripping capacity.
Nicaragua free elections under threat, warns UN rights office
Nicaragua's chances of holding free and genuine elections on 7 November are diminishing amid what the UN rights office, OHCHR, described as a series of “troubling [recent] developments”.
These include an earlier decision this month by the country’s National Assembly to pass electoral reform “without due process” that led to the dissolution of two political parties, OHCHR spokesperson Martha Hurtado told journalists in Geneva.
Other measures have been taken against political candidates and independent journalists that “further restrict the civic and democratic space”, Ms. Hurtado said.
She highlighted that a criminal investigation has been launched to investigate Cristiana Chamorro, one of the main presidential pre-candidates, for alleged money laundering, and that staff from a dozen independent media outlets have been summoned to testify in the case.
The UN rights office appealed to the Nicaraguan authorities to amend its electoral law “through an inclusive and participatory process” and also called for an end to the harassment and judicial badgering of members of the opposition and journalists.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.