Global perspective Human stories

News in Brief 5 October 2022

News in Brief 5 October 2022

This is the News in Brief, from the United Nations.

Torture is ‘widespread’ and likely underestimated in DR Congo: UN report

Torture is “widespread” and underestimated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the abuse involves armed groups and State forces, UN investigators said on Wednesday.

In a new report, the UN Joint Human Rights Office in DRC and the UN peacekeeping mission there, MONUSCO, said that more than 90 per cent of the 3,618 cases of “torture, cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment” affecting nearly 5,000 victims had happened in areas where there was conflict.

Of that total, covering the period between April 2019 and April 2022, members of the DRC’s defence and security forces were responsible for around a third of cases, while armed groups carried out around half.

“In certain contexts, (militia groups) subjected victims to torture in collusion with members of the security forces,” the UN report said.

Somalia: grave humanitarian crisis affects more than seven million people

The humanitarian situation in Somalia is dire and it will continue to worsen without international support – that’s the message from a top rights expert to the Human Rights Council on Wednesday.

Addressing the forum in Geneva, Isha Dyfan, Independent Expert on Somalia, said that funding was needed urgently to prevent the “recurring crisis” of looming famine in the country.

The Council heard that an estimated 7.1 million people - or 45 per cent of the entire population – are acutely food insecure.

Over one million have also been displaced by drought, concerned delegations noted, adding that the long-running conflict between the Government and Al-Shabaab extremists has left vital infrastructure damaged and destroyed livelihoods.

Equally concerning is the uptick in number of cases of female genital mutilation during the past two years in Somalia, the Council heard, along with violence against women, girls and journalists.

Ukraine: 50,000 computers provided to teachers by Google and UNESCO

To Ukraine, where the UN has teamed up with Google to hand over 50,000 computers to teachers, to make it easier for classes to carry on, despite the war.

A first batch of 10,000 PCs is already being distributed in and around Chernihiv, Dnipro and Sumy. Other regions will receive their machines in the weeks ahead.

From the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural agency UNESCO, Director-General Audrey Azoulay said that damage to schools and other places of learning continued to hold back many Ukrainian students.

But education “is a fundamental right for every child”, Ms. Azoulay insisted, adding that the computer distribution scheme was a good example of a public-private solutions “in times of crisis”.

Daniel Johnson, UN News.

  • Torture and hate speech in DR Congo: OHCHR
  • Somalia: grave humanitarian crisis affects more than seven million
  • Ukraine: 50,000 computers provided to teachers in Google/UNESCO project
Audio Credit
Daniel Johnson, UN News - Geneva
Audio Duration
Photo Credit
© UNICEF/Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi