Middle East

UN officials speak out over excessive use of force against Yemeni civilians

United Nations officials today spoke out against the excessive use of force against anti-Government protesters in Yemen, where more than 50 people have reportedly been killed since Sunday in the city of Taiz and hundreds more have been injured.

Latest smuggling boat tragedy in Gulf of Aden claims at least 10 lives – UN

The United Nations refugee agency today voiced shock and sadness after at least 10 people died while making the perilous journey from the Horn of Africa to Yemen aboard a smuggling boat.

UNICEF calls on Syria to investigate reported killings of children

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) today called on the Syrian Government to investigate reports of torture and killing of children and said all parties to the fighting in the Middle East country must “spare civilians, particularly children and women.”

Sharp divide remains on how to resolve Libyan conflict – UN official

Parties to the Libyan conflict remain sharply divided on how to start peace talks, with the Government adamant on a truce, including the cessation of an international bombing campaign, and the opposition demanding that Muammar al-Qadhafi and his family first relinquish power, a senior United Nations official told the Security Council today.

Arab nations need to ensure sustainable transition to democracy – UN rights chief

The top United Nations human rights official today stressed the need to ensure that the “promising” first steps taken by some countries in the Middle East and North Africa in response to calls for reform are followed up with measures to ensure a sustainable transition to democracy.

Attack on peacekeepers will not deter UN's work in Lebanon, says commander

The attack that injured six United Nations peacekeepers in Lebanon last week will not deter the world body from its work in the country, the commander of the force pledged today.

Escalating violence may push Yemen towards civil war, warns UN human rights office

The United Nations human rights office today voiced alarm at the escalating violence in Yemen, which it said may push the country to the brink of civil war, and called on the Government to stop its deadly crackdown.

UN human rights investigators still awaiting access to Syria

The United Nations said today it is still awaiting a response from the Syrian Government to a request for access for a human rights team to enter the country early next month to investigate the recent violence.

UN condemns attack on peacekeepers in southern Lebanon

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council condemned today’s attack on United Nations peacekeepers in Lebanon, which occurred on the day the Organization has set aside for honouring the men and women who work to advance peace in war-torn countries.

At G8 summit, UN chief stresses need to act with unity on Middle East, North Africa

The international community must act with unity and in a consistent and coordinated manner in response to events in the Middle East and North Africa, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon emphasized today to world leaders gathered in Deauville, France, for the annual summit of the Group of Eight (G8) leading industrialized nations.