Middle East

Yemen: Combatants ‘have to find strength’ to end fighting, says UN humanitarian official

Parties to the conflict in Yemen must do more to protect civilians, a senior UN humanitarian official there has said, as the number of civilian deaths has witnessed a sharp rise over the last few weeks in the war-ravaged country. 

Syria: Humanitarians ‘very concerned’ for thousands still living in Al Hol camp

Humanitarians are “very concerned” about the plight of more than 64,000 people living in the restive Al Hol camp in northeast Syria, the UN Spokesperson told journalists on Friday.   

Rights experts urge UAE to halt repatriation of Yemeni nationals 

The repatriation of 18 Yemeni nationals previously held at the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay, should be halted, as their lives could be in danger, UN-appointed human rights experts said on Thursday. 

Talks begin to resolve disputed Lebanon-Israel maritime border

The UN Secretary-General has welcomed the launch of ground-breaking discussions on Wednesday, over the disputed maritime border between Lebanon and Israel in the eastern Mediterranean, following a framework agreement between the two nations at the beginning of the month.

New agreement in Iraq signals ‘a first and important step’ toward a better future

An agreement between Iraq’s Federal and the Kurdish Regional governments on Friday paves the way for reconstruction in the north of the country, in what the UN has called “a first and important step in the right direction”. 

Yemen’s warring parties agree to free more than 1,000 prisoners 

At the end of a week-long meeting in Switzerland, the parties to the conflict in Yemen reached what the UN envoy there called “a very important milestone”, in agreeing to release a first group of detainees.

Put ‘people before politics’ in Lebanon, urges Guterres, following Beirut disaster

It’s time that leaders across Lebanon put “people before politics” following last month’s explosions in Beirut port, said the UN chief on Wednesday, which must serve as a wake-up call following a year of upheaval and clamour for reform on all fronts.

UN rights chief calls for Turkey to probe violations in northern Syria

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has urged Turkey to launch an immediate independent investigation into violations and abuses committed in parts of north, northwest and northeast Syria, which are under the control of its forces and affiliated armed groups. 

‘Tens of millions of Yemenis’ devastated by unabated war and COVID-19 

More than five years of war have “devastated the lives of tens of millions of Yemenis”, with experts estimating that up to one million may have been affected by COVID-19, the UN chief told the General Assembly on Thursday. 

Syria COVID spread may be much higher than figures suggest, Lowcock tells Security Council

Reports from inside Syria are pointing to a much broader spread of COVID-19 than the number of confirmed cases – currently 3,618 – suggests, the UN’s top humanitarian official says.