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DR Congo: COVID-19 slows pace of reform, exacerbates fragile security situation

The head of the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is asking the Security Council for its continued support as the mission adds the fight against COVID-19 to its to-do list, while also dealing with a fragile security situation in the east of the country.

Extraordinary ‘megaflash’ lightning strikes cover several hundred kilometres, smashing records

New records for extreme lightning bursts, or ‘megaflashes’, during 2019, have been made official, more than doubling the size and duration of the previous record flashes, the UN’s weather agency, WMO, announced on Thursday.

$1.8 billion pledged to assist Sudan’s people on the road to peace and democracy

A High-Level Sudan Partnership Conference took place on Thursday gathering some 50 countries and international organizations together in Berlin, generating pledges to bolster the African nation’s economic and political transformation to the tune of $1.8 billion, and discuss the challenges that lie ahead.

UN tallies action so far to fight COVID-19, and roadmap out of the pandemic

Amid the upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN has mobilized to save lives, control transmission of the virus and ease the economic fallout, Secretary-General António Guterres told journalists on Thursday, speaking at the virtual launch of his report on the Organization’s response to the crisis

Coronavirus casts ‘huge shadow’ over Afghan life as multi-dimensional crisis continues

The COVID-19 pandemic is not just a health emergency, but a multi-dimensional crisis for Afghanistan, dealing its people a painful blow just as Kabul and the Taliban prepare for peace talks in Qatar, the top UN official in the country says.

US sanctions against international court staff a ‘direct attack’ on judicial independence

The decision by the United States to authorize sanctions targeting staff at the International Criminal Court (ICC) is “a direct attack to the institution’s judicial independence”, UN human rights experts said on Thursday.

DR Congo: eastern Ebola outbreak defeated, ‘mission impossible’ now a ‘sign of hope’ 

After nearly two years and 2,280 deaths, the world’s second-deadliest Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is finally over, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.

 

Digital tools being used to track people as never before, warns UN rights chief

The internet and new digital tools are being manipulated as never before to infringe on people’s right to free assembly, the UN’s top rights official said on Thursday, in a call for a moratorium on the use of facial recognition technology during peaceful demonstrations.

FROM THE FIELD: Sudanese women ready to ‘break taboos’ and run for office

Since the 2019 Sudan protests, which ushered in a transitional government, and the promise of more rights, over a thousand women have felt emboldened to enter politics in a bid to enact lasting democratic change.

COVID-19’s far reaching impact on global drug abuse

More than 35 million people around the world now suffer from drug addiction, according to the latest annual report on the scourge, from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) released on Thursday, which also analyzes the far-reaching impact of the coronavirus pandemic on global drug markets.