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Friday’s Daily Brief: Sudan power-sharing deal welcomed, hope for Venezuela talks, Rohingya camps flooded, Libya airstrikes update

Rohingya refugees fleeing conflict and persecution in Myanmar.
Rohingya refugees fleeing conflict and persecution in Myanmar.

Friday’s Daily Brief: Sudan power-sharing deal welcomed, hope for Venezuela talks, Rohingya camps flooded, Libya airstrikes update

Peace and Security

Friday’s main news stories include: Guterres welcomes Sudan power-sharing deal; six children are among 53 confirmed dead after Libya detention centre airstrikes; Monsoon rains wreak havoc in Rohingya camps; and Bachelet calls for “time and space” in Venezuela.

Guterres welcomes power-sharing deal between Sudanese military and opposition  

Protesters gather in front of the headquarters of the Sudanese army in the capital, Khartoum. (11 April 2019)

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Friday he was “encouraged” by reports of a newly-inked power-sharing deal between the Forces for Freedom and Change – a coalition of opposition and protest groups – and Sudan’s ruling military council.

The two sides have reportedly agreed to share power for three years, and then hold elections for a return to full civilian government. Mr. Guterres welcomed the decision to establish transitional governing bodies, and congratulated the African Union, Ethiopia and the regional Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), for their role in mediating the talks.

Our full report is here.

Venezuela needs ‘time and space’ to implement reforms, says UN’s Bachelet

An average of 1,650 refugees and migrants from Venezuela continue to arrive each day in Ecuador.  (4 June 2019)

UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet told the Human Rights Council on Friday she was “hopeful” that the Venezuelan Government may be ready to engage with her Office to address widespread and serious alleged violations.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of the meeting, Ms. Bachelet welcomed the recent release of more than 80 detainees, and the fact that the authorities have agreed to allow two human rights officers to work in the country.

The full story is here:

Watch High Commissioner Bachelet's address to the Human Rights Council below.

Six children among 53 confirmed fatalities after Libya detention centre airstrikes

Detainees at a detention centre in Tripoli, Libya, waiting for safe settlement supported by UNHCR. Here, a 19-year-old Eritrean girl talks to a UNOCHA staff member, while waiting her turn to get on the bus for transit to the UNHCR gathering center. She wi

The toll from Tuesday’s reported airstrikes on a detention centre in Tripoli has risen to 53 dead and more than 130 injured migrants and refugees, UN aid agencies said on Friday.

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) six children were among the fatalities at the Tajoura site, where the more than 600 detainees came from at least 17 mainly African States.

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, meanwhile, noted that both parties involved in the fight for Tripoli, knew where civilians were sheltering.

Latest details in full, here.

Latest Mediterranean drowning claims dozens of lives

A woman weeps, minutes after being saved from the Mediterranean Sea by the Sea Watch search and rescue ship. (file)

Staying with Libya, the UN Migration Agency also reported on Friday that more than 80 migrants are feared drowned after their vessel capsized while trying to reach Europe from the Libyan port of Zwara earlier this week.

IOM spokesperson Joel Millman said that one of four male survivors suffering from hypothermia - a 29-year-old national from Cote d’Ivoire – has since died.

“The survivors told IOM staff that the inflatable boat carrying 86 people including four women and two children, left Zwara around 6am on 1 July”, he said. “A few hours later, the boat began to leak and capsized due to the confusion and frantic movements of dozens of people on board.”

So far this year, the UN migration agency has reported 426 deaths from drowning linked to attempts to cross the central Mediterranean route to Europe.

In May, two rescues were carried out on two overloaded crafts that left Libya, which continues to be used by traffickers. On one vessel, 59 people went missing and 16 were rescued, IOM said. And on the second, 69 were saved.

Monsoon rains destroy shelters and food stocks in Bangladesh’s Rohingya camps

Refugee camps in Cox's Bazar turned to mud after the rains, with some areas completely flooded.

Three days of rain and more than two dozen landslides in Bangladesh have wrecked 273 shelters and damaged food stocks in refugee camps that are home to 900,000 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar.

According to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, 350 millimetres of rain fell in 72 hours at the start of the week and more downpours are expected next week, with four months of the monsoon season to go. 

Our story is here.  

 Listen to or download our audio News In Brief for 5 July on SoundCloud: