Our main stories today: UN chief and senior UN official condemn the ‘terrible massacre’ in Nigeria that left some 65 dead, and the shelling of a hospital in Libya that killed medical workers; UN Secretary-General António Guterres reacts to a deadly landslide in China; recycled plastic waste is used to build classrooms in Côte d’Ivoire; and scouts are urged to become human rights defenders.
‘Terrible massacre’ in north-east Nigeria condemned by UN chief and head of UN refugee agency
The killing of some 65 people by suspected Boko Haram terrorists in north-east Nigeria, has been condemned by UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Filippo Grandi, head of the UN refugee agency, UNHCR.
In a statement, Mr. Guterres called for an end to attacks against civilians and reaffirmed that such acts of violence are "grave threats to the security of human beings and constitute violations of international humanitarian law".
In a Tweet published on Sunday, Mr. Grandi described the attack as a "terrible massacre", and wrote that “grave insecurity continues to devastate civilian lives in the region including more than two million displaced people and refugees”.
According to media reports, gunmen opened fire on a funeral at a village near Maidaguri, the capital of Borno state, killing several immediately, while others died trying to chase away the attackers.
Militants from groups such as Boko Haram have contributed to a decade-long humanitarian crisis in Borno. Civilians have borne the brunt of an insurgency that has led to widespread forced displacement and human rights violations.
‘Disgraceful’ shelling of hospital in Libya condemned by senior UN official
The UN’s acting humanitarian coordinator in Libya, Bérangère Böell-Yousfi, has condemned the “disgraceful” shelling of the Az Zawiyah Field Hospital, south of the capital Tripoli, in a statement released on Monday.
Ms. Böell-Yousfi said that four doctors and one paramedic were killed in the attack, and eight medical staff were injured.
The attack, said the senior UN official, has deprived thousands of innocent civilians, many of them in desperate need, from accessing basic services: she added that the warring parties must “allow and facilitate rapid and unimpeded passage of impartial humanitarian relief, including medical missions”.
The statement was released on the same day that the head of the UN Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) reported to the Security Council that violence in the country shows no sign of abating.
Speaking from Tripoli via video-link, Ghassan Salamé painted a picture of death, destruction and worsening humanitarian conditions.
Since the beginning of the conflict in April, a total of 37 attacks have been registered on health personnel and facilities, resulting in a total of 11 deaths, 33 injuries and 19 ambulances directly or indirectly impacted.
UN chief extends condolences to families of China landslide casualties
UN Secretary-General António Guterres has extended his condolences to the families of those killed in Sunday’s landslides in the southern Chinese province of Guizhou, following heavy rains.
In a statement released on Sunday, Mr. Guterres said that he was “saddened by the loss of life and destruction of property caused by the landslides”.
According to media reports, at least 36 are believed to have died in the landslides, which occurred on Tuesday, in a village in Shuicheng County.
Read the full story here.
Recycled plastic waste used to build schools in Côte d’Ivoire
The UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, is hoping to ease the education challenges faced by children in Côte d’Ivoire, and improve the environment, by building new classrooms with low-cost bricks created from plastic waste.
The bricks will be used to build some fifteen thousand new classrooms, in areas with the most urgent need.
The plastic used for the bricks is collected from polluted areas in and around Abidjan, the capital of Côte d’Ivoire.
While more than 280 tons of plastic waste are produced every day in Abidjan alone, only about five per cent is recycled. The rest ends up landfill sites, situated mostly in low-income communities.
Read the full story here.
Scouts encouraged to be human rights defenders at international jamboree
More than forty thousand members of the scouting movement are being encouraged to stand up for human rights, at the twenty-fourth World Scout Jamboree, currently underway at an adventure camp in West Virginia, in the United States.
The jamboree brings together scouts from around the world to promote peace and mutual understanding and develop leadership and life skills.
This year, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, has told scouts that young people are at the forefront of human rights defence, and encouraged them continue that commitment.
Ms. Bachelet’s Office is one of the global partners for the Jamboree and is supporting discussions for scouts on how promoting human rights and achieve the sustainable development goals.
Listen to or download our audio News in Brief for 29 July on SoundCloud: