News in Brief 15 June 2015 (PM)

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Staffan de Mistura. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe (file)

UN Envoy for Syria to meet with the Government in Damascus

The UN Special Envoy for Syria has started a visit to the country’s capital Damascus, following an invitation by the Syrian Government.

Staffan de Mistura said that he looks forward to meeting with senior Syrian officials to give them the opportunity to express their own views on consultations currently taking place in Geneva.

UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said the UN Envoy plans to discuss the present humanitarian situation.

“Mr de Mistura intends to raise with the Syrian Government the issue of protection of civilians, underlining once again the unacceptable use of barrel bombs and the incontestable duty of any government, in all circumstances, to protect its civilians, under international humanitarian law.”

Report on sexual exploitation and abuse by UN personnel welcomed

A report on the issue of sexual exploitation and abuse by UN personnel in peacekeeping operations has been welcomed by the Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, Atul Khare.

It was published by the UN Office of the Internal Oversight Services (OIOS).

Mr Khare said the report provides insight on how the Secretary-General’s zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse is handled, where progress has been made and where challenges still exist.

He described sexual exploitation and abuse when allegedly committed by those who should be protectors as “truly abhorrent”.

Thousands of South Sudanese refugees flee to Sudan

Some 14,000 South Sudanese, mainly women and children, have fled into Sudan over the past two days, according to the UN Refugee Agency ,UNHCR.

The agency described the situation as an emergency within an emergency, with close to 160,000 refugees registered in Sudan since fighting broke out in South Sudan in December 2013.

So far only 10 per cent of the US$152 million requested by the UN to assist South Sudanese refugees in Sudan has been contributed.

Suicide bomb attacks in Chad condemned by UN chief

Suicide bomb attacks which reportedly killed more than 25 people in the capital of Chad, N’Djamena, have been strongly condemned by the UN Secretary-General.

Dozens of others were injured in the blasts on Monday which the Chadian government has, according to reports, blamed on the Nigeria-based Boko Haram terrorist group.

In a statement, Ban Ki-moon stressed the importance of enhanced collaboration among countries in West and Central Africa to more effectively combat the threat of Boko Haram.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration: 2’41″

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Human Rights