UN News in Brief 21 June 2016 (PM)

Newly arrived families from Fallujah receive emergency assistance in Al Khalidiya. Humanitarian actors are working around the clock to provide emergency assistance to the newly displaced, including shelter, water, food, basic household items and health care. Photo: OCHA/Themba Linden
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  • Serious human rights abuses ongoing in Fallujah, the UN warns

    Serious human rights violations and abuses are ongoing in Fallujah as people continue to flee the embattled Iraqi city, the UN human rights office warns.

    Iraqi security forces are fighting with armed groups in an effort to re-take control of Fallujah which had fallen to the ISIL terrorist group.

    The violations are reportedly being committed by armed groups operating in support of Iraqi forces.

    The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has received videos depicting the violence.

    Its Spokesperson, Cecile Pouilly, described the footage as “shocking” but added that her office was not in a position to authenticate the material.

    Meanwhile, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says it is urgently seeking US$17.5 million to meet the immediate needs of those fleeing.

    The agency is looking to expand the number of camps and provide urgent relief supplies for the displaced.

    UN chief condemns Kabul suicide attack

    A suicide attack in the Afghan capital of Kabul that has killed and injured dozens of civilians, including children, has been condemned by the UN chief.

    An improvised explosive device (IED) was detonated in a market area on 20 June in the Kishem district of Badakhshan province.

    Nepalese contractors, including diplomatic security guards were also killed in the attack.

    Another IED attack has injured several civilians, including a provincial council member.

    Ban Ki-moon has called for those responsible for these indiscriminate attacks to be brought to justice.

    Non-state actors should not acquire weapons of mass destruction

    Member States are being urged by the UN Secretary-General to take steps so that non-state entities do not acquire weapons of mass destruction, or WMD.

    Ban Ki-moon spoke at a meeting of a committee in charge of reviewing Security Council resolution 1540 which requires States to prevent the proliferation of WMD.

    Stephane Dujarric, his Spokesperson, has more

    “He urged all Member States to make sure that they are properly equipped to prevent non-state actors from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. Our collective security depends on this, he said. He added that he was increasingly concerned about the malicious use by terrorists of biological, radiological and nuclear material against the population centre. The best way to prevent non-state actors from using WMD is by eliminating all such weapons completely and irreversibly.”

    The use of poison gas in Syria, recalled Mr Ban, is a reminder of the continuing threat of these weapons.

    Since the adoption of the resolution in 2004, 30,000 measures have reportedly been taken against nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.

    Dianne Penn, United Nations.

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