News in Brief 16 February 2015

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Humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine. Photo: UNHCR

Start of ceasefire in Ukraine welcomed by UN chief

The start of a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine has been welcomed by the UN Secretary-General.

On 12 February, diplomatic efforts between Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany led to a decision to cease all hostilities by midnight on 15 February.

Ban Ki-moon said that the ceasefire appears to be largely holding, but he is seriously concerned over reports of continued hostilities in Debaltseve.

Government forces have been battling pro-Russian separatists over control of key towns in the eastern part of the country since April last year.

Kobani refugees encouraged to move into Turkey's newest camp

Syrian refugees from the town of Kobani are being encouraged by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to move into Turkey's largest and newest camp.

Suruc camp opened late January to accommodate tens of thousands of refugees living across the border in Syria.

To date just 5,000 people have moved to the camp, which has a capacity to provide shelter to 35,000.

Call for immediate halt to further executions in Indonesia

The Indonesian government has been urged by a UN Special Rapporteur to halt further executions of people convicted of drug-related offences.

The Government announced that eight convicted drug traffickers would be executed by firing squad in the coming days.

The human rights expert said that under international law, the death penalty is regarded as an extreme form of punishment.

If used at all, he added, it should only be imposed for the most serious crimes, which are those involving intentional killing, and only after a fair trial.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1'41"

 

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