UN and Africa: focus on Burundi elections, “atrocities” in South Sudan and retirement of UN Radio staff

Burundian refugees. Photo: UNHCR/B. Loyseau

10,000 flee Burundi in run-up to elections, borders close

The start of elections in Burundi has seen 10,000 people leave the country in a matter of days, the UN has said. The spike in registrations in neighbouring countries happened before Burundi closed its borders on the evening of Sunday June 28th, according to UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).The agency said that according to the Burundian authorities the border would remain closed for 48 hours.This was also described by authorities as “usual practice" during elections.An estimated 144,000 people have now left the country since pre-election violence began in April. Stephanie Coutrix has more.

Atrocities committed with "savagery" on civilians in South Sudan

Joseph Contreras (left). UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

Serious human rights abuses, including abductions and gang rape of women and girls have been committed by government forces and their allied militia in South Sudan's Unity State. That's according to a report released by the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).The Mission says its staff interviewed 115 victims and eyewitnesses from five counties in Unity State where the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) launched a major offensive against armed opposition forces in late April.Gabriel Shadar, asked Joseph Contreras from UNMISS for more details.

Living history: staff member of UN anti-Apartheid radio unit retires

Derrick S. Mbatha (right) interviews Charlize Theron. UN Photo/Mark Garten

Regular listeners to UN and Africa will be well acquainted with our colleague Derrick Mbatha. He's presented this programme for a decade….But, as we know, all good things must come to an end and Derrick has now retired from the United Nations after 36 years of service. A South African national, Derrick moved to New York in 1977 at age twenty-four to work for the UN's Anti-Apartheid Radio Unit. He had previously worked as a producer at the underground Radio Freedom, the broadcast arm of the now ruling African National Congress (ANC). Jocelyne Sambira sat down with Derrick to find out more about his contribution to the anti-Apartheid movement.

Producer: Daniel Dickinson
Presenter: Jocelyne Sambira
Production Assistant: Sandra Guy
Studio Engineer: Shalako Gordon
Duration: 10’00″


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