News in Brief 21 August 2015 (PM)

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Ban Ki-moon. UN File Photo/Mark Garten

"Deep concern" over violations of agreement between Israel and Syria

Serious violations of an agreement between Israel and Syria, which jeopardize the ceasefire between the two countries, have been described as "deeply concerning" by the UN Secretary-General.

Rockets were reportedly fired on Thursday across the ceasefire line into northern Israel.

In response, the Israel Defense Forces are said to have also fired across the line, with projectiles impacting in the vicinity of Syrian Arab Armed Forces positions.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon informed that the United Nations peacekeeping operation, UNDOF, immediately liaised with both sides to de-escalate the situation, which he said is currently quiet.

Force used against people entering former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) expressed concern on Friday over the increasingly precarious situation at the border between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

The agency reported that force has been used to prevent people from trying to cross.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres spoke with the foreign minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and received assurances that the border will not be closed in the future.

He said UNHCR is particularly worried about the thousands of vulnerable refugees and migrants now massed on the Greek side of the border amid deteriorating conditions.

Signature of political agreement in Guinea welcomed

The signature of a political agreement in Guinea has been welcomed by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa.

Mohamed Ibn Chambas congratulated all involved for their determination to move towards inclusive, credible and peaceful elections in the country.

Presidential elections in Guinea are planned on 11 October.

According to the UN, this agreement shows that Guinean political actors have the resources to permanently stop the cycle of political instability in the country.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 2’00″

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