News in Brief 16 November 2015 (AM)

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Robert Piper. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Israel urged to stop "unjust" home demolitions

The demolition of the homes of alleged perpetrators of attacks against Israelis is "inherently unjust," according to a senior UN official in the region.

Robert Piper, UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development in the occupied Palestinian territory, said such action punishes not only alleged perpetrators but also their relatives or neighbours.

He has called for an end of these so-called "punitive demolitions."

Since Friday, the Israel security forces have demolished the family homes of five people accused of attacks against Israelis.

Nine apartments nearby were also damaged and rendered unsafe.

While recognizing what he described as "Israel's serious security challenges," Mr Piper said response must be consistent with international law.

Iraq: coordinated efforts can defeat terrorism, says UN official

Recent progress in combating ISIL fighters in Iraq is an indication that the terrorist group's days in the country are "numbered," according to the acting head of the UN mission there.

Gyorgy Busztin has welcomed what he described as "the positive momentum" by military forces in Iraqi Kurdistan, as well as others, in defeating ISIL combatants in and around the town of Sinjar.

Sinjar is home to the Yazidis, a religious minority that has been persecuted by ISIL, which is also known as ISIS or Da'esh.

Mr Busztin said "The achievements being made by Iraq's security forces show that terrorism can be defeated through coordinated efforts."

He added that this progress demonstrates "that violent extremists' days in Iraq are numbered."

Elections mark "new chapter" in Myanmar's history 

Elections in Myanmar represent "a new chapter in the country's history" and "there is no turning back now."

That statement comes from Yanghee Lee, the UN human rights expert on the South-East Asian country.

Myanmar went to the polls on 8 November, with the National League for Democracy, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, winning a large majority.

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, had been under military rule for nearly five decades, which ended in 2011.

Ms Lee said the elections also demonstrate "just how far the country has come in a few short years."

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2'18"

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