News in Brief 17 November 2015 (AM)

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UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France. Photo: UNESCO/Michel Ravassard

Paris attacks crime against culture

The terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday may constitute a crime against humanity. They were also a crime against culture; that according to a UN human rights expert.

Karima Bennoune, UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, said language used by the assailants demonstrated the "hateful worldview" behind their violence.

One hundred-and-twenty-nine people died in the attacks which were carried out at a concert hall, a sports stadium, and at restaurants and bars, on Friday evening.

In claiming responsibility, the terrorist group ISIL referred to the French capital as "the capital of prostitution and vice."

Attackers also reportedly shouted 'Allahu Akbar' (God is Great) before killing scores of rock music fans at the Bataclan concert hall.

Ms Benounne said this "grossly misuses a religious pronouncement sacred to hundreds of millions of Muslim believers around the world who abhor such bloodshed."

Libya: Dialogue is the way forward

Stability in Libya can only be gained through dialogue and unity, the new head of the UN mission in the country, UNSMIL, has stated.

Martin Kobler took up the post on Tuesday, saying he is "full of hope and determination" to work together with Libyans to achieve peace.

Libya has been engulfed in a political and military crisis, with rival groups battling for power following the overthrow of President Muammar al-Qhadafi in 2011.

A proposal for a unity government was announced last month after nearly a year of negotiations.

Continuity of the dialogue process and building on what has been achieved is the way forward, according to Mr Kobler.

Burundi officials urged to reach out for support

Officials in Burundi have been encouraged by the UN to reach out to regional and international partners for their expertise and support as the country continues to experience ongoing political turmoil and violence.

The recommendation was made by Jürg Lauber, chair of the Burundi Configuration of the UN Peacebuilding Commission, who visited the country last week.

More than 200 people have been killed in Burundi and scores have fled the country following the decision by President Pierre Nkurunziza to run for a third term, despite term limits.

Mr Lauber met with the President, political leaders, members of civil society and representatives of the diplomatic community, among others.

He underlined that while stakeholders still have a "window of opportunity," the current situation must be urgently addressed in what he called "a spirit of compromise."

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration: 2’37″

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