News in Brief 01 February 2016 (AM)

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Secretary-General speaks at the National Defense College of Oman in the Gulf state.UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

No "winner" in Syria, Yemen conflicts

The idea of a "winner" in the conflicts in Syria and Yemen has lost "all meaning," the UN Secretary-General has said.

More than 250,000 people have died in the civil wars in those countries and millions have become refugees.

Ban Ki-moon made the comment in an address to the National Defense College of Oman in the Gulf state.

He added that he was "extremely glad" that fresh peace talks on Syria had begun in Geneva and urged participants to put people at the "heart of their discussions."

The war in Syria is entering its sixth year.

"No amnesties" for war crimes in Syria

Meanwhile, the Syria talks are continuing on Monday at the United Nations in Geneva.

The UN has reported crimes committed by all parties to the conflict.

Speaking in the Swiss city, the High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said the perpetrators of those crimes would be prosecuted.

“We do have a principled position in the United Nations that no amnesties should be considered for those suspected of having committed crimes against humanity or war crimes.”

10 million Iraqis need some form of humanitarian assistance

Ten million Iraqis, nearly one third of the population, urgently require some form of humanitarian assistance, according to the UN.

The number includes 3.3 million people who have fled their homes since January 2014.

The terrorist group ISIL occupies large areas of the Middle Eastern country and continues to target civilians.

Despite the ongoing instability, some 250,000 Syrian refugees have sought safety in Iraq, the majority in the Kurdistan Region.

On Monday, the Government of Iraq and the United Nations called for international help to respond to the growing humanitarian crisis in Iraq.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration: 2’28″

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