News in Brief 15 February 2016 (PM)

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Officials in Haiti begin counting ballots at the end of polling on election day, 9 August 2015. Photo: UN/MINUSTAH/Logan Abassi

Haiti elects new interim President

The election by Haiti's parliament on Sunday of a new interim President has been described as a "crucial first" step towards stability after years of political unrest.

That's according to UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon.

Mr. Jocelerme Privert's installation comes one week after former president Michel Martelly stepped down, after ruling without parliament for almost a year.

Mr Ban is encouraging all the parties to work together towards the implementation of a roadmap agreement which will return the country to constitutional normality.

Mr Privert, a former senator, will serve for 120 days. Meanwhile, new presidential elections are set to be held on 24 April.

Libya forms government of national unity

The announcement of the formation of a government of national unity in Libya is a "historic opportunity for peace that should not be missed" according to a UN envoy to the region.

The Secretary-General's Special Representative for Libya, Martin Kobler, congratulated the Presidential Council on the "major breakthrough" announcement, which has been long delayed as rival governments fight for control of the country.

The Council was formed under the terms of the Libyan Political Agreement on 17 December 2015

Mr. Kobler also called on all members of the House of Representatives to "do what is right for Libya and its people" by endorsing the proposed Government of National Accord.

Rwanda will not close borders or expel Burundi refugees

The government of Rwanda has confirmed it will not close its borders or forcibly expel Burundian refugees on its territory.

The UN Refugee Agency UNHCR made the clarification after an earlier announcement that Rwanda would plan the "safe and orderly relocation of refugees to a third country".

Martina Pomeroy, UNHCR's external relations officer welcomed the news.

"We got some reassurances in that meeting that we are not going to see refugees being expelled, we are not going to see the borders closed but we urged the government to make these clarifications public to prevent panic in the refugee camps."

UNHCR contributed USD $32.9 million to programs in support of over 150,000 refugees in Rwanda.

Contributions from donors in support to the response to the Burundi refugee emergency has also totalled USD $35.4 million.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 2’24″

Filed under Caribbean News.
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