News in Brief 17 February 2016 (PM)

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A humanitarian convoy on its way to the besieged Syrian town of Madaya. File Photo: OCHA Syria

Mission underway in Syria to deliver "life-saving" aid to besieged

Convoys are on their way to deliver life-saving humanitarian assistance to more than 100,000 besieged Syrian civilians.

The joint UN and Syrian Arab Red Cross mission, came after the UN envoy to the war-torn country held meetings on Tuesday in the Syrian capital, Damascus, in order to negotiate aid access.

The inter-agency convoys are carrying food, medicine, and other much-needed supplies to people in areas besieged by both government, and opposition forces.

UN genocide experts call for end to "unacceptable situation" in Yemen

A passionate call to end the so-called "unacceptable situation" in Yemen has been made by two UN special advisers to the Secretary-General.

The special adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, and his counterpart with Responsibility to Protect, Jennifer Welsh, made the appeal on Wednesday, expressing concern at the heavy toll on civilians due the conflict.

Their call to action was directed at the international community and the Security Council.

Stephane Dujarric is the UN Spokesperson.

"The two Special Advisers noted that civilians and civilian infrastructures continue to be targeted by all parties to the conflict, to the point that the attention of the international media has largely become saturated. They called on the international community – and notably on the Security Council – to take action to end this unacceptable situation. The Special Advisers also said that they expected that commitments by the Yemeni authorities and by Saudi Arabia to conduct credible and independent investigations

Number of displaced people in Darfur tops 70,000

Recent fighting in the Jebel Marra area has forced some 73,000 people to flee their homes, according to the UN humanitarian agency (OCHA).

The number of displaced jumped from 38,000 since hostilities escalated mid-January with many arriving in three main locations in North Darfur State.

There are also unverified reports that thousands more have fled into Central Darfur.

The African Union-UN mission is trying to establish protective areas to provide a safe haven for the displaced civilians as well as reinforcing the number of troops and police officers, and providing extra patrols.

Guinea-Bissau urged to adopt "pact for stability," UN envoy

Guinea-Bissau is being encouraged by a UN special envoy to examine the possibility of adopting a "pact for stability."

The Secretary-General's Special Representative for Guinea-Bissau, Miguel Trovoada, was speaking at a Security Council briefing on Wednesday.

The country has delayed putting in place essential reforms, he added, because it had reached a political impasse where state institutions and the main political actors were divided.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 2’24″

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