News in Brief 22 February 2016 (AM)

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An increasing number of people, including families with children and the elderly, have encountered deadly ambushes as they try to escape areas controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Photo: UNAMI

Booby-traps killing Iraqis returning home: UN "deeply worried"

At least eight people have been killed by booby-traps in the Iraqi city of Ramadi during the last two weeks, after trying to return to their homes according to the UN Development Programme.

UNDP said that it was "deeply worried" about the problem.

The agency's representative in Iraq, Lise Grande, said that "ensuring the safety and dignity of people who want to return home is a top priority."

UNDP manages the Funding Facility for Immediate Stabilization (FFIS) which is working with the Iraqi government to repair infrastructure in the town, once booby-traps and other devices left by extremist fighters from ISIL, have been fully cleared.

The terrorist group occupied the city until just a few weeks ago, and news reports say that thousands of explosive devices have been left in the areas it occupied in and around Ramadi.

Faustin Archange Touadéra is new CAR president, provisional results show

Provisional results from the presidential run-off vote in the Central African Republic (CAR) indicate that Faustin Archange Touadéra is the winner.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon congratulated Mr Touadéra, and extended his appreciation for the campaign fought by his rival candidate, Anicet Dologuele, saying that his concession speech on Sunday had demonstrated "the spirit of statesmanship".

Mr Ban called on all political leaders to maintain a "constructive" approach to finalizing the results and transitioning into a new era of political stability.

He called on them to "maintain their commitments" to following electoral law, and said the UN was committed to overseeing legislative elections and completing the full transition process by March 31.

Protecting nuclear facilities "most important area of unfinished business"

Protecting nuclear facilities around the world is the "most important area of unfinished business in nuclear security."

That's according to the Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano.

He was speaking at an event at the Vienna Centre for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, on the importance of an amendment to the international convention on protecting nuclear material.

Mr Amano pointed out that although the amendment had been adopted more than ten years ago, it had still not come into force, "because not enough countries have adhered to it."

He added that it would make it legally binding for countries to cooperate on finding and recovering any stolen material, and minimize the consequences of armed attack or sabotage on any nuclear facilities.

Although there had never been a terrorist attack on a facility, he said that the amount of nuclear material in use had risen 70 per cent since 1999, and was continuing to grow.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2’23″

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