News in Brief 03 March 2016 (PM)

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Thousands of newly displaced persons seek shelter outside the UNAMID base in Um Baru, North Darfur. UN Photo/Hamid Abdulsalam

Sudan urged to "fully cooperate" with UN and African Union

Sudan's government is being urged to "fully cooperate" with international organizations that are assisting millions of displaced people in Darfur.

A recent upsurge in fighting between government forces and a rebel group in the mountainous Jebel Marra area has forced more than 90,000 civilians to flee to safety.

They join an estimated 2.6 million people who have been displaced by more than a decade of conflict in Darfur.

The African Union and the United Nations which have a joint operation in Darfur known as UNAMID, are calling on the government to fully cooperate with the mission.

This, they say, would facilitate freedom of movement by UNAMID and humanitarian partners working to protect and provide assistance to those affected by the fighting.

Stressing that there is no military solution to the Darfur crisis, the partners have urged all sides to engage in negotiations aimed at bringing about a cessation of hostilities and peaceful settlement of the conflict.

Support for security reform in Burkina Faso

A comprehensive response is needed to address terrorism in the Sahel region of West Africa, the UN Secretary-General said on Thursday.

Ban Ki-moon was speaking to journalists in Burkina Faso following a meeting with President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, who took office at the end of last year.

He is the country's first new leader in nearly three decades, following the overthrow of former President Blaise Compaoré in a popular uprising in 2014.

Mr Ban pledged UN support for Burkina Faso's efforts to reform its security sector.

The UN chief also met with other senior leaders before travelling on to Mauritania.

Europe pledges €470 million to fight disease

A "major pledge" of €470 million by the European Commission will support international efforts to stamp out AIDS and other infectious diseases.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria says the contribution, which is the equivalent of US$515 million, will help save millions of lives.

The funding is for a three-year period beginning in 2017.

It represents an increase of €100 million over a previous European Commission contribution.

Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund, expressed deep appreciation for what he called the Commission's "strong leadership in global health."

US urged to protect children from pollution and toxic chemicals

A group of independent experts is urging the United States to protect the rights of children and others most at-risk from pollution and toxic chemicals.

Their appeal comes as presidential candidates are debating issues confronting the city of Flint in Michigan, which has been affected by lead contamination in the water supply.

The UN human rights experts say the issue has drawn global attention to threats faced by children from poor, African-American, minority, and Native American communities in the USA.

They call on the Government to address underlying issues that have an impact on the health of these communities, such as access to safe food and clean water, and to healthy working and living conditions.

Daniel Dickinson , United Nations.

Duration: 3'09"

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