News in Brief 15 March 2016 (PM)

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Stéphane Dujarric. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

"Deep disappointment and anger" from UN chief over Morocco demonstration

The UN Secretary-General has expressed his "deep disappointment and anger" over demonstrations mobilized against him in Morocco on Sunday, in connection with the dispute over Western Sahara.

Speaking on behalf of Ban Ki-moon, his spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said that Mr Ban had met the Moroccan Foreign Minister on Monday night in New York "to exchange views on the state of efforts to settle the Western Sahara dispute."

Media reports said that up to a million Moroccans demonstrated in the capital, encouraged by politicians there, to protest Mr Ban's use of the word "occupation" in relation to Western Sahara.

Here's Stéphane Dujarric, briefing reporters on Tuesday.

"The Secretary-General took note of the misunderstanding related to his use of the word 'occupation' as his personal reaction to the deplorable humanitarian conditions in which the Sahrawi people have lived for far too long.

The Secretary-General also conveyed his astonishment at the recent statement of the Government of Morocco and expressed his deep disappointment and anger regarding the demonstrations mobilized on Sunday."

Mr Ban added that the attacks were disrespectful to him, and the United Nations overall, and he called for "genuine and serious negotiations" over the future of Western Sahara.

Around 250 a day flee Mozambique, seeking refuge in Malawi: UNHCR

Around 250 people each day are fleeing Mozambique seeking refuge in Malawi, according to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR.

That figure is up from around 130 per day during February.

The civilians are escaping deadly attacks on their villages and renewed clashes between government forces and the RENAMO opposition group, which is attempting to wrest control of several provinces.

UNHCR said that the refugees, who are mainly from one border village, began to arrive in December, and the Malawian government has reopened a former refugee camp to help deal with the rising numbers.

Almost 10,000 have now been registered, and UNHCR said that the reopening of the Luwani camp would improve the services they could offer, as well as security.

"Madam Secretary" takes US television audiences inside UN

The hit television show "Madam Secretary" will take US audiences inside the UN General Assembly hall in a forthcoming episode, with a UN Goodwill Ambassador playing the lead role.

Actress and UN Children's Fund ambassador, Tea Leoni, is the star of the CBS television series, playing a fictitious US Secretary of State.

The episode filmed last Friday, features her at the podium, making an impassioned speech.

She said that as a UN ambassador, she thought the show was helping US audiences to better understand foreign affairs and the role of the UN itself.

"I knew the United Nations because of UNICEF, but doing the show has been an education. Madeline Albright said that she liked the show, because it was making foreign policy, less foreign."

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2'24"

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