News in Brief 26 April 2016 (PM)

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1st Vice President-Designate Riek Machar arrives in Juba. Photo: UNMISS / Isaac Billy

Return to South Sudan of country's First Vice President welcomed by UN

The return to South Sudan and the swearing in of the country's First Vice President has been welcomed by the United Nations chief, Ban Ki-moon.

Riek Machar arrived in the capital, Juba, from Ethiopia on Tuesday on a UN aircraft.

His return follows two years of civil conflict in South Sudan, which started after Mr Machar left the government.

Here's the UN Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric.

"The Secretary-General welcomes the return of Riek Machar to Juba and his swearing in as the First Vice President which marks a new phase in the implementation of the peace agreement. The Secretary-General calls for the immediate formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity."

End to "futile fighting" in Iraq urged by UN

Rival armed groups in Iraq have been urged by the senior UN representative in the country to end what he described as "futile fighting."

According to reports, Kurdish and Shia groups are attacking each other in Tuz Khurmato, 60 kilometres southeast of Kirkuk in the north of the country.

Ján Kubiš said the fight against the terrorist group ISIL, also known as Daesh, which is occupying parts of Iraq, would be held back.

Here's UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric again.

"Mr. Kubiš expressed his utmost concern that the fighting is endangering the lives of the civilian population and could hinder the fight against Daesh. He is disappointed that a truce was violated soon after it was reached, saying, "This is not the time for such futile fighting. Nothing can justify this violence."

Fighting intensifies with civilian casualties in Aleppo, Syria

Violence in and around the Syrian city of Aleppo, close to the Turkey-Syria border, has intensified in recent days, the UN has said.

Airstrikes, shelling, and heavy clashes have caused many civilian casualties and damaged infrastructure, including schools, hospitals and mosques, according to reports received by the UN humanitarian office, OCHA.

Peace talks between the warring sides in Syria are continuing at the UN in Geneva.

UN expresses "shock" at murder of activists in Bangladesh

The United Nations has expressed its "shock" at the recent murders of social activists in Bangladesh.

LGBT rights activist Xulhaz Mannan and his friend Mahbub Tonoy were stabbed to death in an attack in the capital, Dhaka, for which an affiliate of the terrorist group Al-Qaeda reportedly claimed responsibility.

In a statement, the UN office in Bangladesh said that "all individuals have an equal right to live free from violence, persecution, and discrimination" and that the perpetrators must be brought to justice.

Mexican government urged to act on enforced disappearance case

The Government of Mexico has been urged by the UN to take into serious consideration recommendations made by a group of independent experts regarding the case of the enforced disappearance of 43 students and the killing of six others.

The students disappeared from a teacher-training college in Iguala in central Mexico in 2014.

The Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts was invited by the Mexican Government to follow up on the investigation of the case and published a 605-page report on Sunday.

Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said the Iguala case shows the "crucial role that international cooperation can play in helping States to fight impunity for serious human rights violations."

Janie Cangelosi, United Nations.

Duration: 3’00″

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