News in Brief 06 May 2016 (PM)

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Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. UN Photo/Violaine Martin

Syrian prison crisis could turn deadly: UN human rights chief

Authorities in Syria are being urged by the UN Human Rights High Commissioner to take steps to resolve a potential deadly assault on a prison in the west of the country.

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussain has expressed alarm over developments at Hama Central Prison, where prisoners staged a riot on Sunday to protest the transfer of five detainees to another prison where they allegedly were to be executed.

The inmates have seized control of a section of the prison and are holding some guards hostage.

The authorities have cut off water and electricity at the facility.

Zeid said heavily armed soldiers have surrounded the jail, prompting fears that "a possibly lethal assault is imminent," with hundreds of lives at stake.

He called on the authorities to resort to mediation or other alternatives to force.

Investigate air bomb attack on camp in Syria

The UN humanitarian chief has called for an immediate, impartial and independent investigation into the deadly air strikes which killed 28 people at a tent settlement in northern Syria on Thursday.

Stephen O'Brien said if the "obscene attack" is found to be deliberate, it could amount to a war crime.

He said international humanitarian law clearly sets out the responsibilities of warring parties to protect civilians and to take all measures to avoid places where they are living.

All parties to the Syrian conflict should understand that they will one day be held accountable for any violations, he concluded.

China contributes US$200 million to UN peace and development efforts 

China will contribute US$200 million over a 10-year period to support the United Nations's efforts in peace, security and development, the UN said on Friday.

UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said the agreement follows an announcement made last September by the country's President.

"Through this agreement, China has confirmed its intention to contribute US$20 million annually for 10 years to the newly established United Nations Peace and Development Trust Fund. With respect to each annual contribution, US$10 million will be utilized towards activities in the area of peace and security and US$10 million support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development."

Fighting displaces thousands in CAR

A week of clashes between rival armed groups in the Central African Republic (CAR) has displaced more than 10,000 people in the north-west of the country, the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, has reported.

The wave of violence, which also included attacks on civilians, is a reminder that the security situation there remains "fragile and unpredictable" despite recent improvements in some areas.

OCHA said registration of the displaced has begun and some are living with host families and already receiving humanitarian assistance.

Aid partners currently are discussing a humanitarian response plan to determine the priorities.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2'52"

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