News in Brief 11 May 2016 (PM)

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Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Yemen, speaks to journalists. UN File Photo/Manuel Elias

Yemen negotiators discuss prisoner release

A proposal to release half of all detainees held by each party to the Yemeni conflict before the Holy Month of Ramadan is on the table, the UN has said.

Discussions between Yemeni parties in Kuwait at the working group level are in full swing.

The three working groups are dealing with political and security issues as well as prisoners.

The Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, described the discussion as "constructive."

Stéphane Dujarric, the UN Spokesperson, has more.

"The Special Envoy commended the seriousness of all delegates in addressing the above matters and urged them to show more goodwill and flexibility. He welcomed, in particular, the progress of the third working group and hoped that it will culminate in an agreement that would enable the release of many Yemenis who are detained."

The intra-Yemeni peace talks held under the auspices of the UN began on 21 April

A cease-fire secured in April has been largely holding although conflict continues in some parts of Yemen.

Aid workers have been able to seize the opportunity to expand their activities in certain areas that had previously been monitored remotely.

Egypt opens Rafah crossing with Gaza

The opening of Egypt's border with Gaza in both directions for two days has been welcomed by the UN.

The Rafah crossing was opened after 85 consecutive days of being closed.

The move could provide some relief to Palestinians enclosed in Gaza, exacerbated by a longstanding blockade in place since Hamas won the elections in 2007.

The crossing has been partially opened for 42 days since October 2014.

Over 30,000 people are registered and waiting to cross, according to authorities in Gaza.

Some 9,500 medical cases and 2,700 students are only allowed to pass through Egypt.

The UN said it encourages Egypt to expand the opening "both in time and in volume, and include a flow of much needed assistance".

Alliance of Nobel Peace Laureates joins hunger fight

Nobel Peace Laureates are joining efforts to ensure hunger does not ignite further conflict, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has said.

And if conflict happens, to see that the food systems in place are more resilient and have a greater chance of enduring, the agency adds.

Hunger remains an everyday challenge for almost 795 million people worldwide.

An Alliance of these "peace experts" includes former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Muhammad Yunus, the brains behind the microcredit concept.

FAO's Marcella Villarreal explains why the Alliance for Food Security and Peace has been established.

"They will be helping us to ensure that food security is not forgotten when there are peace processes in the world or there are processes conducive towards peace. It is quite important for us, because sometimes you will have people who are very knowledgeable about peace, talking about peace but sometimes not taking into account food security."

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 3’01″

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