News in Brief 02 June 2016 (AM)

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Casting a ballot in the second round of senatorial and parliamentary elections and the first round for a new president in Haiti's capital Port au Prince, 25 October 2015. Photo UN/MINUSTAH/Logan Abassi

Haiti can "ill afford" a prolonged transition, says UN Chief

Haiti can "ill afford" a prolonged transition and needs a democratically elected leadership to take on the challenges the country is facing.

That's according to a statement released by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

In February, the Haitian National Assembly elected Jocelerme Privert as the island nation's interim President, following an electoral deadlock.

Meanwhile, the Caribbean island is experiencing a humanitarian crisis because of a prolonged drought coupled with high levels of food insecurity.

The ongoing presence of tens of thousands of people in displaced camps six years after the 2010 earthquake has contributed to worsening the situation.

According to media reports, interim President Privert is due to leave office on 14 June.

Mr Ban Ki-moon said the responsibility of Haitian top authorities, including the Provisional Electoral Council, was to identify a way forward that guarantees the peaceful completion of the 2015 elections.

Kidnapping and summary executions on rise in Afghanistan

The recent rise in attacks against passengers travelling in civilian vehicles in Afghanistan is a serious concern for the UN Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA.

Taliban fighters have been carrying out abductions, hostage-taking and summary executions, the Mission says.

At least 10 men from a group of nearly 200 men, women, and children were forcibly removed from three civilian buses on 30 May in Kunduz province.

Many passengers were mistreated by the assailants in order for them to identify those with connections to the government or security forces.

In addition to 10 men who were subsequently murdered, the fate of a further 10 passengers remains unknown.

In a separate incident on 1 June, armed attackers abducted 25 civilians including women who were travelling in two vehicles in the northern province of Saripul.

While four women and one elderly man were subsequently released, the fate of the 20 others remains unknown.

The head of UNAMA, Nicholas Haysom has called for the immediate and unconditional release of all civilians detained and a halt to what he called "this horrible practice."

Expulsion of Eritreans from Sudan may amount to "refoulement"

Sudan's expulsion and forcible return of Eritreans to their country of origin may amount to "refoulement" the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) has warned.

The principle of non-refoulement protects refugees and asylum seekers to be returned to a place where their rights lives or freedom could be in danger.

According to the agency, at least 313 Eritreans were arrested in early May, followed by a trial that found them guilty of "illegal entry."

They were forcibly returned to Eritrea on 22 May.

The latest expulsion included six who were registered refugees.

Under Sudanese domestic law, the forcible return of people in need of protection like refugees and asylum-seekers is prohibited.

UNHCR reminded Sudan of its obligations under international and Sudanese law and urges the Government to refrain from carrying out these expulsions.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 3’12″

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