News in Brief 14 July 2016 (AM)

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A reminder of the deadly destruction in the conflict in Mykolaivka in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine. Photo: WFP/Abeer Etefa

Impunity for killings in Ukraine remains rampant: UN

Impunity for the "widespread killings" that have taken place in Ukraine since 2014 remains rampant, a new UN report has found.

The United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine released the report on Thursday.

The majority of deaths over the past two years occurred in the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Up to 2,000 civilians have lost their lives.

The indiscriminate shelling of residential areas accounts for the majority of the deaths.

The conflict in the two regions has been fuelled by the inflow of foreign fighters and weapons from Russia.

The UN says some of the killings may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Shelling of Aleppo National Museum condemned

Warring parties in Aleppo in Syria are being urged by the UN to stop the violence and "keep cultural heritage out of the conflict".

The recent shelling at the National Museum in the war-torn city has been condemned by the head of the UN cultural agency, UNESCO.

It was hit by mortar shells on Monday, causing extensive damage to the roof and structure of the building.

The museum is located just outside the boundaries of the Ancient City of Aleppo, a World Heritage Property, which has suffered extensive damage over the last 4 years.

Meanwhile, Libya's five World Heritage Sites have been put on an endangered list by UNESCO.

The decision was made by the World Heritage Committee after examining the state of these sites following damage caused by the conflict in Libya.

The Committee also raised concern over the high level of instability affecting the country including the presence of armed groups around the sites.

Impact of toxic waste dumping in Cote d'Ivoire to be assessed

An independent environmental assessment of sites affected by the illegal dumping of toxic waste in Cote d'Ivoire has begun, the UN has confirmed.

In December 2006, waste belonging to a Dutch commodity trading company was dumped in the district of Abidjan.

The cargo was transported to the West African country on board a ship called the Probo Koala.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has assembled a team of international and Ivorian experts to carry out the field work.

Samples have been taken from soil, water, air and vegetation from the dumping sites as well as the locations where contaminated materials were stored and treated.

They will be sent to laboratories in Europe to be analysed.

UNEP will publish its findings in a report expected to be released by December 2016.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration: 2’34″

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