News in Brief 16 August 2016 (AM)

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WHO/K. Nishino

Emergency yellow fever vaccination campaign kicks off in DRC, Angola

A mass vaccination campaign against yellow fever has kicked off in Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed.

An outbreak of the disease in the two countries has killed more than 400 people and sickened thousands more.

For the last eight weeks, there have been no confirmed cases of yellow fever in Angola.

The UN health agency launched the campaign on Tuesday in the DRC capital of Kinshasa, a big urban centre with more than 10 million people.

Tarek Jasarevic is the agency's spokesperson.

"We expected to vaccinate 14 million people more than 14 million people in the two countries, within the next couple of weeks, out of which 8.5 million people in Kinshasa."

It would be the first time that WHO uses "emergency vaccines", which were fractioned doses providing at least a 12-month protection against the virus.

Zambia congratulated for peaceful, orderly elections

The UN chief has congratulated the people of Zambia for the peaceful and orderly presidential, parliamentary and local elections.

Zambia's President Edgar Lungu was re-elected on Thursday but media reports say his main rival alleges electoral fraud.

Ban Ki-moon recalled the democratic transition he witnessed during his 2012 visit to the country.

The Secretary-General reminded all parties, especially political leaders and supporters, of their responsibility to reject violence and refrain from the use of inflammatory and incendiary language.

Mr Ban said he remained committed to supporting Zambia's democratic governance and sustainable development.

UN rights experts urge Bahrain to end persecution of Shias

Authorities in Bahrain are being urged by UN human rights experts to end the systematic harassment of the Shia population, including stripping many of them of citizenship.

The experts warned of the "chilling effect" the various arrests, interrogations and criminal charges brought against many Shia religious clerics and singers, activists and peaceful dissidents is having on fundamental human rights.

Shias are clearly being targeted on the basis of their religion, they underscored.

A wide range of charges are being brought against the Shias, including "illegal gathering, inciting hatred against the regime, money laundering and acts of terrorism".

These actions are described by the UN rights experts as "groundless accusations" used to hide a deliberate targeting of Shias in the country.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 2’38″

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