News in Brief 07 October 2016 (AM)

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Juan Manuel Santos Calderón (right), President of Colombia, gives Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, a pen similar to the ones used to sign the Colombian Peace Agreement. The pens are made from recycled bullets and have inscriptions that read: “Bullets wrote our past. Education, our future.” UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Peace prize for Colombian President offers "hope and encouragement"

The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Colombia's President "provides needed hope and encouragement" to the country at a "critical moment."

That's the view of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday, reacting to news that the prestigious prize has been awarded to President Juan Manuel Santos, for his efforts to end 52-years of conflict in the South American country.

The UN chief added that the narrow rejection of the deal between the government and FARC rebels in a 2 October plebiscite, should not divide the nation.

"I encourage the leaders to conduct a pragmatic dialogue, focussed on the Colombian people. Colombia can still live in peace. The message of this prize is clear, the Colombian people have come too far, to turn back now."

Mr Ban added that he welcomed the continuing commitment of the parties to a ceasefire.

Refugee hosting area in Mali attacked, leaving 22 soldier from Niger dead

An attack on a so-called refugee hosting area on the border between Mali and Niger, has left 22 soldiers dead and led to widespread looting and destruction of UN supplies.

The soldiers were part of a Nigerien army contingent, and three managed to escape, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in the country.

UNHCR said it was "greatly shocked and saddened" by the assault which was carried out by unknown assailants who arrived in pickup trucks.

Around 4,000 refugees were on site, but no UN staff or security partners were present.

The assailants looted the health centre, stealing vital medical stocks and burned a UNHCR ambulance.

The agency strongly condemned the killings of soldiers who were working to "protect and secure the safety of vulnerable Malian refugees.

Girls spend "160 million more hours than boys" on chores: UNICEF

Girls spend 160 million more hours than boys, doing household chores every day, according to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).

The figures are based on a UNICEF report called: Harnessing the Power of Data for Girls: Taking stock and looking ahead to 2030, published on Friday.

The 40 per cent differential between the sexes, in terms of unpaid household chores such as collecting water or firewood is a global estimate, based on the 5-14-year-old age group.

UNICEF's Principal Gender Advisor Anju Malhotra, said that the "overburden of unpaid household work begins in early childhood and intensifies as girls reach adolescence."

She added that as a result girls "sacrifice important opportunities to learn, grow and just enjoy their childhood."

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2'20"

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