News in Brief 17 November 2016 (PM)

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UN peacekeepers on patrol in Kidal, Mali. Photo: MINUSMA/Blagoje Grujic

Equivalent of 100 explosive devices found in northern Mali

Explosives, enough to have made around 100 improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, have been discovered hidden in northern Mali, the UN Mission in the country. MINUSMA, confirmed on Thursday.

The cache had been hidden in the desert, west of Kidal, a region where government troops are fighting separatist and extremist rebel groups for control.

There was a failed coup d'état in 2012, and a UN-brokered peace accord signed last year, is in danger of breaking down due in part to increasing ceasefire violations.

Dozens of UN peacekeepers have been killed in Mali this year alone.

MINUSMA spokesperson, Olivier Salgado, said that around 2,000 kilograms of explosives had been discovered which could have been turned into deadly roadside bombs.

The origin of the material, and exactly who stockpiled it has yet to be determined.

"Massive needs" facing humanitarian effort one month into Mosul offensive

One month into the offensive to retake Iraq's second city of Mosul from militant extremists, nearly 59,000 have been displaced, including 26,000 children.

On behalf of the Iraqi government, which is leading the fight against ISIL terrorists, the UN and partners have provided shelter to around 40,000 in formal camps so far.

Here's UN Deputy Spokesperson, Farhan Haq.

"With tens of thousands of families in newly retaken areas urgently requiring life-saving assistance, the humanitarian community in Iraq faces massive needs, and these latest developments further exacerbate a humanitarian crisis in a country where 10 million people already were in need of aid. "

Humanitarians say they are in urgent need of additional resources from the international community, with winter approaching and temperatures dropping dramatically at night.

Exercise your right to vote on Sunday, Haitians urged

Haitians are being urged to exercise their constitutional right to vote in Sunday's presidential elections, despite the challenges they continue to face following Hurricane Matthew.

The so-called Core Group; which consists of the UN Special Representative in Haiti, and the ambassadors of Brazil, Canada, France, the United States, the European Union and the Organization of American States representative; acknowledged the government's efforts to prepare for "peaceful and inclusive" elections.

The hurricane which struck early in October, left 800,000 in need of food assistance, and the UN led a recent cholera vaccination campaign in the worst affected areas.

The aid effort has slowed down in anticipation of Sunday's delayed vote.

Here's more from Farhan Haq on the Core Group's message to the Haitian people.

"They stress that Sunday's vote will mark a critical step towards the return to full Constitutional order in Haiti and hope that all actors will continue to make constructive contributions to ensure a serene climate that allows all citizens to freely choose their political representatives."

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2'28"

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