News in Brief 01 December 2016 (AM)

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Benghazi, Libya. Photo: UNSMIL (file photo)

Nearly 40 killed in November due to Libyan conflict

Eight children were among the 38 people killed last month as a result of the ongoing conflict in Libya, according to statistics from the UN mission in the country, UNSMIL.

The majority of those killed died as a result of air strikes, followed by gunshots, shelling and car or truck bombs, also known as vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices.

Overall, 89 civilian casualties were reported in Libya in November, including 51 injuries.

UNSMIL also reported that the bodies of 28 migrants, who appeared to have died from malnutrition, were found buried in the town of Beni Walid.

The UN mission said it has received reports indicating that several migrant bodies are found there every week.

Countries urged to avert ethnic cleansing in South Sudan

With South Sudan "on the brink of catastrophe," the international community has a duty to prevent ethnic cleansing there.

The warning comes from the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan which ended a 10-day visit to the country on Thursday.

Chairperson Yasmin Sooka said "a steady process of ethnic cleansing" is already underway in several areas, through starvation, gang rape and the burning of villages.

"The stage is being set for a repeat of what happened in Rwanda and the international community is under an obligation to prevent it," she added.

Ms Sooka cited the increase in hate speech, a crackdown on media and civil society and deepening divisions among the country's more than 60 tribes as "disturbing indicators."

South Sudan is the world's youngest nation, having achieved independence in July 2011.

However, conflict which began three years ago has killed thousands and displaced nearly three million citizens, both within the country and in neighbouring states.

Yoga an intangible cultural heritage

Yoga has been added to a UN list that safeguards diverse traditions and cultural expressions from across the globe.

The ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice which originated in India was among five elements inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage on Thursday.

This follows decisions adopted by the committee overseeing the list which is meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, this week.

Yoga consists of poses, meditation, controlled breathing, chanting and other techniques which the committee said are "based on unifying the mind with the body and soul for greater mental, spiritual and physical wellbeing."

Traditionally it was passed on from master to student but today yoga is transmitted through yoga ashrams, community centres and other locations.

The other elements added to the list include falconry, practiced in several countries such as United Arab Emirates, France, Portugal and Syria, as well as a traditional wrestling practice from Kazakhstan known as kuresi.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2'58"

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