News in Brief 05 December 2016 (PM)

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An aid distribution earlier this year in the Azzas area of northern Syria. Photo: UNHCR/A. Solumsmoen

Syria approves delivery of aid into besieged areas, including Aleppo

The Syrian government has approved a plan by the UN and its partners to send an aid convoy to hard-to-reach and besieged areas, including eastern Aleppo.

That's according to UN spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric.

The UN and its partner, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, only have access to areas controlled by the government.

Here's Mr Dujarric.

"On 2 December, the UN conducted two inter-agency missions to assess the humanitarian situation in the cotton factory shelter in Jibreen and Hanano in east Aleppo.   Hanano is an area of eastern Aleppo which has been retaken recently by the Government forces. Neither the UN nor the Syrian Arab Red Crescent have had access to the part of eastern Aleppo under continued control by armed opposition groups."

The war in Syria has been going on for over five years.

The UN is continuing negotiations to get access to people in need in eastern Aleppo in areas still under control of armed groups, he added.

UN concludes investigations on CAR sex abuse claims against peacekeepers

A probe into allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation against peacekeepers in the Central African Republic (CAR) has been concluded by the UN.

The incidents reportedly took place in 2014 and 2015 in Dekoa and Kemo districts where Burundian and Gabonese contingents were deployed.

The investigations carried out by the internal oversight body of the UN or OIOS started in April 2016, a few days after the allegations were brought to the attention of the UN.

A hundred and thirty-nine possible victims were interviewed and their accounts were investigated.

A total of 25 minors asserted they had been sexually abused. And a total of eight paternity claims were filed, including by six minors.

UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric says the report has been shared with Burundi and Gabon, as well as the names of the alleged perpetrators.

"UN has requested from the Burundian and Gabonese authorities that they review the OIOS findings and conduct the interviews of the alleged perpetrators who had all been rotated out from Central African Republic before these allegations surfaced. The UN has asked for a copy of the final national investigation reports to be transmitted urgently."

If the allegations against the perpetrators are substantiated and if warranted, said Dujarric, the Burundian and Gabonese commanding officers will not be accepted again for deployment in peacekeeping operations.

Belarus executions show "persistent" disregard for human rights: UN expert

The recent executions in Belarus show a persistent disregard for human rights in the country and a "blatant" disdain for the right to life, a UN expert has warned.

According to media reports, the eastern European country carried out a total of three executions during the month of November.

These executions bring their total number to four since the beginning of the year.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Miklós Haraszti, also said the executions showed a staunch non-cooperation with the international human rights system.

Belarus continues to be the only country in Europe and Central Asia that applies the death penalty, which exclude the country from being part of the Council of Europe.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration:

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