News in Brief 18 January 2016 (AM)

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UNHAS helicopter leaving Maiduguri for Rann, the site of a bombed displacement camp. Photo/OCHA

Nigeria bombing of IDP camp "catastrophic"

The accidental bombing of a camp for internally displaced people, or IDPs, in northern Nigeria has been described as "catastrophic" by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) chief, Filipo Grandi.

More than 50 people were killed in the attack, including six aid workers, according to initial reports from the Rann site in Borno State's Kala Balge area.

The Rann site was set up in March 2016 and hosts 43,000 people who fled their homes over the past two years to escape insurgency.

Filipo Grandi called on the authorities to urgently identify the failings that led to the tragedy.

The Nigerian government said the bombing was an accident and is launching an investigation.

UN experts calls for the protection of whistleblowers

Governments worldwide are being urged to protect whistleblowers instead of persecuting them, a UN expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order has urged.

Alfred de Zayas welcomed the commutation of Chelsea Manning's 35-year sentence for leaking classified military secrets.

According to media reports, the US army soldier leaked classified government and military documents to Wikileaks, a self-described "not for profit media organization".

Mr de Zayas recalled that there are many whistleblowers still in prison for serving the cause of human rights.

He called for their pardon and urged governments to put an end to campaigns of defamation and to stop the persecution of whistleblowers like Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and former CIA officer Edward Snowden, to name a few.

According to the UN expert, these whistleblowers have acted in good faith and have given meaning to article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on the right to freedom of expression and opinion.

Over two million displaced by conflict in Yemen

Over two million people in Yemen have been forcibly displaced from their homes because of a humanitarian crisis caused by the ongoing conflict, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has said.

The agency is working with its partners to provide health care and non-food items to help displaced families cope with winter weather.

IOM is also concerned about the increasing number of migrants arriving in Yemen.

Every month, up to 12,000 migrants arrive on the shores of the Gulf of Aden country with hopes of making their way to Saudi Arabia.

The agency is calling for support to provide food, shelter and protection, and to evacuate the most vulnerable.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 2’27″

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