News in Brief 18 January 2017 (PM)

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A marching band in Farafenni, a market town in The Gambia, just south of the border with Senegal. Photo: UNFPA The Gambia

UN supports regional efforts to end Gambia crisis

Regional efforts aimed at ending the crisis in The Gambia have the support of the United Nations, the Deputy Spokesperson for the organization has said.

Farhan Haq made the remarks during the daily press briefing at UN headquarters in New York.

Wednesday marks the end of Yahya Jammeh's tenure as President following his defeat on 1 December.

The Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) has been trying to broker a peaceful transfer of power.

Mr Haq has more.

"President Jammeh continues to reject all efforts from the economic community of West African states, the African Union and the United Nations. The regional body ECOWAS has reiterated its determination to take all necessary measures to ensure the transfer of power to President-elect Barrow. Jeffrey Feltman, our Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, expects to brief the Security Council today on the latest developments and the continuous efforts by regional and international actors to ensure a smooth transfer of power. As you are aware, the UN supports regional efforts aimed at ending the crisis."

Côte d’Ivoire soldiers, police protest over unpaid wages

Soldiers from the Zambakro military school near Yamoussoukro town in Côte d’Ivoire have been protesting over unpaid wages, the UN Mission in the country (ONUCI) reports.

The situation in the area is currently calm but volatile, the Mission says.

The UN mission's Quick Reaction Force continues to secure the city's airport together with the Ivorian security forces.

ONUCI also reports similar demonstrations by some gendarmes and police in the country's economic capital, Abidjan.

Here's UN Deputy Spokesperson, Farhan Haq, again.

"Protests by soldiers were also reported in a number of cities, including Bouaké, Ferkessédougou, Daloa, Gagnoa, Man, Abidjan and Bondoukou.  The UN Mission reports that the armed forces contained the protests. The Mission continues to closely monitor the situation and its helicopters are undertaking air reconnaissance over Yamoussoukro, Bouaké and Daloa."

US $19 million allotted for emergency response in Aleppo city

The Syrian Humanitarian Fund will disburse US $19 million to sustain life-saving and early recovery assistance for tens of thousands of people in Aleppo city, the UN's humanitarian agency, OCHA, has confirmed.

The Fund is a multi-donor humanitarian pooled fund which has disbursed $46 million in 2016 to UN agencies and international and national NGOs in Syria.

All affected neighbourhoods of eastern Aleppo, as well as collective shelters and areas where internally displaced people are staying, will receive assistance.

The money will also go to rehabilitate basic services, remove rubble and create conditions for people to return to their homes.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 3’01″

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