News in Brief 15 February 2016 (PM)

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Street scene in downtown Banjul, The Gambia. File Photo: IRIN/Nicholas Reader

UN team assessing peace and security in the Gambia

A United Nations mission is in the Gambia this week to assess the peace and security situation.

The West African country experienced a peaceful handover of power in January with the installation of President Adama Barrow following more than two decades of rule by former leader, Yahya Jammeh.

UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq said the team will analyse the new government's priorities going forward.

"It will also assess governance and institutional capacities in the country, map support by international stakeholders engaging in peacebuilding, and identify areas of enhanced UN support to national authorities and civil society organizations.

The mission is being led by officers from the UN Department of Political Affairs and the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

They arrived in the country on Tuesday and have met with President Barrow and other senior leaders, as well as representatives from the UN country team and the diplomatic community.

Aleppo water woes continue

Nearly two million people in Aleppo, Syria, have been cut off from their source of running water for more than a month due to a technical failure at a local water plant, the UN said on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, local authorities are continuing with efforts to assess and repair the infrastructure at the facility.

Residents currently receive a limited water supply through other distribution networks.

Once again, here's UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq:

"The water authorities are operating wells servicing almost one million people while the UN is providing fuel, water trucking, and distributing water purification materials, installing tanks and rehabilitating additional wells in the city. The UN continues to call on all parties to the conflict in Syria to ensure technical teams have unrestricted and safe access to water infrastructure in order to swiftly restore the provision of water to the civilian population."

UNESCO condemns killing of TV cameraman in Pakistan

The head of the UN cultural organization, UNESCO, is calling for justice and improved safety for journalists following the killing of a TV cameraman in Pakistan.

Taimur Abbas died in hospital as a result of injuries sustained when unidentified gunmen opened fire on the vehicle he was travelling in on Sunday.

He was on assignment for a privately-owned satellite channel at the time.

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova has issued a statement condemning his killing.

"Violence against media workers threatens the free flow of information," she stated. "It also undermines good governance and rule of law."

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2’25″

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