News in Brief 18 April 2017 (PM)

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(file) Photo: UNHCR/V. Tan

UN human rights office welcomes "emblematic" Nepal murder conviction

The conviction of three army officers in Nepal for the murder of a teenage girl during the country's decade-long conflict has been welcomed by the UN human rights office, OHCHR.

A district court on Sunday sentenced the soldiers to 20 years' imprisonment for the February 2004 murder of Maina Sumuwar.

The 15-year-old was picked up at her home in a village in central Nepal and interrogated for suspected links to Maoist rebels by soldiers who were looking for her mother.

She was tortured and later died while in army custody.

In a statement on Tuesday, the UN human rights office noted that this was the first time a civilian court had convicted Nepal army personnel for crimes committed during the 1996-2006 conflict, describing it as an "extremely important emblematic case."

However, the statement continued, none of the officers were present in court "and it still remains to be seen whether they will actually be arrested and serve their sentences."

UN and partners underscore support for Somalia

The United Nations and its international partners have commended several Somali government reforms, including the agreement to form a National Security Council.

This follows two days of consultations this week between the Somali Federal Government and the Federal Member States in the capital, Mogadishu.

UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric has more information:

"The Secretary-General's Special Representative for Somalia, Michael Keating, welcomed in particular the agreement reached on the key points of Somali national security architecture and added that this agreement marks a major milestone for Somalia and is a cornerstone for the federal state-building process."

The partners also committed to working together to support achievement of the government's priorities in areas such as drought response and recovery, increasing revenues and fighting corruption.

Maternity wing inaugurated at field hospital in Mosul, Iraq

A maternity wing at a field hospital near the Iraqi city of Mosul will serve women fleeing fighting between government forces and militants, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) reported on Tuesday.

The 20-bed facility, which also has an operating theatre for emergencies, is the result of cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO).

It was inaugurated late last week.

Latest UN figures show that nearly 500,000 people have been displaced from Mosul, where the Iraqi military is in the midst of a battle to liberate western districts of the city from the terrorist group ISIL, also known as Daesh.

The operation is part of an overall offensive which began last October.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2’52″

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