News in Brief 4 May 2017 (PM)

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President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón of Colombia (right), greets Ambassador Elbio Roselli, UN Security Council president for the month of May, in the Colombian capital, Bogotá. Photo: UN Mission/Juan Manuel Barrero Bueno

"No going back" on peace for Colombia, as Security Council meets President

Members of the UN Security Council met Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Thursday to demonstrate their commitment to the on-going peace process there.

The three-day special mission includes meetings with bodies monitoring and verifying the handover of arms by former FARC rebels, who signed a peace agreement with the government in November, ending decades of conflict.

United Kingdom Ambassador Matthew Rycroft told President Santos that however difficult the challenges were, the UN would support the completion of the process.

He said the handing over of the 1,000th FARC weapon, due to take place on Friday, was a milestone on the road to peace.

"Colombia has started that process of implementation and already it is irreversible. There is no going back and the Security Council will stay by your side for as long as needed. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Colombians. You have it in your grasp, seize it with both hands. Make sure that all the parties fulfil all of their commitments."

UN peacekeeper killed in Mali, nine wounded in during attack

A UN peacekeeper has been killed in Mali after a base operated by MINUSMA, the UN Stabilization Mission in the country, came under attack in Timbuktu.

The assault took place on Wednesday, on MINUSMA's camp near the airport in the northern city.

No group has claimed responsibility, but the region was occupied by extremist militias in 2012, and UN troops are enforcing a fragile 2015 peace agreement.

It's the deadliest place to be a UN peacekeeper, with more than 100 killed in the past four years.

More details from UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric.

"One peacekeeper from Liberia was killed and nine were wounded. Eight of them were evacuated to Bamako. Peacekeepers have reinforced the camp's protection and deployed aerial reconnaissance assets to identify the zone from which the shots were fired. The UN Mission condemns the attack in the strongest terms and calls for the perpetrators to be brought to justice."

 

Rohingya minority being "re-victimized" in exile, warns UN official

More than 168,000 members of Myanmar's Rohingya minority are estimated to have fled the country in the last five years, according to a report from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

Around 78,000 of them who have fled inter-communal violence in the north of the Asian country, across the border into Bangladesh, are at risk of being "re-victimized even in exile" unless urgent action is taken, said the UNHCR Representative there, Shinji Kubo.

He said that "without proper support they also face risks such as child-labour, gender-based violence and trafficking."

The mainly-Muslim Rohingya have suffered mass gang-rape, brutal killings and other rights violations at the hands of Myanmar's security forces since militants attacked a police outpost last October, according to a report compiled by the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) earlier this year.

Between 2012 and 2015, an estimated 112,500 Rohingya risked their lives on smugglers' boats trying to reach Malaysia, until an inter-governmental clampdown disrupted the route.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2'59"

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