News in Brief 19 June 2017 (PM)

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Stéphane Dujarric. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré (file)

"Deep concern" for safety of 100,000 in Syria's Deir Ezzour city

"Deep concern" was expressed by the UN on Monday for the safety of around 100,000 Syrians trapped inside the city of Deir Ezzour.

It's been besieged for nearly three years by the extremist group Daesh, or ISIL.

Within the past week, heavy airstrikes have displaced around 250 from Abu Kamal city in rural Deir Ezzour; and over the weekend, more than 500 mainly women, children and elderly civilians fled from Raqqa and sought refuge in Abu Kamal and the city of Al-Mayadin.

US-backed forces have launched an offensive on Daesh's de-facto capital of Raqqa, hoping to drive the group out, and have gained ground in recent days.

Syria is in its seventh year of brutal civil war.

More details on humanitarian relief efforts being carried out by the World Food Programme ( WFP ) and others, from UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric:

"The UN continues to provide basic food, nutrition and medical supplies to people in need in Deir Ezzour through WFP airdrops. But continued clashes between Government of Syria and Da'esh forces may jeopardize the delivery of humanitarian aid should landing sites become unsafe for aid."

Nations need "smart, responsible and cooperative arrangements" on migration

Countries will reap the benefits of migration if they adopt "smart, responsible and cooperative arrangements," the UN Special Representative on the issue said on Monday.

International Migration representative Louise Arbour was speaking in Geneva at the latest high level follow-up session on the Global Compact on Migration.

The compact was the first inter-governmental agreement for migration, adopted at UN Headquarters in September last year.

Monday's theme covered international cooperation and governance at national borders, including transit, entry, return, readmission integration and reintegration.

Ms Arbour argued that smart migration policies could trigger a "virtuous cycle" that could restore public trust in states' ability to control their borders, becoming more accepting of migrants.


"Encouraging signs" for exposure of human rights violations in The Gambia

There are "encouraging signs" that the truth about past human rights violations in the Gambia will come to light.

That's the view of a group of UN experts who have just concluded a visit to the country, where a peaceful transfer of power took place last January, following weeks of political crisis.

Experts from the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances said that they welcomed the commitments made by the government of President Adama Barrow to embark on comprehensive reforms, including measures to ensure truth, justice and reparations for victims.

They said they had heard "deeply saddening" stories from families of some of those who disappeared under the former President's rule.

Families need to be fully involved in the process moving forward, to ensure that there is no recurrence of disappearances in the future, added the experts.

The delegation welcomed plans for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as part of the transitional justice process.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2’36″



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