News in Brief 18 July 2017 (PM)

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An anti-Balaka commander collects weapons handed in by the group during a release ceremony in Bambari in the Central African Republic. Photo: UNICEF/ Le Du

International community urged to avert repeat of CAR crisis

The international community is being urged by the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator to "sustain support" for the Central African Republic or CAR.

Stephen O'Brien was speaking at a press conference in the capital Bangui as he concluded a visit to the country on Tuesday.

By doing so, he said, another large-scale crisis, like the one that gripped CAR only four years ago, could be averted.

Clashes between armed groups divided along sectarian lines plunged the country of 4.5 million people into civil conflict in 2013.

CAR has witnessed an upsurge in violence since the beginning of the year.

Children in Lake Chad basin to learn via radio

Children displaced from the Lake Chad basin because of an insurgency led by Boko Haram extremists will soon have the chance to read and count via the radio, the UN said on Tuesday.

The UN Children's Fund, UNICEF, the European Union and the Governments of Cameroon and Niger, are behind the innovative radio education programme.

The project will offer an "alternative platform" for the 200,000 children in crisis-affected areas who are unable to attend schools in the far north of Cameroon and in the Diffa region of Niger.

The lessons will be broadcast in both French and the local languages.

Education has been at the centre of the conflict since it began in 2009.

Boko Haram has sought to ban education and has targeted teachers and schools in attacks.

Thousands of young girls have also been kidnapped by these militants and held for years in captivity.

Restrictions on sea rescues in Mediterranean could put lives at risk

Italy's proposed "code of conduct" for non-governmental organizations or NGOs carrying out search and rescue missions in the Mediterranean could put many lives at risk.

That's the warning issued by UNICEF on Tuesday.

Thousands of refugees and migrants are being pulled from the Mediterranean Sea each week, the agency said.

The new code being proposed by Italian authorities to crack down on trafficking and smuggling prioritizes law enforcement, while limiting the movement and operations of NGO rescue vessels.

UNICEF praised Italy's efforts to save refugees and migrants but warned that restrictions on sea rescues are not a solution.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 2’22”

 

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