News in Brief 28 July 2017 (PM)

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A Police Commissioner joins the first patrol by MINUSCA in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic . UN Photo/Catianne Tijerina (file)

CAR risks reaching "tipping point," says UN peacekeeping chief

The Central African Republic (CAR) could rapidly reach a "tipping point" because of the increased intensity of attacks against civilians and peacekeepers.

That's the view of the UN peacekeeping chief, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, which he shared with members of the Security Council on Thursday.

Mr Lacroix was referring to the worsening security and humanitarian situation in Bangassou, where three peacekeepers were killed since last Sunday.

UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq has more.

"Mr Lacroix noted that the UN Mission has made efforts to reinforce Bangassou through re-deployments of additional peacekeepers in order to stabilize the situation, stop the attacks on internally displaced persons, enable the delivery of humanitarian assistance and address the threat of the anti-Balaka affiliated groups. However, Mr Lacroix stressed yet again that a military solution to the problem of the armed groups will not suffice to address the root causes of the conflict."

The absence of tangible progress in the peace process risks further worsening the situation, the peacekeeping chief warned.

Mr Lacroix is travelling to CAR on Saturday to convey a message of support to the UN Mission and engage with national authorities.

Honduras human rights defenders must be protected, urges UN official

Human rights defenders in Honduras are doing a "tremendous service" for the long-term future of the country and should never be attacked, punished or stigmatized.

That's what the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Andrew Gilmour, said on the last day of a three-day visit to the Central American nation.

He welcomed the strengthened cooperation between the Government and the newly-established UN Human Rights Office in Tegucigalpa.

The goal of the Office is to help the authorities extend the protection of human rights in a "highly challenging security environment," and with upcoming elections.

Some of the issues brought to Mr Gilmour's attention during the visit include widespread impunity, horrific levels of violence, increased militarization of public security, restrictive access to family planning, as well as a disturbing increase in femicide and violence against women.

Syria's eastern Ghouta lacks basic services, humanitarians warn

Despite the delivery of medical and nutrition items by the UN and its partners in besieged eastern Ghouta in Syria, the situation there remains "extremely difficult," the deputy spokesman for the UN said on Friday.

Quoting humanitarian workers on the ground, Farhan Haq explained that yesterday's delivery is not enough to support the increasing needs of civilians.

Rebel-held eastern Ghouta has limited access to basic services, such as health care

The UN estimates that 400,000 are trapped in the region.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 2’48”

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