News in Brief 07 August 2017 (AM)

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Members of the UN Security Council visited Colombia earlier this year.  File Photo: UN Mission in Colombia

UN Mission in Colombia ambushed, one police officer injured

The UN Mission in Colombia has confirmed that a team containing UN observers was ambushed over the weekend, while extracting explosives.

The team, which included former FARC rebels and police officers, was working to remove hidden weapons and explosives, as part of the latest phase of the on-going peace process.

They were working in a remote municipality in the south of the country, and the UN Mission said that during the attack one member of the Peace Unit, known as UNIPEP, was injured, but the rest of the group were all safe and unharmed.

The Mission went on to praise the role of government forces in keeping UN teams safe and secure,during the operation to clear the country of dangerous materials left over from more than 50 years of civil war.

According to reports, no group has accepted responsibility for carrying out the attack.

 

World "still lagging" on indigenous rights 10 years on from historic declaration

The world is "still lagging" on indigenous rights, 10 years on from the adoption of an historic declaration on ending exclusion and discrimination.

That's according to a joint statement drawn up by a group of UN experts and specialist bodies, ahead of the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, marked on 9 August.

The group said that indigenous peoples "still face huge challenges," and Member States need to put words into action to end discrimination and lack of protection, as illustrated by the worsening murder rate of human rights defenders.

The joint statement said that the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which took more than 20 years to negotiate, "stands as a beacon of progress" and acts as a "framework for reconciliation and a benchmark of rights."

But it adds that "in too many cases, indigenous peoples are facing even greater struggles and rights violations than they did 10 years ago."

 

Killing of two Iraqi journalists covering Mosul battle condemned by UNESCO

The killing of two Iraqi journalists who were covering fighting in a village south of Mosul last month, has been condemned by the UN cultural agency, UNESCO.

Reporter Harb Hazaa al-Dulaimi and cameraman Soudad al-Douri worked for an Iraqi TV channel, and their bodies were found in the village of Imam Gharbi, south of Mosul, on 20 July.

According to news reports, they were in the village when it was attacked by extremist fighters from Daesh, or ISIL, in the same week that Mosul was liberated by a government-led coalition.

They reportedly died on 7 July.

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said she condemned their killing, adding that it was "a terrible reminder of the unacceptable toll paid by courageous media workers, dedicated to keeping us informed."

She said the targeting of journalists in conflict, was an "intolerable war crime."

Matt Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2’18″

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