News in Brief 11 August (PM)

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Secretary-General António Guterres meeting with youth leaders and women political hopefuls in the Mathare slum of Nairobi, Kenya. Photo: UN Habitat/Julius Mwelu

"Critical role" for young men and women in preventing conflict

There's a "critical role" for young men and women to play in preventing war, and ensuring lasting peace.

That's one of the key messages from UN chief António Guterres, to mark International Youth Day, which is celebrated every 12 August.

The Summer Youth Assembly kicked off on Friday morning at UN Headquarters and the new UN Youth Envoy, Jayathama Wickramanayake, also arrived in Iraq on her first official trip, to mark Youth Day with young peace-builders there.

You can follow the conversation on Saturday using the hashtags #YouthDay and #Youth4Peace.

Here's UN Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric.

"In his message for the Day, the Secretary-General said empowered young men and women can play a critical role in preventing conflicts and ensuring sustainable peace. This year, the Day is dedicated to celebrating young people's contributions to conflict prevention and transformation as well as inclusion, social justice, and sustainable peace."

"Sporadic clashes" continuing in Old City of Mosul

 "Sporadic clashes" are continuing in the Old City of Mosul, which was the last area to be liberated from ISIL or Daesh terrorists, following weeks of fighting by Iraqi coalition forces.

The formerly heavily-populated area of narrow and ancient streets, remains inaccessible to aid workers, and some civilians are still thought to be trapped in their homes.

Thousands have returned to eastern Mosul and one senior UN official described it as a "tale of two cities" with life fast-returning there, while 230,000 civilians from the west, will not be returning "anytime soon".

ISIL continues to hold out in some Iraqi towns, and the UN is preparing to offer support and help to civilians in need, said Stéphane Dujarric.

"Since the end of the military operations in Mosul last month, some 4,500 trauma patients have been taken through the so-called humanitarian pathways to receive care at field clinics and hospitals. In the (towns) of Tal Afar and Ba'aj, west of Mosul, humanitarian preparations continue ahead of anticipated military operations. Temporary housing is being prepared, stocks are being prepositioned and medical preparations are under way to handle any casualties.

Since the end of April, nearly 50,000 people have fled these towns and their surrounding areas."

"Grave concern" over unauthorized search of UN base in Nigeria

The UN has expressed grave concern over the unauthorized search early on Friday, of one of its bases in Nigeria, by members of the Nigerian security forces.

Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator for the country, Edward Kallon, said that no reason had been given for the search of the humanitarian workers' compound in the volatile north-eastern city of Maiduguri.

He said he was "working closely with the government of Nigeria to resolve this issue".

Mr Kallon added that the humanitarian crisis in the region, which is where the extremist group Boko Haram first began its terror campaign, "is one of the most severe in the world today".

He said he was extremely concerned that the Nigerian government's actions could undermine critical humanitarian work being carried out every day on behalf of the region's most vulnerable.

Matt Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2'50"

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