News in Brief 15 August 2017 (AM)

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Hundreds are reported dead with many more missing after mudslides and floods tore through several communities in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Photo: UNICEF 2017

IOM provides US$150,000 for Sierra Leone mudslide relief

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is racing to assist Sierra Leone in the wake of devastating floods and mudslides which have killed hundreds.

The UN agency announced on Tuesday that it has released US$150,000 in support of the relief effort.

"IOM is ready to work with Sierra Leone's government in any capacity it can, to respond to this terrible event," agency chief William Lacy Swing said in Geneva.

The mudslides and floods affected several communities near the capital, Freetown.

So far, nearly 300 bodies have been recovered and thousands are feared missing, according to media reports.

CAR among worst places to be a child: UNICEF

The Central African Republic (CAR) is one of the worst countries in the world to be a child.

That's according to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) which on Tuesday warned of a "dramatic increase" in violence in the country, which has been plagued by inter-communal clashes since 2012.

The agency estimates that 600,000 people there are internally displaced, while there are 480,000 refugees in neighbouring countries.

As a result, one in five children has been uprooted.

Donaig Le Du, UNICEF Chief of Communications in the CAR, explained that the armed groups are not attacking each other.

Rather, they are attacking civilians, leading to rights violations.

"So, for the past three, four months, we've had horrible reports…We have a baby killed in its mother's arms in a hospital. Children killed while trying to cross to DRC. We have sexual violence. We know that there is recruitment into the armed groups, although the armed groups committed two years ago to refrain from recruiting any more children; we know recruitment is taking place. So, that's the first direct consequences of the violence."

Security Council strongly condemns Mali terrorist attacks

Terrorist attacks against the UN mission in Mali, MINUSMA, have been condemned in the strongest terms by the UN Security Council.

A peacekeeper from Togo was killed and another injured in the incidents which occurred on Monday at two UN camps in the central town of Douentza.

Council members have issued a statement calling on the Government of Mali to swiftly investigate the attacks.

They also underlined that attacks targeting blue helmets may constitute war crimes under international law.

The Council further stated that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2'35"

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