Daily Archives: September 1, 2015

Alarm at spike in civilian deaths in Yemen

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The humanitarian situation in Yemen is “untenable”, according to OHCHR, which has called for all parties to the conflict to allow aid into the country. Photo: UN Photo/WFP

Amid ongoing fighting in Yemen, the UN raised the alarm on Tuesday over the steep rise in the number of civilian casualties and the deteriorating humanitarian situation there.

In the southern city of Taiz, the UN human rights office, OHCHR, said that 95 civilians have been killed in the past two weeks alone.

The UN office says that 53 of these people reportedly died as a result of airstrikes by Saudi-led coalition forces which are targeting Houthi rebels.

Here’s Daniel Johnson’s report from Geneva.

Following a spike in civilian deaths in Yemen in recent weeks, the UN human rights office, OHCHR, said that one city has seen nearly 100 civilians killed in just two weeks.

That city is Taiz, in the south of the country.

There, more than half of the victims died from aerial bombardments directed by Saudi-led coalition forces at Houthi rebels, OHCHR said.

The remaining civilians died from sniper fire and shelling attacks, reportedly by fighters linked to Houthi rebels.

All the while the humanitarian situation is as dire as ever in Yemen.

And it’s been made worse by the blockage of supply routes into Taiz city by fighters linked to the Houthis, according to the UN human rights office.

Since the escalation of the armed conflict on 26 March, OHCHR has documented more than 2,100 civilian deaths, though the actual numbers are believed to be much higher.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva

Duration: 0’54”

News in Brief 01 September 2015 (AM)

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Civilians in Iraq. File Picture: UNAMI

More than 1,300 killed in Iraq in August

A total of 1,325 people in Iraq were killed during the month of August due to terrorism, violence and armed conflict.

That information comes from the UN mission in the country, UNAMI, which reports that a further 1,811 Iraqis also were injured during the same period.

Jan Kubis, who heads the UN mission, says successful implementation of recent reforms will be necessary to restore order and renew confidence.

The Iraqi government last month announced plans to streamline state institutions and stamp out corruption.

UNESCO condemns murder of journalist in Mozambique

Authorities in Mozambique are being urged by the head of the UN cultural organization, UNESCO, to investigate the murder of a journalist.

Paulo Machava, an investigative reporter who was also editor-in-chief at the Diario de Noticias website, was gunned down by unknown assailants on Friday in the capital, Maputo.

In a statement calling for an investigation into his death, UNESCO chief Irina Bokova said “guns must not be allowed to silence the media and deprive people of information they have a right to receive from a wide range of sources.”

Developing countries to get help with climate change response

Eight developing countries in Africa, Asia and South America are getting help with integrating agriculture into their national plans to address climate change.

They are being assisted through an initiative by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) aimed at safeguarding livelihoods, raising agricultural production and boosting food security.

The US$12 million initiative will be funded by Germany and solutions will be tailored to each country’s individual needs.

The eight countries in the four-year programme are Nepal, Kenya, the Philippines, Thailand, Uganda, Uruguay, Viet Nam and Zambia.

Siobhan Garside, United Nations.

Duration: 1’48″