UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Khartoum has so far declined to issue visas for senior U.S., British and French diplomats hoping to conduct a fact-finding mission in Sudan’s conflict-torn Darfur region, U.N. diplomatic sources told Reuters on Tuesday.
They said Sudan’s failure to grant visas to the deputy U.N. ambassadors of the three veto-wielding Western powers was a further sign of Khartoum’s increasingly confrontational approach to the United Nations and the West over the U.N.-African Union mission to Darfur (UNAMID), which Khartoum wants shut.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The U.N. Security Council on Monday demanded all parties to the Syrian civil war allow humanitarian aid to reach without obstruction the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp on the outskirts of Damascus, a site that Islamist militants had recently seized.
The unanimous appeal by the 15-nation council came after Pierre Krahenbuhl, head of the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, told the council behind closed doors about “extreme circumstances and hardship” in the camp, a diplomat who attended the meeting said.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Several Gulf Arab states are unhappy about U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon’s call for an immediate ceasefire by all sides in Yemen and are expected to raise the issue in a meeting with him early next week, U.N. diplomatic sources said on Friday.
Ban on Thursday called for an immediate halt to the fighting, the first time he has made such an appeal since Saudi-led air strikes against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels began three weeks ago.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Iran’s foreign minister on Friday submitted a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon outlining a four-point peace plan for Yemen, where Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have been targeted for three weeks by Saudi-led air strikes.
The plan, which Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced earlier this month, calls for an immediate ceasefire and end of all foreign military attacks, humanitarian assistance, a resumption of broad national dialogue and “establishment of an inclusive national unity government.”
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday called for an immediate halt to the fighting in Yemen, the first time he has made such an appeal since Saudi-led air strikes against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels began three weeks ago.
Ban said the poorest country in the Middle East was already in a crisis before the recent outbreak of hostilities, with levels of food insecurity that were higher than in the poorest parts of Africa. He said the recent fighting had only exacerbated those problems.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is naming Mauritanian diplomat Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed to replace his outgoing special envoy to Yemen, who resigned after his peace plan to halt the war there failed, diplomatic sources said on Thursday.
They said Ban has briefed some members of the United Nations Security Council informally about his intention to appoint Ould Cheikh Ahmed to replace Jamal Benomar, a veteran Moroccan diplomat who brokered a 2011 transition plan aimed at quelling political turmoil in Yemen.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. special adviser to Yemen Jamal Benomar is planning on stepping down from his job and U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon is considering appointing a Mauritanian diplomat to the post as the civil war escalates, a U.N. diplomatic source said on Wednesday.
Benomar, a veteran Moroccan diplomat, had recently irked Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations for his handling of so far unsuccessful peace talks between Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen and the Western and Gulf Arab-backed Yemeni government, Western U.N. diplomats said on condition of anonymity.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations Security Council on Tuesday blacklisted the son of Yemen’s former president and a Houthi leader, and effectively imposed an arms embargo on the Iran-allied Houthi rebels who rule most of the country.
The council voted 14 in favor. Russia abstained, saying some of its proposals for the resolution, drafted by council member Jordan and Gulf Arab states, were not included.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling for an “independent and impartial understanding” of human rights in the disputed North African territory of Western Sahara, according to a report seen by Reuters on Friday.
Ban’s annual report on Western Sahara stopped short of recommending the U.N. peacekeeping mission in the territory (MINURSO) monitor rights, which the African Union has urged.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Beefing up international monitoring of Iran’s nuclear work could become the biggest stumbling block to a final accord between Tehran and major powers, despite a preliminary deal reached last week.
As part of that deal, Iran and the powers agreed that United Nations inspectors would have “enhanced” access to remaining nuclear activity in Iran, where they already monitor key sites.