Correspondent, New York
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Mar 18, 2015

South Sudan warlord offers abducted boys sit exams: U.N. envoy

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – A South Sudanese warlord who abducted about 89 boys from their school has offered to let them return to finish exams as long as they are then given back to him to fight, United Nations global education envoy Gordon Brown said on Wednesday.

“The whole world should be protesting as we did over Chibok about any child that is abducted from their school and any child that has been kidnapped … as is happening to so many children in South Sudan,” Brown told reporters at the United Nations.

Mar 17, 2015

U.S. warns lack of accountability hampers South Sudan peace bid

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – A lack of accountability in South Sudan for “atrocities, sexual and gender based violence, child soldier recruitment and mass graves” hinders a bid for peace in the world’s youngest state, the U.S. envoy to the United Nations said on Tuesday.

Fighting since December 2013 between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and rebels allied with his former deputy Riek Machar has reopened ethnic fault lines that pit Kiir’s Dinka people against Machar’s ethnic Nuer forces.

Mar 17, 2015

Sudan: don’t tie Darfur peacekeepers exit to tribal violence end

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – A withdrawal of peacekeepers from Sudan’s Darfur region should not be conditional on an end to tribal violence, Sudan said on Tuesday as Khartoum began work with the United Nations and the African Union on an exit strategy for the $1.1 billion mission.

Law and order have collapsed in much of Darfur, where mainly non-Arab rebels took up arms in 2003 against the Arab-led government in Khartoum, accusing it of discrimination. The joint U.N. and AU peacekeeping force, one of the world’s largest such operations and known as UNAMID, has been deployed since 2007.

Mar 16, 2015

U.N. concerned by Islamic State’s ability to unite Afghan insurgents

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations is concerned by the presence of Islamic State in Afghanistan but says the militant group’s power to unite insurgents is more significant than its capabilities in the war-torn country, a top U.N. official said on Monday.

U.N. envoy Nicholas Haysom briefed the U.N. Security Council on Afghanistan, where attempts are under way to broker an end to 13 years of conflict between the Taliban, who were ousted in a U.S.-led war in 2001, and Afghan and foreign forces.

Mar 13, 2015

African states want U.N. trust fund for Boko Haram force

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – African states want the United Nations to set up a trust fund to finance a force to fight Boko Haram in Nigeria and called on the international community to supply intelligence and equipment, according to a draft U.N. resolution.

The draft U.N. Security Council text endorses the creation of a force by Nigeria and its neighbors Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Benin to take on Boko Haram. The 54-nation African Union has already approved a force of up to 10,000 troops.

Mar 11, 2015

U.N. peacekeepers barred seven Congolese officers over rights records

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo barred seven Congolese army and police officers from receiving support after ruling there was a “real risk” they could commit human rights abuses, according to a U.N. report.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that in the past 10 weeks the mission, known as MONUSCO, had screened the human rights records of 116 Congolese army officers and eight police officers after receiving requests from them for U.N. support.

Mar 11, 2015

Rights group blames Syria government forces for majority of doctor deaths

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.S.-based Physicians for Human Rights on Wednesday blamed Syrian government forces for 88 percent of its recorded attacks on hospitals and almost all recorded killings of medical workers during the country’s four-year conflict.

As the war enters its fifth year, the group said that Islamic State militants, who have captured swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq, have executed four health professionals and 16 attacks on medical facilities in the past 17 months.

Mar 9, 2015

U.N. delays approval of Libya request for weapons, jets: diplomats

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – At least seven United Nations Security Council members, including Britain, France and the United States, delayed approval on Monday of a request by Libya to import weapons, tanks, jets and helicopters to take on Islamic State militants, diplomats said.

Spain, Lithuania, Chile and New Zealand joined Britain, France and the United States in placing a so-called “hold” on the request made to the Security Council committee that oversees an arms embargo imposed upon the North African state in 2011, said council diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Mar 6, 2015

U.N. experts concerned Libya arms could be diverted to militias

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. sanctions monitors said on Friday they are concerned that if a United Nations Security Council committee approves a request by Libya’s government for weapons, tanks and jets, some of the equipment could be diverted to militias supporting them.

The experts, who monitor violations of an arms embargo imposed on Libya in 2011, said in a letter – obtained by Reuters – that arms could also end up in the hands of other militia after battles or if Libyan troops lose control of stockpiles.

Mar 6, 2015

Russia defends Ukraine pilot’s detention; U.N., U.S. demand release

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations, the United States and Britain demanded during a United Nations Security Council meeting on Friday that Russia release Ukrainian military pilot Nadezhda Savchenko, but Russia defended her detention as legal.

Pro-Russia forces captured Savchenko eight months ago and handed her over to Russia, where she is being held on charges of aiding the killing of two Russian journalists in east Ukraine.

    • About Michelle

      "I am a Reuters correspondent at the United Nations in New York. I have also covered general news for Reuters in the United States, Afghanistan, Australia, South East Asia and the Pacific. Before joining Reuters more than a decade ago, I had a two year stint at The Scotsman newspaper in Edinburgh, Scotland and began my career at The Border Mail newspaper in Albury/Wodonga in Australia."
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