Correspondent, New York
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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.

Mar 6, 2015

U.N. council threatens action if chlorine used in attacks in Syria

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations Security Council condemned the use of chlorine as a weapon in Syria and threatened to take action if such arms are used again in the conflict, which is now in its fourth year, but didn’t lay blame for previous chlorine attacks.

The 15-member council adopted a resolution that “stresses that those individuals responsible for any use of chemicals as weapons, including chlorine or any other toxic chemical, must be held accountable.”

Mar 5, 2015

Exclusive: Bar South Sudan leaders from transition – inquiry draft

UNITED NATIONS/ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – A much-anticipated African Union inquiry calls for South Sudan’s president and his rival to be barred from a transitional government and for the oil-producing country to effectively be placed under AU control, say sources and a draft of the report.

The recommendations are directly at odds with a peace deal being negotiated that would retain Salva Kiir as president and appoint rebel leader Riek Machar as deputy. The two are holding talks this week in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on forming a unity government.

Mar 4, 2015

Libya asks UN for arms, jets, tanks to battle Islamic State – letter

UNITED NATIONS, March 4 (Reuters) – Libya has sought
permission from the United Nations to import 150 tanks, two
dozen fighter jets, seven attack helicopters, tens of thousands
of assault rifles and grenade launchers and millions of rounds
of ammunition from Ukraine, Serbia and Czech Republic.

In the written request to the U.N. Security Council
committee overseeing an arms embargo imposed upon the North
African state, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters on
Wednesday, Libya said it needs the massive shipment of weapons
and military equipment to take on Islamic State militants and
other extremists and to control its borders.

    • 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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