Correspondent, New York
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Jun 23, 2015

U.N. wants truce observers in Mali, urges sanctions for violators

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations wants to send 40 military observers to Mali to monitor ceasefires agreed between an alliance of Tuareg-led rebels and the Malian government, and urged the U.N. Security Council to consider blacklisting people who violate the deal.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recommended in a report, made public on Tuesday, that the council authorize the observers when it renews the mandate for the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Mali, known as MINUSMA, later this month.

Jun 23, 2015

U.N. peacekeepers accused of abusing Central African Republic street children

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – United Nations peacekeepers have been accused of sexually abusing street children in the Central African Republic capital of Bangui and an investigation has been launched by the country that contributed the troops, a U.N. spokesman said on Tuesday.

The United Nations did not identify which country the troops were from or how many soldiers may have been involved. There are 10,000 U.N. peacekeepers in Central African Republic, where violence erupted in 2013 after mostly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power, sparking reprisal attacks from Christian militia.

Jun 22, 2015

U.N. police accused of Mali deaths to face home country court: source

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Several U.N. police peacekeepers who used “unauthorized and excessive force” that killed three people during a protest in Mali have been arrested and will face justice in their home country, a diplomatic source at the United Nations said on Monday.

A United Nations inquiry found police peacekeepers shot the protesters during a demonstration on Jan. 27 in the northern Mali town of Gao as the U.N. tried to broker peace between armed groups in the area. Four people were injured.

Jun 22, 2015

Afghan forces stretched, but resilient against Taliban push: U.N.

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Afghan security forces are “undeniably stretched” but resilient amid a push by insurgents for more territory and concerns that Islamic State militants are also seeking a foothold in the country, the United Nations envoy to Afghanistan said on Monday.

A Taliban suicide bomber and six gunmen attacked the Afghan parliament on Monday in a brazen assault that ended after a nearly two hour gun battle with NATO-trained Afghan security forces. [ID:nL3N0Z824V]

Jun 18, 2015

Russia talking with U.S. on assigning blame for Syria gas attacks

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Russia said it has made some suggestions on how blame could be determined for chemical weapons attacks in war-torn Syria and will discuss the issue on Friday with the United States, which is pushing for the creation of a team of U.N. investigators.

The United States gave Russia a draft United Nations Security Council resolution to study six weeks ago that would establish an accountability procedure in an attempt to pave the way for council action against those responsible.

Jun 17, 2015

U.N. slams South Sudan president for impeding civilian protection

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations slammed South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir on Wednesday for hindering efforts to protect civilians by blocking U.N. attack helicopters and surveillance drones and declaring that U.N. personnel caught taking photos will be deemed spies.

U.N. peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous said the world body’s mission in South Sudan wanted to do a better job protecting civilians amid the country’s civil war. Some 136,000 civilians are currently sheltering at seven U.N. sites around the country.

Jun 12, 2015

North Korea accuses U.S. of targeting it with anthrax

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – North Korea accused the United States of targeting it with anthrax and asked the United Nations Security Council to investigate Washington’s “biological warfare schemes” after a live anthrax sample was sent to a U.S. base in South Korea.

Live anthrax samples, which can be used as a biological weapon, were inadvertently sent to Australia, Canada, Britain, South Korea and laboratories in 19 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., the Pentagon said recently.

Jun 10, 2015

United Nations peacekeepers commonly pay for sex: U.N. study

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – United Nations peacekeepers commonly pay for sex with cash, dresses, jewelry, perfume, cell phones and other items, despite a ban on such relationships with people the world body is trying to help, a draft U.N. report concluded.

The draft study by the U.N. Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), obtained by Reuters on Wednesday, said surveys of hundreds of women in Haiti and Liberia found their reasons for selling sex included hunger, poverty and lifestyle improvement.

Jun 8, 2015

U.N. keeps Israel, Hamas off children’s rights blacklist; raps Israel army

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations on Monday left Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas off its blacklist of states and armed groups that violate children’s rights during conflicts, but criticized Israel over its 2014 military operations.

U.N. special envoy for children and armed conflict, Leila Zerrougui of Algeria, had included Israel’s army – known as the IDF – and Hamas in a draft of the report she had sent to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Ban had the final say on who was included on the blacklist, which was distributed to Security Council members on Monday.

Jun 4, 2015

U.N. mulls blacklisting two Libyans to help political talks

UNITED NATIONS, June 4 (Reuters) – The United States,
France, Spain and Britain have proposed that the United Nations
Security Council blacklist two men linked to rival
administrations in Libya, in hopes that doing so will help
U.N.-led talks aimed at forming a unity government to end the
power struggle.

The talks brokered by U.N. envoy for Libya Bernardino Leon
resumed on Wednesday in Algiers on a draft proposal for a unity
government for the war-ravaged North African state before a
broader meeting expected in Morocco next week.

    • 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."
      Joined Reuters:
      2002
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