UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Syria urged the United Nations on Tuesday to send scientists to investigate its claim of a chemical attack by rebels in Aleppo, but said it does not trust accusations by the United States, Britain and others that such weapons were used elsewhere in the country.
Syria’s U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari also accused “armed terrorist groups” of spreading powder from plastic bags – which he described as “probably a kind of chemical material” – among crowds in the northern city of Saraqeb on Monday.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon said on Monday that investigators have been gathering and analyzing available information on alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria, but access to the war-torn country is needed for a “credible and comprehensive inquiry.”
The issue of possible chemical attacks by President Bashar al-Assad’s government has become a crucial factor that could lead to the United States and other western powers stepping up their involvement in the Syrian civil war.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The U.N. Security Council renewed a peacekeeping mission in disputed Western Sahara on Thursday after the United States backed down in an annual battle with Morocco, backed by France, over whether peacekeepers should monitor human rights abuses.
In an apparent compromise, the unanimously approved U.S.-drafted resolution encourages “the parties to continue in their respective efforts to enhance the promotion and protection of human rights in Western Sahara and the … refugee camps.”
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved on Thursday the creation of a 12,600-strong peacekeeping force in Mali starting July 1, which will be supported by French troops if needed to combat Islamist extremist threats in the West African country.
France, aided by some 2,000 troops from Chad, began a military offensive in January to drive out Islamist fighters, who had hijacked a revolt by Mali’s Tuareg rebels and seized two-thirds of Mali.