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Jun 25, 2015

Rights groups blast U.N. Security Council response to Syria killings

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – A coalition of some 81 human rights and aid groups blasted the United Nations Security Council on Thursday for a “woefully inadequate” response to the killing of civilians in Syria, and urged it to ensure that those responsible will be punished.

The 15-member council has been largely deadlocked over how to deal with the four-year war in Syria. Syrian ally Russia, backed by China, has vetoed several resolutions threatening action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

Jun 24, 2015

Internet firms should brief U.N. on tackling extremists: experts

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Key Internet and social media companies should brief a United Nations Security Council sanctions committee on their efforts to stop al Qaeda, Islamic State and other extremist militants spreading their ideology online, U.N. experts said.

Alexander Evans, coordinator of the team of experts, said such a briefing could stimulate a conversation among the 15-committee members on whether U.N. sanctions could be expanded to help stem Internet use by Islamist militants, but he added that the “the answers are not easy.”

Jun 24, 2015

U.N. calls on Netanyahu to act on commitment to two-state solution

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday to translate into action his commitment to a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians, including halting settlement construction.

Netanyahu took a stand against Palestinian statehood during his election campaign earlier this year, but has since committed to a two-state solution. Palestinians seek a state in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, lands Israel captured in 1967.

Jun 24, 2015

U.N. chief calls on Security Council to take action on Syria

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the U.N. Security Council to take “urgent action” on Syria amid daily atrocities and rights abuses, warning the war-torn country would otherwise slip deeper into chaos.

In his monthly report to the council on Syria aid access, seen by Reuters on Wednesday, Ban did not specify action, but his former aid chief Valerie Amos appealed in April for an arms embargo and sanctions for violations of humanitarian law.

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.

    • 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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