Stephanie's Feed
Dec 20, 2013

Brahimi says he could work around Iranian absence from Syria talks

GENEVA (Reuters) – Iran remains a sticking point in plans for a conference to end the conflict in Syria, international mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said on Friday, with the United States still refusing to agree to Iran’s presence when talks begin on Jan 22.

“On Iran, we haven’t agreed yet. But it is no secret that we in the United Nations welcome the participation of Iran,” Brahimi told a news conference in Geneva.

Dec 19, 2013

Secret detentions fuel Syrian ‘campaign of terror’: U.N.

GENEVA (Reuters) – Syrian activists and other citizens have vanished into secret detention as part of a “widespread campaign of terror against the civilian population” and a tactic of war by the Damascus government, U.N. investigators said on Thursday.

The state-run practice of enforced disappearances in Syria – abductions that are officially denied – is systematic enough to amount to a crime against humanity, they said in a report.

Dec 19, 2013

Iran and Russia helping Syrian aid effort: European officials

GENEVA (Reuters) – Iran and Russia have used their influence on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government to get visas for U.N. aid workers and improve access for convoys in Syria, but much remains to be done, senior European officials told Reuters on Thursday.

U.S. officials were more cautious, saying that “all voices” taking part in secretive U.N. talks aimed at bringing food and medical supplies to civilians in out-of-reach areas are critical. There was limited progress in recent weeks, they said.

Dec 19, 2013

Secret detention part of Syria ‘campaign of terror:’ U.N.

GENEVA (Reuters) – Syrian activists and other citizens have vanished into secret detention as part of a “widespread campaign of terror against the civilian population” by the Damascus government, U.N. investigators said on Thursday.

The state-run practice of enforced disappearances in Syria -

abductions that are officially denied – is systematic enough to amount to a crime of humanity, they said in a report.

Dec 17, 2013

2013 believed to be deadliest for desperate migrants: IOM

GENEVA (Reuters) – More than 7,000 migrants may have perished at sea or while crossing deserts trying to reach a safe haven this year, believed to be the deadliest on record, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said on Tuesday.

In what it called the first global estimate based on data from border agencies and activist groups, the IOM said at least 2,360 migrants died in 2013 chasing the dream of a new life, many having paid smuggling gangs to make the perilous trip.

Dec 16, 2013

U.N. seeks 3.98 billion pounds for Syria crisis in 2014

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations appealed for £3.98 billion ($6.5 billion) for Syria and its neighbours on Monday to help 16 million people next year, many of them hungry or homeless victims of a 33-month-old conflict that has no end in sight.

The Syrian appeal accounted for half of an overall funding plan of $12.9 billion to help 52 million people in 17 countries, announced on Monday by U.N. emergency relief coordinator Valerie Amos at a meeting of donor countries in Geneva.

Dec 16, 2013

U.N. seeks $6.5 billion for Syria crisis in 2014

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations appealed for $6.5 billion for Syria and its neighbors on Monday to help 16 million people next year, many of them hungry or homeless victims of a 33-month-old conflict that has no end in sight.

The Syrian appeal accounted for half of an overall funding plan of $12.9 billion to help 52 million people in 17 countries, announced on Monday by U.N. emergency relief coordinator Valerie Amos at a meeting of donor countries in Geneva.

Dec 15, 2013

Insight: Syria uses red tape, threats to control U.N. aid agencies

BEIRUT/GENEVA (Reuters) – It is a 15-minute drive from the five-star hotel that houses U.N. aid staff in Damascus to rebel-held suburbs where freezing children are starving to death.

Yet it is months since convoys from the United Nations and other agencies have delivered food or medical care to many such areas – prevented by a Syrian government accused of using hunger as a weapon of war against its people.

Dec 15, 2013

Syria uses red tape, threats to control U.N. aid agencies

BEIRUT/GENEVA, Dec 15 (Reuters) – It is a 15-minute drive
from the five-star hotel that houses U.N. aid staff in Damascus
to rebel-held suburbs where freezing children are starving to
death.

Yet it is months since convoys from the United Nations and
other agencies have delivered food or medical care to many such
areas – prevented by a Syrian government accused of using hunger
as a weapon of war against its people.

Dec 12, 2013

Brahimi sets deadline for naming Syrian delegations to peace talks

GENEVA (Reuters) – International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi has given Syria’s warring sides until December 27 to name their delegations to planned peace negotiations next month, officials said on Thursday.

About 30 ministers from big powers, regional countries and others are due to gather in the resort of Montreux on January 22 to give their blessing to the negotiations between the government of President Bashar al-Assad and rebels fighting to oust him.