This is the News in Brief, from the United Nations.
UN rights chief urges de-escalation following renewed hostilities in DR Congo
The UN human rights chief, Volker Türk, called on Tuesday for the urgent de-escalation of tensions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
In recent days, more than a dozen civilians have been killed, at least 40 injured and more than 90,000 displaced, following renewed fighting between the Congolese armed forces and the March 23 Movement armed group.
The UN High Commissioner said that the security situation in eastern DRC is deteriorating rapidly and could develop into a human rights disaster.
He urged all sides to protect civilians in line with international human rights law and international humanitarian law. And he insisted that humanitarian access and safe passage out of areas affected by hostilities must be allowed for all those in need.
Mr. Türk also expressed concern about a resurgence in hate speech targeted at people based on their ethnicity, as well as a rise in misinformation, disinformation and negative rhetoric against UN peacekeepers stationed in DRC.
Although devastating flood waters have continued to recede in many flood-affected areas across Pakistan, around eight million people are still in need of essential health assistance.
That’s the message on Tuesday from the World Health Organization (WHO).
The agency said that public health risks are increasing, driven by damaged infrastructure, stagnant water and inadequate sanitation facilities.
Dr. Richard Brennan, Regional Emergency Director for WHO, said that the catastrophe has pushed the country to the brink.
Diseases are rampant, a food crisis is looming, the economy is deteriorating and winter is fast approaching.
He added that enormous volumes of water have provided breeding sites for mosquitos, resulting in an ongoing malaria outbreak in 32 districts.
“Other health threats include increasing cases of diarrheal diseases, an ongoing dengue fever outbreak, measles and diphtheria. Among the biggest concerns are the high rates of severe acute malnutrition. Access to safe water and sanitation remains limited, with people using contaminated water for household consumption. Pregnant women need access to clean and safe delivery services.”
WHO needs $81.5 million to respond to the health crisis in Pakistan.
Militiamen found guilty of Central African Republic massacre
Three militiamen have been found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity over their role in a massacre in the Central African Republic (CAR), in which 46 civilians were killed. The men were tried at a UN-backed Special Criminal Court, in its first-ever trial.
The court heard that, in May 2019, civilians in the villages of Koundjili and Lemouna in the north of the country were attacked by members of the 3R group, which stands for Return, Reclamation and Rehabilitation.
Men from the villages were rounded up, tied up and shot. One of the accused, who was a military chief, was also convicted for rapes committed by subordinates.
One of the militiamen was given a life sentence while the two others were sentenced to 20 years in prison each.
Nicki Chadwick, UN News.