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Libyan Newswire

News in Brief 25 July 2016 (AM)

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Sirte, Libya . Photo: IRIN/Heba Aly (file photo)

Rise in people fleeing Sirte, Libya

Displacement of civilians from the Libyan city of Sirte has topped 90,000, according to UN agencies and their partners.

They report that a two-month campaign against the terrorist group ISIL, also known as Daesh, has forced more than 35,000 people to flee the coastal city since April.

The majority are now seeking refuge in other locations throughout western Libya where host communities are “struggling” to assist them.

A needs-assessment conducted in May by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) found that only about a quarter of the displaced people feel they are self-sufficient.

The report also found that water and sanitation conditions were “deteriorating rapidly” while hospitals have been facing shortages due to the growing number of patients.

Hebron closure generates humanitarian challenge for UN agency assisting Palestinians

The closure of the Hebron district in the West Bank by the Israeli authorities has created “serious challenges” for the UN agency that assists Palestinian refugees, UNRWA.

That’s according to a statement issued on Monday by the agency which said it is “deeply concerned” about the humanitarian impact of the decision.

The closure was implemented following the recent killing of two Israeli citizens in separate incidents.

UNRWA reported that as a result, the main entrance of the Fawwar refugee camp has been closed for 25 consecutive days, affecting more than 9,000 people.

This has hampered the delivery of medical supplies, refuse removal and the daily movement of its staff working in the camp.

Meanwhile, residents who have jobs outside the camp have also been hindered from reporting to work.

UNRWA pointed out that the UN has repeatedly condemned all violence that has an impact on Israeli and Palestinian civilians.

The agency said it will continue to liaise with the Israeli authorities to ensure a continuous supply of medicines and vaccinations to the health clinic in the camp.

Anti-torture committee to hold special review on Burundi

The “deteriorating” human rights situation in Burundi will be the focus of a special review later this week by the UN Committee against Torture.

Committee members and a delegation from the African country, headed by the Minister of Justice, will discuss issues specified in a written request to the government in December 2015.

They include measures taken to investigate summary executions, arbitrary detention, torture and ill-treatment of opposition members, journalists, human rights defenders and others.

The August 2015 attack against human rights defender Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa and the murder of his son, Welly Nzitonda, that November, will also be raised.

Burundi has been in crisis since April 2015 following the President’s decision to run for a controversial third term.

Hundreds of people have been killed and more than 250,000 have fled to neighbouring countries.

The special review by the UN Committee against Torture will be held in Geneva on Thursday and Friday.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 3’09”