News in Brief 10 July 2017 (PM)

Yemen cholera cases surpass 300,000

The number of suspected cases of cholera in Yemen has surpassed 300,000 in just 75 days, the United Nations announced on Monday.

The unprecedented outbreak of the disease is also associated with 1,700 deaths in the country.

Cholera is present in more than 90 per cent of all districts in Yemen and in all but one of the country's 22 governorates.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners are scaling up efforts to minimize the spread of acute watery diarrhoea and cholera in the Eastern Mediterranean region, which covers 21 countries, including Yemen.

The UN agency said population movements are increasing the risk of disease in unaffected areas.

For example, a cholera outbreak in Somalia has spread to the north which had been cholera-free for more than a decade.

While acute watery diarrhoea and cholera are easily treatable, WHO warned that they can be life-threatening without immediate medical care.

Blue helmets avert IDP abductions in South Sudan

Peacekeepers with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) thwarted the abduction of internally displaced people from a UN location in the north of the country, the global organization reported on Monday.

The two armed perpetrators were wearing uniforms of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA).

UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric has more details on the incident, which took place outside the UN protection of civilians site in the town of Bentiu, in Unity State, on Saturday.

"A Mongolian Quick Reaction Force was deployed to the scene when the UN Mission first noticed the soldiers harassing the civilians. The troops fired warning shots over the heads of the soldiers who were also behaving aggressively towards the peacekeepers, including firing at them. The soldiers fled to the bush. No casualties were reported. The UN Mission has reported the incident to the SPLA leadership in the region, who assured the Mission that they will investigate the issue."

UN mission chief welcomes opening of Somali parliament

The top UN official in Somalia has welcomed this week's opening of the second session of parliament.

Michael Keating, head of the UN Mission in the country, UNSOM, congratulated the Speaker and parliamentarians, stressing that they can make significant progress by passing key legislation such as the electoral law.

He added that real sovereignty for Somalia will depend on the country reducing its dependency on others as well as its ability to raise revenues and shape its own national agenda.

Mr Keating stated that the UN system and the international community remain committed to working with the parliament for the benefit of the Somali people.

Source: United Nations Radio