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Syria, Mali, Decolonization & other topics - Daily Briefing (2 May 2019)

Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General.
Daily Press Briefing on:
- Syria,
- Mali,
- Darfur,
- Mozambique,
- Benin,
- Security Council,
- Decolonization,
- Venezuela
The United Nations is gravely concerned by the continuing reports of a deteriorating humanitarian situation, civilian casualties, damage to vital infrastructure and waves of displacement due to intensified hostilities in in the northwest part of Syria.
Over the past 48 hours, at least seven people have reportedly been killed in south rural Idlib, while two were reportedly killed in Hama governorate yesterday. Dozens of people were reportedly injured in Idlib, Hama and Aleppo governorates.
Over 300 civilians have apparently lost their lives due to hostilities in the northwest in the last three months, 60 of them in April alone.
These increased hostilities are triggering large-scale displacement, from northern Hama and Southern Idlib. There are also reports of deserted villages after civilians fled for safety. An estimated 323,000 people are estimated to have been displaced in the northwest since September of last year.
The United Nations reminds all parties to the conflict of their obligations under international humanitarian law and human rights law to ensure the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure and calls on all parties to the conflict to exercise restraint.

The UN peacekeeping mission in Mali today released the preliminary findings of a special fact-finding mission to investigate the serious human rights violations in Ogossagou region in the Mopti area on that occurred on 23 March 2019. During the attack that day, attackers killed at least 157 members of the Fulani community.
According to the Human Rights and Protection Division of the UN peacekeeping mission, the impunity enjoyed by the self-defense groups for some time in central Mali has further fueled the cycle of violence and human rights abuses committed against civilian populations there. The planned, organized, and coordinated attacks on the Peule part of Ogossagou village was in the context of many other similar attacks by traditional hunter groups against Fulani communities.
The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Mali, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, said he was deeply shocked by the cruelty of the horrendous acts committed against the civilian population, especially women and children. He said the perpetrators of such atrocities must be held accountable for their actions in court.

In a video message today to the opening of the 2019 Regional Seminar on Decolonization in Grenada, the Secretary-General said, that the United Nations work on decolonization continues today with 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories remaining on the rolls.
Today, renewed commitment of all involved parties and pragmatic measures are required to accelerate the decolonization process.
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