13.5m Syrians need aid, protection: UN

Updated 27 October 2015
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13.5m Syrians need aid, protection: UN

NEW YORK: The UN is estimating that 13.5 million people in Syria are now in need of humanitarian assistance and some form of protection, including more than six million children.

UN humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien told the UN Security Council on Tuesday that this represents an increase of some 1.2 million people in just 10 months.
He said violence in Syria has created “one of the largest displacement crises of modern times.”
O’Brien said there are now some 6.5 million people who have fled their homes and are displaced inside Syria, while 4.2 million have fled the country.
Meanwhile, France will host a meeting on the Syria crisis with Western and Arab allies later on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said.
The “working dinner” at the French foreign office will include “the main partners engaged with France in dealing with the Syrian crisis: Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan, Qatar, Turkey, Germany, the US, Italy and Britain,” said Fabius in a statement.
A French opposition lawmaker visiting the war-torn country said on Tuesday that finding a solution to the conflict in Syria will require talking to President Bashar Assad.
“The settlement of the Syrian political situation necessarily requires a dialogue with the Syrian president who is in place and is elected by the Syrian people,” said Jean-Frederic Poisson, of France’s right-wing Christian Democratic Party. Poisson is visiting Syria with two other French lawmakers, and the delegation is due to meet Assad on Wednesday.
Washington, meanwhile, believes there are fewer than 2,000 Iranian troops in Syria helping Assad forces and more than 1,000 in Iraq supporting the Baghdad government, the top US military officer said.
Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the number of Iranian forces in Iraq had fluctuated over time.
“I think there’s more than 1,000 that are on the ground in Iraq,” Dunford said. “In Syria, we think the numbers are probably something less than 2,000.”


Egypt to host African summits Tuesday on Sudan, Libya

Updated 22 April 2019
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Egypt to host African summits Tuesday on Sudan, Libya

  • The leaders will focus on “the evolution of the situation in Sudan” where protests continue after the military toppled president Omar Al-Bashir
  • The planned summits are the first to be convened by African leaders on the current crises in Sudan and Libya

CAIRO: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi will lead two emergency summits with other African leaders on Tuesday to address events in Sudan and Libya, his presidency said.
The leaders will focus on “the evolution of the situation in Sudan” where protests continue after the military toppled president Omar Al-Bashir.
They will also seek to “stem the current crisis” in Libya, where commander Khalifa Haftar is leading an offensive on Tripoli, Egypt’s presidency said in a statement.
El-Sisi is also the current president of the African Union.
He will receive the Chadian president Idriss Deby, Rwanda’s head of state Paul Kagame, Congo’s Denis Sassou-Nguesso, Somalia’s Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa as well as Dijbouti’s leader Ismail Omar Guelleh.
The planned summits are the first to be convened by African leaders on the current crises in Sudan and Libya.
For Sudan, the objective “is to discuss ... the most appropriate ways to address the evolution of the situation and to contribute to stability and peace,” Egypt’s presidency said.
The AU on April 15 threatened to suspend Sudan if the military does not hand over power within 15 days of that date to a civilian authority.
President of the African Union commission Moussa Faki is also expected to participate in the discussions, along with officials from Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya and Nigeria.
Another summit on Libya, which will bring together the leaders of Rwanda, South Africa and the Congo with El-Sisi, will focus on “relaunching a political process... (and) the elimination of terrorism,” Egypt’s presidency said.
Strongman Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army launched an offensive against Tripoli, the seat of the internationally recognized Government of National Accord, on April 4.
Egypt is a strong ally of Haftar, who is also backed by the UAE and — according to the White House — was consulted by US President Donald Trump in a phone call last week.