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UN suspends another employee over alleged viral sex video

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The United Nations says it has identified and placed on administrative leave without pay another staff member involved in a recent viral sex video in Israel.

Farhan Haq, the Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General, disclosed this during the daily news briefing held virtually on Monday

Mr. Haq said:

“A third male international staff member who was in the UN vehicle in Tel Aviv has also been identified as having engaged in alleged misconduct.

“The staff member has been placed on Administrative Leave Without Pay, pending the results and conclusion of the ongoing OIOS (Office of Internal Oversight Services) investigation.”

On July 2, the UN announced the suspension of two employees involved in the video, which went viral on social media in late June.

The video showed a couple allegedly having sex in a marked UN car in the Israeli capital, Tel Aviv.

The organization had confirmed that the 4×4 vehicle was “likely assigned to the UN Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO)”.

UN spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said, at the time, that the organization was “shocked and deeply disturbed” by the footage.

In the short video, a woman in a red dress was seen allegedly straddling a man in the back seat of the white SUV bearing the “UN” inscription.

With them in the moving car are the driver and a bald-head man sitting on the passenger side in front.

Media reports say the footage was recorded on HaYarkon Street, a major thoroughfare in Tel Aviv.

According to the organisation, UNTSO is the first-ever peacekeeping mission established by the UN in 1948.

It says the mission comprises military observers to monitor ceasefires, supervise armistice agreements and prevent military escalation.

Reports indicate that in 2019, the UN said it received and investigated 175 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse against its staff. Out of the total, 16 were substantiated, 15 unsubstantiated, and all others still being investigated.

NAN

 

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Mali’s ex-defense minister Ba N’Daou named transition president

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Mali’s former defence minister Ba N’Daou has been announced as president of a new transition government, the leader of the Sahel state’s ruling military junta said on national television Monday.

According to a roadmap backed by the junta, the new president is meant to lead the country for several months before staging elections and returning Mali to civilian rule.

The African Union had called on the military junta in Mali to quickly appoint civilian leaders to manage an 18-month transition towards elections after last month’s coup.

The AU’s 15-member security body late Thursday echoed the West African regional bloc ECOWAS, which imposed sanctions on landlocked Mali after the coup toppled President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

Junta leader Colonel Assimi Goita met with West African leaders this week in Ghana but failed to resolve a critical sticking point — whether soldiers or civilians will lead the transition.

ECOWAS called for a civilian-led transition government to be installed “in days” and said the bloc would lift its sanctions — which include closed borders and a ban on trade and financial flows — once the change has been made.

Smail Chergui, the AU’s peace and security commissioner, said on Twitter Thursday night that he was calling “for a return to constitutional order and early civilian-led transition in Mali”.

A separate Twitter post from the official AU Peace and Security Department account said it backed ECOWAS’ call for an 18-month civilian transition.

It also “welcomed” the putschists’ decision to release Keita — who was detained for more than a week — but said they should also free prime minister Boubou Cisse and “other dignitaries”.

The AU announced the day after the coup that it was suspending Mali “until restoration of constitutional order”, and it is unclear what additional leverage it has.

But a spokesman for the junta, Colonel Ismael Wague, said after this week’s talks in Ghana that Mali could face a “total embargo” from ECOWAS if it does not quickly appoint civilian leaders.

The sanctions could bite in the poor country already facing a severe economic downturn as well as a simmering jihadist insurgency and chronic inter-ethnic violence.

Wague nevertheless made clear the junta would prefer the transition be run by the military, and claimed that was also the preference of the majority of Malians.

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Four Cameroonian soldiers jailed 10 years for murder

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Four Cameroonian soldiers were sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison and another to two years for the execution-style killings of two women and their two children in a region where the army is fighting jihadists.

A video was broadcast on social media in July 2018 showing soldiers shooting two kneeling blindfolded women as well as a baby on one of their backs and a girl.

The government initially denied the involvement of its army, but later arrested seven suspects. Two were acquitted.

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7 killed, 4 injured in ‘massacre’ in south-western Colombia

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Seven people were killed and four others injured in an attack in south-western Colombia on Sunday, local media reported.

“Seven young people … were massacred with grenades and gunshots,” Senator Temistocles Ortega told broadcaster Caracol.

The attack happened in Munchique, in the south-western state of Cauca.

“You have no alternatives in Cauca,” Ortega said, adding that those who live there are “exposed to criminals of all types.”

Army spokesman Marco Vinicio Mayorga told the broadcaster that the crime was “preliminarily attributed” to the Jaime Martinez column, which emerged from the 2016 demobilization of the guerrilla movement FARC and operates in the area.

The country’s ombudsman for human rights condemned the Cauca events on Twitter, saying: “We urgently need to eradicate the … violence which affects rights and constantly endanger the lives of Colombians.”

More than 240 people have died in 60 massacres – defined as killings of at least three people – in the country so far this year, according to the NGO Indepaz, which monitors the violence.

According to the NGO, the Monchique attack was the eleventh this month alone.

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