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South Sudan: Ban condemns renewed violence between opposing factions

India Blooms News Service | | 31 Oct 2014, 10:17 am
New York, Oct 31 (IBNS) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged an immediate end of all hostilities in South Sudan amid a renewed outbreak of violence in two towns in the country’s North, the United Nations confirmed on Thursday.

In a statement attributable to UN his spokesperson,  Ban on Thursday strongly condemned the flare-up in hostilities between the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and Opposition forces in the towns of Bentiu and Rubkona, located in Unity State.

South Sudan has experienced several bouts of violence over the past few months, including an incident in which the UN base in Bentiu came under fire resulting in the wounding of one child. Meanwhile, a prior attack caused hundreds of people to seek shelter at the nearest airport. Approximately 340 civilians took shelter with UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) troops, and then were escorted to safety.

Political in-fighting between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy, Riek Machar, started in mid-December 2013 and subsequently turned into a full-fledged conflict that has sent nearly 100,000 civilians fleeing to UNMISS bases around the country. The crisis has uprooted some 1.5 million people and placed more than 7 million at risk of hunger and disease.

“This resumption of hostilities is yet again a serious violation of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and undermines the ongoing IGAD [Intergovernmental Authority on Development] efforts to find a political solution to the conflict in South Sudan,”  Ban continued, referring to ongoing regional efforts to bring peace to the young nation.

In addition, the Secretary-General reminded all parties of the inviolability of all UN premises, including UNMISS Protection of Civilian sites, where the Mission is currently protecting some 100,000 displaced civilians – including 49,000 of them in Bentiu alone.

“The Secretary-General also urges both parties to participate constructively in the ongoing political negotiations in Addis Ababa and reach urgently an agreement on inclusive and comprehensive transitional arrangements,” the statement added.
 

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again; UNESCO regrets #HagiaSophia, #Turkey, #Istanbul, #HagiaSophiaMosqueAgain Istanbul/IBNS: Hagia Sophia, Turkey's iconic monument, a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the central attractions of its capital Istanbul, is no longer a museum. It has been turned back as a mosque though some 1500 years ago it was built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral. Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman time in 1453 while under Ataturk it was turned into a museum in 1935. The decision comes amid a growing rise of the Islamists in Turkey who had been demanding that it be restored as a mosque though Opposition leaders with secular credentials had been against the move. A top court in Turkey ruled that turning it into a museum in 1935 by modern Turkey's secular architect Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was illegal, paving the way for present Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare it as a mosque again and to open it for Muslim prayers. Erdogan made the announcement an hour after the court ruled the conversion to museum in 1935 as illegal and scrapped its status. "May it be beneficial," posted Erdogan on Twitter, sharing an official document on the change with his signature. UNESCO regrets In an immediate reaction, UNESCO said it "deeply regrets" the decision. UNESCO said it was "regrettable that the Turkish decision was not the subject of dialog nor notification beforehand". "UNESCO calls on the Turkish authorities to open a dialog without delay in order to avoid a step back from the universal value of this exceptional heritage whose preservation will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in its next session," the United Nation's cultural body said in a statement. Istanbul icon of beauty and wonderment According to Turkey's official tourism website, Hagia Sophia is a remarkable achievement in the history of architecture. and a living proof of mankind's revolt against the laws of physics and it calls it a monument whose importance transcends borders. It is one of UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage sites attracting millions of visitors across the world with its majestic grandeur

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again 11 Jul 2020, 01:37 pm