World Bulletin/News Desk
The U.N. Security Council on Friday approved for another year the world body's peacekeeping force in Haiti, but it will be cut in size by about 15 percent as it hands over security responsibility to the Haitian national police.
The 15-nation council unanimously approved a reduction of authorized troops and police by 1,710 to 8,871, as recommended by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. There are now about 10,000 U.N. peacekeepers in Haiti, and Ban recommended a gradual drawdown to be completed by June 2013.
Haiti is still struggling to recover from a strong January 2010 earthquake that killed about 300,000 people and left more than 1.5 million homeless.
The U.N. force, known as the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, or MINUSTAH, was established in 2004 to help Haiti's short-staffed and ill-equipped police maintain security, especially during elections plagued by fraud and unrest. The force's size was increased after the earthquake.
Dozens of countries contribute troops and police to the force.
The U.N. force became highly unpopular in Haiti after peacekeepers were blamed by locals for a cholera outbreak two years ago this month that has sickened almost 600,000 people and killed more than 7,400 in the Caribbean nation, the poorest in the western hemisphere.
An independent panel appointed by Ban to study the epidemic issued a report in May 2011 that the United Nations said did not determine conclusively how cholera was introduced into Haiti.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in June 2011 found that evidence strongly suggested U.N. peacekeepers from Nepal were the source.
In March, two U.N. peacekeepers from Pakistan were sentenced to a year in prison for raping a 14-year-old Haitian boy after being convicted in a Pakistani military trial in Haiti.
That rape case triggered renewed protests and demands from Haitian senators that U.N. peacekeepers be stripped of immunity and be tried in a Haitian court.
Police claim that 16 year old Ali Abu Ghanim, 17, ran towards them with a knife after they were provoked by the Israeli troops.
Officials tell Anadolu Agency that the commander of 1st Division of Iraqi army and three others killed during heavy clashes.
UN envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura briefed the UNSC on the latest bid to find a political solution to the 4 year conflict.
A boat carrying 80 refugees broke down while carrying 80 African refugees off the southeast coast of Tunisia
Italian police believe the suspects were involved in the October 2009 bomb attack in the Pakistani city of Peshawar that killed over 100 people.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that a new system for asylum seekers needs to be in place for an equal distribution of refugees across European countries.
UN rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein has called on the media to act against xenophobia with "freedom of expression'" being used as a guise that recycles intolerance towards refugees.
Six people were killed and five others injured from the "Zaghawa Um-Kmelty" tribe in South Darfur on Thursday at the hands of peacekeepers from the joint African Union-United Nations mission in Darfur (UNAMID).
Racist incidents have more than tripled, say refugee organisations, with attacks on buildings that house foreigners also being attacked.
Eight Palestinians were hurt as the Israeli army dispersed tear gas with one Palestinian shot in the foot, while others were hit by rubber bullets
The European Union, drawing on its army of diplomats, aims to ensure that big emitters are "sensitised to the political importance of submitting an ambitious contribution" as early as possible, it says.
Kremlin says that US Congress had passed a Ukraine Freedom Support Act in 2014 which would allow for the provision of advanced weaponry.
Prosecutors blamed the Tunisian captain of a fishing boat for causing the deaths of hundreds of migrants locked below decks when his vessel capsized in the Mediterranean
Five people were killed and homes burnt down by Ugandan rebels in Congo, with 3 UN soldiers who were part of landmine investigative team were kidnapped.
The Consumers Association of Malawi have called for a boycott of South African products in response to attacks against African migrants in the country.
Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz has said that 14 out of the 115 citizens have been deported back to Spain, nine of whom are languishing in prison.