In a meeting with Rwandan President Kagame, Bathily, Special Representative and Head of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa, reiterates the UN Secretary-General’s condemnation of the current violence in Burundi. Bathily will continue to hold consultations with political parties, civil society and religious organizations, government officials and the diplomatic community, with the view to reconvene the political dialogue as soon as possible. Bathily:
[The situation in Burundi is accumulating] the well-known and visible marks of a society which previously suffered divisions leading to grave violence. Currently the humanitarian crisis caused by the escalating political tensions in Burundi has worsened, and uptick in the number of refugees seeking asylum and a deterioration in health conditions at refugee camps receiving them.
Officials in the House of Commons Library warn that airstrikes against ISIS in Syria may be difficult to justify under international law, despite Cameron’s view that the Assad regime is illegitimate and does not need to give permission for military operations. A briefing paper prepared for Members of Parliament:
Action in Syria will be difficult to justify legally without a request for assistance from the Assad government, and it is unlikely that the West could be seen to be responding to such a request. The British Government has said that any action in Syria will comply with international law, and the most likely way to achieve this would be to claim that military action is for humanitarian purposes, using the Responsibility to Protect doctrine. This remains controversial, however, without a United Nations Security Council resolution to authorise it.
The UN High Commission on Refugees says the upcoming winter threatens to worsen conditions for around half a million displaced Iraqis receiving UN aid in August. A statement:
Time is now of the essence in providing support to Iraq’s displaced. Winter is approaching fast, with snow, rain and muddy conditions. In less than three months from now, daily temperatures will average less than ten degrees Celsius, and the rains will begin.
The agency says it has provided more than 100,000 mattresses, 10,000 family tents, and 40,000 jerry cans for water as well as tens of thousands of other essential items for some of the estimated 850,000 people who have fled into the northern Kurdistan region. It will send another 10 aid flights into Erbil over the next few days to supply 40,000 blankets, 10,000 kitchen sets, and almost 18,000 plastic tarpaulins. However the accommodation situation remains acute and the agency needs extra financial support:
UNHCR, as a part of the UN humanitarian relief effort, will be launching an appeal for an additional US$350 million to help meet these needs. The main focus will be on providing life-saving protection services and assistance to respond to the most urgent basic needs of displaced Iraqis, including winterization support.
The UN says ISIS has massacred about 700 Shiite Turkmen. The victims include ‘women, children and old people,’ UNICEF Iraq chief Marzio Babille says. The killings are reported to have been carried out in the northern Iraqi village of Beshir between July 11 and 12.
There are fears a massacre is imminent of around 13,000 Shiite Turkmen in the northern town of Amerli held under siege by ISIS since June 15, the UN says. The population includes 10,000 women and children who are living in horrendous conditions with severe food and water shortages and no medical services. UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navi Pillay:
The Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan region of Iraq, and the international community must take all necessary measures and spare no effort to protect members of ethnic and religious communities, who are particularly vulnerable, and to secure their return to their places of origin in safety and dignity.