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About 30,000 foreign Jihadists fight in Iraq, Syria: UN

Former French judge urged greater cooperation with internet giants like Google, Twitter and Microsoft to help track potential terrorists online

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Syrian war. Image source: www.cnn.com
  • IS Jihadist group is able to adapt much faster and more flexible than the governments fighting them
  • IS has shown a “remarkable ability to adapt” such as seeking new funding sources like drug smuggling
  • Terrorist attacks in Syria and Iraq are getting bigger and bigger to counter-balance the pressure on them

GENEVA, July 6– There are almost 30,000 foreign jihadists fighting in war-ravaged Syria and neighbouring Iraq currently, the head of the UN Security Council’s counterterrorism agency said, warning that the risk of attacks in their home countries was growing.

“The number of foreign terrorist fighters is very high inSyria and Iraq,” said Jean-Paul Laborde, UN assistant secretary general and head of its counter-terrorism Committee on Tuesday, July 5.

“There are nearly 30,000, and now that the territory held by Daesh (the Islamic State group) is shrinking in Iraq, we are seeing them return, not only to Europe but to all of their countries of origin, like Tunisia, Morocco,” he told reporters in Geneva.

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The figure is based on information compiled from governments, he said.

Attacks launched by foreign fighters returning to their home countries were likely to increase in ferocity, in retaliation for international military action that is putting them on the back foot, Laborde warned.

“The terrorist attacks in those countries of origin risk getting bigger and bigger to counter-balance the pressure on them” on the ground in Syria and Iraq, he said.

Syria War. Image source: www.nbcnews.com
Syria War. Image source: www.nbcnews.com

Another danger is that terrorist organisations like the Islamic State jihadist group have shown themselves able to adapt much faster and more flexible than the governments fighting them, Laborde warned.

IS has shown a “remarkable ability to adapt” such as seeking new funding sources like drug smuggling, even as the territory it controls has been shrinking, he said.

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The former French judge urged greater cooperation with internet giants like Google, Twitter and Microsoft to help track potential terrorists online and urged states to share more information faster.

“If we don’t do that, we will continue to see a growing number of terrorist acts,” Laborde said. (IANS/AKI)

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  • Aparna Gupta

    30000 is a large number and will require quite an effort from the government side to counteract.

  • Karishma Vanjani

    Jihad a word very well misinterpreted. Now referencing only to extremist groups it once related to a fight against ones inner demons.

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UN Warns Millions in South Sudan to Face Acute Shortage of Food in Coming Weeks

The United Nations estimates nearly 7 million South Sudanese, or 61 percent of the population, will face acute levels of food insecurity in about six weeks' time

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south sudan, acute hunger
A refugee from South Sudan transports food she received from the World Food Program (WFP) in Palorinya settlement camp for distribution, in Moyo district northern Uganda, Oct. 26, 2017. VOA

U.N. agencies warn millions of people in South Sudan will face acute shortages of food by the end of July, with tens of thousands experiencing famine-like conditions. A new report released Friday by the U.N.’s World Food Program, Food and Agriculture Organization and UNICEF, along with the government of South Sudan, assesses the food situation in the world’s youngest country.

Food is always in short supply during South Sudan’s lean season. But, this year, the situation is worse than usual because of a much-delayed rainfall on top of an economic crisis and population displacement due to conflict.

south sudan, hunger
The agency currently is providing food for 2.77 million people. Pixabay

The United Nations estimates nearly 7 million South Sudanese, or 61 percent of the population, will face acute levels of food insecurity in about six weeks’ time.

World Food Program spokesman Herve Verhoosel tells VOA the crisis will be especially dire for thousands of people living in inaccessible parts of former Jonglei, Lakes, and Upper Nile states.

“Twenty-one thousand people in the country are in a very catastrophic situation.  They need very urgently access to that food,” said Verhoosel. “We know that urgent food assistance is needed in most of the country, especially because of the conflict and because of the season. And, that is at the end of July that we will have a very difficult time and most of the people will need that food assistance.”

hunger, south sudan
The United Nations estimates nearly 7 million South Sudanese, or 61 percent of the population, will face acute levels of food insecurity in about six weeks’ time. Pixabay

Verhoosel says people living in the worst-affected areas are experiencing famine-like conditions, with little or nothing to eat or to feed their families.  The agency currently is providing food for 2.77 million people. Verhoosel says the WFP plans to scale up aid to reach more than 5 million by the end of the year.

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The U.N. children’s fund and partners say they too will scale up services to reach more children affected by severe acute malnutrition with therapeutic feeding.

The Food and Agriculture Organization reports it is providing new varieties of seed suited to local conditions.  It says it also is training farmers in techniques that will reduce losses from drought and flooding. (VOA)