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Ban Ki moon: All-female Indian police unit inspiration for all

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New Delhi: UN Chief Ban Ki moon on Friday applauded India’s women peacekeeping unit in the Formed Police Unit (FPU) in Liberia for their outstanding contribution in combatting sexual exploitation and abuse.

The Secretary-General commended the women as an inspiration for all as the first-ever all-female police unit deployed ended its operations after nine years.

“Through their unwavering performance, professionalism and discipline, including during the Ebola epidemic, these brave women gained the respect of both the Government and the Liberian people,” the Secretary General’s spokesman said in a statement.

Ban Ki-moon said, “Through their work, they managed criminality, deterred sexual and gender-based violence and helped rebuild safety and confidence among the population.” The 125 women and supporting personnel are returning to their homeland this weekend.

According to the statement, Ban hailed the Formed Police Unit (FPU) for making such environment for Liberia where it can fully assume its security responsibilities as mandated by the Security Council by June 30, 2016.

Ban also stated that the United Nations effort in diminishing sexual abuse and exploitation is a direct consequence of the FPU’s step in deploying more female uniformed personnel.The Secretary-General thanked all the women for being the models for gender equality and an inspiration for all Liberians, as well as current and future generations of female police officers.

Ban Ki-moon also paid tribute to the outstanding contribution of the Indian government in support of the United Nations peace operations.(Inputs from Agencies)

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As Refugees Flee DR Congo, UN Steps Up to Reduce The Risk of Ebola

The UNHCR says refugees are at the same risk of contracting and transmitting the Ebola virus disease as local farmers, merchants, business people and others moving through the area.

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A Congolese health worker checks the temperature of a man before the launch of vaccination campaign against the deadly Ebola virus near Mangina village, near the town of Beni in North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo. VOA

The U.N. refugee agency reports it is stepping up efforts to reduce the risk of the spread of the deadly Ebola virus as refugees flee DR Congo. Latest estimates put the number of confirmed and probable cases of Ebola in eastern DRC at 49, including 38 deaths.

The U.N. refugee agency is working closely with DRC authorities and other agencies on actions to contain Ebola on the national and regional level. But, its main focus is to monitor possible Ebola infections among refugees fleeing across the border, mainly to Uganda, from conflict ridden North Kivu and Ituri.

UNHCR spokesman, William Spindler says the number of newly arriving refugees into Uganda from these two Ebola affected provinces increased during July from 170 a day to 250 a day. He says the majority currently is crossing at the Kisoro border point.

A family sits outside in a neighborhood where three people died of Ebola last month, in Mbandaka, Congo, June 1, 2018. For the first time since the Ebola virus was identified more than 40 years ago, a vaccine has been dispatched to front line health workers.
A family sits outside in a neighborhood where three people died of Ebola last month, in Mbandaka, Congo,
VOA

“So UNHCR is working with WHO, UNICEF and other partners and with the Ministry of Health of Uganda to intensify screening for Ebola at all border entry points. And, additional health workers have been deployed in the border districts to improve response capacity,” he said.

Spindler notes the World Health Organization is not recommending any restriction on the movement of people. Therefore, he says UNHCR is urging countries neighboring DRC to allow refugees in need of protection to enter their territory and to include them into preparedness and response plans and activities.

Also Read: United Nations Security Council to Closse 13-year-old Haiti Peacekeeping Mission in October

The UNHCR says refugees are at the same risk of contracting and transmitting the Ebola virus disease as local farmers, merchants, business people and others moving through the area. Therefore, it urges governments and local communities not to adopt measures that single out refugees. Those measures may not be scientifically sound and will only serve to stigmatize and restrict refugees’ freedom of movement. (VOA)