Voice of America
Voice of America 21 May 2020

UN, Afghans Concerned Over Increase in Violence in Afghanistan


US special representative for Afghanistan in region to press Taliban, Afghan government to begin negotiations

More than two dozen people have been killed in violence this week in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The attacks by ethnic Lendu farmers in Ituri province have mostly targeted Hema herders.
They have long been in conflict over grazing rights and political representation.
Al Jazeera's Laura Burdon-Manley reports.
More than 1,500 police officers have been deployed in the Afghan capital, Kabul, to enforce the lockdown.
Only health workers, security forces, and people shopping for basic necessities will be allowed onto the streets.
The government has registered 423 coronavirus cases so far, including 73 in Kabul.
Al Jazeera's Laura Burdon-Manley reports.
Nine inmates died in Peru during a riot sparked by coronavirus fears in an overcrowded jail in the Peruvian capital of Lima, according to the country's prison service.

As of Wednesday, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has now surpassed 31,000 in Peru with at least 854 deaths.
Opening remarks by António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations on the Commemoration of the International Day of UN Peacekeepers 2020 - Women in Peacekeeping: A Key to Peace.

"(...)The pandemic has required us to hold the ceremonies for the Military Gender Advocate Award and the Dag Hammarskjold Medal virtually.
But what the virus has not changed is the service, sacrifice and selflessness of the more than 95,000 women and men serving in 13 peacekeeping operations around the world.
Every day, our peacekeepers continue to protect vulnerable local populations, support dialogue and implement their mandates while fighting COVID-19. 
They are doing everything they can to be an integral part of the solution to this crisis while keeping themselves - and the communities they serve - safe.
As always, they give the United Nations family many reasons to be proud.
But the virus is not the only threat that our peacekeepers face. Hostile acts, improvised explosive devices, accidents and diseases continue to take a heavy toll.
Today, with the awarding of the Dag Hammarskjold medal, we pay tribute to the 83 military, police and civilian personnel from 39 countries who lost their lives last year serving in UN peace operations.
I honor their memory and express my deepest condolences to their families. I hope that this medal offers them a measure of comfort (...)" - António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations [Excerpt].

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