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Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General
1 Mar 2017 -  The UN Mission in Colombia is starting the verification of the FARC-EP’s laying down of arms. A report out today by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic says that the brutal tactics used by the parties to the conflict in Aleppo between July and December 2016 resulted in unparalleled suffering for Syrian men, women and children and amount to war crimes. Our colleagues at the Peacekeeping Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) said yesterday that verified information shows that the coalition led by the FPRC [Front Populaire pour la Renaissance de Centrafrique] is distributing weapons to youth in Ippy, in Ouaka prefecture, to continue its offensive on Bambari, in clear violation of the line set up by UN forces. According to a new report by the Joint Human Rights Office of the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), defence and security forces used excessive, disproportionate and at times lethal force to prevent and contain demonstrations in December 2016. Since the famine was declared in parts of South Sudan, the United Nations and partners have delivered food to nearly 114,000 people across four locations in Mayendit county and to nearly 25,500 people in two locations in Koch county. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya, Martin Kobler, yesterday expressed concern about continued reports of civilians trapped in the midst of a combat zone in Benghazi without access to food and water. Our humanitarian colleagues say that the number of people displaced by the ongoing fighting in western Mosul has continued to surge. Since 25 February, people have fled western Mosul at an average of approximately 4,000 people per day. Today, our colleagues from UNAIDS are marking Zero Discrimination Day with a “Make Some Noise” campaign – urging people to speak up against discrimination. Gender-sensitive drug policies and programmes, better health-care access for drug-dependent women and more funding to prevent and treat drug abuse among women are needed, according to the Annual Report 2016, which was released today by the Vienna-based International Narcotics Control Board (INCB). A committee of experts backed by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) today announced new records for the highest temperatures recorded in the Antarctic Region.