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20 Feb 2017 description

Anglican Bishop Paul Yogusuk said soldiers had attacked at least five women and girls a week ago following a deadly ambush on a military convoy

By Denis Dumo

JUBA, Feb 19 (Reuters) - The South Sudanese military has launched a rare investigation into allegations that soldiers gang-raped villagers, a bishop told Reuters on Sunday, after a week of high-level army resignations by officers citing rampant abuse.

20 Feb 2017 description

The close proximity of opposing sides and continued use of heavy weapons prompted leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine to call for renewed efforts to implement peace agreement

By Pavel Polityuk

AVDIYIVKA, Ukraine, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed separatists appeared to be respecting a new ceasefire attempt on Monday after international powers called for shelling to stop and for the withdrawal of banned heavy weapons.

20 Feb 2017 description

Eleven people were hospitalised after the jump over the 6-metre, barbed-wire fencing surrounding the North African enclave

MADRID, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Some 359 African migrants broke through the border fence between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Ceuta early on Monday, in a second mass push after about 500 migrants breached the fence on Friday.

More than 1,400 migrants are now waiting in the North African enclave to be processed, Ceuta authorities said, adding that tents had been requested to house the latest arrivals.

19 Feb 2017 description

by Reuters
Sunday, 19 February 2017 17:45 GMT

Islamic State militants are essentially under siege in western Mosul, along with an estimated 650,000 civilians

  • Iraqi forces have captured eastern part of city

  • New offensive targets western side of Tigris river

  • Mosul was Islamic State's de facto capital in Iraq

  • U.N. says up to 400,000 civilians could be displaced

  • Several thousand killed, wounded since October start

19 Feb 2017 description

by Reuters
Sunday, 19 February 2017 22:48 GMT

Violence in western Syria has increasingly tarnished a shaky ceasefire

BEIRUT, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Syrian government forces fired rockets at a rebel-held area on Damascus's outskirts on Sunday, pressing an attack that began the day before and has killed up to 16 people, a medical worker and war monitors said.

Read more on the Thomson Reuters Foundation

19 Feb 2017 description

by Reuters
Sunday, 19 February 2017 12:38 GMT

"We'll be sending these people home quickly because if we don't it'll damage our credibility as a state based on the rule of law" - German official Altmaier

BERLIN, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Germany deported a record 80,000 migrants denied asylum last year and that figure will rise again in 2017, a top official said, as Chancellor Angela Merkel seeks to win back conservative voters before elections in September.

19 Feb 2017 description

by Reuters
Saturday, 18 February 2017 17:28 GMT

Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine agree to use their influence to implement a ceasefire and the withdrawal of heavy weapons in eastern Ukraine

(Recasts, add quotes)

By John Irish and Andrea Shalal

MUNICH, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine agreed on Saturday to use their influence to implement a ceasefire and the withdrawal of heavy weapons from Monday in eastern Ukraine.

18 Feb 2017 description

by Reuters
Saturday, 18 February 2017 20:04 GMT

Syrian warplanes bombard besieged rebel-held district of Homs, southern Deraa and insurgent areas in Damascus's outskirts

By John Davison

BEIRUT, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Syrian warplanes bombarded a besieged rebel-held district of Homs, southern Deraa and insurgent areas in Damascus's outskirts on Saturday in what appeared to be intensifying assaults in the west of the country, monitors said.

17 Feb 2017 description

"We believe some migrants are coming back and that 300 to 400 of them are currently in the region. Most of them teenagers or young adults"

By Matthias Blamont

PARIS, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Some 300 to 400 migrants, mostly unaccompanied children, have made their way back to Calais in northern France over the past few weeks in the hope of reaching Britain, non-government associations say.

Read more on the Thomson Reuters Foundation

17 Feb 2017 description

"If the reservoir does not fill up, the city's water system will collapse by mid-year. You would have to evacuate the city"

By Anthony Boadle

CAMPINA GRANDE, Brazil, Feb 17 (Reuters) - The shrunken carcasses of cows lie in scorched fields outside the city of Campina Grande in northeast Brazil, and hungry goats search for food on the cracked-earth floor of the Boqueirao reservoir that serves the desperate town.

17 Feb 2017 description

Last year, reunifications dropped by 50 percent because there was not enough money to trace families

By Siegfried Modola

BENTIU, Feb 16 (Reuters) - In the chaos of South Sudan's civil war, it took three years for Nyagonga Machul to find her lost children.

Machul had travelled from her village to the capital when President Salva Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, fired his deputy Riek Machar, a Nuer, in 2013. The dismissal triggered a civil war in the world's newest nation that has increasingly been fought along ethnic lines.

17 Feb 2017 description

Dozens of migrants, many with wounds from climbing over the 6-metre barbed wire fence, celebrated in the streets with some shouting "freedom"

MADRID, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Around 500 sub-Saharan African migrants crossed the fenced border surrounding Spain's North African enclave of Ceuta from Morocco early on Friday, emergency services said.

17 Feb 2017 description

"After six months at the camps, some of the boys came back to spend a weekend with their younger brothers. They were wearing uniforms and carrying weapons"

  • Former orphanage in east Mosul held dozens of boys

  • Taught hardline ideology, older ones sent to military camp

  • Site cleared out ahead of ongoing government offensive

By Stephen Kalin

17 Feb 2017 description

The attackers detonated their bombs near a refugee camp, outside which crowds were gathering around trucks before trying to return home

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Seven suspected Boko Haram militants blew themselves on the outskirts of a northeast Nigerian city on Friday, a local aid agency said, in an attack witnesses said targeted refugees preparing to return to their home villages.

Read more on Thomson Reuters Foundation

17 Feb 2017 description

Thursday, 16 February 2017 13:21 GMT

1,000 Rohingya refugees identified as priorities for resettlement on medical grounds or because they have been separated from their family members

By Krishna N. Das

COX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh, Feb 16 (Reuters) - The United Nations' refugee agency has asked Bangladesh to allow it to negotiate with the United States, Canada and some European countries to resettle around 1,000 Rohingya Muslims living in the South Asian nation, a senior official at the agency said.

17 Feb 2017 description

Asylum seekers on Manus Island pressured to take amounts of up to $25,000 to return to their countries, or face deportation

  • Failed asylum seekers offered up to $25k to voluntarily go home

  • About 860 men held on PNG's Manus Island under Australian policy

  • Australia says "substantial assistance" offered to non-refugees

  • Increased urgency comes amid doubts about US refugee swap plan

By Colin Packham and Aaron Bunch

16 Feb 2017 description

In 2011, Somalia suffered a famine that killed 260,000 people. The famine was declared in July, but most people had already died by May

By Tom Miles

GENEVA, Feb 16 (Reuters) - More than 20 million people - greater than the population of Romania or Florida - risk dying from starvation within six months in four separate famines, U.N. World Food Programme chief economist Arif Husain says.

16 Feb 2017 description

The storm has brought heavy rain and winds, raising the risk of flooding and crop damage in Mozambique

MAPUTO, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Tropical storm Dineo has killed seven people in Mozambique since it hit the eastern coast on Wednesday, the government's disaster centre said on Thursday.

The storm, has brought heavy rain and winds of up to 160 km an hour (100 mph), raising the risk of flooding and crop damage in the impoverished southern African country.

16 Feb 2017 description

Thursday, 16 February 2017 19:21 GMT

A suicide bomber entered the shrine as crowds massed, Sindh police spokesman says

  • Second major attack on Sufi shrines in recent months

  • Islamic State a growing threat in Pakistan

  • Bombing was latest in wave of attacks this week

By Syed Raza Hassan

16 Feb 2017 description

With their wealth tied up in livestock or land, village folk are often less able to start afresh when forced to new surroundings

  • Refugees from Aleppo's hinterland face tough conditions

  • Hardship for children in Aleppo's Jibreen shelter

  • "Beehive villages" near Aleppo front lines abandoned

By Angus McDowall