News in Brief 04 August 2017 (AM)

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At the Casa del Migrante de Saltillo, a migrant shelter in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila, a day’s journey to the Texas border, migrants are given food, medical care and legal aid. File Photo: Amy Stillman/IRIN

IOM data shows rise in migrants deaths at US-Mexico border

Undocumented migrants attempting to cross the border from Mexico into the United States are dying at a faster rate than in previous years, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has reported.

There have been 232 fatalities so far this year, up from 204 during the same period in 2016.

The findings come in a briefing issued on Friday by the Missing Migrants Project at IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre.

It said 50 bodies were recorded as discovered in July, the most in any month so far in 2017.

Other startling figures include the discovery of 10 bodies trapped in the back of a tractor-trailer last week, in San Antonio, Texas.

Meanwhile, 96 bodies have been recovered in Pima County, Arizona, where temperatures can soar above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) between May and September.

IOM said the numbers are worrying, given that US Border Patrol figures show fewer migrants appear to be crossing into the country this year.

Joel Millman is the agency’s spokesperson in Geneva:

“Apprehensions are almost half—about half of what they were last year, slightly more than half; yet the deaths are up. So, the important thing to note is that fewer people seem to be crossing but a greater percentage are dying.”

Security Council condemns deadly attack on AU peacekeepers in Somalia

The UN Security Council has reaffirmed its stance against terrorism following the recent killing of 12 African Union (AU) peacekeepers in Somalia.

The Ugandan soldiers were members of a contingent that was on a joint patrol with the Somali National Army when they were attacked by Al-Shabaab militants.

Seven other soldiers were injured in the incident, which occurred last Saturday, 30 July, in the south of the country.

Council members issued a statement on Thursday which condemned the attack, underlining that terrorism is among the most serious threats to international peace and security.

They called for perpetrators and those who finance and sponsor terrorist acts to be brought to justice.

Refugee athletes participate in World Athletics Championships

Five refugee athletes will be competing in the World Athletics Championships which open on Friday in London, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has announced.

This marks the first time in the 34-year history of the event that refugees will be taking part.

The athletes, who come from Somalia and South Sudan, live in Kenya and have been training in the capital, Nairobi.

Anjelina Nadai Lohalith, a 23-year-old from South Sudan, will be running in the 1500 metres.

She is no stranger to international competition, having been a member of the history-making refugee team that participated in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“I see myself competing one day one time in a higher level. Right now I am participating with the champions and now this is my time I have to polish my talent and to show people in the world that a refugee can make it.”

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 3’13″

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