World Briefs: UN prepares to downsize forces in war-torn Sudan

UN prepares to downsize forces in war-torn Sudan

EL-FASHIR (Sudan) • Sudan's top United States envoy has begun a trip to Darfur to assess security in the war-torn region as the United Nations prepares to downsize its 17,000-strong peacekeeping force. Mr Steven Koutsis' visit comes just weeks before the US decides whether to permanently lift a two-decade-old trade embargo on Sudan.

Mr Koutsis said he was concerned over whether local and national governments were ready to provide security to the people of Darfur.


Mediterranean rescue: 730 migrants picked up

MADRID • Humanitarian ships picked up about 730 migrants from rubber and wooden boats in the Mediterranean on Sunday, adding to a lengthening list of rescue operations in recent days.

The migrants were picked up in seven separate rescue operations aboard three dinghies and four wooden craft, Italy's Coast Guard said.

Arrivals of migrants in Italy are up almost 18 per cent on the same period last year.


EU blasts Trump for Paris Agreement pullout

LUXEMBOURG • The European Union yesterday blasted US President Donald Trump for pulling out of the Paris climate change pact and said Brussels would continue to lead efforts to prevent global warming.

A statement approved by the bloc's foreign ministers said the European Council reaffirms that the Paris Agreement is fit for purpose and cannot be renegotiated.

Mr Trump said the pact hit the US with draconian financial and economic burdens.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 20, 2017, with the headline 'World Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe