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Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, 23 May 2022 - Ukraine, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Yemen

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Quick humanitarian update for you on Ukraine: Our colleagues on the ground telling us that they remain concerned about the impact on civilians by the reported fierce fighting in eastern Luhanska, Donetska and Kharkivska oblasts, which is killing and injuring people, and damaging or destroying homes, residential buildings and civilian infrastructure. In the Government-controlled part of Luhanska oblast, local authorities informed that, on 21 May, a bridge leading to the administrative centre of the oblast — Sievierodonetsk — was destroyed. This left the partially encircled city reachable by only one road. While some people have managed to leave Sievierodonetsk over the weekend, local authorities estimate that thousands of civilians remain in the war-affected city and require urgent support. Our humanitarian colleagues also tell us that shelling and air strikes were reported in other areas of Ukraine, including in northern, central and southern parts, claiming civilian lives and damaging civilian infrastructure. We remind the parties to the conflict of their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure and to allow rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief for civilians in need.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Head of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), Bintou Keita, has condemned yesterday’s targeted attacks in the Province of North Kivu. These attacks were committed by the armed group M23 [23 March Movement] against members of the Congolese armed forces and UN peacekeepers. Following the attack, a joint operation was launched to free the area from the M23, and with the priority objective of protecting civilians. There is an assessment underway to determine the consequences of these attacks, as well as humanitarian needs. Ms. Keita deplored the new displacements of populations resulting from these clashes. She also called on the M23 to immediately cease all hostilities and disarm unconditionally.