UNICEF: UNICEF announced today that it has received credible reports that rebel groups and pro-government militias are increasingly recruiting and involving children in armed conflict in the CAR. The agency calls for the immediate cessation of child recruitment by all armed groups in the CAR, urging all parties to protect children against the harmful impact of, and their involvement in, armed conflict in the country.

UNHCR: The UN Refugee Agency has concluded its repatriation operation for tens of thousands of Liberians who were forced into exile due to the 14 years of civil war in their country. The final 724 Liberians returned from Guinea on the last weekend of 2012, officially ending a program that began a year after peace was restored in Liberia, in 2004. In total, UNHCR assisted more than 150,000 Liberian refugees in returning to their homes.

DRC: MONUSCO announced today that a substantial increase in violence among ethnic groups in the DRC has led to a serious humanitarian crisis in the country. There has been a significant increase in the number of internally displaced persons at the Kilimani, Kalinga, Lushebere and Bihito camps in Masisi, which contain 20,700 IDPs in total. The SG’s Spokesperson today also reported that a human rights investigation is under way in the country.

Next week at the UN:

Monday, January 7: Michel Sidibé, the Executive Director of UNAIDS, will brief the press at 2:00 PM.