Top of the Morning: Mali Rebel Group Ready to Sign Peace Deal

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Mali Rebel Group Ready to Sign Peace Deal

The main Tuareg rebel group occupying a part of northern Mali is prepared to accept a proposed peace agreement with the government. The NMLA, said Wednesday in Burkina Faso where the negotiations are being held, that his group was ready to validate the agreement “in the interest of peace.” Mali’s representative flew back to Mali to consult with his government. It was not clear whether Mali would accept the proposal. Among the sticking points is whether the NMLA will allow the Malian military to return to Kidal, the provincial capital which they control, ahead of the July 28 election. (AP http://yhoo.it/13DzUTu)

Ban Ki Moon Urges Boost in Golan Peacekeeping Mission

Countries are pulling out of the 900 strong peacekeeping mission. But Ban Ki Moon says that is exactly the wrong thing to do. He wants the size of the force increased and the troops given better equipment. “A spillover of violence from Syria’s civil war into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights is jeopardizing a decades old ceasefire between Israel and Syria, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a report to the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday. Ban recommended to the 15-member council that self defense capabilities of a U.N. peacekeeping mission in the area, known as UNDOF, be enhanced, “including increasing the force strength to about 1,250 and improving its self defense equipment.” (Reuters http://reut.rs/11asN6R)

Shocking Statistics in New Child Labor Report

A new ILO report outlines the abuses suffered by the 10 million child laborers around the world. “According to the latest figures in ILO’s report, Ending child labour in domestic work, released to coincide with the Day, of the 10.5 million underage workers, an estimated 6.5 million are child labourers aged between five and 14 years of age. More than 71 per cent are girls, some of whom work as a result of forced labour and trafficking…In addition to the children working under the legal age in their countries, ILO estimates that an additional 5 million children – defined as people under the age of 18 – are involved in paid or unpaid domestic work in the home of a third party or employer.” (UN http://bit.ly/11asFEm)

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