News in Brief 20 October 2017 (PM)

20 October 2017

Peacekeepers wounded in Central African Republic 

Two UN peacekeepers were wounded following clashes with so-called anti-Balaka fighters who attacked a town in the Central African Republic (CAR) on Thursday.

The mainly-Christian armed group has been battling mostly-Muslim rebel fighters across the country since civil conflict began in 2013.

The peacekeepers from the UN Mission, MINUSCA, arrived in the town of Pombolo in order to protect civilians, following widespread violence that has reportedly killed at least 26, and injured dozens.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres is flying to CAR next week to help build international support for the country and pay tribute to the life-saving work of peacekeepers across the world.

UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq briefed reporters on the latest clashes on Friday.

The wounded peacekeepers are in stable condition and are being evacuated for medical treatment to Bria. Additional peacekeepers are in the process of being deployed to Pombolo to reinforce the UN’s presence in the area.”

Intensified fighting between extremists in Afghanistan triggers displacement

Intensified fighting between Taliban extremists and a Daesh-affiliated group in Afghanistan has triggered a wave of fresh civilian displacements, the UN said on Friday.

Humanitarian workers report that more than 2,000 have fled their homes, after the so-called Islamic State-Khorasan battled with Taliban fighters in eastern Nangahar province.

Around 5,000 have already been displaced by the fighting, which began five days ago.

More details from Farhan Haq again.

“Ambulances are currently on standby in Khogyani District Hospital and the World Health Organization has dispatched additional supplies to cover a total of 2,000 patients. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said it will continue to provide humanitarian assistance, wherever access permits.”

UNHCR provides support for families who fled Kirkuk

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and partners have been providing food, water and shelter to families who fled the Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Monday and Tuesday, fearing large-scale military clashes.

The mainly Kurdish civilians were responding to an Iraqi government operation to secure oil fields and territory, in the wake of a Kurdish independence referendum in northern Iraq last month, deemed unconstitutional.

Iraqi Kurds had held Kirkuk since 2014, defending it against ISIL, or Daesh, fighters, following a government troop withdrawal.

Iraqi troops, police, and Shia militia advanced without significant resistance early in the week, and UNHCR said in a statement on Friday that “the majority of these families” will likely return to their homes in the coming days.

The agency believes, however, that some families who fled north to Erbil, Sulaymaniyah and Duhok Governorates, will chose to remain there.

Matt Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2’27”


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