News in Brief 02 January 2018

2 January 2018

Hundreds seek refuge around UN camp in CAR

Hundreds of people have sought refuge around a camp run by MINUSCA, the UN Mission in the Central African Republic (CAR), following fresh violence between armed groups, said the UN on Tuesday.

News reports said that villagers fleeing gunfire and machete attacks began to arrive in the town of Paoua a few days ago, which is in the north-west of the country, close to the border with Chad and Cameroon.

At least two died in the intercommunal violence, and the UN said the situation “remained tense”.

Here’s Deputy UN Spokesperson Farhan Haq, briefing journalists at UN Headquarters in New York.

“MINUSCA deployed reinforcements to Paoua to enhance the protection of civilians in the town. Peacekeepers are also patrolling the area to defuse tensions.”

“Deep concern” following sudden destruction of IDP settlements in Somalia

Deep concern has been expressed by a senior UN official in Somalia, following the sudden destruction of more than 23 settlements housing over 4,000 internally displaced people, or IDPs.

Deputy Special Representative, and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Peter de Clercq, said the shelters had been destroyed, along with humanitarian infrastructure in the Kahda District of Banadir, in Mogadishu.

Many personal items and livelihoods have been lost as the displaced were not given time to collect their belongings before the destruction began.

More than 2 million people are displaced throughout Somalia due to drought and conflict, including 1 million newly displaced in 2017 alone.

Here’s Farhan Haq again.

“An assessment was carried out today to establish the immediate needs of the displaced and where the people have settled. Some partners have already started providing assistance, such as clean water. Additional response activities, including provision of temporary sanitation facilities and distribution of hygiene kits, are in the pipeline.”

Hope that casualty levels will fall this year in Iraq voiced by UN mission chief

The UN’s most senior official in Iraq says he’s hoping for a “rapid” fall in the numbers of Iraqi civilians killed and injured this year, following last year’s successful military campaign to oust ISIL terrorist fighters.

Iraq’s second city of Mosul was liberated in 2017 by Iraqi Government and coalition forces, along with towns such as Tal Afar, which had been held by the extremist group since 2014.

In December, a total of 69 Iraqi civilians were killed and another 142 wounded due to acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict, according to figures released by the UN Mission in Iraq, UNAMI.

Ján Kubiš, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, expressed optimism that the numbers would go down fast, as “much-needed peace and stability” return to Iraq.

Matt Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2’21”