News in Brief 07 January 2016 (PM)

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Aerial view of Kutum city in North Darfur, Sudan. Photo: UNAMID/Hamid Abdulsalam

UN patrol ambushed in Sudan

A convoy from the joint UN and African Union Mission in Darfur, UNAMID, was ambushed on Thursday by an unidentified group of assailants.

The incident took place in the north of the Sudanese region and resulted in injuries to one peacekeeper.

The attackers outnumbered the UN personnel, and managed to seize a machine gun, four rifles, and several rounds of ammunition.

UN convoys have come under regular attack in the region. In September one South African "blue helmet" was killed, and four others wounded.

Food prices down for the fourth year in a row

World food prices are down overall, for the fourth consecutive year.

That's according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) which said on Thursday that abundant supplies and slow economic growth were responsible.

The FAO's Food Price index declined a further 1 per cent in December from its revised November value.

Although prices rose slightly for sugar and vegetable oils, they were more than offset by falling meat, dairy and cereal prices.

Families homeless following West Bank demolitions

More than two dozen Palestinian Bedouins have been made homeless after their houses were demolished on Wednesday by Israeli authorities on the West Bank.

The UN agency for Palestinian Refugees, UNRWA, decried Wednesday's move, saying the families now face "desperate humanitarian consequences."

The 26 refugees include 17 children, who lived in the Abu Nwar community, near East Jerusalem.

Around 7,000 inhabitants there, the majority Palestinian, have been slated for resettlement against their wishes, along with 49 other communities in the same area, according to UNRWA.

The agency's head of operations in the West Bank, Felipe Sanchez, said apart from the destruction of property, he was particularly concerned for the welfare of the children.

Head of UN Mission in Central African Republic confirmed in post

The head of the UN Mission in the Central African Republic, MINUSCA, has been confirmed in his post, after serving as Acting Special Representative since last August.

The UN Secretary-General announced the appointment of Parfait Onanga-Anyanga on Thursday.

He was previously based at UN headquarters in charge of dealing with the threat of the terrorist group, Boko Haram, and served as mission chief in Burundi.

He faces many on-going challenges, including fresh allegations this week of sexual abuse by peacekeepers in the CAR, and political tensions over the presidential and parliamentary elections process.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2’07″

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