News in Brief 15 February 2016 (AM)

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Parfait Onanga-Anyanga. UN Photo/Nektarios Markogiannis.

Vote count underway in CAR

Vote counting is underway in the Central African Republic (CAR), the UN Mission in the country has announced.

A statement released on Monday by MINUSCA says that initial reports suggest a lower nationwide voter turnout compared to the last election.

The Special Representative of the Secretary General in the country, Parfait Onyanga-Anyanga said the election will change the "course of the country's history."

A second round of presidential elections and the re-run of legislative elections took place yesterday in a calm atmosphere and without any significant incident.

Two peacekeepers in Mali succumb to their wounds following attack 

Two UN peacekeepers have succumbed to their wounds following an attack on the UN Mission Camp in Kidal, northern Mali, last Friday.

This brings the number of fatalities to seven peacekeepers, all from the Guinean contingent.

The authorities in Mali, with the support of the UN Mission in the country, MINUSMA, have been seeking to restore stability and rebuild the country following a series of setbacks since early 2012.

These included a military coup which saw the north of the country temporarily overrun, as well as renewed fighting between government forces and Tuareg rebels.

New UN emergency task force to safeguard cultural sites under threat

A new UN emergency task force to help protect cultural sites under threat is due to be established on Tuesday.

The UN cultural organization, UNESCO, is expected to sign an agreement with the Italian government to create the Task Force of cultural heritage experts, who will be available to deploy to sites that are under threat, due to conflict.

UNESCO's Director-General, Irina Bokova, said it was a "major and innovative step" in cementing the importance of cultural treasures at risk.

The agreement is being described as a landmark in the development of UNESCO's global coalition, Unite for Heritage which was launched in June 2015.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’58″

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