News in Brief 08 July 2016 (AM) – Geneva

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South Sudanese celebrate independence day. UN Photo/Martine Perret

South Sudan's fifth anniversary marred by resurgent conflict

Resurgent violence in South Sudan must stop and warring parties should focus on implementing the peace agreement amid a deteriorating humanitarian situation, the head of the UN peacekeeping mission there has said.

On the eve of the country's fifth anniversary celebrated on Saturday, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General Ellen Margrethe Løj, condemned recent clashes.

She also deplored the indiscriminate shooting of a senior UN official in Juba.

Despite a peace deal agreed last August between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and Vice President Riek Machar, violence has spread to new areas of South Sudan.

The violence reportedly caused dozens of civilian deaths in the capital Juba, as well as in Wau and Bentiu.

It has also prompted mass forced displacement, with nearly one in four people homeless either inside South Sudan or in neighbouring countries.

According to the World Food Programme (WFP) food insecurity is also on the rise and expected to affect nearly five million people.

Thousands flee CAR violence to Chad and Cameroon

Violence that's caused thousands of people to flee the Central African Republic should be seen as a "wake-up call" to the global community about rising tensions there.

The warning from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) comes after more than 6,000 mainly women, children and elderly fled to neighbouring Cameroon and Chad amid fighting between herders and farmers in the north-west town of Ngaoundaye.

Such clashes are not uncommon, but what is new is the presence of heavily armed rival militias, as witnessed by those displaced by the violence.

Melissa Fleming is a UNHCR spokesperson.

"UNHCR is very concerned that this flare-up of violence could spiral and spread into something much more dangerous, so that's why we're putting out this early warning, we're alerting the world that there are terrible atrocities happening in parts of CAR the country is very fragile, very tense, and these are the kind of sparks that are extremely concerning and the world needs to take notice so that we can prevent this going out of control."

The recent upsurge in violence has also affected an estimated 25,000 to 30,000 people inside CAR, where there are already more than 400,000 displaced individuals.

Only six months ago, the election of President Faustin Archange Touadera had led to hopes of a lasting peace after three years of conflict that left thousands dead and almost one million displaced.

Migrant arrivals via Mediterranean Sea top 230,000 in first half of 2016

Nearly 231,000 migrants and refugees have reached Europe by sea so far this year, with most arriving in Italy and Greece.

The data comes from the International Organization for Migration, IOM.

The UN-partner agency says that since Tuesday, more than 3,500 people made it to southern Europe after crossing the Mediterranean Sea.

The journey is treacherous, particularly from Northern Africa, and nearly 3,000 people have lost their lives trying to sail to Europe since the start of 2016.

At the same mid-year point in 2015, there were at least 1,000 fewer victims.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva

Duration: 3’09″

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