News in Brief 04 October 2016 (PM)

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Photo: MINUSMA/Marco Dormino

Attacks on Mali mission condemned by Secretary General

Two UN Peacekeepers from Chad have been killed and 4 others severely injured, in a series of attacks against the UN Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the attacks, calling them "war crimes under international law."

The UN chief called for "swift action" against the perpetrators.

The attacks occurred in Aguelhok, in the Kidal region of Mali, an area which, according to news reports, is under the control of extremist rebel groups.

Government forces have been fighting northern rebels since 2012, when there was a failed coup d’état.

Mr Ban also expressed concern over a spate of recent violations of the ceasefire arrangements by the signatory armed groups in the Kidal region.

He urged all parties to work towards re-establishing peace and stability across Mali.

Decision to postpone local elections in Palestine welcomed by UN

The decision to postpone planned local elections in Palestine, has been welcomed by the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.

Nickolay Mladenov said that it was "in the national interest of the Palestinian people" that the elections be organized to take place in both Gaza, and the West Bank.

The Palestinian High Court ruled on Monday that elections this month should be held in the West Bank only.

Gaza is administered by the militant group Hamas, which won power in elections a decade ago, while the Fatah political party runs the West Bank.

Here's UN Deputy Spokesperson, Farhan Haq.

"Mr Mladenov urged all Palestinian bodies to work together in good faith to overcome internal divisions and uphold democracy. Local elections, conducted in line with established international standards, must contribute to advancing Palestinian reconciliation based on PLO principles as well as to ending the occupation and establishing a democratic, unified Palestinian state as part of a negotiated two-State solution."

The Palestinian government in the West Bank, announced that the elections would be held in four months' time.

And the UN Secretary-General has condemned an Israeli government decision to promote plans for 98 housing units in a new settlement in the occupied West Bank, near the settlement of Shilo.

He said he was "particularly concerned" the new settlement in contravention of international law, would "make the prospect of a viable, contiguous Palestinian State, more remote."

UN sends reinforcements following eruption of violence in Bangui, CAR

Troop reinforcements have been sent by the UN to help restore calm, in response to an outbreak of violence in the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR) on Tuesday.

According to news reports, the head of CAR's armed forces was shot dead in an attack near a police station, in the PK5 neighbourhood of Bangui.

The UN Mission in the country, MINUSCA, said it was closely monitoring the situation in the capital, and in other parts of the country.

Here's Farhan Haq again.

"The UN Mission and national security forces are strengthening their coordination to ensure that the situation remains calm. MINUSCA is also in touch with the communities and the Government, to prevent an escalation of the situation."

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2'41"

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