News in Brief 26 October 2016 (AM)

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MINUSCA peacekeepers on patrol in the Central African Republic. Photo: MINUSCA

Violent protests in Central African Republic condemned by UN chief

Violent protests in the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR) which left at least four civilians dead, have been condemned by the UN Secretary-General.

The protests on Monday in Bangui, took place outside the headquarters of the UN Mission in CAR, known as MINUSCA.

Nine demonstrators were injured, as well as five UN peacekeepers with the mission.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon welcomed MINUSCA's commitment to investigate the events which led to the "tragic" deaths and injuries, and said the mission would "take all necessary measures, in line with its mandate to protect civilians and foster stability."

Mr Ban also welcome the government's determination to ensure that the "perpetrators and instigators" of the attacks are brought to justice.

He added that the country's "prospects for peace and stability" should not be jeopardized by those seeking to destabilize the government.

"Outrage" over "senseless and brutal killings" of Afghan civilians

The UN Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, has condemned the "senseless and brutal killings" of 26 unarmed civilians who were taken hostage in Ghor province on Tuesday.

Reports received by UNAMA suggest that they were killed by a group of armed men in retaliation for the death of their commander, during fighting with Afghan government troops.

The male civilians had been abducted while collecting firewood, in the Kasi area of Firozokh.

The fate of other hostages taken remains unknown.

Pernille Kardel, the acting head of UNAMA described the killings as an "atrocity" and called for the perpetrators to be held accountable in accordance with international humanitarian law.

She called for the unconditional release of all remaining hostages.

Early-warning system for epidemics stepped up in Iraq: WHO

The early-warning system for detecting outbreaks of disease has been stepped up in northern Iraq due to the on-going campaign to retake the city of Mosul, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

WHO said that with hundreds-of-thousands of civilians expected to be displaced by the fighting, they are working with the Iraqi Ministry of Health to train more staff to detect possible epidemics.

WHO Representative to Iraq, Altaf Musani, said the early warning response network, known as EWARNS, was being strengthened to "monitor communicable diseases trends" and patterns.

He said the new training coincided with the opening of 43 new health facilities, bringing the detection network up to a total of 180 sites.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2’06″

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