News in Brief 27 July 2017 (AM)

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A bird’s eye view of Jerusalem. Photo: UN Photo/ Rick Bajornas

UN chief hails parties for defusing crisis in Old City of Jerusalem

The UN Secretary-General has welcomed the news that the crisis in the Old City of Jerusalem has been defused, in line with the status quo at the holy sites before 14 July.

On that day, two Israeli police officers were killed and a third wounded when they were fired upon by three assailants.

The incident triggered days of violent unrest that has claimed several lives.

António Guterres said he hoped that the dialogue will continue and contribute to creating an atmosphere of trust among communities.

Earlier, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process commended Israeli and Palestinian authorities for restoring access to the al-Aqsa Mosque Compound.

The mosque, located in the Old City of Jerusalem, is a holy site for Muslims.

Surrender of DRC warlord welcomed by UN Special Representative

The surrender of a "notorious" rebel commander and warlord in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or DRC, has been welcomed by the new UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten.

She is currently visiting the country together with the UN deputy chief and the head of UN Women.

Ntabo Ntaberi Cheka handed himself over to the UN peacekeeping mission, MONUSCO, on Wednesday.

Cheka was implicated in the mass rape of at least 387 civilians in Walikale, eastern DRC, which took place over the course of four days in July to August 2010.

He used rape as a tactic of war and collective punishment.

The rebel commander was added to the UN sanctions list by the Security Council in 2011, and has been a fugitive from justice for several years.

Vanuatu to use drones to delivery vaccines in remote islands

Vanuatu said it will begin testing the use of drones to deliver lifesaving vaccines to remote communities in the island nation.

The UN Children's Fund, UNICEF, confirmed the news on Thursday.

These drones are formally known as "Remote Piloted Systems," or RPAS, and are being trialled for the first time in the Pacific.

The aim is to test the "capacity, efficiency and effectiveness" of these remote-controlled aircrafts in reaching remote and inaccessible areas.

The first phase of the drone trial will run from 21 to 25 August, the agency says.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 2′ 10”

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