News in Brief 18 February 2016 (PM)

Listen /

Attack of the Protection of Civilians site in Malakal, South Sudan. Photo: UNMISS/Nyang Touch

Killing of 7 in South Sudanese protection camp condemned by UN chief

The outbreak of inter-communal violence that left seven dead and at least 40 injured inside a protection camp for South Sudanese civilians has been condemned by the UN chief.

In a statement from his spokesman, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned all parties against “stoking ethnic disputes” and reminded government and armed groups involved in fighting around the country that any attack on civilians or peacekeepers inside UN premises, “may constitute a war crime.”

The Malakal camp, where the violence erupted on Wednesday, is run by the UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and is home to nearly 50,000 internally displaced persons.

The UN provides protection for around 200,000 homeless civilians at six different bases.

Mr Ban urged the leaders of South Sudan to implement the peace agreement reached six months ago, so that after two years of civil war, “reconciliation and healing” can finally begin.

Uganda criticized over shut-down of social media platforms

The government of Uganda is being criticised by the UN human rights office (OHCHR) for its blackout on social media platforms.

Its representative in the country, Uchenna Emelonye, is monitoring human rights in the context of the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections.

The government of Uganda has publicly acknowledged the block “on the grounds of National Security”.

Here’s Uchenna Emelonye.

“Access to freedom of expression is an ingredient of election and the fact that the social media platform is disallowed by the government of Uganda on the day of election impacts on a free election in Uganda.”

Media reports say that the opposition leader Kizza Besigya has been arrested.

Demolitions in occupied West Bank “greatly alarming”

The number of demolitions carried out in the Occupied Palestinian Territories during the first six weeks of 2016 is “greatly alarming,” a UN senior official has warned.

The Humanitarian Coordinator for the territories, Robert Piper, issued a statement to the press on Thursday.

He called on Israel to “immediately” halt demolitions in the occupied West Bank and to “respect international law.”

According to Mr. Piper, more than 400 Palestinians have been displaced from their homes so far this year, equivalent to over half the number of Palestinians displaced in the whole of 2015.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.