News in Brief 19 October 2016 (AM)

Civilian casualties in Afghanistan continue to surge: UN report

Civilian casualties in Afghanistan have continued to surge, according to the latest figures from the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

Tadamichi Yamamoto, the head of the agency, said that it is "imperative" for all warring parties to ensure all "feasible precautions" are being taken to spare civilians from harm.

Ground fighting remains the leading cause of casualties, followed by suicide and complex attacks, and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The figures show that nearly 2,000 civilian casualties were caused by the Pro-Government Forces; indicating a 42 percent increase compared to last year.

Meanwhile, Anti-Government Elements caused 61 percent of civilian casualties - amounting to more than 1,500 civilian deaths.

"Never-ending cycle of violence" in CAR extremely worrying, says UN official

The "seemingly never-ending cycle of violence" in the Central African Republic (CAR) is "extremely worrying," the deputy director of the World Food Programme (WFP) in the country has warned.

Rocco Leone made the remarks during an announcement on Wednesday regarding the agency's continued efforts to provide emergency food aid to those who need it the most.

WFP is distributing food to 8,000 people affected by an upsurge in violence in the north of CAR, in addition to regular food and nutrition support for some 120,000 people.

Earlier in the week, the UN Mission in the country (MINUSCA) condemned an attack against its peacekeepers by a group of armed individuals in the north of the country.

Reforesting Africa's highest mountain could stop water shortages: UN

Reforesting Africa's highest mountain could halt severe water shortages, according to a report co-authored by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

The forests on Mount Kilimanjaro located in Tanzania, are a vital source of water for the surrounding towns and the wider region.

Water from the mountain feeds one of African country's largest rivers, the Pangani, providing food, fuel and building materials to much of East Africa.

But these rivers are drying up as the loss of the mountain's forests triggers a water crisis, the report found.

Tanzania is being urged to protect Mount Kilimanjaro's water catchment area by reforesting the mountain and making climate adaptation a priority.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 2'16?

Source: UN News Centre.