HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY THE OFFICE OF THE SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
FRIDAY, 3 JANUARY 2014
[UN Headquarters in New York was closed because of snow and weather conditions on Friday, 3 January. There was accordingly no noon briefing, but the highlights of the UN system for the day follow:]
U.N. MISSION IN SOUTH SUDAN REPORTS CONTINUING TENSIONS IN BOR
- The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) reports the situation in Bor remained tense on Friday, with anti-Government troop movements observed in the city’s vicinity. Continued fighting between pro- and anti-Government forces has been reported in Upper Nile State. The security situation remains volatile in Unity State, especially in Mayom County.
- UNMISS also reports that the new Bangladeshi police personnel, which arrived from the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), have been deployed to United Nations bases in Juba, Bor, and Malakal to strengthen security and order inside the bases. The Mission has requested the Government of South Sudan to facilitate its movement of rations, supplies, and equipment, especially to Bor, without delay.
SOUTH SUDAN: SOME 200,000 PEOPLE DISPLACED BY VIOLENCE OVER PAST TWO WEEKS
- The Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan, Toby Lanzer, says that violence in the country over the last two weeks has displaced some 200,000 persons from their homes and affected many hundreds of thousands of people indirectly. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) adds that aid agencies are increasing their work, especially in towns that had been struck by violence and in rural sites where civilians had sought safety.
- According to the Office, the largest site of civilians is in Awerial, Lakes State, where up to 76,000 people have gathered. Aid agencies are providing food, non-food items and basic healthcare there and increasing efforts to make clean water and latrines available.
- Mr. Lanzer has called on all parties to facilitate aid agencies’ access to civilians, and to protect and respect humanitarian activities, workers, and property at all times.
U.N. AGENCIES INCREASE ASSISTANCE AS DISPLACED REACH ALMOST A MILLION PEOPLE IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
- The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, says that the humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic remains dire. It says that insecurity is making the delivery of humanitarian relief more difficult and that the number of people now displaced within the country has surpassed 935,000.
- The agency adds that the deteriorating situation, coupled with the long distances between internally displaced persons’ (IDPs) sites outside Bangui and poor road infrastructure, make it increasingly difficult to reach people displaced by the conflict.
- The agency also reports that some 512,672 people are currently sheltering in 67 sites in the capital, Bangui, or living with host families. That represents more than half of Bangui’s total population. Some 60 per cent of those displaced were children.
- Since 5 December, humanitarian supplies have reached about 23,000 people from over 4,600 households. The Refugee Agency is also scaling up its presence in the country with the arrival or the emergency teams and it is hoping to expand its presence in the field by establishing a sub-office in Bossangoa and two field units in the coming weeks.
- UNHCR is organizing airlifts of relief items, vehicles and office equipment from its regional warehouses in Nairobi, Accra, Dubai and Douala. Three planes have arrived this week and three more are due to land over the weekend. In all, 205,871 metric tonnes of assistance will be flown in, which would be enough for 75,000 individuals of 15,000 families.
- Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) says it was starting a vaccination campaign against measles at two sites in the countries were cases have been confirmed. The campaign conducted by WHO, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other partners should be completed in three to five days.
SECRETARY-GENERAL EXPRESSES HIS SUPPORT TO SOMALI PEOPLE AFTER BOMBINGS IN MOGADISHU
- In a statement issued on Thursday night, the Secretary-General said he was appalled by the bombings in front of the Jazeera Hotel in Mogadishu. He expressed his heartfelt condolences to the families of those killed and wishes those injured a swift recovery.
- The Secretary-General pays tribute to the Somali security forces, which reacted quickly to restore order and incurred several casualties in the explosions, and to AMISOM, which supported them.
- The Secretary-General is determined to support the Somali Government in preventing such attacks and holding the perpetrators accountable. These acts of terrorism against the Government and people of Somalia will not detract from the significant progress made in Somalia. The Secretary-General strongly affirms his undeterred resolve to support the Federal Government of Somalia and the Somali people in strengthening state institutions and furthering peace and security.
HEAD OF U.N. MISSION IN D.R. CONGO CONDEMNS ASSASSINATION OF CONGOLESE COLONEL
- The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), Martin Kobler, issued a statement from Kinshasa on Thursday, condemning the assassination of Colonel Mamadou Moustapha Ndala of the Congolese Armed Forces, when his vehicle was attacked by an armed group near the village of Mavivi in North Kivu province. Three other soldiers were killed in the attack.
- Mr. Kobler noted the important contribution Colonel Ndala made to peace and security in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, describing him as a dynamic and courageous military leader.
- MONUSCO reports that today in the area of Beni and Lubero, in North Kivu province, many citizens are protesting the killing of Colonel Ndala. MONUSCO has stepped up patrols in the area.