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Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary General

 

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING

BY MARTIN NESIRKY, SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

WEDNESDAY, 5 JANUARY 2011

 

U.N. DENOUNCES NEGATIVE MEDIA CAMPAIGN AGAINST ITS MISSION IN COTE D’IVOIRE

  • The UN Mission in Côte d’Ivoire, UNOCI, is calling for the immediate cessation of the negative campaign carried out by Laurent Gbagbo’s camp, via Radio Télévision Ivoirienne (RTI). The Mission says that RTI has continually broadcast images of two injured persons presented as victims of shootings by a UNOCI patrol in Abobo.
     

  • UNOCI once more denounced the violations of human rights, including the raids by armed elements sent by Mr. Gbagbo’s camp to the headquarters of the Rally of Houphouétistes for Democracy and Peace (RHDP) on Tuesday morning, which resulted in many arbitrary arrests and victims.
     

  • On Tuesday, the Secretary-General spoke on the phone with Jean Ping, Chairperson of the African Union Commission. They spoke on the latest negotiations in Côte d'Ivoire, noting the importance of finding a peaceful resolution to the crisis.
     

  • The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, says it is stepping up its aid delivery to about 21,000 Ivorian who fled to Liberia – mostly women and children in urgent need of food, shelter and clean water. The World Food Programme (WFP) has confirmed to UNHCR that it would immediately make food available for the refugees.
     

  • UNHCR is focusing on delivering aid to the area of Luguato, the largest refugee hosting area where the influx first began. It has also deployed additional staff to the border areas, in order to speed up registration, which opens the right to assistance and protection for the refugees.
     

  • Asked about the radio messages from the Gbagbo camp, the Spokesperson noted that there have been specific radio and TV messages directed at the operations of UNOCI.
     

  • Regarding the 25 December incident in Abobo, he said that UNOCI peacekeepers responded to an attack by firing shots into the air. No shots were fired into the crowd, as UNOCI made clear at the time.
     

  • He said the focus of the United Nations is on the efforts to find a peaceful resolution of the situation, in which Laurent Gbagbo steps down, in line with the will of the people of Côte d’Ivoire.
     

  • In his conversation with Jean Ping, the Secretary-General thanked the Chairperson for the efficient dispatching of Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who had joined the Presidents of Benin, Cape Verde and Sierra Leone in Abidjan to negotiate with both Alassane Ouattara and Laurent Gbagbo. A third trip to Abidjan by the Presidents was scheduled for the imminent future.
     

  • Asked about the blockade of the Golf Hotel, the Spokesperson said that the blockade is still in place, adding that it should be lifted.

 

PEACEKEEPING CHIEF UPDATES SECURITY COUNCIL ON COTE D’IVOIRE

  • The Security Council this morning held its first consultations for the year, and adopted its programme of work for the month of January, Ambassador Ivan Barbalic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Council President for this month, briefed the press about the programme of work at 12:30 p.m. today.
     

  • Council members also received an update on the situation in Côte d’Ivoire from Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy, who visited the country and the UN Mission there last week.
     

  • This afternoon at 3:00, the Security Council has scheduled a formal meeting, followed by consultations, to discuss the UN Mission in Nepal.

 

SUDAN: A.U.-U.N. STAFF RELEASED AFTER THREE-MONTH ABDUCTION

  • An international civilian staff member of the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), Istvan Papp, has been freed today, 91 days after he was abducted in El Fasher.
     

  • The staff member, a national of Hungary, will be flown to Khartoum and back to his home country as soon as possible.
     

  • Ibrahim Gambari, the Joint Special Representative for Darfur, expressed the Mission’s thanks for all who assisted in the safe release of Mr. Papp. He called on the Government of Sudan to ensure that all those responsible are quickly brought to justice.
     

  • Asked about the release of the staff member, the Spokesperson said that he was a civilian staff member, whose release had been arranged by the Sudanese authorities. The United Nations had been in close contact with the Government of Sudan on the matter.

 

DARFUR: HUMAN RIGHTS TEAM SENT TO VERIFY ABUSE REPORTS IN TAWILLA

  • In response to a previous question, the Spokesperson said that a UNAMID verification team was sent to Tawilla, consisting of two Human Rights officers. The team left for Tawilla on Tuesday and returned today. The team was tasked with verifying reports for the whole week, not just possible rape cases. The team is now compiling its report which will be ready on Thursday.
     

  • UNAMID reports that on 25 December, an unknown number of Government "paramilitaries" and police started shooting in the air in Tawilla. UNAMID military intervened and persuaded them to leave the market. A 19-year-old girl was reportedly raped; a 60-year old woman said she was robbed and beaten; and a 12-year-old boy was beaten. All three were treated at the UNAMID Team Site clinic in Tawilla and went home.
     

  • The Human Rights Team verified that one rape occurred. There is no confirmation of suspected perpetrators.

 

AUSTRALIA: SECRETARY-GENERAL CONCERNED OVER ONGOING FLOODS

  • The Secretary-General is concerned by the danger to life and the destruction of property following the ongoing floods in Queensland, Australia.
     

  • He extends his condolences to the families of those who have been affected and stresses the readiness of the United Nations to assist in any way necessary.

 

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

U.N. FORCE IN LEBANON HAS NO MANDATE TO DELINEATE MARITIME BOUNDARY: Asked about the maritime boundary off the coast of Lebanon, the Spokesperson noted that the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has no mandate to delineate a maritime boundary.

 

IRAN SHOULD COMPLY WITH SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS AND COOPERATE WITH I.A.E.A.: The Spokesperson, in response to questions, reiterated that Iran should comply with existing Security Council resolutions and cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

 

 

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