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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

There are no noon briefings planned until January 4, 2011.
 Developments within the UN system will be posted daily on this website daily throughout this period.

THURSDAY, 30 DECEMBER 2010

 

SECRETARY-GENERAL CONCERNED ABOUT DETERIORATING SITUATION IN CÔTE D’IVOIRE, WARNS AGAINST ANY ATTACK ON PEACEKEEPERS

 

·        The Secretary-General remains very concerned about the deteriorating situation in Côte d'Ivoire.  He is deeply alarmed to learn of the call by Mr. Blé Goudé on the so called Young Patriots to attack the Golf Hotel in Abidjan beginning on 1 January.  The United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) has a significant number of military and police personnel deployed to provide security for the Government of Côte d'Ivoire and key political stakeholders, in keeping with its mandate as set out in Security Council resolution 1962 (2010).   He also stresses that UNOCI is authorized to use all necessary means to protect its personnel, as well as the Government officials and other civilians at these premises of the hotel.

 

·        The Secretary-General therefore wishes to warn that any attack against peacekeepers constitutes a crime under international law, for which the perpetrators and those who instigate them will be held accountable.

 

·        Any attack on the Golf Hotel could provoke widespread violence that could reignite civil war.  The Secretary-General calls on all those who may be contemplating participation in the attack to refrain from such dangerous irresponsible action.  He urges all the peace-loving citizens of Côte d'Ivoire to contribute instead to the restoration of lasting stability and democracy in their country.

 

 

CÔTE D’IVOIRE: U.N. MISSION REPORTS PEACEKEEPING PATROL CAME UNDER FIRE

 

·        The Secretary-General received an update, via videoconference, today on the situation in Côte d’Ivoire including an incident which took place in the Abidjan neighborhood of Abobo. The UN Mission in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) says that a patrol of peacekeepers was taken to task by angry youths and came under fire by small arms from nearby buildings.

 

·        After firing warning shots into the air, as is the UN standard operating procedure, the patrol was able to extricate itself, with the assistance of the Ivorian police.

 

·        The Mission is outraged by false claims being made by the Ivorian Radio and Television (RTI) that the peacekeepers fired on the crowd during the altercation and deplores RTI’s attempts to incite a portion of the population to hatred. It wishes to reiterate that it is determined to bring its peace mission to a successful end.

 

·        UNOCI also reported today that one of its teams was once again denied access to the village of N'Dotré, outside Abidjan, where it intended to investigate allegations of mass graves. 

 

·        It said that it has received information that 60 to 80 bodies could be in those alleged mass graves. Separately, it said that there has been a stark decrease in they number of reported human rights violations in Abidjan during the past week.

 

·        Meanwhile, Francis Deng, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, and Edward Luck, the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General who focuses on the responsibility to protect, have expressed grave concern at developments in Côte d’Ivoire.

 

·        Their joint statement noted that incitement to hatred is rampant and warned local political figures, in particular outgoing president Laurent Gbagbo, whose supporters are reported to have committed serious human rights violations. Armed forces under Gbagbo’s command are also suspected of rights abuses.

 

·        Mr. Deng noted that allegations that the Abidjan homes of political opponents of Mr. Gbagbo had been marked to identify their ethnicity are extremely worrying.

 

·        Mr. Deng and Mr. Luck reminded all parties of their responsibility to protect all persons in Côte d’Ivoire, irrespective of their ethnicity, nationality, or religion. 

 

 

AFGHANISTAN: U.N. ENVOY STRONGLY CONDEMNS DEADLY ROADSIDE BOMB INCIDENT

 

·        The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Staffan de Mistura, has strongly condemned a roadside bomb incident today, in which a civilian bus was struck in Helmand Province.

 

·        Fourteen civilians were reportedly killed and others – including children – were injured in the incident in Nahr-e-Saraj District.

 

·        “The planting of improvised explosive devices on roadways either targeting civilian transport or indiscriminately affecting civilians is against international humanitarian law. There can be no justification for such action,” Mr. de Mistura said in a statement.

 

·        The human rights team of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) is gathering information on the incident.

 

 

EXPULSIONS OF CONGOLESE FROM ANGOLA CONTINUE, U.N. HUMANITARIAN ARM REPORTS

 

·        Expulsions of nations of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) from neighbouring Angola have been on the rise since 11 December, with nearly 1,400 people arriving in Bas-Congo and Kasai Provinces in one week, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

 

·        Many of those sent back to the DRC have experienced degrading treatment during the expulsion process, including sexual violence.

 

·        “Authorities in both countries must take all necessary measures to ensure that the human rights and dignity of those expelled are respected,” said Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs.

 

·        The number of people expelled since September now exceeds 12,000.

 

 

AID TEAMS REACH 5,000 UPROOTED WITH SUPPLIES IN NORTH DARFUR

 

·        Humanitarian teams today reached Shangil Tobaya in North Darfur by air and road, delivering food, essential medical supplies and non-food items to five thousand internally displaced persons (IDPs) sheltered outside the team site of the joint UN-African Union mission (UNAMID).

 

·        UNAMID reports that the distribution of aid in Khor Abeche in South Darfur began today, with the assistance of UN Country Team representatives, internally displaced persons (IDP) leaders and a local non-governmental organization.

 

·        According to the Mission, a long-range relief convoy left El Fasher by road today and made its first stop in Shangil Tobaya. It is expected to reach Jebel Tin and Dar al-Salam in the coming days. Another road convoy carrying 100 tons of food is expected to leave Nyala for Khor Abeche in the next few days.

 

·        A UNAMID patrol to Khor Abeche town found it mostly deserted and partially damaged, with several houses burned.

 

·        Native administration leaders in Jaghara village, some 50 kilometers north of Shaeria, have approached UNAMID requesting humanitarian assistance following attacks on the village on 26 December.

 

·        In all team sites near recently affected areas, UNAMID continues to provide protection, water and medical assistance to IDPs who have sought protection.

 

 

U.N. NOT CONSIDERING REPATRIATING FORMED POLICE UNITS FROM PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS

 

·        In response to media reports, the UN wants to make clear that it is not considering the repatriation of any of its formed police units (FPUs) currently serving in peacekeeping operations.

 

·        According to the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, during the inspection of the Nepalese FPU currently serving with the joint UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), it was assessed that the Armoured Personnel Carriers owned by the contingent do not meet the UN requirements to fulfil their mandated tasks.

 

·        The vehicles are being returned to Nepal. However, the unit is fully operational, using UN-owned equipment.

 

·        The matter has been discussed with the Nepalese authorities who have committed to providing the required equipment as a matter of priority.

 

·        Currently, Nepal is one of the largest troop- and police-contributing countries, with more than 900 Nepalese police officers serving in six UN field missions.

 

 

NEPAL’S PEACE PROCESS AT A CROSSROADS, THE SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS

 

·        In a new report, the Secretary-General says that Nepal’s peace process is at a crossroads.

 

·        Although the Government and Maoists agreed in September to complete the remaining tasks of the process by mid-January 2011, this has so far proved elusive.

 

·        The peace process, the report notes, still faces several challenges, including the promulgation of a new constitution by 28 May 2011 deadline and the integration into the security forces or rehabilitation of some 19,000 Maoist army personnel.

 

·        In September, the Security Council decided to terminate the current mandate of the UN mission, known as UNMIN, on 15 January 2011.

 

·        “With the peace process still incomplete and uncertain arrangements for supervision, integration and rehabilitation of Maoist army personnel, the optimal conditions for the departure of UNMIN have not yet been attained,” the Secretary-General says. “But at the same time, it has become quite clear that it makes little sense to extend continually UNMIN without any meaningful progress by the parties on political issues.”

 

·        He also voices confidence that the advances made in Nepal’s unique peace process will not easily be reversed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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