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Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary General

SPOKESPERSON’S DAILY HIGHLIGHTS

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

FRIDAY, 30 DECEMBER 2011

*U.N. Headquarters will be closed on Monday, 26 December. The noon briefings will resume on 3 January 2011.

UN AGENCY DEPLORES KILLING OF SOMALI COMMUNITY LEADER

  • The head of the United Nations refugee agency voiced deep regret today at the killing of a Somali refugee leader in the Dadaab complex in north-eastern Kenya, describing the slaying as senseless.

·        António Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), issued a statement after last night’s killing of the chairperson of a community peace and security team in Hagadera camp, which is part of Dadaab.

·        The man – whose name has not yet been released – was shot several times as he entered his compound about 7:45 p.m., according to UNHCR, which said the gunmen reportedly escaped. The victim was rushed to a camp hospital and later died as he was being evacuated to Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, for further treatment. The peace and security team which the man headed is run by refugee residents in Dadaab, and UNHCR said they have been instrumental in helping to maintain security inside the camp.

·        The peace and security team which the man headed is run by refugee residents in Dadaab, and UNHCR said they have been instrumental in helping to maintain security inside the camp.

·        Dadaab is the world’s largest refugee settlement, home to more than 460,000 people, overwhelmingly Somalis who have fled famine and fighting in their neighbouring homeland.

UN HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICE REACTS TO DEVELOPMENTS IN EGYPT

  • Yesterday afternoon Ravina Shamdasani, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN Commissioner for Human Rights said “the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is extremely concerned at the raids conducted on the offices of a number of prominent NGO offices yesterday (Thursday) in Egypt by military and security officers. Civil society organisations have reported that their files have been searched and seized and members were prevented from leaving their offices for the duration of the raid.
  • Such behaviour on the part of the authorities appears to be clearly designed to intimidate human rights defenders who have long been critical of human rights violations in Egypt, including under the previous regime – and this is one of many such incidents in recent months where measures have been taken to interfere in the work of NGOs.
  • The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights calls on the Government to cease the use of such unnecessarily heavy-handed measures and to ensure that civil society organisations can carry out their important work without undue interference.
  • The freedom of association is a human right and any restrictions against this right must be in line with international human rights law and norms. The Office will continue to monitor the situation of human rights defenders in Egypt closely.

  • The Office is also concerned about the continued detention of bloggers and human rights activists and urges the Government to release all those who have been detained for exercising their human rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

FINAL REPORT OF GROUP OF EXPERTS ON DRC ISSUED TODAY

  • The final report of the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) issued today focuses on the sources of financing and support that help to sustain armed groups in eastern DRC. It includes analysis of ongoing attempts to integrate former members of armed groups into the national armed forces. The report also examines the evolution of the mining sector and early attempts to implement due diligence - as recommended by the Security Council - in order to exclude armed groups and criminal networks from minerals supply chains.

  • The report details the recruitment networks and sources of financing of foreign armed groups in the country, including from involvement in the trade in natural resources (minerals, timber, charcoal and cannabis and other cash crops) but also ordinary commerce and illegal taxation. The exception to this is the Lord’s Resistance Army, which was found to be self-sustaining from pillage attacks.

  • The report also examines the availability of weapons and ammunition in the DRC, describing some examples of illegal imports but finding that the majority of supply relates to widespread leakage from stocks controlled by the national armed forces. The report makes a number of recommendations on how to improve controls, beginning with marking state-owned arms.

THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS

31 December 2011-6 January 2012

(This document is for planning purposes and is subject to change)

Sunday, 1 January

International Year of Cooperatives begins

Monday, 2 January

UN Holiday

Tuesday, 3 January

No events scheduled

Wednesday, 4 January

At 12.30 p.m., in the Dag Hammarskjöld Auditorium, there will be a press conference by Ambassador Baso Sangqu, Permanent Representative of South Africa to the UN and President of the Security Council for the month of January, on the Security Council’s upcoming programme of work for the month.

Thursday, 5 January

No events scheduled

Friday, 6 January

No events scheduled

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

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Tel. 212-963-7162