HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY STÉPHANE DUJARRIC,
SPOKESMAN FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTÓNIO GUTERRES
WEDNESDAY, 2 AUGUST 2017
AFGHANISTAN: SENIOR U.N. OFFICIAL VISITS HERAT AFTER DEADLY ATTACK ON MOSQUE
- Today, the Deputy Special Representative and Humanitarian Coordinator in Afghanistan, Toby Lanzer, is in Herat following yesterday’s attack at a mosque.
- The UN mission in the country, UNAMA, has allocated $35,000 from the Common Humanitarian Fund to the regional hospital to help with trauma care following the attack.
- According to UNAMA, the attack killed at least 31 civilians, including two children, and injured more than 60 others.
- In a statement issued yesterday, the Secretary-General condemned the attack and expressed support for the Government and people of Afghanistan.
- For his part, the head of the UN Mission, Tadamichi Yamamoto, said that fanning terror and sectarian violence against a specific community is abhorrent and those responsible must be brought to account.
- The attack in Herat is the fifth attack this year targeting Shia mosques, killing a total of at least 44 civilians and injuring at least 88.
U.N. YEMEN ENVOY VISITS OMAN IN EFFORT TO REACTIVATE PEACE PROCESS
- The Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, arrived in Oman today and had a positive and constructive meeting with Foreign Minister Yusuf Ben Alawi.
- The Special Envoy said that, during the meeting, Oman renewed its support to UN peace efforts.
- Today’s meeting in Oman is one of several he will hold in the region this week and next week to reactivate the peace process and put an end to the catastrophic situation in Yemen.
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: U.N. PEACEKEEPERS LAUNCH OPERATION TO REMOVE ARMED FIGHTERS FROM BANGASSOU
- The UN Mission in the Central African Republic has launched an operation this week to remove armed fighters from Bangassou. The town has been the epicentre of inter-ethnic violence during the last couple of weeks, which resulted in the displacement of over 2,000 civilians and the killing of three UN peacekeepers.
- The UN Mission has deployed temporary operating bases at strategic locations in the town and is conducting robust patrols to re-establish security and create a safe environment for internally displaced persons to return to their homes. The Mission had also reinforced its presence in Bangassou last week with troops from Bangladesh and Gabon.
D.R. CONGO: U.N. ENVOY VOICES CONCERN OVER ARBITRARY ARRESTS, RESTRICTIONS ON PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY
- The Head of the Peacekeeping Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Maman Sidikou, has expressed concern over arbitrary arrests and detentions in different parts of the country. He said these followed peaceful civil society mobilization to protest delays in the publication of the electoral calendar and to call for the holding of elections before the end of the year.
- On 31 July, the UN documented over 120 arrests or detentions in Kinshasa, Goma, Lubumbashi, Beni, Butembo, Bukavu and Mbandaka. Among those detained were eight media representatives, including a journalist from Radio Okapi and two members of the international press, who were released following the UN Mission’s intervention.
- Mr. Sidikou also expressed concern over the restrictions imposed on peaceful assembly. He called on the national and local authorities to fully uphold fundamental rights and freedoms as enshrined in the Constitution, as well as for all political actors to refrain from any statement or action that could heighten tensions and further polarize the political landscape.
SPECTER OF TERRORISTS ACQUIRING NEW WEAPONS ‘SERIOUS THREAT’ TO PEACE AND SECURITY, U.N. COUNTER-TERRORISM OFFICIAL WARNS
- The Security Council held an open meeting this morning on preventing terrorists from acquiring weapons.
- Jehangir Khan, Officer-in-Charge of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism, told the Council that the specter of terrorists acquiring lethal technologies and new weapons, poses a serious threat to international peace and security.
- He welcomed the adoption of today’s resolution on preventing terrorists from acquiring weapons, noting that the initiative goes to the heart of the Secretary-General's efforts to make prevention the UN’s core mission.
- Also speaking at the meeting was Yury Fedotov, the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
- He added that preventing weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists presents complex challenges, requiring integrated, multifaceted criminal justice responses, pointing to the work that his Office does in promoting the implementation of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
GUINEA-BISSAU AND NAMIBIA PAY FULL U.N. DUES
- Guinea-Bissau and Namibia have paid their dues to the regular budget in full, bringing the number of Member States that have done so to 118.