Posted by: APO | 3 January 2008

UN / HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING

BY MICHELE MONTAS
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

Thursday, January 3, 2008

 U.N. TO PROVIDE FOOD FOR 100,000 DISPLACED KENYANS

  • According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the UN and the Kenyan Red Cross Society estimate that at least 100,000 people require immediate humanitarian assistance in the northern Rift Valley alone.  Many of them are stranded without food, shelter, water, fuel, essential medicines or protection.
  • The World Food Programme is providing enough legumes and oil for 100,000 people for one month, initially in the Rift Valley.
  • Meanwhile, it is unclear how many Kenyans have crossed the border into Uganda, but the number appears to be relatively small  A joint mission between the UN and the Government of Uganda is visiting the area today to determine the number of arrivals and their needs.

U.N. INTENSIFIES SECURITY EFFORTS AHEAD OF CONGOLESE PEACE CONFERENCE

  • The UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) has intensified efforts in recent days to improve security in the Kivus, ahead of the upcoming Goma peace conference.
  • MONUC has transported several battalions of the national army, or FARDC, by helicopter in the past week to North Kivu.  Those battalions will provide security at the peace conference, which is scheduled to begin on Sunday.  MONUC has also supplied isolated units of the army, and evacuated the wounded to Goma. 
  • Meanwhile, several dissidents loyal to General Laurent Nkunda have surrendered at MONUC bases in North Kivu.  They are being sent to brassage, the process by which ex-combatants are retrained to become part of the national armed forces.
  • MONUC has also intensified its joint patrols with government forces in South Kivu, in order to improve security for the local population and help humanitarian support reach the displaced.

BAN KI-MOON APPEALS FOR GREATER SUPPORT FOR NEW U.N. DARFUR MISSION

  • The Secretary-General, in his latest report on the deployment of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) says that the progress made towards having a mission that can have a positive impact on the lives of Darfur’s people remains modest.
  • He notes that the Mission continues to lack critical aviation capabilities, and that it has, at its start, essentially the same assets on the ground as the previous African Union Mission, AMIS. He also warns that the Sudanese Government does not appear to have fully embraced the fact that a robust and effective UNAMID will contribute towards Darfur’s long-term stability.
  • The Secretary-General reiterates his appeal to Member States for support in accelerating the deployment of selected units and filling outstanding gaps in force composition.

U.N. DID NOT RECEIVE ANY LETTERS WARNING OF SECURITY THREATS PRIOR TO ALGIERS BOMBINGS

 OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

LATEST ROUND OF WESTERN SAHARA TALKS WILL ONCE AGAIN BE PRIVATE: The latest round of talks on Western Sahara will take place from 7 through 9 January in Manhasset, on Long Island. As was the case with the previous meetings, and due to the sensitivity of the ongoing discussions, the talks will once again be private. That means there will be no arrangements for media access at the site, and the Greentree Estate will only be allowing the parties and UN officials onto its property.


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