Posted by: APO | 11 January 2008

UN – HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING


HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING

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

Friday, January 11, 2008

 KENYA: BAN KI-MOON URGES POLITICAL SOLUTION

  • In the face of the deeply troubling situation in Kenya, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calls once again on the political leadership of Kenya to find – urgently – an acceptable solution through dialogue so that the political crisis is resolved and the country returns to its peaceful and democratic path.
     
  • The Secretary-General wishes to express his continued support for the various efforts being made by regional and international actors to help the Kenyans arrive at a lasting solution.
     
  • Two weeks have now passed since violence erupted in Kenya following disputed national elections, the conduct of which prompted serious concerns on the part of national and international observers.
     
  • Today, the death toll stands at an appallingly high figure of more than 500 people, while more than 250,000 Kenyans have been forced to flee their homes. Many of them are living in fear.  That much of the violence appears to have been directed at specific communities is all the more worrisome.
     
  • The killings must stop, alleged human rights violations should be investigated and those found responsible for crimes should be held accountable for their actions. 
     
  •  The potential for further bloodshed remains high unless the political crisis is quickly resolved.

 U.N. AGENCIES DELIVER RELIEF SUPPLIES TO DISPLACED KENYANS

  • In the Northern Rift Valley and Nairobi’s slums, which were both hit by the recent post-election violence, UNICEF has delivered some 11,000 family relief kits — containing tarpaulins, blankets, cooking utensils, jerry cans and soap — for some 55,000 internally displaced persons.
     
  • UNICEF also sent six trucks loaded with water and sanitation supplies and 1,500 post-HIV-exposure treatment units
    to the town of Eldoret. It has also provided basic drug kits to Kenya’s Health Ministry.
     
  • The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports that some 3,400 Kenyan refugees and asylum seekers have been registered in Uganda. UNHCR is providing them with firewood and tents and helping the national authorities with the planned relocation of refugees to a single transit center.
     
  • The UN Population Fund has delivered midwifery kits and other materials.

SECURITY COUNCIL SCHEDULES CONSULTATIONS ON SUDAN AT 3 P.M.

  • The Security Council is holding consultations at 3 p.m. today in connection with the Sudan with a view to a formal meeting to adopt a draft Presidential statement.
     
  • Also on Sudan, starting tomorrow, the United Nations and African Union Special Envoys for Darfur, Jan Eliasson and Salim Ahmed Salim, who have been pursuing a political settlement to the crisis through negotiations, are scheduled to begin their mission to Sudan for consultations with the Government of Sudan and the movements.
     
  • The main objective of their trip is to assess the status of preparations of the parties, including the unification efforts among the movements, so as to determine the next steps, including the possibility of a second so-called ‘Arusha-style’ meeting and the beginning of the substantive peace talks.

BAN KI-MOON TO RECEIVE REPORT ON ALGERIA BOMBING

  • At 4:30 this afternoon, the Secretary-General will receive a report on the bombing that took place one month ago at the UN offices in Algiers from his Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security, David Veness.
     
  • The Secretary-General had dispatched Veness and UNDP Administrator Kemal Dervis to Algiers immediately after the bombing, to assist the surviving country team.
     
  • In addition to evaluating the security system in Algiers, Veness, along with Dervis, ensured that those injured in the attack would receive the medical care they needed, and that the families of those killed in the attack were receiving the proper support, both psychological and financial.  
     
  • The Secretary-General also met with all the survivors and the families of the victims when he visited Algeria days later.
     
  • The Secretary-General will study the report from Veness, and a response is expected on Monday.

 FOOD RATIONS GIVEN TO NEARLY 200,000 SOMALIS

  • The World Food Programme has distributed monthly food rations to nearly 200,000 people along the Mogadishu/Afgooye corridor in Somalia. 
     
  • According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), nearly 300,000 people have now been displaced by the fighting in the capital since the end of October, nearly 40,000 of them in the past three weeks alone.
     
  • Meanwhile, WFP’s programme in Mogadishu is now fully operational, providing some 50,000 meals a day to people trapped in the city.

 OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

SECURITY TRAINING PROGRAMME WRAPS UP IN CHAD: A Training of Trainers programme organized by the UN Mission in Chad and the Central African Republic ended yesterday in N’Djamena with a closing ceremony attended by Chadian and UN officials. The programme aims to enhance security officers’ readiness to provide effective police services to refugees, internally displaced persons and humanitarian workers in eastern Chad. Asked about the European Union agreement to deploy troops in Chad, the Spokeswoman said that contributions to the European Force were a positive step.


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