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United Nations Daily Highlights, 97-02-14

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From: The United Nations Home Page at <http://www.un.org> - email: unnews@un.org

DAILY HIGHLIGHTS

Friday, 14 February 1997


This document is prepared by the Central News Section of the Department of Public Information and is updated every week-day at approximately 6:00 PM.

HEADLINES

  • Security Council notes announcement of decision on disputed portion of Inter-Entity Boundary line in Brcko area, Bosnia; Council President reminds parties of their obligations.
  • UN Secretary-General expresses concern about militarisation of main refugee encampment in eastern Zaire.
  • UN Secretary-General tells Security Council United Nations verification of Guatemalan ceasefire begins on 3 March.
  • Shooting of military observer held hostage in Tajikistan unconfirmed.
  • United Nations appeals for US$11.9 million to meet needs of displaced persons of Chechen conflict.
  • Germany and Norway financially support mission of United Nations and Organisation of African Unity Special Representative for Great Lakes Region.
  • Council of State of Liberian National Transitional Government agrees on formula for seven member electoral Commission.
  • West Africa nations focus on access of girls to education at regional summit on children's rights.


The Security Council has noted the announcement of the decision by the arbitral tribunal on the disputed portion of the Inter-Entity Boundary line in the Brcko area in the north eastern part of Bosnia.

In a Presidential statement, the Council President Ambassador Njuguna M. Mahugu of Kenya today said the Council reminded the parties to the Peace Agreement of their obligation to be bound by the decision of the arbitral tribunal and to implement the decision without delay.

The Council also underscored the importance of prompt and full cooperation by the parties to the Peace Agreement in carrying out their commitments to implement the Peace Agreement in its entirety.


UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan expressed concern about recent developments in eastern Zaire, and in particular about reports of the militarisation of the main refugee encampment near Tingi-Tingi, according to a statement by the Spokesman for the Secretary-General. The Secretary- General conveyed his concern to the President of the Security Council, Ambassador Njuguna M. Mahugu of Kenya as well as to its five Permanent Members.

The encampment hosts an estimated total of about 150,000 refugees in makeshift camps, including several thousand unaccompanied minors, the Spokesman noted, adding that the situation puts at risk the lives of innocent refugees and humanitarian workers in the area.

"According to reliable reports, former Rwandan soldiers and militia in the settlement are receiving weapons, ammunition and uniforms by air and are being sent to the front-line," according to the Spokesman. "Military elements are being deployed in positions near the camps, and sections of the encampment are being used as storage facilities for arms and ammunition. Young male refugees are being actively recruited."

The UN Spokesman said Mr. Annan appealed to the parties to stop turning the refugee camp into an armed base and to ensure the safety and security of all refugees and humanitarian personnel.


UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan today told the Security Council that the United Nations verification of the agreement on a definitive ceasefire signed by the Guatemalan Government and the Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca (URNG) in December, will begin on 3 March.

The United Nations verification mechanism will be in place by this date with the full operational capacity, the Spokesman for the Secretary- General Fred Eckhard said today, adding that the Secretary-General welcomed this development as a positive indication of the will of the parties to the Guatemalan Peace Accords to see them fully implemented in the interest of a firm and lasting peace.

An advance team of seven United Nations military observers arrived in Guatemala on 10 February, forty-two military observers arrived yesterday, twenty-nine are expected to arrive today, and fifty-four more on 15-16 February, according to UN Spokesman.


Reports that a military observer was shot dead in Tajikistan could not be confirmed, the Spokesman for the Secretary-General Fred Eckhard said today. Armed rebels in Tajikistan have been holding fourteen international workers as hostages since last week.

The Special representative of the Secretary-General in Tajikistan, Gerd Merrem had a phone conversation with one of the hostages who claimed that all fourteen of them were still safe, the Spokesman noted, expressing doubt about the freedom of that exchange. He added that the Organisation was still awaiting confirmation of the situation.

The UN Spokesman said the Organisation yesterday evacuated an additional twelve personnel from Dushanbe and temporarily relocated to Uzbekistan field teams of military observers.


The United Nations today appealed for US$11.9 million to address the humanitarian needs of persons who have been displaced as a result of the conflict in Chechnya, in the Russian Federation, the Spokesman for the Secretary-General Fred Eckhard said.
Two Governments, those of Germany and Norway, have made financial contributions in support of the mission of Ambassador Mohammed Sahnoun, the joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) for the Great Lakes Region, the Spokesman for the Secretary-General Fred Eckhard said today.

Germany contributed some US$114,000 for communications equipment and Norway US$154,000 to meet transportation requirements of Ambassador Sahnoun and his team.


The Council of State of the Liberian National Transitional Government has agreed on a formula for a seven member electoral Commission, the Spokesman for the Secretary-General Fred Eckhard said today.

The Council of State met in Monrovia at the ministerial level and agreed that three of the Commission members will be nominated from former factions and the remaining four will include representatives from civil society and other political parties.


Representatives of West Africa nations will focus on Education for All, with a particular emphasis on improving the access of girls to education, at a Regional Summit on "The Rights of the Child: Education and Development" to be held from 17 to 21 February in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The summit is organised by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the French Fondation pour l'Enfance in cooperation with the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Government of Burkina Faso.

The regional summit "The Rights of the Child: Education and Development" aims to reinforce and pursue this fundamental undertaking for the development of Africa. It will provide an opportunity for education specialists from the region's ten nations to exchange data about the situation in their respective countries and to discuss progress in the education of girls since the Pan-African Conference of 1993.

Women today account for more than two-thirds of the world's 883 million illiterates aged 15 and above, and it is estimated that 77 of the 129 million children - aged 6 to 11 - who do not attend school are girls, according to UNESCO. The situation is particularly serious in Africa, where the number of girls not attending school stands at 22 million, while those who are enrolled tend to perform poorly.


For information purposes only - - not an official record

From the United Nations home page at <http://www.un.org> - email: unnews@un.org


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