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United Nations Daily Highlights, 97-08-21

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From: The United Nations Home Page at <> - email:


Thursday, 21 August 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.


  • Security Council President says Burundi and Tanzania should improve relations in advance of next week's peace talks.
  • UN International Police Task Force to continue inspections in Banja Luka police stations.
  • Sanctions Committee adopts further measures to expedite processing of humanitarian supplies to Iraq.
  • As registration for voluntary evacuation begins in Montserrat, Caribbean relief agency meets with UN Development Programme.
  • UN appeal for Angola receives $500,000 from Norway for humanitarian relief air services.

The President of the Security Council told reporters today that the governments of the United Republic of Tanzania and Burundi should make every effort to improve their relations and in advance of the forthcoming peace talks being convened in Arusha by former Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere.

Following a briefing this morning by Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Kieran Prendergast, the Council President, on behalf of its members, said the parties should "make a real effort to set aside their internal divisions and come to a more constructive mood of dialogue and mutual tolerance."

Council President Sir John Weston of the United Kingdom said the delegations going to Arusha for the meeting on 25 August should be sent with a positive mandate to make a contribution to the success of the talks. The government of Burundi should do everything possible to facilitate the freedom of movement of those attending the talks from Burundi, he said. He further expressed the Council's concern about the continuing humanitarian situation in Burundi, particularly the widespread malnutrition in the camps.

A UN spokesman today said that the Secretary-General's Special Representative to the Great Lakes region, Mohamed Sahnoun, will attend the Arusha talks.

The United Nations International Police Task Force (UNIPTF) in Bosnia and Herzegovina will continue inspecting five police stations in Banja Luka which have been the subject of confiscations of large quantities of weapons. A spokesman in Sarajevo said that among the weapons confiscated from the police stations were "a rocket launcher, a large quantity of ammunition, a number of AK-47s, and also some equipment that would be more fitting of a James Bond film than in a police station, such as 12 booby- trap pens and C-4 plastic explosives."

The spokesman said that a UNIPTF task force would be leaving for Banja Luka today to begin the process of restructuring the police stations to bring them in line with applicable standards.

In other matters, the spokesman said Croatia had announced that Pero Skopljak was arrested on a warrant issued by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. The case would be processed through the Croatian legal system and the suspect would then be sent to The Hague, the spokesman said. He recalled that Skopljak had been charged with grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva conventions and violations of the law or customs of war.

The Security Council Committee established by resolution 661 (1990) concerning the situation between Iraq and Kuwait today announced that it had approved measures to expedite the shipment of humanitarian goods to Iraq. Among those measures, the Committee decided to extend the validity period of all approval letters to ship humanitarian supplies to Iraq from the previous 120 days to 180 days, with a possible further extension of 90 days upon request. These measures will take effect starting in September.
As voluntary evacuation begins in volcano-devastated Montserrat, the Deputy Coordinator of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA) told UN radio today that meetings are being held with representatives of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to determine whether there is a need for action on its part. Audrey Mullins told UN Radio that, "UNDP has provided equipment support for the response," adding that the UN Centre for Human Settlements (UNCHS) had also been to Montserrat.

The CDERA has been working with the UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs (DHA) to disseminate situation reports on the United Kingdom- administered island to capitals around the world. The Department remains in contact with the United Kingdom Government, which has not requested DHA to launch an appeal for international assistance. Although not actively providing a relief package, DHA had sent a volcanic expert to Montserrat when the volcano became active.

According to the latest DHA situation report, Antigua has been designated as a transit point for processing evacuees, who are then expected to go to the United Kingdom, Caribbean islands and other countries. Ms. Mullins told UN Radio that Antigua has designated people to deal with the voluntary evacuees, including immigration, medical and welfare personnel. She said the aim was to make the process, "as comfortable as possible." She reported that Montserratians have already gone to most areas of the Caribbean, including Dominica, Anguilla, Barbados, Saint Lucia and Saint Kitts.

The World Food Programme (WFP) reported today that the UN Consolidated Inter-agency Appeal for Angola received a donation of $500,000 from the Government of Norway recently in support of passenger air services.

Such services are useful to humanitarian relief operations, a UN spokesman said. WFP reported that from January to June, it flew a total of 26,400 passenger trips throughout Angola.

WFP will soon sign a bilateral agreement with Save the Children Fund in the United Kingdom for the clearance, handling, storage and transport of seeds and agricultural tools aimed at helping some 30,000 displaced persons.

For information purposes only - - not an official record

From the United Nations home page at <> - email:

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