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United Nations Daily Highlights, 97-12-24

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


Wednesday, 24 December 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._Next Update: 5 January 1998


  • United Nations Secretary-General condemns massacre of at least 46 people in Chiapas, Mexico.
  • Croatia pays UN dues, bringing total 1997 "honour roll" to 100 States which have met their obligations.
  • World Food Programme begins airdrops to Kenya flood victims.
  • El Nino phenomenon causes floods and landslides in Peru, UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs reports.

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Wednesday strongly condemned the massacres in Chiapas, Mexico.

In a statement attributable to his Spokesman, the Secretary-General said that he was deeply shocked to learn of the massacre of at least 46 people, including 15 children. Twenty-five people were wounded in the massacres which occurred on Monday in a mountain village.

Characterizing the massacre as an "odious crime", the Secretary- General said he condemned all acts of terrorism and expressed his support for President Ernesto Zedillo's efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Croatia has paid its dues to the United Nations in full, bringing to 100 the total number of States which have done so this year.

Croatia's payment of $958,571 enabled the Organization to reach 100, leaving 85 payments outstanding. This marks a positive trend when compared with previous years; at the end of 1996, there were only 98 countries which had paid their dues in full.

Commenting on this milestone, Spokesman Fred Eckhard said, "I don't think we can remember when we hit 100, although in terms of dollar amounts, the deficit is as awful as ever."

The World Food Programme (WFP) has begun Christmas food airdrops to hundreds of thousands of flood victims in Kenya.

Food is being delivered to remote villages in Kenya's northeastern province as well as to the Indian Ocean coast.

The ongoing airlift has already delivered more than 250 tonnes of food and medical supplies to remote areas where people have been marooned for up to seven weeks.

The United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs (DHA) estimates that water levels rose in Ethiopia and Kenya following floods in Somalia which caused 1,830 deaths and displaced 230,000 people.

Donors have responded swiftly to an appeal for $13 million to start relief efforts, by pledging $11,589,000.

According to DHA, the unseasonal weather and bad atmospheric conditions are expected to continue until April of next year. The United Nations plans to focus on relief for the region through March, and then to shift emphasis on rehabilitation from April to June.

Heavy rains during December have caused flooding and landslides in the Northern, Central and South-Eastern parts of Peru, according to the United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs, (DHA).

In its situation report on Peru, DHA says that a state of emergency has been declared in the Departments of Tumbes, Piura, Lambayeque, La Libertad, Ancash, Arequipa, Moquegua, Tacna, Puno, Cajamarca, Cusco, Ayacucho, Apurimac and Huancavelica.

The Departments of Tumbes and Pasco are reported to have been the most hit by floods and landslides, affecting approximately 4,786 people. Some 24 kilometres of roads and eight bridges have been destroyed there.

The floods and landslides have also affected agriculture, with approximately 2,763 hectares of bananas and rice destroyed in Tumbes and Pasco.

The destruction of roads and bridges has isolated several districts in the Northern and Central regions of Peru.

The country's National Institute for Civil Defence estimates that approximately 9,279 people have been affected the floods and landslides, which have damaged some 1,390 houses and destroyed 160 others.

_Please note:_This is the last edition of the_Daily Highlights_for 1997. Central News will continue to monitor all developments and will issue a special bulletin should circumstances warrant. Happy holidays to all our readers.
For information purposes only - - not an official record

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

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