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United Nations Daily Highlights, 98-08-13

United Nations Daily Highlights Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

DAILY HIGHLIGHTS

Thursday, 13 August, 1998


This daily news round-up is prepared by the Central News Section of the Department of Public Information. The latest update is posted at approximately 6:00 PM New York time.

HEADLINES

  • Security Council strongly condemns terrorist bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.
  • Security Council expresses grave concern at continuing escalation of armed conflict in Afghanistan.
  • Security Council condemns human rights abuses against citizens of Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • Security Council extends mandate of United Nations mission in Angola until 15 September 1998.
  • Secretary-General's Special Envoy is in Baghdad to defuse latest crisis over weapons inspections.
  • Secretary-General Kofi Annan is disappointed by Myanmar's response to proposal to send special envoy.
  • High Commissioner for Human Rights and Indonesia sign agreement on technical cooperation.
  • Secretary-General Kofi Annan says security situation has improved in Sierra Leone.


The Security Council has strongly condemned the terrorist bomb attacks in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania on 7 August, which claimed hundreds of innocent lives, injured thousands of others, and caused massive destruction to property.

In resolution 1189 (1998) unanimously adopted on Thursday, the Council called upon all States and international institutions to cooperate with and provide support and assistance to the ongoing investigations in Kenya, Tanzania and the United States to apprehend the perpetrators of these cowardly criminal acts and swiftly bring them to justice.

The Council called on all States to adopt, in accordance with international law and as a matter of priority, effective and practical measures for security cooperation, the prevention of such acts of terrorism, and the prosecution and punishment of their perpetrators.

The Council expressed its deep sorrow, sympathy and condolences to the families of the innocent victims of the terrorist bomb attacks during this difficult time.

It also expressed its sincere gratitude to all the governments, international institutions and voluntary organizations for their encouragement and timely response to the requests for assistance from the Governments of Kenya and Tanzania. It urged them to assist the affected countries, especially in the reconstruction of infrastructure and disaster preparedness.

Before the adoption of the resolution, the Security Council observed a minute of silence for the victims of the terrorist bombings.


The Security Council on Thursday expressed its grave concern at the continuing escalation of the armed conflict in Afghanistan caused by the Taliban offensive in the northern parts of the country.

Following a briefing of the Council by the United Nations Secretariat, Council President, Ambassador Danilo Turk of Slovenia, said the Security Council reiterated its position that there is no military solution to the Afghan conflict. He said that the Council demanded an end to the bloodshed and the resumption of the inter-Afghan peaceful dialogue under the auspices of the United Nations.

He added that the members of the Security Council condemned the complete disregard displayed by the Taliban towards the will of the international community, in particular, the statement of the President of the Security Council of August 6 demanding an urgent an unconditional ceasefire leading to the final end of hostilities.

The members of the Security Council called for respect of humanitarian law and human rights as well as for access by humanitarian organizations to the people in need in the country.

Ambassador Turk said that the Security Council was deeply concerned at the reports of the capture by the Taliban of the Consulate-General of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Mazar-i-Sharif and the treatment of its personnel.

The Security Council strongly warned the perpetrators of this "flagrant" violation of recognized norms and principle of international law against causing any further harm to the captives. It demanded immediate release of the personnel of the consulate-general of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Mazar-i-Sharif as well as of the Iranian News Agency correspondent in that city, Ambassador Turk said.

The Council President said the members were deeply concerned at the persistent reports of outside military involvement in Afghanistan. The Council called on all states to refrain from any outside interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan, including the involvement of military personnel, Ambassador Turk added.


The Security Council has condemned the violence and human rights abuses perpetrated against the citizens of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Council President Ambassador Danilo Turk of Slovenia said on Thursday.

Following a briefing of the Council on the situation in the country, Ambassador Turk said that the Council urged all parties to respect human rights norms and international humanitarian law. "The Council is deeply disturbed at the reports of ethnic persecution and calls for its immediate cessation," he said. The Council underlined the need to protect all ethnic groups and all individuals including refugees.

Ambassador Turk said the Security Council also called on all parties to abstain from recruiting child soldiers.

The Security Council called on the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to permit immediate access for workers of the International Committee of the Red Cross to monitor and address the needs of the victims of the current violence.

It also called for an end of hostilities and cessation of external involvement. The members urged all states in the region to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and all states in the region, Ambassador Turk said.

The Council expressed support for the current regional initiatives, including that of the ministers of the Organization of African Unity, to resolve the current hostilities by peaceful means.


The Security Council has decided to extend the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) until 15 September 1998.

In resolution 1190 (1998) unanimously adopted on Thursday, the Security Council strongly called on the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation (GURN) and in particular the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) to refrain from any steps which could further exacerbate the present situation in the country.

It demanded that UNITA immediately and unconditionally comply with its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol and with relevant Security Council resolutions. The Council demanded, in particular, that UNITA complete demilitarization of its forces and fully cooperate in the immediate and unconditional extension of State administration throughout Angola in order to prevent a further deterioration of the political and security situation.

The Security Council also demanded that UNITA cease its reoccupation of localities where State administration had been established and stop attacks by its members on civilians, GURN authorities, including police, and United Nations and international personnel.

The Security Council called on the GURN and UNITA to cease all hostile propaganda, refrain from laying new mines, stop forced conscriptions and renew efforts towards national reconciliation.

The Council called on the GURN to ensure that the Angolan National Police refrain from practices inconsistent with the Lusaka Protocol and to respect the legal activities of UNITA as a political party in accordance with the Protocol.

The Council demanded that the GURN and, in particular, UNITA cooperate fully with MONUA in providing full access for its verification activities and unconditionally guarantee the safety and freedom of movement of all United Nations and international personnel including those providing humanitarian assistance.

The Security Council expressed its firm belief that a meeting in Angola between the President of the Republic of Angola and the leader of UNITA could provide momentum to the peace process.

The Council welcomed the appointment of a new Special Representative to Angola and urged the GURN and UNITA to cooperate fully with him in promoting peace and national reconciliation.


The Special Envoy of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan arrived in Baghdad on Thursday for talks to defuse the latest crisis caused by Iraq's decision to impose restrictions on the work of the United Nations weapons inspectors.

The weapons inspectors are overseeing the elimination of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction in accordance with the resolutions of the Security Council adopted after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990.

At a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz which lasted for more than an hour, Ambassador Prakash Shah conveyed the message of the Secretary- General. He said the message reiterated the statement of the Secretary- General to the Security on 6 August. That message said that there was a unanimous view in the Security Council that Iraq should continue its cooperation with the United Nations and the United Nations Special Commission charged with the elimination of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

"I stated that the Council's resolutions on the matter are quite clear, that Iraq's obligations to comply with them had been reaffirmed in the Memorandum of Understanding signed on 23 February." That agreement defused a previous crisis caused by Iraq's decision to stop cooperation with the United Nations weapons inspectors.

Ambassador Shah said that the Iraqi Prime Minister indicated that he had taken the Secretary-General's message on board and that he wanted to convey the Iraqi concerns which have also been laid down in detail in the letter Mr. Aziz wrote to the members of the Council some time ago.

Ambassador Shah told reporters that the dialogue would continue between the Secretary-General's Special Representative and the Iraqi authorities. He added that Mr. Aziz would bring the matter, as presented by the Special Envoy, to the notice of the Iraqi leadership.

Responding to a question from a reporter, Ambassador Shah said he would be "available as long as it is necessary for the Iraqi authorities to continue this dialogue."


United Nations Secretary-General has been disappointed by the response of Myanmar to his proposal to send a special emissary to the country, his spokesman said on Thursday.

United Nations Spokesman, Juan Carlos Brandt, confirmed that the Secretary- General wrote to Prime Minister Thant Shwe of Myanmar last week proposing to send an envoy towards the end of this week to discuss current developments with the government.

Mr. Brandt said that given the special nature of the visit, the Secretary- General had requested that Ambassador Razali Ismail, the President of the 51st session of the General Assembly be his special emissary.

According to the Spokesman, the response from the Prime Minister was "polite" but stated that there was no reason for such a "rushed" visit. The Prime Minister added that the dialogue between the Secretary-General and Myanmar should continue with the Foreign Minister during the general debate of the 53rd session of the General Assembly next month. "The Secretary- General is disappointed by the response," the Spokesman said.


The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Government of Indonesia on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on technical cooperation to promote and protect human rights.

Under the agreement, the Office will cooperate with and assist the Government in the implementation of a number of technical cooperation programmes. These include the Indonesian National Plan of Action for the promotion and protection of human rights and the strengthening of national capacities. The Office will also work with the Indonesian National Human Rights Commission, assist in human rights education and in developing strategies for realizing the right to development as well as economic, social and cultural rights.

The personnel assigned to this project will be based in the office of the United Nations Development Programme in Jakarta and will have access to all parts of Indonesia to assess priority needs. The Human Rights Commission says that this access is understood to include East Timor.

The two-year renewable agreement was signed in Geneva by High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson and Indonesia's Permanent Representative in Geneva, Ambassador Agus Tarmidzi.


United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan says that since the end of June, the military and security situation in Sierra Leone has somewhat improved.

In his first progress report on the United Nations Observer Mission in Sierra Leone, (UNOMSIL) the Secretary-General says that reports of atrocities committed by elements of the former junta have markedly declined.

The Secretary-General says that he is heartened by the improved security situation in the country and renews his call to donors to contribute to the logistical requirements of the Military Observer Group of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). He also calls on donors to contribute to the inter-agency appeal for humanitarian assistance to Sierra Leone.

Mr. Kofi Annan says that the adoption of a comprehensive programme for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants by the Government has set the tone for the future efforts of UNOSMIL. He adds that the deployment of 70 military observers in the first phase of the mission is well under way.

The Secretary-General notes that the creation of the UNOMSIL has been warmly welcomed by the Government and people of Sierra Leone.

The next progress report by the Secretary-General on UNOMSIL is due in 60 days.


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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