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United Nations Daily Highlights, 98-08-19

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


Wednesday, 19 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.


  • Security Council says situation remains precarious in Tajikistan.
  • United Nations Secretary-General continues his efforts to end stand-off in weapons inspections in Iraq.
  • United Nations expedites procurement of spare parts for Iraqi oil industry.
  • Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Angola returns to headquarters after some time in Angola.
  • Secretary-General is expected to pay respects to family of late Alioune Blondin Beye in Mali.

The Security Council said on Wednesday that the situation remained precarious in Tajikistan, a former Soviet Republic which plunged into civil war in 1992.

Following discussion of the Secretary-General's interim report on Tajikistan, Council President, Ambassador Danilo Turk of Slovenia, said that members of the Security Council noted that some progress has been achieved in the process of national reconciliation.

Noting that international assistance continued to be needed, the members of the Council encouraged the Tajik parties to make good use of continuing international backing for the peace process. They also encouraged the Tajik parties to increase their efforts to implement the General Agreement on the Establishment of Peace and National Accord in Tajikistan and to refrain from any actions contrary to the agreement, Ambassador Turk added.

He said that the members of the Security Council welcomed the intention of the Secretary-General to take additional steps to ensure the safety of the personnel of the United Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan (UNMOT). "The Security Council stressed that the main responsibility for the security of UNMOT lies with the Tajik sides themselves," Ambassador Turk told reporters.

The members of the Security Council urged the Government of Tajikistan, in cooperation with the United Tajik Opposition (UTO) to accelerate the investigation of the murder of four members of UNMOT on 20 July, and to see to it that the persons who committed these crimes are punished, Mr. Turk said.

Council members also expressed condolences to the United States of America at the death of Jori Anthony De Marco an American member of UNMOT who was found dead in his apartment on Monday. "They urged the Tajik authorities to conduct a thorough investigation of this incident," Ambassador Turk said.

He concluded by saying that the members of the Security Council expressed solidarity with UNMOT personnel in carrying out their "noble and difficult mission."

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan is "very much" involved in efforts to end the stand-off created by Iraq's decision to stop cooperation with United Nations weapons inspectors.

United Nations Spokesman Fred Eckhard told reporters on Wednesday that the Secretary-General had spoken to the Iraqi authorities by telephone. He also met, in closed session, with the members of the Security Council.

Spokesman Eckhard recalled that the Secretary-General had also sent his Special Envoy, Prakash Shah to Baghdad, with a "firm" message for Iraq to comply with resolutions of the Security Council and to cooperate with the United Nations weapons inspectors.

Ambassador Shah is expected to arrive in New York on Thursday to brief the Security Council on his mission to Iraq where he held meetings with the Iraqi officials in an effort to end the deadlock.

The United Nations is expediting the process of procuring spare parts for the Iraqi oil industry, a United Nations spokesman said on Wednesday.

Spokesman Fred Eckhard told reporters that the United Nations was bringing in two oil industry experts to speed up the process of finalizing contracts for the spare parts. So far the United Nations has received fifty-five contracts.

The two experts from an oil company in the Netherlands were part of the Secretary-General's team of experts who visited Iraq in March and reported on a "lamentable" state of the oil industry in the country.

The experts endorsed the Iraqi request for $300 million worth of spare parts as the "absolute" minimum required, the spokesman said.

He added that the two experts would work closely with the office which is dealing with the Iraqi programme. Under the programme, Iraq is allowed to export oil in order to purchase food and other humanitarian needs.

The Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Angola was expected in New York on Wednesday after spending some time in Angola in July and early August, a United Nations spokesman said on Wednesday.

Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi went to Angola to help salvage the peace process which seemed to be threatened by renewed conflict in the country. During his stay in the region, Ambassador Brahimi also visited Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia for further consultations.

Back at United Nations headquarters in New York, he is expected to have a series of consultations with United Nations staff. Ambassador Brahimi is also expected to brief the Security Council early next week, the spokesman said.

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who arrived in Mali on Tuesday, is expected to pay his respects to the family of Alouine Blondin Beye who died in a plane crash in Cote d'Ivoire on 26 June 1998. The late Mr. Beye was the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Angola.

The Secretary-General who is on a private vacation in West Africa, got involved in "semi-official" duty, his Spokesman said on Wednesday.

Spokesman Fred Eckhard said that the Secretary-General would spend a few days in Mali. He would have lunch with President Alpha Konare and pay a courtesy call on Prime Minister Ibrahim Boubakar Keita on 21 August.

The Secretary-General would later visit the historic town of Timbuktu, northeast of Bamako, the capital, according to United Nations sources.

For information purposes only - - not an official record

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

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