Eritrea + 1 more

UNMEE media briefing notes 4 Aug 2005

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Published
POLITICAL
On 31 July 2005 the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG), Legwaila Joseph Legwaila returned to the Mission area and assumed duties on Monday 1st August in Addis Ababa.

On 2 August, in Addis Ababa, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG), Legwaila Joseph Legwaila met with the outgoing Ambassador of The Netherlands to Ethiopia, His Excellency, Rob Vermaas, who paid a farewell visit to UNMEE. They exchanged views on the peace process. The SRSG during their discussion cited the exemplary cooperation between the Dutch Embassy and UNMEE. Ambassador Vermaas for his part reaffirmed his Government's continued support to the Mission and the peace process.

On 3 August, in Addis Ababa, the SRSG met with the newly appointed Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Ethiopia, His Excellency, Mikhail Y. Afanasiev, who paid a courtesy call at UNMEE's Headquarters. They exchanged views on developments in the peace process.

On 3 August, the SRSG met with the Head of the Delegation of the European Commission to Ethiopia, Ambassador Tim Clarke, to exchange views on developments in Ethiopia. The SRSG and Ambassador Clarke also exchanged views on the state of the peace process between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

MILITARY

General Overview

The general situation in the Mission area remains militarily stable. There have been no significant changes in troop locations or dispositions. UNMEE conducted 576 ground and 26 air reconnaissance patrols throughout the Area of Responsibility (AOR).

In all sectors, UNMEE peacekeepers continued to provide medical assistance to the local population, along with supplies of bulk water to civilian communities in the Temporary Security Zone (TSZ) and the Adjacent Areas. Approximately 125,450 litres of water was supplied to the civilian communities during the past week.

Mine Action

The Bangladesh Engineering Company, working in Sector West, probed an area of 7,950 square metres along the Taula Gimuja to Kerhasha road and cleared an area of 10,000 square metres along the Barentu to Shilalo road.

The Kenyan Humanitarian De-mining Company also working in Sector West probed manually an area of 17,325 square metres in the Grat Mariam minefields.

While the civilian contractor, MECHEM, continued its de-mining operations and manually cleared 10.2 kilometres along roads in the Om Hajer area.

UNMEE MACC

A mine incident in the area of Shambiko (Sector West) was reported to the Mine Action Coordination Centre (MACC) on 27 July 2005. Reportedly, the mine incident involved one fatality and two casualties. The facts and details of the incidents have yet to be confirmed. The MACC is in the process of conducting an investigation into the incident.

Meetings and Visits

On the 20th and 31st of July respectively, the Jordanian Battallion (JORBAT) and the Indian Battallion (INDBATT) completed their troop rotation.

On Wednesday 3 August United States Congressman Donald Payne visited the Force Headquarters and met with the UNMEE Force Commander, Major General Rajendar Singh.

During the past week, Deputy Force Commander, Brigadier General Abraham Wambugu, visited various posts in both the Central and Western Sectors during the week.

HUMAN RIGHTS

On 28 July, the UNMEE Human Rights Office (HRO) in Addis Ababa conducted a one-day human rights training within a workshop organised by the non-governmental organisation World Vision International. The workshop was titled "Strategies of Human Rights Advocacy Around Child Rights Issues." Twenty-eight World Vision advocacy officers coming from East African countries participated in the training. The Human Rights Office presentation focused on the Convention on the Rights of the Child, with particular emphasis on child rights issues witnessed in conflict environments, such as: exploitation (child soldiers and prostitutes), underdevelopment, disruption of schooling, and separation of families, among others. The World Vision officers actively participated in the discussions during the one-day session.

Question and Answers

There were no journalists present at today's Briefing in either capital. In Addis Ababa the absence was most likely due to the meeting of the Extraordinary Summit of the African Union on the UN reform.

For further enquires please contact:

Gail Bindley-Taylor-Sainte, Spokeswoman and Chief, Public Information Office or UNMEE Headquarters Asmara, Telephone: 291-1-150411- extension 6017

or our tie-line in New York: 00-1-212-963-3779-Ext 6017or UNMEE Headquarters Addis Ababa, telephone: 251-1-726895 extension 7045.

UNMEE Website: http://www.unmeeonline.org