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UN Radio: Situation Deteriorates In Liberia

UN Radio: Situation Deteriorates In Liberia

UN Radio: Liberia, Seeking Arrest of Liberian President, situation deteriorates in Congo, Annan condemns suicide attack in Jerusalem, Israel Prevents UN relief team from Attending Meeting, food aid for Palestine…

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  • Security Council Members Express Grave Concern over Deteriorating Conditions in Liberia

    Members of the Security Council have expressed their grave concern at the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Liberia. And they've strongly urged all combatants to immediately cease hostilities and agree to a ceasefire. Council President Ambassador Sergey Lavrov of the Russian Federation made the statement shortly after being briefed by senior political affairs officials at the UN.

    "Council members stressed in particular the urgent need for the combatants to spare the lives and property of innocent civilians, to maintain defensive positions well clear of Monrovia and Buchanan, and to refrain from committing further violations of human rights and international humanitarian law." Council members also welcomed the announcement by Liberian President Charles Taylor that he was prepared to step down no later than the end of his current term. They also expressed their support for the work of the Sierra Leone Special Court.

    Chief Prosecutor of Sierra Leone Court Urges West African Nations to Turn Over Liberian President

    Meanwhile, the Chief Prosecutor of the Sierra Leone Court, David Crane, has called on all nations, particularly those in West Africa, to consider the rule of law and turn over President Charles Taylor of Liberia. "We ask all members of the international community, particularly those in ECOWAS to show leadership, to show the world that West Africa stands for the rule of law and turn over Charles Taylor to the Special Court so that they can face justice and have their day in court." Prosecutor Crane served an indictment on President Taylor while he was in Ghana attending a peace conference on Liberia. The Ghanaian authorities did not arrest President Taylor who has since returned to Liberia.

    Security Council Delegation Arrives in DRC

    A Security Council delegation is in the Democratic Republic of Congo in an attempt to bring peace to the war-ravaged country. The team led by France's UN Ambassador Jean-Marc de la Sabliere was meeting President Joseph Kabila and other top Government officials Wednesday to urge them to move forward on an agreement for sharing power among rival Congolese factions. Ambassador de la Sabliere told reporters it was important to end the fighting in the eastern Congo province of Ituri which he said involved grave violations of human rights. The delegation heads for Bunia in the Ituri region tomorrow.

    Annan Strongly Condemns Suicide Bombing in Jerusalem

    Secretary-General Kofi Annan has strongly condemned today's suicide bombing by the Palestinian militant group Hamas in Jerusalem, which killed at least 16 Israelis and injured dozens more. A UN spokesman says the Secretary-General believes that such attacks are utterly reprehensible and only serve to spur further hatred and mistrust. The Secretary-Ggeneral calls on the leaders of the Israeli and Palestinian peoples not to be deterred from the path to peace through the Quartet's Road Map.

    Israel Prevents UN relief team from Attending Management Meeting

    The UN Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has protested the actions of Israeli security forces in preventing the agency's management from leaving the Gaza Strip. UNRWA said security procedures prevented Commissioner-General Peter Hansen and senior management from attending the quarterly management meeting of the agency's directors in Amman, Jordan. Mr. Hansen said the continuing restrictions are a violation of international agreements to which Israel is a signatory.

    WFP Head Assessing Food Aids Operations in Palestinian Territories

    The head of the UN food agency (WFP), today visited a food distribution centre in Gaza City where he met beneficiaries of the agency's efforts.
    Executive Director James T. Morris is in Jerusalem at the start of a three-day visit looking at WFP's efforts to provide food aid to Palestinians impoverished by deteriorating security and economic conditions over the past two years. Heather Hill is the WFP spokesperson in Jerusalem. "What the Executive Director was doing was making his first trip to the Palestinian territories to assess food aid needs and WFP operations to come and see for himself, to review at first hand what the situation is."

    Over the past year, WFP was able to bring nearly 45-thousand tons of food to ensure that basic needs of nearly half a million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in the West Bank are met.
    Mbeki Calls for Concerted Global Action to End Poverty

    In Geneva, South African President Thabo Mbeki said that his priority and that of the international community should be to address the growing problem of poverty. UN Radio's Marion Houk reports. "He told journalists after his address to the high-level conference of the UN International Labour Organization that he hopes that there would be some movement to come out of this year's meeting: "In a situation in which resources exist, it is clearly, I think, a big disaster that is boiling away there everywhere in the world, not only the impoverishment of people but the stark contrast between those who are rich and those who are poor."

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