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UN Radio Relief For 100,000s Displaced By Saddam

UN Radio: Solution Needed For 100,000s Displaced Under Saddam’s Regime

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  • Special Report: Special Representative Calls For Action To Alleviate Human Suffering In Liberia (real player)
  • UN Refugee Chief Calls For Solution To Hundreds Of Thousands Displaced Under Saddam Hussein Government

    The head of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) has called for a solution to the plight of hundreds of thousands of people, mostly Kurds, who were forcibly displaced by the Saddam Hussein government. High Commissioner Ruud Lubbers has been meeting with Kurdish leaders in northern Iraq. And according to spokesman Kris Janowski the high commissioner sees this as a priority:

    "And the high commissioner after those meetings said that one of the main issues there in that part of Iraq is to make sure that these Kurds there be allowed to go home and at the same time some sort of a fair solution has to be found for the Arabs who are also affected by the policy."

    IThe high commissioner said UNHCR is ready to work on the issue. But he said the responsibility lies primarily with the new authorities in Iraq, and particularly, the Provisional Authority.

    Situation in Bunia Remains Calm But Tense: Guehenno

    Despite some encouraging initial steps towards normalising life in Bunia, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, there are still many challenges ahead. That assessment comes from the top UN peacekeeping official. Jean-Marie Guehenno told the Security Council Friday that the most difficult task would be to end the pervasive culture of war and impunity. He suggested that the armed groups in the Ituri province, in particular, should be encouraged to engage in a political process:

    "The international community as a whole needs to increase its efforts to assist the interim administration in restoring basic services in Ituri, especially police, judiciary and corrections."

    Under Secretary-general Guehenno called for special initiatives to develop such a local capacity as soon as possible. He also noted that the security situation in Bunia remains calm but tense.

    EU Calls For Continued Commitment To New Transition Government In DRC

    The European Union has reiterated its commitment to the new government sworn in Thursday in the Democratic Republic of Congo. High Representative of the European Union, Javier Solana, told the UN Security Council of the Union's firm intention to step up efforts to give the new Congolese Government the political, economic and financial support it needs to successfully complete the transition process; put an end to the suffering of the Congolese people and guide the country towards democracy. Mr. Solana stressed that with the establishment of the government of national unity in Kinsasha, a window of opportunity has been opened for the whole Great Lakes region of Africa:

    "This fundamental step in the peace process has been made possible not only as a result of the desire for peace of the Congolese people and its leaders, but also because of the unfailing commitment of the international community."

    Mr. Solana said the international community has been able to
    speak with one voice and bring the necessary pressure to bear on the warring factions. He urged the international community to maintain this commitment as the new government sets out on what he termed "the difficult road of transition towards elections."
    Special Representative For Liberia Hopes For A Peacekeeping Mission By Fall

    The Special Representative for Liberia says he's organising a team to carry out a basic assessment of what size peacekeeping mission would be needed. Jacques Klein says the mission would have several components including military, civilian and police. But he says the sooner the Economic Community of West African States deployed their forces, the sooner the United States Government would make a decision. He adds that the day the Americans arrive, current Liberian president Charles Taylor must leave:

    "In other words they arrive he leaves and hopefully goes to Nigeria and play a less visible role. The danger internationally is someone with a cell phone in Nigeria still manipulating things from abroad does not help us to stabilize Liberia. So there have to be some real constraints placed here."

    Mr. Klein is hoping the environment could be safe and secure enough to allow for the establishment of a peacekeeping mission by the fall.

    UNHCR Concerned By Renewed Fighting In Liberia

    The UN refugee agency (UNHCR), says it's very concerned about the latest reports of fighting on the outskirts of the Liberian capital- Monrovia.
    UNHCR staff in Monrovia report that renewed fighting has caused panic and provoked more people to flee the conflict area towards the centre of the city. UNHCR is worried that any further deterioration will affect the emergency evacuation of Sierra Leonean refugees which began earlier this month.


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