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UN Radio: Mission Finds Evidence of Congo Massacre

UN Radio: Mission Finds Evidence of Massacre in Northeast Bunia, D R Congo

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  • UN Mission Finds Evidence of Massacre in Northeast Bunia, D R Congo

    An investigating team sent by the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has found 65 bodies at Kachele, northeast of Bunia. The team found 23 people killed in a church and others who were buried in a mass grave. Most of the dead were children. Some 20 people were wounded and are being treated in hospitals. According to the evidence gathered, the massacre was carried out by a group of Lendu believed to be from nearby villages that attacked Kachele with rifles and machetes early on the morning of the 6th of October. The UN mission has deployed a number of Pakistani soldiers to the location. It will also launch a full-scale investigation of the incident and search for weapons, which could be linked to the massacre, and individuals who might be involved.

    UN Special Coordinator Condemns Attack on Israel from Lebanese Territory

    The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Terje Roed Larsen has condemned Monday night's attacks from the Lebanese territory across the border with Israel, which killed an Israeli soldier. He said this constitutes a clear violation of the Blue Line and Security Council resolutions and could escalate tension between Israel and its northern neighbours. Roed Larsen has urged the government of Lebanon to exert control over the use of force from all of its territory. He also called on all sides to abstain from further action that could increase the already high level of tension in the region.

    UN Refugee Agency Condemns Violence Against Serb Returnee in Kosovo

    The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has expressed serious concern over an attack on an old Serb female returnee in Kosovo. The 73-year old Serb woman had gone back to her hometown in Gnijlane on Saturday to repossess her house. A man who had moved into her house with his family after she fled Kosovo in 1999, shot her. UNHCR spokesman Kris Janowski says the attack illustrates the difficulty in reconciling the Kosovo communities, especially having Serbs return to the province:

    "Out of some 230,000 people who fled Kosovo in '99, mostly Serbs but also many Romas, only just over 8,000 have returned, which really tells you that these returns have been very, very difficult."

    The woman is now in hospital and the man has been arrested.

    In the meantime, the UN envoy in Kosovo, Harri Holkeri has invited Kosovar and Serbian-Montenegrin leaders for talks in Vienna next week.

    UN Urges Greece to Improve Its Asylum Policies and Practices

    The UN refugee agency has recommended that Greece improve its asylum policies and practices. The recommendations are contained in a report unveiled at a press conference in Athens today, which was attended by Greek parliamentarians. The spokeswoman for the refugee agency, in Athens Katty Kehayioulou says Greece has the lowest percentage of recognition of refugees, many of whom are from Iraq and Afghanistan:

    "For instance, the average European recognition rate in the 12 European EU countries omitting Greece was 20.1 per cent last year as compared to the one per cent I just mentioned to you in Greece."

    The UN agency says that Greece regards refugees or asylum seekers as economic migrants.

    The Situation of Small Island Developing States

    The Chairman of the Alliance of Small Island Developing States, has warned that the situation of small islands developing states continues to be of one of exposure and growing vulnerability with an increasing inability to respond. UN Radio's Donn Bobb reports:

    "Ambassador Jagdish Koonjul of Mauritius says there are many disadvantages that come from small size and they are magnified by the fact that many islands are not only small but are themselves made up of a number of small islands. As a result he said, they're disadvantaged by a narrow range of resources, which forces undue specialization, excessive dependence on international trade and hence vulnerability to global developments:

    KOONJUL: High population density which increases the pressure on already limited resources, over use of resources and premature depletion, relatively small watersheds and threatened supplies of fresh water.

    Ambassador Koonjul said that since the course of climate change is beyond the control of the small islands, their vulnerability is increasing. For United Nations Radio this is Don Bobb reporting from Port of Spain Trinidad."

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