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UN Radio: All UN Staff Out Of Baghdad: Annan

UN Radio: All UN Staff Out Of Baghdad: Annan

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  • UN Security Council Mission Visits Western Afghanistan

    A UN Security Council delegation visited western Afghanistan's Herat province Monday to show the world's commitment to peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan. UN Spokesman Stephan Dujarric says the 15-member team met with the deputy governor of Herat:

    "And they discussed cooperation with the central government, the need to end factional fighting and violence and the role of human rights in building a free society."

    The mission also met with the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and other civil society representatives during which the participants underscored the importance of human rights, in particular women's rights, in order to establish long-lasting stability.

    All UN International Staff Should be Out of Baghdad: Annan

    Secretary-General Kofi Annan says UN international staff should all be out Baghdad or on their way out. The Secretary-General was responding to reporters' questions Monday about the status of UN international staff in Baghdad. Asked about changes in light of the independent panel's report on security of UN personnel in Iraq, the Secretary-General said the United Nations was currently trying to find out exactly who did what, who didn't do what, adding that, "we are going to be making some changes."

    UN Mission Investigates Renewed Fighting in Liberia

    The UN mission in Liberia is investigating renewed fighting in the northeast of the country. The mission said the fighting appears to be between government forces and the rebel Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL). Spokesperson Margaret Novicki says the mission has conducted air reconnaissance over the area:

    "...they saw that a lot of the towns and villages were deserted, apparently due to recent fighting. A number of the houses were looted and were burning. Some buildings were on fire."

    Ms. Novicki says the reconnaissance mission saw a group of roughly 75 combatants moving along a road and reported that the fighting was apparently continuing.

    UN Envoy to Liberia Wants French Peacekeepers

    Special envoy Jacques Klein has urged France to send peacekeepers to Liberia, as the West African nation struggles to emerge from civil war.
    Mr. Klein said the French-speaking troops are needed to address cross-border issues with Liberia's Francophone neighbours Cote d'Ivoire and Guinea. He said it is unlikely that Liberia would be under full UN supervision before early 2004, noting that rebels still control zones in the north and southeast of the country. More than 4,000 peacekeepers have been deployed with the UN mission in Liberia out of a total 15,000 mandated by the Security Council.

    UN Rights Envoy to Visit Myanmar Prisoners

    UN human rights envoy Paulo Sergio Pinheiro Monday met with Myanmar government ministers to lay the groundwork for a renewed mission to assess the plight of political prisoners in the country. A UN statement said Mr. Pinheiro is on a weeklong visit to take stock of human rights developments and follow-up on key issues he had previously looked at. Pinheiro's particular concerns include political prisoners, the exercise of basic political freedoms and civil rights, the administration of justice and chances for an independent evaluation of alleged human rights violations in the eastern Shan State.

    UN Court to Resume Trial of Former Rwandan Government Ministers

    The trial of four former Rwandan government ministers was delayed Monday because of the absence of a defense attorney. The four were to go on trial today before the UN war crimes tribunal, charged with playing key roles in Rwanda's 1994 genocide. They each face 10 charges of conspiracy to commit genocide and crimes against humanity. The charges say the four "knew or had to know that massacres of Tutsis were being carried out" but "did not act to stop to these massacres or punish those responsible for them." The United Nations tribunal based in the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha has formally tried or accused 15 of the 20 members of the Rwandan government at the time, for involvement in the 1994 genocide in which nearly a million Rwandans were massacred.

    UNICEF Launches Campaign to Bring Liberian Children Back to School

    In Liberia, hundreds of thousands of children are due to return to school in a massive "Back-to-School Campaign" aimed at restoring the country's education system ravaged by years of civil war. UNICEF's Executive Director Carol Bellamy said it's absolutely right that the first dividends of peace should be paid to Liberia's children who have endured so much so long and who hold the country's future in their hands. She described it as a brave campaign launched at a fragile time in the peace process. The Liberian Back-to-School campaign is modelled on similar post-war education drive launched by UNICEF in other countries, including Afghanistan, in 2002.

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