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UN Radio: Annan Condemns Israeli Incursion in Gaza

UN Radio: UN Secretary-General Condemns Israeli Incursion in Gaza

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  • UN Secretary-General Condemns Israeli Incursion in Gaza

    The UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan today strongly condemned the latest Israeli military incursion in the Rafah refugee camp in Gaza. At least eight Palestinians, many of them children have died and dozens more wounded. Several houses have been destroyed in the attack. UN spokesman Fred Eckhard says the Secretary-General reiterated that Israel as the occupying power must protect the civilian population and desist from using disproportionate force:

    "He strongly urges the Government of Israel to refrain from such violent actions and return to peaceful negotiations with its Palestinian partners according to the Quartet's Road Map."

    The road map is a peace plan to resolve the Palestinian Israeli conflict. It is drawn up by the UN, the European Union, Russia and the United States. The Secretary-General sent his condolences to the Palestinian families of the victims.

    UNHCR Prepares to Deploy an Emergency Team to Eastern Chad

    An emergency team from the UN refugee agency, UNHCR is scheduled to deploy to a remote area of eastern Chad next week to prepare the transfer of thousands of Sudanese refugees. There are over 90,000 refugees who have fled the conflict in the Darfur region of western Sudan. UNHCR spokesman, Ron Redmond says that an estimated 25,000 new arrivals have been reported this month alone:

    "The refugees are scattered along a 600-km stretch of the border. They receive little international help or attention. Many are in poor health and that makes it the more urgent that they be moved further inland."

    UNHCR is hurriedly developing a refugee site in the town of Farachana about 55 kilometres from the border.

    Civilians in Isiro, DR Congo, Need Urgent Aid: UN

    The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, reports that civilians in the Isiro town in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo are being held together by only a desperate thread. A recent UN mission to the area discovered that the town bears traces of one of the most ferocious rebellions of the civil war. The local population complained of continued harassment by the army and police, the levying of irregular taxes, and continued military recruitment especially of children. In addition people in Isiro are suffering from lack of clean water, the majority of households don't have a balanced diet, and more than 100,000 workers are without jobs.

    Security Council Adjusts Sanctions against Liberia

    The Security Council has adjusted its sanctions against Liberia, in particular the ban on exporting timber and diamonds and importing arms and war-related material. In a resolution unanimously adopted on Tuesday, the Council decided that the measures would remain in effect until there is peace, transparency in exports and government control of the national forests. The Secretary-General's Special Envoy, Jacques Klein, says he hopes that when a donor conference is held in February next year to raise money to repair Liberia's basic infrastructure, he will come to New York with the Chairman of the transitional government, Gyude Bryant, to meet with the Security Council on this issue:

    "And then I can say what I think, and he can say I have tried in Liberia to establish very transparent modalities, that the maritime register funding the lumber concessions, diamonds are going into a treasury, there is a budget, it is transparent. There is accountability."

    The sanctions will remain in place until the situation has been sorted out in Liberia.

    More attention should be paid to Millennium Development Goals: UN

    The Director-General of the UN Office in Geneva, Sergey Ordzonikidze, said today he was disappointed that during this year not enough attention was paid to all the global problems. He said the year had a number of political, economic and social problems which were not solved. The UN was doing its best to resolve these problems but it was overwhelmed by the problem of Iraq. Mr. Ordzonikidze said attention should also be paid to other issues including the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals:

    "We are not doing enough to fight poverty, to improve our environment. We still have poverty where we have people living on one dollar a day. And many problems arise because of that kind of the situation."

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