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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 23rd, 2008
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

From:  unnews at un.org
Subject: UN DAILY NEWS DIGEST – 23 July
Date: July 23, 2008

UN DAILY NEWS from the UNITED NATIONS NEWS SERVICE.
23 July, 2008
=========================================================================

SOMALIA: UN ENVOY CALLS ON SECURITY COUNCIL TO TAKE ‘BOLD, DECISIVE AND
FAST ACTION’

The United Nations envoy to Somalia told the Security Council today that
there were limited choices for bringing peace to the violence-wracked Horn
of Africa country, but that the time had come to make a final decision on
the best possible option.

Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah said that the options included converting the current
African Union peacekeeping mission to Somalia, known as AMISOM, to a UN
operation by “rehatting” the troops, creating an international
stabilization force or establishing a new UN peacekeeping force.

Mr. Ould-Abdallah also called on the Council to make a strong public
expression of support for the peace agreement signed in Djibouti in June
between the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia and the Alliance for
the Re-Liberation of Somalia.

“Given that Somalis have suffered for so long, and the current favourable
political context following the Djibouti Agreement, it is time for the
Security Council to take bold, decisive and fast action,” he said in a
statement to the council.

“An effective implementation of the Agreement should be an incentive to
bring more Somalis on board and give them a chance to contribute to the
birth of their country,” he said, noting that “in all peace processes some
individuals or groups always set out by rejecting agreements.”

Acknowledging that violence had been pervasive in Somalia for a long time,
the envoy said the Djibouti Agreement provided an opportunity to
marginalize and eventually stop such violence. He also called for a review
of the names on the Security Council sanctions list to recognize the role
of individuals who had decided to change their behaviour and support peace.

Mr. Ould-Abdallah added that the peace agreement should provide security
for humanitarian programmes in the country, in particular for naval escorts
for the UN World Food Programme (WFP), which brings 80 per cent of its food
aid to Somalia by sea. He said that it was unfortunate that these escorts
had now ceased.

On the humanitarian front, the envoy said he sympathized with Somali
nations who constitute more than 95 per cent of aid workers in south and
central Somalia.

“They risk their lives daily and all too often have been the innocent
victims of targeted killings. With international determination, as shown in
Kosovo and elsewhere, the individuals carrying out these terrible deeds
should not be given a chance to prevail,” he said.

——————
* * *

UN-AFRICAN UNION MISSION CHIEF MEETS WITH SUDANESE PRESIDENT IN DARFUR

The head of the United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur
(UNAMID) met today with President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan at the mission’s
headquarters in El Fasher.

Mr. al-Bashir reiterated his country’s resolve to provide security for
UNAMID staff and convoys. “You are our guests and our partners,” he said,
“and we are ready to provide any assistance that will help you do your
work.”

The Joint Special Representative told the President that UNAMID’s
deployment was besieged by numerous challenges, but said that the mission
was strengthening its resolve to reach its full capacity as soon as
possible.

The Sudanese leader expressed his condolences to UNAMID and the families of
those peacekeepers that have lost their lives in Darfur while serving the
mission. Seven blue helmets were killed in an ambush earlier this month in
North Darfur and, just over a week later, another was shot dead in West
Darfur.

Mr. Adada pointed out that UNAMID had thousands of containers awaiting
“movement along the difficult and sometimes dangerous routes into Darfur,”
and called on the Sudanese Government to ensure that the convoys reach
their destinations safely.

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sudan, Ashraf Qazi,
also travelled to Darfur and attended the meetings with the President.

UNAMID reported that the deployment of an Egyptian engineering unit had to
be postponed after the airport was closed for the President’s visit. New
dates for the deployment are yet to be confirmed.

Meanwhile, the mission announced that it is continuing to suspend the
temporary relocation of its non-essential UN personnel. Some 300 people
were moved out of Darfur before the relocation was halted last Friday.

Earlier this week, Mr. Adada met Amr Moussa, the Secretary-General of the
Arab League, to discuss cooperation and peace in Darfur in the wake of the
recent war crimes charges sought by the International Criminal Court (ICC)
Prosecutor against Mr. al-Bashir.

Some 300,000 people are estimated to have been killed as a result of direct
combat, disease or malnutrition since 2003. Another 2.7 million people have
been displaced because of fighting between rebels, Government forces and
allied militiamen known as the Janjaweed.
* * *

SUDAN AND UN SIGN FOUR-YEAR DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE PLAN

The Sudanese Government today signed an agreement with United Nations
agencies operating in the country on a four-year aid plan covering
peacebuilding, governance and the rule of law, employment, education and
health care as well as other services.

The agreement, known as the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF),
was signed by representatives of the Government of National Unity and the
Government of Southern Sudan and 18 UN agencies headed by Humanitarian and
Resident Coordinator Ameerah Haq.

Ms. Haq said the new agreement, which covers the years 2009 to 2012, “will
enable us to move beyond annual planning, and set more ambitious
development goals with the help of all our national and international
partners. With the endorsement of this planning tool, the UN will spare no
effort in helping the country achieve tangible progress toward the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).”

“The consolidation of peace and stability in the country remains the
ultimate goal of the UNDAF process,” she added.

Welcoming the new agreement, Sudan’s State Minister of International
Cooperation El Elias Nyamlell Wakoson said that it “represents an important
step in terms of moving forward jointly with a common vision of our
strategic direction in support of the peace process.”

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