Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

Preview Language:   English
ENGLISH 12-Jan-2018 00:14:40
Briefing by Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.
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A joint statement of the African Union and the UN on the situation in South Sudan was issued this morning.

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, and the Secretary-General strongly condemn the recent violations of the 21 December 2017 Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities, Protection of Civilians and Humanitarian Access in South Sudan.

They call on all South Sudanese fighting parties to immediately cease all hostilities, desist from undertaking any further military operations, and uphold their commitments.

They further call on the parties to uphold their primary responsibility to protect civilians, adhere to international human rights and humanitarian law and ensure safe and unhindered humanitarian access.

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission and the Secretary-General reaffirm their belief that there can only be a political solution to the conflict in South Sudan, and the parties must demonstrate the political will to negotiate a permanent ceasefire and update the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan in order to end the appalling suffering inflicted on the South Sudanese population.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has an update on access to Yemen’s ports. Since 20 December 2017, when the Saudi-led Coalition had announced that it would keep Yemen's Red Sea ports of Hodeidah and Saleef open for a period of one month for both humanitarian and commercial cargo, 13 vessels have delivered food and much-needed fuel through the two ports. More deliveries are in the pipeline.

The Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, has welcomed the opening of Hodeidah and Saleef to commercial and humanitarian shipments. He called on the Saudi-led Coalition to continue allowing vessels into the Red Sea ports, and for the Houthis to desist from threatening this vital access route.

He also lauded the Coalition’s approval to move four cranes to Hodeidah Port to enhance its capacity and allow for faster off-loading of vessels.

A total of 22 million people in Yemen are in need of humanitarian assistance. Over 70 per cent of them live in proximity to Hodeidah and Saleef ports.



Military operations targeting suspected Da’esh militants in Kirkuk’s Hawija district have continued to cause civilian displacement, according to OCHA. More than 1,000 people have been displaced since the start of these operations on 4 January.

Those displaced by the fighting are being transported to nearby Daquq displacement camp, where humanitarians are providing assistance.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) launched yesterday their revised Multi-Year Humanitarian Response Plan 2017-2018 for Haiti, in collaboration with the Ministry of Planning and External Cooperation launched

This plan requires $252 million to provide critical life-saving, protection and livelihoods assistance to 2.2 million Haitians out of an estimated 2.8 million people in need.

While the situation in Haiti has improved, humanitarian needs persist, including to address food insecurity and malnutrition, cholera and deportations and repatriations from the Dominican Republic.

Haiti also remains highly vulnerable to natural disasters, with structural weaknesses in the national coordination and development capacity.

On the anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti, eight years ago, our thoughts are with the families of all the victims, including of course, the families of our colleagues who perished in the disaster.

Today, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) renewed its appeal to countries to offer more resettlement places and other safe alternatives to protect refugees after 160 people were reported dead or missing in three separate incidents in the Mediterranean this week.

Back in September, UNHCR appealed for 40,000 resettlement places for refugees in 15 priority countries along the Central Mediterranean route. In all, 277,000 refugees are estimated to be in need of resettlement in these countries. However, the agency has only received some 13,000 offers of resettlement places for 2018 and 2019.

The Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, has expressed his concern at the continuing clashes between Palestinians and the Israeli Security Forces in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, including the two teenagers who were killed.
All incidents in which the use of force has resulted in death or injury must be promptly and thoroughly investigated. Political and community leaders must refrain from actions and rhetoric that could further escalate the situation and should help reduce tensions.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) expressed concern today at the high number of arrests following demonstrations across Tunisia – 778 people have been arrested since Monday, some 200 of them between the ages of 15 and 20.

They called on the authorities to ensure that people are not arrested in an arbitrary manner, and that all those detained are treated with full respect for their due process rights and other fundamental guarantees.

The authorities must ensure that those exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are not prevented from doing so. At the same time, the Human Rights Office calls on all those taking to the streets to exercise restraint and calm.

They urge all sides to work together towards resolving, with full respect for human rights, the economic and social problems underpinning the unrest.
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