UN peacekeepers detained as fighting continues in Golan Heights

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UNDOF Explosive Eisposal Unit uncovers landmine in Syria. UN Photo

The United Nations is making every effort to secure the release of 43 peacekeepers who have been detained in the Golan Heights.

The peacekeepers are serving with the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), deployed to monitor the 1974 accord between Syria and Israel after the 1973 war.

UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric says fighting has intensified between armed rebels and Syrian government forces in the Golan Heights.

"There are 43 Fijian troops from Position 27 who are being detained in the vicinity of Al Qunaytirah. Our understanding is that they are now in the southern part of the Area of Separation. There are a further 81 troops from the Philippines who are having their movements restricted at Positions 68 and 69 in the vicinity of Ar Ruwayhinah and Burayqah. The United Nations is making every effort to secure the release of the detained peacekeepers, and to restore full freedom of movement of the Forces throughout its area of operation." (30")

Stephane Dujarric recalled that UNDOF peacekeepers were previously detained by armed elements in March and May of 2013 and were then released safely.

The Security Council has strongly condemned the detention of the 43 peacekeepers and demanded their immediate and unconditional  release.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations

Duration:  1’27″

 

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