Ethiopia, Yemen, Afghanistan & other topics- Daily Press Briefing

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17-Nov-2021 01:40:36
Daily Press Briefing by Stephane Dujarric, the Spokesperson of the Secretary-General.

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We issued a statement last night in which the Secretary-General reiterated his call for the immediate release of UN staff members detained in Ethiopia.

Also on Ethiopia, we have a humanitarian update on the situation in the northern part of the country which continues to be volatile and highly unpredictable. Humanitarian operations remain heavily constrained due to insecurity, bureaucratic impediments and other factors.

Turning to Yemen, I can tell you that the Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the arrests and detention of two UN staff members in Sana’a by the Houthis earlier this month. The two UN staff members are being held without any justification or charge and have been prevented from communicating with their families and offices.

This afternoon, the Security Council will hold a briefing, followed by consultations on the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.

This morning, Council members heard a briefing on Somalia. Briefing was the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia, James Swan. He said that slow and uneven progress has been made in the electoral process.

A quick humanitarian update for you on what our colleagues are doing on the Belarus-Poland border: The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has small offices, both in Minsk and in Warsaw. However, UNHCR has no permanent or regular presence at the border on either side. From the Belarusian side, a UNHCR team was granted access to the border four times since the beginning of this crisis. UNHCR tells us that more assistance is on the way, such as blankets, warm clothes, gloves, hats and boots, for children. UNHCR is currently negotiating more regular access to the border on the Belarusian side, as well as discussing access on the Polish side.

Our colleagues at the peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic report that, on Monday, in a village of the Ouham-Pendé prefecture, presumed combatants from the 3R armed group attacked a Central African armed forces base and surrounding neighbourhoods. Twelve civilians were reportedly killed and 15 were injured and are receiving medical treatment at a local hospital.

Yesterday afternoon, we also issued a statement in which the Secretary-General strongly condemned the terrorist attacks that took place yesterday in Uganda, and he expressed his deepest condolences to the families of the victims of these despicable acts of violence.

Our UN team in Fiji says that the country recently received more than 200,000 vaccine doses through COVAX donated by the US and Japan.

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