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UNMEE press briefing notes 24 Nov 2006

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POLITICAL

On 20 November 2006, the Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Azouz Ennifar, attended a meeting of the Ethiopia Eritrea Boundary Commission (EEBC) at The Hague.

On 17 November 2006, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Lebohang Moleko, met with China's Ambassador to Eritrea, Mr. Shu Zhan, who briefed him on the recent China/Africa Summit. They also discussed matters pertaining to the peace process.

MILITARY

General Overview

The military situation in the Temporary Security Zone (TSZ) and Adjacent Areas is volatile and tense, in the wake of the Eritrean forces entering the TSZ in Sector West on 16, 24, 27 October and 01 November 2006. Routine troop movements continue to be observed on both sides in Sector Centre and Sub-Sector East. UNMEE patrols continue to face restrictions inside the TSZ, particularly in Sector West as well as in Sector Centre. In certain areas, movement at night has also been curtailed. Nonetheless, monitoring of the TSZ and Adjacent Areas continued from existing posts. This week, UNMEE conducted 672 ground patrols throughout the Area of Responsibility.

In all sectors, UNMEE peacekeepers continued to provide medical assistance, along with supplies of bulk water, to civilian communities in the TSZ and the Adjacent Areas. Approximately 21,430 litres of water were supplied to the civilian communities during the past week.

Field Trip by DSRSG and DFC to Team Site Humera

On 16 November 2006, the DSRSG, Mr Lebohang K Moleko and the Deputy Force Commander, Brig Gen A M Wambugu, visited the Humera team site.

MINE ACTION COORDINATION CENTRE (MACC)

This week, the UNMEE MACC Route Clearance Team deployed to Tserona in Sector Centre, and are conducting route verification tasks. The Integrated Demining Capacity teams deployed to Egri Mekel minefield in the Tsorena area, Sector Centre, within the TSZ. The teams cleared an area of 66,256 square metres and 64.5 kilometres of road in the area. The teams discovered two unexploded ordnance (UXO) items and detonated seven anti-tank mines.

Teams of UNMEE's Mine Risk Education (MRE) teams, deployed to Sector West (Sub zone of Lalay-Gash), and Sector Centre (Sub zone of Tserona), respectively. The teams conducted MRE activities for 800 local people of different age groups and gender affected by mines and explosive remnants of war.

During the week, the MACC Force Mine Action Center (FMAC) in Asmara conducted MRE briefings for staff members of UNAIDS, UN Volunteers and nine UNMOs.

HUMAN RIGHTS

On 15 November 2006, the UNMEE Human Rights Office in Mekelle met with the Director of the Human Rights Centre there, to review the implementation of the Assisting Communities Together (ACT) projects. Earlier this year, the UNMEE Human Rights Office had recommended that the Human Rights Centre receive a small fund, through the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, to cover activities relating to Civic Education. These included the organising of a Human Rights "Moot Court" Competition, and the preparation of Human Rights training modules for university students.

For further enquires please contact: Musi Khumalo, Deputy Chief of Public Information, UNMEE Headquarters Asmara, Telephone: 291-1-150411 Ext 6017 or our tie-line in New York: 00-1-212-963-3779-Ext 6017 or UNMEE Headquarters Addis Ababa, Telephone: 251-1-372-6895 extension 7059/7076 UNMEE Website: http://www.unmeeonline.org