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UNMEE press briefing notes 26 Jan 2007

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UNMEE PUBLIC INFORMATION

POLITICAL

The latest progress report of the Secretary-General on the situation Ethiopia/Eritrea (S/2007/33) was issued on 22 January. The Security Council is expected to decide the future status of the Mission before the current mandate expires on 31 January.

MILITARY

Overview

The military situation in the Temporary Security Zone (TSZ) and Adjacent Areas (AA), which UNMEE continues to monitor from existing posts, remains volatile and tense.

Routine troop movements are still observed on both sides in Sector West, Sector Centre and Sub-Sector East.

The Eritrean ban on UNMEE flights is still in place, and UNMEE patrols endure restrictions inside the TSZ particularly in Sector West as well as in Sector Centre. Nonetheless, monitoring of the TSZ and Adjacent Areas persists from existing posts. Despite these restrictions, UNMEE persevered and discharged its tasks throughout the Area of Responsibility (AOR) in the past week.

Humanitarian Assistance

In all sectors - West, Centre and Sub Sector East - UNMEE peacekeepers gave medical assistance to the local population. Veterinarian support was provided to some localities in Sector Centre and, as usual, bulk water was supplied to communities across the Mission's Area of Responsibility (AOR).

In other humanitarian activities of the Mission, the Construction and Engineering Company (CEC) carried repair and maintenance works last 16-17 January on a track in Barentu, Sector West. On 22 January 2007, the Jordanian Battalion (Jorbatt-12) distributed school bags and stationery to schoolchildren in Kuna, a village in Sector West.

De-mining Activities

In the last two weeks, the Mission's de-mining components cleared an area of 27,000 square metres inside the TSZ, near Tsorena in Sector Centre.

Visits

The new UNMEE Deputy Force Commander, Brigadier General Abu Belal Shafiul Haq, visited Contingent locations and Team Sites in Sector Centre and Sector West from 16 to 23 January. Brig Gen Abu Belal Shafiul Huq, from Bangladesh, succeeds Brig Gen Abraham M. Wambugu of Kenya, who concluded his two-year tour of duty on 5 January 2007.

On 22 and 23 January, the Special Military Representative of the AU Observer and Liaison Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (OLMEE), Brigadier General Clovis Kalyebara, visited Sub-Sector East.

For further enquires please contact:

Musi Khumalo, Deputy Chief of the Public Information Office, UNMEE Headquarters Asmara, Telephone: 291-1-150411- Extension 6017 or our tie line in New York: 00-1-212-963-3779-Ext 6017 or UNMEE Headquarters Addis Ababa, telephone: 251-1-726895 extension 7076.