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UNMEE press briefing notes 01 Feb 2007

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On 30 January, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon left Addis Ababa for Nairobi, after addressing the 8th Ordinary Summit of the African Union (AU) and holding meetings with several Heads of State and Government officials as well as the President of the AU Commission.

The Security Council adopted Resolution 1741 (2007) extending UNMEE's mandate for a further six months until 31 July 2007. The Resolution also called for a reduction in the size of the Mission's force from 2,300 to 1,700 troops.

On 31 July, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Mr. Jean-Marie Guéhenno, who accompanied the Secretary-General to Addis Ababa, addressed UNMEE staff in a video-conference that linked the Mission's offices in Addis Ababa and Asmara. He also held meetings with officials of the European Union and partners of the AU as well as with the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security.



The military situation in the Temporary Security Zone (TSZ) and Adjacent Areas (AA) remains volatile and tense. Routine troop movements continue on both sides in Sectors Centre and West.

UNMEE patrols still face restrictions inside the TSZ, particularly in Sectors West and Centre. Nonetheless, monitoring of the TSZ and Adjacent Areas continued from existing posts allowing UNMEE to discharge its tasks throughout the Area of Responsibility (AOR). The Kenyan Demining Company (Kendem) cleared seven kilometres of a road inside the TSZ near Tsorena in Sector Centre.

Humanitarian Assistance

In all Sectors, UNMEE peacekeepers are providing medical assistance to the local population. On 26 January 2007 the Indian Battalion (Indbatt-6) organised a Medical Camp in Kerseber, Ethiopia. Some 440 patients received medical attention. Veterinarian support was also given in Sector Centre, and bulk water was supplied to communities across the Mission's Area of Responsibility.

Repatriation of Eritrean and Ethiopian Nationals

On 26 January 2007, UNMEE's Human Rights Office monitored the repatriation of 18 Eritreans from Ethiopia and 372 Ethiopians from Eritrea, across the Mereb Bridge. On 30 January, ten Eritreans were repatriated from Ethiopia across the same bridge, along with 72 cattle.


The Mine Risk Education Teams One and Two deployed to Sector West, Sub zone of Lalay-Gash, and Sector Center, Sub Zone of Tserona respectively. They conducted training on MRE activities for a total of 283 local people affected by mines and the explosive remnants of war.

The Route Clearance Team continued to verify mine threats in riverbeds, as well as on the verges of roads and minefields in Sector Centre, while the Integrated Demining Capacity teams worked the Egri Mekel minefield in the Tserona area in Sector Center, inside the TSZ. The teams cleared 43,966 m² of land and 45 km of road in the area, during the week.

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