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UNMEE press briefing notes 22 Feb 2007

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General Overview of the Military Situation

The military situation in the Temporary Security Zone (TSZ) and Adjacent Areas remained volatile and tense.

In Sector Centre, the Kenyan Deming Company (Kinder) cleared an area of 16,310 square metres inside the TSZ near Hawaiian road junction. MECHEM, also in Sector Centre, cleared 47,821 square metres near Geri Meekly inside the TSZ.

In Sector West, MECHEM cleared 5.8 kilometres and 12.4 kilometres inside the Adjacent Area near the vicinity of Sable and Leached respectively. Outside the Adjacent Area, 44.5 kilometres and 16.8 kilometres of road were cleared near the town of Shirr and Aid Gash respectively.

In all sectors, UNMEE peacekeepers continued to provide medical assistance to the local population. Veterinarian support was also given in Sector Centre.

Repatriation of Eritrean and Ethiopian Nationals.

On 9 February at Humera, repatriation of an Eritrean citizen was carried out in the presence of UN Military Observers on the Ethiopian side and representative of the UNMEE Human Rights Office on the Eritrean side.

On 12 February at Serha, repatriation of three Eritreans, a woman, a girl and a boy, was carried out from Ethiopia to Eritrea. The repatriation was done in the presence of the Commander of the Serha Post and the Mission's Human Rights Officer, Sector Centre.

Construction Engineers Company (CEC) Medal Parade

On 16 February 2007, a medal parade was organised at the Construction Engineers Conpany camp at Adi Quadad, Eritrea. The DSRSG, Lebohang Moleko, the Force Commander, Major General Mohammad Taisir Masadeh, attended the event and awarded UN medals to the officers and men of the CEC, INDBATT and UNMEE staff officers. The Force Commander also awarded the Force Commander's Commendation Cards to the officers and staff of UNMEE.

UNMEE MACC

MACC's Route Clearance Team (RCT) continued to verify mine threats in riverbeds, road verges and minefields in the Shiraro area in Sector West. The Integrated Demining Capacity (IDC) teams also continued to work in the Egri Mekel minefield in Tserona, Sector Centre, within the Temporary Security Zone (TSZ). This week, both teams cleared 145,613 m² of land and 59.8 kilometres of road.

The Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team based in Eritrea deployed to the Tserona area in Sector Centre. MRE Teams one and two deployed to Sector West (Sub Zone of Lalay-Gash), and Sector Center (Sub zone of Tserona) respectively. The teams conducted MRE activities for 250 people affected by mines and explosive remnants of war.

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