United Nations
United Nations 7 Jan 2021

Central African Republic Clashes & other topics - Daily Briefing (7 Jan 2021)

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Daily Press Briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary-General.

- London Virtual Trip Announcement
- Noon Briefing Guest Tomorrow
- Yemen
- Central African Republic
- Ethiopia
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Food Prices

LONDON VIRTUAL TRIP ANNOUNCEMENT
This Sunday, January 10th, the Secretary-General will begin a virtual visit to the UK to mark the 75th anniversary of the first Session of the UN General Assembly, which took place in London's Central Hall in Westminster.
The visit will begin at noon, New York time (5 p.m. in London), with a commemorative event entitled "We the Peoples", which will also be the main event of the Secretary-General's first virtual official visit.
In his remarks the Secretary-General is expected to highlight the achievements of the UN's 75-year history and will also call for a renewed global partnership to address the many challenges we face. The event aims to reach a global audience, and especially young people and civil society from around the world.
On Monday, the visit will focus on climate change. As you know, the United Kingdom is hosting the next Climate Change Conference (COP26), now scheduled to take place in November in Glascow, in Scotland. The Secretary-General will deliver remarks at the "COP26 Virtual Roundtable on Clean Power Transition". The event is designed to showcase and generate more commitments and action to accelerate the transition to renewable, affordable and resilient power systems in Africa and European countries, as well as the importance of a just transition to ensure green job opportunities. He will be joined by the United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, and COP26 incoming President, Alok Sharma, as well as representatives from several countries.
During the virtual visit, the Secretary-General will also have bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, as well as the COP26's Alok Sharma.
In addition to these meetings, the Secretary-General will have a conversation with the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, who is also, as you know, a member of the Secretary-General's High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation.
All of the public events will be webcast live on UN Web TV.

NOON BRIEFING GUEST TOMORROW
In relation to that, tomorrow, the guest at the noon briefing will be Fabrizio Hochschild, the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Preparations for #UN75. He will brief reporters virtually on the commemoration event scheduled on Sunday, as well as on the UN75 final report. And we will try to share that with you either later today or early tomorrow, so you have a chance to look at it before the briefing.

YEMEN
Martin Griffiths, the Special Envoy for Yemen has just concluded today a visit to Aden, which included meetings with the Yemeni Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, members of the Cabinet, as well as the Governor of Aden.  
During his meeting with Prime Minister Abdulmalik, Mr. Griffiths once again stressed his strong condemnation of the heinous attack on the Cabinet ministers when they arrived at the Aden Airport. As you will recall, that attack killed 25 civilians. He also said the attack was devastating, not only due to the tragically heavy civilian toll, but also because it has political implications that could stir deep distrust.
Mr. Griffiths congratulated the Prime Minister on the formation of the Cabinet and its arrival in Aden and commended the resolve of the Government in the aftermath of this attack. He further expressed hope that the arrival of the ministers will mark the beginning of recovery after a perilous year.

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
In the Central African Republic, the peacekeeping mission has increased its patrols in Bossangoa, in the Ouham prefecture, after two Anti-Balaka factions clashed yesterday over the issue of tax collection.
UN peacekeepers are continuing their work to protect civilians and we are maintaining a robust posture, that includes daily patrols, to secure the Bangui-Beloko axis. The Mission's military troops and police are also working in close coordination with national defense and security forces to secure the capital, including through joint patrols.


Daily Press Briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary-General.

- Central African Republic Peacekeeping
- Central African Republic
- Ethiopia
- Ukraine/Delivery of Aid
- Mozambique
- Madagascar
- International Day of Epidemic Preparedness
- COVID-19/Thailand
- Climate


CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC PEACEKEEPING
The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) confirmed that the Security Council has approved on 23 December the Secretary-General's proposal for the temporary redeployment, for a two-month period, of two infantry companies and two military utility helicopters from the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to assist the MINUSCA. This is to reinforce the operational capabilities of the Peacekeeping Mission in the CAR during the electoral context.  
On the security front, the peacekeepers are continuing to actively engage in mitigating growing threats from armed groups throughout the country. The Mission is also continuing to provide support to the preparations of the presidential and legislative elections.
The Mission also reported that the deployment of sensitive elections materials to all prefectures was completed yesterday, while voter card distribution continued all over the country. The Mission reported that 85% of voter card distribution centres were open and had high turnout, despite the security challenges.
Yesterday, the Peacekeeping Mission also contributed $500,000 to the fund managed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to further help financing the elections. 
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
The Humanitarian Coordinator in the country, Denise Brown, today issued a statement expressing her concerns for the escalation of violence in several parts of the country ahead of the elections on Sunday. 
Ms. Brown condemned the acts of violence that have led to increased insecurity and more than 55,000 people leaving their homes. She calls on armed groups to comply with the International Humanitarian Law and immediately stop all attacks against humanitarian personnel and to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure. 

ETHIOPIA
Two inter-agency assessment missions are in Tigray province, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that one of the teams is now in Mekelle waiting to proceed to Adigrat. The other team however had not, by yesterday, proceeded to Shire as planned due to additional permissions requested by the authorities.
The Ethiopian Ministry of Peace is expected to facilitate the clearance as soon as possible. Health, nutrition, food, water, sanitation and hygiene and non-food items are the priority needs. 
Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

Highlights:

- Central African Republic
- Mali
- South Sudan
- Ethiopia
- Libya
- Syria
- Israel/Palestine
- India
- Mozambique
- Madagascar
- U.N. Conference On Trade And Development

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
In the Central African Republic, today, the peacekeeping mission on the ground (MINUSCA) tells us that the security situation remains fragile throughout the country. Peacekeepers continue to maintain a robust posture to ensure the protection of civilians.
You will have also seen that, yesterday afternoon, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the head of Peace Operations, joined senior officials from the African Union, the Economic Commission of Central African States (ECCAS) and the European Union, in issuing a joint statement. The statement took note of the decision of the Central African Constitutional court, which proclaimed the final results of last month's presidential election.
In their joint statement, they called on all actors to accept the results of the elections as certified by the Court, and reaffirmed their commitment to political dialogue, the consolidation of peace and democracy.
The UN mission will continue to provide its multifaceted support to complete the electoral process, particularly the legislative elections. 
Also on the Central African Republic, we have a few more details on yesterday's attack in the country. Two peacekeepers - one from Gabon and one Morocco - were killed near Bangassou, in the Mbomou prefecture, by alleged combatants from the Coalition of Patriots for Change, the CPC.
The Secretary-General expressed his deep condolences to the families of the peacekeepers, and to the people and Governments of Gabon and Morocco.
The Secretary-General also reiterated his grave concern over the escalation of violence in the Central African Republic, and called on all parties to immediately cease hostilities, to engage in dialogue to advance the political process, preserve fragile gains and fulfil the country's aspirations for lasting peace. 
Already this year, as you will have noted, nine UN peacekeepers have been killed in incidents around the world. The Secretary-General said this demonstrates, yet again, the perilous environment in which peacekeepers carry out their mandates to protect people and support peace processes. The task is made harder by the global pandemic. While progress has been made in reducing casualties among UN peacekeepers, recent incidents show that the threat continues. Our collective efforts to ensure the safety of peacekeepers, including through the Action for Peacekeeping initiative, need to keep pace.
The Secretary-General salutes the service, the sacrifice and the selflessness of the women and men who are serving, or have lost their lives while serving, under the flag of the UN in some of the world's most dangerous places.
MALI
The Head of Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix is still in Mali today.
We wanted to note that, this morning, at the headquarters of the UN Mission (MINUSCA) in Bamako, he took part in a ceremony to honour the memory of the peacekeepers killed last week. 
The head of the Peacekeeping Mission in Mali, Mahamet Saleh Annadif, also attended the ceremony.
Since his arrival in the country, Mr. Lacroix has had a series of meetings with political leaders and the UN's partners. His visit will continue tomorrow.
SOUTH SUDAN
From South Sudan, the UN Mission (UNMISS) says it is deploying additional troops and resources to Bunj in the Upper Nile region following recent clashes.
The Mission said it is enhancing its peacekeepers' ability to conduct more frequent patrols.
Peacekeepers recently assessed the security situation in the area. They met with county commissioners and others to understand what the community is experiencing, given the current instability and tensions.
The Mission is also helping to deliver humanitarian aid to those in need.
Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

Highlights:

- Central African Republic
- Central African Republic Update
- Mali
- Security Council
- Uganda
- Ethiopia
- Malawi
- Death Penalty
- Ilo Report
- Fao
- Honour Roll

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
The Secretary-General strongly condemns today's attacks near Bangui by unidentified armed combatants on Central African national defense and security forces, as well as UN peacekeepers. A UN peacekeeper from Rwanda was killed and another injured in today's attack. 
The Secretary-General expresses his deepest condolences to the family of the deceased peacekeeper, as well as to the people and Government of Rwanda. He wishes a speedy recovery to the injured. 
The Secretary-General recalls that attacks against UN peacekeepers may constitute a war crime. He calls on the Central African authorities to take all the necessary measures to ensure accountability for these heinous attacks. 
The Secretary-General remains very concerned over continued destabilization efforts by armed groups in the Central African Republic, and calls on all parties to stop violence and engage in meaningful dialogue. He commends the continued engagement of the UN peacekeepers in their efforts to protect civilians and preserve national stability. 
The Secretary-General reiterates the commitment of the UN, working closely with national, regional and international partners, to support the cause of peace in the Central African Republic. 

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC UPDATE
Following this morning's attack, the UN Mission says that the overall situation remains under control, although tensions are continuing.  
UN peacekeepers have reinforced their posture in Bangui and in areas surrounding the capital, in coordination with Central African defense and security forces, as well as other security partners. This is to prevent further infiltrations towards the capital of armed groups aiming to destabilize national institutions.   
The security of UN personnel and premises have also been reinforced.

MALI
Another sad and tragic note from the peacekeeping department: Following an attack today against a UN convoy in Timbuktu, Mali, the Peacekeeping Mission reports that one peacekeeper has died and seven others were injured.  
The UN Mission has secured the area, provided casualty evacuation and launched an investigation into the incident. 
More details on that incident in Mali will be shared when available.
SECURITY COUNCIL
Mali was the subject at the Security Council this morning and Council members heard from Mahamat Saleh Annadif, the head of the UN peacekeeping Mission in the country. He reiterated that the transition period represents a real opportunity for the country to break out of the vicious circle of political crises followed by coups d'état. 
He noted that despite a lack of consensus throughout the process that led to the designation of members of the Government and the National transitional council, we should welcome the fact that all transitional bodies are operational today. 
Mr. Annadif told Council members that the success of the transition depends on the successful completion of reforms, leading to inclusive and credible elections. He warned that the process will only be viable if it is the product of the will of the Malian political actors. 
As Special Representative for Mali for nearly five years, he concluded with his hope that this window of opportunity will not be a missed opportunity.
Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

Highlights:
- Secretary-General/COVID-19
- Senior Personnel Appointments
- Libya
- Lebanon
- Mali
- Cameroon
- Yemen
- Central African Republic
- Ethiopia
- Indonesia
- Bosnia And Herzegovina
- COVID-19 Vaccines For Refugees

SECRETARY-GENERAL/COVID-19
In a video message today, the Secretary-General said that our world has reached a heart-wrenching milestone, with the COVID-19 pandemic having claimed two million lives. 
The Secretary-General said that, in the memory of those two million souls, the world must act with far greater solidarity, stressing now is the time.
The United Nations is supporting countries to mobilize the largest global immunization effort in history and we are committed to making sure that vaccines are seen as global public good. This, the Secretary-General said, requires full funding for the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator and its COVAX facility.
He warned that we are seeing a vaccine vacuum. Vaccines are reaching high income countries quickly, while the world's poorest have none at all.
While science is succeeding, the Secretary-General said that solidarity is failing.
He said that our world can only get ahead of this virus one way — together, and that global solidarity will save lives, protect people and help defeat this vicious virus.
SENIOR PERSONNEL APPOINTMENTS
Today, the Secretary-General is appointing Nicholas Haysom of South Africa as his Special Representative for South Sudan. He will lead the UN peacekeeping mission there, otherwise known as UNMISS. 
He will succeed David Shearer of New Zealand to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his exemplary leadership of the UN Mission during the time of critical developments and challenges for South Sudan.
Currently the Secretary-General's Special Adviser for Southern Africa, a position he has held since October of last year, Mr. Haysom is a lawyer with a long international career with a focus on democratic governance, constitutional and electoral reforms, reconciliation and peace processes.
The Secretary-General is also announcing the appointment of Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir of Iceland as his new Deputy Special Representative for Political Affairs and Electoral Assistance in the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI).
Ms. Gísladóttir succeeds Alice Walpole of the United Kingdom, who will complete her assignment at the end of February. The Secretary-General is grateful to Ms. Walpole for her dedicated service since 2017 for the UN in Iraq.
Ms. Gísladóttir brings a wealth of diplomatic and political experience to the position, including from her recent role as the Director of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and most recently as the Head of its Election Observation Unit.
LIBYA
The UN Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) says there has been significant progress made in the ongoing talks of the Advisory Committee for the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum, which is underway in Geneva.  The Mission hopes shortly they will be able to narrow down the major differences and reach near consensus on many of the contentious issues concerning the selection mechanism proposals.

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