UN to expand Entebbe base
By Henry Mukasa, Sunday 09 August, 2009
THE United Nations will expand its anchor operations at Entebbe army base to make it its logistical launchpad for UN missions in Africa.- - -
Uganda’s permanent representative to the UN Security Council in New York, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, announced on Friday that the expansion of the logistics hub will commence next year.
Addressing journalists at the Media Centre in Kampala, Rugunda explained that the UN logistical services base has benefited peacekeeping missions in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Darfur, South Sudan, Chad and Somalia.
He disclosed that a memorandum of understanding between the UN and the Government would be signed to spell out the terms of the expanded use of the base.
Rugunda, who chaired the UN Security Council in July, pointed out that during his tenure, the council adopted five resolutions and five presidential statements.
Some of the issues dealt with by the council included the situations in the Congo, Somalia, Darfur – Sudan, Djibouti/ Eritrea, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Middle East and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Commenting on the situation in the neighbouring Congo, Rugunda said: “The council expressed grave concern over the renewed activity of illegal armed groups and condemned the targeted attacks against civilians by the FDLR and the LRA. It also expressed concern over reports of massive human rights violations, widespread sexual violence and the continued recruitment of children in armed conflict.”
On the LRA, Rugunda said the council commended the Secretary General’s Special Envoy, former Mozambican president Joaquim Chissano, for his contribution to the Juba peace process and called on the LRA to sign the final peace agreement.
He explained that Chissano’s tenure as UN envoy had not been terminated.
“The talks between the Government and LRA were concluded, but Kony dodged signing. So, it was decided that offices should not be kept open in Kampala for Chissano when Kony is not contactable.
When Kony avails himself for signing, Chissano will fly in as UN envoy. His services have not been terminated but suspended,” Rugunda stated.
From UN - Daily Press Briefing (7 August 2009) by Marie Okabe, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General - excerpt:
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The UN refugee agency (UNHCR), meanwhile, says that an unprecedented 55 rebel attacks by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo have displaced some 12,500 civilians in the past month alone. This is a spike from 23 LRA attacks in May and 34 in June.
UNHCR says that the Ugandan rebels have murdered 1,273 civilians and abducted 655 children and 1,427 adults. A number of women were also raped and houses were looted and torched. Fleeing civilians have found shelter in public buildings including schools and churches. And the situation is made worse by a lack of basic medical supplies at local hospitals, while aid agencies have so far reached only half of the internally displaced persons. And that’s due to widespread insecurity in the region. You can read more about this upstairs.
The World Food Programme (WFP) fears that the recent massacre of 161 people in Southern Sudan’s Jonglei State might lead to a spate of deadly retaliatory attacks. Some 700 people have been killed since March in the region while another 19,000 were displaced. WFP and its partners have called on the Government to put an end to inter-tribal fighting, which is endangering the delivery of humanitarian aid.