SG condemns Abyei deaths, UNMIS increases patrolling, SG announces travel to UAE, Oman, and more from UN Direct

Abyei: the SG has condemned the reported deaths in Abyei and is stressing the need for both SPLM and NCP leaders to resume and conclude negotiations.  UNMIS has increased it patrolling in Abyei and has been working with other stakeholders to prevent further escalation.

Sudan Referendum: today, the SG’s Panel on the Referenda continued to monitor voting at polling centers in Southern Sudan. The three panel members also met with referendum authorities and voters in South Darfur, Upper Nile, and Western Bahr el-Ghazal. Former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa, the Panel’s Chair, stated that he was impressed with the organization of polling and the training of staff.

Côte d’Ivoire: A humanitarian country team comprising UN agencies and NGOs have completed a two-day visit to western Côte d’Ivoire in order to assess the needs of more than 16,000 IDPs. Ndolam Ngokwey, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator, reminded local authorities of the need to ensure the protection of civilians and comply with human rights standards. The team gave medicine and NFIs to the Catholic Mission of Duékoué, which is housing thousands of IDPs. UNHCR is currently building a refugee camp for Ivoirians in eastern Liberia, where roughly 25,000 refugees have fled and 600 are arriving each day.  Last night the Security Council issued a press statement expressing its support for the efforts by the AU and ECOWAS to work for a peaceful resolution of the political crisis, also expressing their concern about the continued human rights violations and violence, both against peacekeepers and civilians. The Council also demanded a stop to the use of media, especially Radiodiffusion-Télévision Ivoirienne (RTI), to spread false propaganda in order to incite hatred and violence, including against the UN.

SG Travel: In mid-January, the SG is going to the UAE, where he will attend the World Future Energy Summit (WFES), which will be held in Abu Dhabi from January 17-20 to discuss renewable and future energy solutions, innovations, investments, and policy. The SG plans to meet with UAE leaders and visit Masdar City as well.  Afterwards, he will travel to Muscat, Oman to meet with leaders there.

One-Year Anniversary of Haiti Earthquake: Tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti and the UN’s humanitarian response continues. Of the 1.5 million people who became homeless due to the quake, 810,000 live in organized sites. More than 31,000 transitional shelters have been built. Between February and November 2010, 240,000 people were employed through Cash-for-work and Food-for-work programs. In addition, 1.1 million children have received daily meals through the National School Feeding Program.  High Commissioner Pillay and WFP ED Sheeran have both issued statements marking the anniversary.  In addition to the ceremony which will commemorate the earthquake tomorrow afternoon at Headquarters, DPKO USG Le Roy is currently in Haiti where he will attend a ceremony for UN staff.