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Libya: latest round of UN-mediated peace talks kick-off in Geneva

26 January 2015 – Libyan parties have gathered in Geneva, Switzerland, today for a new round of United Nations-facilitated talks aimed at resolving the North African nation’s political crisis. The latest gathering, hosted by the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), is a follow-up to a meeting held in the Swiss city last week, when stakeholders expressed commitment to a united and democratic Libya governed by the rule of law and respect for human rights. This time around the participants will discuss the items that were agreed on last week. On Wednesday, another meeting will bring together municipal and local council representatives from cities and towns across Libya to discuss confidence-building measures. In a statement issued over the weekend, UNSMIL appealed to all Libyan stakeholders and invited participants to approach these talks ‘in a spirit of openness and reconciliation that is guided by the higher national interest of the Libyan people.’ Last week in Geneva, participants agreed on an agenda aiming to reach a political resolution to form a national unity government and make the security arrangements necessary to end fighting and ensure the withdrawal of armed groups from Libyan cities. There was also a call to safeguard Libya’s national unity and end the suffering of the Libyan people. In addition to mounting numbers of casualties, Libya’s protracted conflict has caused a humanitarian crisis with at least 120,000 people...

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Ban congratulates people, Government of Zambia for ‘peaceful’ election

25 January 2015 – secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has congratulated the Government and people of Zambia for the peaceful conduct of their recent presidential election, according to a United Nations spokesperson. In a statement released this evening, Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said the Secretary-General congratulated the people, Government and political parties of Zambia, as well as the electoral authorities, for “the peaceful manner in which the country organized its presidential election, despite difficult weather conditions.” “Zambia’s long record of peaceful transitions through proper democratic processes is an example in the region,” the statement continued. “The Secretary-General reaffirms the readiness of the United Nations to continue to work with the Government of Zambia to press ahead with its national priorities and to support the Government and people of Zambia as we all move towards a new sustainable development agenda.” According to media reports, the Zambian election was won by Edgar Lungu, the country’s Defence and Justice Minister, who ran on the Patriotic Front ticket. The election was called after the death of President Michael Chilufya Sata, who died on 28 October 2014 while receiving treatment at a hospital in...

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left), on a June 2008 visit to Saudi Arabia, is greeted by King Abdullah in Jeddah. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

23 January 2015 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has “learnt with sadness” of the death of King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, the late King of Saudi Arabia and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, who passed away yesterday at the age of 90. In a statement issued through his spokesperson late yesterday evening, Mr. Ban extended his condolences to the bereaved family of King Abdullah and the Government and people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia while also highlighting the “major contributions” the late King made to the development of his country. “Under his leadership over many decades in different high-level positions in Government, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia achieved remarkable progress and prosperity for its people,” the statement declared, adding that Mr. Ban paid tribute to King Abdullah’s efforts in addressing both regional and international challenges and in promoting dialogue among the world’s faiths. “As the driving force behind the Arab Peace Initiative, King Abdullah left a tangible legacy that can still point the way toward peace in the Middle East,” Mr. Ban said through his spokesperson. “King Abdullah’s leadership will be remembered throughout the Arab and Islamic worlds and the international community.” In addition, the Secretary-General also expressed gratitude for the King’s “generous humanitarian and developmental support” for people across the Arab region and wider world. In a separate statement issued earlier today, the UN’s World Food Programme...

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UN Libya Mission deplores deadly shooting in Tripoli

24 January 2015 – The top United Nations official in Libya, Bernardino Léon, has condemned a fatal shooting incident outside a UN facility in the capital, Tripoli, as tensions continue to simmer across the war-torn country. In a statement issued earlier today, Mr. Léon reported that on the morning of 23 January, unidentified gunmen opened fire from a passing car at members of the Diplomatic Police guarding the offices of the UN Development Programme (UNDP). One policeman was mortally wounded. “The Diplomatic Police are investigating to determine the circumstances and the motives behind this drive-by shooting,” Mr. Léon’s statement continued, adding that UN staff were not involved in the incident. “The United Nations condemns this shooting incident and offers its condolences to the Diplomatic Police. The United Nations calls on the police to thoroughly investigate this incident,” it added. Yesterday’s attack is the latest outburst of violence to breach the recent ceasefire announced following a first round of intensive talks, hosted by UNSMIL in Geneva, during which participants agreed upon an agenda for discussions going forward, with the aim of reaching a political agreement to form a consensual national unity government, and making security arrangements necessary to end fighting and ensure the withdrawal of armed groups from Libyan cities. As well as discussing confidence-building measures to safeguard Libya’s national unity and to alleviate the population’s suffering, participants also agreed...

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Somalia : AMISOM

In 2010, Nigeria deployed its first police officers to Somalia. The first batch of Individual Police Officers (IPO) arrived to serve under the AMISOM umbrella. The West African country has also deployed Formed Police Unit (FPU) to AMISOM currently based in Mogadishu. An FPU team comprises of 140 police formed Unit, the first to be deployed by the African Union. The FPU within Somalia play a crucial role in ensuring improved security in the liberated areas through joint patrols with the Somali Police Force (SPF), assisting in Public Order Management and provision of VIP escorts as well as providing...

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