Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

UN seeks help to free peacekeepers abducted in Golan  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 05/09/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - Arab News) UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council called Wednesday on 'countries with influence' to press Al-Qaeda-linked insurgents to release 45 UN peacekeepers from Fiji abducted last week in the Golan Heights.

A press statement approved by all 15 council members after a briefing by UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous again demanded the immediate and unconditional release of the Fijian peacekeepers.

Heavy clashes have raged in the Golan Heights since Syrian rebels captured a border crossing between Syria and Israel near the abandoned town of Quneitra last Wednesday. Fighters from Al-Qaeda's Syria branch the Nusra Front abducted the Fijian peacekeepers and surrounded two Filipino contingents serving in the UN force known as UNDOF the following day.

The Security Council welcomed the news that all the Filipinos were safe and commended the UN peacekeeping mission's quick reaction force for its assistance.

Ladsous told reporters the peacekeepers have shown 'steadfastness and courage' and said the UN is working to obtain the swift and unconditional release of the Fijians.

'We are sparing no effort to obtain the release of the detained peacekeepers' he said but gave no details stressing the importance of 'discretion.'

Fiji commander's Brig. Gen. Mosese Tikoitoga said Tuesday that the Nusra Front has made three demands for the release of the peacekeepers: It wants to be taken off the UN terrorist list wants humanitarian aid delivered to parts of the Syrian capital Damascus and wants compensation for three of its fighters it says were killed in a shootout with UN officers.

The Nusra Front accused the UN of doing nothing to help the Syrian people since the uprising against President Bashar Assad began in March 2011. It said the Fijians were seized in retaliation for the UN's ignoring 'the daily shedding of the Muslims' blood in Syria' and even colluding with Assad's army 'to facilitate its movement to strike the vulnerable Muslims' through a buffer zone in the Golan Heights.

UNDOF was established in May 1974 following intensified firing on the Israel-Syria border after the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967 and Syria has campaigned for decades for return of the land. For nearly four decades the UN monitors helped enforce a stable truce between Israel and Syria but the Golan Heights has increasingly become a battlefield in the more than three-year-old Syrian conflict.

The mission currently has troops from six countries: Fiji India Ireland Nepal Netherlands and the Philippines. A number of countries have withdrawn their peacekeepers due to the escalating violence.

Fiji's commander says the nation won't abandon its mission in Syria and he is even willing to replace the 45 troops if they need to recuperate if and when they are released.

Ladsous said UNDOF has been strengthened with armored equipment and other military hardware.

'I think it's very important that the mandate of UNDOF which has contributed to stability should continue' Ladsous said.

US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power also said Wednesday that UNDOF's 'original purpose is still critically important' and that the spillover from Syria's conflict 'only underscores how important it is for us to continue to have observers there monitoring disengagement.'

But Power the current Security Council president said 'there is no question that the circumstances that UNDOF finds itself in are vastly different than anything UNDOF had experienced before.'

She said the Security Council has not heard from the UN secretariat or the commanders on the ground that the mission's mandate needs to be revised. But she said that among council members there is 'great openness to being responsive to the requests from headquarters or from the field ... to make sure that the mission is appropriately tailored to the circumstances on the ground.'

In its statement the council commended the peacekeepers for their bravery in facing the threats and challenges in the volatile area and reiterated its 'unconditional support for UNDOF and the vital role it plays in support of the stability in the Golan Heights.'

The council demanded that all groups abandon areas controlled by UNDOF and the Queneitra crossing and return all vehicles weapons and equipment belonging to the peacekeepers.

 


Arab News




  MENA News Headlines
 Nov 27 2014 - Lebanon mourns 'songbird' SabahArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) BEIRUT: Iconic Lebanese singer and actress Sabah died Wednesday at the age of 87 after a seven-decade career and a colorful love life that kept her in the headlines until the ...

 Nov 27 2014 - Egypt drops ban on 'adults only' filmArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) CAIRO: An Egyptian court has revoked a government ban on a film by Lebanese star Haifa Wehbe that had been deemed sexually provocative judicial sources said on Wednesday.In April ...

 Nov 27 2014 - Saudi- Prince vanishes from social mediaArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) NEW YORK: Prince whose distaste for the music industry's conventions is well known has abruptly disappeared from social media after tentative efforts to promote his two new ...

 Nov 27 2014 - Saudi- Cumberbatch quits smokingArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) LONDON: 'Sherlock' star Benedict Cumberbatch has revealed he left smoking one month back.The 38-year-old actor said staying away from cigarette is helping him stay healthy ...

 Nov 27 2014 - Saudi- Dilip Kumar perfectly fine: Big BArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) MUMBAI: Thespian Dilip Kumar is 'perfectly fine' says actor Amitabh Bachchan quashing rumors of the former's health scare.Social networking platforms were abuzz with rumors ...

 Nov 27 2014 - Saudi- Turki Khan: Changing society one step at a timeArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Dreams ambitions and determination have no limits dedication to those three traits can take that dreamer ambition-seeker and determined young man or woman to places he or she ...

 Nov 27 2014 - Saudi- Exploring fine art through pencilArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Eman Al-Qahtani is a successful talented and ambitious young Saudi artist. She combines thoughts and colors in her paintings. She has her own art method; a painting is to deliver ...

 Nov 27 2014 - Saudi- Qatar lifts 22nd Arabian Gulf CupArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Qatar rallied to get the better of Saudi Arabia 2-1 to win the 22nd Arabia Gulf Cup football tournament at the King Fahd International stadium in Riyadh Wednesday night.Playing ...

 Nov 27 2014 - Saudi- Al Kabeer climbs to No. 2 after honors sweep in Globe CupArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) One mighty performance that saw Al Kabeer Frozen Foods sweep honors had the defending champion moving up the leaderboard after the eighth week in the Thursday League 12th ...

 Nov 27 2014 - Al-Taib wins Fastest Car Race 2014 in RiyadhArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Ahmed Al-Taib a Saudi topped the Fastest Car Race 2014 which was organized at Dirab Park racetrack in Riyadh. Al-Taib won the race in a Porsche 911 Turbo which is characterized ...

more...


 






Google

Click to Apply

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help