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
 Jul 4 2015 - Russian cargo ship heads to ISSThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) A Russian Soyuz rocket blasted off yesterday to deliver a cargo ship loaded with food, water and equipment to the International Space Station, breaking a string of launch ...

 Jul 4 2015 - Doha Bank raises QR2bn Tier 1 capital-boosting bondThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) In March, the bank said that it would issue capital-enhancing bonds with a perpetual tenor and an option for the bank to redeem them after six years, to boost the bank's Tier ...

 Jul 4 2015 - Qatar stock index edges lower this weekThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) index edged lower this week when the bourse closed Thursday at 12,121.08 points, down 12.15 points, or 0.10 percent.The traded value of QR 1.32bn ...

 Jul 4 2015 - Mideast passenger demand growth soars 14pc: IATAThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global passenger traffic results for May showing strong demand growth compared to May 2014 for both domestic and ...

 Jul 4 2015 - Qatar- Milaha acquires 100pc controls in two liquefied gas carriersThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Milaha announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Qatar Shipping Company, acquired the remaining 60 percent interest in each of the two entities that own the liquefied ...

 Jul 4 2015 - Tunisia arrests eight with 'direct links' to beach massacreThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Tunisia has arrested eight people in connection with last week's jihadist massacre at a seaside resort, as the remains of more British victims were set to be flown home ...

 Jul 4 2015 - Egyptian air strikes kill 23 militants in North Sinai: sourcesThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Egypt launched air strikes on Islamist militant targets in the Sinai peninsula on Thursday, killing 23 fighters a day after the deadliest clashes in the region in years, ...

 Jul 4 2015 - Saudi opens privatised airport for pilgrimsThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Saudi Arabia yesterday officially opened a billion-dollar aviation gateway aimed at pilgrims, in its first airport privatisation. Local media said Custodian of the Two Holy ...

 Jul 4 2015 - Kuwaiti Sunni and Shi'ite worshippers, pray together with Emir showing unityThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Kuwait deployed unprecedented security measures around Shiite mosques for Friday prayers following last week's deadly bombing, as the emir attended a rare Shiite-Sunni joint ...

 Jul 4 2015 - Top jihadist from Tunisia killed by US strike in LibyaThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) A top Tunisian jihadist was killed by a US airstrike in Libya last month, The New York Times reported Friday.The jihadist, Seifallah Ben Hassine, also known as Abu Ayadh, was ...

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