Unifeed

UN / UNDOF

The head of United Nations peacekeeping operations said today (8 March) that the blue helmets seized in the Golan Heights two days ago were all safe but remained detained, adding that the world body is working to secure their release as quickly as possible. UNTV
U130308a
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00:02:33
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U130308a
Description

STORY: UN / UNDOF
TRT: 2.33
SOURCE: UNTV
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 8 MARCH 2013, NEW YORK

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Shotlist

FILE – 2011, UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

1. Wide shot, exterior United Nations Headquarters

8 MARCH 2013, NEW YORK

2. Wide shot, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Keeping Operations approaches microphone
3. Cutaway, cameramen
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Herve Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, United Nations:
“Our 21 peacekeepers are detained in the village of Al-Jamla. Apparently they are safe. They have been spread into five or four locations within that village in the basements of various houses. That particular village is subject to intense shelling by the Syrian Armed Forces. Of course, we are working 24-7 in the area of operation. Our people in the region, here in the Secretariat, to secure their release under good conditions, as quickly as possible.”
5. Cutaway, journalist taking notes
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Herve ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, United Nations:
“There is the possibility that a cease fire of a few hours can intervene which would allow for our people to be released. Needless to say if that were to happen, as we all hope, we would strongly expect that there would not be retaliatory action by the Syrian armed forces over the village and its civilian population after our people have left.”
7. Cutaway, journalist taking notes
8. Wide shot, Russian Ambassador, and President of the Security Council for the month of March, approaches microphone
9. Cutaway, journalist taking notes
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, and President of the Security Council for the month of March:
“Well this is, you know we have all sorts of sketchy descriptions of the situation. At a certain point that may have been the case, but I cannot insist that this is inaccurate portrayal of the situation.”
11. Cutaway, journalist taking notes
12. Wide shot, Syrian Ambassador Bashar Jaafari appraoches microphone
13. Cutaway, journalist taking notes
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Ambassador Bashar Jaafari, Permanent Representative of Syria to the United Nations:
“I told him this. I was in his office yesterday and I told him this, the Syrian Government is not shelling the village. If you double check and triple check you would see that the shelling is targeting the suburbs of the villages where the armed groups are concentrated.”
15. Cutaway, journalist taking notes
16. Wide shot, Syrian Ambassador Bashar Jaafari leaves microphone behind

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Storyline

The head of United Nations peacekeeping operations said today (8 March) that the blue helmets seized in the Golan Heights two days ago were all safe but remained detained, adding that the world body is working to secure their release as quickly as possible.

Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hervé Ladsous, told reporters in New York following his closed door briefing to the Security Council that “our 21 peacekeepers are detained in the village of Al Jamla. Apparently they are safe and they have been spread into 4 or 5 locations within that village in the basement of various houses”.

While explaining that the village was subject to “intense shelling by the Syrian armed forces,” he also said that there was the possibility that a ceasefire could hold for a few hours in order to allow for the detained peacekeepers to be released.

He stressed that if the ceasefire was to happen, there would be a strong expectation that there would be no retaliatory action by the Syrian armed forces over the village and its civilian population.

Ambassador Vitaly Churkin of Russia, which holds the Council’s presidency this month, also briefed reporters. Asked whether the peacekeepers had been used as human shields, Churkin responded that “we have all sorts of sketchy descriptions of the situation. At a certain point that may have been the case, but I cannot insist that this is inaccurate portrayal of the situation.”

After Ambassador Churkin's spoke, Syria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Bashar Jaafari, stressed to reporters that he had been in Ladsous’ office yesterday (7 March), and had told the Under-Secretary-General that the Syrian Government was “not shelling the village.” He clarified that the shelling was targeting “the suburbs of the villages where the armed groups are concentrated.”

On Wednesday (6 March) armed elements of the Syrian opposition detained a group of peacekeepers who are part of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), which monitors the 1974 disengagement accord between Syria and Israel after their 1973 war.

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