Mali, Peacekeeping Ministerial, Secretary-General/COVID-19, Myanmar & other topics - Daily Press Briefing
This morning in Mali, seven Togolese UN peacekeepers died and three others were seriously injured when their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device in the Bandiagara region in central Mali.
Today’s attack comes at a time when peacekeepers and the tools they are given are part of the discussions in the Peacekeeping Ministerial Summit, which concluded a short while ago in Seoul, with Member States reiterating their collective commitment to UN Peacekeeping.
The Secretary-General had come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. He has shown no symptoms and tested negative yesterday afternoon. Out of an abundance of caution, he has cancelled all his engagements for today and is working from home until he is tested again tomorrow.
We are deeply concerned by the reports of the horrific killing of 11 people in Salingyi Township in northwest Sagaing region, who were reportedly shot and burnt by the military on Tuesday morning in apparent retaliation for recent militia attacks. Credible reports indicate that five children were among those people killed.
In Ethiopia, our humanitarian colleagues tell us that large quantities of humanitarian food supplies – including nutritional items for malnourished children – have been stolen and looted in the town of Kombolcha in the Amhara region.
In Afghanistan, our humanitarian colleagues report that the distribution of food and cash assistance continues across the country.
This morning, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Griffiths, delivered remarks on behalf of the Secretary-General to the High-Level Pledging Event for the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). In those remarks, Mr. Guterres said that the Fund is a success story because it is constantly evolving, applying lessons learned and embracing innovation in response to risks that are more complex, intertwined, and global.
The Secretary General is deeply saddened by the death of General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff of the Indian Armed Forces, as well as his spouse and 11 other people in a helicopter crash.
About Stephanie Williams’ new role as the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Libya, she will lead the good offices and mediation efforts and engagements with Libyan regional and international stakeholders to pursue implementation of the three intra-Libyan dialogue tracks – the political, security and economic tracks – and support the holding of presidential and parliamentary elections.
The Security Council today heard a briefing from Izumi Nakamitsu, the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, on the Syrian chemical weapons file.