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UN Radio: 1200+ Made Homeless by Israeli Incursion

Published: Tue 14 Oct 2003 11:27 AM
UN Radio: More than 1200 Made Homeless by Israeli Incursion
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Special Report: UN Security Council to Hold Open Debate on Israel's Separation Barrier
UN Says More than 1200 Made Homeless by Israeli Incursion
Relief teams working for the UN agency assisting Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) have completed their assessment of the number of homes destroyed during Israel's military incursion into Raffah over the weekend. Spokesman for UNRWA, Paul McCann, says they've confirmed that 120 buildings have been partially or completely demolished and are no longer habitable:
"Because of the structure of Palestinian society, most of these houses contained large, extended families so we expect maybe 250 to 300 families have lost their homes."
Mr. Mc Cann says he expects the number of homeless to rise in the coming days. He says while the UN relief agency is struggling to deal with the demand for assistance from those made homeless, it is providing hot meals and temporary shelter to those unable to find accommodation.
UN Envoy Concerned over Israeli Air Violations of Blue Line
The Secretary-General's personal envoy for Lebanon is once again expressing concern over air violations of the Blue Line by Israeli military jets. Personal envoy, Stephan De Mistura, said Israeli jets violated the Blue Line on seven occasions Monday, but there have been no reports of anti-aircraft fire from the Lebanese side. Mr. De Mistura reiterated his call on Israel to cease these violations. He also urged all parties to exercise restraint in order to avoid a further deterioration of the situation on the ground.
UN Investigating Massacre in Eastern Congolese Village
The United Nations is investigating the massacre of 16 people, mostly women in a Congolese village in the South Kivu province. Witnesses told investigators that a group of men entered the village of Ndunda and attacked people with clubs, machetes and axes. Spokesperson for the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Patricia Tome, says the village was attacked by armed elements in uniform:
"Many women were killed. We counted 16 casualties but they were mainly women and children."
Ms. Tome says UN investigators still do not know the motive for the attack. But she adds that there is a lot of violence in the region.
Rwanda Wants Those Charged with Genocide Brought to Justice
Rwanda wants the United Nations to put in place judicial mechanisms to ensure that those charged with genocide are brought to justice when the Rwanda war crimes tribunal closes its operations. The Prosecutor-General of Rwanda, Gerald Gahima, says the country is concerned about the Tribunal's "completion strategy". He says under this strategy, the Tribunal plans to conclude certain investigations by the end of next year and transfer more than 40 cases of persons who have been indicted to other countries:
"We feel that the current prosecution completion strategy does not sufficiently address the problem as to how these people would be brought to justice."
Mr. Gahima says Rwanda is prepared to try those persons indicted by the Tribunal if it can get custody of them.
But he says the absence of extradition treaties with some of the countries makes it difficult.
New Report Calls on Transnational Corporations to Uphold Human Rights Obligations
A new report on the right to food has called for the strengthening of mechanisms to ensure that transnational corporations uphold their human rights obligations.
The report by the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights, Charles Zigler, warns that mechanisms to monitor the activity of trans-national corporations remain limited. The report says that gender discrimination persists in a variety of forms that have profound effects on women's right to food. And it recommends that all governments take action to address such discrimination, particularly where it contributes to the malnutrition of women and girls.
Kosovo Delegation Sets off to Vienna for Talks with Serbia
Landmark talks between Belgrade and Pristina open in Vienna Tuesday. It's the first such discussions since the end of the war in Kosovo four years ago. The internationally-sponsored meeting will concentrate on issues such as transport, energy, missing people and the return of those who were displaced by the 1998-99 conflict when Serbian forces clashed with Kosovo-Albanian fighters. Special Representative Harri Holkeri said it has proven impossible to include all leaders of the Government of Kosovo in the delegation. As a result, he said, Kosovo will be represented by President Ibrahim Rugova whom he described as "the symbol of the unity of a multi-ethnic Kosovo."

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