Daily Archives: August 14, 2015

Ban appoints experienced UN official as acting head of mission in ...

14 August 2015 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Parfait Onanga-Anyanga of Gabon as his Acting Special Representative for the Central African Republic and Head of the United Nations stabilization mission in the country, known as MINUSCA.

Mr. Onanga-Anyanga succeeds Lieutenant General Babacar Gaye of Senegal, who resigned on 12 August amid allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation against peacekeepers at MINUSCA.

The Secretary-General is grateful for Lieutenant General Gaye’s long and distinguished record of public service in the United Nations, most recently, over the past two years, during a critical period in the Central African Republic.

Mr. Onanga-Anyanga brings with him several years of experience with the UN in conflict-affected areas, including as Head of the UN Office in Burundi (BNUB), having served most recently as the Assistant-Secretary-General, System-Wide Senior Coordinator on Burundi in addition to his role as the Coordinator of UN Headquarters Response to the Boko Haram crisis.

From 2007 to 2012 he was the Director of the Office of the UN Deputy Secretary-General. Previously, Mr. Onanga-Anyanga was Special Adviser to the President of the sixtieth and sixty-first sessions of the General Assembly (2005-2007). Prior to that, he was Chef de Cabinet to the President of the fifty-ninth session of the General Assembly.

From 1998-2004, he held a variety of political and managerial positions at the Preparatory Commission of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organization in Vienna and New York. Earlier in his career, he was acting Secretary of the UN Standing Advisory Committee for Security Questions in Central Africa, and served as First Counsellor for Disarmament and Political Affairs at the Permanent Mission of Gabon to the UN in New York.

Mali: senior UN official urges sustained support for relief efforts ...

14 August 2015 – Food insecurity in Mali will only grow if national parties fail to commit to peace and stability in the country, the United Nations relief official dealing with Africa’s Sahel region warned today as he urged the international community to remain engaged with the country’s urgent humanitarian needs.

In a press release issued following his completion of a five-day visit to the country, UN Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel, Toby Lanzer, emphasized the necessity for the international community to sustain its engagement to meet the vital needs of Mali’s most vulnerable communities, whilst supporting ongoing efforts toward peace and development.

“I am inspired by the resilience of Malian communities and a vibrant civil society that strives to uphold values of tolerance and social cohesion,” Mr. Lanzer declared. “Together with the Government and development partners, we must stand by the people to address their aspirations to a dignified life, development and security.”

As Mali enters a gruelling lean season, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has warned that some 3.1 million Malians continue to suffer from food insecurity, of whom 410,000 require immediate assistance.

In addition, across the country the lives of an estimated 15,000 children are threatened by acute malnutrition. The situation is of particular concern in the Timbuktu region, where malnutrition rates exceed the emergency threshold, according to OCHA.

The dire humanitarian situation in the country is only further exacerbated by Mali’s ongoing political instability and insecurity.

“The insecurity that prevails in parts of the country hinders humanitarian access, precisely to some of the most vulnerable communities where it is generating new needs,” warned Mbaranga Gasarabwe, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Mali.

“Stabilization and security are essential to ensure people’s access to critical services and livelihoods,” she added. “Together with the national authorities, we are working towards this goal.”

In response to the humanitarian crisis facing Mali’s population, the UN this year launched a $377 million to address the most pressing needs throughout the country. OCHA has noted that it is the second highest appeal of the nine countries of the Sahel region but, to date, only 33 percent of its financial requirements have been met.

“The international community shall remain engaged to ensure aid agencies have the resources they need to save lives and boost self-reliance of the most vulnerable communities,” Mr. Lanzer concluded.

Concern mounts over forced return of Nigerians fleeing violence

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Minawao refugee camp, northern Cameroon. It is the largest formal refugee camp in the region for Nigerian asylum-seekers. Photo: UNHCR/A. Bahaddou

The forced return of thousands of Nigerians seeking refuge in neighbouring countries has raised the concern of the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR.

UNHCR fears the deportations may curtail protection and humanitarian aid for the asylum-seekers.

Maria Carlino reports.

The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, has expressed concern over the deportation of thousands of people from north-east Nigeria who have sought safety across the country’s borders.

UNHCR said this includes 925 Nigerians sent home from Cameroon and Chad in mid-July and 50 Nigerians screened by the agency at the Gourounguel transit camp on 3 August.  

UNHCR fears the forced returns will reduce the amount of space where Nigerians fleeing their nation’s conflict can seek a safe haven.

In a statement, the agency reminded governments of their duty to protect asylum-seekers fleeing human rights violations and not return them to their persecutors.

Since a multinational force from West Africa began fighting the Boko Haram militants across Nigeria’s borders earlier this year, violence in and around the country has escalated.

Maria Carlino, United Nations.

Duration: 53″

 

Month-long blockade of aid routes lifted in South Sudan, allowing UN ...

14 August 2015 – The United Nations humanitarian wing has reported that the month-long restrictions on the movement of goods by air and river routes in South Sudan have been lifted, allowing delivery of aid supplies in crisis-torn Malakal, and has warned of a “dire situation” as fighting continues.

“The lifting of the restrictions has allowed humanitarian partners to start resupplying critical medicines, fuel, food and water treatment chemicals in Malakal in Upper Nile state,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.

Partners are working to ensure supplies continue to be delivered to Upper Nile to avert a further deterioration of the already dire situation, according to an updateissued Thursday.

Restrictions on the movement of barges on the River Nile, as well as clearances to use the Malakal airstrip had affected the delivery of life-saving assistance to vulnerable people in Upper Nile state. No barges arrived in Malakal during July and no flights were able to land at the airstrip from the end of June until 7 August.

Humanitarian partners continue to negotiate with all parties on the ground to access Wau Shilluk to be able to restock water, sanitation and hygiene supplies, including fuel for water system, which are exhausted there.

More than 10,000 people, mainly from Wau Shilluk, have arrived to the Malakal civilian protection site since 1 August, bringing the total number of displaced people seeking refuge at the site to 46,500 and causing a severe congestion and stretching the capacity of aid agencies to provide humanitarian services.

OCHA says that relief agencies are racing to cope with the influx as the rainy season creates increasingly desperate living conditions. Although partners undertook an extensive operation to expand the protection site in 2014 and 2015, it was designed to accommodate only 18,000 people.

Nasrallah: Fair state must be achieved through true partnership

NNA – Hezbolah leader Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah highlighted the necessity to solve the local problems by resorting to dialogue to ensure a true national partnership among the local constituents, hence accomplishing a fair state in which the citizen feels safe and secure.

Nasrallah marked on Thursday the 9th anniversay of the victory in July 2006 war under the title “Your Victory is Permanent” in Wadi Houjair in the South, in the presence of MP Abdel Majid Saleh representing House Speaker Nabih Berri, MP Emile Rahmeh representing General Michel Aoun and MP Sleiman Frangieh, the Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Fathali, representatives of the Lebanese Army chief and military and security apparatuses, and representatives of the Palestinian Phalanges.

Nasrallah stressed that “not any local constituent should be disregarded by other political forces, indicating that the Free Patriotic Movement is such a marginalized constituent and that Hezbollah will always stand by the FPM’s side especially that such movement stood by Hezbollah’s side in July War 2006.”

The leader addressed March 14 “not to turn their back to FPM and work on the policy of breaking or secluding General Aoun as such policy would turn to be fruitless on ground, especially that the FPM represents a significant mass in the Christian segment.”

He stressed that General Michel Aoun “is a necessary channel leading to the presidential elections issue and to activating the work of cabinet.”

Nasrallah thereby addressed all local forces and political leaders to work altogether, as united, in order to accomplish a true national unity and one Lebanon, strong, and sovereign, especially that Lebanon is currently living a hard political crisis in addition to the other crises relevant to the economy and daily living conditions, notably the trash predicament.

=================A.M.

The Benefits, Challenges and Future of U.S.-Canada Energy ...

The Benefits, Challenges and Future of U.S.-Canada Energy Interconnectedness – Canada News Centre

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Speech Article from  National Energy Board

Speech to the Midwest Canada Relations Committee : The Benefits Challenges and Future of U.S.-Canada Energy Interconnectedness
By Lyne Mercier
Bismarck, North Dakota
Sunday, 12 July 2015

Introduction:

  • Good afternoon. My name is Lyne Mercier, Vice-Chair of the National Energy Board, Canada’s federal energy regulator. I am very pleased to travel from Calgary, Alberta to be with you today to speak about the Benefits, Challenges and Future of U.S.-Canada Interconnectedness.
  • I have been with the Board for about 7 years now and have had the opportunity to work with the NEB regulating pipelines, energy development and trade in the Canadian public interest.

1) Canada’s Energy Regulation:

  • Energy in Canada is regulated based on jurisdiction, according to Canada’s Constitution with the powers divided between the federal and provincial governments.
  • The main principles of Canada’s energy policy are:
    • A market orientation: the decision to submit an application to build a pipeline is a business decision made by commercial participants based on market demand for transportation capacity.
    • Respect for jurisdictional authority and the role of the provinces:
      Provinces are owners of resources and thus control development. Pipelines that are intra-provincial are regulated by each individual provincial regulator.

The NEB:

  • The main responsibilities of the NEB are established in the National Energy Board Act. Our role in Canada’s energy development is the regulation of the construction and operation of international and interprovincial pipelines, international power lines and designated interprovincial power lines; to authorize pipeline tolls & tariffs; and to authorize energy exports (oil, gas, natural gas liquids and electricity) and imports (of gas).
  • The NEB believes the public interest is inclusive of all Canadians and refers to a balance of economic, environmental and social considerations that change as society’s values and preferences change over time.
  • In terms comparable to the U.S., the NEB mandate for onshore activities combines responsibilities of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), with many of the responsibilities of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
  • In Canada, the Department of Natural Resources outlines the NEB’s mandate and sets the policy within which the NEB operates. The NEB is a good example of a single-window regulator.

2) Opportunities and Challenges for U.S.-Canada Energy Regulators

i) Challenge: Increased Public Scrutiny in North America

  • The single biggest change in the North American regulatory landscape is the unprecedented public interest on energy issues. From the description of energy regulation in Canada, it is clear that energy regulation is a difficult landscape to navigate with several different regulatory bodies both domestically and internationally with different mandates and responsibilities.
  • The Canadian public increasingly expects robust oversight of regulated pipelines and companies, and needs assurances that all regulators are committed to this task.  It is not enough for the NEB to be an expert regulator – we must also be understood and trusted by the public in order for our activities and decisions to be seen as legitimate and credible.
  • These challenges cannot be confined to one country, one region, or one industry. Public attitudes spread across borders. We truly are in this together.

ii) Opportunity to Engage the Public

  • At the NEB, we are taking steps to inform Canadians about our processes. I have been travelling a great deal this spring with the NEB Chair/CEO (Peter Watson), talking to our stakeholders across Canada, meeting with municipal leaders, first responders, and environmental groups and so on.
  • One thing I have learned from them is that the NEB regulatory processes aren’t obvious to everyone.
  • A common misconception was that the NEB was responsible for regulating climate change, which is not within our jurisdiction. The NEB manages environmental issues, as well as safety and security, over the lifecycle of an approved project but does not set policy. The latter is done by the Federal Government in Canada.
  • Another misconception is that we approve infrastructure for development and our role stops there – but we actually oversee the construction and operation of the infrastructure for the entire operating lifecycle.
  • We have taken action to engage with the Canadian public in a meaningful way.  One method is disseminating energy information that is easily understood, straightforward and uses plain language.
  • Some of the energy information products the NEB produces include long term analyses of oil and gas exports, and Market Snapshots, which are frequent but brief, updates illustrating emerging trends in various segments of the energy market. These products are all available on our website, www.neb-one.gc.ca, which I encourage you to visit.
  • The benefits of information products like these include increased transparency of Canadian energy markets and improved Canadian energy literacy; both are of growing importance.
  • Readability of our energy information products increases understanding and awareness between the public and the regulator, increases transparency and builds trust in our decisions and recommendations.

iii) Opportunity for Energy Information Harmony:   

  • The NEB’s energy information program is in many ways similar to the function of the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
  • Since last year, the NEB has had quarterly conference calls with the EIA to share the latest updates on data initiatives or information product releases.
  • A good example of data issues that we’ve worked on with the EIA is crude by rail statistics. Crude oil volumes transported by rail spiked in recent years and we wanted to verify the accuracy of our statistics. In fact, you can often see crude tank cars travelling through Downtown Calgary from my office window. We have been working with the EIA to understand the differences in the export number that we receive from shippers, and the import numbers they have.
  • Another area of energy information collaboration is through the Canada/U.S./Mexico trilateral between federal energy departments. We work with NRCan in our participation.
  • The four areas of focus relate to improving data and consistency across the countries and making informed regulatory decisions that are consistent across jurisdictions, and include:
    • validating export/import data,
    • sharing geospatial information,
    • comparing project energy flows, and
    • understanding differences in energy definitions.

iv) Challenge: Market Applications for Energy Infrastructure

  • One of the most significant changes in energy development has been the shale revolution in the U.S. and Canada due to innovation in technologies like hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.
    • The Bakken formation, which runs underneath Montana, North Dakota, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and the Cardium play in Alberta are examples of major oilfields that have benefitted from these technological advancements.
  • Canada’s energy infrastructure flows predominantly North-South for all commodities and is highly integrated with the U.S.
  • To highlight this interconnectedness, I’d like to present a few noteworthy stats:
    • Almost 100% of Canada’s crude oil is exported to the U.S.
    • Canada is the largest source of crude oil to the U.S.
    • The Midwest is a major portal for Canadian oil to the U.S. market: in the first quarter of 2015, approximately 64% of Canada’s entire international crude oil exports went to the U.S. Midwestern region. This is a 79% increase in volume exported to the Midwestern region compared to the first quarter of 2010. 
  • There are major oil pipeline projects currently at various stages of regulatory review at the NEB. Together, if approved, these projects could add millions of barrels per day of new take-away capacity, and nearly double the estimated amount per day of existing export capacity.
  • An economically efficient pipeline transportation system effectively responds to changing market conditions and applications for increased pipeline capacity will be sought by pipeline companies so they may capture new energy markets for the increase in supply.

3) The Benefits of Regulatory Cooperation

  • As the North American market continues to become more integrated, regulators in the U.S. and Canada should strive for effective and timely regulation that allows markets to achieve optimal outcomes while keeping environmental, economic and social goals in balance.
  • In addition, continued cooperation between regulators allows cross-jurisdictional energy transportation projects to be better coordinated in the application process and approved international projects to be regulated on both sides of the border in a more comprehensive, coordinated and coherent manner.
  • FERC MOU:
    An example of this is the MOU between the NEB and the FERC.
    • The agreement recognizes that the two agencies oversee interconnecting facilities or activities, and assists both parties to coordinate their responsibilities.
    • It is another step in the NEB’s commitment to regulatory excellence and the development of regulatory strategies that protect the health and safety of Canadians and the environment, while contributing to economic efficiency.
  • NERC MOU:
    Another example of continued integration through standardization across regions is the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). NERC develops and enforces standards to ensure the reliability of the bulk power system in North America.
    • In addition, the NERC furthers this goal by assessing long term system adequacy, evaluating market participants for emergency preparedness and training industry personnel.
    • By developing a set of standards that are consistent across electricity jurisdictions, market participants can more easily integrate electric systems across regions, to further reliability and prevent interruptions to power service.

Conclusion

  • It is important that these links demonstrate consistency and transparency so that companies and people on both sides of the border know what to expect when they utilize these links. The more standardized the transmission across North American borders, the more trading partners can benefit from each other’s comparative advantage.
  • Canada’s national energy policy is solid but not static. It must remain flexible to ensure an economically competitive and innovative energy sector that sustainably delivers a secure, reliable and safe supply of energy for North America.

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2015-08-14

Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on ...

This report is for the media and the general public.

The SMM monitored the implementation of the “Package of measures for the implementation of the Minsk agreements”. Its monitoring was restricted by the parties and security considerations*. Ceasefire violations were recorded by the SMM in numerous locations. The SMM facilitated a ceasefire in Luhansk that enabled water repairs to be completed. The SMM monitored the situation in areas close to Starohnativka.

The overall security situation at and around “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”)-controlled Donetsk airport (9km north-west of Donetsk) remained tense. From the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) observation point at Donetsk railway station (“DPR”-controlled, 8km north-west of Donetsk city centre), the SMM recorded a total of 104 explosions and small-arms fire during the day at a distance of 2-7km in multiple directions. Two explosions in an area 2km north-east of the observation point (possibly in “DPR”-controlled Spartak) were noticeably louder than the others, the first of which created a mushroom-shaped cloud.

The SMM observed damage in government-controlled Avdiivka (15km north-west of Donetsk) following reports from Ukrainian Armed Forces JCCC representatives of shelling. The SMM conducted crater analysis on impacts near five civilian houses. One house and one shed were destroyed. The SMM assessed that the craters were caused by 122mm calibre artillery fired from the south-east. In another area of Avdiivka the SMM saw damage to three apartments, one of which was destroyed by shelling. The south-facing walls had sustained shell impacts. According to Ukrainian Armed Forces JCCC representatives, one civilian was injured. The SMM analysed a crater at the location and assessed it to have been caused by 122mm calibre artillery fired from the south.

In government-controlled Lebedynske (16km east of Mariupol), the SMM observed six craters of 2.5 metres diameter, all within a 50 metre radius. No significant damage was observed. The SMM conducted an analysis of the craters and assessed that they were caused by 122mm artillery shells fired from the north-east. Ukrainian Armed Forces soldiers said the shelling had occurred the previous night between 21:00 and 03:00hrs. Separately, five residents (two men and three women) corroborated this.

The SMM continued to facilitate ceasefire efforts to allow for water pipeline repairs to be completed between “DPR”-controlled Horlivka (39km north-east of Donetsk) and government-controlled Maiorsk (44km north of Donetsk). “DPR” members at the last checkpoint before the repair site told the SMM that the checkpoint had been hit the night before with mortars, automatic grenade launchers and small arms. The SMM observed damage to the newly repaired pipelines nearby and two fresh impacts assessed to have been caused by a 30mm calibre grenade (BMG) fired from the north-north-west. An unexploded mortar shell (assessed to be 120mm calibre) was observed in a crater 20m away from the checkpoint, which the SMM assessed to have been fired from the north. Before repair work could start, the SMM heard 48 incoming artillery or mortar explosions 5km east of its location between 11:40 and 12:20hrs. A short time later the SMM heard 12 incoming explosions 10km south-east of its location. During the approximately three hours that repairs were ongoing, the SMM heard one incoming mortar or artillery explosion 4km to the north-east.

The SMM assessed the security situation as calm in the government-controlled villages of Andriivka, Bakhchovyk, Kamianka, Prokhorivka, Chycherine, Obiline and Svobodne (between 38km and 52km north and north-east of Mariupol). Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel near Bakhchovyk (42km north-east of Mariupol) told the SMM that mortar shells struck areas to the east of their location over recent nights. In the village of Kamianka (38km north-east of Mariupol) the SMM met two female residents who said they had heard, over the last few nights, outgoing fire from the village in the general direction of Hranitne (47km north-east of Mariupol).

Although the SMM did not reach Starohnativka, SMM unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) spotted military hardware in various locations in the general area: in and around “DPR”-controlled Bila Kamyanka (52km south-east of Donetsk, 54km north-east of Mariupol), seven armoured personnel carriers (APC); in and around “DPR”-controlled Novolaspa (49km south of Donetsk, 58km north-north-east of Mariupol), three APCs and a military-type truck; east of government-controlled Starohnativka (51km south of Donetsk, 53km north-north-east of Mariupol), five APCs, a main battle tank (MBT) and a military-type truck; in and around “DPR”-controlled Komsomolske (40km south-east of Donetsk; 76km north-east of Mariupol), four APCs and seven military-type trucks; and, in “DPR”-controlled Michurine (55km south-east of Donetsk, 54km north-east of Mariupol), four MBTs and a military-type truck.

In government-controlled Muratove (50km north-west of Luhansk), the SMM heard six explosions in an area to the south-east. The SMM, in government-controlled Zolote (60km north-west of Luhansk), heard what it assessed to be two outgoing heavy artillery bursts, fired from north-east of the SMM’s position and impacting in an area to the south. In government-controlled Staryi Aidar (20km north-west of Luhansk) the SMM heard six artillery rounds outgoing from an area to the north-east of the SMM’s location. The SMM heard six incoming explosions south-east of the SMM’s position near government-controlled Komyshuvakha (66km west of Luhansk).

In “Lugansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”)-controlled Raivka (16km north-west of Luhansk), the SMM facilitated a ceasefire, arranged with representatives of the JCCC, to enable workers from the “Luhanskvoda” company to repair water and electricity infrastructure. Despite the ceasefire, the SMM heard around thirty single shots between 13:30 and 13:50hrs consistent with small arms fire from the north. Repairs were completed and as a result, northern parts of Luhansk city now receive sufficient water supply to meet basic needs.

Staff at a kindergarten in “LPR”-controlled Volodarske (53km south-east of Luhansk) told the SMM that they were preparing to implement the Russian curriculum, but that new textbooks had not arrived. According to the principal of a local school, teachers will give children mine awareness training on their return to kindergarten.

In government-controlled Borivske (65km north-west of Luhansk), a village council secretary told the SMM that the council is holding meetings with the local population to gauge their willingness to merge with Sievierodonetsk administration, as part of the decentralization process which would lead to the dissolution of the village council.

The SMM revisited two Ukrainian Armed Forces heavy weapons holding areas whose locations comply with the respective withdrawal lines. One area was abandoned. At the second, two of the six howitzers (2S1) previously recorded were missing (see SMM Daily Report, 9 June 2015).

The SMM observed the following weapons’ movements in areas that are in violation of respective withdrawal lines. In “DPR”-controlled Khartsyzk (34km east of Donetsk), the SMM observed two Ural-type trucks with a 120mm towed mortar, travelling east from Donetsk city. In a government-controlled area, the SMM saw an infantry fighting vehicle (BMP-2) fitted with a 135mm calibre anti-tank guided missile (9M113 Konkurs).

The SMM observed a public meeting on decentralization in Holubivka (45km north-east of Dnepropetrovsk), organized by the Dnepropetrovsk Office for Reform, a non-governmental organization (NGO) that provides information on decentralization, and is headed by a member of the Regional Council. The SMM observed a robust exchange of views between the speakers and some of the approximately 60 participants (generally aged over 45, mostly women). Many of the participants expressed their scepticism of the benefits that would come from merging their villages to form larger units as foreseen in the decentralization process.

In Kherson representatives of the NGO Krym SOS told the SMM that the implementation of Decree 367 of the Cabinet of Ministers (Resolution 367 of 4 June 2015, Order of Entry and Exit from/to Temporarily Occupied Territory of Ukraine) has caused problems for some attempting to cross the administrative boundary line to and from Crimea. Babies and young children, having travelled with their parents from Crimea to Kherson to obtain a birth certificate, encounter problems re-entering Crimea as they do not possess passports. The procedure to obtain a passport is via court and is time-consuming. According to the NGO’s lawyer they receive 5-15 calls daily concerning children being denied permission to cross.

The SMM continued to monitor the situation in Kharkiv, Odessa, Chernivtsi, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv and Kyiv.

*Restrictions on SMM monitoring, access and freedom of movement:

The SMM is restrained in fulfilling its monitoring functions by restrictions imposed by the parties and security considerations, including the presence – and lack of information on the whereabouts – of mines, and damaged infrastructure. The security situation in Donbas is fluid and unpredictable and the ceasefire does not hold everywhere. Self-imposed restrictions on movement into high-risk areas have impinged on SMM patrolling activities, particularly in areas not controlled by the government. Most areas along the Ukraine-Russian Federation international border, particularly those controlled by the “LPR”, have ordinarily been placed off limits to the SMM.

Delay:

  • At a “DPR” checkpoint south of Olenivka (23km south-west of Donetsk) the SMM was asked to fill in “emigration” forms for people leaving “DPR”-controlled areas. After 35 minutes, the SMM was allowed to pass without completing a form.

Denied access:

  • At a “DPR”-controlled checkpoint near Donetsk (7km south-south-east of Donetsk), the SMM was told that it could travel to “DPR”-controlled Starobesheve (32km south-east of Donetsk) though no further. At a checkpoint in Starobesheve, “DPR” members prevented the SMM from travelling further due to “heavy shelling”. The SMM did not hear any shelling during the time at the checkpoint.
  • The SMM was turned back by Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel at a checkpoint near government-controlled Popasna (59km north-west of Luhansk). The checkpoint personnel indicated that the area was a restricted zone and furthermore, that the SMM could be arrested if they did not leave.
  • In government-controlled Zolote (60km north-west of Luhansk) the SMM was denied passage through a Ukrainian Armed Forces checkpoint and prevented from accessing a residential area nearby, with no reason given.
  • Approximately two kilometers north of “LPR”-controlled Pervomaisk (57km west of Luhansk), the SMM was stopped by approximately ten armed “LPR” members who denied the SMM further access to the area.

For a complete breakdown of the ceasefire violations, please see the annexed table.

Hezbollah celebrates 9th anniversary of Jul…

NNA – Hezbollah on Friday started celebrating the 9th anniversary of the victory in July 2006 war under the title “Your Victory is Permanent” in Wadi Houjair in the South, in presence of MP Abdel Majid Saleh representing House Speaker Nabih Berri, MP Emile Rahmeh representing General Michel Aoun and MP Sleiman Frangieh, the Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Fathali, representatives of the Lebanese Army chief and military and security apparatuses, and representatives of the Palestinian Phalanges.

=========A.M./Y.B.