Entries in Peacekeeping (2)


Syrian Rebels Detain Twenty UN Peacekepers

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(JAMLAH, Syria) -- Twenty U.N. peacekeepers on the Syrian side of Golan Heights have been detained by a group of armed rebel fighters, the United Nations said today.

A spokeswoman for Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said in a statement that the observers -- reportedly from the Philippines -- were on a regular supply mission and were stopped near an observation post that had been damaged during heavy fighting in the nearby village of Jamlah.

The U.N. convoy was taken by a group known as the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade. The group says they will hold the observers until the Syrian army withdraws from the outskirts of Jamlah.

"If no withdrawal is made within 24 hours we will treat them as prisoners," a rebel spokesman said in a video posted online. The rebels have not threatened to kill the U.N. observers, and for now are treating them “as guests in our village.”

"The members of the Security Council demanded the unconditional and immediate release of all the detained U.N. peacekeepers and called upon all parties to cooperate with UNDOF in good faith to enable it to operate freely and to ensure full security of its personnel," a U.N. spokesperson said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Disputed Ivory Coast Election May Lead to Civil War

Photo Courtesy - ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images(YAMOUSSOUKRO, Ivory Coast) -- Civil war looms over the West African nation Ivory Coast after a disputed presidential election. The opposition candidate Alessana Ouattra, a Muslim from the north, was declared the winner by almost 10 percentage points by an internationally-accepted electoral commission. But in a stunning reversal, officials allied with current president Laurent Gbagbo declared Gbagbo the winner. The U.N. and the Obama administration released statements claiming they do not recognize Gbagbo as the president.

The military, allied with the president, has sealed in all the borders: land, sea and air. The government has also banned all foreign broadcasts, trying to make sure no information comes in or goes out.

The measures could lead to chaos and ethnic war. The 8,000 peacekeeping troops currently stationed in the country are not thought to be enough to stop what could be an even bloodier civil war than the last one in 2002, which killed thousands and divided the country.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio