The United Nations announced on Wednesday (13 August) it will resume relief operations in the famine-stricken Karamoja region of north-east Uganda.
GV U.N. Under-Secretary-General, Mr. Abdulrahim Abby Farah walks across tarmac from aircraft at Entebbe Airport, uganda, and greeted by Mrs. Melissa Wells, the U.N. Resident representative.
SV Mr. Farah shaking hands with other officials and talking with Mrs. Wells.
GV Mr. Farah and party across tarmac.
CU Mr. Farah speaking to Visnews reporter, Cameron Morton, then walks to car.
GV Police motorcycle escort leaves airport and car follows.
MORTON: "How long do you expect to stay in Uganda?"
FARAH: "About two of three days."
MORTON: "And what exactly is your purpose for being here?"
FARAH: "Well, the Secretariat is most anxious to have this humanitarian operation for the Karamoja region resumed. And we want to see exactly what arrangements are necessary in order that this result should take place."
MORTON: "The U.N. usually has some hesitation about getting involved in security operations in member countries. Do you anticipate having to make some sort of offer along those lines, to Uganda in this case?"
FARAH: "Well, I believe that all reasonable security arrangements should be made. We recognise it is an emergency situation, with unsettled conditions. And it is a risk factor. But we believe that with consultations and co-operation with the government, we can reach an acceptable formula for the operation to be continued."
MORTON: "Do you have any idea when we can expect to see that happen?"
FARAH: "Well, as soon as we have a meeting with government - maybe in the next twenty-four hours or so, hopefully."
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Background: The United Nations announced on Wednesday (13 August) it will resume relief operations in the famine-stricken Karamoja region of north-east Uganda. Relief was suspended for two weeks after armed bandits attacked a convoy carrying supplies. The decision came a day after the announcement that Uganda had accepted a French offer of two helicopters with an unarmed military crew to help in the relief operation. But it was after a meeting on Wednesday between the Head of Uganda's ruling military commission, Paulo Munanga and United Nations Assistant Secretary-General Abdulrahim Abby Farah that the Ugandan government agreed to provide increased protection, and assume responsibility for routes.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Farah who arrived at Entebbe airport on Monday (11 August), was greeted by Mrs. Melissa Wells, Head of the U.N. Development programme in Uganda. The U.N. senior official had been sent to assess the situation and find a solution.
Mr. Farah told Visnews reporter Cameron Morton the U.N. has been under pressure for some time to resume relief work in the Karamoja.
The news that the distribution will be resumed is most important. Hundreds are still dying, in spite of the continuing distribution of food from other aid agencies, and several other famine areas are now affected. Independent sources believe the French helicopters will now be used for spotting and deterring raiders.