UN condemns detention of Fijians; 58 Filipino peacekeepers moved to safety
MANILA, Philippines—United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday condemned the detention of 43 Fijian peacekeepers in the Golan Heights by Syrian rebels, who had also laid seige on two camps occupied by Filipino peacekeepers.
“I call for their immediate and unconditional release as well as action for the scores of peacekeepers from the Philippines who are also affected,” Ban said in Bali, Indonesia.
He said the United Nations would do everything possible to secure the release of the soldiers.
The United Nations also ordered 58 other Filipino peacekeepers moved to safer ground amid the standoff between 75 Filipino peacekeepers in UN Disengagement Observer Force (Undof) Area Positions 68 and 69 and Syrian rebels in the Golan Heights.
Filipino troops in Area Position 60 were moved to Undof headquarters in Camp Faouar.
The movement, involving seven officers and 51 enlisted personnel, was completed at around 12:30 p.m. Syrian time. Manila is ahead by five hours.
Negotiations going on
Maj. Gen. Domingo Tutaan Jr., spokesperson for the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said the standoff in Positions 68 and 69 continued but negotiations for an end to the confrontation were in progress.
“The peacekeeping forces were ordered to consolidate their forces,” Tutaan said. Reports from Julie M. Aurelio and AP
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