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UN uses text messaging to alert Iraqi refugees on new food aid

The United Nations is using text messaging on mobile phones to alert more than 33,000 vulnerable Iraqi refugees in the Syrian capital, Damascus, of the launch of the first food distribution programme for them tomorrow.

Taliban should be ashamed of itself for seizing civilians - UN envoy

While welcoming last night’s final release of South Korean hostages in Afghanistan, the top United Nations envoy in the country said the Taliban rebels who took them captive and killed two of them should be ashamed of themselves for attacking civilians.

Ban Ki-moon orders probe into potentially hazardous material from Iraq found in UN building

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has launched an immediate internal investigation backed by outside expertise to determine how potentially hazardous material removed by United Nations arms inspectors from Iraq in 1996 ended up in a UN office instead of a properly equipped laboratory and remained there undetected for the past 11 years.

Colombians who fled to Ecuador start returning home, UN refugee agency reports

Nearly 1,600 Colombians who fled to Ecuador over the past week after an outbreak of violence have started returning home although the situation remains tense throughout the area, the United Nations refugee agency reported today.

UN agency fears resumption of deadly exodus from Africa across Gulf of Aden

Thousands of Ethiopians and Somalis have already gathered in a northern Somalia port preparing to brave the perilous trip across the Gulf of Aden to Yemen when good weather returns, prompting fears among United Nations refugee officials that the new people-smuggling season will be as bad as the last, when nearly 400 died.

Two Swedes motorbike round world to highlight UN work for refugees, children

Two Swedes, one a student and the other a stockbroker, set off from Stockholm this week on a round-the-world motorbike trip during which they plan to raise awareness about United Nations work on behalf of refugees and children.

Mauritania: UN refugee agency appeals for funds to aid refugee return

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) today launched a $7 million appeal to help 24,000 refugees voluntarily return to Mauritania from Senegal and Mali.

DR Congo police officers make their debut on UN peacekeeping missions

Twelve officers from the Congolese national police force (PNC) are starting year-long tours of duty with the United Nations peacekeeping missions in Haiti and Côte d’Ivoire, the first time that police officers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) will serve under the flag of the world body.

Myanmar: UN human rights experts calls for immediate release of protesters

Deploring the arrests of more than 100 peaceful protesters following demonstrations in Myanmar over the recent surge in fuel prices, a United Nations independent human rights expert today appealed for the immediate release of the detainees.

Member States and UN to enhance police peacekeeping training for Darfur

Top United Nations and Member States’ police and human security officials today pledged to enhance training for UN Police (UNPOL) officers preparing to serve as peacekeepers in Sudan’s Darfur region in what will be the largest single UN Police contingent ever with more than 6,400 officers.