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Paucity of political leadership at root of Somalia’s problems, says top UN envoy

Somalia’s problems are driven by a lack of responsible political leadership, the top United Nations envoy to the Horn of Africa nation said today.

UN-African Union peacekeeping operation in Darfur marks one-year anniversary

The joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission, tasked with protecting civilians in war-ravaged Darfur and quelling the violence in the Sudanese region, commemorated its first anniversary in operation today as Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon confirmed that troop levels have exceeded 60 per cent of the full authorized strength.

Top envoy to Sudan still misrepresented in Khartoum media, says UN mission

The United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) today reiterated that the world body's top envoy to the African nation never made remarks attributed to him by some by Khartoum-based newspapers.

Ban calls for immediate ceasefire in Gaza

With the crisis in Gaza and southern Israel having reached its fifth day, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today appealed for an urgent ceasefire to end the violence and to allow crucial humanitarian aid to reach Gazans.

UN feeds over 18,000 Congolese victims of attacks by Ugandan rebels

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has delivered emergency supplies for more than 18,000 displaced people in the strife-torn eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) who are victims of violence at the hands of the notorious Ugandan rebel group known as the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).

Bangladesh: UN welcomes successful, peaceful elections

The United Nations today welcomed the successful 29 December parliamentary elections in Bangladesh, the first polls held in seven years in the South-East Asian nation, which has been beset by political violence and polarization in recent times.

New UN-backed blog site encourages Iraqis to take part in upcoming polls

A new United Nations-supported blog site just launched in Baghdad is the latest initiative to engage voters in the nascent democracy and motivate them to go to the polls on 31 January 2009 during the country’s provincial elections.

Homicide rates highest in southern Africa, Central and South America – UN

Southern Africa, Central America and South America are the three areas of the world with the highest homicide rates, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), which has just published the first comprehensive set of global statistics on such violence.

Ban, top diplomatic partners call for immediate ceasefire in Israel-Gaza fighting

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today held a teleconference with his principal international partners in the search for Middle East peace, calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and southern Israel as United Nations agencies warned that hundreds of wounded in Gaza hospitals faced a surge in preventable deaths due to lack of medical supplies.

Zimbabwe cholera death toll now more than 1,600 - UN reports

The death toll from the worst cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe’s history continues to rise and now stands at 1,608, the United Nations said today, adding that the number of cases of the acute intestinal infection caused by contaminated food or water has risen to 30,365 as of 29 December.