Africa

INTERVIEW: ‘Cling to every little sign of hope’ – outgoing head of UN Mission in South Sudan

On 23 July 2014, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon announced the appointment of Ellen Margrethe Løj of Denmark as his Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS). Ms. Løj succeeded Hilde Johnson of Norway, who had completed her assignment two weeks earlier, on 7 July 2014. 

"What is the underlying conflict? It’s similar in both countries and can be described as an incomplete social contract"– UN envoy for Sudan and South Sudan

Nicholas Haysom has experience in challenging political situations. His service with the United Nations has seen him serve as Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s top political advisor at UN Headquarters in New York – but has also involved service in some of the toughest field assignment locations, such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

FEATURE: WFP in emergency operation to assist 80,000 South Sudanese refugees in Uganda

Halima, aged 22, is from the village of Yei in South Sudan. Now, though, Yei is only a name, and a distant dream for her and her four children. Bidi Bidi: she will have to get used to that, as the new name for her new home. Bidi Bidi. Besides this name and its new beats, she will learn new names, of new neighbours, too. Her husband is not here with her; he was shot dead two weeks ago, when her village was attacked.

A peek into African children's dreams

As part of this year’s commemoration of World Humanitarian Day (WHD), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs launched a photography exhibition in New York entitled “When I Grow Up.” By photographing African children aged six to 18 – whose young lives have already been beleaguered with hardships – photographer Vincent Tremeau documented their aspirations by capturing each dressed in the clothing of the adult they aspire to be.

FEATURE SERIES: Mali and the UN Peacebuilding Fund

“In the talk about peacebuilding and reconciliation, we sometimes forget that it’s about how local communities come back together,” said the United Nations Assistant-Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, discussing the UN’s Peacebuilding Fund – which supports millions of people in 27 countries.

 

INTERVIEW: Conversation with top UN official on security and peace efforts in Mali

The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations peace operation in Mali and increased its strength to more than 15,000 peacekeepers. The decision followed a request from the UN envoy in Mali to boost support for the peacekeeping mission.

FEATURE: Family of UN peacekeeper who saved hundreds of lives in Rwanda shares memories of their father, husband

On 31 May 1994, as Rwanda was descending into chaos, Captain Mbaye Diagne, a military observer at the United Nations Assistance Mission in the country (UNAMIR), was in the capital, Kigali, driving back to the base when a mortar fell near his vehicle. Just 12 days from finishing up his service, he died instantly.

INTERVIEW: A fate shaped by injustice – one man’s mission to help the women of DR Congo

Dubbed by the press as “the man who mends women,” Dr. Mukwege has gained international recognition for his work and earned many prestigious distinctions, including the United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights in 2008 and the Sakharov prize in 2014. At 59, he has also been shortlisted several times for the Nobel Peace Prize.