DR of Congo: amid positive signs, concerns remain, Security Council told

The situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is "favourable in many ways" yet serious human rights violations continue to occur, the United Nations Security Council was told today.

Latest UN-backed talks on Western Sahara wrap up

Talks on the situation in Western Sahara hosted by a United Nations envoy have wrapped up in the United States, with all sides commenting on the latest proposals to find a solution to the problem, a UN spokesman said today.

UN officials offer condolences on death of African leader Govan Mbeki

Top United Nations officials today conveyed their condolences to South African President Thabo Mbeki following the death of his father, Govan, who was a leading figure in the African National Congress.

In symbolic ceremony, South Africa hands over site of anti-racism forum to UN

Flags of the United Nations and South Africa were raised simultaneously in Durban, South Africa, today as part of a ceremony marking the hand-over to the UN of the site of the World Conference against Racism, which opens on 31 August.

Sudan: UNICEF returns thousands of former child soldiers home

Almost 3,500 children who had acted as soldiers in the Sudan's civil war have returned to their communities and families in the southern part of the country, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said today.

Sierra Leone: UN mission launches web site about truth commission

The United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) today announced the launch of an Internet site to raise awareness about the country's truth commission - a crucial element of the ongoing peace process there.

UN agency begins transfer of Angolan refugees within DR of Congo

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) today began the transfer of nearly 10,000 Angolan refugees from border areas south of the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital, Kinshasa, to villages 50 kilometres away from the frontier.

UN rights official calls for more donor help for Sierra Leone women

The United Nations special envoy on violence against women today called for more donor commitments to support the women of Sierra Leone, particularly those who have been displaced from their homes.

Mozambique: UN development chief visits flood-prone areas to observe agency project

On an official visit to Mozambique, the head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today toured a region where the agency is helping people relocate their homes away from flood-prone areas.

DR of Congo: Annan welcomes agreement to start inter-Congolese dialogue

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today said he was pleased to learn that a preparatory meeting aimed at bringing together the parties to the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo had reached an agreement to start the official Inter-Congolese Dialogue on 15 October in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.