UN officials call for protection of women, children amid chaos in Liberia

With the United Nations reporting a “horrific” situation in Liberia, where the death toll is rising and thousands of terrified people have been driven into the streets of the war-torn capital, two of the world body’s top child protection monitors have voiced their deep concern for the well-being of women and children amid the chaos.

On eve of trip to Nigeria, UNICEF chief calls on government to end polio

On the eve of her three-day mission to Nigeria, home to 90 per cent of all polio cases in Africa, the chief of the United Nations agency for youngsters today called on the government to mobilize resources to protect children against the debilitating disease.

Liberia poised between ‘hope and disaster’ – Annan

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today warned that Liberia is “poised between hope and disaster” and stressed that the prompt and urgent deployment of troops is needed to salvage the situation.

UN mission in DR of Congo investigates reports of latest clashes in two villages

The United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has sent observers to two villages near the volatile town of Bunia to investigate reports of recent fighting there.

UN refugee agency resumes repatriation to Somalia’s Puntland

The United Nations refugee agency has resumed the repatriation of Somali refugees from Kenya’s Dadaab camp to Puntland in north eastern Somalia after a two-month suspension due to a lack of funds for the flights.

Cesária Évora, one of Africa’s greatest singers, named UN food ambassador

Cesária Évora, one of Africa's greatest singers, who for years has refused to associate her name with any humanitarian agency, was today named a United Nations ambassador to fight hunger through school feeding programmes, particularly on her own continent where 40 million people need life-saving emergency food aid.

Angolan refugee returns gain momentum – UN agency

More than 5,300 Angolan refugees have gone home from neighbouring countries in the past month as repatriation efforts gain momentum among the 400,000 Angolans who fled their country’s decades-long civil war, the United Nations refugee agency said today.

Security Council approves 'modified' plan for UN troops in Sierra Leone

Recognizing the continuing fragile security situation in Africa's Mano River region, the Security Council today approved Secretary-General Kofi Annan's recommendation for a modified, four-stage reduction in military strength of the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMISL), which would culminate in complete withdrawal by December 2004.

Mandela turns 85, Annan says to follow his example to better the world

Paying tribute to Nelson Mandela on the former South African President's 85th birthday, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today said the only way to truly express gratitude for his contribution to humanity is for everyone to work daily to follow his example.

UN refugee agency 'concerned' by reports of fresh fighting near Liberian capital

Following a few days of tense calm, the United Nations reported today that the rumble of battle on the outskirts of Monrovia has again sent war-weary Liberians fleeing toward the beleaguered centre of the capital, which is already overflowing with thousands of frightened people displaced by months of fighting between rebels and government forces.