UN High Commissioner for Refugees visits Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia

Kicking off his third visit to West Africa, the United Nations’ top refugee official, Ruud Lubbers, is in Sierra Leone today to review arrangements for completing the return of the remaining Sierra Leonean refugees in the region and preparing for the repatriation of Liberians to their country.

Security Council threatens individuals blocking Ivorian peace pact

The United Nations Security Council today threatened unspecified actions against individuals whose activities might block the full implementation of the 2003 peace accord between the Government of Côte d’Ivoire and its opposition.

UN fact-finding missions wind up work in Darfur, Sudan

Two United Nations fact-finding missions investigating attacks by armed Arab militias against the local black African population in western Sudan visited refugee camps in Darfur today and prepared to fly out from Sudan’s capital, Khartoum.

Security Council supports self-determination plan for Western Sahara

The United Nations Security Council today supported a plan that would allow the people of Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony, to determine their own political future, disallowing both Morocco’s rejection of the plan and its proposal to give Western Saharans limited autonomy under its rule.

UN humanitarian office asks help for Congolese women expelled from Angola

The United Nations relief coordination office today called for help for many girls and women recently expelled to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) from Angola’s diamond district, saying they were sexually abused by Angolan military officials searching them for hidden gemstones.

UN teams visit burnt villages in Darfur region of Sudan

A high-level United Nations humanitarian mission in western Sudan, having broken into two teams, today talked to the remaining residents in villages that had been burnt to the ground and discussed with local officials in Darfur the problems of protecting civilians, should strife break out again.

UN missions examine conditions in strife-torn Darfur region of western Sudan

A high-level United Nations humanitarian mission today headed to Darfur in western Sudan, where an estimated 1 million people have been uprooted in an ethnic cleansing campaign carried out by Arab militias against the local black African population, including more than 100,000 people who have fled to neighbouring Chad.

UN marks 10 years of post-apartheid democracy in South Africa

The United Nations today marked the 10th anniversary of South Africa’s battle to make the transition from apartheid racism to democracy in what Secretary General Kofi Annan called “a struggle that galvanized the entire world community.”

North and West Africa facing ‘most serious locust’ threat in 10 years – UN

Warning of “the most serious locust situation” in West and Northwest Africa in 10 years, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today issued yet another alert, calling for $17 million to continue the current preventive campaign and extend it to new areas.

Meetings seek to boost UN cooperation with West Africans

A meeting of representatives of the United Nations and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Senegal this weekend will explore how best the two organizations and civil society can implement UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's recommendations on stabilizing West Africa, the UN regional office said today.