No survivors after UN helicopter crashes in Sierra Leone

A United Nations mission helicopter carrying about two dozen people from Hastings to Yengema in Sierra Leone crashed into a hillside today, with no survivors.

Cereal shortfall looms over Somalia as drought cuts crops, UN warns

With the prolonged Horn of Africa drought reducing Somalia's crops, the United Nations is warning that the country's cereal shortfall could reach 70,000 tons.

Chad: UN starts new airlift of emergency supplies for Sudanese from Darfur

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) today began a fresh wave of airlifts into Chad to bring food and emergency supplies to the more than 150,000 refugees who have fled fighting in the Darfur region of neighbouring Sudan.

Sudan: UN human rights expert expects large number of deaths in Darfur

The number of black Africans killed by Arab militias in the Darfur region of Sudan is "bound to be staggering," a United Nations human rights expert said today as she called on the Sudanese Government to end the culture of impunity for those committing human rights abuses in the region.

Security Council team reports signs of increasing stability in West Africa

The Côte d'Ivoire Government of National Reconciliation has pledged to move forward on its peace agreement with the armed opposition by submitting the recommended political reforms to the National Assembly next month and complementing United Nations peacekeeping actions, a UN Security Council mission visiting West Africa said today.

UN and aid agencies demand greater humanitarian access to Darfur, Sudan

United Nations agencies, humanitarian organizations and donor countries are holding talks with the Sudanese Government to try to improve access to the troubled Darfur region, where they say there are still too many obstacles and restrictions for aid workers.

UN reports gross rights abuses in DR Congo, including systematic rape

The United Nations humanitarian office today deplored the continuing and systematic abduction of girls and women in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and it appealed urgently for funds to replace $1.5 million in humanitarian supplies grabbed by looters during military and civilian demonstrations.

Central African Republic head denounces corruption, UN mission says

In the run-up to end of year elections in the Central African Republic, the Head of State, Gen. François Bozizé, has condemned corruption in the judiciary, a positive sign, but extortion on rural roads and threats to individual and collective liberty remain problematic, a new report from the United Nations peacekeeping mission says.

UN refugee agency works to relocate Congolese refugees in Burundi

A team from the UN refugee agency went today to survey three new sites proposed by the Burundian government to relocate deeper inland an estimated 34,000 refugees fleeing insurgency in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Annan vows to press Sudan to protect Darfur's civilians from catastrophe

Declaring that the people of Darfur, Sudan, "are suffering a catastrophe," United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today that he would use his upcoming visit to the region to press the Khartoum Government to protect its civilians from continuing atrocities by notorious militia groups.