UN Security Council representatives start 10-day mission to West Africa

Representatives of nearly all members of the United Nations Security Council have started a 10-day fact-finding mission, led by British Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry, to seven West African countries, the UN spokesman said today.

DR of Congo refugees in Burundi now number 25,000, UN agency says

Conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo has led to a refugee flood of 25,000 into neighbouring Burundi, an increase of 8,000 since Tuesday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said today.

UN health agency says Ebola outbreak in southern Sudan appears under control

Health authorities in southern Sudan say that an outbreak of Ebola – which has killed seven people since it was first reported last month – appears to be under control, according to the United Nations lead health agency.

Annan calls on Somali leaders to meet July reconciliation deadline

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called on Somali leaders to show the political will needed to agree on procedures leading to reconciliation and the establishment of a transitional federal government by the end of July, a deadline set by East Africa’s Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

Security Council commends democratic progress in Guinea-Bissau

The United Nations Security Council today commended the Government of Guinea-Bissau for completing a phase of the transitional process leading to the 2005 presidential election, but said it was concerned about the West African country’s structural weaknesses.

Security Council mission heads to West Africa to observe peace operations

With the United Nations Security Council spending at least half of its time on African issues, the Ambassadors of 14 of the 15 Council members will leave New York on Sunday for a 10-day fact-finding visit to seven West African countries, the leader of the group said today.

Former Dutch environment minister named UN envoy for Sudan

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has informed the Security Council that he intends to appoint Jan Pronk of the Netherlands his Special Representative for Sudan and head of the peace support operation that may soon be authorized by the Council, a UN spokesperson said today.

UN food relief agency helping Congolese refugees fleeing to Burundi, Rwanda

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has started feeding some of the thousands of refugees who have fled the recent wave of violence in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and sought haven in Burundi and Rwanda.

Announcing planned trip to Sudan, Annan urges Government to protect civilians

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today announced plans to travel to strife-torn Sudan, where reports indicate more than 150,000 people have crossed into Chad fleeing atrocities in the Darfur region, itself home to a million internally displaced persons, many at high risk of dying from malnutrition or disease.

Numbers of refugees and internally displaced lowest in 10 years - UN agency

The number of refugees, internally displaced people (IDPs) and others helped by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) last year fell 18 per cent to 17.1 million – the lowest annual total in a decade.