UN probing allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation in Côte d’Ivoire

The United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) has announced that it is taking all possible measures to investigate allegations that have emerged of sexual abuse and exploitation among its military personnel, some dating back to 2006 and potentially involving minors.

Security Council urges security sector reform ahead of Central African polls

The Security Council today called on the Government of the Central African Republic (CAR) to ensure a speedy and inclusive political dialogue and swift security sector reform as the conflict-plagued country prepares for elections in 2010, urging the world community to provide necessary support.

UN hails first female winner of national youth music contest in Liberia

United Nations officials in Liberia have congratulated 19-year-old Vivian Akoto on becoming the first female to win A Star is Born, a youth competition which since 2006 has used music as an instrument for social change, national unity, and an agent to promote peace and development in the West African country.

Darfur peace process has reached ‘critical’ juncture, Ban says

The peace process in the war-wracked Darfur region of Sudan has reached a “critical point,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, calling on both the Government and rebel groups to accelerate efforts to reach a compromise.

UN staff escape injury after attack in southeast Chad

United Nations peacekeepers have helped secure an area of south-eastern Chad where a UN civilian logistics convoy came under attack from unidentified armed men earlier this morning.

Ban sends report on deadly Guinean crackdown to Security Council

The Government of Guinea must "break definitively with the violence" that marked its crackdown on unarmed protesters in late September, when at least 150 civilians were killed, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today.

UN chief relieved at activist’s return to Western Sahara

UN chief relieved at activist’s return to Western SaharaSecretary-General Ban Ki-moon today expressed his great relief that an independence activist from Western Sahara has returned home, ending an impasse that led to her hunger strike lasting more than one month.

Ban receives report from probe into deadly crackdown in Guinea

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has begun examining the report of the International Commission of Inquiry set up by the United Nations to investigate the deadly crackdown on unarmed demonstrators in Guinea in September.

UN agencies respond to deadly outbreak of cholera in north-western Kenya

United Nations humanitarian agencies are providing emergency supplies and other forms of assistance to Kenyan Government officials as they respond to an outbreak of cholera in the northwest of the country that has left at least 26 people dead.

Security Council extends UN mission in Burundi for another year as elections loom

The Security Council today extended for another year the United Nations political mission in Burundi, calling for full support for next year’s elections in the war-scarred African country while voicing concern at continuing human rights violations, sexual and gender-based violence, restrictions on civil liberties and political violence.