Uganda: UNICEF deeply concerned by abduction of children as ceasefire breaks

The head of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) today expressed deep concern over reports of renewed abductions of children and women by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) following the recent breakdown of a ceasefire in northern Uganda, and called on all parties to the conflict to do everything in their power to secure the immediate release of all kidnapped.

DR of Congo: UN envoy condemns violence in wake of historic meeting in capital

The head of the United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has condemned the spate of violence in the country's volatile northeast, which threatened to eclipse an historic meeting between rebel leaders and Government officials in the capital, Kinshasa.

World Bank launches partnership against polio, approves $28 million for Nigeria

In its launching of an innovative partnership with private companies to help eradicate polio globally by 2005, the World Bank has approved a $28 million no-interest loan for the purchase of the oral polio vaccine (OPV) in Nigeria, Africa’s most polio endemic country.

Agreement between UN, conflicting parties to improve aid access in Sudan

The United Nations said today that access to southern Sudan would be enhanced as parties to the country's conflict have agreed to open the Nile River corridor, cutting the cost of delivering humanitarian supplies by enabling the use of water barges which are cheaper than airlifts.

UN rights expert welcomes abolishment of military tribunal in DR of Congo

The top United Nations expert on human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has welcomed the government's decision to abolish the country's military tribunal and court prosecutor's office.

Burundi: as new President takes office, Annan laments unstable environment

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today cautioned that the second transition phase in Burundi, marked by the transfer of the Presidency from Tutsi minority to Hutu majority, was starting in an unstable environment as conflict persisted despite ceasefire agreements.

As security improves UN agency resumes aid work in remote areas of Liberia

The United Nations refugee agency today said it is gradually re-establishing a presence in the remote areas of Liberia, close to the border with Côte d'Ivoire, where tens of thousands of people had been cut off from humanitarian aid for two months due to increased conflict.

ICJ hears arguments for preliminary measures in Congo case against France

Oral arguments were concluded today in a case brought before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) by the Republic of the Congo, which is seeking to block France from putting the country's leaders, including President Denis Sassou Nguesso, on trial for crimes against humanity and torture.

List of short-term judges for Rwanda tribunal forwarded to General Assembly

The United Nations Security Council today forwarded to the General Assembly for final approval a list of 35 judges nominated for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

UN agencies launch $85 million consolidated appeal for Côte d'Ivoire

In Abidjan today, the United Nations launched a system-wide appeal to help stave off a humanitarian catastrophe for 3 million people in and around Côte d'Ivoire still reeling after months of civil unrest and ethnic violence that swept the country and threatened to engulf nearly all of West Africa.