Backing envoy’s plan, Security Council extends UN mission in Western Sahara

Stressing the critical need for a political solution to settle the dispute over Western Sahara, the Security Council today extended by three months the mandate of the United Nations mission there, and called on all the parties to work with the UN, and each other, towards acceptance and implementation of a new peace plan.

DR of Congo: UN reports instances of cannibalism, systematic killing and rape

Two United Nations reports on human rights violations occurring late last year and earlier this year in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) point to instances of cannibalism, systematic killing, rape and looting, and unprecedented violence arising from the proliferation of rival factions.

Liberia: UN envoy calls for ‘swift action’ to help thousands displaced by fighting

The United Nations top envoy for internally displaced persons (IDPs) today voiced grave concern about the deteriorating plight of the hundreds of thousands of civilians driven from their homes by weeks of deadly fighting in Liberia and called for swift action to ensure their protection and assistance.

Security Council mulls text on troops for Liberia; humanitarian crisis worsens

As members of the United Nations Security Council consider a draft resolution that may soon send a multinational force to quell the violence in Liberia, UN relief workers inside the country’s war-ravaged capital warned today that conditions are critical, with food and water supplies running dangerously low, and fuel and equipment shortages continuing to hamper aid distribution.

Former Sierra Leonean rebel leader, indicted war criminal Foday Sankoh dies

Former rebel leader Foday Sankoh, indicted by the Special Court for Sierra Leone for war crimes committed during 10 years of brutal conflict, atrocities and human rights violations in the West African country, died last night, the court registrar announced today.

Annan appeals to Security Council for speedy action on Liberian peace force

Saying he is deeply concerned at the “dramatic deterioration” of the situation in Liberia, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called on the Security Council to send a multinational peacekeeping force to the war-torn West African country as quickly as possible and to give it a robust mandate to ensure it is a credible deterrent.

With situation reported critical, Annan again urges quick UN action on Liberia

With United Nations humanitarian officials calling the situation in war-torn Liberia critical, Secretary-General Kofi Annan renewed his appeal today for urgent action to deploy peacekeeping forces in the West African country, where tens of thousands of people have been displaced by the fighting and food stocks are dwindling.

UN launches $530 million appeal to save 6.5 million people in southern Africa

The United Nations today launched an appeal for more than half a billion dollars for southern Africa to provide life-saving assistance for 6.5 million people severely weakened by consecutive failed harvests, extreme poverty and HIV/AIDS.

Trial of former mayor in Rwanda gets underway at UN tribunal

The trial of a former mayor in Rwanda began today at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), with prosecutors charging that the accused is guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity, for extermination, murder and rape.

Liberia: UN reports thousands more flee fighting

Thousands more Liberians have been displaced after the rebel capture of Buchanan, the West African country’s second-largest city, and the United Nations has received reports that over 50,000 people, including some who fled recent fighting in Monrovia, the capital, are moving towards an area near the international airport.