Trial of four Rwandan officials on genocide charges opens before UN tribunal

The trial of four senior Rwandan officials has opened before the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), with the prosecution saying it will prove that they bear individual criminal responsibility for the 1994 genocide and defense lawyers saying their clients are innocent.

Humanitarian aid to Liberia passes two milestones – UN’s OCHA says

For the first time in more than a decade central Monrovia, Liberia’s capital, has electricity and the airfield in Voinjama, a distant border town, is back in use, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today.

Liberia: UN condemns walkout at disarmament meeting

The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) today strongly condemned a walkout staged by various factional leaders at the first meeting of the country's National Commission for Disarmament, Demobilization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration.

UN agency launches urgent appeal for stave off drought disaster in Somalia

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is expanding its operations in Somalia's northern Sool Plateau in the face of the worst drought to hit the region in more than two decades and is appealing urgently for more funds to “prevent widescale malnutrition and stave off a humanitarian disaster”.

UN warns severe malaria outbreak set to strike Ethiopia

Already battling malnutrition and food shortages caused by a two-year drought, Ethiopia is now facing its worst outbreak of malaria since 1998, according to United Nations agencies operating in the African country.

UN refugee agency concerned at worsening security on Sudanese-Chadian border

The security situation along Chad's eastern border with Sudan has deteriorated over the last few weeks, raising fresh concerns about the safety of more than 65,000 Sudanese refugees as Sudanese Arab militia have launched "bolder and more aggressive attacks," the United Nations refugee agency reported today.

UN human rights envoy deeply concerned by alleged harassment of Tunisian lawyer

The United Nations envoy charged with protecting human rights defenders today expressed her dismay over allegations that a prominent Tunisian lawyer, who has gone on a hunger strike, has been harassed and physically assaulted by authorities.

Political progress is made in the DR of Congo, but human rights respect lags, UN says

Political and peace-building progress has been made in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), but "establishing respect for human rights remains a major challenge," as massacres and rapes continue, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in a report released today.

UN Mission in DR of Congo gives logistical support to demobilization

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has given logistical support to the demobilization of 2,000 Mayi-Mayi militia, 700 of whom wish to return to civilian life and the rest to be integrated into the DRC's national military forces.

UN must support efforts of Central Africa to stabilize itself, a UN official says

A senior United Nations official, introducing a report on the conflict-plagued Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), called on the Security Council to assist the area in its efforts to stabilize itself and build peace and democracy.