Give now to pre-empt repatriation crisis in south Sudan, says UN refugee chief

The acting United Nations refugee chief has appealed to the international community to pre-empt a crisis in south Sudan before it happens by investing now in the cash-strapped operation to help 4.5 million refugees and displaced people return home and stay home.

One prisoner killed, several hurt in attempt to escape from UN jail in DR of Congo

One prisoner was killed and four others injured when a United Nations peacekeeping sentinel opened fire during an attempted escape by militia members from a makeshift jail in northeast Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) late last week, the UN mission in the country said today.

Swedish diplomat appointed top UN envoy for Côte d'Ivoire

A former Swedish ambassador has been nominated to be United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan's special representative for Côte d'Ivoire, leading peacekeeping efforts in the West African country, UN spokesman Fred Eckhard said today.

Prosecutor of UN-assisted Sierra Leone special court to step down

The Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, set up with United Nations help to try those most responsible for war crimes committed during the West African country's civil war in the 1990s, today notified Secretary General Kofi Annan that he will leave his post this summer.

Annan hails decision by Togo's leader to step down, pledges UN support for political transition

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has pledged support for Togo's political transition now that the country's leader, Faure Gnassingbe, has stepped down just weeks after taking power when his father, who was then president, died.

UN agency appeals for aid to avoid cutting refugee rations in Rwanda

Food rations for 50,000 refugees in Rwanda will be cut by nearly one-third next month unless donors provide another $2.6 million, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said today.

UN-led mass immunization drive across Africa aims to stop resurgence of polio

A mass immunization campaign against polio spearheaded by United Nations agencies and their partners started today for 100 million children in 22 countries in the first drive this year to stop the resurgence of the disease, as reports came in of a new case in Ethiopia.

Annan condemns murder of nine UN peacekeepers in DR of Congo

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to help the United Nations track down the unidentified militia members who ambushed and murdered nine Bangladeshi peacekeepers serving in the country's remote northeast – the worst-ever attack against the UN's forces in the DRC.

West Africa needs funds to head off festering problems, Security Council told

Reforming the security sectors and reintegrating former militia members into their communities in West Africa need funds that have not been forthcoming and the high youth unemployment has created a desperation that could create unrest even in countries that are now calm, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today.

UN agency hears of African plans to industrialize and sell electricity to Europe

Plans to harness the mighty Congo River to eventually generate enough electricity not only to power Africa’s industrialization but also to sell to southern Europe via a Mediterranean connector are being drawn up by one of Africa’s biggest energy companies, the United Nations environmental agency was told today.