Security Council renews sanctions on Liberian trade in ‘blood diamonds’

The Security Council today renewed the sanctions aimed at preventing Liberia from exporting “blood diamonds” or resuming the trade in arms and called on Secretary-General Kofi Annan to reappoint the Panel of Experts overseeing the ban.

Security Council backs new stability pact for Africa’s Great Lakes region

The Security Council today backed the recently concluded Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes region of Africa, which a United Nations envoy said holds the potential to consolidate gains in a part of the world that has been the scene of numerous deadly conflicts.

UN refugee chief to visit Chad where violence threatens vital relief life-line

The head of the United Nations refugee agency leaves tomorrow on a two-day mission to Chad to strengthen efforts to maintain a vital lifeline for 370,000 refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) that is increasingly threatened by violence spilling over the border from Sudan’s war-torn Darfur region.

UN refugee agency launches repatriation airlifts to Angola, Southern Sudan

Thousands of refugees in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Central African Republic (CAR) are scheduled to be airlifted to their respective homes in Angola and Sudan in the coming months under United Nations repatriation programmes, the UN refugee agency reported today.

Former General Assembly president chosen as UN envoy on Darfur crisis

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today announced that the former General Assembly president and Swedish foreign minister Jan Eliasson has been appointed as a special envoy to deal with the spiralling humanitarian and security crisis in Sudan’s war-torn Darfur region.

Flood waters rise faster than funds for UN aid to hundreds of thousands in East Africa

Flood waters in East Africa are rising much faster than funding for United Nations efforts to feed some 1.5 million people whose lives are threatened by the disaster.

Eritrean families to benefit from scheme backed by UN rural development arm

The United Nations agricultural development agency signed an agreement today with Eritrea to allow more than 200,000 families from the African country who have been hard hit by years of war and drought to participate in a programme designed to raise productivity and boost rural incomes.

UN food official recalls the horrors depicted in the film Blood Diamond

At a time when the film Blood Diamond depicts the efforts of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to feed the hacked and mutilated victims of Sierra Leone’s savage civil war during the 1990s, an agency officials intimately involved in the battle for survival recalled how the smugglers used the names of food for their contraband.

Annan sends UN envoy to Sudanese capital to clarify details of Darfur agreements

Secretary-General Kofi Annan is dispatching a senior envoy to Khartoum for talks with Sudanese President Omar el-Bashir about the details of recent agreements on ending the widespread killing and displacement in the war-torn Darfur region, including the role of the United Nations, a spokesman for the world body announced today.

Five migrants beaten to death and thrown overboard by Somali people smugglers – UN

The perilous people-smuggling across the Gulf of Aden, which this year alone has brought tens of thousands of Somalis and Ethiopians to Yemen, is claiming more lives, with five migrants savagely beaten to death and thrown overboard by the smugglers just this week, the United Nations refugee agency reported today.