Security Council urges Ivorian parties to devise ‘realistic’ plan for delayed polls

The Security Council today urged all political actors in Côte d’Ivoire to agree without delay on a “realistic” time frame for the long-postponed elections in the West African country, as it extended the United Nations mission there for another six months.

Vote to expand Somali parliament shows commitment to restore stability – UN envoy

The top United Nations envoy to Somalia today welcomed the decision by the Transitional Federal Parliament, tasked with electing the strife-torn nation’s next president in the coming days, to increase its size by another 275 members.

African bank provides free expertise to UN-backed fund combating deadly diseases

A major African bank today signed an agreement with the United Nations-backed Global Fund offering pro bono support to countries receiving grants meant to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in the continent.

Secretary-General speaks out against clashes in North Darfur

Strongly condemning today’s hostilities between rebels and Sudanese Armed Forces in North Darfur, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said continued military actions threaten civilian lives and jeopardize political efforts to reach a durable peace.

UN supports exploratory home return of Rwandan ex-fighters from DR Congo

A programme to allow Rwandans who have been fighting with militias in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to visit their home country and see whether conditions are conducive to returning is a positive way to reduce recurrent violence, the top United Nations envoy in the DRC said today.

Ethiopia still faces food insecurity due to drought despite some rains, UN reports

Although the October to November rainy season brought much relief to the drought-prone Somali Region of Ethiopia, reviving pastures and replenishing water sources, the rains were not enough to reduce overall food insecurity, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported today.

UN agencies provide food, supplies in drought-ravaged Burundi

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) announced today that it has distributed thousands of tons of food to some of the most vulnerable in Burundi facing severe hunger, including almost 200,000 schoolchildren in the small East African country.

First-ever trial at International Criminal Court, on use of child soldiers, opens

Legal history was made today in The Hague, the Netherlands, when the International Criminal Court (ICC), which was mandated to try war crimes beginning in 2002, put its first suspect taken into custody, a Congolese warlord accused of recruiting child soldiers, on trial.

Sudan: UN mission counters erroneous reports of staff evacuations

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Sudan (UNMIS) today voiced disappointment that some daily newspapers in the African nation have erroneously reported that the mission intends to evacuate international and national staff ahead of possible action by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Somalia: UN-backed event seeking to enlarge parliament kicks off

A United Nations-backed gathering seeking to further progress towards expanding the Somali Parliament and elect a new president of the strife-torn Horn of Africa nation kicked off today in neighbouring Djibouti.