Darfur: over 300 former combatants discharged through UN-backed programme

More than 300 former combatants in Darfur, including women and disabled persons, have participated in a three-day discharge programme organized by the Government of Sudan with support from the joint African Union-United Nations mission in Darfur.

Despite progress, challenges remain on child soldiers in Sudan, UN official reports

Despite progress in Sudan in the past two years in tackling the problem of children in armed conflict, many challenges remain, ranging from reintegrating child soldiers to dealing with youngsters abducted by the Ugandan rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) who have been brainwashed into killing their own parents, a senior United Nations official said today.

UN peacekeepers’ hospital brings treatment to hundreds of local Congolese

A hospital set up in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to care for United Nations peacekeepers is also bringing hope to hundreds of local people who might otherwise lack necessary treatment for their illnesses and injuries as well as screening that can ward off preventable sickness.

Côte d’Ivoire: Ban calls for speedy new date for yet-again-delayed elections

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on all parties in Côte d’Ivoire to fix a new date as soon as possible for their much-delayed elections, now postponed yet again from their latest deadline of this month.

Ban voices concern as tensions grow between Western Sahara parties

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is concerned by the growing tension between the parties to the Western Sahara negotiations, which have increased following the recent detention of several groups of Saharawi activists.

UN-backed demobilization process begins in North Darfur

Over 150 ex-combatants who once fought for armed militia in Sudan’s war-torn Darfur region participated today in a United Nations-backed demobilization and reintegration programme which aims to ease the return of former soldiers to their communities.

International Criminal Court trial of two former Congolese leaders opens tomorrow

The trial against two former Congolese rebel leaders for crimes allegedly committed by their militias in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 2003 is set to begin tomorrow in The Hague at the International Criminal Court.

Kidnappings, attacks threaten to undercut UN-AU efforts in Darfur – Ban

Increased threats to international staff in Darfur, including “extremely alarming” kidnappings, ongoing military action by Chad, Sudan and rebels, and Government limits on peacekeepers’ movements continue to hamper efforts to stabilize the Sudanese area torn apart by nearly seven years of war, says a new report by the United Nations chief.

Ban lauds new report on ways to boost development cooperation with Africa

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today lauded a new report which outlines steps to be taken by Africa and its development partners to help lift millions of people across the continent out of poverty.

Military action alone will not defeat scourge of piracy, Secretary-General says

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has paid tribute to all those who serve on the front lines of the battle against piracy off the coast of Somalia, while stressing that this scourge will not be defeated by military means alone.