Feature: Drawing down – the end of UN Peace Operations in Sierra Leone

Our two white UN vehicles are carefully moving down the dusty and bumpy road between Kenema and Koindu in the Eastern Province of Sierra Leone. We pass dozens of burnt, abandoned ruins of what were once sturdy brick and stone homes, some with hundreds of bullet holes in their walls – eerie remnants of Sierra Leone's brutal civil war that started in this very spot. About 1,200 of the former warlord Charles Taylor's rebels launched their devastating campaign here, leading to years of fighting that killed tens of thousands and displaced more than 2 million people (about a third of the population), disrupting nearly every national institution.

Central African Republic: amid rising violence, Ban says perpetrators will be held accountable

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today voiced concern at the latest upsurge in violence in the Central African Republic (CAR), and reminded all those involved that they will be held accountable for their actions and brought to justice.

UN relief officials arrive in South Sudan amid ‘alarming’ spread of hunger, displacement

Senior United Nations relief officials began a visit to South Sudan today to meet conflict-affected people and to review the ongoing response and needs amid a spiralling humanitarian crisis in the world’s youngest nation.

UN agency urges vigilance amid Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia

With a total of 103 suspected and confirmed cases of Ebola in Guinea, including 66 deaths, the outbreak must be watched very carefully, a spokesperson for the United Nations health agency said today, noting that there is no treatment or cure for the frequently fatal disease.

Amid fears ‘South Sudan is imploding,’ UN agencies launch urgent operation to reach remote areas

Two United Nations agencies launched today an urgent operation to deliver food, vaccines, nutrition supplements and other vital relief supplies to one of the most isolated areas of conflict-affected South Sudan, as part of a joint response to boost emergency distribution as the crisis escalates.

UN announces first countries set to benefit from African-led food security fund

A unique, Africa-led United Nations-backed fund designed to improve food security across the continent has become a reality for the first six countries slated to benefit from the initiative.

Kenya urged to reconsider measure ordering all refugees back to camps – UN agency

The United Nations refugee agency today denounced as “scapegoating” the Kenyan Government’s decision earlier this week to order some 50,000 refugees, believed to be mostly Somalis, to report to two camps after a recent upsurge in violence in the region.

DR Congo: Security Council extends UN mission, intervention force for one year

The Security Council today extended for one year the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) – along with its Intervention Brigade – noting the need for the Mission to strengthen its support so the Congolese Government can address security challenges in line with the aims of a regional peace and security accord.

Central African Republic marked by rising hatred, violence and trauma – UN officials

One year after rebels seized power in the Central African Republic (CAR), the situation in the country is marked by rising hatred between communities, deteriorating security and humanitarian conditions, and increasing fear and trauma among the population, United Nations relief officials warned today.

Impartial justice key to reconciliation in Côte d’Ivoire ahead of polls – UN expert

The United Nations independent expert tasked with assessing the human rights situation in Côte d’Ivoire, expressed concern over unresolved issues in the national reconciliation process as the country prepares for presidential elections next year, and stressed that “impartial justice for all” is the key to stability and recovery from the unrest after the disputed 2010 disputed.