UN Rwanda tribunal says efficiency was sole motive in staffing decisions

An official of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) today refuted media reports that racism had allegedly played a part in the Tribunal's decision not to renew contracts for members of its prosecution teams, stressing that concerns for efficiency were the only consideration.

Security Council will not renew arms embargo on Ethiopia and Eritrea

The United Nations Security Council today decided not to extend the arms embargo against of Ethiopia and Eritrea beyond 16 May - one year after the sanctions had been imposed on the parties.

Sierra Leone defence force and rebel group agree to stop fighting: UN mission

With a United Nations envoy acting as a witness, high-level representatives of the Government of Sierra Leone and the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) today pledged to stop fighting as they met for the first time at UN-chaired talks in Freetown.

Somalia: UN helps to train refugees in landmine awareness

Tens of thousands of Somali refugees living in two camps in Djibouti are being trained in mine awareness and safety measures by the United Nations in order to reduce possible future injuries and fatalities should they encounter mines or unexploded ordnance upon their return home, the UN office in Somalia announced today.

Security Council briefed on political, humanitarian situation in West Africa

The United Nations Security Council today heard in-depth briefings by the UN Secretariat on the political and humanitarian situation in West Africa - particularly Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire and Guinea-Bissau - and on ways of calming tensions in the region.

Security Council set to begin mission to Africa to discuss Great Lakes conflict

A delegation of the United Nations Security Council will leave New York tomorrow for Africa, where they will help the signatories to the 1999 Lusaka agreement on the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to boost their implementation of that accord, the French Ambassador to the UN and head of the Security Council mission said today.

Sierra Leone: UN mission begins weapons destruction and recycling

Close to 10,000 weapons recovered from warring parties in Sierra Leone will be destroyed and recycled at various locations around the country in a process that began today in Freetown, according to the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL).

Sudan: 3 million in need of aid due to crop failures, civil strife, UN agency warns

Some 2.97 million people in the Sudan are in need of international assistance because of successive crop failures and ongoing civil strife in the south, according to a report released today by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Annan sees hopeful signs on DR of Congo but says challenges remain

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today voiced cautious optimism about the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where the United Nations has deployed a peacekeeping operation aimed at restoring stability in the area.

UN peacekeepers from Morocco arrive in eastern DR of Congo

A 118-strong military contingent from Morocco arrived today in Goma in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to serve as peacekeepers within the United Nations mission in the country, a UN spokesman said today.