UN envoy on children and armed conflict visiting Angola

13 May 2002

The top United Nations official dealing with the issue of children and armed conflict has arrived in Angola on a week-long visit to discuss child protection projects being planned in the country in view of the peace process there.

Speaking to the press shortly after arriving in Luanda on Saturday, Olara Otunnu, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, said his office was determined to make sure the UN mobilized the international community to help the Angolans, particularly the child victims of war.

Mr. Otunnu’s visit comes a little over a month after the Government and the rebel National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), who have been involved in a decades-long conflict, signed a ceasefire agreement. Addressing the UN Security Council recently, Ibrahim Gambari, Under-Secretary-General and Special Advisor on Africa, said the chances of returning to war in Angola were now very negligible, but he noted the critical humanitarian situation in the country, where the number of displaced persons had increased by 400,000 to 4.5 million.

 

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