Somalia: hijackings at sea forces UN food agency to open up arduous land route

Facing a plague of piracy off the Horn of Africa that has closed its usual supply lines by sea, the United Nations World Food programme (WFP) today announced the arrival in southern Somalia of its first overland truck convoy carrying food aid in almost five years, and called for urgent funding to make up for the increased costs.

Somali leaders need to resume dialogue, Annan says

Friction between leaders in Somalia is preventing the country's federal institutions from functioning effectively and if divisions intensify these fragile structures could be undermined, Secretary-General Kofi Annan warns in a new report to the Security Council.

Hijackers renege on deal to release UN food aid ship seized off Somali coast

Hijackers have reneged on an agreement to release a United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) ship which they seized off the Somali coast three months ago while it was on its way to feed 28,000 tsunami survivors, and the Agency today declared all accords with the interim Government on the issue null and void.

Security Council should lift arms embargo against Somalia, its Transitional President says

The President of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government today urged a lifting of the arms embargo against his country, arguing before the General Assembly that sanctions targeted at individuals would do more to foster peace and stability in the war-ravaged nation.

As deaths rise in Gulf of Aden, UN refugee chief appeals for urgent action

The escalating death toll and harrowing survivors’ tales in the Gulf of Aden have prompted the head of the United Nations refugee agency to call today for international action to stem the flow of desperate people crossing from Somalia to Yemen in rickety boats run by ruthless smugglers.

UN refugee agency appalled at continued drownings off Yemen

The United Nations refugee agency said today that it was "appalled" that yet another group of at least 45 Somalis and Ethiopians died last week at sea while crossing the Gulf of Aden in an attempt to reach Yemen aboard smugglers' boats from Somalia.

After visiting Somalia, UN envoy condemns attacks on human rights defenders, media

The United Nations expert on human rights in Somalia today welcomed the rise of civil society in promoting and protecting human rights in the Horn of Africa country and called on political, business and religious leaders to make sure that attacks on human rights defenders and the media stop.

Somalia: UN-backed project registers 57,000 out-of-school children in Puntland

In only two months, some 57,000 out-of-school children in northeast Somalia have been registered -- by youngsters their own age -- in a United Nations-sponsored initiative to get children in the war-torn country involved in the Back to School campaign.

UN envoy heads to Ethiopia, Egypt to help advance Somalia’s stalled peace talks

With Somalia’s transitional authorities deadlocked over the government’s location and the deployment of foreign peacekeepers, a senior United Nations official will hold consultations this weekend with the heads of regional organizations aimed at healing a rift that has stalled the latest attempt to re-establish a central authority in the war-shattered Horn of Africa nation.

UN rights expert on visit to Somalia to assess women’s status, freedom of speech

A United Nations human rights expert has begun an 11-day mission to East Africa to look into a variety of rights issues in Somalia, including the status of women, freedom of speech and opinion, prison conditions and the administration of justice.