UN-backed forum to look at community re-integration for West African ex-combatants

Seeking to avoid renewed violence in West Africa, a United Nations-backed meeting tomorrow is set to look at new approaches to rehabilitating and re-integrating some 200,000 former combatants in the region.

UN West Africa office calls for more regional respect for constitutional authority

With West Africa holding the African record for unconstitutional government tenure, including coups, a top United Nations envoy today called on the region's leaders to understand that power entails responsibilities to protect, care for and be accountable to their people.

West Africa needs funds to head off festering problems, Security Council told

Reforming the security sectors and reintegrating former militia members into their communities in West Africa need funds that have not been forthcoming and the high youth unemployment has created a desperation that could create unrest even in countries that are now calm, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today.

Military chiefs of UN peacekeeping missions in West Africa meet in Senegal

The military chiefs of the three United Nations peacekeeping missions in West Africa met today in Dakar, Senegal, to share information and assessments of risk.

Annan urges West Africa to make regional arms moratorium permanent

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has recommended that the Security Council take action to support the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) by naming violators of the regional body's arms moratorium and embargoes and by prosecuting those responsible for trafficking in human beings and natural resources.

Preparing mass repatriation, UN refugee chief to visit West Africa

With West Africa now at the centre of a huge repatriation movement as hundreds of thousands of people uprooted by long-running civil wars return home, the head of the United Nations refugee agency begins a six-day mission to the region on Sunday for talks with all sectors, ranging from presidents to the returnees themselves.

Annan promises to seek help for West Africa as it strengthens its security sector

Calling the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) one of the most advanced sub-regional groups in the developing world, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said it has strengthened its capacity for conflict management and prevention, but faces daunting security and economic challenges.

Mandate for UN Office for West Africa is renewed through 2007

The United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA), established in 2001 to promote peace, security and development and assist regional organizations, has been given a more detailed mandate over the next three years, according to an exchange of letters between Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the Security Council.

UN envoys decry disorder in Côte d'Ivoire, opponents of Liberia's peace process

The heads of the five United Nations peacekeeping and political missions in West Africa today decried attempts to derail elections in Liberia and called on the parties in Côte d'Ivoire to break the "perennial impasse" in that country's peace process.

UN emergency feeding agency calls for more international support for West Africa

As West Africa struggles with challenges posed by drought, locusts and civil unrest, United Nations relief officials called on the international community for more and consistent support for the region.