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Through its unique capacities as the world’s premiere vehicle for international cooperation, the UN system plays a crucial role in coordinating assistance of all kinds — to help Africa help itself. From promoting the development of democratic institutions, to establishing peace between warring nations, the UN is present on the ground supporting economic and social development and the promotion and protection of human rights.

To advance its support for Africa even further, the United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on Africa was established in 2003 to enhance international support for African development and security and to improve coordination of UN system support. It also works to facilitate global deliberations on Africa, particularly with respect to the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) — a strategic framework adopted by African leaders in 2001. In 2019, NEPAD’s mandate was reformed. It is now serving as the first development agency of the African Union.

Tigray: Aid operations ‘about to grind to a halt’, warns WFP

Aid and food distribution operations in northern Ethiopia are about “to grind to a halt” amid ongoing fighting, bloodshed and a lack of funding that is making humanitarian access impossible, the UN World Food Programme, WFP, said on Friday. Escalating clashes in Tigray have meant that no WFP aid convoys have been able to reach

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Decade of Sahel conflict leaves 2.5 million people displaced

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) called on Friday for concerted international action to end armed conflict in Africa’s central Sahel region, which has forced more than 2.5 million people to flee their homes in the last decade. Speaking to journalists in Geneva, the agency’s spokesperson, Boris Cheshirkov, informed that internal displacement has increased tenfold since 2013, going

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Africa’s fourth COVID wave flattens out after six-week surge

After a six-week surge, Africa’s fourth pandemic wave, which has been mainly driven by the Omicron variant, is flattening, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday. WHO said that this marked the shortest surge since the pandemic began on the continent, where total cases have exceeded 10.2 million. Recorded cases of infection show that

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Sudan: 15 attacks on health facilities and workers in two months

With the crisis escalating in Sudan, there have been 15 reports of attacks on healthcare workers and health facilities since last November, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday.  According to WHO’s Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, Dr. Ahmed Al-Mandhari, the Organization is following the escalating crisis “with great concern”.  So far, 11 incidents have been confirmedin the capital, Khartoum, and other cities.  “Most of these attackswere committed against healthcare workers in the

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Mali: Security Council warned over ‘endless cycle of instability’

A decade after civil conflict erupted in Mali, hopes for an early resolution to insurgency and strife have not materialized, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the country, El-Ghassim Wane, told the Security Council on Tuesday.   Instead, the UN top envoy explained, “insecurity has expanded, the humanitarian situation has deteriorated, more children are of out of school and the country has been affected by

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With scores of civilians dead, UN chief condemns “appalling” attacks in Nigeria  

The Secretary-General, António Guterres, strongly condemned on Monday the “appalling” attacks perpetrated over the weekend in Nigeria’s Zamfara State in which scores of civilians were killed.   According to news agencies, an estimated 200 people were killed and 10,000 displaced in attacks by armed bandits, following military air raids on their hideouts last week.  In a statement, the UN chief extended his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims,

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UN top envoy: Resurgence of coups d’état, consequence of being ‘completely out of step’  

After a recent wave of attempts and coups d’état in Central African Republic, Mali, Sudan and Guinea, The UN Special Representative for the region told the Security Council on Monday this resurgence, particularly in West Africa, “is often the consequence of political practices that are completely out of step with the aspirations of the populations.”  Annadif Khatir Mahamat Saleh, who also heads the UN Office for West Africa

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Agencies suspend Tigray aid as ‘scores’ are killed due to airstrikes 

Recent airstrikes on camps for internally displaced persons and refugees in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, have reportedly killed scores of civilians, including children, and left many more injured.  On Sunday, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) told reporters that some aid agencies were suspending operations in an area where a deadly air strike hit a camp for displaced people.   “Humanitarian partners suspended

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Release of detainees a ‘significant confidence-building step’ in Ethiopia: UN chief

The Ethiopian Government on Friday freed several high-profile political detainees, a move UN Secretary-General António Guterres hailed as a “significant confidence-building step”.  Some leaders from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which has been battling government forces in the north for more than a year, were among those granted amnesty, according to media reports.  I

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Two children killed in airstrike on Tigray refugee camp

“Refugees are not and should never be a target”, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said on Thursday, following reports of a deadly airstrike on the Mai Aini refugee camp in Tigray, northern Ethiopia. While UN refugee agency, UNHCR, continues to gather and corroborate details on yesterday’s attack that left three Eritrean refugees dead

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WFP-backed challenge boosts food system in Rwanda and beyond

Supporting innovations in the food system in Rwanda is the goal of a UN-backed initiative launched in the capital, Kigali, on Wednesday.  The IGNITE Food Systems Challenge comes amid worsening food insecurity in East Africa due to rising conflict, climate change, natural disasters, and the COVID-19 pandemic.  🚨 #NEWS ALERT 🚨@WFP & @ImpactHubKigali are launching

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Special Representative regrets resignation of Sudan’s Prime Minister

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sudan, Volker Perthes, regretted on Monday the Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s decision to step down. According to news agencies, Mr. Hamdok resigned after another day of mass protests that rocked the capital of the country, Khartoum. After being detained during the 25 October military takeover, along with senior officials and political activists, the

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Three Tanzanian peacekeepers injured in Central African Republic 

Three Tanzanian peacekeepers  serving on the United Nations’ mission in Central African Republic (MINUSCA) were injured on Thursday, when their vehicle struck an unidentified explosive device.   One of the soldiers was seriously hurt, and needed to be evacuated to Bouar for treatment and then on to the capital, Bangui, MINUSCA informed.  The ‘blue helmets’ were in the

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Sudan: Refrain from ‘disproportionate use of force’ against protesters

Reported killings and injuries during peaceful demonstrations in Sudan is a cause for deep concern, said the UN human rights office on Friday (OHCHR). OHCHR also highlighted attacks which reportedly took place against a hospital and media office on Thursday, during which rights activists were arrested. “We urge authorities to refrain from unnecessary and disproportionate

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2021 Year in Review: Celebrating UN values in action

Conflict, health crises and the climate emergency may have dominated headlines this year but, behind the scenes, countless unsung heroes were working tirelessly to put the values of the UN into action. Here are some of the inspiring personal stories we featured on our UN News pages during 2021. As the COVID-19 pandemic continued into

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Sudan: Food looted in Darfur, 730,000 people left without 

The UN chief condemned on Wednesday the looting and attacks against United Nations facilities, equipment and supplies gifted to the Sudanese authorities for civilian in El Fasher, Darfur.  Last Tuesday evening, a World Food Programme (WFP) warehouse located in the Borsa area of El Fasher town, the capital of North Darfur State, came under attack from unknown armed groups.  Over 1,900 metric tons of food commodities

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Central African Republic: Scores of militias forced out of Boyo

UN peacekeepers in the Central African Republic (CAR) have ousted scores of militants from the embattled town of Boyo, in the south of the country. The UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the CAR, known by its French acronym MINUSCA, launched an operation on Saturday to expel from Boyo, in Ouaka prefecture, around 200 members of

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Libyan elections postponed, new date expected within 30 days

During a visit to help implement intra-Libyan political, security and economic dialogues and support recently postponed presidential and parliamentary elections, the UN envoy to the country issued a statement on Thursday, detailing her work over the last 10 days. Having arrived in Libya on 12 December, Special Advisor Stephanie Williams said that she has heard “time

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Libya: Tensions as armed groups mobilize in Tripoli

The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) on Tuesday expressed concern over the unfolding security situation in the capital, Tripoli, where forces affiliated with different armed groups have been deploying.  The development came as Libyans awaited news about the postponement of long-promised landmark elections, due to take place on Friday.  Appeal for dialogue  The current

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Thousands head home voluntarily from Zambia to DR Congo  

Nearly 5,000 refugees who fled violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) four years ago, are opting to head home voluntarily from Zambia over the coming months, with the first 100 people setting out on Tuesday.  The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said that security had improved sufficiently in DR Congo’s Pweto territory, Haut-Katanga province, for them to go home

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Champions of the Earth: The Ugandan vet protecting people and wildlife

Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka this year’s Champion of the Earth for Science and Innovation, has spent three decades helping to safeguard some of the world’s rarest primates, including endangered mountain gorillas.  Much of Dr. Kalema-Zikusoka’s work has been in impoverished East African communities that border protected areas, where she has helped improve healthcare and create economic

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Cameroon: Intercommunal clashes continue to displace thousands

Intercommunal clashes that erupted in Cameroon’s Far North region over the past two weeks have driven at least 100,000 people from their homes, although the actual number may be much higher, UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, said on Friday.    In the last few days, more than 85,000 people have fled into neighbouring Chad while at least 15,000 Cameroonians have been forced to

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