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Security Council members to visit seven countries

Members of the United Nations Security Council were due to begin a 12-day tour of West Africa on Wednesday to promote peace and stability in the region, where Liberia and Cote d'Ivoire are both divided by civil war. The mission, which was postponed in May, is led by Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock of the United Kingdom. It was due to arrive in Guinea-Bissau on Thursday before flying on to Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. However, the planned visit to Liberia may have to be rescheduled given heavy fighting between government and rebel forces in the capital, Monrovia. The Security Council said the special mission would examine country-specific issues and developments at each stop and encourage more cooperation among the countries of the sub-region. It would also assess progress towards Council objectives on the protection of civilians and children affected by armed conflict. A joint humanitarian review mission by UN agencies, donors, non-governmental and international organisations is also visiting the region. It began its tour in Cote d'Ivoire last Sunday and is also due to visit Guinea and Sierra Leone. Liberia was dropped from its schedule in view of the deteriorating security situation in Monrovia. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the mission would meet the Liberia UN country team in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, instead. The review aims to assess humanitarian conditions and challenges in the four countries and propose specific responses, especially in early warning, information management and advocacy; contingency planning and emergency preparedness. It will also look at the impact of regional conflicts on women and children. The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), World Food Programme (WFP), Children's fund (UNICEF) and OCHA are participating in the mission along with the United States, United Kingdom, France, Sweden, the EC Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO), the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Save the Children and Oxfam.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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