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SUDAN: UN teams arrive in Darfur to help people affected by war
19 February 2004 (IRIN ), The United Nations said on Thursday that a team of its experts had arrived in Sudan to assess the humanitarian needs in war-affected Darfur region of western Sudan, while front-line UN agencies had begun delivering and pre-positioning food and other supplies for 250,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs).
ZIMBABWE: Country "needs to be normalised" before polls - MDC
19 February 2004 (IRIN ), The Zimbabwean opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said on Thursday the country "needs to be normalised" before elections can be held.
DRC: Bishops denounce manner, delay of transition
19 February 2004 (IRIN ), Roman Catholic bishops in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have denounced delays in the two-year transitional period, as well as the manner in which parties to the government have been conducting themselves.
south africa: More funds for peacekeeping efforts
19 February 2004 (IRIN ), South Africa's Minister of Finance Trevor Manuel on Wednesday allocated R1.1 billion (around US $165 million) for the country's peacekeeping missions on the continent over the next three years.
SWAZILAND: National disaster declared
19 February 2004 (IRIN ), Swaziland has declared a national emergency, formally recognising the humanitarian crisis gripping the country and opening the door to further donor assistance.
ZIMBABWE: New study sheds light on lives of disabled
19 February 2004 (IRIN ), Lydia Mpofu's day begins at 4.00 am when she makes the first of two trips to fetch water from a river 4 km from her home in Zezane, near the southern Zimbabwean border town of Beitbridge. Although aged 66, she then spends three back-breaking hours tending her maize crop, before returning home to care for her disabled grandson.
ANGOLA: New body to monitor diamond-mining sector
19 February 2004 (IRIN ), The Angolan government has set up a new security body to monitor the lucrative but loosely controlled diamond-mining sector.
NIGERIA: Muslim suspicion of polio vaccine lingers on
19 February 2004 (IRIN ), The success of the global effort to eradicate polio may rest on the outcome of a week-long tour of India, South Africa and Indonesia by a Nigerian delegation which has been conducting tests on polio vaccines used for immunisation in Nigeria.
GUINEA-BISSAU: Army admits that four soldiers died in border clashes
19 February 2004 (IRIN ), The head of the army in Guinea-Bissau admitted on Thursday that four soldiers were killed and 14 wounded in recent clashes on the Senegalese border with separatist rebels fighting for the independence of Senegal's Casamance province.
COTE D'IVOIRE: US drops opposition to UN peacekeeping force
19 February 2004 (IRIN ), The US government has dropped its opposition to the deployment of United Nations peacekeeping troops to Cote d'Ivoire and hopes that Congress will now vote in favour of the move, John Negroponte, the US Ambassador to the United Nations has said.

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