UN chief starts visit to five African countries
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon has touched down in South Africa on his first official visit to the country, beginning a trip that will also take him to Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Egypt, UN officials said here on Tuesday.
On arrival this evening, Ban met with South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dhlamini-Zuma and he will hold talks with South African President Kgalema Motlanthe on Wednesday and with United Nations staff.
The secretary-general will then travel to Tanzania, one of the pilot countries for the reform program known as "Delivering as One " that aims to coordinate all UN efforts on the ground, Xinhua reported.
Ban is scheduled to hold discussions with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, and address the diplomatic and academic community in the capital of Dar es Salaam.
Ban is also due to fly over the receding ice cap of Mount Kilimanjaro on his way to the city of Arusha to visit the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the officials said.
From Tanzania, the secretary-general will head to the DRC, where he will meet with President Joseph Kabila, moving on to Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu province, to visit Panzi Hospital, where victims of sexual violence are cared for.
Afterwards, in the North Kivu provincial capital of Goma, he will meet with members of the UN peacekeeping mission (MONUC) and with local authorities.
In Rwanda, Ban will meet with President Paul Kagame.
Finally, he will travel to the Egyptian seaside resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, where he will participate in the March 2 meeting entitled "International Conference in support of the Palestinian Economy, for the reconstruction of Gaza," co-chaired by Egypt and Norway, the officials added.