UNITED NATIONS -- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki moon has confirmed that he intends to travel to war-torn East Africa next week.
Ban will personally travel to the Sudanse region of Darfur which has been ravaged by an intense civil war. It will be Ban's first visit to the region since assuming office from Kofi Annan last January.
While in Africa, Ban confirmed that he will also go to neighboring Chad and Libya.
In Libya, Ban says he expects to "confer" with controversial strongman Col. Mouamar Qadaffi.
"Libya is an important power in the region...I expect to meet with Mr. Qadaffi to discuss the Darfur problem and any other issues he may wish to discuss."
The Security Council recently approved a resolution expanding the UN's role in relief and security operations in Darfur.
The U.N. chief also responded to questions related to the protection of so-called "whistleblowers."
The U.N. Development Program (UNDP) has been embroiled in controversy regarding all edged pilfering of funds related to its operations in North Korea.
Allegations of "retaliation" against UNDP staffers who have revealed details of the all edged mismanagement have been rampant inside the halls of NY headquarters.
A so-called U.N. "ethics" board, which was envisaged as a system-wide watchdog, has been blocked in its investigation by UNDP executives on "procedural" grounds.
Ban told reporters that he hopes the General Assembly "will address the matter" and "resolve" the issues so the ethics board will get all the access it needs.
Next month, the General Assembly will begin its annual debate. Among those attending, President Bush, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Japanese Prime Minister Shizo Abe.
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