UN to push for more aid for Colombian refugees
Annan told reporters he would respond to Ecuadorean President Lucio Gutierrez's plea for greater aid for the thousands of Colombians crossing his poor nation's northern border each year to escape a four-decade war in their country.
His offer comes just days after Ecuador sought more aid in Europe. About 9,000 people -- mostly Colombians -- have sought refugee status in Ecuador so far this year, according to an official at Ecuador's Foreign Affairs Ministry.
"I will do my best to ensure that we are able to get additional assistance to them and to the government," Annan told reporters in Quito, adding that "the only way we can stop the flow ... is to work hard to bring peace to Colombia."
Annan said he did not see a military solution to the guerrilla war fought by leftist rebels and right-wing paramilitary groups that has led people to cross the steamy jungle border to Ecuador seeking shelter.
"We will work hard with the (Colombian) government and the other parties to bring a peaceful settlement to the Colombian crisis," Annan said. Annan has visited Chile and Ecuador and will travel to Peru and Bolivia on a four-country tour.
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