Luciano Pavarotti will stage a concert next month to raise money for Angolan child refugees living in Zambia, the United Nations (U.N.) refugee agency confirms. The Italian tenor wanted to remind the

Luciano Pavarotti will stage a concert next month to raise money for Angolan child refugees living in Zambia, the United Nations (U.N.) refugee agency confirms. The Italian tenor wanted to remind the world of the plight of people affected by one of Africa's longest-running civil wars, which largely had been forgotten by the international community, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said in a statement issued in the Zambian capital Lusaka.

Money raised at the May 28 concert, to take place in the Italian city of Modena, mainly would go toward health and education projects, the agency said. About 30 Angolan refugee children are to be chosen to perform at the concert.

Pavarotti, who is a U.N. Messenger of Peace, already has raised millions of dollars for the world's refugees. A concert in Modena last year, where Pavarotti topped the bill, raised $1.5 million for Afghan refugee children in Pakistan, while a 1999 concert collected $1 million for Kosovo refugees.

Angola's civil war began after the southwest African country gained independence from Portugal in 1975. It has claimed at least 500,000 lives and driven 4 million people -- about a third of the population -- from their homes.

Earlier this month the government and the UNITA rebel group signed a cease-fire agreement, the fourth since the war began, raising cautious optimism that the war may finally be over. Zambia hosts about 260,000 refugees, mainly from Angola and Congo.


AP LogoCopyright 2002 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.