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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger

    Le Programme alimentaire mondial des Nations Unies (PAM) travaille avec ses partenaires, de toute urgence, pour atteindre les familles au nord du Mali dont l’accès à la nourriture a été entravé en raison du conflit actuel. Leur situation est susceptible d’empirer avec l’approche de la période de soudure qui s’étend d’avril à juin.

    «La semaine dernière, j’ai pu visiter Tombouctou où j’ai pu constater à quel point la situation humanitaire est critique,» a indiqué Sally Haydock, Directrice du PAM au Mali. «Les zones aux alentours de Tombouctou n’ont aucune sécurité et restent difficiles d’accès, les marchés ne fonctionnent plus, les prix alimentaires et du carburant sont en hausse, et il y a une pénurie d’argent liquide, ce qui fait que les personnes ne peuvent pas acheter les vivres de base.»

    • Selon une récente analyse de la communauté humanitaire, un ménage sur cinq se trouve confronté à des pénuries alimentaires sévères, avec une réduction importante de la consommation alimentaire observée au cours de ces dernières semaines, dans les régions de Tombouctou, Gao et Kidal situées au nord du pays.

    • Le PAM renforce le transport des vivres par voie routière et à bord des bateaux et a récemment lancé une opération logistique pour acheminer de la nourriture depuis le Niger. Le transport routier vers Kidal a recommencé et 1 000 tonnes de vivres y ont été déjà acheminées, une quantité suffisante pour nourrir 34 000 personnes pour deux mois.

    • Des programmes de repas scolaires d’urgence sont actuellement en cours dans 128 écoles à Gao afin de soutenir 28 100 écoliers. De plus, des programmes de repas scolaires ont été également lancés à Tombouctou ce mois-ci dans 76 écoles.

    • De nouvelles vidéos tournées à Tombouctou avec des images des distributions alimentaires du PAM et son partenaire, ONG Secours Islamique sont disponibles ici:

    • Voici un lien pour télécharger 11 photos de haute résolution prises au Mali avec les légendes et les accréditations:

    • En avril, le PAM prévoit de fournir une assistance alimentaire à 145 000 personnes à Tombouctou; 86 700 à Gao ; 34 500 à Kidal et 130 000 à Mopti. Ailleurs dans le pays, le PAM prévoit d’atteindre 37 000 personnes vulnérables à Ségou et 4 100 à Kayes.

    • Dans le cadre de son opération d’urgence actuelle, le PAM prévoit de soutenir 564 000 au Mali par mois, dont 360 000 au nord du pays. Le PAM prévoit également de venir en aide à 163 000 réfugiés maliens par mois au Burkina Faso, en Mauritanie et au Niger.

    • Les opérations du PAM au Mali et dans les pays voisins nécessitent un budget total de 312 millions de dollars. À ce jour, l’opération est financée à 51 pourcent et se trouve confrontée à un déficit budgétaire de 159 millions de dollars.

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    Source: UN News Service
    Country: Burkina Faso, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan

    16 April 2013 – Stretching from Dakar to Djibouti, a United Nations-backed programme dubbed the ‘Great Green Wall’ brings together 11 countries to plant trees across Africa to literally hold back the Sahara desert with a swathe of greenery, lessen the effects of desertification and improve the lives and livelihoods of communities.

    The Wall, an initiative spearheaded by African heads of State, will stretch about 7,000 kilometres from Senegal in the west to Djibouti in the east and will be about 15 kilometres wide as it traverses the continent, passing through Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea.

    The programme aims to support the efforts of local communities in the sustainable management and use of forests – a key theme of the tenth session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF10), currently taking place in Istanbul – as well as other natural resources in drylands.

    Among other things, the planting of trees is expected to provide a barrier against desert winds and will help to hold moisture in the air and soil, allowing agriculture to flourish. It is also expected that the Wall will reduce erosion, enhance biodiversity and improve countries’ resilience to climate change.

    According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), two-thirds of the African continent is classified as desert or drylands. Climate change has led to prolonged periods of drought; over-intensive farming and over-grazing have caused land degradation; and deforestation has turned once fertile land into desert in many areas.

    Given the multiple roles they perform, forests are perhaps more important in arid zones than anywhere else, the agency pointed out. Forests in arid zones are rich in biodiversity which has adapted to extreme ecological conditions; provide vital ecosystem goods and services; constitute a buffer against drought and desertification; offer a safety net against poverty; and support adaptation and mitigation to climate change.

    “We are aware that this is our territory. It is up to us to rebuild our systems, that is why we dove in first,” said Ndiawar Dieng, forestry expert and UNFF10 delegate from Senegal, one of the countries that first championed the idea of the Great Green Wall.

    Senegal will do “all that is in our power” to solve the problem of desertification, Mr. Dieng added.

    Efforts are already paying off in villages such as Widou Thiengoli in Senegal, where communities harvest fresh fruits and vegetables from the dry desert sands, a by-product of the Wall initiative, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said.

    Like many rural communities in Senegal, Widou Thiengoli’s villagers have experienced dramatic changes in climate over the past 25 years, WFP noted in a news release. The frequency of droughts has increased, rainfall levels have fallen by more than one-third and when the rains do finally arrive, many areas are hit by devastating floods.

    WFP supports the Great Green Wall programme by providing food assistance for the community farming groups during the lean season before harvests arrive, helping to build resilience among these communities so that they are better equipped to cope with climate shocks.

    “People used to go to towns to seek paid work during the lean season, but since the project started, that has changed,” says Papa Sarr, Technical Director of the National Agency of the Great Green Wall.

    “With WFP’s help, they have been able to settle and cultivate this land, and they realize that they can feed themselves and earn money at the same time.”

    Supporters of the Great Green Wall also include the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the UN-backed Global Environment Facility (GEF) – the largest public funder of projects to improve the environment.

    Ulrich Apel, forestry expert with GEF, said that judging from the feedback received so far, the Great Green Wall programme is “off to a promising start.”

    He noted that while the GEF has long supported individual countries and farmers with various projects to improve the environment and their living conditions, the Great Green Wall is different owing to the sheer scale of the $2 billion initiative and the amount of coordination involved.

    “The most important thing for all projects is that it can show success and results on the ground,” said Mr. Apel. “As soon as you can show success and results on the ground, it’s the best advertisement for funders to come in.”

    He added that the Great Green Wall programme could be replicated in other regions, for example in Central Asia, to address common challenges such as land degradation, water management and mitigating the impacts of climate change.

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    Source: Global Communities
    Country: Ethiopia

    Vocational skills training through the USAID/OFDA-funded RECOVER program

    Ahmed Badal’s Journey

    Ahmed Badal Hire is head of a household of eight family members. His family lost their livelihood during the 2011 drought when all of their 30 sheep and goats, and all but one of their 25 cattle died.

    In despair, he left his family in the desert of the remote Harweyn area where they used to keep their livestock, and came to Gode town some 140km away, hoping to find some sort of employment. One of the challenges he encountered was his lack of skills to be employed even as a daily laborer. He did manage to find work loading and unloading goods from trucks, although the competition for even this job was high, since many others were jobless, too. And although he was working, he and his family still suffered greatly, since his daily earnings of about 25 Ethiopian Birr (ETB) were not nearly enough to cover their basic needs, medical expenses and school fees.

    He considers himself fortunate to have been selected to participate in vocational skills training, part of the RECOVER program operated by Global Communities and funded by USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA). RECOVER aims to improve and diversify livelihoods for people in vulnerable communities. According to Ahmed, “It was with great enthusiasm that I joined other trainees, as a lack of skills was the main reason I had trouble getting employed in town.” Through extensive training, he gained valuable skills in masonry, including carving and shaping cobblestones for roads and sidewalks, as well as other masonry skills. In addition to learning vocational skills, participants also receive training in savings and credit, group management and record keeping, to help them learn to build and manage a business and their assets.

    After successfully completing his training, Ahmed graduated along with 50 others and joined an asset building group (ABG), where he learns savings tips and discusses challenges and how to overcome them. Asset building groups are made up of community members who engage in a business venture that benefits from increased collective productive capacity and bargaining power. Ahmed and his fellow group members also share a collection of basic masonry tools provided by the program. Ahmed’s first job after graduation was as a paver; he laid cobblestones on one of the main roads in downtown Gode, and today, he is employed by Gode Municipality on an infrastructure upgrading project, for which he earns 1,500 ETB a week. He supplements the income from this job by producing and selling cobblestones to the municipality; he produces 50-60 cobblestones per day which he sells for 4 ETB each. He attends meetings with members of the ABG and contributes weekly to the group’s savings plan. He also saves individually; within a short period, he has saved a total of more than 15,000 ETB.

    Ahmed and his family are very happy that he now has great skills that enable him to support his family. “Thanks to Global Communities for supporting me in the Vocational Skills Training; now my family and I are no longer worried about the effects of drought, as I now have skills that I can rely on to take care of my family’s needs no matter what the weather is.”

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    Source: Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict
    Country: Central African Republic, Mali, Myanmar, Sudan, South Sudan (Republic of)

    This month’s update highlights children and armed conflict concerns and provides recommendations for the protection of children in the situations of the Central African Republic, Mali, Sudan and Myanmar. It includes recommendations in particular in relation to a possible forthcoming peacekeeping mission in Mali, including ensuring child protection functions within the mission structure, excluding forces responsible for violations against children from the mission, and calling for the vetting and training of all peacekeeping forces.

    Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict is a network of local, national and international non-governmental organizations striving to end violations against children in armed conflicts and to guarantee their rights. Monthly updates are based on the experience of Watchlist and its member organizations in specific country situations and Watchlist’s expertise in over a decade of engagement with the Security Council’s children and armed conflict agenda.

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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    04/17/2013 03:28 GMT

    by Serge Daniel

    BAMAKO, April 17, 2013 (AFP) - Ousted from their major northern strongholds by a French-led military intervention and all but defeated in their mountain hideouts, Mali's Islamist militants are beginning to regroup at home and abroad.

    French and African soldiers have inflicted heavy losses since launching a military operation on January 11 to block the advance of Al Qaeda-linked insurgents on the capital Bamako, with Paris claiming to have killed 400 rebels.

    But dozens have fled Mali over the mountains of northern Niger and Chad, passing into southern Libya and western Sudan, where they are reorganising, military sources told AFP, while others are recuperating in Algeria.

    "Some Islamists left the Malian territory to seek refuge elsewhere," an African serviceman told AFP.

    He said members of the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), one of three Islamist militias which occupied northern Mali last year, had gone into the Algerian camps of the Polisario Front, a rebel movement demanding the end of Moroccan control in the disputed territory of Western Sahara.

    "Recently, when the highest UN authorities have expressed their concern and called for urgent settlement of the Western Sahara problem, it is because of the risk of terrorists turning the refugee camps into a new home for jihadists", the African soldier said.

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a report to the Security Council in early April that governments in the region had "raised serious concerns about the risk that the fighting in Mali could have an impact in neighbouring countries and in helping to radicalise the refugee camps of the Western Sahara" which he described as "a ticking time bomb".

    Ousmane Maiga, of the "Youth Coordination Association" in Gao, Mali's largest northern city, said small groups of Islamists had headed not just into Algeria but also into Mali's neighbours Niger and Mauritania.

    "Now the fear is that we will see them coming back into northern Mali to take up arms again," he said.

    But not all members of MUJAO and the two other main armed Islamist groups in Mali, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Ansar Dine (Defenders of the Faith), have fled abroad.

    "The enemy is still on the ground," said a member of the general staff of the Malian army, pointing to suicide bombings in the cities of Gao, Timbuktu and Kidal as well as the lengthy engagement of Islamist fighters by French and Chadian troops in the northeastern Ifoghas mountains.

    Many of the militants have abandoned their weapons to enable them to move more easily, but have an efficient supply chain which could resupply them at a moment's notice, a Malian colonel told AFP.

    After the death of one of its main leaders, Abu Zeid, in the Ifoghas, AQIM is trying to regain control in north-western Mali "under the leadership of the Algerian Abu Yeyia Hamame, chief of AQIM in the Sahara and northern Mali", according to a confidential military document seen by AFP.

    The document goes on to say that a Malian ethnic Touareg named Abdelkrim Taleb has organised a "resistance" in the north-east, around Gao and Kidal.

    Regional security and military sources interviewed by AFP described the French army as "the backbone of security in northern Mali" but France has begun a phased withdrawal of its 4,000 soldiers, with all but 1,000 expected to have left by the end of the year.

    Chadian President Idriss Deby, who sent 2,000 troops to Mali, announced on Sunday that the country's forces would be staging their own withdrawal ahead of schedule.

    "The face-to-face war with jihadists is finished. The Chadian army has no real competence to cope with a nebula. Chadian soldiers will return to Chad. They have completed their mission," he said, without giving specifics.

    According to military and security sources, "it is feared that Islamists have set foot back in these areas to give new impetus to their terrorist actions".


    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse

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    Source: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
    Country: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger

    By Kåre Kristensen and Boubacar Ba

    Executive summary

    This report is based on interviews with Malians during the current crisis in that country.

    Malians were astonished that the capacity of the Malian government and army could collapse to zero overnight. Many interviewees were worried about the problems of drug, weapons and people trafficking, and the kidnapping of foreigners for ransom.

    The northern population has suffered violence from various groups, many of which imposed a harsh interpretation of sharia law that had been rejected by the local population and Mali’s Muslim leaders. Women have been harassed, while the amputation of hands for theft seems to be an attempt to intimidate the population.

    Most people who fled the north want to return as soon as basic security and health systems and schools are functioning again. People expressed the need to organise intra- and intercommunity talks among representatives of different ethnic groups to prevent those who suffered various kinds of injustices from taking revenge.

    Since the decentralisation process started in 1990 there has been more organised local cooperation and several women have been elected to municipal councils. These women are organised into a group to support one another and are ready to discuss peaceful solutions.

    An often-mentioned problem is that of impunity. In the past rebels have been given government posts and no-one has been punished.

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    Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid department
    Country: Mali, Niger

    Key messages

    • The European Commission supports Niger in its efforts to improve food security for all Nigeriens and eradicate malnutrition. The country has made significant progress in reducing child deaths and has embraced a policy of free health care for under fives, but immense challenges remain to sustain these advances. At current rates, the population in Niger will continue to double every 20 years, outpacing economic growth as well as agricultural production.

    • Urgent support is needed for the implementation of Niger’s national plan in response to the continuing food insecurity and the numerous cases of malnutrition. Abnormally high food prices and a lower than expected harvest in Nigeria, which is considered the region’s granary, are exacerbating factors.

    • Niger faces considerable security risks as a result of growing insecurity in the region and a spill-over of the Mali conflict. 50,000 Malians have sought refuge inside Niger’s borders.

    • The European Commission is a founding member of AGIR-Sahel, a new and global alliance to strengthen resilience in the region, which has adopted a road map towards ‘Zero Hunger’ in the Sahel within the next 20 years.

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    Source: Télécoms Sans Frontières
    Country: Mali

    Suite au rétablissement complet du réseau mobile à Tombouctou, l'équipe d'urgence de Télécoms Sans Frontières a quitté le Mali le 12 février. Cependant, la connexion Internet n'est toujours pas retaurée. C'est pourquoi TSF a remis au personnel de la mairie tout l'équipement satellite nécessaire pour accéder à Internet.

    Les combats entre les rebelles et l'armée malienne dans le nord du pays s’intensifient de jour en jour, faisant de nombreux morts et blessés parmi la population civile. En outre, le calme relatif de ces dernières semaines dans la région de Tombouctou a été perturbé par plusieurs attaques suicides. Dans ce contexte difficile, le peuple malien lutte pour reconstruire le pays et retrouver une vie normale. La coordination et l'échange d'informations par Internet est essentiel au travail du gouvernement, des ONG et des acteurs privés pour la reconstruction du Mali. Mais jusqu'à récemment, Tombouctou n'avait pas d’accès fiable à Internet suite aux dommages causé au réseau câblé pendant les combats.

    Les équipes de Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) travaillent au Mali depuis février 2013, en offrant tout d’abord des appels gratuits à la population, puis en installant une connexion satellite à Tombouctou, après que l'armée malienne a repris la ville.

    Pour pallier aux problèmes d'accès à Internet, l’équipe de TSF a mis en place un centre de communications Internet au sein de la mairie de Tombouctou, pour les agences gouvernementales et les ONG locales et internationales telles que Médecins Sans Frontières, Handicap International, l'Organisation Internationale pour les Migrations (OIM), PLAN International, et plusieurs équipes médicales. Le centre Internet de TSF est le seul point d'interconnexion public à Tombouctou.

    Le centre Internet de TSF offre un soutien essentiel aux acteurs de l’urgence à Tombouctou, en facilitant l'échange d'informations nécessaires à la gestion de leurs missions complexes et dangereuses. Les acteurs humanitaires et les autorités locales doivent rester en contact permanent avec la capitale Bamako et leurs sièges afin de gérer efficacement et en toute sécurité cette crise humanitaire.

    TSF poursuit également son soutien aux réfugiés maliens dans les camps d’Abala (Niger), Gorom-Gorom et Djibo (Burkina Faso), tout en fournissant des connexions satellites haut débit fiables et rapides, pour une meilleure coordination des organisations sur le terrain.

    Les 14 lignes satellites de Télécoms Sans Frontières ont permis d’établir 550 connexions au profit de 4 200 bénéficiaires, pour qui il s’agissait souvent du premier appel depuis plusieurs mois. En effet, le réseau mobile a été rétabli mais ne fonctionne que partiellement.

    Grâce à Télécoms Sans Frontières, les habitants peuvent effectuer des appels internationaux (États-Unis, Sénégal, Côte d’Ivoire, France, Liberia…) pour dire à leurs proches qu’ils sont sains et saufs. Le maire de Tombouctou témoigne : "L'armée nous a libéré, Télécoms Sans Frontières nous a reconnecté! J'ai pu joindre Bamako et informer directement les autorités locales de la situation ici à Tombouctou."

    La communication est très perturbée au nord du Mali, où les réseaux téléphoniques fixes et mobiles ont été coupés dans plusieurs villes, et les activités des ONG dans cette zone sont très limitées suite à la dégradation des conditions de sécurité.

    Au Sahel, les conditions de sécurité se sont nettement dégradées en mars 2012 avec l’arrivée massive dans les pays frontaliers du Mali de réfugiés fuyant les combats entre rebelles Touaregs et armée régulière. Selon l’Office du Haut-Commissaire des Nations Unies aux réfugiés on compte plus de 150 000 réfugiés dans les pays voisins.

    Selon le PAM, depuis août dernier, la survie de la majorité des populations du Sahel ne dépend plus que de l’aide humanitaire. Afin de renforcer l’aide apportée aux populations vulnérables, TSF fournit des communications satellites fiables et rapides pour une meilleure coordination des organisations sur le terrain.

    Etant donné les contextes sécuritaire extrêmement complexes au Sahel, TSF utilise à la fois des dispositifs satellites fixes pour connecter les hubs humanitaires, et mobiles pour connecter les équipes lors de leurs déplacements.

    • Camp de réfugiés d’Abala, à 400 km de Gao :

    Le 24 avril 2012, TSF a installé une antenne satellite fixe Vsat dans le bureau de coordination ACTED et UNHCR au sein du camp d’Abala accueillant à présent plus de 14 300 réfugiés. Le hub humanitaire offre une connexion Wifi sécurisée aux 30 travailleurs humanitaires qui viennent se connecter quotidiennement : MSF Suisse, MSF France, CARE International, Islamic Relief, CADEV, HELP, VSF Belgique, ACTED et UNHCR…

    Les 134 Go échangés depuis le hub humanitaire TSF permettent une gestion de l’information plus efficace au quotidien et une réponse coordonnée de tous les acteurs sur zone.

    • Camp de réfugiés de Gorom-Gorom, à 200 km de Gao :

    L’installation de la connexion satellite Vsat par TSF le 11 juillet 2012 dans les locaux de Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgique (VSF-B) à Gorom-Gorom, au nord-est du Burkina Faso, a permis aux ONG et agences des Nations Unies travaillant dans la zone d’échanger 52 Go de données.

    La connexion bénéficie notamment à VSF-B, A2N, UNHCR, la Croix Rouge burkinabé, Save the Children, HELP, AEC, TASSATH, Afrique Verte et AGED. Les services étatiques de la Direction provinciale de la Santé Publique et la Direction provinciale de la Solidarité Nationale fréquentent également le hub humanitaire très régulièrement.

    Avant l’intervention de TSF, les organisations de la zone étaient forcées de parcourir chaque semaine les 57km qui séparent Gorom-Gorom de Dori, chef-lieu du département, pour trouver un accès à Internet correct. Depuis, la connexion TSF améliore la mise en œuvre des activités d’urgence qui, depuis mai 2012, se sont intensifiées, et facilite la communication entre le terrain et les services centraux aux niveaux national et international.

    • Camp de Djibo, à 330 km de Tombouctou :

    Depuis le 19 juillet, la connexion satellite de TSF dans les bureaux de l’Office du Haut-Commissaire des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés (UNHCR) renforce les actions de toutes les ONG de la zone (Oxfam...) auprès des réfugiés dans les camps au nord de Djibo, où vivent plus de 15 000 personnes. 79 Go de données ont déjà été échangés.

    Dans la région de Gorom-Gorom, à quelques kilomètres de la frontière malienne, le réseau mobile fonctionne mais l’accès à Internet se fait par réseau Edge ou clé 3G, la connexion est donc très lente et peu fiable.

    Les conditions de sécurité précaires rendent les interventions humanitaires d’urgence difficiles et mettent en péril la survie des populations déjà très vulnérables. Les moyens de communication satellite de TSF permettent une meilleure coordination des équipes terrain et améliorent ainsi leurs actions auprès des populations du Sahel.

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    Source: IRIN
    Country: Mali, Mauritania

    DAKAR, 17 April 2013 (IRIN) - Some 70,000 Malian refugees in Mauritania are facing enormous hardships and, as political and ethnic tensions persist back home, the prospect of a prolonged displacement.

    Medical aid group Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) called for long-term plans to improve the living conditions of the refugees at Mbéra camp [ ], near the Mauritania-Mali border. The camp is in the middle of the desert, where temperatures can soar up to 50 degrees Celsius.

    The refugees receive only 11 litres of water per person per day, instead of the 20 litres considered adequate by humanitarian standards. There are few latrines in the camp, and some refugees still lack proper shelter, MSF said in a recent report [ ].

    Karl Nawezi, MSF's Mauritania country director, said the rice, fortified flour and sugar given to the camp's residents - mainly nomadic pastoralists - were not their staples, and that they were selling the food for milk and meat. The cereals are also insufficiently nutritious for children; admissions for malnutrition have more than tripled between January and the end of March.

    "Admissions for severe malnutrition were about 38 children in January. At the end of March, we had more than 150 patients," Nawezi told IRIN.

    Ethnic Tuareg make up the majority of the refugees, who also include Arabs and other ethnic groups from northern Mali, said the MSF report.

    Militant Islamists seized swathes of northern Mali following the toppling of president Amadou Toumani Touré in March 2012. Conflict, a harsh drought and tough Islamist rule forced civilians to flee to other parts of the country and to neighbouring countries.

    A French-led military intervention, launched in January 2013, has dislodged the jihadists from much of northern Mali. However, rights groups have accused [ ] the Malian army of targeting the Peuhl, Tuareg and Arab ethnic groups on charges that they helped the Islamists.

    Throughout Mali, many blame [ ] the Tuareg for helping the militants conquer the north. This hostility is preventing the return [ ] of many refugees.

    "We need to plan for the future because people will not go back home now," said Nawezi over the phone from Mauritania.



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    Source: UN Security Council
    Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, World, South Sudan (Republic of)


    Security Council
    6948th Meeting (AM & PM)

    Council Also Hears from Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict; NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security; 60 Delegations in Day-long Debate

    Despite success in cracking the silence around the systematic use of sexual violence as a war tactic, it persisted as one of the world’s most vicious crimes, destroying individual lives and terrorizing communities, delegates in the Security Council stressed today, calling on the 15-member body to ratchet up pressure on perpetrators and use its full means to prevent its occurrence.

    “To succeed, we must use all the tools at our disposal,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, launching the Council’s day-long debate on women and peace and security. That included peacekeeping and political missions, mediation efforts, initiatives to protect human rights and deliver humanitarian assistance, as well as the work of everyone involved in building post-conflict peace.

    For their part, United Nations peacekeeping missions in Sudan, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo — together with country teams — were establishing Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Arrangements, which he hoped could be completed before the end of the year.

    The need could not be more urgent. Drawing attention to his latest report (document S/2013/149), Mr. Ban said that the negative effects of wartime rape persisted long after the guns had fallen silent. Although such violence disproportionately affected women and girls, men and boys were also targeted. Other trends underscored the need to address sexual violence during ceasefire negotiations, peace processes and security sector reform. Against that backdrop, he looked forward to the Council’s sustained leadership to prevent such abuse.

    Broadly agreeing, Zainab Hawa Bangura, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, said the Council must send an unequivocal message that “sexual violence in conflict will not be tolerated and the full force of international order will be brought to bear to ensure accountability”. For too long, women had borne the “crippling” effects — physical, psychological, social and economic — of wartime rape. They were often ostracized from their communities and families, and left destitute with their children.

    Over the last five years, the Council had helped to usher in a “paradigm shift” that had altered the approach to addressing that crime. Stressing the importance of prevention, she urged engaging national stakeholders to foster national responsibility for the problem. The Council’s efforts could only complement national measuresand she rallied delegates to seize the opportunity for change. “May this be a decisive moment — our moment to put an end to this crime that is a blight on our collective humanity,” she implored.

    Throughout the day, more than 60 speakers took the floor to decry the atrocities that women were forced to endure — rape, trafficking, sexual exploitation, forced pregnancy and female genital mutilation among them — as well as the entrenched discrimination that excluded them from negotiating tables and made them vulnerable to sexual violence, even in times of peace. Impunity was simply not acceptable, many said, stressing that there was no “real” security without women’s security.

    Saran Keïta Diakité, speaking on behalf of the non-governmental Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, as well as the Résseau Paix et Sécurité des Femmes d’Espace, said prevention of sexual violence — and the underlying causes of conflict itself — was the most powerful instrument available. As she had seen in Mali, there was a devastating link between the flow of arms and the perpetration of sexual abuse. The Working Group had advocated for a gender-sensitive arms trade treaty, not because women were vulnerable, but because they were targeted. Sufficient resources must be devoted to women-led civil society organizations, particularly those providing services to survivors.

    While the United Nations had made great strides, more support was needed to ensure that gains were not lost, they said. For its part, the Council could consider putting in place a procedure to monitor commitments by parties to conflict under its resolution 1960 (2010). It also could develop ways to apply sanctions where no sanctions committee was in place.

    “It is a broken society that fails to protect its most vulnerable citizens from sexual violence,” said Louise Mushikiwabo, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Rwanda, whose country holds the Council’s Presidency for April. As Rwanda recoiled from the horrors of 1994, it had worked assiduously to instil a culture of respect — including within the military and police force — which had prompted a “profound” attitude shift. De-stigmatizing sexual violence was also key to achieving post-genocide justice. It was time to move beyond expressions of outrage and make measurable progress towards “a world where the bodies of women are no longer considered a battlefield”.

    The challenge, some said, lay in formalizing various processes to ensure they became integral parts of national and regional actions. On that point, the representative of Papua New Guinea recalled the efforts of women in Bougainville, an island affected by a long and bloody civil conflict, in pushing for peace. The Bougainville Peace Agreements confirmed the notion that “women are agents of change” in peace and security. There was more to be done, he said, acknowledging support from the United Nations in work to prioritize gender equality.

    In a similar vein, Vanda Pignato, First Lady and Ministerial Secretary for Social Inclusion of El Salvador, said her country’s civil war had been followed by two decades in which attention to human rights and gender equality were “not high” on the Government’s agenda. But today, with international help, El Salvador had seen changes, including a 50 per cent drop in the incidence of femicide last year. Further support, especially from the United Nations, was needed so momentum was not lost.

    Hailing one success in the fight against impunity, Guatemala’s representative was encouraged by the change in the treatment of sexual violence by the International Criminal Court, as seen in the cases of Bosco Ntaganda and Jean-Pierre Bemba. Both had set jurisprudence vis-à-vis the responsibility of commanders for sexual violence as a war crime and a crime against humanity. Those changes complemented the work of national courts and mixed tribunals to fight deeply rooted discriminatory practices, and further, combated the perception that it was useless to denounce such crimes.

    Also participating in the debate today was the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Norway (on behalf of the Nordic countries).

    Additional speakers included the representatives of Republic of Korea, United States, China, Argentina, Pakistan, France, Togo, Russian Federation, Morocco, Luxembourg, Australia, United Kingdom, Azerbaijan, Slovenia, Liechtenstein, Canada (in his national capacity and on behalf of the Group of Friends of Women, Peace and Security), Botswana, Japan, Syria, Kazakhstan, South Africa, Brazil, Solomon Islands, Viet Nam, Switzerland, Spain, Egypt, Netherlands, Estonia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Italy, Chile, Lithuania, Kyrgyzstan, United Republic of Tanzania, Ireland, Fiji, Sudan, Germany, Portugal, New Zealand, Qatar, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, India, Afghanistan and Turkey.

    The Permanent Observer of the Holy See also spoke, as did the Head of the European Union delegation.

    The representative of Syria took the floor a second time.

    The meeting began at 10:13 a.m. and adjourned at 5:36 p.m.

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    Source: International Fund for Agricultural Development
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger

    According to most climate forecasts, people in the West African Sahel— an arid to semi-arid belt stretching across northern Africa—can expect a hotter, drier and more variable climate this century. Already, environmental stresses are being felt and farming is increasingly more difficult in the region. But what do rural people in the Sahel perceive to be the reason for this changing climate? How vulnerable do they feel themselves to be? And, most importantly, what do they plan to do different in order to cope with the threats posed by the coming climate?

    As part of an IFAD-funded project titled ‘Parkland trees and livelihoods: adapting to climate change in the West African Sahel’, we carried out a participatory analysis of vulnerability and adaptation to climate change involving approximately 500 men, women and children from 36 villages in the West African Sahelian countries of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger. The analysis yielded some expected results, and some surprising insights.

    The villagers said some dramatic changes had occurred on their landscapes over the past 30-50 years. They pointed out, in particular, the extensive disappearance of natural woodlands, which over time had been converted into parklands which include annual crops, trees and livestock production. The trees in these parklands continue to be overharvested for fuel, fodder, medicines and foods, which curtails their natural regeneration. Compounding the situation are the large herds of livestock—owned by the villagers or nomadic pastoralists—that roam free in parklands and woodlands: browsing by these cattle, goats and sheep further limits the chances of trees and seedlings regenerating naturally.

    Another change was the local extinction of many native tree species, especially in the drier regions, as a result of over-exploitation by humans and livestock. In south-central Niger, for instance, villagers could name more than 50 tree species that have completely disappeared from the landscape.

    They also noted the local extinction of most wild animals (especially mammals, birds, turtles and lizards) from overhunting and habitat conversion; extensive soil degradation and reduced soil fertility; lower and less predictable rainfall, and a deeper water table.

    We found that most villagers recognized that their own (and their ancestors’) actions were responsible for many of the changes they were witnessing in their landscapes. This knowledge is crucial for any climate change adaptation plan, since it bolsters people’s confidence that they can alter or adopt certain practices to reverse the trend and/or better adapt themselves to a harsher climate.

    Most villagers, surprisingly, saw no link between human activity and a deeper water table, blaming it entirely on natural climate change. Reduced tree cover leads to less local rainfall and a deeper water table, and we had expected this relationship to be clear. It was difficult to explain certain concepts, such as cause-effect-consequence, in local languages, and we often resorted to using local metaphors. Clearly, extension and education programmes that explain crucial ecological relationships to farmers are needed, and we believe farmer-to-farmer exchange of knowledge models would work best.

    To respond to the environmental stresses of the future, the villagers said that the following actions in parklands would form part of their adaptation plan:

    • Practicing farmer assisted natural regeneration

    • Diversifying and increasing drought tolerance of the parklands by planting and protecting a range of selected species, using seedlings produced from seeds that were collected in drier locations;

    • Practicing soil and water conservation; and

    • Controlling free browsing by animals.

    As we expected, villagers in drier regions considered that their trees were more vulnerable to drought compared with villagers in more humid regions. Therefore, adaptation plans in the drier regions must put more emphasis on planting trees that are more drought tolerant and practicing soil water conservation techniques in parklands. Regional differences such as this are important to capture in an analysis of vulnerability and adaptation to climate change. There are limited financial and human resources for implementing adaptation plans, so adaptation plans should focus on the physical and natural resources that villagers themselves identify as most vulnerable to threats in their particular region. In other words, generic adaptation plans that are developed without active participation and input of villagers in different regions cannot efficiently respond to the vulnerability of villagers in different regions.

    It is also important to understand vulnerability and adaptation plans of different gender groups, such as adult men, adult women, young men and young women. Gender roles by livelihood activity are sharply defined in most Sahelian communities. For example, adult men and young men typically engage in agriculture and animal herding respectively, while the sale of food products from trees and fuelwood collection falls on adult women and young women respectively. The gender groups classified these and many other of their livelihood activities as “very vulnerable” or “severely vulnerable” to drought and degraded soils. Adaptation plans of these gender groups must therefore pay special emphasis to these twin threats.

    All groups except ‘young women’ listed “lack of financial capital” as an important vulnerability factor. Young women and young men said “insufficient woodland” was an important factor; this was expected, as woodlands are used for herding animals and collecting firewood.

    Adult women in several villages flagged two more threats to their livelihood in a changing climate: large families and small farm sizes that force many young men to migrate. To the women, managing the size of their families so all children can be properly fed, clothed and educated is an essential component of their personal climate adaptation strategy, and inseparable from their communities’ natural resource management efforts.

    About the research: The IFAD-funded project ‘Parkland trees and livelihoods: adapting to climate change in the West African Sahel’ is a partnership of the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), national agriculture research institutes, forestry extension institutes and IFAD investment projects in the three countries:

    • Burkina Faso: Institut National de l’Environnement et des Recherches Agricoles, Direction des Eaux et Forêt, Programme de Développement Rural Durable, Programme d’Investissement Communautaire en Fertilité Agricole

    • Mali: Institut d’Économie Rurale, Direction Nationale de la Conservation de la Nature, Fonds du Développement en Zone Sahélienne

    • Niger: Institut National de Recherche Agronomique du Niger, Direction Nationale de l’Environnement, Programme de Promotion des Initiatives Paysannes pour le Développement d’Aguié

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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Niger

    By Bob Coen

    A new report by UNICEF reveals the high prevalence of stunting in children under 5, but also outlines the tremendous opportunities that exist to make it a problem of the past.

    A factory in Niamey is transforming the way the Niger responds to the threat of malnutrition. It is also transforming the local economy.

    NIAMEY, Niger, 17 April 2013 – A few hundred metres from the banks of the mighty Niger River, where the routines of fishers and farmers continue as they have for centuries, a modest factory is transforming how this West African nation responds to the threat of malnutrition.

    UNICEF correspondent Bob Coen reports on a UNICEF partnership that is tackling malnutrition in the Niger through locally grown and processed therapeutic food.

    Societé Transformation d’Alimentaire (STA) is a wholly owned and operated Nigerien enterprise in the nation’s capital, Niamey. Within the walls of its plant, personnel work shifts on a gleaming, high-tech assembly line. They turn out carton after carton of a peanut-based ready-to-use therapeutic food, the go-to product for treating severe acute malnutrition in children.

    Response to multiple food crises

    Since 2005, the Niger has experienced several serious food crises, which have threatened hundreds of thousands of children with severe acute malnutrition. In 2006, UNICEF decided to enter into a unique partnership with the still-fledging STA to help it develop its capacity to manufacture ready-to-use foods locally. In just five years, the company has been able to provide 100 per cent of the country’s ready-to-use food; in 2012, STA delivered 2,800 tonnes of the food, which treated 370,000 children.

    “[Ready-to-use-foods] have brought about a real revolution in the treatment of children suffering from malnutrition because these are products that meet international standards and the needs of children,” says UNICEF Niger Deputy Representative Isselmou Boukhary. “They are also extremely easy to use in the health centres, and especially at home, which is important in a country like Niger.”

    “We are very happy about this collaboration,” says STA Deputy General Manager Ismael Barmou, watching trucks being loaded with cartons of the food to be taken to the UNICEF central warehouse. “One of the things we’re most proud of is to be able to be competitive in the international market. So, it’s a win and win partnership, especially for the end use, which are the kids in Niger that are in need of nutritional solutions.”

    “Soon he will be running”

    Some 700 km from the factory, Nana Hassia has reported to her local health centre with her 20-month-old son Hassan, who is recovering from severe acute malnutrition. A health worker carefully weighs and measures the boy. Ms. Hassia is given a week’s supply of the ready-to-use food, which she will use to treat Hassan at home.

    With five other children to care for, Ms. Hassia says, “It’s a big advantage for me to be able to treat my child from home and not have to keep him at the health centre.”

    Once home, all she needs to do is to tear open the sachet of paste for Hassan, which he quickly and eagerly devours. The food is given five times a day.

    The results are nothing short of remarkable. In a matter of days, most children are already gaining weight and strength. “I’m so happy,” says Ms. Hassia, as she feeds Hassan. “I can see my child getting stronger, and soon he will be running.”

    Supplies when and where they are needed

    In order for ready-to-use food to be available to mothers like Ms. Hassia when they arrive for their weekly appointments at health centres, it is essential that there be a reliable supply chain of the product – a reason that having a local supplier is so important. “It makes our supply chain much more efficient and easier to manage,” explains UNICEF Niger Supply and Procurement Manager Stephane Arnaud.

    Before the partnership with STA, UNICEF imported large shipments of the food via the neighbouring port of Lomé, Togo, which would require months of planning. Getting the product from the STA factory to the more than 900 health centres around the Niger is much simpler, says Mr. Arnaud. “Having it locally, I can reduce my costs of warehousing – and it’s also much easier to manage for the shelf life of the product.”

    Benefit to the local economy

    The UNICEF–STA partnership has also had a positive impact on the local economy. The company employs more than 100 people in its manufacturing plant, as well as scores of women at an adjoining facility who inspect and clean the peanuts by hand. At agricultural markets in the various farming centres around the country, wholesalers can purchase sacks of peanuts directly from farmers. Hundreds of other people are employed as peanut shredders.

    “I’m really happy and also proud to know that there’s a company here in Niger that is using peanuts to make this special food for children,” says peanut farmer Hassan Nomao.

    “I’m happy because I know that these peanuts are going to help save a lot of children.”

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    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Cameroon


    • Planting of the main season maize crop is well underway

    • Stable inflation rates forecast for 2013

    • Chronic food insecurity in northern parts of the country due to recurrent climatic shocks

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    Source: UN Security Council
    Country: Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Myanmar, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, World, Yemen, South Sudan (Republic of)

    Conseil de sécurité CS/10977 6948e séance – matin & après-midi

    Plusieurs délégations soulignent le rôle de la Cour pénale internationale pour lutter contre l’impunité

    Le Conseil de sécurité a, aujourd’hui, au terme d’un long débat sur les femmes et la paix et la sécurité, entendu de nombreux pays rappeler la nécessité pour les parties en conflit de prendre et de respecter des engagements en vue de lutter contre la violence sexuelle.

    Le Secrétaire général de l’ONU, M. Ban Ki-moon, a quant à lui invité le Conseil de sécurité à envisager la création d’un mécanisme qui permettrait de surveiller systématiquement les engagements pris, en faveur des femmes, par les parties à un conflit.

    Plusieurs délégations ont souligné le rôle de la justice pénale internationale, en particulier celui de la Cour pénale internationale (CPI), à La Haye, pour connaître de situations où la violence sexuelle est utilisée comme tactique de guerre et pour lutter contre l’impunité de ceux qui perpétuent ou tolèrent ces atrocités.

    Dans son rapport sur la violence sexuelle liée aux conflits, M. Ban Ki-moon fournit des renseignements sur les parties à un conflit qui sont soupçonnées d’avoir commis des viols ou d’autres formes de violence sexuelle en Afghanistan, en République centrafricaine, en Colombie, en Côte d’Ivoire, en République démocratique du Congo, au Mali, au Myanmar, en Somalie, au Soudan du Sud, au Soudan (Darfour), en Syrie et au Yémen. Il souligne notamment des cas de mariages forcés, des viols et des faits d’esclavage sexuel, ainsi qu’une utilisation de plus en plus évidente de la violence sexuelle pour contraindre des populations à se déplacer. Il met également en lumière le lien qui existe entre la violence sexuelle et l’exploitation illégale des ressources naturelles. Le rapport attire aussi l’attention sur des problèmes nouveaux, notamment les actes de violence sexuelle dont sont victimes de plus en plus des hommes et des garçons et le sort tragique des enfants nés à la suite d’un viol.

    La violence sexuelle, il y a seulement 19 ans, au Rwanda, avait été au cœur de l’idéologie du génocide, a rappelé la Ministre rwandaise des affaires étrangères et de la coopération, Mme Louise Mushikiwabo, qui présidait le débat d’aujourd’hui. Parmi le nombre terrifiant de femmes violées et laissées pour mortes, beaucoup ont été atteintes de maladies non curables, certaines sont tombées enceintes et toutes ont connu l’humiliation d’avoir été abusées devant leur famille. Cette forme de violence a été exportée du Rwanda vers la République démocratique du Congo (RDC) par les forces génocidaires en fuite après juillet 1994 et, tragiquement, ce comportement a été adopté par une pléthore de groupes armés dans la région, a-t-elle regretté.

    « Nous devons braquer les projecteurs sur ceux qui commettent ces crimes, mais aussi sur ceux qui les commanditent ou qui les tolèrent », a lancé, ce matin, la Représentante spéciale du Secrétaire général chargée de la question des violences sexuelles commises en période de conflit, Mme Zainab Hawa Bangura. Aujourd’hui, a-t-elle dit, le viol d’une femme, d’un enfant ou d’un homme durant un conflit demeure « une arme bon marché ». Les victimes qui osent parler ou ceux qui les aident, comme les humanitaires et les journalistes, sont frappés d’une censure terrible.

    Dans ce contexte, la Représentante spéciale a appelé le Conseil de sécurité à renforcer le régime de prévention et de dissuasion des violences à caractère sexuel commises pendant les conflits. L’accord « historique » conclu, le 11 novembre dernier, entre les membres du Groupe des huit (Allemagne, Canada, États-Unis, France, Italie, Japon, Fédération de Russie et Royaume-Uni) en vue de lutter contre la violence sexuelle fournit, a-t-elle dit, un élan important.

    À l’instar de Mme Bangura, de nombreuses délégations intervenues au cours de ce débat sur les femmes, la paix et la sécurité ont émis l’espoir que le Conseil de sécurité réaffirme son ferme engagement en faveur de cette question en adoptant, prochainement, une nouvelle résolution sur la violence sexuelle. « Établir artificiellement un lien entre la lutte contre les violences sexuelles commises au cours d’un conflit et le travail du Conseil de sécurité aurait une influence négative », a, toutefois, prévenu la Fédération de Russie. Pour celle-ci, il existe suffisamment de mécanismes qui permettent, aujourd’hui, d’assurer un suivi ou d’établir des mises en garde dans ce domaine. Comme le délégué russe, ses homologues de la Syrie, du Soudan ou encore de la Colombie ont estimé que les informations figurant dans le rapport du Secrétaire général étaient imprécises et manquaient d’objectivité.

    Un grand nombre de pays ont ensuite appuyé une autre recommandation du Secrétaire général qui vise à faire en sorte que toutes les démarches de médiation, de cessez-le-feu, de paix ou de diplomatie préventive entreprises avec des parties en conflit traitent de la violence sexuelle. Selon ONU-Femmes, sur les 565 accords de paix conclus entre 1990 et 2010, à peine 16% mentionnent les femmes, a fait remarquer la représentante de l’Argentine. Plusieurs déléguations ont estimé que les comités des sanctions du Conseil de sécurité devaient adopter des mesures ciblées afin d’accroître la pression sur les auteurs de violences sexuelles, comme ce fut le cas par le Comité du Conseil de sécurité créé par la résolution 1533 (2004) concernant la République démocratique du Congo. Celui-ci a inscrit sur sa liste des individus et des entités les Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda (FDLR) et le Mouvement du 23 mars (M23) en raison des actes de violence commis par leurs membres, y compris des violences sexuelles.

    Il faudrait, en outre, envisager de telles mesures dans des cas où il n’existe pas de comité des sanctions, en particulier pour la Somalie, le Soudan, la Côte d’Ivoire, Al-Qaida au Maghreb islamique ou la Guinée-Bissau, a estimé le représentant de la Nouvelle-Zélande.

    Quelques États Membres, comme l’Italie et le Luxembourg, se sont particulièrement inquiétés de la tendance nouvelle visant à utiliser la violence sexuelle contre les hommes comme tactique d’intimidation lors d’une détention ou d’un interrogatoire.

    En début de séance, les membres du Conseil de sécurité ont observé une minute de silence à la mémoire de l’ancien Premier Ministre britannique Margaret Thatcher, dont les obsèques avaient lieu ce mercredi, à Londres, ainsi qu’aux victimes des attaques à la bombe perpétrées, lundi 15 avril, à Boston.

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    Source: UN Security Council, UN General Assembly
    Country: Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Central African Republic, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Uganda, World, Yemen, South Sudan (Republic of)

    Assemblée générale Soixante-septième session Point 33 de l’ordre du jour Prévention des conflits armés

    I. Introduction

    1. Le présent rapport, qui couvre la période allant de décembre 2011 à décembre 2012, est soumis conformément au paragraphe 18 de la résolution 1960 (2010) du Conseil de sécurité, dans lequel le Conseil m’a prié de lui faire rapport chaque année sur l’application des résolutions 1820 (2008) et 1888 (2009), et de lui présenter des recommandations quant aux mesures appropriées à prendre. Le rapport fait également suite aux demandes formulées par le Conseil dans la Déclaration de son président publiée sous la cote S/PRST/2012/23. Le rapport présente des renseignements sur les parties à un conflit qui sont soupçonnées, selon toute probabilité, d’avoir commis des viols ou d’autres formes de violence sexuelle ou d’en être responsables. Il appelle l’attention sur les mesures prises et les problèmes rencontrés par les États dans des situations de conflit et d’après conflit en vue de protéger les femmes, les hommes et les enfants contre la violence sexuelle; la mise en œuvre des arrangements de suivi, d’analyse et de communication de l’information; le déploiement de conseillers pour la protection des femmes; les actions entreprises par l’Équipe d’experts de l’état de droit et des questions touchant les violences sexuelles commises en période de conflit; les efforts déployés par le système des Nations Unies; et les recommandations visant à intensifier les actions de lutte contre cette forme particulièrement choquante de criminalité. Il convient de lire le présent rapport en liaison avec mon précédent rapport portant sur le même sujet (A/66/657/-S/2012/33).

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    Source: UN Security Council, UN General Assembly
    Country: Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Uganda, World, Yemen, South Sudan (Republic of)

    Asamblea General Consejo de Seguridad Sexagésimo séptimo período de sesiones
    Tema 33 del programa
    Prevención de los conflictos armados
    Sexagésimo octavo año

    I. Introducción

    1. Este informe, que abarca el período comprendido entre diciembre de 2011 y diciembre de 2012, se presenta de conformidad con el párrafo 18 de la resolución 1960 (2010) del Consejo de Seguridad, en la que el Consejo me solicitó que le presentara informes anuales sobre la aplicación de las resoluciones 1820 (2008) y 1888 (2009), y que recomendase la adopción de las medidas que correspondieran. El informe también atiende a lo solicitado por el Consejo en la declaración de su Presidencia S/PRST/2012/23. Contiene información sobre las partes en conflictos sobre las cuales pesan sospechas fundadas de que han cometido o han sido responsables de violaciones y otras formas de violencia sexual. Pone de relieve las medidas adoptadas y los problemas a que hacen frente los Estados en situaciones de conflicto y posteriores a los conflictos para proteger a las mujeres, los hombres y los niños contra la violencia sexual; la aplicación de las disposiciones de vigilancia, análisis y presentación de informes; los servicios de asesores en protección de la mujer: el compromiso contraído por el Equipo de Expertos de las Naciones Unidas sobre el Estado de Derecho y la Violencia Sexual en los Conflictos; los esfuerzos del sistema de las Naciones Unidas, y recomendaciones para fortalecer las medidas destinadas a combatir este crimen atroz. Este informe se debe leer conjuntamente con mi informe anterior sobre el mismo tema (A/66/657-S/2012/33).

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    Source: UN News Service
    Country: Central African Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic

    17 avril 2013 – Les cas de la Syrie et du Mali confirment que seule une solution politique est de nature à garantir la stabilité de long terme dans la plupart des pays en crise, a affirmé le Secrétaire général Ban Ki-moon lors d'une conférence de presse au cours de laquelle il a abordé de nombreuses situations à travers le monde.

    « La tragédie en Syrie empire de jour en jour. La dynamique militaire détruit le pays et met en péril toute la région », a-t-il observé, exigeant la protection des civils, alors que plus de 70.000 d'entre eux ont déjà trouvé la mort dans le conflit qui a éclaté en mars 2011 et a déplacés plus de trois millions de personnes.

    « Même si les chances paraissent faibles, je suis toujours convaincu qu'une solution politique est possible », a-t-il dit. « C'est la seule façon de mettre un terme à ce bain de sang et d'aboutir à une Syrie nouvelle et démocratique. Les Nations Unies continueront de pousser dans cette direction », a dit le Secrétaire général, avant d'annoncer qu'il allait rencontrer, dans l'après-midi, le Représentant conjoint des Nations Unies et de la Ligue des États arabes pour la Syrie, M. Lakhdar Brahimi, afin d'examiner différentes options.

    M. Ban a de nouveau appelé le gouvernement syrien à faire preuve de souplesse en acceptant les modalités prévues pour le déploiement d'une mission d'experts chargée d'enquêter sur les allégations de recours aux armes chimiques dans le cadre du conflit. Le 20 mars dernier, les autorités syriennes elles-mêmes avaient demandé « une mission spécialisée, impartiale et indépendante » afin de vérifier les allégations concernant l'emploi de telles armes à Alep.

    L'équipe, stationnée à Chypre depuis une semaine, se rendra en Syrie dès que le gouvernement aura accepté les modalités de déploiement de la mission qui est également chargée d'enquêter sur un autre incident qui se serait produit à Homs, en décembre dernier, à la demande de la France et du Royaume-Uni. « J'ai exhorté le gouvernement syrien à faire preuve de souplesse en acceptant les modalités proposées », a précisé M. Ban.

    Sur la question du Mali, le Secrétaire général a constaté que la sécurité s'était beaucoup améliorée grâce aux « mesures prises à temps » par les forces militaires françaises et africaines pour chasser hors du pays les islamistes radicaux et autres rebelles armés qui avaient pris le contrôle du nord de son territoire.

    « Il reste cependant encore beaucoup à faire pour restaurer l'ordre constitutionnel et l'intégrité territoriale au Mali. » Les opérations et la stabilisation militaires sont essentielles, a-t-il estimé, tout en soulignant que « l'accomplissement de progrès sur le plan politique constitue la clef de toute solution durable ».

    Le Secrétaire général a ensuite exprimé sa préoccupation devant les incidents survenus en République centrafricaine, où le Président, François Bozizé, a été chassé du pouvoir par la coalition de la Séléka, le 24 mars dernier. Il a demandé aux autorités de fait de restaurer l'ordre dans tout le pays.

    En République démocratique du Congo (RDC) voisine, le chef de l'ONU s'est félicité de la résolution importante adoptée par le Conseil de sécurité pour renforcer la Mission des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation en RDC (MONUSCO), notamment en créant une brigade d'intervention pour régler les problèmes posés par des groupes armés.

    Évoquant ensuite le processus de paix au Moyen Orient, M. Ban a salué la récente visite du Président des États-Unis, Barack Obama, et du Secrétaire d'État, John Kerry, à Jérusalem et à Ramallah pour la solution à deux États qui verrait Israël et la Palestine coexister en paix et en sécurité le long de frontières communes. « Toutes les parties impliquées, y compris le Quatuor, doivent œuvrer en vue d'apporter un nouveau souffle au processus de paix, établir un environnement propice à la reprise des négociations et créer un horizon politique crédible pour la solution à deux États. »

    Le Secrétaire général a par ailleurs constaté que la situation restait très instable dans la péninsule coréenne, où « la communauté internationale a répondu de manière ferme, mais mesurée, aux essais nucléaires, aux menaces et autres provocations de la République populaire démocratique de Corée (RPDC) », a-t-il relevé. « Les récents développements ont renforcé le consensus selon lequel on n'acceptera jamais que la RPDC soit un État nucléaire», a ajouté Ban Ki-moon.

    « J'exhorte à nouveau les dirigeants de la RPDC à renverser le cours des évènements et à revenir à la table de négociation », a dit M. Ban, qui se confiant en la sincérité de la récente proposition de dialogue formulée par la République de Corée.

    « En tant que Secrétaire général, je poursuivrai mes efforts pour faciliter un dialogue significatif », a-t-il souligné, avant d'encourager les autorités nord-coréennes à se concentrer sur le bien-être de la population du pays.

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    Source: International Food Policy Research Institute
    Country: Malawi, World

    The sector-wide approach currently dominates as the strategy for developing the agricultural sector of many African countries. Although it is recognized that agricultural research plays a vital role in ensuring success of sectorwide agricultural development strategies, there has been little or no effort to explicitly link the research strategies of the National Agricultural Research System (NARS) in African countries to the research agenda that is articulated in sectorwide agricultural development strategies. This study fills that gap by analyzing the readiness of Malawi’s NARS to respond to the research needs of the national agricultural sector development strategy, namely the Agriculture Sector Wide Approach (ASWAp) program. Results of a social network analysis demonstrate that public agricultural research departments play a central coordinating role in facilitating information sharing, with other actors remaining on the periphery. However, that analysis also shows the important role other actors play in relaying information to a wider network of stakeholders. These secondary information pathways can play a crucial role in ensuring successful implementation of the national agricultural research agenda. Policymakers and managers of public research programs are called upon to integrate other research actors into the mainstream national agricultural research information network. This is vital as other research actors are, at the global level, increasingly taking up a greater role in financing and disseminating research and research results, and in enhancing the scaling up and out of new agricultural technologies.

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    Source: IRIN
    Country: Mali

    BAMAKO/MOPTI/DAKAR, 18 April 2013 (IRIN) - Aid agencies managed to work in northern Mali throughout its occupation by Islamist militants in 2012 and the new complications triggered by the French-led military campaign earlier this year. No single template guided their engagement.

    IRIN spoke to aid staff in Mali about how they navigated access challenges in a region facing critical nutritional and health needs over the course of 2012 and 2013.

    What has humanitarian access looked like?

    When rebel and Islamist groups first occupied northern Mali in April 2012 many international NGOs and UN agencies initially withdrew, often after having their offices, vehicles and aid supplies looted. [ ]. Some relocated staff to the central region of Mopti and sent international staff down to the capital, Bamako; others shifted their programmes further south to Mopti, Douentza and Ségou.

    Many agencies, among them NGO Catholic Relief Services, UNICEF, and the UN World Food Programme, experienced access problems that hampered their scale of operations. Most of these agencies were involved in longer-term development projects until things changed in 2012. For WFP and several others, access is still a problem: "One of our top concerns is for humanitarian access to be re-established," WFP head Sally Haydock told IRIN in March of this year. "This would allow WFP to reopen its offices in order to assist a larger caseload and for our partners to operate fully."

    However, many emergency-response NGOs continued to operate in northern Mali throughout the Islamist occupation, and several significantly increased their humanitarian reach because of the crisis conditions. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Médecins du Monde (MDM), Action against Hunger (ACF), Solidarité Internationale and Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) all worked across northern regions in 2012 and 2013, and heads of each organization said their access was not significantly affected. These organizations together provided nutrition support, healthcare, and water and sanitation services to a significant proportion of the remaining population.

    After the French-led military intervention, which began in January 2013, things became more complicated as there were no clear authorities in place in many northern regions, said Frank Abeille, the Mali director of Solidarité Internationale. Civic administrations are for the most part still unstaffed, and the military chain of command is often unclear.

    ICRC spokesperson Wolde Saugeron, in Geneva, told IRIN, "Paradoxically, things got more complicated with the intervention, as the interlocutors started to change."

    "Now it is much more complicated with a lack of authorities in place. We negotiate access with whoever we can find," ACF head Franck Vannetelle told IRIN.

    MDM said the same of the northeastern region of Kidal, where access has been complicated by power struggles among the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), the Islamic Movement of Azawad (MIA) and other groups. "We don't know who to address access-wise, who decides what. It is confusing for everyone, including the population," MDM Belgium's coordinator, Sebastien Lemaire, told IRIN.

    The situation has eased in recent weeks, said Saugeron, who estimated that as of April 2013, ICRC's access is back to pre-French-intervention levels.

    What were some approaches used to secure access?

    After the initial occupation, some organizations re-established access by working with local partners. WFP, for example, teamed up with ACTED in the area of Ménaka and Norwegian Church Aid in Kidal, both of which connected with local NGOs. According to WFP, its food aid reached up to 150,000 people in 2012 and 2013. ICRC also worked very closely with the Malian Red Cross.

    On the other hand, many agencies negotiated access with whomever they needed to, including, in 2012, Islamic insurgent groups like the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), Ansar Dine, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and, in 2013, the Malian, French and Chadian armies, local authorities and the MNLA.

    For example, in April 2012, MSF set up a large healthcare programme in Timbuktu Region and parts of Gao Region by negotiating with all the parties to the conflict - including armed groups and, more recently, the French and Malian militaries.

    "All have to be approached. We worked out a way to keep our teams in the north last year and to keep them there this year - little by little we built up our humanitarian space," said Johanne Sekkenes, MSF head in Mali. "This is part of our work as a humanitarian agency; it's no secret. There is no guarantee of being accepted."

    According to ACF's Vannetelle, MUJAO in Gao never refused access. "We had to confirm our movements 24 hours in advance, and they always cleared it. There was a direct chain of command, which gave us assurance."

    How has negotiation changed?

    The use of negotiation to deliver aid in rebel-controlled areas has shifted over the past 20 years. In the 1990s, UN agencies often led negotiations over humanitarian access on behalf of much of the aid community - as in Operation Lifeline Sudan, and the Special Relief Programme for Angola for instance. Negotiation was considered integral to putting the humanitarian principles into practice.

    This changed after the 9/11 attacks on the US, according to research by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI). "Humanitarian organizations have long been pressured by states not to engage with [armed non-state actors], in part because they fear that doing so may lend them legitimacy," said the ODI report Talking to the other side [ ]. But now these non-state actors "are often listed as terrorists in situations where humanitarian engagement is most necessary," discouraging direct interaction.

    This has marked a shift in the humanitarian culture, particularly for the UN, said one seasoned aid worker: "Now we're more scared than we used to be. We've lost that culture of negotiating with rebels. It's always been a high-risk job, but whenever we go now, we side with the government."

    For one senior UN official, who requested anonymity, the UN has no choice but to be more careful than other aid groups. "You must recognize the nature of groups like AQIM, MUJAO and Ansar Dine - who have said the UN is among their top five targets. If you are a UN employee, you're on their target list," he said. "That's why we work through partners."

    But some agencies, such as MDM, fear that working with local partners could jeopardize their operations' impartiality because it is impossible to know exactly where partners' personnel stand without strict monitoring.

    Many interviewees said training is needed on negotiating access in conflict zones, a point also made in the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) 2011 report To Stay and Deliver. [ ]

    Several organizations, such as ICRC, already do this. ICRC uses networking and awareness-raising to help negotiating parties gain confidence in its impartiality.

    "This is something that has been developed over a long, long period of time - and it is directly related to the practical issue of having to work in conflict zones," said Saugeron, who mentioned some agencies have approached ICRC for guidance in this area.

    In Mali, rather than negotiating access directly with armed groups, many aid providers negotiated with village-level crisis committees, which included civilians and rebels, said the UN official. Access worked out through these committees largely worked, he said, in part because two of the groups in question - MUJAO and Ansar Dine - had no interest in diverting humanitarian aid. The advantage of these crisis committees is that they could work back and forth between southern and northern Mali, with multiple points of contact, he pointed out.

    "What was done was the best that could have been in the circumstances," he said.

    What are the remaining security challenges?

    Given tight military control following the French-led intervention, much of the north is again opening up to aid groups. But access is still limited by opportunistic banditry and criminality where there are no security forces, said a UN worker.

    Banditry includes attacks on vehicles up and down the Niger river valley and along certain routes, such as the main road from Gao to Kidal. Threats also include improvised explosive devices and mines in parts of Gao. Illicit trafficking in cigarettes, drugs and other contraband are likely to pick up again.

    "We have security, for the most part, in towns, and insecurity elsewhere - much like pre-conflict 2012," noted the UN official. "We don't want to return to how things were. We want to go beyond."

    The UN Security Council is reviewing a draft resolution to put a 12,600-strong peacekeeping mission in Mali by 1 July. If such an initiative attempts to integrate military, humanitarian and political operations, the neutrality of UN agencies could come into question.

    "The nature of the mandate of DPKO [Department of Peacekeeping Operations] in Mali will be a determinant," said Fernando Arroyo, head of OCHA in Mali. "There is wide consensus among humanitarians that it is imperative to keep humanitarian and political agendas separate, as a failure to do so could undermine the perceived impartiality that humanitarian organizations have gained so far in the north."

    On the other hand, said the UN official, integration could give humanitarians a voice at the table, which could result in better security for their programmes.

    But for now, said Arroyo, aid agencies' top priority is to getting the right people in place to restore basic services.



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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali

    L’évaluation approfondie de la sécurité alimentaire dans les camps de réfugiés et auprès des populations autochtones ( hôtes ) a montré une prévalence élevée de l’insécurité alimentaire chez les deux catégories de ménages. En effet, l’évaluation indique que 52% et 58% respectivement des réfugiés et des autochtones sont affectées par l’insécurité alimentaire. Chez les réfugiés, l’analyse désagrégée de la prévalence à l’insécurité alimentaire à mis en évidence des disparités importantes selon le lieu de résidence ( camp ou hors camps ), l’origine, le sexe, le statut matrimonial et l’âge du chef de ménage.

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