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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Malawi
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    Maize, rice, and cassava are the most important food commodities. Markets selected represent the entire geographic length of the country: two markets in each of the north, center, and south. In the north, Karonga is one of the most active markets in maize and rice and is influenced by informal cross-border trade with Tanzania. Mzimba is a major maize producing area in the northern region. Salima, in the center along the lake, is an important market where some of the fishing populations are almost entirely dependent on the market for staple cereals. Mitundu is a very busy peri-urban market in Lilongwe. In the south, the Lunzu market is the main supplier of food commodities such as maize and rice for Blantyre. The Bangula market in Nsanje district was chosen to represent the Lower Shire area, covering Chikwawa and Nsanje districts.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Haiti, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Zimbabwe, South Sudan (Republic of)
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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    06/14/2013 00:21 GMT

    OUAGADOUGOU, 14 juin 2013 (AFP) - Les négociations ont repris jeudi à Ouagadougou pour parvenir à un accord entre le pouvoir malien et les rebelles touareg occupant Kidal, dans le nord du Mali, au lendemain de tractations à Bamako qui n'ont pas permis d'aboutir.

    De retour du Mali, le chef de la diplomatie burkinabè Djibrill Bassolé a eu dans la soirée des discussions avec la délégation conjointe touareg du Mouvement national de libération de l'Azawad (MNLA) et du Haut conseil pour l'unité de l'Azawad (HCUA).

    M. Bassolé était accompagné des diplomates (ONU, Union africaine, Union européenne, entre autres) qui l'assistent au nom de la communauté internationale.

    A la sortie, le chef de la mission africaine déployée au Mali (Misma), Pierre Buyoya, s'est voulu confiant. "Demain (vendredi) nous allons continuer les discussions avec l'espoir d'arriver à un accord le plus tôt possible", a déclaré l'ancien président burundais.

    Le ministre burkinabè et ses partenaires internationaux doivent réunir vendredi les représentants du pouvoir malien et ceux des groupes armés touareg pour relancer les négociations directes.

    L'émissaire principal des autorités maliennes, l'ancien ministre Tiébilé Dramé, est revenu jeudi soir dans la capitale burkinabè.

    "Nous sommes pour la paix, mais une paix qui défende les intérêts du Mali", a-t-il expliqué à l'AFP.

    Il compte pour la première fois dans sa délégation des militaires, trois officiers de l'armée malienne. "Mais ça n'a rien de belliqueux", a-t-il assuré, précisant qu'ils devraient participer à la définition des "modalités concrètes du déploiement de l'armée malienne à Kidal" en cas de conclusion d'un accord.

    Les représentants de Bamako espèrent un compromis "avant le weekend, ou au plus tard pendant le weekend", a indiqué une source proche de cette délégation.

    Lancées le 8 juin par le président burkinabè Blaise Compaoré, médiateur régional, les négociations de Ouagadougou ont pour objectif de permettre un retour de l'armée malienne dans la ville de Kidal, dans la perspective de l'élection présidentielle prévue le 28 juillet dans tout le Mali.

    Il s'agit désormais de rediscuter le texte élaboré ces derniers jours et accepté par les mouvements touareg, mais rejeté en l'état par Bamako.

    D'intenses tractations menées par M. Bassolé et ses soutiens internationaux, venus rencontrer mercredi à Bamako le président malien par intérim Dioncounda Traoré, ont échoué à convaincre le régime malien de signer l'accord mis au point à Ouagadougou. Attendu en début de semaine, un accord n'est désormais plus espéré avant quelques jours.

    Selon des participants, les négociations bloquent surtout, du côté du pouvoir malien, sur le calendrier du cantonnement et du désarmement des combattants touareg, et sur les poursuites judiciaires engagées contre des chefs rebelles, dont Bamako refuse la suspension prévue dans le projet d'accord.

    Le régime de Bamako rejette aussi l'usage du terme "Azawad", par lequel les autonomistes touareg désignent la région septentrionale du Mali.

    Un diplomate participant aux discussions s'est montré jeudi pessimiste: "le gouvernement à Bamako est fragile, l'opinion est surchauffée", finaliser un accord "risque de prendre du temps", a-t-il affirmé à l'AFP.

    Les rebelles touareg se sont installés fin janvier à Kidal à la faveur de l'intervention militaire française contre les groupes islamistes armés liés à Al-Qaïda. Les jihadistes avaient pris en 2012 le contrôle du nord du Mali, s'alliant d'abord au MNLA qui avait lancé l'offensive, avant d'évincer ce mouvement dans la région.

    roh-sd-tmo/abl


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Mauritania
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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Mauritania
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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Mauritania
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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Mauritania
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    Source: Amnesty
    Country: Mali

    Children in Mali, some as young as 13, who were recruited as child soldiers by armed groups or suspected of links with them, are now being detained by Malian forces alongside adults, where some say they’ve been tortured, Amnesty International revealed after returning from a four-week visit to the country.

    The organization’s delegates spoke to nine children between 13 and 17 years of age who were held with adults at the Maison centrale d’arrêt and at Camp I of the gendarmerie of Mali’s capital, Bamako, on suspicion of association with armed groups.

    One of them, a 15-year-old shepherd, was arrested by Chadian forces in Intouké – in the northern Kidal region – and handed over to French forces. He said they did not ask for his age and did not interview him in his mother tongue, Tamasheq (a Tuareg language) before handing him over to the Malian gendarmerie in Bamako. During the plane transfer he was blindfolded and had his hands and feet tied.

    Some of the children said they had being victims of torture or other ill-treatment by the Malian forces.

    “They hung me up to the ceiling for 15 minutes and they threatened to give me electric shocks. They threatened to kill me,” one of them told Amnesty International.

    “Under international law, children should be detained separately from adults, and Malian law also prohibits detaining them with adults. The Malian authorities should give notice to the UNICEF when arresting children suspected of association with armed groups so that their families can be identified and their cases handled by child protection professionals,” said Gaëtan Mootoo, Mali Researcher at Amnesty International.

    These children in detention have been charged with offences such as association with wrongdoers, rebellion, undermining internal and external state security and acts of terrorism.

    Other children arrested for alleged links with armed groups were handed over to UNICEF via the Malian gendarmerie and the French forces.

    Some of the children surrendered or were arrested by Malian, French or Chadian armed forces following the military operation launched in January this year to retake northern Mali from armed groups that took control of the region in April 2012.

    Others have not yet been located, prompting concerns they might still be linked to armed groups or hiding in their communities for fear of reprisals or of being detained.

    Since the beginning of the Malian conflict in January 2012, human rights organizations including Amnesty International have denounced the recruitment and use of child soldiers by armed groups and self-defence militias supported by the Malian authorities.

    Amnesty International urged the Malian authorities, the MINUSMA (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali) and other UN agencies to reach out to local communities to ensure care for children now in hiding after allegedly joining armed groups. They must also develop programmes to reinsert and reintegrate former child soldiers.

    The organization also called for the release of all children held by armed groups - including the Mouvement pour l’unicité du djihad en Afrique de l’ouest (MUJAO, Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa) and the Tuareg Mouvement national de libération de l’Azawad (MNLA,National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad) and Al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) as well as self-defence militias.

    The United Nations Secretary-General’s 2012 Report on Children and Armed Conflict, released this week, has for the first time explicitly named parties to the conflict in Mali as being responsible for the recruitment and use of child soldiers and for sexual violence against children.

    “It is critical that the leadership of the MINUSMA prioritize the issue of child soldiers and other children associated with armed forces,” said Gaëtan Mootoo.

    For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Amnesty International’s press office: +44 207 413 5566, +44 7778 472 126, press@amnesty.org


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    Source: IFRC
    Country: Senegal

    By Katie Robinson, Canadian Red Cross

    As in other countries across the Sahel, the lack of rainfall during 2011 left parts of Senegal facing food insecurity. This was particularly detrimental for livestock in the lean period just before the rains. In this West African country, it is estimated that some 850,000 people were directly affected by the lack of food, and 2.5 million people were affected indirectly.

    The Senegalese Red Cross Society, with support from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), responded to the crisis and, over the course of the following year, supported 499,000 people with food, animal feed and cash distributions. This was crucial, particularly during the lean season, when they needed most help.

    The goal has been to minimize the impact of food shortages on households after last year’s poor harvest, whilst also supporting the approach of providing emergency assistance, livelihoods protection and recovery activities alongside each other in order to increase the ability of households to cope when times are tough.

    It is an approach that appears to be working.

    Khoudga Fall is a 43-year-old mother of 12 from Saint-Louis, located in the north-western region of Senegal. The drought meant she was unable to feed her family and she was struggling to afford other expenses, such as health and school fees.

    “The Red Cross is the only organization that we have seen in the community. I don’t know what I would have done if they didn’t show up,” says Fall.

    “They provided me with food and cash. This assistance permitted me to feed my family – it is because of them that we no longer have to worry about how we are going to eat.”


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    Source: UN Security Council
    Country: Mali

    I. Introduction

    1. The present report is submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 2100 (2013) of 25 April 2013, by which the Council established the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), subsuming the United Nations Office in Mali (UNOM), with MINUSMA assuming responsibility for the implementation of the mandated tasks of UNOM.

    2. In that resolution, the Council requested me to keep it regularly informed of the situation in Mali and the implementation of the mandate of MINUSMA and to provide a report to it within 45 days of the adoption of the resolution, specifically on the security situation and the political process, and to include updates on the priority political elements, including the implementation of the transitional road map, the electoral process and relevant information on the progress, promotion and protection of human rights and international humanitarian law. In addition, I was requested to provide a review of the troop level, force generation and deployment of all constituent elements of MINUSMA. The present report provides the requested updates and information on major developments in Mali since the issuance of my report of 26 March 2013 (S/2013/189).


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    Source: UN Security Council
    Country: Mali

    I. Introduction

    1. Le présent rapport est soumis en application de la résolution 2100 (2013) du Conseil de sécurité, en date du 25 avril 2013, par laquelle le Conseil a créé la Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation au Mali (MINUSMA). Le Bureau des Nations Unies au Mali (BUNUMA) a ainsi été intégré à la MINUSMA, qui doit assumer la responsabilité de l’exécution du mandat du Bureau.

    2. Dans sa résolution, le Conseil m’a prié de le tenir régulièrement informé de la situation au Mali et de l’exécution du mandat de la MINUSMA, et de lui rendre compte dans les 45 jours suivant l’adoption de ladite résolution, en particulier de l’état de sécurité et du processus politique, en faisant le point sur la suite donnée aux questions politiques prioritaires, notamment l’exécution de la feuille de route pour la transition, le processus électoral et l’évolution de la situation des droits de l’homme et du droit international humanitaire, de leur protection et de leur promotion. Il m’a aussi demandé de faire le bilan des effectifs militaires, de la constitution des forces et du déploiement de tous les éléments constitutifs de la Mission. On trouvera dans le présent rapport les mises à jour demandées ainsi qu’une description des principaux événements survenus au Mali depuis mon rapport du 26 mars 2013 (S/2013/189).


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    Source: US Agency for International Development
    Country: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, United States of America
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    HIGHLIGHTS

    • Overall food security situation in the Sahel remains stable, although localized food price increases and rising insecurity across the region cause concern

    • U.S. Government (USG) provides an additional $56.5 million to food-insecure and conflict-affected Sahelian populations


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    Source: US Agency for International Development
    Country: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria
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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Mauritania
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    Local rice and sorghum are the most consumed food products by poor households in Mauritania followed by imported wheat which is a substitute that these households turn to the most. Local rice is grown in the river valley (in the southern regions of Trarza, Brakna, Gorgol and Guidimakha) . Sorghum is produced in all areas of production (rainfed) and in flood - recession areas. However, a significant portion is imported from Mali and Senegal. Mauritania depends greatly on food imports (% in a good agricultural year and% in a bad year) than on internal production. Nouakchott is the principal collection market for imported products and also the distribution market where traders acquire supplies for the secondary markets referenced below. Cooking oil is consumed mainly in urban areas. The sale of animals is a lifestyle in all areas and an important source of income and food


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Mali
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    Millet, rice, and sorghum constitute the basic staple foods for the majority of the Malian population.
    Millet has traditionally been the most widely consumed, but since 2005 rice has become a popular substitute in urban households. Sorghum is generally more important for rural than urban households. Markets included are indicative of local conditions within their respective regions. Ségou is one of the most important markets for both the country and region because it is located in a very large grain production area. Bamako, the capital and largest urban center in the country, functions as an assembly market. It receives cereals from Koulikoro, Ségou, and Sikasso for consumption and also acts as an assembly market for trade with the northern regions of the country (Kayes and Koulikoro) and Mauritania. Markets in the deficit areas of the country (Timbuktu and Gao) receive their supplies of millet and rice from Mopti, Ségou and Sikasso.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe
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    Ongoing harvests improve food security outcomes across most parts of the region

    KEY MESSAGES

    • Minimal food insecurity outcomes (IPC Phase 1) are expected to persist across the region through June as household food access improves from own production The exception is in some flood affected areas in southern Mozambique and areas in the southern districts in Zimbabwe where poor rainfall distribution and mid - season dry spells is expected to have reduce d harvests. Stressed outcomes (IPC Phase 2) are expected among poor households in these localized areas in Mozambique and Zimbabwe in June, both in the presence and in the absence of assistance, respectively.

    • While national food production estimates and vulnerability assessments are still being finalized, current indications are that poorer households in parts of the region that experienced poor crop production this season are likely to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity outcomes from July to September.

    • Overall regional grain supplies are likely to be tighter in the 2013/14 consumption season given reduced levels of production and carryover stocks from surplus producing South Africa and Zambia. However, in the period through September, cereal prices are expected to remain stable, increasing seasonably in July/ August.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Burkina Faso
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    Millet, maize, and sorghum are the most important food commodities for household consumption. Millet is the staple of the most vulnerable households, while maize and sorghum also contribute to the food basket of a majority of all households. Sankaryare market is the largest and most important market in Ouagadougou and supplies other markets within the country and region. Koudougou is located in one of the most populated areas in the country, where a majority of households depend on the market for their food needs. Djibo is in the highly vulnerable Sahelian zone. Pouytenga is an assembly market for products from Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, and Togo. Solenzo is a rural market located in the middle of a surplus production zone. Bobo Dioulasso is important center for both consumption and production – it functions as both the economic capital of Burkina Faso and is located in an important cereal production zone.


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    Source: Stability: International Journal of Security & Development
    Country: Mali, Somalia

    Matt Freear, Cedric de Coning

    Abstract

    Mali and Somalia have both suffered determined Islamist-inspired insurgencies, and in both African Union-led peace operations have been a central pillar in political and security stabilization efforts. Despite challenges in transferring lessons between unique situations, the AMISOM experience can offer some useful lessons for Mali. We have identified several themes that helped to drive success for AMISOM, amongst others the determination of troop contributors and their funding partners, and actively pursuing the support of the host population. At the operational and tactical levels, we have highlighted a number of features that has contributed to more effective operations, including a high degree of adaptability, working with allied armed groups and a dogged determination to see the fight through. The next stage for both countries may be the most challenging yet as African Union and United Nations troops are called to keep a complex and fragile peace in Mali and Somalia.


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    Source: Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe
    Country: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger

    Wolfram Lacher

    Abstract

    The weakness of regional security cooperation has been a key factor in the gradual destabilization of the Sahel-Sahara region over the past decade. While organized crime, extremist activity, and cross-border movements of arms and fighters have strengthened linkages among non-state actors in the region, state policies have failed to keep up. With the escalation of the crisis in Mali, West African states have adopted an approach diverging strongly from that of Mali’s North African neighbours. Western governments’ tendency to understand insecurity in the region through the notion of the Sahel has compounded the problem. Insecurity in the region, including criminal and extremist networks, is more Saharan than Sahelian in scope. North African states are part of the problem, and need to be part of the solution. A new framework for regional cooperation is needed – and while this can only be established on the initiative of regional states themselves, external actors need to adapt their policies to help such a framework emerge.


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  • 06/15/13--09:59: Mali: Mali: Visions of War
  • Source: Stability: International Journal of Security & Development
    Country: Mali

    Roland Marchal

    Abstract

    Political elites in Bamako articulate different understandings of the war in northern Mali, though share the same view on the restoration of Malian sovereignty. Those visions are deeply rooted in an assessment of the past failed peace agreements with Tuareg groups, a focus on social and ethnic differentiations that emphasize the role of Kidal and the will to avoid major reforms in dealing with key issues such as the efficiency of the political system, the role of Islam in the Malian polity and the complicated relations between Bamako and its neighbours. The status of AQIM in the current crisis, contrary to the international narrative, is downplayed while other armed groups, in particular the MNLA, are seen as the real, and, often, only threat.


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