Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Showcase


Channel Catalog


Channel Description:

ReliefWeb - Updates

older | 1 | .... | 160 | 161 | (Page 162) | 163 | 164 | .... | 728 | newer

    0 0

    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    07/27/2013 10:07 GMT

    by Frankie TAGGART

    BAMAKO, July 27, 2013 (AFP) - Millions of Malians are expected to vote Sunday in "imperfect" elections they hope will usher in a new dawn of peace and stability in a country torn apart by an 18-month political crisis and armed conflict.

    Voters will have a choice of 27 candidates as they go to the polls for the first time since a separatist uprising led to a coup and then a sweeping Islamist offensive last year which upended one of the region's most stable democracies.

    The three-week campaign came to a close Friday without major incidents but played out in the shadow of violence in the north which has cast doubt over Mali's readiness to deliver a safe and credible election.

    United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Mali's interim leader Dioncounda Traore have acknowledged that the vote may be "imperfect" in a country with 500,000 citizens displaced by conflict but have urged Malians to respect the outcome.

    Critics of the process at home and abroad have argued that Mali, under pressure from the international community, is rushing to the polls and risking a botched election which could do more harm than good.

    But Louis Michel, the head of the European Union observation mission, sounded a note of optimism Friday, saying conditions had been met for a credible first round as it emerged that 85 percent of voter cards had been distributed.

    "I believe that these elections can take place in a context and in conditions that are acceptable and do not allow for a distortion or an abuse of the result," he told reporters in the capital Bamako.

    "I really think the personality who emerges during this election will have more than enough legitimacy."

    The United States has urged Malians to vote, including in the restive north, and said it would have observers on the ground to bolster the European Union mission comprised of 100 observers.

    "We encourage all Malians to take full advantage of this opportunity to express their will through the ballot box and to remain peacefully engaged in the political process as we approach election day," deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said on Thursday.

    Much of the worry ahead of the polls has been focused on Kidal, occupied for five months by Tuareg separatists until a ceasefire accord allowed the Malian army earlier this month to provide security.

    Clashes between Tuaregs and black Africans a week ago left four people dead while five polling officials were kidnapped in Tessalit, 200 kilometres (125 miles) north of Kidal, by gunmen thought to be from the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA).

    The ballot will be the first since a coup in March last year that toppled democratically elected president Amadou Toumani Toure and created an opening that allowed the MNLA and groups allied to Al-Qaeda to seize northern Mali.

    A UN peacekeeping mission integrating more than 6,000 west African soldiers into its ranks is charged with ensuring security during and after the election, and will grow to 11,200 troops, plus 1,400 police, by the end of the year.

    The deployment allows France to start withdrawing most of the 4,500 troops it sent to Mali in January to stop the Islamists from advancing towards Bamako from their northern strongholds.

    France plans to have just 1,000 troops on the ground before the end of 2013 and has been pushing for a quick election in the hopes of restoring order to the country, under the control of an interim government since the coup.

    The list of candidates to Mali's next president features four former prime ministers and an array of political heavyweights -- but just one woman.

    Haidara Aichata Cisse, a legislator for a constituency near the northern city of Gao, will go head-to-head with 26 men, including past premiers Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Cheick Modibo Diarra, Modibo Sidibe and Soumana Sacko.

    Keita, prime minister from 1994 to 2000 and president of the National Assembly for five years from 2002, is seen as the main frontrunner alongside Soumaila Cisse, a former chairman of the Commission of the West African Monetary Union.

    "I have rarely felt such a fusion with the people of Mali, I have rarely felt such a communion, I have rarely seen rising in me such fervour," Keita said Thursday in an interview with AFP.

    ft/gk

    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse


    0 0

    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    07/27/2013 20:45 GMT

    by Thibauld Malterre

    KIDAL, July 27, 2013 (AFP) - On the eve of Mali's watershed presidential election, the authorities in the rebel bastion of Kidal were confident Saturday of well-run polls, although they were under no illusions about getting a big turn-out.

    There was no evidence on dusty, sun-baked streets of the remote desert settlement that polls seen as pivotal to conflict-scarred Mali's future were less than 24 hours away -- no campaign posters or slogans, no Malian flags even. "There was no campaign here," said one resident. One emblem, however, was ubiquitous: the four-colour flag of Azawad, the name Tuareg separatists give to northern Mali.

    Graffiti on the walls of Kidal, 1,500 km (930 miles) northeast of Bamako, proclaims: "We are not Malians.""I am responsible for organising the elections, I am not responsible for delivering the voters," smiled Kidal governor Adama Kamissoko, who has temporarily abandoned his army colonel's uniform and wears a "Mali elections 2013" cap.

    "But at least 13,000 voter cards have been distributed within a fortnight in the Kidal region, which is very encouraging." Kidal has 35,000 people on the electoral roll, a drop in the ocean when seen in terms of the seven million voters registered nationwide. But well-run polls in the settlement, near the Algerian border, are vital for the credibility of the elections nationwide.

    Kidal, the cultural stronghold of the Tuareg people and the historic birthplace of their most influential clans, is also something of a powder-keg.

    The region, also called Kidal, has been marginalised by successive administrations since Mali gained independence and the town has been the centre of various Tuareg uprisings.

    A kidnapping of five election officials in the Kidal region last week was blamed on the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), a rebel group founded to fight for independence for Mali's minority Tuareg.

    The election is considered vital to the future of Mali which is battling to restore democracy after an 18-month crisis that saw it suffer a Tuareg rebellion, a military coup and the seizure of more than half its territory by Islamist extremists.

    The MNLA took control of Kidal in February after a French-led military intervention ousted Al Qaeda-linked fighters who had piggybacked on the Tuareg rebellion to take control of most of northern Mali then chase out their former MNLA allies and impose a brutal form of Islamic law.

    The Malian authorities finally reclaimed the city after signing a ceasefire deal with the MNLA on June 18 in Burkina Faso's capital, Ouagadougou.

    The kidnappings came after violence between the lighter-skinned Tuaregs and Mali's majority black population rocked Kidal earlier this month, leaving four people dead, businesses looted and ransacked and the city's central market burned.

    Meanwhile observers have increasingly cast doubt on whether Kidal will be ready for the election.

    One of 28 presidential candidates, Tiebile Drame, dropped out of the race ahead of the election saying the country was not prepared, especially Kidal.

    "This election is a political Caesarean section, an abnormal birth that makes the mother suffer. But that doesn't mean that it generates a stillborn child," said Ambeiry Ag Rhisa, acting secretary-general of the MNLA. "But it is necessary for Azawad and Mali to establish an agreement that recognises Azawad with its own personality and acceptable governance, which leaves us to manage our business by ourselves."

    Aliou Zeimi, 18, who will vote for the first time on Sunday, said he was backing Dramane Dembele of Adema, Mali's largest party, as he picked up his voting card at his former school, which has been vandalised and closed for more than a year. "These are the bandits of Azawad who did this. It is important to vote for our country, we want peace. We want to take back our country," said Zeimi, a member of Kidal's black community.

    If the MNLA's official line is to back the election, this position has nothing like unanimous support among the rank-and-file.

    Many Tuareg do not feel a "Mali" election has anything to do with them, a little over a year after their brief proclamation of independence for Azawad.

    "I am a member of MNLA but I am against the Ouagadougou agreements, like everyone else here. We respect them because we gave our word, but not the Malians, they haven't released a single prisoner," said Aminatou Walet Bibi.

    The activist, who has organised several demonstrations by women against the return of the Malian government and soldiers to Kidal, said her people would "rise up again" if the Azawad issue was not resolved. "We have no water and no electricity but we do not need it if it comes from Mali. If Mali is staying here, I'd rather die.

    "My father died in the revolution against France, my uncle took part in the revolt in the 60s, my brother in the 90s... My son will be another revolutionary. Until we are liberated from Mali, it will be revolution, generation after generation." thm/stb/ft/lc

    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse


    0 0

    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    07/28/2013 01:30 GMT

    by Frankie Taggart

    BAMAKO, July 28, 2013 (AFP) - Malians were preparing Sunday to defy Islamist death threats and vote in their millions for a president expected to usher in a new dawn of peace and stability in the conflict-scarred nation.

    They will have a choice of 27 candidates as they vote for the first time since last year's military coup upended one of the region's most stable democracies, as Islamist militants hijacked a separatist uprising to seize much of the country.

    The ballot is due to open at 8:00 am (0800 GMT) under heavy security after one of the main Islamist armed groups in northern Mali said Saturday it would "strike" polling stations.

    "The polling stations and other voting places for what they are calling the elections will be targeted by mujahideen strikes," the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) said in a statement carried by the Mauritanian ANI news agency.

    It did not specify what form the attacks would take.

    The group warned Malian Muslims against taking part in the election, ordering them to "stay away from the polls".

    Although the three-week campaign ended Friday without major incident, it played out in the shadow of violence in the north that has cast doubt over Mali's readiness to deliver a safe and credible election.

    Critics at home and abroad have argued that Mali, under pressure from the international community, is rushing to the polls and risking a botched election that could do more harm than good.

    But Louis Michel, the head of the European Union observation mission, sounded a note of optimism Friday, saying conditions had been met for a credible first round.

    "I believe that these elections can take place in a context and in conditions that are acceptable and do not allow for a distortion or an abuse of the result," he told reporters in the capital Bamako.

    Much of the worry ahead of the polls has been focused on Kidal, occupied for five months by Tuareg separatists until a ceasefire accord allowed the Malian army earlier this month to provide security.

    Clashes between Tuaregs and black Africans in the run-up to the election left four people dead. And gunmen thought to be from the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) have kidnapped five polling officials 200 kilometres (125 miles) north of Kidal.

    The ballot will be the first since the military mutiny in March last year that toppled democratically elected president Amadou Toumani Toure. The ensuing confusion helped the MNLA, MUJAO and other groups allied to Al-Qaeda to seize northern Mali.

    On the eve of the election, acting president Dioncounda Traore, in a televised address, urged Malians to ensure a massive turnout in a country where the participation rate is usually around 40 percent. Traore himself is not a candidate.

    A UN peacekeeping mission integrating more than 6,000 African soldiers into its ranks is charged with ensuring security Sunday and in the months after the election. By the end of the year it will have grown to 11,200 troops and 1,400 police.

    The deployment allows France to start withdrawing most of the 4,500 troops it sent to Mali in January to stop the Islamists from advancing towards Bamako from their northern strongholds.

    Haidara Aichata Cisse, the only woman in the race, will go head-to-head with 26 men, including past premiers Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Cheick Modibo Diarra, Modibo Sidibe and Soumana Sacko.

    Keita is seen as the main frontrunner alongside Soumaila Cisse, a former chairman of the Commission of the West African Monetary Union.

    ft/jj

    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse


    0 0

    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    07/28/2013 06:03 GMT

    Par Ahamadou CISSE

    BAMAKO, 28 juillet 2013 (AFP) - Près de sept millions de Maliens sont appelés à voter dimanche au premier tour d'une présidentielle qui doit permettre d'entamer le redressement et la réconciliation de leur pays traumatisé par 18 mois de crise politique et militaire.

    A la veille du scrutin, le président malien par intérim Dioncounda Traoré, qui ne se présente pas, a affirmé que l'Etat était "le garant d'élections régulières et crédibles" et appelé ses compatriotes à aller voter massivement, alors qu'au Mali le taux de participation aux élections est généralement faible, autour de 40%.

    Vingt-sept candidats se présentent à ce premier tour qui devrait être suivi le 11 août d'un second tour entre les deux candidats arrivés en tête.

    L'ex-Premier ministre et ex-président de l'Assemblée nationale Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, 69 ans, et l'ex-ministre des Finances et ex-dirigeant de l'Union économique et monétaire (Uémoa) Soumaïla Cissé, 63 ans, sont les deux grands favoris, suivis d'un autre ancien Premier ministre, Modibo Sidibé, 60 ans.

    Cette élection doit rétablir l'ordre constitutionnel interrompu le 22 mars 2012 par un coup d'Etat qui a précipité la chute du Nord du Mali aux mains de groupes islamistes de la mouvance Al-Qaïda, alliés dans un premier temps à la rébellion touareg du Mouvement national de libération de l'Azawad (MNLA).

    Elle intervient six mois après le début en janvier d'une intervention militaire internationale menée par la France pour stopper une avancée vers le Sud des islamistes armés et les chasser du Nord qu'ils occupaient depuis neuf mois.

    Cette intervention de la France a été unanimement saluée dans le monde et au Mali qui était sur le point de devenir un nouveau sanctuaire pour les jihadistes.

    Mais la forte pression exercée ensuite par Paris sur le régime de transition à Bamako pour qu'il organise au plus vite des élections a suscité des interrogations et des critiques sur cette précipitation qui risque d'aboutir à un scrutin "bâclé" et des résultats contestés.

    Un des candidats, Tiébilé Dramé, artisan d'un accord de paix signé en juin à Ouagadougou entre Bamako et la rébellion touareg, qui avait réclamé en vain un report du scrutin, a retiré sa candidature pour protester contre son manque de préparation et l'attitude de la France qui, selon lui, a par ses pressions porté atteinte à la "dignité" des Maliens.

    Menace jihadiste

    Si 85% des cartes des 6,9 millions d'électeurs ont été distribuées, plusieurs obstacles au bon déroulement du scrutin subsistent: redéploiement inachevé de l'administration centrale dans le Nord, absence de retour chez eux de 500.000 réfugiés et déplacés ayant fui le conflit et dont la plupart risquent de ne pas pouvoir voter.

    Et l'un des groupes jihadistes qui ont occupé le Nord, le Mouvement pour l'unicité et le jihad en Afrique de l'ouest (Mujao), a menacé de "frapper" les bureaux de vote et mis en garde "les musulmans maliens contre la participation à ces élections".

    Louis Michel, chef de la centaine d'observateurs de l'Union européenne (UE) déployés au Mali, a affirmé qu'en dépit des craintes et des insuffisances, "ces élections peuvent se dérouler dans un contexte et dans des conditions acceptables qui ne permettront pas une interprétation ou un dévoiement du résultat".

    Une tâche immense attend le nouveau président, tant le Mali sort exsangue et plus que jamais divisé par ces 18 mois de crise qui l'ont plongé dans la récession et ont renforcé la pauvreté. Il pourra compter sur le soutien massif de la communauté internationale qui a promis plus de trois milliards d'euros d'aide.

    Mais sa mission la plus délicate sera de réconcilier les différentes communautés qui composent le Mali: les tensions entre elles ont été exacerbées par la rébellion touareg et l'occupation islamiste, Touareg et Arabes étant souvent assimilés par les Noirs à des rebelles ou à des jihadistes.

    La ville de Kidal (nord-est), fief des Touareg et du MNLA qui prône l'autonomie du Nord, illustre ces divisions. Des violences meurtrières y ont eu lieu il y a deux semaines entre des habitants touareg et noirs, en partie provoquées par le retour de soldats maliens dans la ville le 5 juillet.

    La sécurité du scrutin sera assurée par quelque 6.300 soldats de la force de l'ONU, la Minusma, aidée des 3.200 soldats français encore présents au Mali.

    bur-stb/jr/hba

    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse


    0 0

    Source: US Agency for International Development
    Country: Ethiopia, Niger, Senegal, World

    Thursday, July 25, 2013

    USAID Press Office

    202-712-4320

    Washington, DC -- Today, at the U.S. launch of the Feed the Future 2013 Progress Report, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Rajiv Shah announced two new Feed the Future Innovation Labs to improve climate resilience in some of Africa’s main cereal crops and increase private sector investment that can help smallholder farmers. The two new labs include the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sorghum & Millet and the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy. These Innovation Labs draw on the expertise of top universities around the country and represent a new model of development, using science and technology to address our greatest challenges in agriculture and food security.

    “Today, as we celebrate Feed the Future’s success over the last year, I am pleased to launch two new Feed the Future Innovation Labs with U.S. universities and their partners,” said Dr. Shah. “The Feed the Future on Sorghum & Millet Innovation Lab reflects President Obama's and Feed the Future's strong focus on using science and technology to help smallholders meet the challenge of increasing cereal production even as climate change alters environmental conditions and reduces agricultural productivity. The Food Security Policy Innovation Lab builds directly on President Obama's leadership in launching the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition last year. It will help many more countries worldwide achieve major policy reforms, attract significant private sector investments, and increase economic opportunities for smallholder farmers, other rural people and urban consumers”

    During the Capitol Hill event co-hosted by the Senate Hunger Caucus and The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Dr. Shah announced the two new labs as part of the Feed the Future Food Security Innovation Center, which was launched in 2012 to address the greatest challenges to food security and nutrition.

    The new Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sorghum & Millet will be led by Kansas State University and will produce innovations and technologies – such as climate-resilient varieties and new, more profitable market approaches for farmers – for use across sorghum and millet producing areas in Africa. As part of the Innovation Lab, U.S. university researchers will collaborate with partner country scientists to address key constraints along the sorghum and pearl millet value chains, developing new technologies and innovations that can then be used by smallholder farmers on a larger scale to build productivity and sustainability. The research outputs will also improve resilience in dryland areas, where sorghum and pearl millet are critical to food security. The program will focus specifically in Senegal, Niger and Ethiopia.

    The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy, led by a consortium including Michigan State University, the International Food Policy Research Institute and the University of Pretoria, will help increase partner countries’ capacity to identify and implement improved food security policies that can help facilitate greater food security and nutrition. This Innovation Lab will work with and support a wide range of governments, local think tanks, university researchers, private sector associations and civil society groups in building capacity and providing critical information to inform better food, agriculture and nutrition policies.

    Related Administrator Rajiv Shah Related Bureau or Independent Office Bureau for Food Security


    0 0

    Source: Voice of America
    Country: Mali

    Ivan Broadhead

    July 27, 2013

    BAMAKO — Almost a million Malians remain displaced after ethnic and jihadist violence spread across the north following last year’s coup d’état.

    Despite fresh memories of conflict and atrocity, some of those displaced are seeking to return to their hometowns to vote in Sunday’s presidential election.

    In a country that was home to only six psychiatrists before the war, aid agencies are seeking to raise awareness of post-traumatic stress, particularly among vulnerable children.

    In an enclave of Bamako, the capital, small Christian communities that hail from Gao and Timbuktu have sought refuge from the conflict that swept their region over a year ago.

    This evening one of their number, Fatima Bagayoko, a mother of six children and guardian of five more, celebrates her 39th birthday.

    Under a Malian flag in the garden of her new residence, friends from home join her for a birthday picnic and a game of boules.

    Sitting upright and serious in a white plastic chair next to a rusted shipping container, Fatima describes the effects of the conflict on her youngest daughter.

    "It was terrible," she said. "One night there was a battle outside our door. Bullets came into the house. We thought we were going to die. A month after our escape, our eight-year-old was terrified of any unexpected noises. As a mother, it is intolerable to be so helpless."

    Fatima’s husband, Mohamed Ibrahim Yattara, is the U.S.-educated Baptist pastor of one of the largest churches in Gao, a city of 65,000 that was home to around 800 Christians before the conflict. In the days after the jihadist occupation, which began in March 2012, he hoped the Christian community would be left in peace.

    Soon, however, his church was vandalized, then two young daughters of a friend were raped by the jihadists.

    Women in the community sought to counsel the girls, said Yattara, who himself reached out to their 19-year-old brother, who had suffered a nervous breakdown.

    “It was in the afternoon. They took the girls, they raped them in a military camp, then early the next day brought them back. [The brother] saw how they brutalized his father, his sisters and mother. And he was a witness of all the gunshots in the city. I think, altogether, that is what traumatized him,” Yattara explained.

    Searching for a way to escape, the priest hired the last remaining bus in Gao and filled it with 53 members of his congregation.

    The Christians found room for another 76 fleeing Muslims, who crammed into, and onto, the bus. Yattara eventually led the entire group to safety in the capital, 500 miles away.

    In Bamako, the non-governmental organization Plan Mali continues to operate its emergency response center. It coordinates food, health and educational aid for communities still affected by the conflict.

    Dr. Sita Sidibé is the organization’s medical adviser. Before the conflict there were very few psychiatrists in Mali, he said. Today, there are perhaps two.

    "With so much sexual violence and children displaced without their parents," he said, "it is fair to say that we have seen a degree of psychosis setting in among victims in those areas that were occupied, and we need to offer long-term help."

    Fadimata Alainchar, Plan’s country director, hopes Sunday’s election will allow a healing process to begin for Mali.

    But conservative Mali has little history of identifying or treating mental illness, let alone post-traumatic stress among vulnerable children.

    “Even if everybody left, they came back," said Alainchar. "And when they did they saw all the atrocities. This guy was killed in a tree and his body was there for more than a month. The fish factory was bombed with jihadists inside and you could smell the rotting bodies two months after. If I could smell it, the children did. If I saw that body hanging there, the children did also — that kind of trauma you cannot estimate."

    Alainchar takes issue with observers who argue post-traumatic stress is not an issue in Mali because most citizens fled before fighting directly affected them.

    Increasingly optimistic about the future as U.N. peacekeepers deploy around Mali, Yattara says that despite the pain of the last year, there have been important benefits to his congregation’s exile.

    “Our hope is the country remains a secular state," he said. "If it doesn’t, we have to stay. It is our country. If we have to die, we should die here. There is no need to flee any more.

    "It was a good thing to be together in Bamako as Christian families, to learn and to teach the theology of suffering and to have a collective therapy.”

    One or two of those playing boules at the picnic hope to return to vote in Timbuktu and Gao, joining the other Muslim residents reportedly returning home from exile and refugee camps. But election or not, the majority of Yattara’s congregation insist they will remain in Bamako for now, still uncertain about confronting the horrors of this last year.


    0 0

    Source: UN News Service
    Country: Mali

    26 juillet 2013 – Alors que le Mali prépare la tenue de son scrutin présidentiel ce 28 juillet, le Secrétaire général des Nations Unies a réitéré vendredi son appel à la tenue d'un processus pacifique, crédible et transparent qui soit conforme aux aspirations du peuple malien.

    Dans une déclaration communiquée par son porte-parole, Ban Ki-moon, exhorte toutes les parties concernées à veiller à ce que le processus électoral se déroule de manière ordonnée. Il encourage tous les électeurs maliens à exercer leur droit démocratique à voter.

    Le Secrétaire général se félicite aussi de l'adoption du Code de conduite par les candidats et exprime sa confiance en leur pleine adhésion à l'ensemble des dispositions qu'il contient, en particulier la nécessité de résoudre tout différend par des moyens pacifiques et juridiques.

    Enfin, le patron de l'ONU note que cette élection est importante pour la restauration de l'ordre constitutionnel, du dialogue national et de la réconciliation au Mali et réaffirme également le soutien continu des Nations Unies au processus de paix et de stabilisation au Mali.

    L'Organisation a déployé au Mali la Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation au Mali (MINUSMA), devenue pleinement opérationnelle le 1er juillet dernier.

    Le 18 juin, le Gouvernement malien et les rebelles touaregs avaient signé un accord qui a ouvert la voie à la tenue de l'élection présidentielle sur l'ensemble du territoire malien, notamment à Kidal, dans le nord-est du pays.


    0 0

    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    07/28/2013 16:52 GMT

    Par Stéphane BARBIER, Ahamadou CISSE

    BAMAKO, 28 juillet 2013 (AFP) - Les Maliens votaient dimanche dans le calme et en grand nombre au premier tour d'une présidentielle devant permettre de tourner la page de 18 mois d'une crise politique et militaire qui a plongé leur pays dans le chaos.

    A la mi-journée, le réseau indépendant d'appui au processus électoral au Mali (Apem), qui a déployé 2.100 observateurs sur tout le territoire, notait "une grande mobilisation des électeurs", surtout dans le Sud où se trouve Bamako, où des journalistes de l'AFP ont aussi constaté une forte mobilisation.

    Le Sud regroupe environ 90% des quelque 6,9 millions d'électeurs inscrits.

    Dans les villes du Nord, Kidal, Gao et Tombouctou, région qui a subi en 2012 la violence et l'occupation de rebelles touareg et de groupes jihadistes liés à Al-Qaïda, le vote se tenait sous la surveillance de casques bleus de la force de l'ONU, la Minusma, et de l'armée malienne assistés par les 3.200 soldats français restés au Mali.

    Un des groupes jihadistes qui ont occupé le Nord, le Mouvement pour l'unicité et le jihad en Afrique de l'Ouest (Mujao), avait menacé samedi de "frapper" les bureaux de vote et tenté de dissuader "les musulmans maliens" de prendre part au scrutin.

    Vingt-sept candidats participent à cette présidentielle à laquelle se présentent 27 candidats, dont deux grands favoris: Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, ancien Premier ministre, et Soumaïla Cissé, ancien ministre des Finances et ex-dirigeant de l'Union économique et monétaire (Uémoa).

    Après avoir voté à Bamako entouré d'une cohorte de partisans, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, a affirmé qu'après cette élection, "seul le Mali sera gagnant" pour "oublier le cauchemar" qu'il vient de vivre.

    "Aujourd'hui, il faut tourner la page", a de son côté déclaré Soumaïla Cissé en votant dans la capitale. "Il faut retourner dans le calme à des institutions républicaines".

    A Bamako, dans un centre de vote installé dans le lycée Mamadou Sarr, plusieurs centaines d'électeurs attendaient de pouvoir voter avant l'heure d'ouverture des bureaux à 08H00 (locales et GMT).

    "Meilleur scrutin depuis 1960"

    C'est là qu'a voté le président par intérim, Dioncounda Traoré, qui ne se présente pas, affirmant à la presse que c'était "le meilleur scrutin" que le Mali ait organisé depuis son indépendance de la France en 1960.

    A Kidal, bastion des Touareg et de leur rébellion dans le nord-est du pays où les tensions entre communautés touareg et noires sont vives, la participation était faible, a constaté l'AFP. Une soixantaine de partisans de la rébellion ont manifesté pour "l'indépendance de l'Azawad", nom donné par les Touareg au nord du Mali

    A l'entrée de chaque bureau de Kidal, chaque électeur était contrôlé et fouillé par des soldats togolais de la force de l'ONU au Mali, la Minusma.

    A Gao, la plus grande ville du nord du Mali, le scrutin était également très surveillé par les forces de sécurité maliennes et la Minusma. "J'espère qu'avec ma voix mon candidat sera élu et pensera surtout à développer ma région longtemps abandonnée", a déclaré Issoufou Cissé, un quinquagénaire de Gao en boubou bleu et turban blanc.

    A Tombouctou, ville qui a payé un lourd tribut à l'occupation jihadiste, de nombreux électeurs cherchaient en vain leur nom sur les listes car, selon un observateur national, "le travail d'identification n'a pas été fait, des électeurs ne savent pas où ils vont voter".

    Devant les bureaux de vote visités, des militaires maliens montaient la garde, une arme en bandoulière, et fouillaient les électeurs.

    "Ce sont des élections particulières, c'est pour ça que la sécurité est renforcée", explique un sergent de l'armé malienne.

    Cette élection doit rétablir l'ordre constitutionnel interrompu le 22 mars 2012 par un coup d'Etat qui a précipité la chute du Nord du Mali -voisin de la Mauritanie, de l'Algérie et du Niger-, aux mains de groupes islamistes de la mouvance Al-Qaïda, alliés dans un premier temps à la rébellion touareg du Mouvement national de libération de l'Azawad (MNLA).

    Elle intervient six mois après le début en janvier d'une intervention militaire internationale menée par la France pour stopper une avancée vers le Sud des islamistes armés et les chasser du Nord qu'ils occupaient depuis neuf mois.

    Les résultats provisoires doivent être publiés au plus tard vendredi, mais de premières estimations devraient être connues dès lundi. Un second tour aura lieu, sauf surprise, le 11 août.

    bur-stb/sd

    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse


    0 0

    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    07/28/2013 23:21 GMT

    by Frankie Taggart

    BAMAKO, July 28, 2013 (AFP) - Mali voted on Sunday for a president expected to usher in a new dawn of peace and stability in the first election since a military coup upended one of the region's most solid democracies.

    Voters chose from 27 candidates to lead the nation from the crisis ignited by last year's mutiny, which allowed Islamists to seize the vast desert north before a French-led military intervention dislodged them earlier this year.

    Preliminary results collated by journalists in polling stations after end of voting suggested that former premier Ibrahim Boubacar Keita had taken a clear early lead .

    The unofficial projection, based on the accounts of reporters watching counts across the country, indicate that Keita, 69, could even cause an upset and win the first round outright.

    Voting stations opened at 8:00 am (0800 GMT) under heavy security. On Saturday, the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, one of the main armed groups linked to Al-Qaeda in northern Mali (AQIM), said Saturday it would "strike" polling stations.

    But there had been no reports of serious incidents as polls closed 10 hours later. An official announcement on the result is not expected until Friday.

    Acting president Dioncounda Traore, after casting his ballot in Bamako, called on all candidates to respect the outcome. He did not reveal for whom he had voted.

    "I am very satisfied with the general conditions in terms of the organisation of the elections," he said.

    "I think that as far as Malians can remember, this is the best-organised election since 1960."

    The APEM Network, an independent Malian organisation that deployed 2,100 observers across the nation, reported a strong turn-out among the country's electorate of almost seven million in a statement issued halfway through voting.

    "Overall everything went well. There was the enthusiasm among voters," Louis Michel, chief of the European Union election observation mission, told reporters after polls closed.

    And a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton welcomed the fact that voting had taken place in "calm and serenity" despite the difficult conditions.

    In a polling station at a school in Mali's capital, hundreds of voters queued for more than an hour to cast their ballots.

    "We are tired of bad governance. I'd urge the candidates to accept the results of our vote," said machine operator Kalifa Traore, 56.

    Polling stations in the restive north opened in an atmosphere of calm, even if the campaign played out in the shadow of violence that has raised doubts over Mali's readiness to deliver a safe and credible election.

    Much of the worry ahead of the polls had been focused on Kidal, occupied for five months by Tuareg separatists until a ceasefire accord allowed the Malian army earlier this month to provide security.

    Clashes between Tuaregs and black Africans in the run-up to the election left four people dead.

    And gunmen thought to be from the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) kidnapped five polling officials 200 kilometres (125 miles) north of Kidal.

    -- 'Mali will be the real winner' --

    The ballot is the first since the military mutiny in March last year that toppled democratically elected president Amadou Toumani Toure.

    The ensuing confusion helped the MNLA, MUJAO and other groups allied to Al-Qaeda to seize northern Mali.

    The UN deployment, which will reach 12,600 by the end of the year, allows France to start withdrawing most of the 4,500 troops it sent to Mali in January to stop the Islamists from advancing towards Bamako.

    Haidara Aichata Cisse, the only woman in the race, went head-to-head with 26 men, including past premiers Keita, Cheick Modibo Diarra, Modibo Sidibe and Soumana Sacko.

    Keita is seen as the main frontrunner alongside Soumaila Cisse, a former chairman of the Commission of the West African Monetary Union.

    If no candidate emerges with an overall majority a second round run-off of the two leaders is set for August 11.

    "This election will help us forget the nightmare. We will have a head of state elected without ambiguity," Keita said after voting, adding that he felt "confident" of success.

    Cisse urged Malians to "turn the page" and "restore peace to republican institutions".

    In Gao, northern Mali's largest city, dozens lined up to vote in a school near Independence Square. During the Islamist occupation it had been renamed "Sharia Square".

    In the northern desert town of Timbuktu polls went ahead after initial problems with organisation, with many unable to find their names on voting lists.

    str-ft/jj

    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse


    0 0

    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali

    07/28/2013 20:02 GMT

    Par Romaric Ollo HIEN

    CAMP DE SAG-NIONIOGO, 28 juillet 2013 (AFP) - "Je suis très triste de ne pas voter", soupire une vieille femme: aucun des Maliens réfugiés dans un camp près de Ouagadougou n'a pu participer dimanche à la présidentielle malienne, faute de carte d'électeur.

    Sur les quelque 50.000 réfugiés installés dans plusieurs camps à travers le Burkina Faso, seulement "une centaine de personnes", parmi quelque 3.500 inscrits, ont pu prendre part à ce scrutin historique, a affirmé à l'AFP une source proche de l'organisation du vote.

    Personne n'a en tout cas eu cette chance au camp de Sag-Nioniogo (30 km au nord de la capitale burkinabè), qui abrite près de 3.000 Maliens. Il s'agit en majorité de familles touareg ayant fui après la chute en 2012 du nord du Mali aux mains d'une rébellion touareg, puis de groupes jihadistes chassés depuis janvier dernier par une intervention militaire menée par la France.

    La vieille femme en boubou et turban bleu, Fata We Elmoctar, fait partie de la poignée de réfugiés qui ont quitté le camp, environné de champs de mil, pour rejoindre un kilomètre plus loin l'école où a été installé le bureau de vote.

    Cette Touareg, une veuve de militaire qui se définit comme "Malienne à 100%", ne cache pas sa déception de ne pouvoir donner sa voix à un candidat. "C'est un acte citoyen que j'ai toujours fait et j'espérais le faire ici", explique-t-elle.

    Pour elle comme pour les autres qui se présentent, "les conditions pour voter ne sont pas remplies", constate le président du bureau de vote, Hamed Ould Targui.

    Les intéressés doivent en effet disposer de leur carte d'électeur et être inscrits sur la liste électorale affichée à l'entrée du bureau, où figurent une vingtaine de noms. Mais, ici comme dans les autres camps du Burkina, la plupart des réfugiés inscrits n'ont pas reçu leur sésame: les cartes sont restées au Mali, envoyées par les autorités de Bamako dans leur localité d'origine.

    "On veut rentrer chez nous"

    Egalement résident du camp de Sag-Nioniogo, Ibrahim Ag Assarid ne digère pas d'être privé d'élection alors qu'il s'était fait enregistrer.

    "Nous ne comprenons pas, parce qu'en plus d'être oubliés par le pays en tant que réfugiés, on a été oubliés dans la confection des cartes électorales", peste-t-il.

    "Or le seul acte qui nous lie à notre pays, c'est le vote: c'est la seule expression que nous avons comme attachement au pays", pointe ce trentenaire, qui avant l'exil était maire-adjoint d'une petite commune proche de Gao, la grande ville du nord du Mali.

    Originaire de la région de Tombouctou (nord-ouest du Mali), Ahmed Ag Abdou Rahamane, 41 ans, est lui aussi amer. "Je voulais élire un président capable de nous ramener la paix", lance-t-il.

    "Si aujourd'hui il y a un président qui amène la paix au Mali, demain on ne verra aucun réfugié malien ici. On veut rentrer chez nous", ajoute-t-il.

    A la clôture du scrutin à 18H00 (heure locale et GMT), le président du bureau de vote, qui a espéré jusqu'au bout que quelqu'un vienne glisser son bulletin dans l'urne, a dû se rendre à l'évidence: "il n'y a pas eu de vote ici", a prononcé Hamed Ould Targui d'un air sombre. Ce réfugié lui-même, comme ses assesseurs, n'avaient pas non plus leur carte...

    Au camp, où beaucoup escomptaient un assouplissement des règles, "tous les réfugiés sont mécontents, ils disent que c'est une déception amère", reconnaît-il. Son espoir, désormais: que le gouvernement "fasse tout" pour que ces déracinés puissent enfin voter en cas de second tour le 11 août.

    roh-tmo/sd

    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse


    0 0

    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    07/28/2013 23:50 GMT

    Par Stéphane BARBIER, Ahamadou CISSE

    BAMAKO, 28 juillet 2013 (AFP) - Les Maliens ont voté dimanche sans incidents et en nombre au premier tour d'une présidentielle pour tourner la page de 18 mois d'une crise politique et militaire qui a plongé leur pays dans le chaos.

    Les résultats provisoires et officiels doivent être publiés au plus tard vendredi, mais dès dimanche soir, de premiers résultats collectés par des journalistes maliens dans des bureaux de vote à travers le pays donnaient une nette avance à l'un des favoris, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

    Ces résultats non officiels indiquent que M. Keita, 69 ans, pourrait même créer la surprise et l'emporter dès le premier tour.

    Dès que ces informations ont été diffusées par les radios locales, des milliers de partisans d'Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, dit IBK, se sont rendus au quartier général de son parti, le Rassemblement pour le Mali (RPM) et à son domicile de Bamako, fous de joie, a constaté un journaliste de l'AFP.

    Tous scandaient "IBK, l'homme qu'il nous faut". "C'est le peuple qui a parlé!", hurlait l'un d'eux.

    Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, dit IBK, ex-Premier ministre, cacique de la vie politique malienne, est l'un des deux grands favoris du scrutin avec Soumaïla Cissé, 63 ans, ancien ministre des Finances et ex-président de la Commission de l'Union économique et monétaire ouest-africaine (Uémoa).

    Des observateurs nationaux indépendants ont constaté "une grande mobilisation des électeurs", surtout dans le sud, où se trouve Bamako, où des journalistes de l'AFP ont aussi constaté une forte mobilisation pour ce vote auquel participaient 27 candidats.

    De son coté, le président français François Hollande, a salué "le bon déroulement du scrutin présidentiel malien, marqué par une mobilisation importante et une absence d'incident majeur", dans un communiqué publié dans la nuit de dimanche à lundi.

    Dans les villes du Nord, Kidal, Gao et Tombouctou, région qui a subi en 2012 la violence et l'occupation de rebelles touareg et de groupes jihadistes liés à Al-Qaïda, le vote s'est tenu sous la surveillance de casques bleus de la force de l'ONU, la Minusma, et de l'armée malienne, assistés par les 3.200 soldats français restés au Mali.

    Un des groupes jihadistes qui ont occupé le nord, le Mouvement pour l'unicité et le jihad en Afrique de l'Ouest (Mujao), avait menacé samedi de "frapper" les bureaux de vote et tenté de dissuader "les musulmans maliens" de prendre part au scrutin.

    Après avoir voté à Bamako, entouré d'une cohorte de partisans, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta a affirmé qu'après cette élection, "seul le Mali sera gagnant" pour "oublier le cauchemar" qu'il vient de vivre.

    "Aujourd'hui, il faut tourner la page", a de son côté déclaré Soumaïla Cissé en votant dans la capitale. "Il faut retourner dans le calme à des institutions républicaines".

    "Meilleur scrutin depuis 1960"

    Le président par intérim, Dioncounda Traoré, qui ne se présentait pas, a affirmé en votant que c'était "le meilleur scrutin" que le Mali ait organisé depuis son indépendance de la France en 1960.

    Encore incertain à quelques jours du scrutin, le vote a finalement pu se tenir à Kidal, bastion des Touareg et de leur rébellion dans le nord-est du pays où les tensions entre communautés touareg et noires restent vives.

    Mais la participation y a été très faible, a constaté l'AFP, et une soixantaine de partisans de la rébellion ont manifesté pour "l'indépendance de l'Azawad", nom donné par les Touareg au nord du Mali.

    A l'entrée de chaque bureau de Kidal, chaque électeur était contrôlé et fouillé par des soldats togolais de la force de l'ONU au Mali, la Minusma.

    A Gao, la plus grande ville du nord du Mali qui avait été occupée par le Mujao, lequel a commis plusieurs attentats-suicides après la libération de la ville fin janvier par des soldats français et africains, le scrutin était également très surveillé par les forces de sécurité maliennes et la Minusma.

    A Tombouctou, ville qui a elle aussi payé un lourd tribut à l'occupation jihadiste, de nombreux électeurs ont cherché en vain leur nom sur les listes car, selon un observateur national, "le travail d'identification n'a pas été fait, des électeurs ne savent pas où voter".

    La présidentielle doit rétablir l'ordre constitutionnel interrompu le 22 mars 2012 par un coup d'Etat qui a précipité la chute du nord du Mali aux mains de groupes islamistes de la mouvance Al-Qaïda, alliés dans un premier temps à la rébellion touareg du Mouvement national de libération de l'Azawad (MNLA).

    Le scrutin intervient six mois après le début en janvier d'une intervention militaire internationale menée par la France pour stopper une avancée vers le sud des islamistes armés et les chasser du nord qu'ils occupaient depuis neuf mois.

    Si aucun des candidats n'obtient la majorité absolue, un second tour entre les deux arrivés en tête dimanche, aura lieu le 11 août.

    bur-stb/emb

    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse


    0 0

    Source: European Union
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania

    Bruxelles, le 28 juillet 2013

    A 404/13

    Le porte-parole de Catherine Ashton, Haute Représentante de l'Union pour les affaires étrangères et la politique de sécurité et vice-présidente de la Commission, a fait la déclaration suivante dimanche 28 juillet au soir, alors que les opérations de dépouillement du scrutin présidentiel au Mali étaient toujours en cours:

    "La Haute Représentante salue la tenue dans le calme et la sérénité des opérations de vote du premier tour de l'élection présidentielle au Mali le 28 juillet. Elle constate que, selon les premières informations émanant de l'administration malienne et des observateurs internationaux sur l'ensemble du territoire, les électeurs maliens se sont largement mobilisés pour assurer le succès de ce scrutin.

    Cette élection peut constituer une avancée majeure dans le processus de plein retour à l'ordre constitutionnel sur l'ensemble du territoire malien. Un nombre important de candidats ont participé à la campagne électorale dans l'objectif déclaré de continuer àpromouvoir le retour à l'unité du Mali, le dialogue et la réconciliation nationale.

    Malgré des conditions difficiles, l'administration malienne a fait preuve de déterminationpour garantir la transparence et la crédibilité des élections. La Haute Représentantel'encourage à poursuivre ses efforts dans la transparence, alors que s'engagent lesopérations de décompte des voix. Elle encourage également toutes les parties à travers l'ensemble du pays à continuer à participer activement au processus électoral et à ses suites de manière pacifique et constructive."

    Une mission d'observation électorale de l'Union Européenne conduite par Louis Michel poursuit présentement ses travaux au Mali. Louis Michel s'est rendu dans la ville de Kidal aujourd'hui pour y observer le déroulement du scrutin. Des observateurs étaient également déployés dans les bureaux de vote des réfugiés maliens au Burkina Faso et en Mauritanie. La mission présentera ses conclusions préliminaires lors d'une Conférence de presse mardi 30 juillet à Bamako.


    0 0

    Source: International Organization for Migration
    Country: Afghanistan, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Haiti, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Yemen, Zimbabwe, South Sudan (Republic of)
    preview


    Critical underfunding highlighted in IOM’s Mid-Year Review of humanitarian activities

    Switzerland - IOM’s annual mid-year review of humanitarian needs highlights a critical funding shortfall of USD 233.2 million for 2013. IOM has identified funding needs of USD 354.6 million for 2013 in its revised funding requirements as of mid-year.

    To date, IOM has received only USD 121.3 million in funding for its humanitarian projects in 22 countries, including Syria and its neighbouring countries.

    With only 34 per cent of projects currently funded, IOM’s overall humanitarian funding gap of 66 per cent continues to raise concern. With funding levels of 10 per cent and below, IOM’s humanitarian responses in Chad, Djibouti, Kenya, Mauritania, Niger, Yemen and Zimbabwe are acutely underfunded.

    “We encourage all our donors to take a close look at IOM’s humanitarian activities and funding requirements,” says Monica Goracci, Chief of Donor Relations Division, “and appeal for urgent consideration of more financial support.”

    The growing humanitarian demands of emergencies in Syria, Mali, Haiti, Yemen, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other countries, have meant an increase of IOM’s 2013 funding requirements by USD 51.6 millions.

    Since the beginning of 2013, IOM, the global cluster for Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) has provided assistance to thousands of internally displaced persons in Afghanistan, Chad, Kenya, Niger, Pakistan, the Philippines and Sudan. The assistance included shelter, non-food relief items (NFIs), health assistance transportation, early recovery and livelihood support as well as CCCM.

    IOM has continued to coordinate the provision of NFIs and the management of NFI pipelines in Haiti, Pakistan, South Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Zimbabwe, the Philippines, Kenya, Afghanistan, Chad, DRC, Mali and Niger.

    IOM carries out its humanitarian activities as a member of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), as a strong partner in the United Nations cluster system, and an active participant in the Consolidated Appeal Processes (CAPs) and other appeals coordinated by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

    The IOM Humanitarian Compendium 2013 Mid-Year Review provides a convenient summary overview of IOM humanitarian programming and action in 22 countries including Syria and neighbouring states as published in the United Nations Global Humanitarian Appeal in July 2013.

    For more information, please contact:

    Monica Goracci
    IOM Donor Relations Division
    Tel,: +41 22 717 92 71
    Email drd@iom.int


    0 0

    Source: International Organization for Migration
    Country: Afghanistan, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Haiti, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, World, Yemen, Zimbabwe, South Sudan (Republic of)
    preview


    Critical underfunding highlighted in IOM’s Mid-Year Review of humanitarian activities

    Switzerland - IOM’s annual mid-year review of humanitarian needs highlights a critical funding shortfall of USD 233.2 million for 2013. IOM has identified funding needs of USD 354.6 million for 2013 in its revised funding requirements as of mid-year.

    To date, IOM has received only USD 121.3 million in funding for its humanitarian projects in 22 countries, including Syria and its neighbouring countries.

    With only 34 per cent of projects currently funded, IOM’s overall humanitarian funding gap of 66 per cent continues to raise concern. With funding levels of 10 per cent and below, IOM’s humanitarian responses in Chad, Djibouti, Kenya, Mauritania, Niger, Yemen and Zimbabwe are acutely underfunded.

    “We encourage all our donors to take a close look at IOM’s humanitarian activities and funding requirements,” says Monica Goracci, Chief of Donor Relations Division, “and appeal for urgent consideration of more financial support.”

    The growing humanitarian demands of emergencies in Syria, Mali, Haiti, Yemen, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other countries, have meant an increase of IOM’s 2013 funding requirements by USD 51.6 millions.

    Since the beginning of 2013, IOM, the global cluster for Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) has provided assistance to thousands of internally displaced persons in Afghanistan, Chad, Kenya, Niger, Pakistan, the Philippines and Sudan. The assistance included shelter, non-food relief items (NFIs), health assistance transportation, early recovery and livelihood support as well as CCCM.

    IOM has continued to coordinate the provision of NFIs and the management of NFI pipelines in Haiti, Pakistan, South Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Zimbabwe, the Philippines, Kenya, Afghanistan, Chad, DRC, Mali and Niger.

    IOM carries out its humanitarian activities as a member of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), as a strong partner in the United Nations cluster system, and an active participant in the Consolidated Appeal Processes (CAPs) and other appeals coordinated by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

    The IOM Humanitarian Compendium 2013 Mid-Year Review provides a convenient summary overview of IOM humanitarian programming and action in 22 countries including Syria and neighbouring states as published in the United Nations Global Humanitarian Appeal in July 2013.

    For more information, please contact:

    Monica Goracci
    IOM Donor Relations Division
    Tel,: +41 22 717 92 71
    Email drd@iom.int


    0 0

    Source: Emirates News Agency
    Country: Malawi, United Arab Emirates

    In line with the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Campaign to dress one million children worldwide during Ramadan, the Red Crescent Authority (RCA) has distributed clothes to 3, 000 needy children in Malawi.

    The Malawian officials thanked the UAE government for sending food aid and clothes to the needy Malawian people.

    Humaid Rashid Al Shamsi, head of the delegation, said in a ceremony held to distribute clothes that the delegation was instructed by the UAE leadership to distribute the clothes. - Emirates News Agency, WAM


    0 0

    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    07/29/2013 22:07 GMT

    Par Stéphane BARBIER, Ahamadou CISSE

    prière bien lire au 17e paragraphe que Cissé a déclaré qu'un deuxième tour était "indispensable et inévitable" (bien: indispensable et inévitable", et non: "incontestable et inévitable" comme écrit par erreur). Voici le papier corrigé:

    BAMAKO, 29 juillet 2013 (AFP) - Le soulagement était de mise lundi à Bamako et Paris au lendemain du premier tour de la présidentielle au Mali qui s'est déroulé dans le calme et a fortement mobilisé les électeurs, signe de leur volonté de sortir d'un an et demi d'une crise qui a plongé le pays dans le chaos.

    Pas un seul acte de violence ni le moindre incident ne sont venus ternir le scrutin, en dépit d'une menace d'attentats d'un des groupes jihadistes qui ont occupé le nord du Mali avant d'en être chassés en janvier par une intervention armée internationale lancée par la France.

    De plus, observateurs nationaux et internationaux ont rapidement noté dès dimanche matin une forte mobilisation des électeurs qui s'est confirmée tout au long de la journée. Le taux de participation des quelque 6,9 millions d'inscrits pourrait être plus élevé que celui des présidentielles précédentes où il n'a jamais dépassé 38%.

    Louis Michel, chef de la mission d'observation de l'Union européenne (UE), a parlé lundi à Bamako d'un taux de participation tournant "autour de 50%".

    Même à Kidal, chef-lieu de région dans le nord-est du Mali et fief des Touareg et de leur rébellion, où, en raison de vives tensions entre Noirs et Touareg, le vote était incertain il y a peu, aucun incident n'a été noté dimanche.

    La mobilisation des électeurs a en revanche été faible, 12% dans la ville de Kidal, selon un chiffre donné à l'AFP par la Commission électorale.

    "Je suis un homme heureux. Nous avons relevé le défi de voter à Kidal, une zone d'insécurité où presque tout le monde est armé, sans aucun incident, sans un seul coup de feu, et cela, personne ne l'imaginait il y a quelques semaines", s'est réjoui le gouverneur de la région, le colonel Adama Kamissoko, revenu mi-juillet dans la ville organiser la préparation de la présidentielle.

    Louis Michel avait lui-même tenu à se rendre quelques heures à Kidal le jour du vote.

    Il s'est réjoui lundi à Bamako d'un scrutin "paisible" sur tout le territoire qui s'est déroulé dans "d'excellentes conditions". Il a félicité la population malienne "qui a pris conscience de l'enjeu et de l'importance de son vote".

    "Grand succès" pour la France

    La France, qui après son intervention militaire réussie pour chasser les groupes islamistes armés du Nord avait exercé une forte pression sur le régime de transition à Bamako pour qu'il organise des élections en juillet, n'a pas caché sa satisfaction.

    "Cette élection consacre le retour du Mali à l'ordre constitutionnel, après la victoire obtenue sur les terroristes et la libération du territoire", a déclaré le président François Hollande, ajoutant que "la participation sans précédent (...) témoigne de l'attachement des Maliens aux valeurs démocratiques".

    Son Premier ministre Jean-Marc Ayrault a parlé lundi de "grand succès" pour la France et son ministre de la Défense, Jean-Yves Le Drian, a estimé que la mobilisation des Maliens avait contredit "les oiseaux de mauvaise augure".

    Les États-Unis ont salué lundi les dirigeants du Mali pour avoir organisé dans le calme l'élection présidentielle de dimanche et ont exhorté tous les Maliens à en accepter le résultat.

    Les résultats provisoires et officiels doivent être publiés au plus tard le 2 août, mais dès dimanche soir, de premiers résultats collectés par des journalistes maliens dans des bureaux de vote à travers le pays donnaient une nette avance à Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, surnommé IBK, un des favoris sur les 27 candidats en lice.

    Ces résultats non officiels indiquent que M. Keïta, 68 ans, ancien Premier ministre et cacique de la vie politique malienne, pourrait même créer la surprise et l'emporter au premier tour face à son principal adversaire, Soumaïla Cissé, ancien ministre des Finances et ex-dirigeant de l'Union économique et monétaire ouest-africaine.

    Dès que ces informations ont été diffusées par les radios locales, des milliers de partisans de M. Keïta sont allés manifester leur joie au quartier général de son parti, le Rassemblement pour le Mali (RPM), et à son domicile de Bamako.

    Mais M. Cissé a déclaré lundi soir que selon "les chiffres" dont il disposait mais qu'il n'a pas donnés, un deuxième tour était "indispensable et inévitable".

    Si aucun des candidats n'obtient la majorité absolue, un second tour aura lieu le 11 août entre les deux candidats arrivés en tête.

    Quel qu'il soit, le nouveau président aura la lourde tâche de relever un Mali sorti économiquement exsangue de 18 mois de conflit politique et militaire, et surtout de réconcilier des communautés plus divisées que jamais.

    bur-stb/ai

    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse


    0 0

    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    07/29/2013 21:41 GMT

    by Stephane Barbier

    BAMAKO, July 29, 2013 (AFP) - Malian and French leaders on Monday praised the high turnout and smooth running of Mali's presidential vote, the first election since a coup last year led to an Islamist insurgency.

    There were no reports of violence in Sunday's poll despite threats to "strike" polling stations by armed Islamists who had occupied northern Mali before being ousted in January by a French-led military occupation.

    The European Union's observation mission reported that turnout was around 50 percent, putting paid to pessimism over the vote's viability.

    President Francois Hollande of former colonial power France hailed the ballot for being "marked by a good turnout and an absence of any major incident".

    "Congratulations are in order that the Mali elections passed off well... For France, it is a great success," said his prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault.

    France had a lot riding on a successful election, having pressed for a quick vote which would allow Mali to start withdrawing most of the 4,500 troops it sent in to stop the Islamists from advancing towards the capital Bamako.

    Even in the northern regional capital of Kidal, a stronghold of Mali's Tuareg rebellion and the scene of recent deadly ethnic violence, voters cast their ballots in an atmosphere of calm, although the turnout was thought to have been low.

    "I'm a happy man," said regional governor Adama Kamissoko. "We rose to the challenge of voting in Kidal, a zone of insecurity where almost everyone is armed, without incident, without a single shot, and no one could have imagined that a few weeks ago."

    Louis Michel, the head of the 100-strong European Union election observation mission who visited Kidal for a few hours during voting, praised the "real passion" of voters as he announced an initial turnout estimate of 50 percent.

    French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the high attendance contradicted "the doomsayers who had suggested that the Malians were not interested in the democratic process".

    The US State Department praised Mali's leaders for holding peaceful presidential elections and called on all Malians to accept the outcome of the polls.

    Sunday's vote was the first since an uprising by Tuareg separatists sparked a military coup in March last year which toppled democratically elected president Amadou Toumani Toure, plunging Mali into a political crisis which opened the way for Islamists to occupy the vast desert north for 10 months.

    The authorities have until the end of Friday to announce the results, although preliminary findings collated by journalists in polling stations gave a clear early lead to former premier Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, sparking celebrations among his supporters.

    The unofficial projections based on the accounts of reporters watching counts across the country suggest that 69-year-old Keita, known universally as IBK, could even cause an upset and win the first-round vote outright.

    Although there are 27 candidates, analysts have characterised the election as a two-horse race, with Keita a frontrunner alongside Soumaila Cisse, 63, a former finance minister and erstwhile chairman of the Commission of the West African Economic and Monetary Union.

    Thousands of Keita's supporters massed at his party headquarters in Bamako overnight as news of his apparent lead was broadcast on local radio, an AFP correspondent at the scene reported.

    "IBK -- the man we need," they chanted. One supporter shouted: "It is the people who have spoken!"

    A large crowd also gathered at Keita's home and convoys of cars circulated, horns blaring in celebration at what his supporters were calling victory.

    Cisse, however, rejected the finding at a media conference during which his Front for Democracy and the Republic coalition said those trying to declare an early winner were "in defiance of the people's will".

    "We believe that a second round is undeniable and inevitable ... given the numbers we have," Cisse told reporters.

    If no candidate obtains an absolute majority, a second-round run-off between the two top vote-getters will take place on August 11.

    bur-stb/ft/lc

    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse


    0 0

    Source: Assessment Capacities Project
    Country: Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Haiti, India, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Malawi, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Uganda, World, Yemen, South Sudan (Republic of)
    preview


    Snapshot 22– 29 July

    In Syria, large-scale operations have been ongoing in several major cities, including Damascus, Homs, Aleppo, and Idleb with regime forces pushing to extend the gains obtained over the past weeks with support of the Lebanese Hezbollah fighters. This week, fierce fighting erupted in and around the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp, in southern Damascus governorate, where an estimated 20,000 Palestinian refugees are still residing. Government forces also shelled neighbourhoods in the south, east and north of the capital. In Homs, government troops are reported to have eventually seized Khaldiyeh neighbourhood after weeks of fighting on 29 July. Meanwhile, clashes between Kurdish fighters and Islamist armed groups have spread to Tal Abyad, Ar-Raqqa Governorate. Over 1.85 million Syrian refugees have now fled to neighbouring countries.

    Heavy seasonal rain over the past two weeks has resulted in flooding in many parts of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The provinces of North and South Pyongan were particularly severely affected. According to the Red Cross, Anju City, in South Pyongan province, is 80% flooded after the Chongchon River caused embankments to break in the morning of 21 July. At least 45,948 people are severely affected and left homeless as a result of the flooding, mostly in North and South Pyongan.

    In Tajikistan, new analysis of the food security situation confirmed that the country was still facing widespread food insecurity even if the situation had improved since the beginning of the year. As reported by WFP, the food security status of 3% of the population, approximately 152,000 people, in rural livelihood zones was classified as IPC Phase 3 (Crisis). The status of 39% of the rural population, approximately 2,285,000 people, was classified as IPC Phase 2 (Stressed).

    Last Updated: 29/07/2013 Next Update: 05/08/2013

    Global Emergency Overview web interface


    0 0

    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Senegal
    preview



    0 0

    Source: ACT Alliance
    Country: Cameroon, Nigeria

    Geneva, 29 July 2013

    1. Brief description of the emergency and impact

    Increasing attacks of Boko Haram, the religious extremist group, throughout Nigeria and more recently in the North East of the country led to the serious deterioration of the security situation in the three states of Borno, Yobe and KL Adamaoua. This unstable security situation has contributed to the displacement of the populations which resulted in the influx of refugees in Cameroon’s far north region since June 10, 2013.

    Following the Cameroon’s government alert to the international community on the deterioration of the humanitarian situation at the Nigeria-Cameroon border, a UNHCR monitoring team who visited the Far North region on June 6th confirmed the influx of Nigerian refugees in three departments: Mayo Sava 4,205, Logone Chari 600 and Mayo Sanaga 3,323. A total of 8,128 refugees are pre-registered by the Government and UNHCR till July 15, 2013; women and youth under the age of 17 represent the majority with 59, 88%.

    A site was set up on July 2, 2013 by UNHCR with temporary shelter at Minawao where 195 households composed of 830 refugees were transferred from Zhelavec village after registration ( 363 M, 467 F Source: UNHCR). They left behind or lost all their properties and dignity, and now need protection of their rights while seeking a long term solution. Refugee’s influx in the region will certainly strain Cameroon North and Far North regions where 350 000 people are estimated to be food insecure (Source: Global Emergency Overview).

    2. Why is an ACT response needed?

    Limited presence of national and international NGO is noted in the area where the emergency occurred. Besides the UN, only two organizations; Caritas and Public Concern, are actively involved under Government and UNHCR coordination. ACT Alliance is represented in the area by the Church of the Lutheran Brethren of Cameroon (CLBC) but no assistance is being provided due to absence of resources. UNHCR Cameroon has requested for an LWF intervention in the sectors of camp management and coordination.

    3. National and international response

    UN agencies (UNHCR, UNICEF, WHO and UNFPA) already present in the region intervene within their respective mandates in partnership with the local government. In partnership with UNHCR, Public Concern a local NGO is the only implementing partner active in the newly set up site of Minawao but has not much experience in refugee settings.

    4. ACT Alliance response

    With support from LWF Geneva office, the LWF Chad program coordinator travelled to the area from July 13-16 to assess the situation. (Assessment report is available on request).

    5. Planned activities

    Provide food and non -food items to an estimated 4,000 Nigerian refugees to meet immediate humanitarian needs through the CLBC with resources requested through the ACT RRF mechanism.

    6. Constraints

    CLBC has limited human and financial resources to respond to this emergency and will need support from the LWF Chad program.

    Contact information:
    CLBC: Office of the President. Tel. + 23777265116. E-mail: eflcsynode@yahoo.fr.
    LWF Chad: Country Representative, J. Schutte. Tel. +23566900095. E-mail: rep.tcd@lwfdws.org.

    Any funding indication or pledge should be communicated to Jean-Daniel Birmele, Director of Finance (jbi@actalliance.org)
    For further information please contact:
    ACT Senior Programme Officer, Katherine Ireri (phone +41 22 791 6040 or mobile phone +41 79 433 0592) or ACT General Secretary, John Nduna (phone +41 22 791 6032)
    ACT Web Site address: http://www.actalliance.org


older | 1 | .... | 160 | 161 | (Page 162) | 163 | 164 | .... | 728 | newer