Articles on this Page
- 01/27/14--17:44: _Lesotho: Lesotho De...
- 01/27/14--18:06: _Mauritania: Infogra...
- 01/28/14--03:46: _Mali: Escape from e...
- 01/28/14--09:28: _World: Global Emerg...
- 01/28/14--09:53: _Mali: Lutheran Worl...
- 01/28/14--21:33: _World: Violent Conf...
- 01/28/14--21:59: _Malawi: Malawi Grap...
- 01/29/14--04:12: _Mali: Regional Offi...
- 01/29/14--04:19: _Mali: Bureau Région...
- 01/29/14--07:27: _Mauritania: GIEWS C...
- 01/29/14--09:05: _Mali: Mission impos...
- 01/29/14--10:43: _Mali: Le Mali après...
- 01/29/14--11:46: _Mali: Security in t...
- 01/29/14--11:56: _World: Report of th...
- 01/29/14--16:52: _Niger: UNICEF Niger...
- 01/29/14--20:37: _Malawi: Southern Af...
- 01/29/14--20:50: _Mali: West Africa P...
- 01/29/14--22:22: _Mali: Mali – Comple...
- 01/30/14--00:19: _Malawi: 10 Images o...
- 01/30/14--12:39: _Niger: A convergenc...
- 01/27/14--17:44: Lesotho: Lesotho Desk Review, October 2013
- 01/27/14--18:06: Mauritania: Infographic: Empowerment Through Investment
- 01/28/14--03:46: Mali: Escape from extreme poverty in Mali
- 01/28/14--09:28: World: Global Emergency Overview Snapshot 21 - 28 January
- 01/28/14--21:59: Malawi: Malawi Grapples With Food Shortages
- 01/29/14--07:27: Mauritania: GIEWS Country Brief : Mauritania 28-January-2014
- 01/29/14--09:05: Mali: Mission impossible in Mali
- 01/29/14--10:43: Mali: Le Mali après Serval : éviter la rechute
- 01/29/14--11:46: Mali: Security in the Sahel: Part I – Stabilising Mali in 2013-14
On 21 May 2013, the Security Council considered the challenges posed by terrorism in Africa in the context of maintaining international peace and security. In a presidential statement issued after the debate, the Council invited me to submit a concise report providing a comprehensive survey and assessment of the relevant work of the United Nations to help States and subregional and regional entities in Africa in fighting terrorism, with a view to continuing consideration of possible steps in this regard (S/PRST/2013/5).
In accordance with the presidential statement, the present report provides an overview of United Nations activities throughout Africa in assisting Member States to address terrorism, as guided by the relevant General Assembly and Security Council resolutions. These primarily include, but are not limited to, Security Council resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011), 1373 (2001), 1540 (2004) and 1624 (2005) and General Assembly resolution 60/288 on the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy adopted by the Assembly in 2006 and its subsequent review resolutions. The report also assesses the impact of the assistance and provides recommendations for the future work of the United Nations.
Although comprehensive in its scope of activities, the report is not a complete listing of all counter-terrorism-related activities conducted by the United Nations in Africa. Many of our efforts relating to peace and security, development, good governance, rule of law and human rights do not have counter-terrorism as an objective per se although they contribute to the prevention and adequate response to terrorism.
- 01/29/14--16:52: Niger: UNICEF Niger Situation Report January - December 2013
UNICEF renewed its Letter of Understanding (LoU) with UNHCR for another year to continue to support refugees in the sectors of Education, Protection, Nutrition, WASH and Communication for Development in 2014.
As of end December 2013, the estimated number of Malian refugees and returnees is 54,894 people located in Tillabéri camps (Abala, Ayorou and Mangaize) and in Tahoua refugee hosting areas (Intikane, Tazalit).
In addition, an approximate 37,703 people from Nigeria (including returnees and refugees) have sought refuge in Diffa region, southeastern Niger.
In December 2013, the National Mechanism for the Prevention and Management of Disasters and Food Crises (DNPGCCA) released the final data of the vulnerability analysis carried out in November 2013. A total of 4,648 villages are severely or moderately at risk of food insecurity with an estimated 4.2 million people (418,724 people are at risk of being severely food insecure while another 3,778,890 are at risk of being moderately food insecure) against 2.4 million people in 2012.
As of 31 December 2013, a total of 398,326 children under-five have been admitted to therapeutic feeding centres for severe acute malnutrition (SAM).
From January to December 2013, a cumulative total of 592 cholera cases including 15 deaths have been reported against 5,285 cases reported at the same period in 2012.
In 2013, flooding affected an approximate 233,000 persons in Niger. To respond to the emergency, UNICEF provided 10,097 households with non-food items kits.
- 01/29/14--20:37: Malawi: Southern Africa Price Bulletin January 2014
- 01/29/14--20:50: Mali: West Africa Price Bulletin January 2014
- New VSAT in Mopti is providing the humanitarian community in this area with internet connectivity.
- WFP is leading ETC activities in Mali with responsibility for coordination, implementation and overall operation support for common ICT services.
An inter-agency capable VSAT has been installed in the new UN common ground in Mopti to provide the humanitarian community operating in this area with internet connectivity. The ETC Response Solution, comprising technologies from emergency.lu and Ericsson Response, has been demobilised. The ETC thanks these partners for their contribution.
The COMCEN in Bamako has been moved to the UNDP compound. The COMCEN continues to operate 24/7, providing security telecommunications services to the humanitarian community there.
Additional ETC staff have arrived in country to support the operation.
- The ETC Mali operation is severely constrained by funding. Funding required for 2014 ETC activities is US$2.1million to ensure all locations can be provided with vital IT and telecommunications services. To date, only US$250,000 has been received. If additional funding is not received by March 2014, the ETC will need to drastically revise its operational plan.
- 01/30/14--00:19: Malawi: 10 Images of WFP Fighting Hunger in Malawi
- 01/30/14--12:39: Niger: A convergence of crises
RECENT FOOD SECURITY CRISES
The Lesotho vulnerability assessment and analysis (VAA) committee, which coordinates the VAA information system was established in 2001/02 at the height of the southern Africa regional food crisis. This was in order to fill an information need for data on levels, severity, and geographical location of the food insecure. Since then, there have been significant food security crises in Lesotho - in 2002/2003, 2004/2005, and 2007/2008, all of which resulted in emergency food security programs. The VAA estimated the number of food insecure people at almost a million in 2004/2005 consumption period (Figure 7).
Food Assistance Patterns
Food aid represents a relatively small proportion of total availability. In years of poor domestic cereal production, Government’s policy is to bridge the gap that cannot be covered through commercial food imports through food assistance. The management of food aid flows is through the government’s Disaster Management Authority, which also coordinates assessments to determine whether food assistance is needed and also recommends the amounts required.
In January 2006 WFP published a report providing an analytical review of food aid, food production and food markets in Lesotho. If found that in 2004, untargeted food aid flows of 74,000 MT (against a requirement of 43,000 MT) influenced the domestic cereal market negatively and provided a disincentive to production. Since the 2002-2007/08 peak assistance period, general and targeted food distributions have been declining. In recent years, WFP has re-oriented its assistance toward development assistance tools like school feeding and nutritional support.
An additional significant finding of the 2006 WFP study mentioned above was that food markets in Lesotho seemed to function reasonably well, and that food insecurity was more linked to inadequate access (lack of purchasing power) than to unavailability.
The most remote regions in Mauritania lacked access to financial services, essential for small scale agriculture production, storage, distribution and other income generating activities. Existing lending institutions based in Mauritania were hesitant in making investments in programs to provide loans to community members, because of the high lending risk associated with extreme poverty and their lack of experience in rural areas.
Counterpart International built the institutional and technical capacity of its partner Caisse d’Epargne et Credit Djikké-Mutuel (CECD-M) to deliver microfinance services in sevenrural municipalities of Mauritania.
Here's a look at how Counterpart and its partners built the capacity of local community members to seliver microfiance services in the the most vulnerable areas of the country.
28 January 2014
Around 7,000 Malians are gaining a real route out of poverty through an Islamic Relief project due to complete next month (February).
Poverty is pervasive in the landlocked West African country of Mali. Food security depends upon an unpredictable and harsh climate, in a country wreaked by frequent drought and conflict.
Unsustainable farming practices are worsening the impact of climate change, as water and arable land are increasingly depleted and life-sustaining ecosystems are destroyed.
The Islamic Relief scheme, which began last year, aims to lift families out of extreme poverty in some of the most vulnerable communities in the Cercle of Kati, in Mali’s south-western Koulikoro region. We are focussing on women and children in the project, which sees us working in seven villages in the rural communes of Ouelessebougou and Tiele.
Women and children are often hardest hit by drought and food insecurity. Children are often compelled to drop-out of school in order to help meet the basic needs of their families.
Now, families have a source of food and reliable income, thanks to rainwater harvesting systems such as micro-dams that are enabling them to carry out sustainable agriculture. With Islamic Relief training in new production and management techniques – including those required to adapt to climate change - local people are joining forces to plant trees and to protect their environment.
New water distribution networks in rural maternity centres – combined with solar power supplies previously installed by Islamic Relief – are giving communities access to basic services. With the help of our Islamic micro-credit programme, communities are maintaining these services themselves as they come together in management committees to generate the income required.
The project is funded by Islamic Relief Sweden, through Radiohjalpen. It builds on a raft of projects that we have been delivering since 1998, focussed on helping rural communities to become self-sufficient by reducing the impact of drought and boosting long-term food security.
Snapshot 21 – 28 January
Central African Republic: The situation remains highly volatile in large swathes of the country outside the capital. In Bangui, sporadic shooting, looting and violence continued, mainly in mixed or Muslim-dominated areas of the city. To date, an estimated 922,000 people have been internally displaced as a result of the ongoing violence – half of them in Bangui alone. In a further political development, a new government was appointed, reportedly including both supporters of Christian militias and supporters of the mainly Muslim Seleka rebellion. Meanwhile Navi Pillay, the UN human rights chief, said on 27 January, that the security situation in the Central African Republic is getting even worse despite the inauguration of a new leader.
Syria: The Geneva II peace talks are ongoing, bringing Government and opposition representatives together for the first time, while fighting within Syria continues. All parties are discussing options to allow humanitarian aid to reach besieged opposition-held areas, especially in the city of Homs. As of 28 January, over 2.43 million people have fled the conflict in Syria. An estimated 6.5 million are displaced within Syria.
South Sudan: Despite the signing of ceasefire between Juba’s government and insurgent representatives on 23 January, sporadic fighting continued to be reported in the east of the country. The deal is expected to allow the implementation of a verification and monitoring mechanism for the truce, and should enable unrestricted access to aid workers. Since the violence erupted in mid-December, an estimated 687,000 people have been displaced by the crisis, 112,000 of whom have crossed into neighboring countries such as Uganda and Ethiopia.
Iraq: In largely Sunni Anbar province, Government forces intensified air strikes and artillery fire on the insurgent-held city of Fallujah, although no decisive assault has yet been undertaken. In Ramadi, al-Qaeda affiliated insurgents have reportedly managed to retake control of several eastern urban areas. As of 24 January, an estimated 140,000 people had been displaced by the fighting in Anbar province with some over 65,000 fleeing Fallujah and Ramadi areas over the previous week alone, according to the UN. More displacement may occur as fighting is ongoing.
Last Updated: 28/01/2014 Next Update: 04/02/2014
Grant from Margaret A. Cargill Foundation Builds on LWR's Successful Resilience Plus Model
Baltimore, January 28, 2014 - Lutheran World Relief (LWR) has received a $1.5 million grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation to scale up community-based resilience building work in Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso. The project, “Community Led Food Crisis Recovery in the Sahel,” will run through January 2016.
During the last four years, the Sahel region of West Africa has experienced three severe food crises due to poor rains, inflated food prices and limited pasture for animal grazing. These food crises force poor families to sell land, livestock or other assets, go into debt, and limit food consumption just to survive, creating a cycle of food insecurity.
LWR’s successful “Resilience Plus” program in West Africa takes a long-term view, prioritizing community recovery and resilience even during an immediate crisis response. By bridging the delivery of humanitarian assistance with sustainable development approaches, the program lays a foundation to break the recurring cycle of low agricultural productivity and low farm incomes and has already helped make more than 300,000 people less vulnerable to future food shortages.
The grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation builds on this success and enables LWR to reach more than 100,000 additional farmers in the Sahel region. The project, which runs through January 2016, addresses the underlying factors contributing to persistent poverty and food insecurity by providing livestock such as goats and sheep, and training farmers on their care; helping farmers access certified seeds for staple crops like millet, sorghum and cowpeas; training farmers on improved crop production techniques; providing short-term opportunities to earn income by contributing labor to soil and water conservation projects such as terraces, trenches and stone walls; building warehouses for crop storage; and training farmers on business and marketing skills and helping them access financial services.
“We know this approach works – we’ve seen it improve countless lives in West Africa,” said Jeff Whisenant, LWR’s interim president and CEO. “It’s possible to break the cycle of extreme poverty, and this grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation will help to do that by investing in making communities more resilient.”
WHO IS LWR? Lutheran World Relief, an international nonprofit organization, works to end poverty and injustice by empowering some of the world's most impoverished communities to help themselves. With partners in 35 countries, LWR seeks to promote sustainable development with justice and dignity by helping communities bring about change for healthy, safe and secure lives; engage in Fair Trade; promote peace and reconciliation; and respond to emergencies. LWR is headquartered in Baltimore, Md. and has worked in international development and relief since 1945. For more information, please visit lwr.org.
Lutheran World Relief is a ministry of U.S. Lutherans, serving communities living in poverty overseas.
Contact: Emily Sollie, 410-230-2802 (office); 443-220-3269 (cell); email@example.com
The advent of intra-state conflicts or ‘new wars’ in West Africa has brought many of its economies to the brink of collapse, creating humanitarian casualties and concerns. For decades, countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea- Bissau were crippled by conflicts and civil strife in which violence and incessant killings were prevalent. While violent conflicts are declining in the sub-region, recent insurgencies in the Sahel region affecting the West African countries of Mali, Niger and Mauritania and low intensity conflicts surging within notably stable countries such as Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal sends alarming signals of the possible re-surfacing of internal and regional violent conflicts. These conflicts are often hinged on several factors including poverty, human rights violations, bad governance and corruption, ethnic marginalization and small arms proliferation. Although many actors including the ECOWAS, civil society and international community have been making efforts, conflicts continue to persist in the sub-region and their resolution is often protracted. This paper posits that the poor understanding of the fundamental causes of West Africa’s violent conflicts and civil strife would likely cause the sub-region to continue experiencing and suffering the brunt of these violent wars.
BLANTYRE, MALAWI — Malawi’s government is trying to ease the impact of a food shortage by rationing the country's staple crop, maize. The move has sparked a steep increase in the price of maize on the parallel market.
The latest report by the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee indicates that nearly two million of Malawi’s 13 million people are facing hunger because of prolonged dry spells, flooding and low yields of maize.
The committee, which includes government departments, the United Nations, embassies and humanitarian agencies, says poor households from the worst-hit districts will face a food shortage until the next harvest season begins in April.
The situation is compounded by rationing recently put in place by government’s main grain marketer, the Agriculture Development and Marketing Corporation, which is limiting maize sales to 10 kilograms per customer.
In his capacity as deputy minister of agriculture before he was given a new portfolio last weekend, Ulemu Chilapondwa said the move is meant to protect the poor from vendors who are selling the grain at an exorbitant price.
“If you can actually check person by person, you can find that very few people can manage more than 10 kilograms, but vendors can manage, so the aim of the government is to serve the poor.”
But the consumer rights body, Consumers Association of Malawi, says the rationing further aggravates hunger among average Malawians, in part because ADMARC makes people stand in long lines.
John Kapito, the group's executive director, says “We are saying that it becomes a bit difficult, because the families have to stay there for much longer time for them to get that 10 kilograms of maize. And when you consider the time they have wasted and the amount of maize they have collected there it does not make any sense.”
Mother of six, Christina Jere is a resident of Ndirande Township in the commercial capital Blantyre.
"This is a big problem to us with big families, because the 10 kilograms lasts for two days and this is also impacting negatively of our day household chores, " Jere said. "We are spending time queuing for maize at the ADMARC depots, sometimes even returning home without buying just because of extraordinary long queues.”
She also said that despite the rationing private traders have taken advantage of the maize shortage by selling the staple grain at double the prices sold in ADMARC depots.
Until last year, Malawi had registered several years of a maize surplus, following the introduction of a fertilizer subsidy program in 2005.
The country earned a reputation of being an African food producer after it sold about 40,000 metric tons of maize to Zimbabwe and donated 5,000 metric tons each to Lesotho and Swaziland. But last week, media reports indicated nine people had died of hunger related illnesses in the central district of Dedza.
“I think there is something wrong which the government is doing because we know that somebody is keeping the maize," Kapito said. " The president can go to the rally and distributing 2,000 bags of maize, where is she is getting that maize?”
But Chilapondwa insists nothing is wrong, saying the country has enough maize to keep it going through the lean period.
This report reviews funding allocated to West and Central Africa countries by the United Nations Central Emergency Fund. It covers the period from January to December 2013
In 2013, The United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) allocated over US$104.5 million to 14 countries in West and Central Africa to respond urgently to various humanitarian crises. With US$17.8 million, Mali is the largest recipient of CERF in the region, followed by the Central African Republic (CAR) which received US$ 15.8 million, Niger (US$14.3 million) and Chad (US$ 13 million).
In 2013, a total amount of US$67.2 million was allocated to seven Sahel countries to reduce malnutrition and food insecurity, provide life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable, including refugees, internally displaced people and host communities, as well as to strengthen communities’ resilience to future shocks.
The CERF is a funding mechanism used to quickly and effectively address humanitarian emergencies. In 2013, the CERF injected over US$ 481.9 million across the world.
En 2013, le Fonds Central d’Intervention d’Urgence des Nations Unies (CERF) a alloué plus de 104,5 millions de dollars à 14 pays de l’Afrique de l’Ouest et du Centre. Avec 17,8 millions de dollars, le Mali est le plus grand bénéficiaire du CERF dans la région, suivi de la République Centrafricaine (RCA) qui a reçu 15,8 millions de dollars, du Niger (14,3 millions de dollars) et du Tchad (13 millions de dollars).
En 2013, une enveloppe totale de 67,2 millions de dollars a été allouée à sept pays du Sahel pour réduire les taux de malnutrition et d’insécurité alimentaire, pour fournir une assistance vitale aux plus vulnérables, y compris, les réfugiés, les personnes déplacées internes et les communautés hôtes et pour renforcer la résilience des communautés aux futurs chocs.
Le CERF est un mécanisme de financement utilisé pour répondre de façon rapide et effective aux urgences humanitaires. En 2013, le CERF a injecté plus de 481,9 millions de dollars dans des projets vitaux à travers le monde.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
-Estimates for the 2013 harvest point to an above-average cereal production
- Pastures have been affected by irregular rains in parts
- The food security outlook remains uncertain, reflecting reduced crop in neighbouring countries
- Humanitarian assistance continues to be needed including for Malian refugees
What do you do when you want to make a survey of the extent of dangerous remnants of war in an area that is inaccessible to international NGO’s? You fly out people from the area and train them to do the job.
Suicide bombs, roadside bombs and car bombs are unfortunately an everyday event in Mali’s Kidal region. The security situation is so bad that organisations like DanChurchAid cannot work in the region.
At the same time, remnants of war from the hostilities that started in early 2012 are dangerous for both civilians and peacekeeping soldiers. Grenades, landmines and other explosive remnants of war are laying spread all over Kidal and it is that sort of thing that DanChurchAid’s umanitarian mine action program works on identifying and clearing many places; but it isn’t possible just yet in Kidal.
“In practice, no one controls the area, so there is de facto no access for operations like ours,” says Logistics & Programme Support Officer Roland Carew from DanChurchAid’s humanitarian mine action program in Mali.
Despite this, the UN’s mine action service, UNMAS, wants to get an overview of where the dangerous war remnants are located in Kidal, and how much there is. It would save months and protect human lives once a real humanitarian mine action effort can start. So the UN has, in cooperation with DanChurchAid, worked out an alternative solution.
A discrete way of working
As we can’t send personnel from DanChurchAid into the affected areas in Kidal region we have, with support from the NCA (Norwegian Church Aid), chosen instead to fly selected local people out to train them to do the work. Then they are sent back and report back to DanChurchAid.
The UN sees a great advantage in this solution rather than letting the UN itself or private companies do the same job.
“It is a discrete way of working that doesn’t require an escort of armoured vehicles and heavy weapons,” says Marc Vaillant, Programme Officer of UNMAS in Mali.
To start with, DanChurchAid selected, in cooperation with local partner organisations, nine volunteers from Kidal, who were flown out of the area. They were taught how to collect information and make surveys in order to find out where the dangerous areas are that later have to be cleared of explosives.
“When the day comes that we get a green light for actual clearance, we won’t have to waste time but can start clearing right away,” says Marc Vaillant.
That way, the many people who fled can go home faster and more safely.
Knowledge out and knowledge in
The volunteers are also trained to pass their knowledge on risk education on, so children and grownups, that are still in the areas, can learn which objects are dangerous so they have to stay away from them.
The project is thus both about getting some information out of the area and also getting some special knowledge in to it.
© Google Maps Kidal province is located in the northeastern part of Mali and is mostly desert Marc Vaillant views the project with great optimism and looks forward to seeing the results of the experiment.
“I think this community based approach is the right solution,” he says.
The best thing would be if the dangerous ammunition could be removed here and now, but as that isn’t possible, we have to be creative and find the next best solution. This project is an example of that.
“Kidal is a very special region that it is hard to gain control of. But we are all anxious to get results, so that is why we get together with among others DanChurchAid around the table to get things like this done,” says Marc Vaillant from UNMAS.
Good results already
The first results of the work have already begun to arrive. So far, the nine volunteers have identified 14 areas that, it has been confirmed, are contaminated with explosive remnants of war, and they have found 12 areas where there is a suspicion of contamination.
The initial results have convinced Roland Carew from DanChurchAid that the project has a future. At the same time, he is encouraged by the eagerness of the volunteers.
DCA is aware that the full impact of this project may not be measured at this stage but strongly believe that by training locals will make a last impact in some of the most affected and remote areas of Kidal where access is extremely limited.
“We could see that the volunteers enjoyed the training very much, and now the results show us that they can see the need, and that it gives them hope,” he says.
The conflict in Mali
In January 2012 an armed conflict broke out in northern Mali.
Rebels took over control of northern Mali by April 2012 and declared the secession the new state of Azawad.
In response to Islamist territorial gains, the French military launched an operation in January 2013, and a month later, Malian and French forces recaptured most of the north of Mali.
In a presidential election conducted in July and August of 2013, Ibrahim Boubacar was elected president.
Unrest remains in the northern part of the country, especially in Kidal province. In December 2013 the town of Kidal was hit by a car bomb blast that killed two United Nations peacekeepers.
Jean-Hervé Jezequel, Jeune Afrique
L’opération Serval, déclenchée en janvier 2013, a eu un impact décisif au Mali. Alors que ce pays était au bord de l’implosion, l’intervention française lui a permis de retrouver son intégrité territoriale. L’État malien a également franchi une série d’étapes importantes avec le retour à l’ordre institutionnel et le renforcement d’un exécutif longtemps intérimaire. L’accord préliminaire de Ouagadougou du 18 juin 2013 a permis un cessez-le-feu puis l’élection à une très large majorité du président Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta (IBK) en août 2013. Comparée à celle qui prévalait il y a un peu plus d’un an, la situation du Mali s’est donc améliorée. Mais le pays est toujours en proie à une crise profonde que l’intervention militaire française ne règlera pas sans que s’y ajoutent des décisions politiques fortes du chef de l’État et de son gouvernement avec l’appui des partenaires internationaux.
La question du Nord est, à l’évidence, la plus urgente à résoudre. Détonateur de la crise, elle reste la menace principale qui pèse sur son règlement. La reprise des attentats dans les villes du Nord depuis l’automne dernier, les tensions entre les différents segments de la population qui y vivent, la présence de groupes armés de nature communautaire et le retour difficile de l’État dans les régions septentrionales sont autant de défis à surmonter. Le président IBK s’est impliqué avec volontarisme dans la relance du dialogue national, élément clef de la réconciliation entre le nord et le sud. Son gouvernement a organisé des États généraux de la décentralisation, des assises nationales du Nord à Bamako et des assises régionales à Gao. Cette démarche est apparue comme une tentative intéressante d’engager un dialogue qui n’enferme pas, comme jadis, le gouvernement dans un face-à-face exclusif avec les groupes armés. Des organisations de la société civile, en particulier du Nord, ont été associées aux débats à Bamako et Gao.
Cependant, ces initiatives apportent une réponse encore insuffisante à la question du Nord. Le Mali a déjà connu à plusieurs reprises de semblables conférences d’envergure nationales dont l’impact sur le terrain fut ensuite très faible par manque de suivi politique. Par ailleurs, la volonté d’avancer rapidement sur le dossier du Nord a conduit le gouvernement à piloter entièrement le processus depuis Bamako. Désireuses d’imposer leur agenda, les autorités maliennes n’ont pas cherché une véritable concertation avec les groupes porteurs de revendications différentes des leurs. En conséquence, les groupes armés présents au Nord ont majoritairement refusé de participer à ces rencontres, reprochant au gouvernement d’en maîtriser les modalités et de fermer la porte à un dialogue réel.
Surtout, ces rencontres ne doivent pas se substituer à de véritables pourparlers de paix incluant tous les représentants du Nord, y compris les groupes armés. Selon l’accord de Ouagadougou, de tels pourparlers inclusifs de paix devaient s’ouvrir 60 jours après la formation du gouvernement. Ce délai a expiré début novembre. Le comité de suivi et d’évaluation de cet accord, prévu pour offrir un cadre de concertation dans lequel devaient se retrouver chaque mois les parties impliquées et les différents modérateurs internationaux, ne s’est plus réuni depuis octobre 2013. La relance de l’accord de Ouagadougou et le respect de ses principales dispositions doivent être l’une des priorités du gouvernement malien. Pour le moment, celui-ci s’est engagé sur une voie bien différente.
Certes, les contacts entre le gouvernement et les groupes armés se sont poursuivis mais en dehors du cadre légal de l’accord de Ouagadougou. Le pouvoir a renoué des liens avec une partie des leaders touareg et arabes sur une base uniquement clientéliste. Lors des récentes élections législatives, le parti du président IBK a ainsi soutenu plusieurs candidats issus, ou proches, des groupes armés. En agissant de la sorte, il restaure une partie de son influence au Nord tout en espérant diviser et affaiblir les mouvements armés. Si elle peut immédiatement ramener un semblant de stabilité, cette stratégie est, à plus long terme, un frein aux nécessaires réformes de la gouvernance dans le Nord. Par ailleurs, elle avive les tensions au sein des groupes armés. Exclus de la relation clientéliste, des éléments appartenant à ces groupes se sentent floués et sont tentés de reprendre les armes. La récente médiation initiée par l’Algérie peut relancer le dialogue entre Bamako et les groupes armés mais elle a jusqu’ici accentué les tensions. Des membres des mouvements armés dénoncent la présence à cette réunion de négociateurs jugés peu crédibles car trop proches des positions pro-gouvernementales.
La question du Nord n’est enfin pas la seule posée au Mali. La nouvelle équipe dirigeante s’est engagée avec l’appui de ses partenaires internationaux dans un ambitieux programme général de réforme de la gouvernance. Par le passé, cette rhétorique du changement a maintes fois été utilisée par l’État malien pour mieux couvrir son immobilisme. Il en sera de même si le chef de l’État ne pose pas rapidement des actes forts au-delà des concessions symboliques qu’il a octroyées aux bailleurs.
Ces derniers ont également leur part de responsabilité dans la dérive malienne et doivent opérer leur propre bilan critique. Après avoir fait le constat que le "modèle malien" n’avait été qu’un château de cartes, les partenaires du Mali ont aujourd’hui tendance à retomber dans l’illusion du "retour à l’Etat souverain".
Tout n’est certes pas sombre au Mali. Le retour à l’ordre institutionnel est un acquis important. Il reste cependant un long chemin à parcourir pour éviter une rechute. Tous les acteurs impliqués doivent comprendre qu’une opération militaire extérieure et la tenue d’élections ne suffisent pas à inscrire un redressement et une réconciliation nationale dans la durée. Le président malien doit, quant à lui, prendre conscience que sa forte légitimité électorale lui offre un moment unique et finalement très court pour prendre les décisions courageuses et honnêtes qui guériront son pays.
One year after French and African military intervention recaptured northern Mali from Islamist and separatist armed groups the stability of this Sahel region is still heavily reliant on the presence of armed foreign troops. While the election of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta and his party in polls in the second half of 2013 has established a relatively strong new government, its achievements so far have mainly related to reversing the effects of the March 2012 military coup in Bamako. Progress in reintegrating and reconciling the north, internally and with the rest of Mali, has been partial. Apart from sporadic terrorist attacks, talks with Tuareg separatists have foundered, inter-communal violence and urban protests have flared, and one-third of the north’s population, including many civil servants, still feel too insecure to return home. Part I of this two-part special briefing analyses challenges for stabilising Mali. Part II will examine regional security challenges and the increasingly militaristic French and US response.
Most households in Southern Africa depend on maize as their main source of food and energy, given the high volumes and ease with which it is produced. Alternative food crops that are consumed as substitutes include rice, wheat, sorghum, millet, and tubers such as cassava and potatoes. Consumption of these substitutes occurs mainly when maize is not available or among those households in areas where such substitutes are more easily available (for example, cassava in northern Mozambique). The majority of rural households do grow the other cereals — especially sorghum and millet, which are more drought resilient — in relatively small quantities as a buffer in bad production years for maize.
Furthermore, wealthier households (especially in urban areas) with access to a variety of costlier cereals (such as rice and wheat) do consume them to diversify their diets. While wheat is widely consumed in the form of bread, it is produced in relatively small quantities in the region. South Africa is the only country that produces substantial amounts, but still in quantities insufficient to meet domestic requirements. South Africa is also the region’s major producer of maize and acts as a major supplier and exporter. In years of relative maize surplus, sizable amounts of both formal and informal cross border trade occurs between neighboring countries.
West Africa can be divided into three agro-ecological zones or three different trade basins (West Basin, Central Basin and East Basin). Both important for understanding market behavior and dynamics.
The three major agro-ecological zones are the Sahelian, the Sudanese and the Coastal zones where production and consumption can be easily classified. (1) In the Sahelian zone, millet is the principal cereal cultivated and consumed particularly in rural areas and increasingly, when accessible, in urban areas. Exceptions include Cape Verde where maize and rice are most important, Mauritania where sorghum and maize are staples, and Senegal with rice. The principal substitutes in the Sahel are sorghum, rice, and cassava flour (Gari), the latter two in times of shortage. (2) In the Sudanese zone (southern Chad, central Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, Togo, Côte d'Ivoire, southern Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Serra Leone, Liberia) maize and sorghum constitute the principal cereals consumed by the majority of the population. They are followed by rice and tubers, particularly cassava and yam. (3) In the Coastal zone, with two rainy seasons, yam and maize constitute the most important food products. They are supplemented by cowpea, which is a significant source of protein.
The three trade basins are known as the West, Central, and East basins. In addition to the north to south movement of particular commodities, certain cereals flow horizontally. (1) The West basin refers to Mauritania, Senegal, western Mali, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, and The Gambia where rice is most heavily traded. (2) The Central basin consists of Côte d'Ivoire, central and eastern Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Togo where maize is commonly traded. (3) The East basin refers to Niger,
Nigeria, Chad, and Benin where millet is traded most frequently. These three trade basins are shown on the map above.
Challenges and Gaps
From resilience building efforts to sustainable school meals, here are 10 photos that look back on WFP's fight against hunger in Malawi. In 2014, WFP Malawi is building on last year's momentum to scale-up all efforts to work towards achieving the Zero Hunger Challenge.
View images here
Communities in south-east Niger have been battered by floods, food crises and the consequences of conflict in neighboring Nigeria.
The dusty and dry harmattan wind fades as the sun climbs above the community at Adjiri. This small community sits on the outskirts of the town of Diffa in Niger’s far south-east. It is made up of 191 families who were relocated here when the Komadougou River burst its banks in November 2013, reaching almost five metres – a height not seen in almost 40 years.
In all, more than 15,000 people were displaced. At Adjiri, people are living in white tents provided by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) with funding from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).
Read the full report on OCHA