Articles on this Page
- 02/13/14--04:01: _Mali: Situation Upd...
- 02/13/14--10:01: _Mali: Plan d’Action...
- 02/13/14--10:37: _Mali: Conflict Driv...
- 02/13/14--22:52: _Somalia: Oxfam Soma...
- 02/13/14--22:54: _Somalia: Oxfam Soma...
- 02/14/14--01:11: _Malawi: President o...
- 02/14/14--02:49: _Somalia: IOM Builds...
- 02/14/14--04:41: _Mali: L’Expert indé...
- 02/14/14--04:52: _Mali: United Nation...
- 02/14/14--10:05: _Niger: Etat des lie...
- 02/14/14--19:00: _World: Security Cou...
- 02/16/14--07:45: _Angola: Food and Nu...
- 02/16/14--18:04: _Cameroon: Food pric...
- 02/16/14--22:32: _Mali: Mali's Kidal ...
- 02/17/14--04:18: _Mauritania: Maurita...
- 02/17/14--06:17: _Madagascar: Souther...
- 02/17/14--17:04: _World: Food Assista...
- 02/17/14--21:33: _Mali: Farmer Traini...
- 02/18/14--02:41: _Mali: Dans l'attent...
- 02/18/14--02:52: _Mauritania: La Maur...
- 02/13/14--04:01: Mali: Situation Update: The Sahel Crisis - 31 January 2014
Despite the 2013 harvest in the Sahel being equivalent to the last five years average, more than 20 million people are still food insecure. The agricultural production of the poorest households is insufficient to restore their livelihoods and is expected to cover only their nutritional needs for the next two to three months. Thereafter they will depend entirely on markets.
In 2013, FAO has received USD 26.5 million for its operations in the Sahel. Thanks to this funds FAO has assisted more than 2.5 million beneficiaries in the Sahel by supporting food and livestock production, and providing livelihood protection and technical assistance.
In order to reduce the food insecurity burden in the Sahel, FAO and its partners consider that additional and timely efforts need to be done in 2014 to strengthen the livelihoods and enhance the resilience of poor and very poor households in the region. FAO’s funding needs for 2014 are estimated at USD 115 million in the Sahel.
- Support efforts to re-establish Malian defence and security forces by strengthening their unity, discipline and efficiency: This involves depoliticising the security forces to guarantee democracy and a respect for transnational institutions. Furthermore, the reconstruction of a coherent chain of command is a priority, both to promote political stabilisation in the south and help resolve the crisis in the north.
- Ensure that executive power represents a broad consensus: Only a functioning state can address the long-term grievances that have prompted the northern rebellion. Consequently, Mali needs to make progress towards effective leadership and transition back to constitutional order.
- Promote efforts towards dialogue that ensure Malian ownership of the process: It is preferable to facilitate dialogue between Malians in Mali rather than entrust mediation efforts to regional powers, such as that led by ECOWAS, who could be biased in their approach. A sustainable basis for constructive dialogue is required, rather than the external sponsoring of accords such as has happened previously.
- Contribute to Mali’s economic resilience by resuming foreign aid and supporting development and livelihoods: Economic marginalisation has only deepened with the onset of the current crisis. Communities in northern Mali would welcome the prospect of stable administration, regular salaries and development projects.
- Weaken criminal networks incrementally: Related to the previous point, until there are viable economic alternatives, clamping down on smuggling could further alienate local communities in northern Mali. Prevent further deterioration of the human rights situation in Mali: Security forces have been implicated in numerous abuses including torture, enforced disappearances and arbitrary executions of Tuareg and Arab men. If not addressed, these abuses could interfere with the organising of national elections and therefore damage the chances of a durable solution.
- Address rising ethnic tensions: The resurgence of armed conflict has been accompanied by an increase in ethnic tensions. Pro-government militias and ethnically allied youth groups, such as the Ganda Koy and Ganda Izo, have prepared lists of people in northern Mali to be targeted for reprisal once government forces retake control. Furthermore, ethnic tensions are being fuelled by the political manipulation of ethnicity by some political and military leaders. If these tensions remain unaddressed, they could further provoke collective punishment and ethnic violence. Future negotiations need to ensure that the opinions and grievances of all northern communities, not just those who have taken up arms, are heard.
- 02/13/14--22:52: Somalia: Oxfam Somalia Fact Sheet - February 2014
- 02/13/14--22:54: Somalia: Oxfam Somalia Update Issue 28 - February 2014
- 02/14/14--01:11: Malawi: President orders Food Aid for Republic of Malawi
- 02/14/14--02:49: Somalia: IOM Builds Resilience in Somali Communities of Return
- 02/16/14--18:04: Cameroon: Food prices soar in Cameroon's cities as water runs short
- 02/16/14--22:32: Mali: Mali's Kidal still waits for resolution
- 02/17/14--04:18: Mauritania: Mauritania fertile ground for Arab donors
The 2012/13 rainfall season was erratic, with torrential rainfall early in the season followed by dry conditions over parts of the region.
Insufficient rains and droughtlike conditions in the west and south-west of the region led to a poor agricultural season and death of livestock, resulting in heightened food insecurity.
Armyworm and red locust outbreaks in Southern Africa, although largely contained, may lead to secondary outbreaks this year.
Locust invasion in Madagascar continues to pose a significant threat to food security and livelihoods, with an ongoing three-year eradication campaign which requires further funding.
- 02/17/14--17:04: World: Food Assistance Outlook Brief February 2014
- 02/17/14--21:33: Mali: Farmer Training Aims to Reduce Pesticide Use in Mali
- 02/18/14--02:41: Mali: Dans l'attente d'une résolution à Kidal, au Mali
Le Plan d’actions prioritaires pour le nord (PAP) adopté par l’Équipe Humanitaire Pays en septembre 2013 identifiait 193 activités à mettre en œuvre dans les zones prioritaires ciblées du nord du Mali dans les dix secteurs suivants : abris; cohésion sociale; éducation; eau, hygiène et assainissement (EHA); nutrition; protection; relance socio-économique; restauration de l’autorité de l’État; santé; sécurité alimentaire. À la fin décembre 2013, huit de ces dix secteurs sont parvenus à démarrer soit une partie ou l’ensemble des activités planifiées (les activités des secteurs de la restauration de l’autorité de l’État et de la cohésion sociale n’ont pas encore démarré mais sont dans leur phase de préparation). Au total, 67 activités du PAP sont actuellement mises en œuvre et ont pu être renseignées en décembre.
L’analyse des données renseignées par les huit secteurs dont les activités ont démarré révèle d’importantes disparités entre les secteurs, tant au niveau du nombre d’activités qui sont en cours qu’au niveau du taux de réalisation2 de ces activités. De manière générale, on remarque que les secteurs/clusters qui avaient identifié un grand nombre d’activités n’ont pu entreprendre qu’une faible proportion de celles-ci tandis que les secteurs/clusters qui en avaient planifié un plus petit nombre ont pu lancer la presque totalité de leurs activités (graphique 2). Par ailleurs, par mi les 67 activités qui sont en cours d’exécution, plus de la moitié ont déjà atteint plus de 60% de leur cible (graphique 3). On constate aussi une progression significative entre les taux de réalisation des cibles depuis le mois d’octobre ce qui indique la tendance d’un renforcement de la réponse en cours sur le terrain dans la majorité des secteurs.
Summary This literature review aims to reflect relevant empirical and policy analysis together with more up-to-date commentary on the situation in Mali, as of January 2013. The conflict in Mali is highly complex and fluid: the situation with regards to the various groups engaged in conflict is developing on a daily basis, as are the responses from local and international actors.
Previous Tuareg rebellions in the post-colonial period took place in 1963, the 1990s and 2006-2008. The current conflict began with the Tuareg attack in January 2012, and although the situation has since evolved, this renewed instability illustrates that structural problems in Mali have yet to be resolved. Therefore, whilst each new conflict has its own proximate drivers, they are related to unresolved issues spilling over from previous conflicts.
The following recommendations have emerged for preventing further escalation and resolving the conflict:
KEY HUMANITARIAN DEVELOPMENTS￼
• Successive seasons of near to above average rainfall in most parts of Somalia, low food prices and continued humanitarian response have brought down the number of people requiring urgent, life- saving humanitarian assistance from its peak of four million during the 2011 famine to an estimated 857,000.
• IDPs continue to constitute a majority (74%) of the 857,000 people in Crisis and Emergency. The challenge faced by IDPs includes reliance on marginal and often unreliable livelihood strategies and poor living and sanitary conditions.
• The Deyr 2013 cereal harvest in January/February was 20 percent below the long-term and five-year averages. This undermined the positive impact of increased livestock prices, increasing livestock herd sizes, improved milk availability, low prices of staple food commodities and sustained humani- tarian interventions.
• The food security condition of over 2 million additional people remains fragile. This group of house- holds may struggle to meet their own minimal food requirements through mid-2014, and they remain highly vulnerable to shocks that could push them back to food security crisis.
• Levels of acute malnutrition remain critical among rural populations in many parts of South-Central Somalia and among Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). An estimated 203,000 children under the age of five are acutely malnourished, 51,000 of whom are severely malnourished. A majority of the mal- nourished children are found among non-IDP populations of the South.
HOW OXFAM WORKS IN SOMALIA
Oxfam works with Somali partners to rebuild sustainable livelihoods provide humanitarian assistance, advocate for education for all and promote active citizenship and gender justice in Somalia. Oxfam uses an integrated approach to implementing projects, working across emergency response, development, and campaigns to achieve a greater impact. We do this through:
• Rights-based approaches to ensure that the Somali people are accorded basic human rights, and have the ability and capacity to stand up for their rights
• One programme approach that includes humanitarian and development programme work, civil society capacity building as well as advocacy and campaigns
• Partnerships with locally accountable organisations
• Integration of gender, justice, HIV and AIDS and peace building in to all our work
As per the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation has offered food assistance to the Republic of Malawi.
Dr. Joyce Banda, President of the Republic of Malawi commended the humanitarian support provided by the United Arab Emirates for her country during a ceremony at held Kamuzu Palace in the capital Lilongwe. According to her the assistance will benefit around 648,000 families in Malawi.
On behalf of the Government of Malawi, Dr. Joyce extended thanks to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the UAE Government for this support, which came at the right time targeting marginalised and vulnerable segments, noting that such aid promotes the growing relationship between the two countries and help to overcome poverty and underdevelopment in her country.
In a speech during the ceremony, Ephraim Chiume, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Malawi welcomed the delegation of Khalifa Foundation, expressing his thanks and appreciation for this humanitarian support and affirmed his country's keenness to strengthen communication and cooperation with the UAE
The head of Khalifa Foundation's delegation told that the aid is part of a humanitarian programme implemented by the Foundation for needy people outside the UAE, regardless of their gender, color or religion. - Emirates News Agency, WAM
Somalia - As internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees return to Somalia’s Jowhar and Balad districts, IOM is working to facilitate their reintegration by strengthening the absorption capacity of the two communities.
The IDPs are Somalis who have mostly been displaced from the Middle Shabelle region by floods and clan conflicts. Others have come from Mogadishu due to the lack of job opportunities in the capital.
The relative stability in some areas of South Central Somalia has seen some 31,200 refugees spontaneously return to the area from Kenya and Ethiopia since the beginning of 2013. Most of the returnees were displaced by drought in 2011.
IOM is working to improve income generation and livelihoods for nearly 6,200 returnees through better crop production; to increase school attendance for children under the age of 14, especially girls; to improve access to clean, safe water; and to achieve better hygiene and sanitation among the target population.
Together with its implementing partner Women and Child Care Organization (WOCCA), IOM has handed over two rehabilitated permanent primary schools, Moyko and Horseed. The schools will serve some 833 students, including children from a nearby orphanage and neighbouring villages.
IOM has also handed over four shallow wells with hand pumps in Jowhar district. The wells will benefit over 400 households in villages who in the past have had to walk several kilometres in search of clean and safe water.
In order to increase crop production, IOM targeted 500 farmers by providing 10,000 kilograms of seeds to three farmers associations and subsidized the use of tractors to till 500 hectares of land. The operation will allow farmers to provide food to over 3,770 people.
IOM, in collaboration with local authorities, youth service organizations, and local educational institutions is planning to continue similar programmes to facilitate durable solutions for returning IDPs and refugees, and host communities in areas where IDPs and migrants have returned and are expected to return. IOM’s livelihoods interventions in Somalia are funded by the Japanese government.
For more information, please contact
Daihei Mochizuki IOM Somalia Tel +254 739851650 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
GENEVE / BAMAKO (14 février 2014) – L’expert indépendant des Nations unies sur la situation des droits de l’homme au Mali, Suliman Baldo, effectuera sa deuxième visite officielle dans le pays du 17 au 26 février 2014. Cette visite permettra à l’expert de rassembler des informations sur la réponse des autorités aux défis de la lutte contre l’impunité, de la restauration de la sécurité et de l’autorité de l’Etat ainsi qu’à la problématique des conflits inter et intracommunautaires dans le nord du pays.
« Ma visite me permettra de suivre avec une attention particulière la dynamique positive en cours dans la lutte contre l’impunité, en espérant qu’elle s’étendra, avec la même détermination, aux violations des droits de l’homme et du droit international humanitaire commises dans le nord par les groupes armés et certains éléments des Forces armées maliennes depuis le début de la crise », a affirmé Suliman Baldo.
L’expert participera aussi à des activités de renforcement de capacité dans le domaine de la justice transitionnelle, y compris une session de formation des magistrats sur les crimes internationaux et une rencontre avec les partenaires bilatéraux et multilatéraux sur la coordination de l’assistance technique et financière au processus de justice transitionnelle au Mali.
L’expert saisira l’opportunité de sa visite pour échanger avec les autorités et la société civile sur les perspectives de la récente Commission vérité, justice et réconciliation (CVJR) qui « peut potentiellement aider les Maliens à régler les injustices du passé et reconnaître les droits des victimes à la justice, aux réparations et à la garantie de non-répétition des violations des droits de l’homme ».
Durant sa mission de dix jours, Suliman Baldo souhaite rencontrer des autorités gouvernementales et judiciaires ainsi que des membres de l’appareil sécuritaire, la Présidente de la Commission nationale des droits de l’homme, les représentants des organisations non gouvernementales, les leaders religieux, le corps diplomatique et les représentants du système des Nations Unies.
L’Expert indépendant compte également se rendre dans le nord du Mali et visitera également des centres de détention à travers le pays. Il rencontrera des victimes, des personnes déplacées internes et des réfugiés maliens.
Cette visite permettra à l’expert indépendant de mettre à jour les informations sur la situation des droits de l’homme en vue de la présentation de son rapportà la 25ème session du Conseil des droits de l’homme des Nations Unies prévue le 26 mars 2014 à Genève (Pour accéder au dernier rapport, veuillez cliquer sur : http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/RegularSessions/Session25/Pages/Lis...).
M. Suliman Baldo (Soudan) a pris ses fonctions d’expert indépendant sur la situation des droits de l’homme au Mali le 1er août 2013. A ce titre, il agit indépendamment des gouvernements et des organisations. Le mandat d’expert indépendant a été établi par le Conseil des droits de l’homme des Nations unies le 15 mars 2013 pour une période d’un an en vue d’aider le Gouvernement malien dans ses actions de promotion et de protection des droits de l'homme, et dans la mise en œuvre des recommandations formulées dans les résolutions du Conseil des droits de l’homme des Nations unies.
M. Baldo a occupé des fonctions de Directeur pour l’Afrique à l’International Centre for Transitional Justice basé à New York et auprès de l’International Crisis Group. En 2011, il a été l’un des trois membres de la Commission internationale d’enquête mise sur pied par le Conseil des droits de l’homme des Nations unies afin d’enquêter sur les violences post électorales en Côte d’Ivoire.
Droits de l’homme de l’ONU – Page d’accueil du Mali : http://www.ohchr.org/FR/Countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/MLIndex.aspx
Pour des informations supplémentaires et des demandes des médias, prière de contacter Martin Seutcheu (Tel: +41 79 444 5401/ email email@example.com). A Bamako (pendant la visite) Guillaume Ngefa (Tel: +223 79879118)
Pour toutes sollicitations des médias concernant d'autres experts indépendants des Nations Unies: Xabier Celaya, droits de l'homme de l'ONU - Service de presse (+ 41 22 917 9383 / firstname.lastname@example.org)
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/UNOHCHR Storify: http://storify.com/UNrightswire
Regardez l’Index universel des droits de l’homme : http://uhri.ohchr.org/fr/
GENEVA / BAMAKO (14 February 2014) – The United Nations Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali, Suliman Baldo, will undertake his second information-gathering mission to the country from 17 to 26 February 2014.
“I will assess the authorities’ response to a number of key challenges, including the fight against impunity, the restoration of security and the authority of the state, as well as the issue of inter and intra community violence in the north of the country,” the expert designated by the United Nations Human Rights Council said.
“My visit will provide an opportunity to stress the importance of accountability for the violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed by armed groups, and some elements of the Malian armed forces, in the north of the country since the beginning of the crisis,” Mr. Baldo noted, while welcoming the positive steps taken so far by the Government in the fight against impunity.
Mr. Baldo will also hold discussions with authorities and civil society about the mandate and the operations of the newly established Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission, which “could potentially help to address past injustices and restore the rights of victims to justice, reparation and guaranty of non-repetition of human rights violations.”
The Independent Expert will take part in capacity building activities in the area of transitional justice, including a training session on international crimes for judges, and a stakeholders’ meeting on the coordination of technical and financial assistance to transitional justice in Mali.
During his ten-day mission, Mr. Baldo will meet high-level governmental, judicial and security officials, the President of the National Human Rights Commission, the representatives of non-governmental organizations, religious leaders, the diplomatic community and UN agencies.
The Expert will visit the north of Mali and detention centers throughout the country. He will also meet with victims, internally displaced persons and Malian refugees.
The visit will enable M. Baldo to update his report to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council on 26 March 2014 in Geneva (Check the report: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/RegularSessions/Session25/Pages/Lis...)
Mr. Suliman Baldo (Sudan) took up his functions as UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali on 1 August 2013. In that capacity, he acts independently from any Government or organization. The mandate of the Independent Expert was established by the Human Rights Council in 15 March 2013 for a period of one year, to assist the Government of Mali in its efforts to promote and protect human rights and to act upon the Human Rights Council’s recommendations.
Mr. Baldo was previously the Africa director at the International Centre for Transitional Justice in New York. In 2011, he served as one of the three commissioners of the International Commission of Inquiry on Côte d’Ivoire established by the Human Rights Council to investigate violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed in Côte d’Ivoire during the post-electoral violence.
UN Human Rights, country page – Mali: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/MLIndex.aspx
For additional information and media requests, please contact Martin Seutcheu (+41 +41 79 444 5401/ email@example.com). In Bamako (during the visit) Guillaume Ngefa (Tel: +223 79879118)
For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts: Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / firstname.lastname@example.org)
UN Human Rights, follow us on social media: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/unitednationshumanrights Twitter: http://twitter.com/UNrightswire Google+ gplus.to/unitednationshumanrights YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/UNOHCHR Storify: http://storify.com/UNrightswire
Watch Navi Pillay’s Human Rights Day message: http://youtu.be/dhX-KbVbEQ0
7112th Meeting (AM)
Relations Must Be Based on Charter, Russian Federation Stresses during Meeting on Cooperation with Regional Bodies
The Security Council today commended the European Union’s involvement in international negotiation and mediation processes, as well as its commitment to international peacekeeping, peacebuilding, humanitarian assistance and financial and logistical support.
In its first-ever presidential statement (document S/PRST/2014/4) on cooperation between the United Nations and the European Union, the 15-member body commended, in particular, the bloc’s coordinating role in reaching agreement on the 24 November 2013 Joint Plan of Action regarding Iran’s nuclear programme, as well as its contribution to the economic development and stabilization of the Western Balkans.
Also by that statement, the Council welcomed the bloc’s comprehensive approach to the maintenance of international peace and security, in particular, its role in combating piracy off the coast of Somalia, as well as its strong engagement in the Central African Republic through its humanitarian assistance, financial contributions and temporary operation to assist the African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA).
Further by the text, the Council welcomed the European Union’s humanitarian assistance to conflict-affected people in Syria and neighbouring countries, and its timely in-kind support for the rapid establishment of the Joint Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-United Nations Joint Mission to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, citing Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter, told the Council that “the principle of establishing stronger partnerships with regional organizations is embedded in the very DNA” of the Organization. Emphasizing the complexity of conflict prevention, mediation, crisis management, peacekeeping, conflict resolution and peacebuilding, he added that “no single country or organization can possibly meet these challenges alone”. Throughout its history, the European Union had taken pioneering, forward-looking steps in promoting cooperation among nations, both within and, increasingly, beyond its borders. Its many generous contributions to the United Nations embodied the kind of multidimensional approach needed to foster sustainable peace and development, he said.
Catherine Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union, said the bloc’s commitment to supporting multilateralism was three-fold: direct involvement in international negotiations on behalf of the international community; ensuring the capacity to implement a comprehensive approach to resolving crises; and working closely with international and regional partners where only collective efforts could deliver results. The bloc was also addressing the crisis in the Central African Republic by sending a crisis management mission to help stabilize the situation on the ground and protect civilians in the area of Bangui, the capital. As for the crisis in Syria, it continued to support neighbouring countries in which nearly 3 million refugees had sought shelter.
Linas Linkevičius, Foreign Minister of Lithuania and Council President for February, highlighted the four areas in which cooperation between the United Nations and the European Union had grown — humanitarian action, crisis management and early peacebuilding, mediation and the rule of law.
The Russian Federation’s representative said relations between the European Union and the United Nations must be based on the Charter, stressing that, while the bloc’s contributions in various areas were commendable, his delegation opposed its unilateral imposition of sanctions on Syria without the Security Council’s approval.
France’s representative, however, argued that the measures were necessary and commendable, given the deadlock over Syria within the Council. Citing General Assembly resolution 65/276, he described the European Union as a partner and friend of the United Nations, not only as a regional organization, but also as “a pillar of a coherent and effective international system”.
Also participating in the debate were representatives of Argentina, Australia, Nigeria, Jordan, Rwanda, Chile, United States, Chad, China, Luxembourg, United Kingdom and the Republic of Korea.
The meeting began at 11:05 a.m. and ended at 1:20 p.m.
The Security Council met this morning to discuss the cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations, particularly the European Union. It was also expected to hear briefings by the world body’s Secretary-General and by the regional bloc’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and to issue a presidential statement.
BAN KI-MOON, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said that “the principle of establishing stronger partnerships with regional organizations is embedded in the very DNA of the United Nations”. With great vision and foresight, Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter laid out the critical role of regional organizations in maintaining international peace and security, and today, more than ever before, “the effectiveness of the United Nations rests in large measure on our cooperation with regional bodies”. Conflict prevention, mediation, crisis management, peacekeeping, conflict resolution and peacebuilding were complex endeavours, and “no single country or organization can possibly meet these challenges alone”, he emphasized.
Important progress had been made through liaison offices, joint envoys and cooperation agreements, he said. Joint mediation deployments had become more common, allowing the international community to put forward a united front. Among the regional entities with which the United Nations enjoyed such cooperation were the African Union, Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Organization of American States (OAS) and the League of Arab States, he said. Cooperation between the United Nations and the European Union stretched across the global agenda and around the world. Throughout its history, the European Union had taken pioneering, forward-looking steps in promoting cooperation among nations, both within and, increasingly, beyond its borders. The bloc’s many generous contributions to the United Nations embodied the kind of multidimensional approach needed to foster sustainable peace and development.
The United Nations and the European Union increasingly worked side by side on the ground in carrying out peacekeeping and civilian crisis management operations, and through preventive diplomacy, he continued. The regional bloc was also a valuable partner to the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission, a champion of human rights and a steadfast partner in promoting the Millennium Development Goals, advancing gender equality and tackling climate change. The topic of today’s debate could not be more timely as the United Nations and its regional partners faced an urgent task, with the dark clouds of mass atrocities and sectarian cleansing looming over the Central African Republic, he said. Their responsibility was clear: “We must stand with the people of the Central African Republic,” he stressed, adding that he intended to return to the Council on Tuesday with recommendations for containing and then ending the crisis.
CATHERINE ASHTON, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union, said that her delegation’s commitment to supporting multilateralism was three-fold: direct involvement in international negotiations on behalf of the international community; capacity to implement a comprehensive approach to resolving crises; and close work with international and regional partners where only collective efforts could deliver results. On the issue of Iran’s nuclear programme, the European Union had engaged in intensive diplomacy to seek a negotiated solution that met the global community’s concerns about that issue, she said. Together with the “E3+3” (France, Germany, United Kingdom, China, Russian Federation, United States), it was implementing the Geneva Plan of Action aimed at building confidence and addressing the most urgent concerns. That was a “first step”, since discussions on a comprehensive agreement would start next week.
Turning to the dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo, she said the European Union had facilitated 22 meetings between their leaders. The First Agreement of Principles Governing the Normalization of Relations, reached last April, marked a turning point in relations, and the European Union had responded by opening accession negotiations with Serbia and launching talks for a Stabilization and Association Agreement with Kosovo. Generally, the bloc was able to use a broad toolbox of instruments and policies to engage in all phases of conflict, from prevention and early warning to conflict management, post-conflict transition and sustainable development. In Somalia, the European Union was supporting stability, security and development throughout the Horn of Africa, she said. In the Sahel-Sahara region, it had provided €550 million in humanitarian assistance to Mali in 2013 and 2014, having pledged €1.28 billion in development aid.
She went on to state that the European Union was addressing the crisis in the Central African Republic by sending a crisis management mission to help stabilize the situation on the ground and protect civilians in the area of Bangui, the capital. As for the crisis in Syria, it continued to support neighbouring countries in which nearly 3 million refugees had sought shelter, she said, adding that it had pledged €550 million for relief efforts. In the wider Middle East, the bloc had offered an “unprecedented” package of political, economic and security support to Palestinians and Israelis in the context of a final status agreement, including special privileged partnership. On other issues, she expressed hope that a negotiated solution to the political crisis in Ukraine could be found soon. On Egypt, she condemned all violence, disproportionate use of force and terrorist attacks in that country and welcomed the announcement of elections, saying they lead to a democratically elected President and fair political representation in the future Parliament.
LINAS LINKEVIČIUS, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Lithuania and Council President, spoke in his national capacity, noting that cooperation between the United Nations and the European Union had grown considerably over recent years, in terms of both focus and scope. Humanitarian action remained one of the key areas of their cooperation, he said, pointing out that he bloc was the world’s largest humanitarian donor, making contributions in such places as the Central African Republic, the Sahel and Syria. Lithuania had been a consistent participant in humanitarian efforts, both bilaterally and through joint European Union funding, he said. Their cooperation continued to make a difference on the ground in crisis management and early peacebuilding, he said.
The European Union was preparing to deploy an operation in support of the African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA) and the French forces there, he continued, adding that Lithuania planned to contribute air assets. The bloc also played a key role in the area of mediation, he added, commending the High Representative’s tireless efforts and deep understanding of the situation in the Balkan region, which had led to a breakthrough in relations between Serbia and Kosovo. The bloc’s mediation had also been instrumental in addressing the situation in Georgia and in the talks on Iran’s nuclear programme. He also stressed the importance of the partnership between the European Union and the United Nations on strengthening the rule of law, which had tremendous potential to facilitate post-conflict peacebuilding, prevent armed conflict and promote progress towards sustainable peace and development. The European Union’s voice should continue to be well heard at the United Nations, he said.
MARÍA CRISTINA PERCEVAL ( Argentina) the efforts of regional and subregional organizations complemented those of the United Nations, incorporating knowledge of a region and an understanding of the root causes of conflicts — an irreplaceable comparative advantage. Regional entities could also play an important role in preventing and resolving conflicts, as well as in peacebuilding, reconstruction and post-conflict development. Cooperation with the European Union was characterized by its scope, geographically and in terms of content. Asymmetric negotiations, such as those between Israel and the Palestinians, required international support. The European Union, through the Middle East Quartet, supported those talks, reaffirming the principles of a two-State solution. Argentina also recognized the bloc’s contribution in the efforts to alleviate the crisis in Syria, she said, urging all United Nations bodies to adopt preventive strategies to help regional and subregional efforts to eradicate poverty and promote respect for human rights.
GARY QUINLAN ( Australia) said that Chapter VIII, drafted before the emergence of “transformative” regional organizations, such as the European Union and the African Union, had proven to be remarkably prescient. The European Union was actively engaged within its own region, and beyond, in conflict prevention, peacemaking, peacekeeping and combating terrorism, all of which were key objectives of the Council. Welcoming the bloc’s support for MISCA, he also commended the High Representative for having brokered the historic 19 April agreement between Serbia and Kosovo, and facilitating the interim agreement with Iran. Australia also welcomed its support for the establishment of the joint mission between the United Nations and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, he added.
USMAN SARKI ( Nigeria) said many regional groups had strategies for engaging in conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, drawn from their own experiences, adding that cooperation in the maintenance of international peace and security was a “win-win” partnership. The European Union was a committed partner that had made significant contributions, including to the economy and stability of the Western Balkans. The bloc was also a partner in Africa as the African Union continued to develop its peace and security architecture, including in Somalia. The European Union had worked to stabilize Mali and the Central African Republic, and had been “strident” in supporting international action to protect civilians in other situations of armed conflict, he said.
ZEID RA’AD ZEID AL-HUSSEIN (Jordan) said the European Union’s complementary role had been seen in efforts to find a lasting two-State solution to the Palestine-Israel conflict. It had responded skilfully to the crisis in Syria and its impact on neighbouring countries hosting refugees. Jordan also recognized the bloc’s role in the talks on Iran’s nuclear programme and in supporting stability and development in the West Balkans, he said, particularly its mediation efforts that had led to the First Agreement on Principles Governing Normalization of Relations between Serbia and Kosovo. Jordan also noted the European Union’s contributions in Africa, including Somalia and the Central African Republic.
OLIVIER NDUHUNGIREHE ( Rwanda) said the European Union played a vital role in Africa, whether in conflict resolution, peacebuilding or development, and particularly in its cooperation with the African Union. Rwanda acknowledged its key role in maintaining peace and security in Somalia, fighting piracy off the coast of that country and in its donation pledges. The bloc could also play a civilian protection role in the Central African Republic through deployment in support of MISCA, which included Rwandan troops, and by sharing the financial burden. It was also helping Mali rebuild State institutions, he added. The European Union Rule of Law Mission had helped Serbia and Kosovo reach the historic First Agreement on Principles Governing the Normalization of Relations.
OCTAVIO ERRÁZURIZ ( Chile) said that collective action to resolve crises could only be strengthened by the involvement of regional and subregional organizations. Interaction between the United Nations and such entities must be coordinated on a case-by-case basis. Voicing support for today’s presidential statement, he said it outlined Charter principles and highlighted cross-cutting issues that aligned with Chile’s foreign policy: protection of human rights; protection of civilians; women’s participation; and peacebuilding and peacekeeping. Chile agreed that regional and subregional entities were in the best position to understand causes of conflict.
SAMANTHA POWER (United States), highlighting areas in which the European Union had made important contributions, cited the bloc’s new External Action Service, saying it was already having an impact. The regional body’s role in promoting European stability had been seen in its facilitation of the high-level dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, which had led to the April agreement. From its membership in the Middle East Quartet to its engagement with Iran, the bloc was working with partners to foster stability, she said, emphasizing that its role was especially welcome in Africa, where it was fostering peace, security, good governance and attainment of the Millennium Development Goals. Welcoming the bloc’s announcement of another €25 million to support MISCA, she endorsed its efforts to promote peaceful solutions in the Sahel, and its chairmanship of the International Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia.
MAHAMAT ZENE CHERIF ( Chad) said that given the gravity and complexity of crises around the world, cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations was of great importance. Chad attached particular importance to the European Union because of its weight, assets and growing role. At the same time, other regional and subregional organizations had made considerable contributions, he said, pointing out that the stabilization of Mali had showcased cooperation among the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union and the United Nations. Regional and subregional entities were the Organization’s best partners because they well understood the causes of conflict. Emphasizing the importance of regional ownership in capacity-building, he said the world body’s support for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) served as a good example of strengthening regional capacity, and urged the European Union to provide the African Union with the technical and financial help develop local skills manage the protection of human rights, among other needs.
VITALY CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) said that the development of cooperation between the European Union and the United Nations must be based on the Charter. The Russian Federation objectively acknowledged the bloc’s positive contributions in multilateralism and other areas, he said, adding that its efforts on Iran would help address concerns over that country’s nuclear programme. However, Iran had the right to develop its own nuclear programmes, he emphasized, adding that his country was open to finding practical cooperation with the bloc. Turning to the situation in the Central African Republic, he expressed concern that there was no clarity about which European Union countries would contribute troops to support MISCA. On Syria, the Union had provided humanitarian aid to internally displaced persons, but its unilateral sanctions did not help the situation, he stressed, pointing out that such measures were not approved by the Council and were counterproductive. On Kosovo, he stressed that Security Council resolution 1244 (1999) remained in force, expressing concern over proposals to transfer authority from the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) to the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo. The division of labour between the United Nations and the European Union was enshrined in the Charter, which could not be revised, he reiterated.
WANG MIN ( China) said the European Union had played a significant role in regional situations, including the question of Iran’s nuclear programme, and events in Mali and the Central African Republic. China hoped the international community would take action to help the new Government in the latter country to stop the violence and restore order. Voicing support for the bloc’s positive role in the maintenance of international peace and security, he said that he hoped its cooperation with the Security Council would be in compliance with the principles of sovereign equality and pacific settlement of disputes. China also hoped the bloc would use its own resources and comparative advantages to provide affected countries with development aid.
SYLVIE LUCAS ( Luxembourg) applauded today’s presidential statement, saying that, for the first time, it demonstrated the Council’s recognition of the cooperation between the United Nations and the European Union in the service of international peace and security. European diplomacy had achieved tangible results in two sensitive areas on the Council’s agenda. In Kosovo, the Special Representative continued to facilitate high-level dialogue, she noted, saying Luxembourg supported efforts to regularize relations between the two sides. She also welcomed the Special Representative’s efforts in facilitating negotiations between Iran and the “E3+3” to achieve the “first step” agreement. In the Central African Republic, the bloc was working to settle the security and humanitarian crisis, while in Mali, it continued to work with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA)in support of the new national authorities. She hailed the European Union’s long-term commitment to protecting children in armed conflict, notably its use of funds from the Nobel Peace Prize for that purpose.
GÉRARD ARAUD ( France) emphasized the European Union’simportant role in Africa , noting that the continent accounted for about 70 per cent of the Security Council’s agenda. In Mali, the bloc was helping the Government to rebuild its defence forces through training, while the number of European troops in the Central African Republic had risen from 2,000 to 6,000, including 1,600 French soldiers. The reinforcements promised by the European Union in the 10 February decision should be deployed swiftly, he said, adding that any delay would be difficult to understand. The situation in the country called for more police as State institutions had collapsed. Turning to Syria, he welcomed the sanctions imposed by the European Union, citing the deadlock in the Security Council. France also acknowledged the bloc’s contributions on the Iran talks, the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as relations between Serbia and Kosovo, he said. Citing General Assembly resolution 65/276, he described the European Union as a partner and friend of the United Nations, not only as a regional organization, but also as “a pillar of a coherent and effective international system”.
DOUGLAS WILSON ( United Kingdom), welcoming the agreement between the “E3+3” and Iran, said the European Union had played a crucial role in the preceding negotiations. The United Kingdom looked forward to the start of comprehensive talks next week, he said, adding that pressure on Iran should be maintained. In Kosovo, the regional bloc’s “painstaking” diplomacy had led to the April agreement, which would aid progress that would impact the stability of the Western Balkans. The European Union had also responded to a number of humanitarian crises, he noted. In Syria, it was working with the United Nations to provide financial support and humanitarian aid, he said, pointing out that the United Kingdom supported a humanitarian resolution on that issue. He welcomed the European Union’s training mission in Somalia and its provision of vital support to the Somali National Forces. The imminent deployment of a European Union mission in the Central African Republic would help the situation in the Bangui area, he added.
JOON OH ( Republic of Korea) said the European Union’s experience in mediation and conflict management had given it an essential role in the maintenance of international peace and security. Citing its work in the Balkans in that regard, he said Serbia and Kosovo were at a crucial juncture in the normalization of relations and should consolidate that hard-won progress. He also commended the bloc’s role in implementing the interim agreement with Iran, saying he looked forward to the latter taking measures to comply with the relevant Council resolutions. The deployment of European Union troops would contribute to the early stabilization of the Central African Republic, he said, also commending its role in the Sahel region, especially in Mali.
The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2014/4 reads as follows:
“The Security Council recalls the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and reaffirms its primary responsibility under the Charter for the maintenance of international peace and security.
“The Security Council reiterates that cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations and arrangements in matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security, and consistent with Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations, can improve collective security.
“The Security Council welcomes the briefing of the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, and commends the significant contribution that the European Union makes in support of the maintenance of international peace and security.
“The Security Council commends the European Union’s involvement in international negotiations and mediation, in particular:
“(a)The Security Council welcomes the 24 November 2013 Joint Plan of Action agreed by the E3+3 and Iran that entered into force on 20 January 2014 and notes the European Union’s coordinating role in reaching an agreement on the Joint Plan. The Security Council emphasises the importance of further diplomatic efforts to find a comprehensive negotiated solution that would ensure Iran’s nuclear programme will be exclusively peaceful, in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions.
“(b)The Security Council welcomes the European Union’s significant contribution to the economic development and stabilization of the Western Balkans region in order to further promote democracy, economic prosperity, stability and regional cooperation, in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and calls on all the parties for further constructive engagement.
“The Security Council welcomes the European Union’s comprehensive approach to the maintenance of international peace and security, and commends the European Union and its Member States for their ongoing commitment to international peacekeeping, peacebuilding, humanitarian assistance and financial, as well as logistical support, in particular:
“(a)The Security Council commends European Union’s role in combating piracy off the coast of Somalia, notably through Operation ATALANTA and through EUCAP Nestor development of sea-going maritime security capacities in the region, and in this regard, the Council commends the European Union’s current chairmanship of the Contact Group on Piracy off the coast of Somalia. The Security Council welcomes the European Union’s effort to contribute to the stabilization of Somalia, in particular by training Somali security forces through the European Union Training Mission for Somalia, and its significant contribution to the African Union’s mission in Somalia.
“(b)The Security Council welcomes the strong engagement of the European Union in the Central African Republic, notably its humanitarian assistance, its financial contribution to the deployment of the African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA), as well as the decision to establish a temporary operation to support MISCA. The Council notes the importance of coordination mechanisms between UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA) and MISCA and the European Union operation in the Central African Republic.
“(c)The Security Council welcomes the European Union’s support for the objectives and missions of the United Nations in Mali and the broader Sahel region, as set out in the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel, notably through the work of the European Union Training Mission in cooperation with the United Nations Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), as well as its broader efforts in the region, through the EU Strategy for Security and Development for the Sahel and the EUCAP SAHEL Niger Mission.
“The Security Council notes the extensive cooperation between the European Union and the United Nations, in particular:
“(a)The Security Council welcomes the European Union’s significant humanitarian assistance to the affected people in Syria and in neighbouring countries, and welcomes its timely in-kind support to the rapid establishment of the OPCW-UN Joint Mission for the Elimination of the Chemical Weapons Programme of the Syrian Arab Republic. The Security Council and the European Union reiterate their shared objectives in promoting and facilitating the political solution to the Syrian conflict based on the full implementation of the Geneva communiqué of 30 June 2012.
“(b)The Security Council notes the European Union’s role in the Middle East Quartet Principals meeting held in Munich on 1 February 2014 and reiterates its commitment to a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.
“(c)The Security Council welcomes the European Union’s contribution in promoting security, governance and development in Afghanistan, in particular the assistance for the development of the Afghan National Police and rule of law institutions accomplished through the European Union police mission, and the European Gendarmerie Force.
“The Security Council commends the European Union’s role in supporting the United Nations operations in the areas of mutual concern, in particular:
“(a)The Security Council welcomes the ongoing cooperation in strengthening the United Nation’s response in promoting development cooperation, promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
“(b)The Security Council recognizes the valuable support of the European Union on the protection of civilians in armed conflicts, in particular its work on protecting women and children affected by armed conflict, as well as its engagement to the prevention and protection from sexual violence and its support for the critical role that women play in all peace and security efforts, including those to prevent and resolve conflict and mitigate its impact.
“(c)The Security Council recalls that justice and rule of law are of key importance for promoting and maintaining peace, stability and development. In this regard, the Security Council highlights that the European Union can contribute to accountability through support for enhancing the capacity of the national justice systems, as appropriate, and through cooperation with international mechanisms, courts and tribunals, including the International Criminal Court.
“The Security Council welcomes the close cooperation between the United Nations and the European Union and encourages both organizations to further strengthen their institutional relations and strategic partnership, including through regular briefings by the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to the Security Council.”
For information media • not an official record
· Good rains received in December and early January significantly reduced earlier rainfall deficits experienced in the central parts of the region. Although much later than normal, rains were finally received in southern Malawi, parts of eastern Zambia, and central/northern Mozambique, thus enabling the planting of crops. Poor rainfall continues to negatively affect drought-stricken parts of southwestern Angola.
· The delay in the onset of rains in eastern Zambia, southern Malawi, and northern/central Mozambique has resulted in a reduced window for crops to grow to maturity. Unless the season extends for longer than usual, crops may not be able to reach maturity. It will also be important for these areas to receive consistent rains with limited dry spells, due to the shortened crop growing window. The exception is southern Malawi, which is expected to be minimally impacted by the late start of season due to the short-season crop varieties grown there.
· The International Red Locust Control organization (IRLCO) reported a widespread armyworm outbreak in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe that inflicted severe damage to crops. Necessitating replanting in some areas. Currently the situation is under control following pest control measures applied by affected farmers with assistance from Ministries of agriculture.
· Southeastern Botswana and central parts of South Africa received below normal rainfall amounts, accumulated over the October to December 2013 period. Additionally, rainfall between December 21 and January 10 was generally poor. As a result of the short term water deficits, water balance models are estimating poor soil moisture conditions in some of these areas. Satellite-based vegetation images also show below normal vegetation conditions prevailing in these areas. Rains will be needed soon to avert a deterioration of crop conditions. FEWS NET Monitor , Jan 24 2014.
· The SADC Climate Services Centre’s updated forecast (Jan 2014), states that for the period January to March 2014, normal to abovenormal rainfall conditions will prevail in nearly all parts of the region except for the western and northern parts and normal to below normal rainfall is expected during the second half of the rainfall season .
Elias Ntungwe Ngalame
YAOUNDE, Cameroon (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Last month, Mary Ndong cut the number of meals she prepares for her family. Instead of eating three times daily, she, her husband and their three children now eat just one meal a day.
Read the full article on Alertnet
By Chris Simpson
BAMAKO, 17 February 2014 (IRIN) - Despite international efforts to restore peace in Mali, the northern region of Kidal remains an MNLA stronghold. While the rest of Mali slowly recovers from the rebel takeover and Islamist occupation, officials worry the distrust and enmity lingering in Kidal could destabilize the country.
"Sandy" El Hadj Baba Haïdara, who has just lost his seat as the National Assembly representative for Timbuktu, says Mali's destiny is tied up with Kidal, a former garrison town in the remote Adrar des Ifoghas region.
"You find people saying that Kidal is just a stone in the shoe, or a thorn in the foot, but a thorn in the foot can damage the whole body," Haïdara argued. "Kidal has to be resolved. It will allow everyone to breathe again, and then we can move on to the other things."
Insecurity persists in the northeast. The Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) this week announced it captured four International Committee of the Red Cross staff and a veterinarian on the road between Gao and Kidal.
The MNLA, whose members are from the Tuareg ethnic group, has denounced such incidents in the past, arguing that part of its purpose was to push Islamist militants out of the north.
Haïdara endorses a Malian military solution. Malian troops are present in Kidal, along with troops from the UN's Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and the French army. But there are not enough of them to secure the vast area, say observers.
Increased presence in Kidal by the Malian army, promised before the elections by interim President Dioncounda Traoré, never happened.
Despite the return of the governor to Kidal Region in July 2013 and the MNLA's grudging handover of key buildings, the government's writ does not run in Kidal.
MNLA warned a reporter in 2013, that "to plant a Malian flag in Kidal is an act of war".
Haïdara says the UN and French should step aside and let a strengthened Malian army step in. These views are echoed by many politicians and commentators in Bamako, the capital.
Turning against Paris
Although France's military intervention, staged in early 2013, helped remove the country's Islamist occupiers, Malians' gratitude has diminished in recent months.
It is increasingly argued in Bamako that, although the French forces dislodged the Islamists from their strongholds in Timbuktu, Gao and elsewhere, they adopted a "hands-off" approach when it came to Kidal. The French troops worked with Chadian soldiers there, pointedly excluding the Malian army.
France left the MNLA in place, hoping the group's knowledge of the desert terrain would make it an ally in hostage negotiations and military operations against the residual threat posed by jihadists.
Malians critics believe France was duped on both counts. They say the French government sees as MNLA as an indigenous movement with legitimate grievances while viewing the Islamists as opportunists mainly from outside Mali - a distinction they say is wrong-headed.
"This is not the MNLA we had at the beginning," argued Haïdara. "Under this flag you will find all the jihadists who lost their own battles."
Ali Nouhoum Diallo, former president of the National Assembly and current head of COMODE, the Malian coalition of democratic organisations, a broad-based alliance and parties and pressures groups that have called for the liberation of Kidal, told IRIN:
"Up until now, I don't understand what France is really about when it comes to the north," Diallo told IRIN. "If you are serious about the protection of territorial integrity, you cannot let another flag fly in Ardrar. To us, that is just incoherent."
Dealing with the MNLA
Diallo says he has watched with concern as the MNLA has kept the flag of Azawad raised around Kidal, organized demonstrations against government delegations and avoided talk of handover.
Previous rebellions and peace settlements have left many people sceptical, says Diallo. He says separatist commanders have signed deals, assuming senior civilian and military posts, only to later back further insurgencies. Diallo says that to be taken seriously, the MNLA has to disarm.
The MNLA has told intermediaries and reporters a very different story, highlighting civilians killed by Malian security forces while demonstrating, accusing France of leaving the movement exposed and isolated in Kidal, and registering disappointment that current President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, [IBK] has brought nothing new to the table.
IBK is adamant that the north must be Mali's main priority. Since taking office, he appointed Cheikh Oumar Diarra, former ambassador to the US, as minister of national reconciliation and development of the northern regions. He also convened a national court for northern Mali in Bamako and established a revamped truth, justice and reconciliation commission whose work is expected to focus on the origins of the crisis and the abuses that came in its wake.
But many fear the peace process has lost momentum.
The Ouagadougou Agreement of 18 June 2013 stipulated that an "inclusive dialogue" should begin 60 days after the naming of a new government. That has not happened.
Meanwhile, the MNLA and the government have accused each other of reneging on agreements on security arrangements in Kidal.
Observers point out the Ouagadougou Agreement is one of several, including the 1992 National Pact and the 1996 Algiers Accords, to attempt to bring peace to Kidal.
Mohamed Ag Ossade, director of the Tumast Tuareg Cultural Centre in Bamako, says both sides have a responsibility to develop a settlement that will not simply crumble after a couple of years. If the Ouagadougou Agreement were to fail, he said, "that would be pointless".
Ag Ossade has been sceptical about the MNLA, arguing that its campaign for an autonomous Azawad is backed by idealists and opportunists. But he is equally wary of those calling for a military solution.
"Send the Malian army in and you would kill 90-year-old people or two-year-old children. What is more, the army would be crushed. Everyone there is MNLA," he said.
He is adamant that Mali can be a tolerant melting pot - if there is proper leadership.
Proving this point, he says, is the concert hosted by Tumast, featuring a Tuareg band whose members mostly hail from Kidal. Tuareg audience members share the dance floor with dignitaries, diplomats and music enthusiasts of all races.
"We can get through all this," Ag Ossade tells IRIN. "But only if the Malian government loves all its children and treats them equally."
GORGOL/BRAKNA, 17 February 2014 (IRIN) - Drought-prone, chronically hungry Mauritania, with the help of the UN, is reaching out to Arab donors, encouraging them to reach beyond their customary role in development and engage in humanitarian response.
Traditional humanitarian donors are largely members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC). But non-traditional, non-DAC donors’ contributions to humanitarian financing have been increasing in recent years. And with many Western donors cutting budgets amid fears of another recession, the Gulf region has gained influence in aid, especially in countries with large Muslim populations.
In early February, a group of Arab donors visited the food-insecure regions of Brakna and Gorgol, a trip organized by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Gogol and Brakna are severely food insecure. According to the most recent study, from December 2011, acute malnutrition rates surpassed the World Health Organization’s emergency threshold, at 11.7 percent in Gorgol and 12.5 percent in Brakna.
The World Food Programme, with its partner, NGO Au Secours, is targeting 7,000 households across the region with cash transfers of 20,000 ouguiyas per month. It has 120 households on its books in Guosse Village in Brakna.
Chief of Guosse, Sidi Brahim Ould Samba, told IRIN his village, “Like so many others, lacks everything… access to water, education and health." Even with ongoing help from the government, WFP, NGOs and other donors, it is never enough to move them much beyond survival, he said.
Guosse villagers rely almost entirely on debts or remittances from families in urban areas to dig themselves out of poverty, said Ould Samba, who called on donors to help them set up a health centre. The nearest reference hospital, he said, is in Aleg, 230km away.
“We need a school, fences to protect their market gardens, and money for income-generating project - not to mention a better water source,” he told donors.
In Beydia Taboyette, a village in Brakna constructed to house people displaced during the 2012 floods, the needs are immense, said chief Abu Ould Hakim. “The floods destroyed our harvest… We face all the basic problems that a recently displaced community would,” he told IRIN.
He thanked his Arab supporters for the visit and support they intended to give.
Mariam Mint Boubacar, member of a women’s gardening cooperative in Beydia Taboyette, said, “With a bit of help - access to water, some basic tools and training - women could play a much bigger role in supporting the village’s food security.”
Kaédi, a city in Gorgol region, was once part of Mauritania’s bread-basket, stressed mayor, Moussa Sow. “Now we’re at the heart of the country’s food insecurity… The indebtedness of the villagers is not the problem,” he said. “It is because of the lack of structural support of farmers.”
Decent production will never be achieved without seeds, tools and the modern agricultural basics, such as better fertilizers and basic machinery, said the mayor.
Many of the donors on the visit said they were spurred to increase or launch a response to the needs they witnessed. Some stressed they would intervene in women's empowerment projects, others seeds and tools, others aid to the water sector.
“No organization on its own can face up to the needs. We have to work together,” said Jasem S. Al Nijmamr Al Shammary, director of international programmes at the Qatar-based Sheikh Al-Thani Bin Abdullah Foundation (RAF). “To see so many potential big donors from the Middle East, Europe and Africa working in partnership on such important issues as food security makes me optimistic,” he told IRIN.
Working towards collaboration
Traditional donors dominate humanitarian funding for Mauritania: In 2013, the largest humanitarian donors were the UK, European Commission and Japan. Kuwait came in 13th place and the African Development Bank 15th, according to OCHA’s financial tracking system.
Arab donors are already active in Mauritania, but, though several said they did not make a distinction between emergency and development aid, they tend to focus mostly on development projects - infrastructure and business development - and mainly in urban areas, such as the capital Nouakchott.
Collectively, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) gave US$46.9 billion in official development assistance between 2000 and 2011, according to the Global Humanitarian Assistance Report 2013.
Among the high-level visitors to Brakna and Gorgol were the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC); the League of Arab States; government representatives from UAE, Kuwait, and Qatar; members of the UAE and Qatar Red Crescent Societies; the International Islamic Charity Organisation; Qatar’s RAF Foundation; as well as representatives from the African Union, the Economic Community Of West African States and the European Union’s humanitarian aid department (ECHO).
Faeq Saeed Al Saleh, joint head of the League of Arab States, stressed the need to fund education and income-generation for women. Onur Demirkol, representative of Turkish NGO Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, said the organization would focus on infrastructure development in communities hit by the 2012 and 2013 floods.
They also spoke of closer collaboration with traditional donors and the government, , of more openness and the need to support resilience.
“Only by reinforcing the partnership between potential donors on these questions will these communities have a better chance to become resilient to future crises,” said Atta Al-Mannan Bakhit, joint Secretary General of the OIC.
Now the hope is that they will boost their role in humanitarian aid and longer-term support to shore up people's resilience in the Sahel, said Robert Piper, the Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel region
“There are innovative partnerships that are starting to be established in the humanitarian world,” he told IRIN. “It’s no longer the West that responds to developing countries. This mission to Mauritania could kick-start communal actions eventually.”
This brief summarizes FEWS NET’s most forward-looking analysis of projected emergency food assistance needs in FEWS NET coverage countries. The projected size of each country’s acutely food insecure population is compared to last year and the recent five-year average. Countries where external emergency food assistance needs are anticipated are identified. Projected lean season months highlighted in red indicate either an early start or an extension to the typical lean season. Additional information is provided for countries with large food insecure populations, an expectation of high severity, or where other key issues warrant additional discussion.
DAKAR, SENEGAL — The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization says schools in Mali have been training cotton farmers about how to use natural substances in order to reduce the use of dangerous pesticides by 92 percent, while maintaining normal crop yields. The natural pesticides also may save money.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization found that the introduction of new pest-control methods to cotton growers in Mali “nearly eliminated” the use of toxic pesticides.
The study, which was published Monday by the London-based Royal Society, followed two communities; one that was trained in the use of bio-pesticides, and one that was not.
Project manager William Settle is with the FAO Plant Production and Protection Division. “The outcome of the study, which looked at historical records from the cotton company itself over an eight-year period, showed that in the area in which the training took place ... those farmers reduced their use of synthetic, highly toxic pesticides by more than 92 percent. Whereas compared with another area of the country, not too far away, in which they had not yet conducted farmer training, pesticide use was unchanged.”
Cotton is one of the biggest drivers of economic growth in Mali. The FAO says an estimated 4 million farmers grow cotton crops each year and the crop accounts for up to 75 percent of the country’s exports earnings.
Settle said that unfortunately, the use of chemical pesticides is not uncommon when it comes to growing cotton.
“Cotton is the major cash crop for several West African countries, including Mali. And it tends to be an open door for pesticides, meaning that the pesticides come into the cotton system often times end up being distributed elsewhere, often times in vegetable systems,” he said.
Settle said that some alternatives to chemical pesticides include using extracts from the neem tree, which is commonly found throughout much of western Africa.
The FAO says during the course of the study, farmers collectively saved nearly a half-million dollars by not using chemical pesticides.
Settle said the challenge now is to convince farmers that natural pesticides are just as good, if not better than, chemical pesticides.
“Farmers have the assumption that pesticides are a kind of insurance, that using pesticides are, whether you need it or not, you are somehow ensuring the well-being of their crop. Through farmer field schools we are able to help the farmers demonstrate for themselves that alternatives are possible, and that these alternatives are less costly and less harmful for their health,” he said.
Settle said the FAO is working with U.S.-based researchers to help reduce the risk of pesticide usage in Africa and to develop a more cost-effective method of protecting crops.
BAMAKO, 18 février 2014 (IRIN) - Malgré les efforts internationaux pour rétablir la paix au Mali, la région de Kidal, située au nord du pays, reste un bastion du MNLA [Mouvement national pour la libération de l'Azawad]. Alors que le reste du pays se remet lentement de l'occupation par les rebelles et les islamistes, les autorités craignent que le climat persistant de défiance et d'hostilité qui règne à Kidal ne déstabilise le pays.
« Sandy » El Hadj Baba Haïdara, qui vient de perdre son siège de député de Tombouctou à l'Assemblée nationale, a dit que le destin du Mali était lié à celui de Kidal, ancienne ville de garnison située dans la région isolée de l'Adrar des Ifoghas.
« Certaines personnes disent que Kidal n'est qu'un caillou dans la chaussure, ou une épine dans le pied, mais une épine dans le pied peut faire souffrir tout le corps », a dit M. Haïdara. « Il faut résoudre la situation à Kidal. Tout le monde pourra respirer et nous pourrons passer à autre chose ».
La solution militaire
L'insécurité persiste dans le nord-est du pays. La semaine dernière, le Mouvement pour l'unité et le jihad en Afrique de l'Ouest (MUJAO) a revendiqué l'enlèvement de quatre membres du Comité international de la Croix-Rouge et d'un vétérinaire sur la route entre Gao et Kidal.
Le MNLA, à majorité touareg, a dénoncé ce genre d'incidents par le passé, affirmant qu'ils visaient notamment à chasser les militants islamistes du nord du pays.
M. Haïdara s'est dit favorable à une solution militaire malienne. Des troupes maliennes sont présentes à Kidal, aux côtés des troupes de la Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation au Mali (MINUSMA) et de l'armée française. Mais, selon les observateurs, leur nombre ne suffit pas à sécuriser ce vaste territoire.
Avant les élections, le président par intérim Dioncounda Traoré s'était engagé à renforcer la présence de l'armée malienne à Kidal, mais il ne l'a pas fait.
Malgré le retour du gouverneur dans la région de Kidal en juillet 2013 et l'évacuation, avec réticence, des bâtiments importants occupés par le MNLA, le gouvernement n'a pas le contrôle de Kidal.
En 2013, le MNLA a dit à un journaliste que « mettre un drapeau malien à Kidal, c'est une déclaration de guerre ».
M. Haïdara a dit que les Nations Unies et les Français devraient s'effacer et laisser place à une armée malienne renforcée. Cet avis est partagé par bon nombre de représentants politiques et de commentateurs de Bamako, la capitale.
Se retourner contre Paris
Si l'intervention militaire française, qui a débuté en janvier 2013, a permis de chasser les occupants islamistes du pays, le sentiment de gratitude des Maliens s'est estompé au cours de ces derniers mois.
À Bamako, de plus en plus de voix s'élèvent pour dire que, si les forces françaises ont délogé les islamistes de leurs bastions de Tombouctou et Gao entre autres, elles ont adopté une approche de « non-intervention » à Kidal. Les troupes françaises sont intervenues en collaboration avec les soldats tchadiens, en excluant ouvertement l'armée malienne.
La France a laissé le MNLA s'installer, en espérant que sa connaissance du désert ferait de ce mouvement un allié lors des négociations de libération d'otages et des opérations militaires visant à contrer la menace résiduelle posée par les jihadistes.
Certains Maliens estiment que la France a été dupée sur ces deux points. Selon eux, le gouvernement français considère le MNLA comme un mouvement autochtone aux revendications légitimes et les islamistes comme des opportunistes majoritairement étrangers - une distinction erronée, disent-ils.
« Ce n'est pas le MNLA que nous avions au début », a noté M. Haïdara. « Sous cette bannière, on retrouve tous les djihadistes qui ont perdu leurs propres combats ».
Ali Nouhoum Diallo, ancien président de l'Assemblée nationale et actuel président de la COMODE, la Coalition malienne des organisations démocratiques, une vaste alliance de partis et de groupes de pression qui ont appelé à la libération de Kidal, a dit à IRIN : « Je n'ai toujours pas compris ce que la France voulait faire dans le Nord. Si on prend la protection de l'intégrité territoriale au sérieux, on ne peut pas laisser un autre drapeau flotter dans l'Adrar. Pour nous, c'est tout simplement incohérent ».
Régler la question du MNLA
M. Diallo a dit qu'il s'inquiétait de voir le MNLA faire flotter le drapeau de l'Azawad autour de Kidal, organiser des manifestations contre les délégations gouvernementales et éviter les négociations relatives à l'évacuation.
Les rébellions et les accords de paix précédents ont laissé sceptiques un grand nombre de personnes, a indiqué M. Diallo. Il a dit que les dirigeants séparatistes avaient signé des accords et accédé à des postes élevés dans le civil ou dans l'armée avant de soutenir les nouvelles insurrections. M. Diallo a dit que, s'il voulait être pris au sérieux, le MNLA devait rendre les armes.
Le MNLA a raconté une histoire très différente aux intermédiaires et aux journalistes, parlant de civils tués par les forces de sécurité maliennes pendant les manifestations, accusant la France d'avoir laissé le mouvement exposé et isolé à Kidal et exprimant leur déception de voir que le président actuel, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta [IBK], n'a rien proposé de nouveau.
IBK a affirmé que le Nord devait être la principale priorité du Mali. Depuis sa prise de fonction, il a nommé Cheick Oumar Diarra, ancien ambassadeur du Mali aux États-Unis, au poste de ministre de la Réconciliation nationale et du Développement des régions du Nord. Il a également organisé des assises nationales pour le nord du Mali à Bamako et établi une nouvelle commission vérité, justice et réconciliation qui devrait s'intéresser aux origines de la crise et aux abus qu'elle a entraînés.
Perte de vitesse
Mais bon nombre de personnes craignent que le processus de paix ne soit en perte de vitesse.
L'accord de Ouagadougou du 18 juin 2013 prévoyait la tenue d'un « dialogue inclusif » dans un délai de 60 jours à compter de la nomination d'un nouveau gouvernement. Il n'a pas été organisé.
Entretemps, le MNLA et le gouvernement se sont mutuellement accusés d'avoir renié les accords sur les arrangements sécuritaires à Kidal.
Les observateurs ont souligné que l'accord de Ouagadougou n'était que l'un des accords visant à rétablir la paix à Kidal, citant le Pacte national de 1992 et les accords d'Alger signés en 1996.
Mohamed Ag Ossade, directeur du Centre culturel touareg Tumast à Bamako, a dit que les deux camps avaient la responsabilité de trouver un accord qui ne s'effondrera pas deux ans plus tard. Si l'accord de Ouagadougou échoue, a-t-il dit, « cela sera inutile ».
M. Ag Ossade se méfie du MNLA. Il a affirmé que sa campagne en faveur de l'autonomie de l'Azawad était soutenue par des idéalistes et des opportunistes. Mais il se méfie également des personnes qui demandent une solution militaire.
« Envoyez l'armée malienne et vous tuerez des gens de 90 ans ou des enfants de deux ans. En plus, l'armée se ferait écraser. Là-bas, tout le monde appartient au MNLA », a-t-il dit.
M. Ag Ossade a affirmé que, bien dirigé, le Mali pourrait être un creuset tolérant.
Il en veut pour preuve le concert organisé par le centre Tumast, avec un groupe touareg principalement composé de personnes originaires de Kidal. Sur la piste de danse, les touaregs du public côtoient des dignitaires, des diplomates et des amateurs de musique de toutes les races.
« Nous pouvons nous en sortir », a dit à IRIN M. Ag Ossade. « Mais à condition que le gouvernement malien aime tous ses enfants et qu'il les traite équitablement ».
GORGOL/BRAKNA, 18 février 2014 (IRIN) - Avec l'aide des Nations Unies, la Mauritanie fait appel aux bailleurs de fonds arabes. Exposé à la sécheresse et affecté par la faim chronique, le pays encourage ces derniers à aller au-delà de leur rôle traditionnel en faveur du développement et de soutenir l'aide humanitaire.
Les bailleurs de fonds traditionnels de l'aide humanitaire sont en majorité des membres du Comité d'aide au développement (CAD) de l'Organisation de coopération et de développement économique (OCDE). Mais la contribution au financement de l'aide humanitaire des bailleurs de fonds non traditionnels n'appartenant pas au CAD est en hausse depuis quelques années. De nombreux bailleurs de fonds occidentaux ayant par ailleurs revu leurs budgets à la baisse par crainte d'une nouvelle récession, les [pays du Golfe](http://www.oecd.org/fr/cad/lesmembresducad.htm ] [ http://www.irinnews.org/indepthmain.aspx?indepthid=91&reportid=94010 ) ont gagné en influence sur la scène humanitaire, notamment dans les pays à forte population musulmane.
Début février, un groupe de bailleurs de fonds arabes s'est rendu dans les régions du Brakna et du Gorgol dans le cadre d'une visite organisée par le Bureau de la coordination des affaires humanitaires des Nations Unies (OCHA). Le Gorgol et Le Brakna sont en proie à une insécurité alimentaire sévère. Selon l'étude la plus récente, en décembre 2011, les taux de malnutrition aigüe y étaient supérieurs au seuil d'urgence fixé par l'Organisation mondiale de la santé : 11,7 pour cent dans le Gorgol et 12,5 pour cent dans le Brakna.
Le Programme alimentaire mondial (PAM) et l'une de ses organisations non gouvernementales (ONG) partenaires, Au Secours, offrent des transferts en espèces de 20 000 ouguiyas (69 dollars) par mois à 7 000 foyers de la région, dont 120 dans le village de Guosse, dans le Brakna.
Le chef de Guosse, Sidi Brahim Ould Samba, a dit à IRIN que son village, « comme tant d'autres, manque de tout [...] d'un accès à l'eau, à l'éducation et à la santé ». L'aide du gouvernement, du PAM, des ONG et d'autres bailleurs de fonds permet juste à la population de Guosse de survivre, a-t-il dit.
Pour sortir de la pauvreté, les villageois de Guosse dépendent presque entièrement des emprunts qu'ils contractent ou des transferts de fonds qu'ils reçoivent de leurs proches vivant en ville, a dit M. Ould Samba, qui a appelé les bailleurs de fonds à soutenir la construction d'un centre de santé. L'hôpital de référence le plus proche se trouve à Aleg, a-t-il dit, soit à 230 km de Guosse.
« Nous avons besoin d'une école, de clôtures pour protéger [les] cultures maraîchères, et d'argent pour financer un projet générateur de revenus - sans parler d'un meilleur accès à l'eau », a-t-il dit aux bailleurs de fonds.
À Beydia Taboyette, un village du Brakna construit pour héberger les personnes déplacées par les inondations de 2012, les besoins sont immenses, a dit le chef Abu Ould Hakim. « Les inondations ont détruit nos récoltes [...] Nous sommes confrontés à tous les problèmes fondamentaux rencontrés par toute communauté récemment déplacée », a-t-il dit à IRIN.
M. Ould Hakim a remercié les bailleurs de fonds arabes pour leur visite et le soutien qu'ils ont proposé.
« Avec un peu d'aide - un accès à l'eau, des outils de base et des formations -, les femmes pourraient jouer un rôle de soutien bien plus grand pour la sécurité alimentaire du village », a dit Mariam Mint Boubacar, membre d'une coopérative maraîchère tenue par des femmes à Beydia Taboyette.
Kaédi, une ville de la région du Gorgol, faisait auparavant partie du grenier de la Mauritanie, a souligné son maire, Moussa Sow. « Nous sommes maintenant au coeur de l'insécurité alimentaire du pays [...] Le problème n'est pas l'endettement des villageois. La raison est le manque de soutien structurel aux agriculteurs. »
Selon le maire, il est impossible d'obtenir une production décente sans semences, sans outils et sans les éléments essentiels de l'agriculture moderne, comme des engrais et des machines de base.
Une grande partie des bailleurs de fonds ont dit que la visite les avait incités à renforcer leur aide ou mettre sur pied des actions pour répondre aux besoins dont ils ont été témoins. Certains ont souligné qu'ils interviendraient dans des projets d'autonomisation des femmes, d'autres qu'ils fourniraient des semences et des outils, et d'autres encore qu'ils favoriseraient l'accès à l'eau.
« Aucune organisation ne peut répondre seule à tous les besoins. Nous devons travailler ensemble », a dit Jasem S. Al Nijmamr Al Shammary, directeur des programmes internationaux de la fondation Sheikh Al-Thani Bin Abdullah (RAF), basée au Qatar. « Voir autant des grands bailleurs de fonds potentiels du Moyen-Orient, d'Europe et d'Afrique travailler en partenariat sur des sujets aussi importants que la sécurité alimentaire me rend optimiste », a-t-il dit à IRIN.
Vers une plus grande collaboration
Les bailleurs de fonds traditionnels sont les principaux soutiens de l'aide humanitaire en Mauritanie. En 2013, les bailleurs de fonds les plus importants étaient le Royaume-Uni, la Commission européenne et le Japon. Le Koweït était 13e et la Banque africaine de développement 15e, selon le Service de surveillance financière d'OCHA.
Les bailleurs de fonds arabes sont déjà actifs en Mauritanie, mais ils ont tendance à privilégier les projets de développement - développement d'infrastructures et d'entreprises - et interviennent majoritairement en milieu urbain, notamment à Nouakchott, la capitale. Plusieurs bailleurs de fonds ont dit ne pas faire la distinction entre l'aide d'urgence et l'aide au développement.
Selon le rapport 2013 de Global Humanitarian Assistance, l'Arabie saoudite, le Koweït et les Émirats arabes unis ont affecté 46,9 milliards de dollars au total à l'aide au développement officielle entre 2000 et 2011.
Il y avait, parmi les visiteurs du Brakna et du Gorgol, des représentants de l'Organisation de la Conférence islamique (OCI), de la Ligue des États arabes, des gouvernements des Émirats arabes unis, du Koweït et du Qatar, des Sociétés du Croissant-Rouge des Émirats arabes unis et du Qatar, de l'International Islamic Charity Organisation, de la RAF qatarie, de l'Union africaine, de la Communauté économique des États de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (CEDEAO) et de l'office humanitaire de la Communauté européenne (ECHO).
Faeqa Saeed Al Saleh, secrétaire générale adjointe à la Ligue des États arabes, a souligné le besoin de financer l'éducation et la création d'activités génératrices de revenus pour les femmes. Onur Demirkol, représentant de l'ONG turque Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, a dit que son organisation allait se concentrer sur le développement d'infrastructures dans les communautés touchées par les inondations de 2012 et 2013.
Ils ont également évoqué un rapprochement avec les bailleurs de fonds traditionnels et le gouvernement, une plus grande ouverture et la nécessité de favoriser la résilience de la population.
« Ce n'est qu'en renforçant les partenariats entre les bailleurs de fonds potentiels sur ces questions que ces communautés auront une chance de devenir plus résilientes à de futures crises », a dit Atta Al-Mannan Bakhit, secrétaire général adjoint de l'OCI pour les Affaires humanitaires.
Robert Piper, coordinateur humanitaire pour la région du Sahel, a maintenant l'espoir que ces bailleurs de fonds affermissent leur rôle dans l'aide humanitaire et le soutien à long terme pour renforcer la résilience de la population du Sahel.
« Des partenariats innovants commencent à voir le jour dans le monde de l'humanitaire », a-t-il dit à IRIN. « Ce n'est plus l'Occident qui répond aux pays en développement. Cette mission en Mauritanie pourrait finalement déclencher des actions communes. »