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ReliefWeb - Updates

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  • 11/07/12--23:51: Food joy in Niger village
  • Source: Tearfund
    Country: Niger (the)

    The chief of Kaiwa Ganwo village in Niger is experiencing an emotion about food that has been in short supply in recent months – joy.

    Months of drought had left his remote community running out of supplies and hunger was becoming widespread.

    But an emergency distribution of food by a Tearfund partner has transformed the outlook for villagers: ‘Thank you for the blessing of food that you are bringing us,’ said the chief.

    As a mark of gratitude for the help received, villagers wrote a letter to Tearfund saying, ‘We have never seen a food supply which has been as well distributed as this one.

    ‘The people of Kaiwa, large and small, male and female, thank you with pleasure for this aid which we will never forget. This aid has filled our hearts with joy and pride – thank you. May God bless you.

    ‘We are very satisfied and happy with your unforgettable offerings for the people of Kaiwa village.’

    Appeal generosity

    The food supplies mean residents of this agriculturally-dependent community won’t have to eat their recent harvest, which was better than last year.

    But many face selling their crops to pay off debts they accumulated during the height of the drought when they needed to borrow money to buy food, which rose significantly in price.

    However Tearfund’s help for the village will continue when we help set-up a grain bank there.

    Grain banks enable people to buy food at reduced prices in times of shortage. After each harvest, a family will put a sack of grain into the bank, plus extra by way of ‘interest’.

    Generous giving to Tearfund’s West Africa food crisis appeal means we can help people support themselves.

    We’re now able to establish more grain banks, supply more seeds and tools, set-up more market gardens and operate more cash-for-work schemes.

    Appeal cash also means we can reduce people’s vulnerability to climatic disasters by extending the introduction of drought-resistant crops, improving farming techniques and water sources.


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    • Locally heavy, above-average amounts of precipitation are expected to continue for portions of Kenya, Tanzania, and the Lake Victoria region during the next seven days.

    1) Following a week of heavy rains resulting in localized flooding and landslides in northern Tanzania and southwestern Kenya, a continuation of enhanced rainfall is expected to exacerbate many local areas experiencing overly saturated ground conditions. An isolated heavy rainfall forecast may trigger additional flooding, damage local infrastructure, and negatively impacting cropping activities throughout Uganda, Kenya, northern Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.

    Country: Kenya, Botswana, Burundi, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania (the)
    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network

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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    11/08/2012 10:22 GMT

    DAKAR, 08 nov 2012 (AFP) - Les chefs d'Etat de la Communauté économique des Etats d'Afrique de l'Ouest (Cédéao), se réuniront dimanche à Abuja pour adopter un plan d'intervention militaire dans le nord du Mali occupé par des islamistes armés, a annoncé la Cédéao dans un communiqué reçu par l'AFP à Dakar.

    A Abuja, le porte-parole de la Cédéao, Sunny Ugoh, a indiqué que le sommet serait précédé vendredi par une réunion dans la capitale nigeriane des ministres de Affaires étrangères et de la Défense de l'organisation régionale.

    Une fois adopté, le plan d'intervention "sera alors transmis par l'entremise de l'Union africaine, avant le 15 novembre, au Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies, qui, le 12 octobre, avait voté une résolution donnant à la Cédéao 45 jours pour préciser ses plans de reconquête du Nord-Mali", selon le communiqué.

    Réunis mardi à Bamako, les chefs d'état-major de la Cédéao avaient adopté ce qu'ils appellent un "concept d'opérations harmonisé", en réalité un plan de reconquête armée du nord du Mali.

    Ce "concept" précise la composition de la force qui interviendra au Mali avec l'aval de l'ONU et le soutien logistique de pays occidentaux, le niveau de participation des pays de la Cédéao qui en constitueront le noyau, le financement et les moyens militaires dont elle devra disposer.

    Il avait auparavant été mis au point par des experts internationaux, occidentaux et africains, réunis pendant une semaine dans la capitale malienne.

    Aucun détail n'a cependant été rendu public sur ce plan d'intervention, des sources proches des rencontres de Bamako indiquant seulement qu'il avait été proposé que la force comprenne 4.000 hommes au lieu des 3.000 initialement prévus et que des éléments "non africains" y participent.

    Le communiqué indique par ailleurs que les chefs d'état-major ouest-africains ont demandé "à la Cédéao, en collaboration avec l'UA, de mettre sur pied un comité restreint de planificateurs pour peaufiner le concept harmonisé (d'intervention) et d'organiser" ensuite "une conférence de donateurs".

    Aucun chiffre n'a a ce jour été rendu public concernant le coût de cette force armée, ni sur qui la financerait.

    Le "comité restreint" doit "identifier dès que possible les insuffisances et proposer les types et nombre d'unités à générer" de la force qui, précise le communiqué, s'appellera Mission internationale de soutien au Mali sous conduite africaine (Misma).

    Une fois qu'il aura pris connaissance du plan d'intervention, le Conseil de sécurité de l'ONU devra se prononcer pour, éventuellement, voter une résolution donnant le feu vert définitif au déploiement de la force.

    Trois groupes islamistes armés occupent toalement le nord du Mali depuis fin juin: Al Qaïda au Maghreb islamique (Aqmi), Ansar Dine (Défenseurs de l'islam) et le Mouvement pour l'unicité et le jihad en Afrique de l'Ouest (Mujao).

    Ils y imposent la charia (loi islamique) avec une extrême rigueur, (lapidations de couples non mariés, amputations de présumés voleurs, coups de fouets au buveurs d'alcool et aux fumeurs) et y commettent de nombreuses exactions et destructions de monuments sacrés.

    Une délégation d'Ansar Dine, qui discute depuis près d'une semaine à Ouagadougou avec les autorités burkinabé - dont le président Blaise Compaoré, médiateur de la Cédéao dans la crise malienne - a affirmé rejeter "toute forme de terrorisme" et être prêt "au dialogue" avec les autorité de transition à Bamako.

    Mohamed Ag Aharid, porte-parole de la délégation d'Ansar Dine à Ouagadougou, a mis en garde mercredi contre toute intervention armée au Mali qui risque "d'embraser" toute la région.

    stb-ms/jpc

    © 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: ECOWAS
    Country: Mali

    N°: 304/2012

    7 novembre 2012 [Bamako - Mali]

    La Force militaire internationale (FMI) devant libérer le Nord-Mali actuellement aux mains des islamistes sera dénommée «Mission internationale de soutien au Mali sous conduite africaine (Misma)», a recommandé la réunion extraordinaire du Comité des chefs d'état-major de la CEDEAO (CCEM), tenue le mardi 6 novembre 2012 à Bamako, au Mali.

    Autre résolution, la CEDEAO doit identifier dès que possible les insuffisances et proposer les types et nombre d’unités à générer. Par ailleurs, l’organisation sous-régionale, l’Union africaine et les Nations unies sont invitées à faciliter le parachèvement dans les meilleurs délais de la généralisation des forces de la FMI.

    Il a aussi été demandé à la CEDEAO, en collaboration avec l’Union africaine, de mettre sur pied un comité restreint de planificateurs pour peaufiner le concept harmonisé et d’organiser, à l’issue de cette action, une conférence de donateurs.

    Les chefs d’état-major ouest-africains ont adopté le Concept d’opérations conjoint et harmonisé proposé par l’équipe de planification mixte composée de la CEDEAO, de l’Union africaine, des Nations unies, des pays du champ et d’autres partenaires et mise en place conformément à l’esprit de la résolution 2071 du Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies.

    Le chef d’état-major général des armées maliennes, le colonel-major Ibrahima Dahirou Dembélé, s’est félicité de cette adoption dont la mise en œuvre, a-t-il dit, dépendra du mandat des Nations unies.

    «Ce concept sera maintenant transmis au Conseil de sécurité qui va voter une nouvelle résolution devant déterminer les modalités de son exécution», a déclaré le colonel-major Dembélé.

    Le représentant spécial du président de la Commission de la CEDEAO au Mali, M. Aboudou Touré Cheaka, s’est réjoui également de l’adoption de ce concept, estimant que les autres étapes de son affinage devraient permettre d’envisager avec beaucoup plus d’optimisme l’adoption par le Conseil de sécurité de la résolution qui autoriserait l’intervention militaire dans les délais impartis.

    A la clôture des travaux, le président du Comité des chefs d’état-major de la CEDEAO, le chef d’état-major général des Forces républicaines de Côte d’Ivoire, le général de corps d’armée Soumaïla Bakayoko, a souligné l’importance capitale que revêt cette 11ème réunion extraordinaire de la haute hiérarchie militaire ouest-africaine sur la situation au Mali.

    «C’est une avancée très significative et j’allais même dire que c’est le tournant décisif que nous sommes en train d’emprunter pour faire en sorte que la paix et la sécurité reviennent au Mali», a indiqué le général Bakayoko.

    Il s’est dit convaincu qu’après l’adoption par le Conseil de sécurité de la résolution autorisant l’intervention militaire et l’affinage de la planification, la Force militaire internationale sera immédiatement déployée en vue de reconquérir le Nord-Mali.

    Pour rappel, le Concept d’opérations conjoint et harmonisé adopté au cours de cette réunion sera transmis pour validation et adoption par le Conseil de médiation et de sécurité et le Sommet extraordinaire des chefs d’Etat et de gouvernement de la CEDEAO dont les réunions sont prévues à Abuja, au Nigéria, respectivement les 9 et 11 novembre 2012.

    Il sera alors transmis par l’entremise de l’Union africaine, avant le 15 novembre 2012, au Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies, qui, le 12 octobre 2012, avait voté une résolution donnant à la CEDEAO quarante cinq (45) jours pour préciser ses plans de reconquête du Nord-Mali.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    11/08/2012 20:09 GMT

    by Serge Daniel

    BAMAKO, Nov 08, 2012 (AFP) - Preparations are accelerating for an intervention in Islamist-occupied northern Mali as West African leaders prepare to adopt a military blueprint this weekend before seeking UN approval.

    Facing a potentially violent ouster, one of the extremist groups, Ansar Dine, which has occupied key cities such as Timbuktu for seven months, has called for dialogue and a halt to hostilities.

    However plans for military action have not slowed.

    Ex-Guinean transitional leader General Sekouba Konate, who is supervising preparation, met chief regional mediator Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore Thursday to discuss "the juxtaposition of the military intervention and the ongoing dialogue," a source in the president's office told AFP.

    While some have presented the military intervention as a fait accompli, divisions still remain on whether it is the best solution.

    The UN special envoy for the Sahel, Romano Prodi, said Thursday it was "a last resort" after talks with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

    Algeria, with its superior military capabilities and its 1,400-kilometre (875-mile) border with Mali, is seen as key to any military operation but it favours a negotiated solution instead.

    "We still have the chance to work for peace," Prodi was quoted as saying by the APS news agency.

    Ansar Dine spokesman Mohamed Ag Aharid on Wednesday warned in Ouagadougou that any military intervention in Mali would "set the region ablaze."

    As both war and dialogue remain on the table, the Red Cross said in Geneva Thursday that some 500,000 people could no longer sustain themselves in north Mali amid security risks, food shortages and the breakdown of political structures.

    Once the military blueprint is approved by leaders from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), meeting in Abuja on Sunday, a statement said, it "will then be transmitted through the African Union, before November 15, to the UN Security Council."

    The Security Council on October 12 approved a resolution urging ECOWAS to speed up preparations for a military intervention to help recapture northern Mali.

    The council -- which asked for clarification on the composition of the proposed force as well as financial and military means -- is expected to give the green light for the deployment of troops once it has studied the plan.

    -- Arrest of alleged jihadist from France --

    The military strategy was drawn up with the help of experts from the European Union, AU, UN and the region and adopted by ECOWAS army chiefs on Tuesday.

    The details of the plan have not been made public, but army sources say over 4,000 troops could be sent into Mali.

    In Paris, the French Defence Ministry said foreign and defence ministers from five European countries -- Germany, Poland, Spain, Italy and France -- will meet on November 15 to discuss a European mission aimed at training Malian troops.

    The mission could include 200 soldiers and begin in January, an aide of French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.

    Mali, once one of the region's most stable democracies, rapidly imploded after a coup in March allowed Tuareg desert nomads, who had relaunched a decades-old rebellion for independence, to seize the main towns in the north with the help of Islamist allies.

    The secular separatists were quickly sidelined by the Islamists, who had little interest in their aspirations for an independent homeland and set about implementing their version of strict sharia law.

    Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith) and the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) have cracked down on local populations, stoning unmarried couples, amputating thieves' hands and whipping drinkers and smokers.

    The crisis has displaced about 200,000 Malians inside the country, while as many have fled to neighbouring states, according to the UN.

    The Islamists' ties with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which has long been present in Mali's north, have triggered fears in the region and the West that the zone could become a haven for extremists.

    Regional security sources have warned that French citizens or Africans living in Europe are attempting to sign up with the jihadists.

    A jihadist described as "French-African" who was arrested Tuesday in the centre of Mali allegedly seeking to join the armed extremists has been identified by France as Ibrahim Aziz Ouattara.

    A French judicial source said Ouattara, born in France in 1988, had been charged in 2010 in connection with a planned attack against the head of a Paris mosque. He has travelled to Yemen and Pakistan and was arrested in Egypt in 2010 before being sent back to France.

    A source close to the investigation in Mali reported he was travelling on false documents and freely expressed his wish to "die a martyr."

    stb-fb/hmn/boc

    © 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Niger (the)

    11/08/2012 14:02 GMT

    GENEVA, Nov 08, 2012 (AFP) - Security risks, food shortages and the breakdown of political structures in north Mali have created a dire situation for around 500,000 people, the head of the Red Cross said Thursday.

    "It remains a vulnerable region in terms of food security ... but compounded with the insecurity of the politics and military planning this becomes particularly dire and particularly sensitive," said Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

    Maurer, speaking to journalists in Geneva after his recent visit to Mali, cautioned that state structures in the north -- a desert region larger than France that was seized by Islamist rebels in the power vacuum after a March 22 coup in Bamako -- were "falling apart".

    Mounting an aid operation was "delicate given the insecure situation," he said, but added that the ICRC had nonetheless set up nine rural medical centres.

    It has also organised medical treatment in Gao hospital, which Maurer described as the only large medical facility still functioning in the north.

    The ICRC had initially planned to bring food and medical aid to 160,000 people during the summer, but has now ramped up its efforts and was helping 420,000 people, Maurer said.

    "We have 500,000 people who can't sustain themselves in the north," he said.

    Getting aid to the south of the bow-tie shaped nation was far easier, as was assisting people who had fled from the north into neighbouring countries like Burkina Faso, Niger and Mauritania, he said.

    However, he cautioned, the situation in the south of Mali, where communities have taken in many of those displaced from the north, was in danger of rapid deterioration.

    The area was now "getting to a threshold where there is nothing left" to give, he said.

    dmj/nl/boc

    © 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Chad, Niger (the)

    I. LES TITRES

    · Batha: 263.617 personnes à l’abri de la méningite (ATP 02/11/12)

    · Un Tchadien enlevé et Tué au Niger (Le Progrès 05/11/12)

    · 741 femmes opérées de fistule en 4 ans (Le Progrès 05/11/12)

    · Et si on préservait le lac Tchad (RFI 06.11/12)

    · Mortalité maternelle : « Aucune femme ne doit mourir en donnant la vie » (ATP 06/11/12)

    · La grève sèche au Tchad plus ou moins suivie (RFI 06/11/12)

    · Le Tchad dote le HCR en carburant d’un montant de 200 millions F CFA (Xinhua 08/11/12)


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    Source: ECOWAS
    Country: Mali

    8 November 2012 [Abuja - Nigeria]

    West Africa’s Foreign Affairs and Defence Ministers will meet in Abuja on Friday, 9th November 2012 as the region continues consultations on UN Security Council Resolution 2071 of 12th October 2012 relating to the deployment of troops to help Mali restore its territorial integrity.

    The meeting, being held under the aegis of the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council (MSC), is one in the series of meetings convened by the region in response to the 45-day deadline set by the UN Security Council for the clarification of aspects of the concept, modalities and means regarding the planned deployment following the occupation of the north of the country by separatists and terrorist networks.

    The MSC is the main organ responsible for the maintenance of regional peace and security under the ECOWAS security architecture.

    The one-day meeting will consider the report of the regional Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff on the concept of operations for the deployment of regional troops, which was finalised by security and military experts from ECOWAS, the African Union, the UN, the European Union and other partners during a previous meeting at the beginning of the month in Bamako, Mali.

    The President of the ECOWAS Commission, His Excellency Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, will brief the ministers on the political and security situations in Mali and Guinea-Bissau, where the army had also struck in April 2012.

    There will also be statements from the MSC Chairman Daniel Kablan Duncan, the Chairman of the Committee of ECOWAS Chiefs of Defence Staff, General Soumaila Bakayoko, and Mali’s Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister, Honourable Tieman Coulibaly, to the Abuja MSC meeting.


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    Source: NATO Civil-Military Fusion Centre
    Country: Syrian Arab Republic (the), Iraq, Mali

    Inside this issue

    Iraq 1
    Mali 2
    Syria 3
    IED & Demining 4


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    Source: Voice of America
    Country: Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Niger (the)

    Lisa Schlein November 08, 2012

    GENEVA — Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), says the political and military insecurity in Mali is deepening the country's humanitarian crisis. He says he is concerned that little thought is being given to the humanitarian situation in Mali by international political and military decision-makers.

    Mali is no stranger to humanitarian crises. At the moment it is facing a long-term structural food crisis, which Maurer says is compounded by the breakdown of the political system.

    The situation is particularly bleak in the north, where radical Islamist groups have ousted both the country's military and Tuareg rebels who have long waged war for an independent state. The radicals' harsh brand of Islam is alienating and terrorizing the local population. It also is creating huge problems for aid organizations trying to operate in the region.

    Maurer says the ICRC has been working for months to improve its access to needy people in the north. He says the agency is now distributing food to 420,000 people. In addition, he says the ICRC is supplying medicines and other supplies to the hospital in the city of Gao and to communal health-care facilities.

    But, he says, he is concerned that international political and military decision-makers may not be giving enough thought to Mali's humanitarian situation in their talks. He says this was an issue he explored with senior government officials he met during a visit to Niger and Mali at the end of October.

    "I tried to impress on them, that more consideration is given in whatever political and military planning they are doing to humanitarian concerns. It is no secret, this is an extremely delicate situation where we have half-a-million people who cannot sustain their lives in the north. Roughly half of the population remaining is dependent at the present moment on aid from outside," said Maurer.

    The United Nations reports more than 200,000 people are displaced inside Mali and another 250,000 have fled as refugees to Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania.

    Ansar Dine, one of the Islamist groups occupying northern Mali, said this week it is ready to commit to a process of political dialogue with the country's transitional authorities and is ready to stop hostilities.

    Despite this, the drumbeat for war is growing stronger. Regional plans to invade northern Mali and oust the Muslim extremists are being discussed by the United Nations, the African Union and Economic Commission of West Africa States.

    Maurer is carefully monitoring these maneuvers. But, he notes that he, as president of a humanitarian organization, can not express an opinion on military and political strategies. He says it is up to political leaders to decide on the actions they wish to take.

    "My visit to Addis Ababa, then to Niger and to Mali was to get a sense of those discussions. And, when listening to the leaders in the region and beyond, my conclusion is that there is a lot of talk on how to liberate the north, how to re-conquer the north," he said. "But, there is little consideration of what the humanitarian impact of whatever scenario would be."

    Maurer says it is his task to remind all the leaders engaged in this process, that the military decisions they make carry with them a humanitarian price tag, which have consequences and cannot be ignored.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Niger (the)

    11/08/2012 14:38 GMT

    GENEVE, 08 nov 2012 (AFP) - L'insécurité dans le nord du Mali, combinée aux pénuries alimentaires et à l'effondrement des structures politiques, a placé dans une situation tragique quelque 500.000 personnes, a estimé jeudi à Genève le président du Comité international de la Croix Rouge (CICR), Peter Maurer.

    "Cette région reste de toute façon vulnérable pour ce qui concerne la sécurité alimentaire (...) , mais combinée à l'insécurité dans le domaine politique et les plans (d'intervention) militaire, la situation devient particulièrement tragique et sensible", a déclaré à la presse M. Maurer qui a effectué une visite récente au Mali.

    Avec l'effondrement des structures de l'Etat dans cette région occupée depuis mars par des islamistes radicaux, l'organisation d'une opération d'aide humanitaire s'est révélée "délicate en raison de l'insécurité", a-t-il ajouté. Néanmoins, le CICR a mis en place neuf centres médicaux ruraux.

    Le CICR a également géré la poursuite des soins médicaux à l'hôpital de Gao, le seul établissement hospitalier de cette taille encore opérationnel dans le nord du Mali, selon M. Maurer.

    Le CICR avait initialement prévu de fournir une aide alimentaire et médicale à 160.000 personnes au cours de l'été, mais l'organisation aide à présent 420.000 personnes, a souligné M. Maurer.

    "Nous avons 500.000 personnes qui ne peuvent pas assurer seules leurs besoins dans le nord", du Mali, a-t-il dit.

    Apporter une aide au sud du Mali et aux habitants qui ont fui le nord du Mali pour se réfugier dans les pays voisins, le Burkina Faso, le Niger et la Mauritanie, est de loin plus facile, a-t-il expliqué. Cependant, a-t-il mis en garde, la situation dans le sud du Mali, où des habitants ont pris en charge de nombreux déplacés venus du nord, est déjà très difficile et risque de se détériorer rapidement.

    Les chefs d'état-major de la Communauté économique des Etats d'Afrique de l'Ouest (Cédéao) ont adopté mardi à Bamako un plan de reconquête du nord du Mali occupé depuis huit mois par les islamistes radicaux qui y imposent brutalement la charia. Ce plan sera soumis aux chefs d'Etat ce week-end lors d'un sommet à Abuja.

    dmj/nl/mr

    © 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: UN Mission in Liberia
    Country: Mali, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria

    “Enhancing Women’s Leadership in Peace and Security in West Africa”

    As part of ongoing efforts to strengthen implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women Peace and Security, a two-day regional dialogue under the theme, “Enhancing Women’s Leadership in Peace and Security in West Africa’ ended today in Monrovia. About 70 women leaders representing women’s organizations and networks, UN peacekeeping and peace building missions in West Africa, UN agencies and international organizations participated in this conference organized by the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), through the Office of the Gender Adviser (OGA),

    Speaking on behalf of the of UNMIL Envoy Ms. Karin Landgren, the Deputy Special Representative of the General (DSRSG) for Rule of Law Mr. Louis Aucoin said the regional dialogue was an acknowledgement by the UN of its commitment to do better in partnering with women to address regional peace and security priorities. “It is my hope that this workshop will enable you as women leaders to take an honest look at your strengths and capacities, and to come up with strategies to strengthen your interactions with each other at different levels, national and regional, so that you can serve as serious partners and peace brokers in efforts to sustain regional peace and security.”

    Ms Elizabeth Lwanga, Acting UN Women Representative in Liberia noted that women’s representation in conflict resolution and post conflict peace building remains one of the least implemented priorities on the Gender equality agenda. “Given the importance of post conflict reconstruction, peace building and peace consolidation for this sub-region, we welcome the opportunity this dialogue will provide for concrete decisions for accelerated action to move on this agenda.”

    At the closing ceremony a communique was issued with a number of jointly identified recommendations for UN missions, ECOWAS, the Mano River Union, Governments and women’s organizations.

    The recommendations ranged from planning and implementing peace missions that should include women mediators; taking immediate action to highlight the situation of women and girls in Guinea Bissau and Mali; expanding recruitment and strengthening support for women and the security sector; institutionalizing women’s access to the ECOWAS mediation and Security Council and Ministerial Council of the Mano River Union; ensuring that all UN transition plans underline local ownership of the process; increasing knowledge sharing, capacity building, mentoring and outreach in order to broaden the number of young women’s involvement in peace and security in Africa.


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    Source: MSF
    Country: Mauritania, Senegal

    An alarm was raised at the end of 2011 about an impending nutritional crisis in the Sahel region of Africa, and in particular in Mauritania and Senegal. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has aid projects in both countries and is now able to report that the anticipated serious crisis did not take place. Pierre-Vincent Jacquet, MSF head of mission in Dakar at the beginning of the year and then in Nouakchott from mid-August to the beginning of October, explains.

    What was the nutritional situation in Mauritania this year?

    Compared to previous years, while 2012 did see an increase in malnutrition, it was relatively small, and the country did not end up with a nutritional crisis. The situation was not as acute as had been anticipated. MSF intervened after the alarm was raised by the United Nations at the end of 2011 warning of a looming nutritional crisis throughout the Sahel region, potentially threatening the lives of 1.2 million people. MSF decided for the first time to provide support with treatment for malnutrition in Mauritania but, as the crisis was not dramatic, the program was finished at the end of September.

    What did MSF's work involve?

    MSF decided to go to the Brakna region in the south of the country as this is where malnutrition is most prevalent. After a rapid evaluation, a project was opened in April in the town of Boghé, followed by a similar one in May a little further north in Makhta Lahjar. Hospital units were set up in both towns to treat children suffering from severe malnutrition and related illnesses. The teams visited neighbouring villages to screen for cases of malnutrition and provided out-patient treatment in 12 different locations. Children who needed hospital treatment were transferred to Boghé and Makhta Lahjar.

    While a peak was observed during the hunger season in July, this was followed by a decrease in the number of children requiring treatment. Then in September, the start of the rainy season in these livestock and crop-growing regions, the prevalence of malnutrition fell significantly. By Sept. 15, in the Brakna region the rate of severe acute malnutrition was 0.6 per cent and that of moderate acute malnutrition was 4.5 per cent; this means an overall rate of malnutrition of 5.1 per cent – well below the United Nation's emergency threshold of 15 per cent which requires intervention.

    And what was the situation in Senegal where MSF also ran malnutrition treatment programs?

    The picture was very similar to the one we saw in Mauritania, the only difference being that there was even less cause for alarm. An MSF team went to Djourbel and Matam, the most vulnerable regions. In the end, the malnutrition treatment program was limited to the Djourbel region where 385 children received out-patient treatment and 124 were admitted to hospital. Given that there was relatively little medical activity, the team focused on strengthening Ministry of Health capacity. As in Mauritania, MSF trained Ministry of Health personnel from health centres in screening and treating malnutrition and provided the necessary medical equipment.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Somalia

    HIGHLIGHTS

    • Coordinated strategy addressing needs of the displaced in Mogadishu.

    • 135,000 at risk of polio outbreak in Kismayo.

    • Cholera outbreaks expected during current rainy season.


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

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    Source: Kenya Red Cross
    Country: Kenya

    Over the years, the Pokot and Marakwet communities of the Rift valley part of Kenya have not been seeing eye to eye as a result of frequent cattle raids, attacks and counter attacks.practice agriculture, despite having a rich valley and a river that passes right in the middle of the valley. This has in turn led to food insecurity and poverty in a region, which is cable of being a food exporter and fully food secure.

    In May 2011, Kenya Food Security Steering Group (KFSSG) Mid Season Assessment conducted estimated that the numbers of people that required urgent cross-sectoral interventions as a result of the drought had risen to 3.2 million up from 2.4 million people in March 2011. Food insecurity for the very poor households in the Northern pastoral districts like East Pokot and Marakwet East has reached emergency levels by June 2011. The majority of households had significant food consumption gaps resulting in acute malnutrition rates that are above the threshold.

    It was against this backdrop that Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) designed a food security project for the two communities. The project aimed at assisting in recovery from drought and to promote livelihood for the East Pokot and Marakwet communities and help them adapt to future droughts through the provision of agricultural inputs including irrigation equipment, seeds, fertilizer and pesticides, livestock, modern beehives and water and sanitation facilities. Most importantly the project also aims to train targeted beneficiaries on agricultural best practices, operation and of the water and irrigation equipment provided and on hygiene promotion, thereby building capacity of not only the beneficiaries but also the surrounding community.Consequently, on Monday 29th October 2012, the KRCS signed an agreement with the Marakwet and Pokot communities, who agreed to share the Embobut Water Resources for the irrigation of the downstream (Tot- Koloa area of Kerio Valley) and other antecedent utilisation of the River water resources.

    In a well-attended event, which was held at the Tot World Vision Centre, members of the two communities led by their elders, together with the Marakwet East MP and Assistant Minister for Cooperative and Marketing, Mrs Linah Kilimo, representatives from the Provincial Administration and KRCS personnel, led by the Society’s Governor,Mr Paul Birech, signed an agreement that will enable the two communities, not only to As a result, the two communities have not been able to settle down and share the water resources but to cement peace in the region as well.

    The project involves construction of water pipeline extensions from Embobut River to Kollowa plains for a total distance of 8.25km. The project irrigation area will cover 500 acres of land on both sides of the river and the water pipeline will extend for a distance of 2.5 km from Kerio River towards Kollowa with the possibility of extending further inland Kolowa based on availability of future funds from the KRCS and other partners.The objective of the project is to improve the food security situation of 1000 target HH through irrigation TOT- Kollowa A total of 1000 farmers will be assisted through distribution of seeds and seedlings,farm inputs and benefit from the project irrigation systems. This will notably improved food production and income levels at the HH. ToT-Kolowa project has been and willbe financed by KRCS till its completion. Proposed subsidiary projects will be resource mobilised from the Government and developmental partners.

    “This is your project and you need to own it for sustainability,” Birech told the two communities, while emphasing on the need for them to embrace peace.Hon. Kilimo, who was also representing Pokot MP, Hon Kamama, thanked the two communities for accepting to share the water and called upon them to embrace peace.”Development can only thrive in a peaceful environment; the Kenya Red Cross Society has done for us that which we should have done by ourselves and it is my plea that we shall not let them down” said Hon Kilimo, adding that the two communities had made history by signing the MOU, that will see them share the resources for the next 50 years.

    The Kenya Red Cross Society Secretary General, Dr. Abbas Gullet, who was among the guests, advised the two communities to coexist peacefully while understanding that the natural resources they had were God given and it was important to share the same.”We should not be fighting each other, what we need to fight is poor health, poverty, illiteracy among other vices.A traditional ritual of slaughtering a bull was carried out by the two communities to ensure that the ancestors were not left out. divisions of East Pokot and Marakwet District.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Malawi, Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania (the), Zambia, Zimbabwe

    HIGHLIGHTS

    • In line with the original SARCOF forecast, the latest SADC CSC update predicts normal to above-normal rainfall for most of the region, with significant exceptions.

    • The whole of Madagascar is now expected to receive above-normal to normal rainfall, increasing the chances of flooding.

    • The first tropical cyclone this season – Anais – formed on 12 October and dissipated by 19 October without making landfall.

    • Early flooding in South Africa led to the Declaration of Provincial Disaster in the Eastern Cape.


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    Country: Malawi, Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania (the), Zambia, Zimbabwe
    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia

    Context

    Awdal borders Ethiopia in the North West and South West, and Djibouti and the Gulf of Aden in the North. It consists of four districts: Baki, Boroma, Lughaye, and Zeylac. Despite physical access challenges posed by poor road conditions along its mountainous coastal terrains, Awdal is historically a peaceful region which remains accessible to humanitarian organizations.

    The population of Awdal region is estimated at 305,455 (UNDP 2005), with approximately 63% living in rural areas and 37% living in urban centres. The region is one of the agro-pastoral livelihood zones in Somaliland, where farming and agricultural production are the predominant livelihood sources. The region is also known for frequent earth tremors. The most recent earthquake measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale hit the capital of the region, Borame and adjacent areas, in August 2011, but did not cause casualties. Awdal is one of the farming regions in Somaliland where crop production is a major source of income for the people (FSNAU Post Deyr 2011/12 Report). Water availability for agriculture in the region is generally better compared to other regions in Somaliland. However, due to the poor Hays rains in the past three years, pastoral conditions have considerably worsened in the region.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Somalia

    Context

    Galgaduud is situated along the Indian Ocean to the east, with Mudug to the north, Hiraan to the southwest, Middle Shabelle to the southeast and Ethiopia to the west. Its population is estimated at 330,057 people, with 82 per cent living in rural areas and 18 per cent in urban areas. There are five administrative districts of Dhusamareeb, Abudwaq, Cadaado, Ceelbuur and Ceel Dheer in Galgaduud region. Dhusamareeb is the capital city. The districts of Dhusamareb (including Guri Ceel) and Abudwaq (including Balanbal) are under the control of Ahlu Sunna Waljama'a (ASWJ) and are accessible to humanitarian actors. Cadaado district is under Himan and Heeb administrative control, and Eelbuur and Eeldere districts are under the control of Al-Shabaab and are inaccessible to UN national and international staff. However, NGOs that have been operating in these districts for a long time are permitted to continue working. The region hosts an estimated 149,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) (according to UNHCR estimates in September 2012).

    There are five main livelihood zones in Galgaduud: Addun pastoral mixed sheep, goats and camels; the central regions are agro-pastoral, growing cowpeas and rearing sheep, goats, camels and cattle; the Hawd pastoral zone, where sheep and goats are reared; southern inland pastoral where camel, sheep and goats are reared; and coastal Deeh where sheep are reared.


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