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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: International Organization for Migration
    Country: Nigeria

    Nigeria - Over 1.2 million people have been displaced in northern and central Nigeria as the Boko Haram insurgency continues to fuel large scale population movement.

    Between January 1st and February 23rd 2015, IOM's Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) identified 1,188,018 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the North East Region of Nigeria covering Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe States.

    In addition, Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has registered 47,276 IDPs in the central parts of the country, which include Abuja, Kano, Kaduna, Nasarawa and Plateau.

    This brings the total number of displaced persons identified to 1,235,294 in Northern and Central Nigeria.

    While the growing violence perpetrated by Boko Haram remains the lead factor of massive population movement, community clashes and natural disasters are also contributing to internal displacement in some States.

    According to IOM’s latest DTM report, 92 per cent of the IDPs identified in the region were displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency. The majority (79 per cent) were displaced in 2014, which corresponds to the escalation of violence.

    These displacements continue to generate acute humanitarian needs for displaced households living in camps, camp-like settings, or with host families, further eroding the resilience of affected communities.

    The vast majority of IDPs live with host families (87 per cent), while 13 per cent live in camps or camp-like settings situated in Adamawa, Borno and Taraba States.

    “Following Boko Haram attacks, the majority of IDPs have left their homes without anything and most of them are in dire need of food, shelter, water and basic necessities,” said IOM Nigeria Chief of Mission Enira Krdzalic.

    IOM’s DTM program, implemented in close collaboration with NEMA, builds the capacity of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), the National Red Cross Society (NRCS) and other partners to undertake IDP assessments in a unified and systematic manner.

    The DTM assessments include the collection of baseline information in the six north-eastern States, as well as site assessments conducted in collective centers, camps and transitional centers.

    According to the DTM report released on 4th March, 53 per cent of the IDP population in North East Nigeria are women and 47 per cent are men. Also 56 per cent of the total IDP population are children and more than half of them are five years old or younger.

    "The DTM provides much-needed data to better target assistance and set priorities in line with needs,” said Krdzalic, “We were able to cover parts of Borno, the most affected state. In addition, the latest release features detailed site profiles for 33 camps and camp-like settings, highlighting gaps in current provision of assistance.”

    Besides the 1.2 million displaced in Nigeria, the Boko Haram insurgency has forced displacement of over 200,000 people in neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

    The DTM was launched in Nigeria in July 2014. The latest DTM Report and DTM datasets can be found at: http://nigeria.iom.int/dtm

    For more information, please contact

    Stéphanie Daviot IOM Nigeria Tel: +234 9038852524 Email: sdaviot@iom.int


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Chad, Nigeria

    CONTEXT

    In the early morning of Friday 13th February, some 30 members of the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram (BH) attacked the village of Ngouboua, a village in the Lake Chad Region that hosts some 8,000 Nigerian refugees. According to the authorities, militants arrived on canoes at approximately 3 am; they shot at the population causing the death of some 10 people including the Chief of Ngouboua Canton, a reliable protector of refugees and partner of UN agencies and NGOs, and his assistant. Militants pillaged the village and burned a number of homes as well as the market place before they were pursued and fled. The local population was awakened by gunshots; some ran to hide into the bush while others fled to Forkolom, located at some 10 km from Ngouboua. This was the second attack by Boko Haram in Chad, following an ambush on the Island of Kantanrom on 31 January which caused the death of 3 individuals.

    Since the Boko Haram attack on 3 January on military installations and civilian populations in and around the northeastern Nigerian town of Bagakawa, more than 15,000 Nigerian refugees have sought refuge in Chad, many of them on the small islands scattered of the Lake.

    While a number of refugees crossed the Lake and arrived in Chad, others fled to the northern parts of Cameroon. Repeated attacks in northern Cameroon however forced some of hosting Cameroonian population and Nigerian refugees to flee into Chadian territory, most specifically into the Mayo Kebbi East area, at 235 km South of Ndjamena.

    Limited security in and around the islands scattered in Lake Chad (including the village of Ngouboua and Tchoukoutalia) and difficult access to these areas prompted the Government of Chad to allocate the site of Dar Es Salam, located some 12 km from Bagasola, for the accommodation of Nigerian refugees.

    As of 28 February 2015, Chad is hosting 18,131 Nigerian refugees among whom more than 15,000 arrived in 2015. To date some 3,813 Nigerian refugees are living in Dar Es Salam.


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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Niger, Nigeria

    UNICEF Response

    UNHCR is setting up three refugee camps in Diffa region. As of March 2015, only Sayam Forage camp is functional and hosts 700 refugees. UNICEF is supporting the installation by providing squatting plates, water bladders, NFIs and as well as recreational and ECD kits to UNHCR to ensure access to water and sanitation and support safe spaces for children as part of child protection. In parallel, UNICEF will continue to support displaced people and host communities outside the camps.

    UNICEF, in collaboration with COOPI, ensures psychosocial support activities in Diffa for 9,750 children through outreach and mobile strategies with a special geographic focus on the Lake Chad Islands. COOPI installed its psychosocial support dispositive in Gagamari (transit site) and Sayam Forage (refugee camp). UNICEF is also working on the implementation of a Child Protection Monitoring system in Diffa.

    UNICEF is planning to send additional essential medicines in Diffa to cover 10,000 children and to organize a measles vaccination targeting 193,000 children 9 months to 14 years old, in the health districts not covered by the previous measles vaccination campaign.

    IEDA Relief began its programme of cholera prevention since November 2014. Purification tabs distribution and sensitization have been organized in Chetimari and Diffa where the epidemics was under control at the end of 2014. Since 26 January 2015 and before the recent attacks in Diffa, IEDA was working in the villages where 26 new cases have been registered in 2015 (including 0 death).
    UNICEF also supported the development of radio messages broadcasted on local radios in six languages (also reaching the Islands on Lake Chad) and the dissemination of video spots through the Cinema Numérique Ambulant.

    In order to ensure access to quality primary education for displaced communities, UNICEF in collaboration with COOPI identified 10 schools (part of the 13 mentioned in the table) that are integrating displaced children. UNICEF is strengthening their capacities by building additional classrooms, training teachers, and providing additional educational supplies for teachers and children.


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Mali, Niger


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    Source: Reuters - AlertNet
    Country: Mali

    BAMAKO, March 6 (Reuters) - Mali has postponed local and regional elections scheduled for next month because insecurity in the country's north has held up the revision of voter rolls, a government official said.

    read the full story here


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Chad, Nigeria

    World Food Programme Field Manager, Irene Del Rio (far right in photo below), has just returned from the refugee site of Dar es Salam (Lac Region), home to a growing number of Nigerian refugees escaping escalating violence in their country.

    There are some 4,000 refugees at the site, who arrived in a first wave in January this year. Since then, there have been small groups arriving almost every day – they are either transported by UNHCR and CNARR (the national agency that takes care of refugees and returnees) or some find their own means to get to the site. You can imagine that after spending several weeks on their journey, including days on the boat, across Lake Chad, they arrive in a critical condition. They are exhausted, distressed, weak and hungry. With the recent escalation of violence, including attacks on Chadian soil, we expect that refugees would continue arriving at the site, seeking safety.

    The site is in a desert area, about 9-10 km outside of the town of Bagasola, and some 5 km from a military camp. It is close to a small village, and it is not enclosed. The site spreads across a vast area and there is quite a lot of space between the shelters. According to UNHCR, the site can accommodate about 15,000 people. Most refugees are staying now in family shelters. Only the newly arrived share a common shelter. There is a temporary clinic, a space for children, and a school under construction. The site has a similar feel to the nearby village, except the evenly-spaced, plastic shelters that dot the desert area.

    What is needed the most at the site?

    Being in the desert, the first need is water. There are some wells, but they will soon not be enough. Plus, we are heading towards the hot season. In March, the temporary plastic shelters will start getting too hot during the day, and having enough water will be a major concern. Access to health services is also crucial. Most of the wounded were initially transported to the capital, but the health and nutritional status of the people on the site - majority women and children - is far from ideal. Of course, there is a need for food.

    How has WFP been helping?

    We have been providing food. Gradually, we intend also to distribute cash and vouchers to both the refugees and the host community; the latter is also under a lot of stress. However, this will depend; the markets are under pressure due to the security situation at the border. And we need financial resources to carry out our activities. Nutrition activities are also in place. We provide ready-to-use therapeutic food for malnourished children and pregnant and nursing women - both refugees or from the host communities. We work in partnership with the International Medical Corps, and the screening of the malnourished children takes place in the temporary clinic - a tent. Following the attack on Ngouboua village by armed militants from Nigeria in February, we have been also providing food to the families who lost their homes in the fire, during the attack. The number of displaced population is also on the rise following this latest escalation of violence.

    When did you last visit the site?

    I was there yesterday, to help with the planning of the distributions for this month. Until we open an office in Bol, we are managing everything from Mao, which is 4 hours away from the site, and about 5-6 hours away from the border with Nigeria.

    What has struck you the most?

    Several things. The extreme exhaustion you read on people's faces, in their whole demeanour. They have spent three weeks traveling from island to island on Lake Chad just to arrive to the site. The second thing was the stories I heard from them. Families recounting how they had to split in the chaos of the flight, a teenage girl telling us that the militants had gathered her whole village, and then picked her father to kill him, along with other men. She was angry when telling us this, but at the same time so extremely tired that it almost sounded normal. What struck me also yesterday, compared to previous visits, was that with the newly arrived, there are more and more women and children, and less and less complete or almost complete families.

    How do you think the situation will evolve?

    In terms of the humanitarian situation, we do expect more refugees to arrive, and more people to be displaced inside Chad. There are still refugees stuck on the islands, and the incidents and subsequent insecurity along the border are affecting more and more the local population. If the security situation stabilizes over the year, we might be able to put longer-term activities in place; there are lowlands, for example, in the area that have potential for agricultural production.

    How is this different from other refugee situations?

    Some of the refugees have been fleeing from successive attacks in villages closer and closer to the Chadian border. And once in Chad, they found another major obstacle - the lake. For some of them, it has been a two-month trip, and despite the measures put in place by the local authorities, people are still concerned about their safety. They have also arrived in a very different place than what they know – they are far from water, and in the desert. We have a lot of fishermen who do not know what to do, and traders who used to do business with Chadian merchants who are now on this side, and they say this is just not what they expected.

    How can we assist the 7,000 refugees living on the islands?

    It is extremely difficult to arrive to some of these locations, and local authorities are encouraging all these refugees to move inland; also because of the security situation, as they are closer to the border. We have some nutritional activities on the islands, at a smaller level, and involving very complicated logistics. However, the only way that we can guarantee that their needs will be fully covered is if they accept the government's offer to be relocated inland.

    What is next for WFP?

    We are trying to scale up our activities as much as funds allow. In terms of food insecurity, we knew that this would be a difficult year, and we know that lean season will start earlier than usual, so we have been preparing some options to assist vulnerable populations through asset creation before the lean season hits. From April/May, we are preparing a combination of food distributions in the most remote areas, and cash and voucher distributions where it is possible.

    Note: By the end of 2015, WFP is planning to provide food and bring relief to about 40,000 people, including 30,000 refugees and displaced Chadians, as well as vulnerable members of the host community. To make this possible, WFP requires an additional US$10.4 million. WFP has been able to respond by borrowing resources from other programmes but requires urgent funds to continue providing assistance to the growing number of Nigerian refugees and displaced people in Chad.

    Photos: Miguel Tomas/WFP


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Burkina Faso, Japan, Mali

    OUAGADOUGOU – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed a contribution of US$ 5 million, equivalent to more than 2.983 billion FCFA, from the Government of Japan, to support activities for nearly 100,000 of the most vulnerable people living in Burkina Faso.

    The new contribution will help WFP continue its assistance in a number of ways: First, in combating malnutrition and strengthening the resilience of vulnerable households. Some 45,120 malnourished children under five and 15,430 malnourished pregnant and nursing women will receive treatment for moderate acute malnutrition to improve their nutritional status. Another 5,250 people in households that are vulnerable to food insecurity will receive cash transfers in exchange for their work on creating assets.

    About 2,000 smallholder farmers in the country will be provided with equipment and training in food quality management through the Purchase for Progress (P4P) programme.

    Finally, 32,000 Malian refugees in Burkina Faso will receive assistance through monthly distributions of food and cash transfers in addition to emergency school feeding.

    Thanks to Japan’s support, WFP is able to provide assistance in partnership with the Government of Burkina Faso and non-governmental organizations. The programmes will be carried out in Boucle du Mouhoun, Centre-East, Centre-North, Centre-West, East, North and Sahel regions.

    "We are particularly grateful to Japan which has shown clear commitment to support WFP’s activities in Burkina Faso. This contribution is especially timely as we require funds to maintain our support for vulnerable people in rural areas, who are affected by food insecurity and malnutrition,” said Jean-Charles Dei, WFP Burkina Faso Country Director.

    Mr. Masato Futaishi, Japanese Ambassador to Burkina Faso, said, “This financial support from the Japanese Government contributes to the improvement of the quality of life of vulnerable populations, particularly that of children in Burkina Faso, and demonstrates the close cooperation between the Governments of Burkina Faso and Japan and WFP.”

    WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 75 countries.

    Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media and @WFP_WAfrica.

    For more information, contact Celestine Ouedraogo, WFP Burkina Faso
    celestine.ouedraogo@wfp.org, +226 25306077 (telephone) or +226 75144747 (cell).


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Nigeria

    Abuja, Nigeria | | Friday 3/6/2015 - 16:10 GMT

    Nigeria's government on Friday said that work had begun to rebuild a school in the northeastern town of Chibok from where Boko Haram gunmen kidnapped more than 200 girls last year.

    Finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala laid the foundation stone at the Government Secondary School on Thursday on behalf of President Goodluck Jonathan, a statement from her office said.

    Islamist fighters seized 276 teenagers on the evening of April 14 in a case that caused global outrage. Fifty-seven managed to escape but 11 months later, 219 are still being held captive.

    Jonathan said in the statement: "We sympathise with the Chibok community. We know what you are going through.

    "But I want to assure you that we are working day and night to make sure that life returns to normal both in your community and all others affected by terrorism."

    The government was criticised for its slow response to the kidnapping and was pressured into accepting international help as a global campaign calling for the girls' release gathered pace.

    Some of the girls were shown on a Boko Haram video released soon after the abduction, indicating that many of them had converted to Islam.

    Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has also claimed that the teenagers have been married off.

    The search for the girls appears to have come to a dead end, despite the country's most senior military officer claiming last year that their location was known but a rescue was too dangerous.

    The six-year conflict, which is estimated to have left more than 13,000 people dead and 1.5 million others homeless, has also severely disrupted education.

    Boko Haram, whose names roughly translates from the Hausa language as "Western education is forbidden", has targeted schools teaching a secular curriculum. Schools have either been shut or burned down.

    The United Nations has said that some 10.5 million children in Nigeria are out of school, including those hit by the conflict.

    In Chibok, more than 3,000 have been unable to return to classes since last year's abduction, Jonathan said, calling the situation "unacceptable".

    A coalition of troops from Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon has claimed a series of successes in recent weeks to secure and stabilise the northeast in time for general elections on March 28.

    ola-phz/bs/jz

    © 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: International Institute of Tropical Agriculture
    Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Zambia

    The African Development Bank (AfDB), the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) launched the Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Program Phase 1 (ATASP-1) on 6 March 2015 at IITA’s location in Abuja, Nigeria.

    The ATASP-1 is financed by AfDB to the tune of USD 170 million and aims at creating additional incomes to an increased number of producers and entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector in Nigeria by providing about 120,000 jobs along the value chain of priority commodities. An additional 20 million tons of key commodity food crops including cassava, rice, and sorghum will be added to the domestic food supply each year.

    A significant part of the project is developing outreach models with young entrepreneurs in agriculture, “IITA youth agripreneurs”. This component will be implemented by IITA which has established a Youth Agripreneurs scheme at its Headquarters in Ibadan, Oyo State, and in DR Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zambia. The Agripreneurs are promoting agriculture among other young people in their regions through peer education, training and demonstration of agricultural best practices, and business skills in value chain development.

    “All over Africa, many young people are migrating to cities in search of business opportunities, leaving behind an increasingly ageing population. The challenge is to create business opportunities for productive activity in agriculture and non-farm enterprises,” said Dr Nteranya Sanginga, IITA’s Director General during the launch in an interview with reporters. “This project aims to build on the youth model developed in IITA to change mindsets of young men and women and gainfully engage them in agriculture,” he added.

    AfDB’s Chief Country Program Coordinator, Andoh Mensah, explained that the project would capitalize on IITA’s participatory approach and would train and retrain young men and women along the commodity value chains. According to him, the ATASP-1 is part of the Bank’s efforts in contributing to the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) of the Government of Nigeria, which aims to create 3.5 million jobs along key crop value chains.

    The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in Nigeria, Dr Akinwumi Adesina underlined that “Africa’s future millionaires and billionaires will make their money from agriculture,” as the governments marshal out plans to unlock wealth from the soil. He estimates that the bulk of this new wealthy population will be made up of young people adept at creating jobs for millions in each African country and bringing business opportunities to rural communities all across the continent. The Minister further enjoined the youth to stop seeing agriculture as a tool for development but as a business.

    He reasoned that agriculture is now an exciting sector. “Today, major local and international investors are investing in this sector. The number of seed companies alone has risen dramatically and the banks are lending to the sector more than ever before.”

    Adesina is among the five candidates who have been shortlisted to contest the presidency of the African Development Bank. The AfDB Board said the selection of the most eligible candidates to succeed President Donald Kaberuka was done by a Steering Committee of the Board of Governors at a meeting held in Abidjan on 11 February 2015. Ethiopia’s Finance Minister, Sufian Ahmed; Cape Verdean Finance Minister, Cristina Kamara; the current Vice President of the Islamic Development Bank, Birama Sidibe; and Chad’s Finance Minister, Kordjé Bedoumra have also been shortlisted for the elections slated for May 2015.

    About IITA www.iita.org

    IITA is one of the world’s leading research partners in finding solutions for hunger, malnutrition, and poverty. Its award-winning research-for-development (R4D) approach addresses the development needs of tropical countries. IITA works with partners to enhance crop quality and productivity, reduce producer and consumer risks, and generate wealth from agriculture. IITA is a non-profit organization founded in 1967 in Nigeria and governed by a Board of Trustees. IITA works on the following crops: cowpea, soybean, banana/plantain, yam, cassava, and maize. It is a member of CGIAR, a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future.

    Contacts:

    Dr Olukayode Oyeleye, FMARD Media Strategist and Spokesperson oyeson2@gmail.com

    Andrea Gros, Head of Communication, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture a.gros@cgiar.org

    Godwin Atser, Communication & Knowledge Exchange Expert, g.atser@cgiar.org


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


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    Dakar, Senegal | | Friday 3/6/2015 - 18:22 GMT

    Rights activists filed a lawsuit on Friday against a group of 15 jihadists over war crimes committed after northern Mali was seized by Islamist fighters linked to al-Qaeda.

    The International Federation of Human Rights (IFHR) said it was bringing the action in Bamako on behalf of 33 victims of "the worst crimes committed" in the desert region of Timbuktu in 2012 and 2013.

    "The legal system must address these complaints promptly and launch investigations as soon as possible to establish guilt and bring justice to the victims," it said in a statement co-signed by local rights groups.

    The IFHR said it had spent the last two weeks in Timbuktu alongside the Malian Association of Human Rights collecting physical evidence and testimony from 50 victims and witnesses of torture, rape and other crimes.

    Several Islamist militias linked to Al-Qaeda occupied Timbuktu and northern Mali's other towns and cities for nine months in 2012.

    The groups exacted a brutal version of Islamic sharia characterised by amputations, beatings and executions before they were ousted by a French-led military intervention launched in January 2013.

    The IFHR did not name the jihadists targeted by the lawsuit.

    bur-mrb/ft/sb

    © 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Fédération Internationale des Ligues des Droits de I'Homme
    Country: Mali

    Nos organisations [1] ont déposé ce jour, auprès du doyen des juges d’instruction du Tribunal de première instance de la Commune III de Bamako, une plainte avec constitution de partie civile au nom de 33 victimes de crimes internationaux commis lors de l’occupation de Tombouctou et sa région par les groupes armés, en 2012 et 2013. Cette plainte vise 15 auteurs présumés de crimes contre l’humanité et crimes de guerre.

    « Quatre mois après avoir déposé une première plainte qui concernait des viols et violences sexuelles perpétrés lors de l’occupation du Nord, nous souhaitons à travers cette deuxième plainte adresser un message fort aux autorités politiques et judiciaires maliennes, au nom des victimes de crimes les plus graves commis au Nord du pays », ont déclaré nos organisations. « La justice doit s’emparer de ces plaintes avec célérité et engager au plus vite des enquêtes, afin d’établir les responsabilités et de rendre justice aux victimes » ont-elles ajouté.

    Dans le cadre d’une mission d’enquête internationale de la FIDH et de l’AMDH à Tombouctou, menée du 23 février au 2 mars 2015, une cinquantaine de témoignages de victimes et témoins d’actes de torture, viols et violences sexuelles, et de privations graves de liberté ont été recueillis. Cette mission a également permis de recueillir des éléments de preuve matériels, qui ont été transmis à la justice malienne en appui de la plainte déposée ce jour, mettant en cause de manière précise et circonstanciée tant les commanditaires que les auteurs directs des crimes perpétrés.

    Bien que de nombreuses informations judiciaires aient été ouvertes au Tribunal de première instance de la Commune III de Bamako à l’encontre de responsables présumés des graves violations des droits humains perpétrées dans le nord du Mali au cours du conflit armé, nos organisations continuent de déplorer que les charges retenues jusqu’à présent portent quasi-exclusivement sur des faits de terrorisme ou d’associations de malfaiteurs, excluant ainsi les violations des droits humains perpétrées.

    « Le Mali ayant incorporé dans son droit interne les qualifications de crimes contre l’humanité et crimes de guerre contenues dans le Statut de la Cour pénale internationale (CPI), il est essentiel que ces charges soient retenues par la justice malienne. La Procureure de la CPI mène une enquête sur cette situation depuis janvier 2013 et garde un œil attentif sur les procédures nationales », ont déclaré nos organisations. « Ces qualifications permettront de restituer les crimes perpétrés dans leur ampleur, en faisant la lumière sur leur caractère systématique ou généralisé » ont-elles précisé.

    Rappel des faits

    Le 1er avril 2012 à 6h du matin, les milices arabes de la ville de Tombouctou prennent la ville aux Forces armées maliennes (FAMA) et la livrent au Mouvement national de libération de l’Azawad (MNLA) qui s’en fait chasser le lendemain par les groupes armés fondamentalistes d’Ançar Dine et d’AQMI. Ces derniers occupent la ville et soumettent, pendant plus de 10 mois, les populations à un régime de terreur en justifiant les crimes les plus graves par l’application de la charia. Jusqu’au 28 janvier 2013, les groupes armés ont mis en place des institutions islamiques, dirigées par des natifs de Tombouctou, chargées de faire appliquer la charia et qui ont commis de graves violations des droits humains à l’encontre de la population civile. Saisi par l’État du Mali, la Procureure de la CPI a ouvert une enquête le 16 janvier 2013 sur les crimes de sa compétence commis au Mali depuis janvier 2012.


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Burkina Faso, Japan, Mali

    OUAGADOUGOU - Le Programme alimentaire mondial (PAM) des Nations Unies se réjouit de la contribution du gouvernement du Japon d’un montant de 5 millions de dollars US, soit plus de 2,893 milliards francs CFA, destinés au financement de programmes d’assistance alimentaire mis en œuvre par le Gouvernement du Burkina Faso à travers le PAM.

    Cette contribution soutiendra presque 100.000 personnes vulnérables composées en majorité de femmes et d’enfants à travers les activités ci-après :

    • Lutte contre la malnutrition à travers le traitement de la malnutrition aiguë modérée au profit de 45.120 enfants malnutris de moins de 5 ans et 15 430 femmes enceintes ou allaitantes malnutries ;

    • Renforcement de la résilience de 5.250 personnes dans les ménages vulnérables à l’insécurité alimentaire qui recevront des transferts monétaires en contrepartie de leur participation à des activités de création d’actifs productifs ;

    • Promotion des achats locaux à travers l’initiative « Achats au service du Progrès » (P4P) qui appuie les petits producteurs à travers l’acquisition d’équipements et d’infrastructures, de même que l’organisation de formations sur la gestion de la qualité des denrées et la réduction des pertes post-récoltes au profit de 2.000 petits producteurs ;

    • Assistance aux 32.000 réfugiés maliens, comprenant des distributions mensuelles de rations alimentaires, des transferts monétaires et des cantines scolaires d’urgence.

    Ces opérations seront mises en œuvre dans les régions de la Boucle du Mouhoun, du Centre-Est, du Centre-Nord, du Centre-Ouest, de l’Est, du Nord et du Sahel du pays, conjointement avec les services compétents de l’Etat et en collaboration avec des organisations de la société civile.

    « Nous sommes particulièrement reconnaissants au gouvernement et au peuple du Japon qui a visiblement démontré sa volonté de soutenir les interventions du PAM au Burkina Faso. Cette contribution arrive à un moment où nous avons un besoin important de ressources pour poursuivre notre assistance et soulager bon nombre de personnes vulnérables des zones rurales qui sont dans le besoin », a déclaré Jean-Charles Déi, Représentant du PAM au Burkina Faso.

    Pour Son Excellence Monsieur Masato Futaishi, Ambassadeur du Japon au Burkina Faso, « Cet appui financier du Gouvernement du Japon contribue fortement à l’amélioration de la qualité de vie des populations vulnérables, notamment les enfants, dans le cadre de l’étroite coopération tripartite entre les gouvernements du Burkina Faso et du Japon et le PAM ».

    Le PAM est la plus grande agence humanitaire qui lutte contre la faim dans le monde en distribuant une assistance alimentaire dans les situations d'urgence et en travaillant avec les communautés pour améliorer leur état nutritionnel et renforcer leur résilience. Chaque année, le PAM apporte une assistance à quelque 80 millions de personnes dans près de 75 pays.

    Suivez-nous sur Twitter : @wfp_media et @wfp_africa.

    Pour plus d’informations, veuillez contacter :

    Célestine Ouédraogo, PAM Burkina Faso, Tél. +226 25 30 60 77, Mob. +226 75 14 47 47, celestine.ouedraogo@wfp.org.


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    Source: UN News Service
    Country: Mali

    6 March 2015 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the progress made towards the establishment of an inclusive peace in Mali in an effort to resolve the country's ongoing crisis, the United Nations spokesperson confirmed today.

    In a statement released this afternoon, Mr. Ban's spokesperson said the Secretary-General commended Malian stakeholders for “the progress achieved to date” and expressed his gratitude to both Algeria, for hosting the peace process, and members of the international community for their “dedicated efforts in support of the resolution of the conflict.”

    “The initialling on 1 March in Algiers of a draft agreement on peace and reconciliation in Mali by the Government of Mali and the Plateforme coalition of armed groups is an important step forward,” said the statement. “The political will and ownership of all Malian parties is essential for sustainable peace.”

    The Government in Mali has been seeking to restore stability and rebuild following a series of setbacks since early 2012, including a military coup d'état, renewed fighting between Government forces and Tuareg rebels, and the seizure of its northern territory by radical Islamists.

    Throughout much of this time, Mali's north has remained restive and, in recent months, the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA) and its “blue helmets” have come under repeated violent attack.

    In addition, the country has been consumed by a series of humanitarian crises. Addressing journalists in Geneva last week, Jens Laerke, from the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), noted that at the peak of the crisis, more than 500,000 people had left the north of Mali to seek refuge in the south or in neighbouring countries. Although nearly 400,000 had already returned, they continued to face challenges in restarting their lives as communities had become more vulnerable, livelihoods had deteriorated, and social services were working only partially, especially in rural areas.

    At the same time, Mali continued to face a high level of food insecurity and malnutrition – a problem affecting countries throughout Africa's Sahel region. According to UN estimates, nearly 2.6 million people in Mali, or 15 per cent of the total population, will suffer from food insecurity this year while more than one in 10 children would be affected by acute malnutrition.

    The UN spokesperson declared the Organization's continued commitment to supporting Malians in their search for peace, security, justice and development through the “full and timely implementation of a future agreement” and said Mr. Ban called on all parties “to engage to reach a final settlement.”

    Also today, the Secretary-General announced the appointment of Major General Michael Lollesgard of Denmark as the new MINUSMA Force Commander.

    Mr. Lollesgard succeeds Major General Jean Bosco Kazura of Rwanda to whom Mr. Ban expressed his gratitude for his “dedicated and exemplary service during his tenure.”

    According to the UN spokesperson's office, Mr. Lollesgard brings to his new role 30 years of national and international experience including deployments in peace support operations in the Balkans and Iraq.


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    Source: UN Secretary-General
    Country: Mali

    SG/SM/16571-AFR/3088

    La déclaration suivante a été communiquée, aujourd’hui, par le Porte-parole de M. Ban Ki-moon, Secrétaire général de l’ONU:

    Le Secrétaire général se félicite des récents progrès pour l’établissement d’une paix inclusive au Mali. Le paraphe d’un projet d’accord sur la paix et la réconciliation au Mali à Alger le 1er mars par le Gouvernement du Mali et la coalition de groupes armés Plateforme est une étape importante. Le Secrétaire général félicite les parties pour les progrès accomplis à ce jour et exprime sa gratitude à l’Algérie et aux membres de l’équipe internationale de médiation pour leurs efforts déterminés pour soutenir la résolution du conflit.

    Le Secrétaire général note qu’une paix durable requiert la volonté politique et l’engagement personnel de toutes les parties maliennes. À cet égard, il encourage la coalition de groupes armés Coordination à parapher le projet d’accord.

    Le Secrétaire général appelle toutes les parties à poursuivre leur engagement en faveur d’un accord final. Les Nations Unies restent déterminées à soutenir les Maliens vers la paix, la sécurité, la justice et le développement par la mise en œuvre complète et rapide d’un futur accord.

    À l’intention des organes d’information • Document non officiel.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Nigeria

    Maiduguri, Nigeria | | Saturday 3/7/2015 - 23:52 GMT

    by Bukar HUSSAIN with Aminu ABUBAKAR in Kano

    Boko Haram pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group in an audio message published online on Saturday, after three bombs wreaked havoc in northeast Nigeria, killing 58 and wounding scores.

    "We announce our allegiance to the Caliph of the Muslims, Ibrahim ibn Awad ibn Ibrahim al-Husseini al-Qurashi," Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said, referring to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

    Shekau said the pledge was made because of religious duty to Islam and as it would "enrage the enemy of Allah".

    The eight-minute speech, in which Shekau was not shown, was published on a Twitter account used by Boko Haram and subtitled in English, French and Arabic.

    Shekau has previously mentioned al-Baghdadi in video messages yet stopped short of pledging formal allegiance.

    But there have been increasing signs that the Nigerian militants, whose six-year insurgency has claimed more than 13,000 lives and left 1.5 million people homeless, has been seeking a closer tie-up.

    Not only did Shekau announce last year that the captured town of Gwoza in Borno state was part of a caliphate but in recent weeks Boko Haram videos have increasingly resembled IS group propaganda.

    Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan, who has persistently blamed the violence on outside forces, last month claimed the country had intelligence on Boko Haram links to IS.

    Sunni jihadist specialist Aaron Zelin, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute of Near East Policy, said it was difficult to assess the immediate effect of Shekau's statement.

    "Definitely it will put an even bigger target on their back," he told AFP in an email exchange.

    He added: "It's relevant because it highlights the resonance of the idea of the caliphate.

    "For years there have been rumours of connections with AQIM (Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) or Al-Shebab but there was never anything definitive... and now (Boko Haram) decides to do this overtly."

    • 'Natural ally' -

    Max Abrahms, from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, said the pledge of allegiance "made sense", as both groups were currently "in a position of relative organisational weakness".

    IS, on the back foot in Iraq, has been looking to broaden its reach beyond the Middle East, particularly in places where there are power vacuums and existing militant groups, such as Libya.

    Boko Haram has apparently been pummelled out of captured territory by the Nigerian army and its regional allies and has returned to its previous campaign of urban guerrilla warfare.

    Militant fighters were this week reportedly amassing in Gwoza -- which is generally considered to be the group's headquarters -- possibly in preparation for a military offensive.

    Nigeria's military on Saturday announced another success against Boko Haram, ousting them from Buni Yadi and Buni Gari in Yobe state after previously claiming the recapture of Marte in Borno state.

    Abrahms, a specialist in extremist groups, said that with IS and Boko Haram both "uninhibited" in terms of violence, they were "a natural ally".

    But the apparently more formal link could attract more global attention to the insurgency.

    "I think Shekau now has to be careful here as traditionally the international community has regarded the conflict as a civil war within Nigeria, perhaps an extended regional war in west Africa," he added.

    • Maiduguri hit -

    With Boko Haram squeezed out of captured territory, security analysts have predicted a rise in bomb attacks in towns and cities, including to disrupt elections in three weeks' time.

    On Saturday, a woman with explosives strapped to her body blew herself up at about 11:20 am (1020 GMT) at Baga fish market in the Borno state capital, Maiduguri.

    About an hour later another blast rocked the popular Monday Market, causing chaos as locals voiced anger at security forces who struggled to control the scene.

    Just after 1:00 pm a third blast hit a used car lot which is attached to the busy Borno Express bus terminal.

    There were indications that the second and third blasts were also carried out by suicide bombers but details were not immediately clear.

    Borno's police commissioner Clement Adoda gave a toll of 58 dead "for the three locations" in Maiduguri and 139 wounded.

    "Normalcy has been restored," he added, declining to give further details.

    Danlami Ajaokuta, a vigilante leader whose fighters have been working with the military across the northeast, said the fear of further attacks had prompted the closure of all businesses in Maiduguri.

    Borno state's Justice Commissioner Kaka Shehu blamed Boko Haram and described it as a response to the defeats suffered by the insurgents in recent weeks.

    "The terrorists are angry with the way they were sacked from towns and villages and are now venting their anger," he said.

    Nigeria postponed its elections initially scheduled for February to March 28 after security chiefs said they needed more time to weaken Boko Haram.

    While reported victories in the remote northeast may enable polling in areas previously controlled by the insurgents, rising unrest in Maiduguri is likely to raise fears as election day approaches.

    Shekau has vowed to disrupt the vote and widespread attacks, especially near polling stations, could prove disastrous.

    strs-abu-bs-phz/mtp

    © 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    Bamako, Mali | | Saturday 3/7/2015 - 05:20 GMT

    by Serge DANIEL

    Police in Mali Sunday hunted for the killers of two Europeans and three Malians in a jihadist attack on a nightclub, as a deadly assault on a UN barracks in the north heightened security concerns.

    Officers in bulletproof vests patrolled the streets of the capital Bamako, where a masked gunman had burst into La Terrase, a popular venue among expats, spraying automatic gunfire and throwing grenades early Saturday.

    Al-Murabitoun, a jihadist group run by leading Algerian militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar, has claimed responsibility for the attack, which left a Frenchman, a Belgian and three Malians dead.

    It said in an audio recording carried by Mauritanian news agency Al-Akbar the operation was carried out "to avenge our prophet against the unbelieving West which has insulted and mocked him".

    As the investigation got under way, the UN's MINUSMA peacekeeping force said one of its troops and two civilians had been killed by militants shelling its barracks in the northeastern rebel stronghold of Kidal.

    MINUSMA sources said the civilians were members of the nomadic Arab Kunta tribe who died as stray rockets landed at their nearby encampment.

    It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack, although the Kidal is the cradle of northern Mali's Tuareg separatist movement, which has launched several uprisings from the region since the 1960s.

    Tuareg and Arab militias -- loyalist and anti-government -- have forged a peace agreement with the Malian government formulated earlier this month in Algiers, but the main rebel groups are yet to sign.

    "MINUSMA expresses its indignation at the cowardice of the perpetrators of these attacks, which also killed innocent citizens," the force said in a statement.

    "MINUSMA strongly condemns these heinous acts of terror whose sole purpose is to thwart all ongoing efforts to establish lasting peace in Mali."

    Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and other jihadist groups also carry out operations in the area, including the 2013 murders of French journalists Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon.

    • Need for vigilance -

    In Bamako, vehicle checks were stepped on the three bridges over the Niger river as detectives focused on a black four-wheel drive apparently used by the nightclub attacker and an accomplice.

    "We cannot say much more at this stage but there are clues about the vehicle used to transport the author of the crimes committed in Bamako," a police source told AFP.

    MINUSMA, which has around 10,000 personnel in Mali, said it has made investigators and crimes scenes experts available to the authorities.

    Police earlier announced they had arrested two Malians soon after but later said the pair were not involved, describing them as "not terrorists, but bandits".

    The French victim has been named as 30-year-old Fabien Guyomard, a single man with no children who had lived in Bamako since 2007 and worked at ICMS Africa, a US company specialising in prestige construction.

    Mali's prime minister and president visited eight people who were being treated in hospital overnight, including two Swiss nationals.

    The Swiss were weapons experts advising the Malian government as part of international aid. They were in a critical but stable condition after being hit by bullets, the Swiss military said in Geneva.

    "We must remain vigilant, the population must report people behaving suspiciously," Premier Modibo Keita told reporters.

    • 'Cowardly attack' -

    In the moments after the attack an AFP correspondent witnessed the French victim being taken by stretcher out of the venue while the bodies of the police officer, a guard and the Belgian could be seen outside.

    "They reportedly shouted 'death to whites' on entering the restaurant... It sounds like an attack against the presence of Europeans," a diplomatic source said.

    French President Francois Hollande led the international outcry, condemning the "cowardly attack" and vowing to meet Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to offer Paris's help to its former colony.

    Belgium, the United States and the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon have all expressed their revulsion at the bloodshed.

    Mali's vast desert north is riven by ethnic rivalries and an Islamist insurgency.

    Jihadists linked to Al-Qaeda controlled an area of desert the size of Texas for more than nine months until a French-led military intervention in 2013 that partly drove them from the region.

    But day-to-day life in the capital, a city of 1.8 million, has been largely unaffected by the northern conflict.

    "It's the first attack of this type in Bamako," said Pierre Boilley, an analyst specialising in sub-Saharan Africa.

    sd/ft/boc

    © 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: UN Secretary-General
    Country: Mali

    SG/A/1552-BIO/4701-PKO/471

    Biographical Note

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced today the appointment of Major General Michael Lollesgaard of Denmark as the Force Commander of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

    Major General Lollesgaard succeeds Major General Jean Bosco Kazura of Rwanda, who completed his tour of duty mid-December 2014. The Secretary-General is grateful for his dedicated and exemplary service during his tenure with MINUSMA.

    Major General Lollesgaard brings to this position 30 years of national and international military experience with the Danish Army. Commander of the Danish Division since March 2013, Major General Lollesgaard has had the distinction of training military brigades from multiple countries. He has a broad international experience, including serving as Assistant Military Adviser to the Permanent Mission of Denmark to the United Nations in New York, deployments in peace support operations in the Balkans and Iraq, and commanding the multinational Peace Support Operations Training Centre in Bosnia-Herzegovina, from 2007 to 2009.

    Major General Lollesgaard is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College, Royal Danish Defence College, Copenhagen, Denmark.

    For information media. Not an official record.


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    Source: UN Secretary-General
    Country: Mali

    Le Secrétaire général de l’ONU, M. Ban Ki-moon, a annoncé aujourd’hui la nomination du général de division Michael Lollesgaard, du Danemark, comme Commandant de la force de la Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation au Mali (MINUSMA).

    Le général de division Lollesgaard succède au général de division Jean Bosco Kazura, du Rwanda, dont le mandat a pris fin à la mi-décembre 2014. Le Secrétaire général est reconnaissant au général Kazura pour les services dévoués et exemplaires qu’il a rendus durant sa mission à la MINUSMA.

    Le général Lollesgaard apporte aux fonctions auxquelles il vient d’être nommé 30 années d’expérience militaire acquise aux niveaux national et international au sein de l’armée danoise. Commandant de la Division danoise depuis mars 2013, le général de division Lollesgaard a entrainé avec distinction des brigades militaires de plusieurs pays. Il a une très large expérience internationale, y compris à travers son service comme Conseiller militaire adjoint de la Mission permanente du Danemark auprès des Nations Unies à New York. Il a participé à des déploiements au sein des opérations onusiennes d’appui à la paix aux Balkans et en Iraq, et a été de 2007 à 2009, Commandant du Centre multinational de formation aux opérations de soutien à la paix en Bosnie-Herzégovine.

    Le général Lollesgaard est diplômé de l’École d’état-major du Collège royal de défense du Danemark, basée à Copenhague au Danemark.

    À l’intention des organes d’information • Document non officiel.


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    Source: UN Secretary-General
    Country: Mali

    New York, 7 March 2015

    The Secretary-General strongly condemns the deadly attack that took place earlier today in Bamako in which five persons were killed and seven injured, including two international experts working for the United Nations. He expresses his sincere condolences to the families of the victims and wishes a speedy recovery to the injured.

    The Secretary-General calls for a swift investigation and urges that those responsible for the attack be brought to justice. He expresses his appreciation for the prompt response by Malian law enforcement institutions and commends the police of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali for its support to ongoing investigation efforts.


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