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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Mali, Niger

    1. Contexte et justification

    Suite au conflit armé intervenu au Mali au début de l’année 2012, de nombreuses populations se sont déplacées vers les pays limitrophes du Mali à savoir le Niger, la Mauritanie et le Burkina Faso. Ces populations ont été accueillies dans ces pays dans des camps de réfugiés. Une opération d’urgence régionale (EMOP 200438) a été lancée en soutien aux réfugiés maliens afin de leur fournir une assistance alimentaire et nutritionnelle dans les pays d’asile.

    Au Niger, l’on dénombre près de 43 000 réfugiés maliens dans les camps et les Zones d’Accueil des Réfugiés (ZAR) en octobre 2014. Ils sont installés sur trois camps à savoir Abala, Mangaizé, Tabarbaré dans la région de Tillabéry et sur deux ZAR, à savoir Intikane et Tazalite dans la région de Tahoua.

    Le PAM vient en aide à ces personnes à travers des distributions alimentaires depuis leur installation. Pour évaluer les effets de ces interventions, le PAM mène auprès des ménages refugiés des enquêtes de suivi Post-Distribution (PDM).

    Ce document fait la synthèse des résultats clés obtenus à l’issue des deux passages d’enquête en 2014 (juin et décembre).


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    Bamako, Mali | | lundi 16/03/2015 - 14:49 GMT

    Les participants à la réunion de la rébellion à dominante touareg du nord du Mali dans son bastion de Kidal (nord-est) ont jugé "fondamentalement insuffisant" l'accord de paix d'Alger, selon un premier document sur cette rencontre la semaine dernière transmis lundi à l'AFP.

    Ce document constitue une synthèse des points de vue, qui ne préjuge pas nécessairement de la réponse finale des rebelles, ont néanmoins assuré des sources proches des discussions et des sources diplomatiques européennes, ces dernières faisant état d'une délégation mardi à Kidal "pour faire avancer les choses".

    Cette "résolution générale" a été élaborée à partir du discours d'ouverture du président de la Coordination des mouvements de l'Azawad (CMA) et des "travaux des commissions des chefs de tribus, de villages, des fractions, des oulémas, des femmes, des jeunes, des cadres et des forces combattantes de l'Azawad", est-il précisé.

    Le texte "considère fondamentalement insuffisant le contenu de l'accord d’Alger", paraphé par le gouvernement le 1er mars, "par rapport aux revendications du peuple de l'Azawad".

    Parmi ses revendications, la résolution cite "une reconnaissance et la réparation par l'Etat malien des différents crimes qu'il a commis depuis 1963 dans l’Azawad", et "une reconnaissance de l'Azawad en tant qu’entité politique, juridique et territoriale".

    L'accord d'Alger cite l'appellation Azawad pour désigner le nord du Mali, une revendication des rebelles, reconnue comme une "réalité humaine", mais sans contenu politique explicite.

    Une source diplomatique française a indiqué à l'AFP avoir "l'impression que ceux qui étaient à Alger et qui ont donc vécu la négociation étaient assez tentés" de signer, estimant qu'"en revanche ceux qui sont sur le terrain, qui n'ont pas participé aux négociations, sont beaucoup plus négatifs".

    "L'idée c'est d'avoir le maximum de gens dans l'accord. Qu'il y ait une ou deux fractions qui restent à l'extérieur c'est sûrement inévitable mais il faut minimiser cette dissidence", a-t-on ajouté de même source.

    La pression déjà forte sur les rebelles pour signer s'est intensifiée à la suite de l'attentat anti-occidental du 7 mars à Bamako, revendiqué par le groupe jihadiste Al-Mourabitoune de l'Algérien Mokhtar Belmokhtar, qui a fait cinq morts: trois Maliens, un Français et un Belge.

    Une délégation de diplomates européens et de responsables de la représentation de l'Union européenne à Bamako se rendra "à Kidal mardi si tout va bien, pour faire avancer les choses", a affirmé à l'AFP un membre de la délégation, disant avoir vu la résolution, soulignant qu'il ne s'agissait "pas d'un document définitif".

    La CMA, comprenant le Mouvement national de libération de l'Azawad (MNLA), le Haut conseil pour l'unité de l'Azawad (HCUA), la Coalition des peuples de l'Azawad (CPA) et une branche du Mouvement arabe de l'Azawad (MAA), avait demandé le 1er mars un "délai raisonnable" pour consulter sa base après avoir exigé en vain des amendements au document.

    Cet accord vise à créer les conditions d'une paix durable dans le nord du Mali, qui a connu une série de rébellions touareg depuis les premières années d'indépendance du pays, en 1960.

    Cette région était tombée au printemps 2012 sous la coupe de groupes jihadistes liés à Al-Qaïda. Ils en ont été partiellement chassés par une opération militaire internationale lancée en janvier 2013 à l'initiative de la France, et toujours en cours. Mais des zones entières échappent toujours au contrôle de Bamako.

    sd/sst/jlb/sba


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    Bamako, Mali | | Monday 3/16/2015 - 17:08 GMT

    Mali's Tuareg-led rebels described a proposed peace deal with the government as "fundamentally flawed" in a statement sent to AFP on Monday summarising days of their discussions on the accord.

    The Algiers Agreement, hammered out over eight months of tough negotiations in Algeria, was proposed in order to bring a lasting peace and transfer significant powers to an area of northern desert the size of Texas that the rebels refer to as "Azawad".

    It has been signed by the government and smaller armed groups but the rebel alliance -- in meetings with its members in the northern Tuareg stronghold of Kidal since Wednesday last week -- said it considered the agreement "fundamentally flawed" as a response to the demands of the region's people.

    Sources close to the rebel conference and European diplomatic insiders said the statement merely reflected a summary of views expressed during discussions.

    The rebels' declaration does not represent a final decision on whether they will accept or reject the deal, the sources said.

    In the statement, the rebels call for "recognition and compensation by the state of Mali for the crimes committed since 1963 in Azawad" and "recognition of Azawad as a political, legal and territorial entity".

    The Algiers Agreement uses the name "Azawad" to refer to northern Mali, but does not give the designation any specific political significance.

    A French diplomatic source told AFP he believed "that those in Algiers, who lived through the negotiations, were quite tempted" to sign the accord.

    But he conceded that "on the other hand those who are on the ground, who haven't participated in the negotiations, are far more negative".

    "The idea is to include as many people as possible in the agreement. It is probably inevitable that one or two factions will remain outside but we have to minimize the dissent," he told AFP.

    A member of a delegation of diplomats and officials representing the European Union told AFP they were going to Kidal on Tuesday "to move things forward", noting that the rebel statement "is only a resolution, not a definitive document".

    The Kidal conference began four days after UN chief Ban Ki-moon urged the main rebel alliance -- known as the Coordination -- to sign a peace deal penned in Algeria on March 1.

    The Malian government signed the agreement, along with some northern pro-Bamako armed groups, but the rebels asked for more time.

    A jihadist attack Saturday that left five people dead, including two Europeans and a Malian policeman, has turned up the heat on any reticent rebels.

    The Malian government and the international community saw the assault as a bid to sabotage peace efforts.

    Islamist militants in 2012 seized control of northern Mali in 2012 for more than nine months until a French-led military intervention in 2013 that partly drove them from the region.

    sd-sst/ft/jm


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    Source: Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
    Country: Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Libya, Myanmar, Nigeria, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic

    R2P Monitor:

    • Provides background on populations at risk of mass atrocity crimes, with particular emphasis on key events and actors and their connection to the threat, or commission, of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.

    • Offers analysis of the country’s past history in relation to mass atrocity crimes; the factors that have enabled their possible commission, or that prevent their resolution; and the receptivity of the situation to positive influences that would assist in preventing further crimes.

    • Tracks the international response to the situation with a particular emphasis upon the actions of the United Nations (UN), key regional actors and the International Criminal Court (ICC).

    • Suggests necessary action to prevent or halt the commission of mass atrocity crimes.

    Syria {p. 2}
    Iraq {p. 4}
    CAR {p. 5}
    Nigeria {p. 7}
    Sudan {p. 9}
    South Sudan {p. 11}
    DR Congo {p. 12}
    Libya {p. 14}
    Burma/Myanmar {p. 15}


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

    DAR ES SALAM SITE, Chad, March 16 (UNHCR) – It was early morning in Baga, in Nigeria, when 22-year-old pregnant mother Zulaika heard the gunshots. She had just enough time to grab her two-year-old and run into the bush, before militants overran the town, massacring hundreds.

    It took her four days to find a boat to cross Lake Chad. Her husband, a 34-year-old fisherman called Ali, had been spreading his nets when the attack happened. She had no idea if he had escaped.

    "We spent days going from one small island to another," she recalled recently. "In the night we had nothing to cover us in the cold and there was nothing to eat. The most difficult thing for me was not knowing where my husband was and what had happened to him."

    With UNHCR's help, Zulaika found shelter in Chad at the site called Dar es Salam, where several thousand Nigerian refugees like her are hosted. There, UNHCR registers all new arrivals, identifying vulnerable individuals such as older people, single females, and separated children and families.

    Ali found his own way across, reaching the island of Kangalom, where UNHCR picks up refugees and takes them by boat to Bagasola town, providing food for the journey and transferring them to the Dar es Salam site. "I spent almost three weeks in the bush before reaching Kangalom in Chad," remembered Ali. "We were hungry most of the time and ate when local people along the way gave us food."

    One day in early February, UNHCR facilitated the relocation of more than 80 Nigerian refugees – and among those on the boat was Ali. Zulaika remembers that day well. "They told me people had arrived from Kangalom, so I went to the camp entrance to see who was there," she said. "I couldn't believe that my husband was among those getting off the truck."

    Ali, who had spent so many weeks worrying about his pregnant wife and young son, was also thrilled to find them in Dar es Salam. "We are grateful to all those who have helped us get here and find each other," he said, gazing into his wife's eyes.

    Zulaika smiled. "I am very excited to have found my husband," she said. "I'm going to hold onto him so that he never disappears again." Zulaika and Ali are now celebrating their reunion and recently moved into a family shelter with their young son, also called Ali.

    More than 3,800 Nigerian refugees have so far been relocated to the Dar es Salam site. UNHCR anticipates that many more will opt to be transferred to the site over the next weeks.

    By Massoumeh Farman-Farmaian in Dar es Salam site, Chad


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    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Kenya, Philippines, World

    Agriculture bears major brunt of disaster impacts, new report says

    FAO launches facility aimed at channeling technical expertise, financial resources towards resilience building

    17 March 2015, Sendai, Japan - Nearly a quarter of damages wrought by natural disasters on the developing world are borne by the agricultural sector according to initial results from a new FAO study released here today at the UN World Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction.

    The Organization also announced the launch of a special facility aimed at helping countries better equip their food production sectors to reduce risk exposure, limit impacts, and be better prepared to cope with disasters.

    Twenty-two percent of all damages inflicted by natural hazards such as drought, floods storms or tsunamis are registered within the agriculture sector, FAO's analysis of 78 post-disaster needs assessments in 48 developing countries spanning the 2003-2013 period shows.

    These damages and losses are often incurred by poor rural and semi-rural communities without insurance and lacking the financial resources needed to regain lost livelihoods. Yet only 4.5 percent of post-disaster humanitarian aid in the 2003-2013 period targeted agriculture.

    FAO's 22 percent figure represents only damages reported via post-disaster risk assessments, so while indicative of scale, the actual impact is likely even higher. To arrive at a closer estimate of the true financial cost of disasters to developing world agriculture FAO compared decreases in yields during and after disasters with yield trends in 67 countries affected by (at least one) medium- to larger-scale events between 2003 and 2013.

    The final tally: $70 billion in damages to crops and livestock over that 10 year period.

    Asia was the most affected region, with estimated losses adding up to $28 billion, followed by Africa at $26 billion.

    "Agriculture and all that it encompasses is not only critical for our food supply, it also remains a main source of livelihoods across the planet. While it is a sector at risk, agriculture also can be the foundation upon which we build societies that are more resilient and better equipped to deal with disasters," said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva.

    "This is why building resilience of livelihoods to threats and crises is one of FAO's top priorities," he added.

    New facility for disaster risk reduction in agriculture

    To help countries better prepare for and respond to disasters affecting agriculture, FAO today launched a new facility aimed at channeling technical support to where it is most needed. The facility will work to mainstream disaster risk reduction in agriculture at all levels through diverse activities.

    "With this new effort, we are aiming to limit peoples' exposure to risks, avoid or reduce impacts where possible, and enhance preparedness to respond quickly when disasters occur," said Graziano da Silva.

    Studies have shown that for every one dollar spent on disaster risk reduction, as much as four dollars are returned in terms of avoided or diminished impacts, he noted.

    The work of the new facility will be guided by FAO's Framework Programme on Disaster Risk Reduction for Food and Nutrition Security.

    Agriculture remains a key sector

    Worldwide, the livelihoods of 2.5 billion people depend on agriculture. These small-scale farmers, herders, fishers and forest-dependent communities generate more than half of global agricultural production and are particularly at risk from disasters that destroy or damage harvests, equipment, supplies, livestock, seeds, crops and stored food.

    Beyond the obvious consequences on peoples' food security, the economies and development trajectories of entire regions and nations can be altered when disasters hit agriculture. The sector accounts for as much as 30 percent of national GDP in countries like Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, the Niger, among others.

    There are also spill-over losses in agriculture-dependent subsectors, and significant consequences for trade flows. Countries surveyed experienced an increase in agriculture imports to the tune of $18.9 billion and a decrease in agriculture exports of $14.9 billion following natural disasters, between 2003 and 2013.

    Key facts

    From FAO's analysis of damages reported via needs assessments

    • Based only on reported damages in 78 post-disaster risk assessments in 48 countries, total damages of $140 billion reported (2003-2013) for all economic sectors - $30 billion were to agriculture (crops, livestock, forestry, fisheries).
    • When droughts occur, agriculture absorbs up to 84 percent of all economic impacts.
    • Within the agricultural sector, 42 percent of assessed losses were to crops ($13 billion) - with floods the main culprit responsible for 60 percent of crop damages followed by storms (23 percent of crop damages).
    • Livestock is the second most affected subsector after crops, accounting for 36 percent of all damage and losses, for a total of $11 billion during the 2003-2013 period.
    • Out of the 78 disasters assessed, 45 involved impacts to the fisheries subsector ($1.7 billion, or 6 percent all damages born by the agricultural sector). The lion's share - 70 percent - was caused by tsunamis, typically infrequent events. Storms such as hurricanes and typhoons account for roughly 16 percent of the economic impact on fisheries, followed by floods (10 percent).
    • The forestry sector incurred $737 million in damages and losses, representing 2.4 percent of the total for the agricultural sector.

    From FAO's expanded analysis

    • FAO also compared decreases in yields during and after disasters with yield trends in 67 different countries affected by at least one medium- to larger-scale event between 2003 and 2013, in an expanded analysis.
    • Based on this expanded analysis, losses and damages to crops and livestock over that period are estimated to total $70 billion. Data gaps mean the total is likely higher still.
    • 82% of production losses were caused by drought (44 percent) and floods (39 percent).
    • Asia was the most affected region, with estimated losses adding up to $28 billion, followed by Africa at $26 billion.
    • In Africa, between 2003 and 2013 there were 61 drought years in Sub-Saharan Africa affecting 27 countries and 150 million people. FAO estimates that 77 percent of all agricultural production losses suffered worldwide due to drought occurred in those 27 Sub-Saharan countries, with losses adding up to $23.5 billion.

    Contact

    George Kourous
    FAO Media Relations
    (Currently in Sendai, Japan)
    (+39) 06 570 53168
    (+39) 348 141 6802
    george.kourous@fao.org

    Liaison Office in Japan
    (+81) 45-2221101
    FAO-LOJ@fao.org


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    Source: Guardian
    Country: Mali, World

    Access to water is a crisis that can be fixed, says report that calls for it to be a priority in sustainable development goals. We look at Mali, the poorest performer

    Lucy Lamble in Diatoula

    Alarming figures on a lack of clean water in health centres have been highlighted in a joint report published on Tuesday by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef). “Access to water in health centres and even in delivery rooms has fallen between the gaps in the millennium development goals,” said Bruce Gordon, coordinator of water, sanitation, hygiene and health for the WHO. “It’s an embarrassment for the health sector that this issue is so ignored. It’s a fixable crisis. It’s a crisis because it’s hidden.”

    Read the full article


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    Source: Afrique Verte
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger

    Niger : la tendance générale est à la stabilité. Toutefois, quelques fluctuations, tantôt à la hausse tantôt à la baisse, ont été observées pour les céréales sèches. Les hausses ont été enregistrées pour le sorgho sur le marché de Dosso (+6%) et pour le maïs sur les marchés de Niamey (+7%) et Zinder (+6%). Les baisses ont été enregistrées pour le mil (-7% à Maradi, -4% à Agadez et -3% à Dosso) et pour le sorgho (-8% à Agadez et -7% à Maradi).

    Mali : la tendance générale est la stabilité sauf sur le marché de Gao où elle est à la hausse avec +6% pour le mil et le sorgho, +3% pour le riz importé et +4% pour le riz local. Quelques fluctuations à la hausse et à la baisse ont aussi été observées sur d’autres marchés ; les hausses sont enregistrées pour le sorgho à Ségou et Mopti (+7%) et pour le maïs à Sikasso (+5%). Les baisses sont enregistrées pour le mil à Kayes (- 5%), pour le sorgho à Sikasso (- 4%), pour le riz importé à Sikasso (- 3%) et enfin pour le maïs à Gao (- 3%).

    Burkina Faso : la tendance générale est à la stabilité. Quelques variations sont observées sur certains marchés : on note une hausse pour le mil à Ouagadougou (+ 6%) et à Tenkodogo (+ 3%) ; les baisses sont enregistrées pour le mil à Fada (- 5%) et Kongoussi (- 6%), pour le sorgho à Fada et Kongoussi (- 3%), et enfin pour le maïs à Dédougou (- 8%), Fada (- 4%) et Kongoussi (- 3%).


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    Source: Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development
    Country: Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Togo

    Début 2015, de nombreux centrafricains, congolais, ivoiriens, tchadiens, togolais et burkinabais sont toujours réfugiés à Bamako et à Faragouaran où ils demeurent dans une situation précaire. ACTED, avec le soutien du HCR, s’engage aux côtés de ces populations vulnérables pour leur garantir un accès aux services de base, mais aussi pour renforcer leur autonomie. Ce sont plus de 3000 personnes qui sont accompagnées au quotidien sur les questions de santé, d’éducation, de besoins spécifiques, mais aussi de formation professionnelle, d’appui à la création de microentreprises, ou encore de lutte contre les violences sexuelles.


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    Source: Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development
    Country: Mali

    De nos jours, des personnes et notamment des enfants en bas âge continuent de mourir de malnutrition à Bamako. Nos équipes soutiennent 14 000 personnes à Bamako, avec le soutien d’UNICEF, pour que la malnutrition soit plus rapidement dépistée et pour une meilleure prise en charge de la maladie. . Pour apporter des solutions longs termes, nos équipes travaillent en impliquant les services de santé et de la municipalité et en mobilisant les communautés concernées.


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    Source: UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali
    Country: Mali

    Aujourd’hui peu avant 13h, un convoi de fournisseurs MINUSMA, escorté par les Casques bleus de la Mission, a été pris en embuscade par une trentaine d’assaillants aux environs de In Deliman, sur l’axe Ménaka – Ansongo.

    Au cours de cette embuscade, des échanges de tirs entre les Casques bleus et les assaillants ont eu lieu. 4 d’entre eux ont été capturés par la MINUSMA, leurs véhicules et leurs armes saisis. Aucune victime n’est à déplorer.

    Les individus appréhendés seront remis aux autorités maliennes compétentes dès que possible, en application des règles des Nations Unies en la matière.

    Des troupes supplémentaires ont été envoyées en renfort sur la zone.


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    Source: Assessment Capacities Project
    Country: Afghanistan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, Ukraine, Vanuatu, World, Yemen

    Snapshot 11–17 March 2015

    Vanuatu: 24 people are confirmed dead so far after Tropical Cyclone Pam hit on 13 March. Shefa, Tafea, Malampa, and Penama are among the worst affected provinces. Access challenges are significant.

    Cameroon: The number of people internally displaced in the north has almost doubled since 10 February, to 117,000. This brings the number of displaced in Cameroon to an estimated 412,700, including 66,000 fleeing Boko Haram violence in Nigeria and the rest from the Central African Republic.

    Updated: 17/03/2015. Next update: 24/03/2015


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    Source: Government of Chad, UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Chad

    Pour une biométrie de qualité

    En vue de mieux assurer la protection des réfugiés et demandeurs d’asile et de leur permettre une meilleure prise en charge, le Gouvernement du Tchad, à travers la Commission Nationale d’Accueil et de Réinsertion des Réfugiés et des Rapatriés (CNARR), et l’UNHCR ont lancé officiellement la cérémonie de l’opération de vérification ce mardi 10 mars 2015 à l’hotel Novotel. La ceremonie a été lancée en presence de certains membres du gouvernement : les secrétaires généraux des ministères des affaires Etrangères, de la Défense, de la justice, des Affaires Sociales, le corps diplomatiques ainsi que les donateurs, les Agences du système des Nations Unies au Tchad et les ONG nationales et internationale. Cette opération, pendant laquelle seront aussi relevées les données biométriques, se déroulera dans tous les camps et localités qui hébergent des personnes sous mandat de l’UNHCR.

    Un element d’enregistrement continu

    L’introduction de la méthode biométrique de gestion des données est basée sur un système centralisé permet de nous assurer qu’une personne refugiée est enregistrée en un et un seul endroit au Tchad et ne l’est nulle part ailleurs au monde. L’exercice de vérification et d’enregistrement biométrique nous permet d’avoir une meilleure gestion de la cartographie des lieux d’habitation des réfugiés, et une base de données statistiques centralisée au niveau pays ainsi qu’au niveau global. Le processus d’enregistrement est un processus continu. Ainsi donc, après que l’exercice soit accompli dans un camp, des équipements nécessaires seront laissés sur place afin de permettre à chaque bureau de terrain de cartopoursuivre la mise à jour les activités relatives à l’enregistrement permanent avec la collecte systématique de données biométriques et l’utilisation de la biométrie dans la gestion quotidienne des données.


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    Source: Government of Germany
    Country: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Germany, Nigeria

    13.03.2015 | Yaoundé – On his arrival in the capital of Cameroon on Thursday evening, Federal Minister Gerd Müller promised to assist the Cameroonian government in coping with the influx of refugees into the country’s poor northern provinces. The government is attempting to provide for at least 40,000 people who have fled there from Nigeria to escape the violent attacks of the terrorist organisation Boko Haram.

    Minister Müller: "Cameroon is an island of stability in an instable region and as such has shown great solidarity in taking in refugees from neighbouring countries. Some 170,000 refugees from the Central African Republic have made their way to Cameroon and in the north of the country the flow of refugees from Nigeria shows no sign of stopping. We will not leave the people in Cameroon to cope with this crisis alone!"

    Officials from aid organisations working in Cameroon briefed the delegation from Germany on the catastrophic situation. They reported that food and water are in short supply, the price of millet – a staple food in Cameroon – has doubled in the north, the security situation is very tense due to the fear of attacks by Boko Haram and the presence of military forces in the region, and economic activity in the border regions has ground to a halt. The Minister was informed that there have been repeated attacks by Boko Haram on Cameroon territory. Germany is providing 21.5 million euros to help Cameroon tackle the refugee crisis, with 6 million euros of that amount earmarked to help the people in the areas known as the Extreme North.

    Cameroon will also be one of the partners with which Germany is going to develop an innovation centre for the agriculture and food sector. In this case the main focus will be on the cultivation of potatoes and cacao and on the processing of these products in Cameroon itself. Furthermore, the Development Ministry is stepping up its involvement in the forest protection sector. The Congo Basin is the second "lung of the Earth", the first being the Amazon rainforest; together they are world’s biggest CO2 sinks.

    Minister Müller: "Any moves to generate an economic boom in Africa must be carried out in harmony with nature and not go against it. In order to achieve that, we want to offer our expertise and help ensure that Africa’s unique landscapes and biodiversity are conserved for the future."

    Sustainability in global supply chains was also a topic during the first leg of the Minister’s African visit, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There Germany is supporting efforts to ensure that minerals mined in the country are certified. One example here is coltan, which is extracted in Congo and used for the production of mobile telephones all over the world. The economic exploitation of these resources is fraught with conflicts. Certification is meant to make it possible for information about the origin of these minerals and the social and environmental conditions under which they are extracted to be gathered and shared.


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    Source: Institute for Security Studies
    Country: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo

    Summary

    Given the significant challenges in the region, the extent of the international community’s response to the situation in the Sahel should be commended. Nonetheless, coordination is essential to ensure the effective implementation of programmes and projects aiming to improve everyday life for the people of the Sahel. With this in mind, this study offers a comparative analysis of the various initiatives and strategies for the Sahel undertaken by multilateral actors. Gaps and overlaps are identified and recommendations on both the possibility for synergies and for coordination efforts are set out.

    About the authors

    Dr Damien Helly is the deputy head of the ECDPM’s Strengthening European External Action Programme. He previously worked for the International Crisis Group, Saferworld and the European Union Institute for Security Studies.

    Dr Lori-Anne Théroux-Benoni is the office head at ISS Dakar. She joined the ISS in 2012 as a senior researcher. An anthropologist by training, she works on various human security issues in West Africa.

    Greta Galeazzi is a junior policy officer in the Strengthening European External Action Programme at the ECDPM, and works on the European Union external action and development policy in Africa.

    Ibrahim Maïga is a junior researcher at ISS Dakar and joined the ISS in 2014 as a junior fellow. His research focuses on issues of peace and security in the Sahel region.

    Fatimata Ouédraogo has a legal background and is passionate about human rights, peace and security issues. From February 2014 to February 2015, she was a junior fellow at the ISS.


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    Source: Médecins Sans Frontières
    Country: Chad, Nigeria

    As a result of attacks by Boko Haram in the northwest of Nigeria, thousands of people have recently fled across the border to neighbouring Chad, gathering in a refugee camp and within the community. Official estimates say that around 18,000 refugees have sought shelter in the Lake Chad region. Insecurity within Chad itself has also increased since an attack on the town of Ngouboua, 25 kilometres from the Nigerian border, causing thousands of refugees and residents to flee for safety.

    In response, Medecins Sans Frontiers/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) deployed an emergency team to the region to assess the humanitarian needs. The team was able to reach the main towns and Dar as Salam refugee camp, currently home to approximately 3700 people. However, due to insecurity, they could not access several of the small islands where many refugees are essentially trapped and unable to leave.

    “People are living in extremely precarious conditions,” says Stéphanie Giandonato, MSF’s Head of Mission in Chad. “Chadian residents have not been spared from the instability, with many forced to flee their homes. Refugees from Nigeria have arrived without any basic possessions. In the communities, medical facilities are under strain with the influx of thousands of people in the last months.”

    Psychological support and medical care a priority

    Psychological support will be a key component of MSF’s medical activities in response to this situation. In the coming days, MSF psychologists will begin providing mental health care through individual and group sessions in Dar as Salam refugee camp, in Bagasola and Ngouboua. MSF will also provide psychological support and medical assistance to victims of sexual violence.

    “People are extremely fearful after experiencing the trauma of the attacks first in Nigeria and then in Chad,” continues Giandonato. “Many have lost family members, they are anxious, and they do not know what the future holds for them.”

    With health facilities under pressure, MSF has also provided medical kits to the Ngouboua health centre, with enough drugs and medical equipment for 1000 people. Basic clinics will be set up this week to deliver healthcare in some of the most affected areas.

    Distribution of essential relief items

    Together with the local authorities, MSF has supplied around 6000 people in Ngouboua, Bagasola and nearby Forkouloum with hygiene and shelter kits. The kits included blankets and plastic sheeting as well as mosquito nets to protect against malaria, endemic in the region.

    Access to clean water is a major concern, particularly due to the high rate of diarrhoeal diseases in this area. Following education sessions on the importance of clean water, the team has distributed water chlorination kits to refugees and residents in Ngouboua and Forkouloum.

    MSF has been working in Chad for over 30 years. The organisation runs regular programmes in Abéché, Am Timan, Massakory, Moissala and Tissi. In 2014 MSF also started emergency projects in Bokoro in response to acute malnutrition and in Sido and Gore in southern Chad to meet the medical and humanitarian needs of refugees fleeing Central African Republic.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone

    COTE D’IVOIRE

    475 DÉPLACÉS DANS DES VIOLENCES INTERCOMMUNAUTAIRES

    Le 9 Mars, une confrontation violente entre les communautés baoulé et burkinabé dans le sud-ouest de la forêt de Goin Débé en Côte d'Ivoire a déplacé 475 personnes, causé un mort et 15 blessés. Une assistance est fournie par la CroixRouge ivoirienne et les autorités locales. Les tensions sont susceptibles de s’intensifier entre les deux communautés, en particulier avec la reprise du rapatriement volontaire des réfugiés ivoiriens du Libéria voisin.

    NIGÉRIA

    L’ARMÉE PROMET DE REPRENDRE PLUS DE VILLES

    L'armée Nigériane a annoncé l'intensification des combats pour reprendre plusieurs zones détenues par Boko Haram. La zone du gouvernement local de Gwoza dans l'Etat de Borno, ainsi que Goneri et Gujba dans l'Etat de Yobe, resteraient les seules villes toujours dan la main des militants. Environ 1,2 millions de personnes ont été déplacées à l'intérieur du Nigéria, principalement à cause de la violence. Pendant ce temps, la Commission Électorale a annoncé que les élections présidentielles et législatives du 28 Mars, reportées pour des raisons de sécurité, auront lieu comme prévu.

    MALI

    LES GROUPES REBELLES REJETTENT L'ACCORD DE PAIX

    Les groupes rebelles du nord du Mali ont rejeté l’accord de paix d'Alger du 1er Mars affirmant qu'il "n’apportera pas la paix". La Coordination des Mouvements de l’Azawad (CMA), qui comprend également le Mouvement National pour la Libération de l'Azawad (MNLA), a pris cette décision après avoir consulté leurs bases. Toutefois, ils ont indiqué la volonté de poursuivre le dialogue avec le gouvernement pour trouver une issue convenable. Le Mali est toujours en proie à une insécurité persistante, en particulier dans la vaste région du nord, rendant les opérations humanitaires difficiles.

    FIEVRE A VIRUS EBOLA / RÉGIONAL:

    PLUS DE 10.000 TUÉS PAR EBOLA

    Ebola a coûté la vie à 10 004 personnes et infecté 24 350 dans les trois pays d'Afrique de l'Ouest les plus touchés par le virus. Les taux d'infection ont néanmoins chuté de façon significative ces derniers mois, avec le Libéria qui ne rapporte aucun nouveau cas pour la troisième semaine consécutive. Au 8 Mars, la Guinée et la Sierra Leone ont signalé chacun 58 cas confirmés. Les infections se produisent principalement à l’intérieur et autour des capitales des deux pays.

    1,2 MILLIONS FACE À UNE CRISE ALIMENTAIRE

    Selon un récent rapport du Comité Permanent Inter-Etats de Lutte contre la Sécheresse dans le Sahel (CILSS), au moins 1,2 millions de personnes sont estimées être en phase 3 (crise) d'insécurité alimentaire et ont besoin d'aide immédiate pour protéger leurs moyens de subsistance et prévenir la malnutrition, principalement dans deux régions de la Sierra Leone (Port Loko et le district de Bombali). Environ 3,9 millions d'autres personnes sont actuellement en phase 2 (stress) en Guinée, au Libéria et en Sierra Leone en raison de l'impact du virus Ebola sur l'agriculture, le commerce et les moyens de subsistance.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone

    COTE D’IVOIRE

    475 DISPLACED IN INTER-COMMUNITY VIOLENCE

    On 9 March, violent confrontation between Baoulé and Burkinabé communities in Côte d’Ivoire’s south-western Goin Débé forest displaced 475 people, left one person dead and 15 injured. The Ivorian Red Cross and local authorities are providing assistance. Tensions are likely to escalate between the two communities especially with the resumption of the voluntary repatriation of Ivorian refugees from neighbouring Liberia.

    NIGERIA

    ARMY VOWS TO RETAKE MORE TOWNS

    Nigeria’s army announced intensifying battles to retake more areas held by Boko Haram. It said Gwoza Local Government Area in Borno State, and Goneri and Gujba in Yobe State were the only towns yet to be cleared of the militants. Around 1.2 million people have been displaced within Nigeria mainly by the violence.
    Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission announced that presidential and legislative elections rescheduled to 28 March for security reasons will go on as planned.

    MALI

    REBEL GROUPS REJECT PEACE DEAL

    Northern Mali rebel groups have rejected the 1 March Algiers peace accord saying it “will not bring peace.” The Coordination of Azawad Movements which also includes the main National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad made the decision after consulting their grassroots. But they indicated willingness for further dialogue with the government to find a suitable outcome. Mali is still plagued by persistent insecurity, especially the vast northern region, making humanitarian operations difficult.

    REGIONAL / EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE (EVD):

    OVER 10,000 KILLED BY EBOLA Ebola has now claimed the lives of 10,004 people and infected 24,350 others in the three West African countries worst-hit by the virus. Infection rates have nonetheless dropped significantly in recent months, with Liberia reporting no new cases for the third consecutive week. Guinea and Sierra Leone reported 58 confirmed cases each as of 8 March. The infections are mostly occurring in and around the capital cities of the two countries.

    1.2 MILLION FACE FOOD CRISIS

    According to a recent CILSS report, at least 1.2 million people are estimated to be in Phase 3 (crisis) food insecurity and require immediate assistance to protect livelihoods and prevent malnutrition mainly in two regions of Sierra Leone (Port Loko and Bombali districts). Around 3.9 million others are currently in Phase 2 (stress) in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone due to the impact of EVD on farming, trade and livelihoods


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    Source: Institute for Security Studies
    Country: Mali

    Burundi’s former president Pierre Buyoya, currently the High Representative of the African Union (AU) for Mali and the Sahel, speaks to the PSC Report about the latest developments in Mali.

    The recent agreement between the government of Mali and certain armed groups in the north of the country, signed in Algiers on 1 March, has been described as an ‘excellent development’. However, the main armed groups have not yet signed the agreement. As the representative of the AU for Mali and the Sahel, what is your opinion about the agreement?*

    I would like to add a nuance. The agreement was initialled in Algiers and not signed, even if this act signifies one’s readiness to sign the agreement and it normally means a commitment not to seek any changes before signature. My understanding is that the final or actual signature will take place in Mali itself.

    Coming now to your question, I would like to say that this agreement is a good compromise. It does not satisfy entirely any single party. It is therefore understandable that parties will be unhappy with one aspect or another of the agreement. But we believe that, taken in its entirety, it provides a good attempt to deal with political concerns, including a model for the sharing of responsibilities between the central government and regional authorities, as well as local communities. It also addresses security, development, justice and humanitarian concerns. In that regard, it is a positive step forward in the resolution of the recurrent crises in the north of Mali.

    Are you optimistic that the other armed groups will sign the agreement in due course?

    That is our hope and we are doing everything possible to ensure that they do so in due course. I should add that we, the representatives of the international community, support this agreement and we hope that the armed movements would not want to be on the wrong side of that consensus.

    Do you believe the implementation of the Algiers agreement could lead to lasting peace in northern Mali?

    Of course, the quality and ultimate result of any agreement is in its implementation. As you know, this is not the first agreement signed between the Malian state and armed movements in the north of the country. I think this is the fifth one since the Tamanrasset Agreement of January 1991, the National Pact of April 1992, the Algiers Accords of July 2006 and the Ouagadougou Agreement of June 2013, even though the present one is the completion of the Ouagadougou Agreement, which was just a preliminary one for specific issues. I mention all this because almost all subsequent waves of rebellion since 1992 are blamed on what armed groups consider the failure to implement previous agreements.

    Let me add one important difference between this agreement and the previous ones. This difference lies in the strong involvement of the international community in the negotiation and monitoring mechanisms for the implementation of the present agreement, unlike the previous ones. I therefore hope that all the parties concerned will honour their responsibilities in ensuring the effective and faithful implementation of this agreement. And if this is the case and there are no other factors behind the recurrence of rebellions, then one would assume that the implementation of the agreement would lead to lasting peace in northern Mali.

    In what way can the AU assist Mali to overcome its current challenges: notably in national reconciliation, demobilisation of armed groups and reintegrating them into the army?

    We have already started doing that through our effective contribution to the negotiation process that led to this agreement. With regard to the specific issue of national reconciliation, we have been working very closely with the Malians to offer our support and modest contribution. We started doing this as soon as the former Commission on Dialogue and Reconciliation was formed in March 2013, and particularly since the signing of the Ouagadougou Agreement. We started initially through the African-Led International Support Mission for Mali (AFISMA) that I headed until its transformation into a UN mission in July 2013 and, since then, the AU Mission for Mali and the Sahel (MISAHEL) that I also head. For example, we have organised a number of events to promote the spirit of national reconciliation in the country.

    Since last year, in cooperation with other partners, we have launched a radio programme called Anka Ben in Bambara, meaning ‘Let’s make peace’, which airs every Saturday for an hour on a local radio station called Radio Kledu. We also organised, in November last year, in partnership with the Francophonie, a high-level three-day workshop for Malian journalists to encourage them to be peacemakers in their reporting and writing. We have specific projects to support the new Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission, as well as the ministry in charge of this sensitive issue. We have other programmes targeting religious and traditional leaders, aimed at encouraging them to play an active role in the promotion of peace, dialogue and national cohesion in the country.

    We have similar projects for the DDR [disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration] process. Firstly, in close coordination with the competent Malian authorities and our partners, particularly the UN, we contribute to the analytical work aimed at thinking through the appropriate modalities for the DDR and SSR [security sector reform] processes in the country. Secondly, we try to mobilise resources to put at the disposal of the Malian Defence and Security Forces (FDSM) in view of ameliorating their working conditions. It is in this regard that, last year, we provided some 20 vehicles of various categories worth US$1 million to the FDSM through the Ministry of the Interior.

    Thirdly, our work in the Nouakchott Process, which aims at promoting regional cooperation in the Sahel in the field of security, will surely make a contribution to Mali, even if it is a regional project. This is why the first meeting of the chiefs of defence staff and of ministers of defence of the 11 participating countries in the process is scheduled to take place in Mali. We hope that other programmes that we have in the development field under the AU strategy for the Sahel region will contribute to the ‘reintegration’ aspect of the DDR process in Mali, particularly development projects targeting the youth.

    The AU Peace and Security Council recently conducted a joint visit to Mali with the EU Political and Security Committee. What has been the outcome of this visit?

    As you may know, the AU and the EU have a strategic partnership, based on which the two institutions work very closely on several issues. One of these issues is the question of peace and security. The visit you mention falls under this partnership, particularly its peace and security aspect. It was the first such joint mission of the PSC and its European colleagues.

    The visit allowed members of the two institutions to familiarise themselves very closely with the realities on the ground in Mali, as they interacted with various stakeholders in the country, including the head of state, the prime minister, several cabinet members, political parties and civil society organisations, as well as international and regional organisations present in Mali. They also travelled to the north of the country.

    The visit sent a strong message to all those they interacted with that our two organisations work closely together and share more or less the same reading of events in the country. It sent the message that they will act jointly, if necessary, but in coordination to advance issues of peace and security in the country, as well as sanction those that may hinder this.

    What are the areas of cooperation between the AU and the EU when it comes to solving the security challenges in Mali?

    As I said, there is a strategic partnership between the AU and the EU. On Mali, you may know that we were both members of the mediation team led by Algeria in the negotiation of the agreement referred to previously. We shall continue working together to enjoin the parties to implement the agreement in good faith. There are also many opportunities for MISAHEL and the EU delegation in Mali to work together to support Malian stakeholders in their efforts to solve the security challenges facing their country. The aforementioned joint mission of our peace and security organs illustrates this partnership and collaboration.

    During your address to the UN Security Council in December last year, you said that cooperation between the UN and the AU is crucial for peace and security in Africa. Concerning Mali and the Sahel, what are the areas of possible greater cooperation?

    I have mentioned that before the UN deployed a peacekeeping operation in Mali, known as MINUSMA, it was AFISMA – deployed by the AU and ECOWAS [the Economic Community of West African States] – that played this role in the country. And because the Malian crisis is not only a security one, but a political and socio-economic one as well, we collaborate with the UN in these areas that MISAHEL is mandated to work on. In the security realm, we are both members of the technical security committee that was established by the Ouagadougou Agreement to ensure respect of the ceasefire agreements. We shall continue to work together for the effective implementation of the just-concluded agreement of the Algiers process and the various monitoring committees for its implementation. It is very crucial that we maintain this partnership, based on the principle of complementarity informed by our comparative advantages.

    We also work with the UN and other partners in the coordination of the implementation of our respective Sahel strategies. You may know that in November 2013, a ministerial platform of coordination for the Sahel strategies was established during a meeting in Bamako, and Mali was designated to chair this platform for the first two years. A technical secretariat was also created to support this platform. The AU (through MISAHEL, based in Bamako) and the UN (through the Office of the Special Envoy for the Sahel [OSES], based in Dakar) co-chair this secretariat. There is therefore close cooperation between our two organisations in Mali and the Sahel as a whole.

    You also said funding is one of the crucial elements where the UN can assist the AU. Do you believe the UN is doing enough in this regard, specifically in the Sahel?

    I think the UN has deployed important efforts in the Sahel to promote peace and security in the region. Deploying a force like MINUSMA requires hundreds of millions of dollars per year, not to mention other missions, such as the UN Office for West Africa and the one for the Sahel [OSES], both based in Dakar, in addition to the various UN agencies working in the region. Of course the discussion about UN financial support to AU peacekeeping operations is one that is likely to continue. One opportunity for such cooperation will be in the logistical and financial support that the UN may lend to the Multinational Joint Task Force that countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and Benin have decided to deploy against Boko Haram. I’m encouraged by the reported willingness of the UN to provide such support.

    We try to mobilise resources to put at the disposal of the Malian Defence and Security Forces in view of ameliorating their working conditions

    I must note, however, that there is a growing realisation of the need for and readiness by African countries to increase African contributions to these operations, for, after all, the victims are Africans and Africa is not the only region affected by conflicts and thus needing UN attention. It is a shared responsibility. It is in this regard that the outcome of the Obasanjo report on alternative sources of funding will be key in increasing African contributions in peacekeeping operations on the continent.

    The possible deployment of a robust intervention force, modelled on the Force Intervention Brigade in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), was evoked during the January AU summit. Do you think such a brigade could be the solution to drive the last remaining armed groups out of Mali?

    We make a distinction between armed groups in Mali. There are those that are part of a peace process, who accept non-negotiable principles of respecting Mali’s territorial integrity, national unity and the republican and secular nature of the Malian state. We negotiate with those, as we just did through the Algiers process. There are, on the other hand, those (such as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa and Ansar Dine) that refuse one or several of these principles and show no sign of readiness to change course; those are legitimate targets for the use of force.

    Everyone agrees that there is a need to strengthen MINUSMA’s capabilities. We believe that an intervention brigade is one way of doing so, particularly seeing that MINUSMA’s classical peacekeeping mandate does not seem to allow it to engage in offensive anti-terrorist operations, as was the case for MONUSCO in the DRC prior to the deployment of the Intervention Brigade. We therefore believe that such a brigade in northern Mali, alongside MINUSMA and working closely with the French Operation Barkhane, could achieve what the Intervention Brigade did and is doing in the eastern DRC alongside MONUSCO [the UN Stabilisation Mission in the DRC].


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

    En plus de la malnutrition et de l’insécuité alimentaire récurrentes, le Niger fait également face aux défis liés aux épidémies et aux inondations. Les flux de populations fuyant les violences causées notamment par le groupe armé Boko Haram au Nigéria voisin, auxquels s’ajoutent les réfugiés maliens vivant toujours dans les camps, ainsi que les migrants et déplacés internes, viennent augmenter les besoins humanitaires, nécessitant une action urgente.

    3.4 millions de personnes ont actuellement besoin d’une assistance humanitaire.


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