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ReliefWeb - Updates

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

    Le Représentant du Secrétaire général au Mali (RSSG), M. Mongi Hamdi, appelle à une cessation immédiate des hostilités dans plusieurs localités au nord du Mali.

    Le RSSG est extrêmement préoccupé par les graves violations du cessez-le-feu en cours au Mali à un moment crucial dans le processus de paix.

    Depuis le 27 avril, des éléments du Groupe d’auto-défense touareg imghad et alliés (GATIA) et du Mouvement arabe de l’Azawad – Plateforme (MAA-Plateforme) sont entrés dans la ville de Ménaka qui, en vertu des arrangements du cessez-le-feu, est sous le contrôle du Mouvement national de libération de l'Azawad (MNLA). Les combats ont continué dans les environs de Ménaka le 28 avril.

    Le 29 avril, des éléments de la Coordination des Mouvements de l’Azawad (CMA) ont attaqué des baraquements de la Garde nationale à Goundam tuant deux Gardes nationaux et un enfant.

    D’autres incidents ou confrontations sont actuellement en cours à Léré, Bintagoungou et aux alentours de Ménaka. La MINUSMA suit attentivement l’évolution de la situation.

    « J’en appelle à la raison et à la responsabilité de tous les acteurs engagés, les enjeux sont trop importants. Il est impératif que les parties concernées respectent leurs engagements pour la paix ainsi que l’Accord de cessez-le-feu du 23 mai 2014 et ses modalités de mise en œuvre du 13 Juin 2014, la Déclaration de cessation des hostilités signée à Alger le 24 juillet 2014 et celle signée à Alger le 19 février 2015, » a déclaré le RSSG.

    « Par le biais du Secrétaire général des Nations Unies, c’est toute la communauté internationale qui condamne fermement cette spirale de la violence. Je tiens à rappeler l’impartialité de la MINUSMA : toutes les parties, quelles qu’elles soient, doivent respecter leurs engagements et retourner sur leurs positions initiales. Je tiens à être très clair sur ce point : nous souhaitons que les groupes concernés respectent leurs engagements et qu’ils retournent, comme l’accord de cessez-le-feu le prévoit et comme ils s’y sont engagés, sur leurs positions, » a poursuivi M.Hamdi.

    La MINUSMA intensifie et multiplie les contacts au plus haut niveau en vue de réduire les tensions sur le terrain. Une réunion de la Commission technique mixte de sécurité (CTMS) en vue de prendre les mesures devant assurer le respect des engagements se tiendra sous peu.

    « Nous souhaitons que la raison prévale, l’Accord qui doit être signé est une chance historique pour la paix au Mali au bénéfice de tous les Maliens. Tous nos efforts vont dans ce sens. Les groupes engagés sur le terrain portent une lourde responsabilité, » a conclu le Représentant Spécial.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali, Niger

    Bamako, Mali | AFP | Thursday 4/30/2015 - 17:41 GMT

    by Serge DANIEL

    Ten militants and nine soldiers died in clashes between the Malian army and the main Tuareg rebel alliance, the government said Thursday, raising fears for the country's fragile peace process.

    The Tuareg-led Coordination for the Movements of Azawad (CMA) provoked the deadliest battle in almost a year between security forces and the rebellion as its fighters ambushed the central town of Lere on Wednesday.

    "The provisional toll of the clashes is: armed forces -- nine dead, six injured, six hostages, one damaged vehicle," the ministry said in a statement.

    "Enemy side: 10 dead and 16 injured, two vehicles destroyed; one vehicle, arms and ammunition recovered."

    Defence Minister Tieman Hubert Coulibaly said Lere was under control and "encourages the armed forces to fulfil their duty with determination to the service of our country", the statement added.

    A foreign security source confirmed the fighting had stopped late on Wednesday, adding there was "no winner, no loser", with the rebels controlling the south of the town and the army dug in elsewhere.

    The rebels justified the ambush by citing a "flagrant violation of the ceasefire" in the Menaka region of Mali near the Niger border, where pro-Bamako troops seized positions on Monday.

    "This act of legitimate self-defence is not meant to claim new territorial positions, which is why our forces immediately left Lere after the fighting," a CMA spokesman said, claiming there were "a dozen prisoners and several dead" in the enemy ranks.

    The CMA had warned on Tuesday it would assert its right to exercise self-defence.

    The assault came on a day of violence that started when militants opened fire on troops in the former Islamist stronghold of Goundam, 80 kilometres (50 miles) from Timbuktu, killing two soldiers and a child.

    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon blamed fighters from the CMA and called for an "immediate cessation of the hostilities in northern Mali" following "serious ceasefire violations".

    The Malian defence ministry accused the rebels of the "murder" of a platoon leader, his deputy and an "innocent girl", saying it was an attempt to "collapse" the peace process.

    • Prisoner swap negotiations -

    A civilian source in an international team mediating peace talks between the government and the rebels said discussions were under way for "an exchange of prisoners between the two sides" following the battle for Lere.

    "The meharists have rebel prisoners and the rebels have wounded meharist prisoners. Direct negotiations are under way to secure their release," the source said.

    Mali was upended by a coup in 2012 that opened the door for Tuareg separatists to seize the towns and cities of the vast northern desert with the help of several Islamist groups.

    The Tuareg were then sidelined by their one-time allies, extremists who imposed a brutal version of Islamic shariah in the region and destroyed historic buildings and artifacts in Timbuktu.

    The Islamists pushed south toward Bamako, prompting France to deploy troops in January 2013 who drove them out, and Mali returned to democracy with the election in August of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

    The country remains deeply divided, however, with the impoverished north home predominantly to lighter-skinned Tuareg and Arab populations who accuse the sub-Saharan ethnic groups that live in the more prosperous south of marginalising them.

    The recent violence comes amid assurances by the CMA that it was committed to a peace accord brokered by Algeria and due to be ratified at a ceremony in Bamako on May 15.

    • 'Agreement void' -

    "I doubt the Algiers agreement can be signed by May 15 in these circumstances," Yvan Guichaoua, a security analyst for the Sahel region and lecturer at the University of East Anglia in Britain, told AFP.

    "We're into military ops. Even though informal discussions continue, it will take some time before military activities calm down."

    The government and a coalition of armed groups from the north known as the Platform have already signed the peace accord, negotiated under UN auspices over eight months.

    But the CMA has been holding out ahead of the ceremony, demanding an amendment guaranteeing political recognition for "Azawad", the name used by the Tuareg for the northern part of Mali.

    MINUSMA chief Mongi Hamdi said he was "extremely concerned about the grave violations of the ceasefire under way in Mali at a crucial moment in the peace process", according to a MINUSMA statement released on Thursday.

    "I appeal to reason and responsibility of all actors involved, the stakes are too high."

    He added that all sides signing the Algiers accord would be "a historic opportunity for peace in Mali for the benefit of all Malians".

    "No such thing will happen now. Now if the mediation and the Malian authorities still want to maintain a signature ceremony on May 15, they will sign a de facto void document," Guichaoua said.

    Mali's Tuareg and Arab rebels agreed to a ceasefire after taking control of the northeastern city of Kidal in May last year, dealing a humiliating defeat to the army, which saw 50 troops killed and another 50 wounded.

    bur-sst/ft/st/jah

    © 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali, Niger

    Bamako, Mali | AFP | vendredi 01/05/2015 - 14:25 GMT

    Une personne a été tuée jeudi et six enlevées dans le nord du Mali lors d'une attaque attribuée à la rébellion à dominante touareg, a-t-on appris vendredi auprès d'un élu local, d'un habitant et de la force de l'ONU au Mali (Minusma).

    "Plus de cinquante hommes armés de la Coordination des mouvements de l'Azawad (CMA, rébellion) sont venus jeudi semer la terreur à Bintagoungou. Ils ont tué un homme et pris en otage six autres personnes avec qui ils sont partis", a déclaré à l'AFP Hama Aboubacrine, maire de cette localité à 90 km à l'ouest de Tombouctou, une des plus grandes villes du nord du Mali.

    "Tout le monde se connaît ici. Ils (les assaillants) avaient le drapeau de la CMA", a raconté le maire à l'AFP.

    Selon lui, ces derniers ont en outre pillé une vingtaine de boutiques, un dispensaire et emporté deux véhicules.

    Un habitant de Bintagoungou a confirmé ces propos à l'AFP, ajoutant que son père, un directeur d'école, faisait partie des otages emmenés pas les "rebelles touareg".

    "Effectivement, jeudi, des groupes armés ont terrorisé la population de Bintagoungou, tuant au moins une personne et prenant en otages d'autres", a confirmé une source au sein de la Minusma, sans préciser l'identité des agresseurs.

    Les responsables de la CMA étaient injoignables vendredi.

    Bintagoungou est située à 55 km au nord de Goundam, une localité attaquée mercredi par les rebelles. Deux membres de la garde nationale - une composante de l'armée - et un enfant avaient été tués lors de cet assaut imputé à la CMA par l'ONU et le gouvernement malien.

    Par ailleurs, "la tension restait vive dans la périphérie de Ménaka" (nord-est) vendredi, selon une source au sein de la Minusma. Des groupes pro-Bamako se sont emparés lundi des positions de la CMA à Ménako, ville proche de la frontière nigérienne.

    Des combats meurtriers ont également opposé mercredi la rébellion et l'armée à Léré, près de la frontière mauritanienne.

    Ces affrontements surviennent alors que des responsables rebelles ont récemment donné leur accord pour parapher l'accord de paix d'Alger, près de deux mois après Bamako et ses alliés.

    Le nord du Mali est tombé au printemps 2012 sous la coupe de groupes jihadistes liés à Al-Qaïda après la déroute de l'armée face à la rébellion, d'abord alliée à ces groupes qui l'ont ensuite évincée.

    Les jihadistes ont été dispersés et partiellement chassés de cette zone par une opération militaire internationale lancée en janvier 2013 à l'initiative de la France, et toujours en cours. Mais des zones entières échappent encore au contrôle de Bamako

    sd/mrb/dom

    © 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: BioMed Central
    Country: Mali

    Conflict and Health 2015, 9:15 doi:10.1186/s13031-015-0042-9
    By Stéphane Besançon*, Ibrahima-Soce Fall2, Mathieu Doré, Assa Sidibé, Olivier Hagon, François Chappuis and David Beran

    Abstract

    Background
    The World Health Organization proposes 6 building blocks for health systems. These are vulnerable to challenges in many contexts. Findings from a 2004 assessment of the health system in Mali for diabetes care found many barriers were present for the management and care of this condition. Following this assessment different projects to strengthen the healthcare system for people living with diabetes were undertaken by a local NGO, Santé Diabète.

    Case description
    In March 2012, following a Coup in Bamako, the northern part of Mali was occupied and cut-off from the rest of the country. This had a major impact on the health system throughout the country. Due to the lack of response by humanitarian actors, Santé Diabète in close collaboration with other local stakeholders developed a humanitarian response for patients with diabetes. This response included evacuation of children with Type 1 diabetes from northern regions to Bamako; supplies of medicines and tools for management of diabetes; and support to people with diabetes who moved from the north to the south of the country.

    Discussion
    It has been argued that diabetes is a good tracer for health systems and based on Santé Diabète’s experience in Mali, diabetes could also be used as a tracer in the context of emergencies. One lesson from this experience is that although people with diabetes should be included as a vulnerable part of the population they are not considered as such. Also within a complex emergency different “diabetes populations” may exist with different needs requiring tailored responses, such as internally displaced people versus those still in conflict areas. From Santé Diabète’s perspective, the challenge was changing the ways it operated from a development NGO to an emergency NGO. In this role it could rely on its knowledge of the local situation and its function as part of the post-conflict situation.

    Conclusion
    The lessons learnt from this experience by Santé Diabète in Mali may be useful for other NGOs and the humanitarian response in general in addressing the challenge of managing non communicable diseases and diabetes in conflict and disaster situations in countries with weak health systems.


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    Source: UN Security Council
    Country: Mali

    SC/11879-AFR/3128

    On trouvera ci-après le texte de la déclaration à la presse faite aujourd’hui par la Présidente du Conseil de sécurité pour le mois de mai, Mme Raimonda Murmokaitė (Lituanie):

    Les membres du Conseil de sécurité se sont déclarés profondément préoccupés par l’explosion de violence qui a lieu au Mali depuis le 27 avril 2015, compromettant le processus de paix. Ils ont exigé que les hostilités cessent immédiatement.

    Les membres du Conseil ont exhorté les parties à prouver leur attachement au processus de paix et à respecter les obligations qui leur incombent en vertu de l’accord de cessez-le-feu du 23 mai 2014 ainsi que des déclarations de cessation des hostilités du 24 juillet 2014 et du 19 février 2015.

    Les membres du Conseil ont déclaré que les attaques perpétrées depuis le 27 avril 2015, notamment à Ménaka, Goundam et Léré, violaient le cessez-le-feu. Ils ont rappelé la déclaration faite par leur Président le 6 février 2015 (S/PRST/2015/5), ainsi que la déclaration qu’ils ont faite à la presse le 10 avril 2015, dans laquelle ils se déclaraient prêts à envisager des sanctions ciblées contre ceux qui reprenaient les hostilités et violaient le cessez-le-feu. À ce propos, ils ont dit qu’ils examineraient les prochaines mesures à prendre à la lumière de ces violations et des événements sur le terrain.

    Les membres du Conseil ont répété qu’ils encourageaient totalement le Représentant spécial du Secrétaire général pour le Mali, M. Mongi Hamdi, ainsi que la Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation au Mali, à collaborer avec toutes les parties en vue d’apaiser les tensions et de poursuivre le dialogue.

    Les membres du Conseil ont instamment prié les parties, y compris les groupes armés de la Coordination, à respecter le processus de paix dans lequel elles s’étaient engagées. Ils les ont encouragées à poursuivre le dialogue de manière constructive, en faisant preuve d’une volonté politique inébranlable et de bonne foi, avec l’appui des membres de l’équipe internationale de médiation, en vue de la signature à Bamako, le 15 mai 2015, du projet d’accord pour la paix et la réconciliation. À cet égard, ils ont exprimé leur soutien total aux membres de l’équipe internationale de médiation.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    Bamako, Mali | AFP | Friday 5/1/2015 - 18:22 GMT

    Dozens of gunmen stormed a northern Mali town, killing one and taking six other people hostage in an attack blamed on Tuareg rebels, officials told AFP Friday.

    "More than 50 armed men from the Coordination for the Movements of Azawad (CMA) came Thursday to sow terror in Bintagoungou. They killed a man and took six hostages with them," said Hama Aboubacrine, mayor of the town about 90 kilometres to the west of Timbuktu.

    "Everyone knows each other here. (The attackers) had a CMA flag," added the mayor.

    The gunmen also pillaged several shops and a pharmacy, and made off with two vehicles.

    A Bintagoungou resident also told AFP that his father was one of the six who were taken hostage.

    CMA officials were not immediately available for comment on Friday, but a UN peacekeeping source in Mali also confirmed the attack.

    Mali was upended by a coup in 2012 that opened the door for Tuareg separatists to seize the towns and cities of the vast northern desert with the help of several Islamist groups.

    The Tuareg were then sidelined by their one-time allies, extremists who imposed a brutal version of Islamic shariah in the region and destroyed historic buildings and artifacts in Timbuktu.

    The Islamists pushed south toward Bamako, prompting France to deploy troops in January 2013 who drove them out, and Mali returned to democracy with the election in August of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

    The country remains deeply divided, however, with the impoverished north home predominantly to lighter-skinned Tuareg and Arab populations who accuse the sub-Saharan ethnic groups that live in the more prosperous south of marginalising them.

    The recent violence comes amid assurances by the CMA that it was committed to a peace accord brokered by Algeria and due to be ratified at a ceremony in Bamako on May 15.

    MINUSMA, the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, urged all sides to sit down together Friday on the eve a meeting in Bamako between African Union, EU, US and Algerian representatives to discuss the situation.

    sd/hmn/fg

    © 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse


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

    Hier à Bamako s'est tenue au Siège de la MINUSMA, une réunion du "Core Group" de la Médiation internationale*, avec la participation de la France et des Etats-unis, pour discuter de la situation sécuritaire préoccupante dans le nord du Mali.

    Les participants ont estimé que face à la dégradation rapide de la sécurité sur le terrain, il était indispensable de continuer à privilégier la voie du dialogue dans le cadre du processus de paix en cours.

    A l’unanimité, les participants insistent sur la nécessité de respecter les accords de cessez-le-feu et exigent le retrait immédiat et sans condition des groupes armés occupants des positions en violation de ces dits accords, ainsi que de la Déclaration de cessation des hostilités signée à Alger le 19 février 2015.

    Concernant la situation actuelle prévalant à Ménaka, le Représentant Spécial du Secrétaire général (RSSG) s'engage à mettre en œuvre tous les moyens, y compris de renforcer la présence de la MINUSMA, dans le but d'assurer sécurité et protection des populations civiles.

    "Il est impératif que les parties retrouvent la voie du dialogue dans le cadre du processus de paix engagé depuis plus d'un an, en vue d'une signature prochaine de l'accord de paix prévue le 15 mai," a déclaré le RSSG.

    Le "Core Group" de la Médiation internationale est en train d'étudier la possibilité de la tenue d'une réunion qui se tiendra à Alger dans les jours à venir avec la participation des parties engagées sur le terrain dans le but d'apaiser les tensions dans le nord du Mali.

    • « Core Group » de la Médiation Internationale : composé de l’Algérie, l’Union Africaine, l’Union Européenne, la CEDEAO

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    Source: UN Security Council
    Country: Mali

    SC/11879-AFR/3128

    The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Raimonda Murmokaitė (Lithuania):

    The members of the Security Council expressed their deep concern at the outbreak of violence that has occurred in Mali since 27 April, which threatens to undermine the peace process, and demanded that the hostilities cease immediately.

    The members of the Security Council urged the parties to demonstrate their commitment to the peace process and adhere to their obligations under the cease fire agreement of 23 May 2014, and the declarations of cessation of hostilities of 24 July 2014 and 19 February 2015.

    The members of the Security Council stressed that the attacks perpetrated since 27 April, notably in Ménaka, Goundam and Léré, violate the ceasefire. The members of the Security Council recalled the statement by the President of the Security Council of 6 February (S/PRST/2015/5), as well as their press statement of 10 April, in which the Security Council expressed its readiness to consider targeted sanctions against those who resume hostilities and violate the ceasefire. In this regard, the members of the Security Council expressed their intention to evaluate next steps in light of these violations and events on the ground.

    The members of the Security Council reiterated their full support to Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Mali, Mr. Mongi Hamdi, and to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), to engage with all parties to de-escalate tensions and continue dialogue.

    The members of the Security Council urged the parties, including the armed groups of the Coordination, to remain committed to the peace process in which they engaged. The members of the Security Council encouraged the parties to continue to engage constructively with sustained political will and in good faith, supported by the members of the international mediation team, with the view to sign the draft Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali on 15 May in Bamako. The members of the Security Council expressed their full support to the members of the international mediation team for their efforts to support the parties in this regard.

    For information media. Not an official record.


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    Source: Oxfam
    Country: Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, India, Iraq, Jordan, Liberia, Mauritania, Nepal, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Vanuatu, World, Yemen

    South Asia

    Nepal Earthquake

    On Saturday 25 April, an earthquake of magnitude 7.8 on the Richter scale struck the poor, landlocked and mountainous Asian state of Nepal. By 30 April, the death toll had risen to more than 5,500 and the UN estimates that 8million people across the country are affected by the disaster – more than a quarter of the population.

    Oxfam is stepping up its relief effort and aims to support 350,000 people. We have already started working in five districts: Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur in the Kathmandu valley, and the more remote Gorkha and Sindhupalchwok districts. By the end of this week, teams will reach two other badly affected districts of Dhading and Nuwakot. Urgent activities so far have been trucking in drinking water, constructing temporary toilets, and distributing basic essentials, and we’re making arrangements to get cash out to people and distribute temporary shelters. A bottleneck of people and supplies at Nepal’s Kathmandu airport combined with nationwide fuel shortages, blocked roads and difficult terrain is hampering the efforts of aid agencies and emergency services to reach earthquake survivors. Speaking from Kathmandu, Oxfam's Humanitarian Manager, Orla Murphy, said: “Blocked roads, fuel shortages and supplies being held up at Kathmandu airport pose a big challenge for Oxfam and others. We’re doing everything we can to get our teams to the affected areas to assess what’s needed and get help to vulnerable people who need it as soon as possible.” Continue reading. (Photo 1: A woman pours water into a cooking pan used by her daughter to clean dishes at the Tundikhel IDP camp in Kathmandu, Nepal. Aubrey Wade, Oxfam, April 2015. Photo 2: Technical volunteers, trained by Oxfam during the urban risk management program, erect a water tank at the Tundikhel IDP camp in Kathmandu, Nepal, Aubrey Wade, Oxfam, April 2015)


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Nigeria

    Kano, Nigeria | AFP | Sunday 5/3/2015 - 23:38 GMT

    by Aminu ABUBAKAR with Ola AWONIYI in Abuja

    At least three women were killed in a landmine explosion and others crushed to death by tanks as Nigeria's military moved in to rescue them from Boko Haram, one freed hostage said on Sunday.

    The deaths happened in the Islamists' Sambisa Forest stronghold, from where soldiers have freed hundreds of women and children seized during the bloody insurgency in Nigeria's northeast.

    The military said on Sunday that 275 women and children had been taken to a relief camp in the Adamawa state capital, Yola.

    More than 700 women and children have been found in the dense forest over the past week, raising hopes the 219 girls snatched from their school in Chibok, Borno state, in April 2014 were among them.

    The teenagers' plight caused global outrage and brought unprecedented world attention on the conflict, which has left at least 15,000 dead and made some 1.5 million homeless since 2009. x Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said the 275 -- some of them traumatised and malnourished by their ordeal -- would undergo "rehabilitation" in Yola, including trauma counselling.

    "Eight women and 15 children have been taken to the hospital for treatment for injuries they sustained during the rescue operation," spokesman Sani Datti told AFP.

    • Steps from freedom -

    Binta Abdullahi, who was kidnapped from a village near Madagali, in the north of Adamawa, more than a year ago, described the hostages' ordeal as the soldiers moved in.

    "When the military stormed the camp where we were being held, our captors told us to take cover under trees and shrubs to avoid military shelling," the 18-year-old told reporters in Yola.

    "Some women who hid under trees were crushed by military tanks which mowed them down without knowing they were there.

    "After soldiers subdued Boko Haram fighters and rescued us they loaded those too weak or sick to trek into vehicles and asked the rest of us to walk behind... to avoid stepping on land mines planted by Boko Haram all over the place.

    "At least three women and some soldiers were killed when a mine exploded after a woman stepped on one."

    Boko Haram have used kidnapping as a tactic throughout the past six years. Amnesty International said last month more than 2,000 women and girls have been seized since the start of last year.

    Abdullahi said she was held in two places before being moved to Sambisa last month, including Boko Haram's "headquarters" in Gwoza, from where the Islamic State group affiliate declared a caliphate last year.

    Her two sisters, who were also kidnapped, managed to escape but she stayed as she was looking after three children, aged four and three, whose mothers were not among those kidnapped.

    "I couldn't leave them," she said.

    Her testimony chimed with that of other former hostages, who described forced labour, marriage, sexual and psychological abuse by their captors, as well as being compelled to fight on the front line.

    "They asked us to marry Boko Haram members but we told them there was no way we could get married because we were already married to our husbands," she said.

    "They said since we would not marry them they would sell us as slaves at the right time."

    Lami Musa, 19, was four months' pregnant when Boko Haram fighters stormed her village of Lassa, near Chibok, five months ago.

    She said she was not married off because she was pregnant but was told she would be after she gave birth.

    "Fortunately I was rescued a day after giving birth. I thank God," she added.

    • 'Tired and traumatised' -

    The authorities in Yola have recorded the former hostages' personal data, including their names, age, and place of origin, according to NEMA's Datti.

    But how long they will remain in the camps is unclear. Earlier this year, nearly 200 women released by Boko Haram were held in a government camp in Yobe state for more than a month.

    "Most of them looked tired and traumatised. They were unkempt. From their looks they haven't had a bath for days," said Datti.

    The women and children were provided with food, mattresses, blankets, mosquito nets, soap and detergents.

    Nigeria's defence headquarters said on Sunday 260 women and children who were stranded after fleeing a Boko Haram attack had been located in Adamawa and returned to their communities in Madagali.

    President Goodluck Jonathan's handling of the Boko Haram crisis was seen as a key reason for his election defeat and the recent military successes, while welcomed, viewed as too little, too late.

    Jonathan hands over power to former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari on May 29, having pledged to defeat the militants.

    bur-abu-phz/erf

    © 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Cameroon, Nigeria

    Violence by Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria and insecurity across the border inflict more suffering on people living in Cameroon's Far North Region. More than 100,000 people in the northern region of Cameroon are uprooted as Boko Haram violence has spilled across the border, doubling the number of internally displaced people (IDPs) in the past two months. In addition, about 74,000 Nigerians - forced to leave behind their homes, family and livelihoods - are seeking refuge in the Far North region. The World Food Programme has been supporting those in need with food distributions and nutrition activities to address high rates of malnutrition, especially amongst the newly arrived refugee children and mothers. Funding shortfalls, however, threaten to seriously hamper WFP's ability to provide life-saving assistance to all people in dire need of help.

    The Far North Region is one of Cameroon's poorest regions. The influx of IDPs and refugees, and the drastic livelihoods disruption caused by violence in Nigeria and across the border have worsened the plight of thousands of people. Farmers have been forced to abandon their fields, depriving them of sufficient food and income, whilst cross-border trade has been significantly disrupted. Nearly 200,000 people are facing an acute food insecurity and livelihood crisis in the areas hosting refugees, returnees and IDPs. Of the nearly 200,000 refugees and IDPs, only about 45,000 live in a camp setting, the vast majority living with host populations, putting additional pressure on already strained communities.

    WFP provided food to almost 32,000 refugees at the Minawao camp, located about 130 km from the border with Nigeria. Before refugees are even registered at the camp, WFP provides them with high-energy biscuits, which are often much needed after long and grueling journeys.

    However, due to funding gaps, IDPs and host communities in the Far North region have missed out on essential food assistance for the past six months. Only in mid-April, WFP was able to provide a reduced ration (covering food needs for 15 days) to some 20,000 IDPs - about a quarter of the current number of IDPs.

    The high level of malnutrition among newly arrived refugees is also worrisome. When people arrive in the Minawao camp, often tired and hungry, they are typically screened for malnutrition. The emergency threshold for Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) is 15 percent, but among the refugees in the camp, levels have risen to over 22 percent. With the onset of the rainy season, the nutrition situation is likely to worsen.

    One refugee, 23-year-old Aicha, arrived in the camp barefoot, with her twin babies, having lost her shoes along the journey. “Militants came, killed, and took all our property. We walked by foot to get to Cameroon – we had no money and nothing to eat on the way.”

    Both of her children are suffering from Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM), and are now receiving help in a WFP-supported heath facility set up in the camp. In an effort to reduce the high malnutrition rate, WFP plans to distribute highly nutritious food supplements to over 10,200 children in the Minawao camp. Across the Far North Region, WFP plans to expand its activities to 167 locations, reaching 41,700 children to combat malnutrition and food insecurity.

    Overall, WFP aims to support 225,000 people in Cameroon, a number that includes refugees, returnees, IDPs, and host communities. But without urgent funding, in May and June, WFP will only be able to cover the needs of refugees in the Minawao camp – only 20 percent of the total people WFP aims to support. To provide life-saving assistance to all those in need through the end of 2015, WFP requires US$40.3 million.

    To date, WFP has been able to secure US$ 9 million, leaving a funding gap of 78 percent. Vulnerable communities across the Far North Region cannot afford to have less than a quarter of the support that they so direly need.


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

    A meeting of the “Core Group” of the International Mediation* took place at the MINUSMA headquarters in Bamako yesterday with the participation of France and the United States to discuss the worrying security situation in the north of Mali.

    The participants considered that, in light of the rapid deterioration of the security situation on the ground, it was essential to continue to give priority to the path of dialogue within the framework of the ongoing peace process.

    The participants unanimously stress the need to respect the ceasefire agreements and demand the immediate and unconditional retreat of the armed groups who occupy positions in violation of these agreements and the Declaration of cessation of hostilities signed in Algiers on 19 February 2015.

    With regard to the current situation in Ménaka, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) is committed to using all means, including strengthening MINUSMA’s presence, to ensure the security and protection of civilian populations.

    “It is imperative that the parties find their way back to the path of dialogue within the framework of the peace process that was begun more than a year ago, with a view to the forthcoming signature of the peace agreement, which is foreseen for 15 May,” the SRSG said.

    The “Core Group” of the International Mediation is examining the possibility of holding a meeting in Algiers in the coming days with the participation of the parties involved in hostilities on the ground to calm tensions in the north of Mali.

    • The “Core Group” of the International Mediation is composed of Algeria, the African Union, the European Union and ECOWAS.

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    Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies
    Country: Niger

    A. Situation analysis

    Description of the disaster

    Niger is a West African country located in the heart of the African meningitis belt, which stretches from Senegal to Djibouti. The hot and dry climate is favorable to the outbreak of meningitis epidemics generally between November and May.

    From 31 December 2014 meningitis cases have been recorded countrywide at a slow rate; however since the beginning of April 2015, suspected cases have increased. As of 24 April 2015, the number of suspected cases had reached 1.456, including 145 deaths (lethality rate of 9.9%), with the worst affected areas including Niamey I, Niamey II, Niamey III from Niamye and Doutchi, Gaya from Dosso districts. On 21 April, it was announced that schools in Niamey would be temporarily closed in order to avoid the spread of the epidemic, as the majority of cases reported have occurred in children under the age of 15 years old – please refer to “Table 1: Percentage of the meningitis affected people by age”.

    The principal bacteria parentage detected in the laboratory are: Neisseria meningitides (Nm); 40%, Nm C (33.85%) and Streptococcus pneumonia (23.08%), which is a strain not previously experienced in the country; and therefore not responding to existing vaccines. On 21 April 2015, the Prime Minister declared that there is a need of 1.2 million of new vaccine doses, however at present only 50% of what is required is available, and the Government of Niger (GoN) has made appeals to its international partners to contribute to ensuring that there is 100% coverage.

    In parallel, a measles epidemic has also been confirmed in region of the north of the country, with Agadez, Maradi and Zinder worst affected. As of 25 April 25,, a total of 3,370 suspected cases and six deaths have been reported across 12 health districts; however most efforts are focusing on the response to the meningitis situation given the insufficient vaccines available in the country. The prevailing malnutrition specially in children under 5 years old only aggravates the situation.


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    Source: World Vision
    Country: Mali

    Francine Obura
    Communications Manager
    World Vision Mali

    As world Vision Mali prepares for the Global Week of Action, the organization has secured a well-meaning partnership with Orange foundation. This charity branch of the giant mobile phone operator sent out this year campaign’s message “Stop at nothing to get to zero preventable death’’ to its 5 million clients in Mali.

    According to Rachel Mikanagu, WV Mali Advocacy Manager: ‘‘we have succeeded to prompt questions in the minds of Malians around maternal and child health which hopefully will cause them to realise that this matter concerns all of us. Through sms, we are making the needs of thousands of dying mothers and children visible to all.’’

    The involvement of population in calling on governments to play their part to ensure children access to nutritious food, clean water, and life-saving health services is key. ‘‘The collaboration between World Vision and Orange foundation is leveraging the public consciousness of this matter. We are proud to be associated to the fight for children survival as the foundation strives for child well-being through education and health especially’’, said Hawa Diallo, Deputy Head of Orange foundation.

    As part of this citizen engagement and education process, World Vision Mali has equally realized a community-based radio programme whereby, rural population shared their views on the causes of maternal and child death, the role of the citizens in reducing the mortality rate and how they can enforce local authority accountability.

    The National Citizen’s Hearing scheduled for May 4th will provide an incredible platform to more than 100 actors from the civil society, government and private sector to track progress against Mali’s government with regards to the health budget and the best way to feed in the new national accountability mechanism for maternal and child health in the Post-2015 framework.

    World Vision Mali will go a step farther with a Community Citizen’s Hearing on May 8th. This come across will dig into the root causes (geographic location, discrimination, ethnic, handicap) of marginalized and vulnerable families that are excluded from the health system. The debate will make recommendations on efforts to better identify those families and allocate resources where they are mostly needed.

    Through the global week of action, World Vision is asking the Malian government to a) Continue to extend reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health services toward universal coverage of quality healthcare, fully addressing gaps in the implementation of essential interventions, especially emergency obstetric and newborn care, management of malnutrition, and the Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses; b) Work progressively to reach the most vulnerable children, mothers, and households through the expansion of universal health insurance coverage, training and retaining of midwives, and salaried Community Health Agents, including through improved inter-ministerial dialogue, coordination, and sectoral budget prioritization c)Implement a national strategic plan to improve the reproductive health of adolescents, including clear measures to address issues of early marriage, early pregnancies, and Female Genital Mutilation.


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

    HIGHLIGHTS

    • More than three million people in north-east Nigeria will need urgent food assistance from May to Oct.

    • The number of IDPs in the north-east has increased by more than 300,000 over the past two months.

    • Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, now hosts half a million IDPs.

    • IDPs in Adamawa state are keen to return home before the rains.

    • Partners are scaling up their operations in the north-east.


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    Source: World Food Programme, Food and Agriculture Organization, Food Security Cluster
    Country: Mali

    Imminence d’une crise pastorale et de sécurité alimentaire dans les régions de Gao, Tombouctou et certaines parties de la région de Mopti et du Sahel Occidental.

    Le cluster sécurité alimentaire a pour mission de sauver des vies en coordonnant les interventions d'urgence destinées à assurer la sécurité alimentaire des personnes touchées par des crises humanitaires graves. En facilitant les échanges d'information et l'appui à la coordination, il rend l'aide humanitaire plus efficace, plus prévisible et plus transparente.

    Le cluster Sécurité Alimentaire au Mali a été créé en Mars 2012, suite à la crise politique et humanitaire à laquelle a été confronté le Mali avec l’objectif de coordonner les réponses en lien avec le Plan National de Réponse aux difficultés alimentaires du Gouvernement et le Programme National de Sécurité Alimentaire. Il rassemble près de 70 institutions et organisations non-gouvernementales qui interviennent sur l’ensemble du territoire national, et plus spécifiquement dans les régions du Nord (Gao, Tombouctou, Kidal et Mopti).


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    Source: World Food Programme, Food and Agriculture Organization, Food Security Cluster
    Country: Mali

    169 communes dans les régions de Gao, Tombouctou, Mopti et Kidal sont en déficit fourager.

    Ces communes affectées par la crise de la campagne pastorale au Mali caractérisée par une transhumance précoce ainsi que par des mouvements inhabituels des éléveurs vers des zones déjà sous pression et qui constituent des foyers de tensions probables.

    23 millions USD soit 14 milliards FCFA sont nécessaire pour sauver 9 millions d’ovins et 2 millions de bovins à risque durant cette campagne.

    Il est à craindre une aggravation de l’insécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle des populations pastorales qui risquent de perdre leur principale source de revenus et de nourriture compte tenu de la mortalité élevée du cheptel, de la réduction de la production de lait et de la détérioration des termes de l’échange bétail/céréales.


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Mali

    Points Saillants

    • État d’approvisionnement des marchés en céréales :
      L’offre de céréale sur les marché ruraux est en légère hausse et est jugé bon dans l’ensemble tenant compte de la poursuite des récoltes de contre saison, de la multiplicité des zones pourvoyeuses de céréales et du niveau record de la production céréalière.

    • Tendance des prix des céréales : Comparés aux prix du mois de février 2015 ; les prix des céréales sur les marchés de consommation sont en fluctuations (hausse ou baisse par endroit). Les prix à la production connaissent une tendance générale à la hausse, de même ceux de gros connaissent une légère hausse.
      Par rapport à la moyenne quinquennale, les prix à consommation et à la production sont en baisses.

    • Termes de l’échange (ToT) petits ruminants/céréales : De façon globale, en détérioration par rapport à l’année passée à Gao (-14%) et à Tombouctou (-5%) ; en amélioration à Mopti (+14%).

    • Valeur Alpha : Du point de vue de l’analyse coût-efficacité, les transferts monétaires sont mieux appropriés que la distribution de vivres dans les zones de Cash & Voucher (Gao, Mopti et Tombouctou).

    • L’insécurité perturbe négativement le fonctionnement des marchés dans les régions du nord et limite l’accès des ménages aux marchés.


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


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


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